Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Monthly Assignment (Week of January 1, 2015)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Torrance Stake Family, Family and Friends,

A New Year's Wish for You and Your Loved Ones . . .

In December we were blessed to witness and hear a wonderful choir and orchestra which some of our grandchildren have performed in for several years, "The Orange County Millennial Choirs and Orchestras". One of the numbers they performed was from "Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace (Prayer of Saint Francis) Saint Francis of Assisi". We wish the beautiful words from this piece will touch your life and inspire you to set these words as some of your goals for the new year 2015. May we all strive to be little better than we were before . . .

"Lord, make me an instrument of they peace;
Where there is hatred, let me bring love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;              
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
And all for thy mercy's sake.

O divine master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

New Year Emergency Preparedness Goals . . . 

New Year's Resolutions are alright but I find it better when we set goals instead of resolutions. Resolutions can, and are often broken quickly, but goals last longer. A main goal can be broken down into small steps to help us accomplish our main goal. Here are some suggestions to add to your 2015 New Year's Goal to make sure your family is working toward emergency preparedness or becoming better prepared than you already think you have done. I have found out when a disaster hits us, or a loved one, or an emergency situation, we quickly learn how little we really are prepared.

1) Each family member in your household should have a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Bag including, Food for 3 days, water for 3 days, a Person Hygiene Kit, a Stressor Kit and a set of extra clothes, etc. See the blog posting on the right under "Postings", "72 Hour Kit", to see how to set this backpack up for each family member.

2) Have a least two weeks to 1 month (or more if possible) water storage for each family member in your household. You can live without food for 40+ days, but you can only live without water for 2-3 days. If you store dehydrated/freeze dried foods, you will need extra water. Check out the blog posting on the right under "Postings", "Water Storage", on how to store water.

3) Continue to work towards your Food Storage. Each household should work towards at least a 3-Months Supply of food. Only store what your family will eat. Start out slow, work towards 2 weeks, then 1-month, then 2-months, then 3-months. First store canned, packaged and home canned items. Then progress to long term storage, dehydrated/freeze dried commercial foods. When you have accomplished your 3-Month Food Storage goal, and room allows, work towards 6-Months and then a year. This year we will continue last years goal of adding canned, packaged and long term storage to our food storage. Go back to last years blog postings to see what items we have already added. If you did not add them, them incorporate them into your food storage goals for this year. Check out the blog posting on the right under "Postings" "3-Month Food Storage" and "Years Supply of Food".

4) Each household should have an emergency way to have light, cook, heat, sanitation, shelter and medical supplies. Inventory what you already have, check for needed repairs, organize these items together in the garage or a home storage container. Assess the items you still need and set a goal to purchase these items when on sale or you have saved up enough money to purchase them. Have at least one item in each category, plus any fuel you might need to cook. Check out the blog postings on the right under "Postings" for information on these emergency supplies.


5) Never, never, never go into debit for your food storage or emergency supplies. Save and pay as you go along. Make food storage and emergency supplies a part of your monthly budget. Get in the habit of always being aware of your and your family's needs, watch for sales.


6) Know the types of disaster that can hit your area. Go to your local and state community websites some great information on preparation for your area.There is also some great information on the federal website.

Remember, emergency preparation will not happen overnight, in a month or a few months. This takes time, it is a life time process. We have been working on our food storage and emergency supplies for 43 years and we still have items to purchase and continually rotate our food storage. Remember, the key to good food storage is rotation, rotation, rotation. When you use an item in your food storage or emergency supplies, replace that item as soon as possible.

Resources: The "Postings" on the right side of this blog will you prepare in each area mentioned above. There is also other great materials posted each week throughout this blog. Your local city and government also has great websites with great information.

The Ark Blog 2015 Food   Storage and Emergency Preparedness Goals . . . 

January: Soups and Chili/Preparing For an Disaster, What to Do and Not Do During a Disaster
February: Meats (Beef, Chicken, etc.)/Inventory, Organizing, Assessing, Replacing and Purchasing Emergency Supplies
March: Beans and Lentils/Making a Family Evacuation Plan, Family Drills, Know Your Resources
April: Rice/Vegetable and Herb Gardening
May: Grains (Wheat, flour, oats, barley, popcorn, etc.)/Emergency Cooking, Lighting and Heating
June: Pastas/Emergency Shelter, Sanitation and Water Storage
July: Dairy/72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Backpacks and Family Bag
August:: Spices and Herbs/Home Canning, Freezing and Dehydrating
September: Drinks (Fruit juices, hot chocolate, apple cider, etc.)/Emergency Medical Supplies and First-aid
October: Potatoes/Spiritual and Physical Preparation
November: Vegetables/Financial, Employment and Family Records
December: Fruits/Setting New Emergency Preparedness Goals for 2016

January Monthly Assignment: 
   Food Storage . . . Soups, Broths and Chili

This month we are going to add soups, broths and chili to our food storage. This is a great time of the year to add them to your Food Storage since most of these items are on sale due to the winter months. Some people like to make their soup from scratch, including us, but it is always a good idea to have canned soups on hand in case of an emergency situation or disaster when you do not have the resources or time to cook from scratch. I also make soups, broths and chili up ahead of time and freeze them in plastic freezer zip lock bags (doubled) or freezer type plastic containers. Make sure you date them.

You can store soup, broths and chili in a variety of ways; commercially canned, small dehydrated packages like Lipton Onion Soup or Chicken Noodle Soup, large commercially #10 cans of dehydrated/freeze dried soups, broths and chili and frozen. You can purchase soups, broths and chili from your local grocery store, big box stores like Costco and Sam's Club and emergency preparedness online websites like emergencyessenails.com or other online companies. Remember as in all canned and packaged food storage, store in a cool dry dark place like your pantry, under beds, in closets, etc. The garage is too hot! Watch the expiration dates when you purchase them, especially if purchasing them from a discount store.

Figure out how many cans of soup and chili your family eats in a month and then multiply by the number of months you have set your food storage goal towards. Remember to include soups like creamed soups you use in casseroles and other dishes you make.

January Month Assignment: Emergency Preparedness . . . 
      Preparing for a Disaster, What to Do and  
         What to Do and Not Do During a Disaster

What type of disaster do you have where you live? Be aware of your surroundings and prepare for those types of disasters. Example: If you live where there are seasonal hurricanes you should have stored all year long wood, nails and a hammer for boarding up windows and doors, drinking water, canned foods, lighting (flashlights, lanterns, candles), medical supplies, etc. If you live where there are earthquakes you should have your home earthquake proofed as much as possible; book shelves strapped to the walls, TV and electronic equipment secured, know where to go during the earthquake, how to shut off the gas if necessary, etc. Check the postings on the right under "Postings"-- "What to Do and Not Do During a Disaster" and "Before, During and After an Earthquake". Check your local community and government websites for life saving information on what to do before, during and after a disaster in your area. Sit down as a family and make a family plan for your type of disasters. Discuss them often so your family knows what to do when it happens.

Good News! I have decided to go back to posting more than just once a month. I seem to always have so much to share and say. 

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

Personal experience from blog viewers . . .

I had an interesting experience about preparedness. After the Rodney King riots in 1992 I decided to photocopy my children's birth certificates and immunization records.  I kept a copy in my 72 hour kit. This past week one of my children needed a copy of their birth certificate for some official government purpose. They accepted that photocopy that I had in my preparedness kit.You never know when you might
need something.

Many times I have heard from blog viewers, people at our church and neighbors that they discover how little they are prepared when things happen to them, like loosing their electricity for several hours or unexpectedly finding out they have no running drinking water which lasted for several hours. 

Others have shared when they lost a job and were struggling financially how their food storage helped them get through a difficult time. 

It may not always be a disaster when you need your emergency supplies or food storage. Always be prepared for what may come your way. 

Warnings  . . .

9V Batteries--I recently saw a posting on Facebook about a fellow whose house caught on fire due to used batteries he stored in a paper bag for recycling. Watch this video and learn a very valuable lesson . . .

Family 8mm/16mm movie film---Recently we decided to convert our family 29 8mm movie films into a DVD. We have been wanting to do this for years but held off due to the cost of over $400. We discovered Sam's Club converts them at a much lower cost. When they came back from the company that converted them we discovered that we had lost some of them due to loss of color, breakage and damage from them
drying out and there age, over 40 years old. We were devastated and so sad. Fortunately we were able to save most of them and have them converted to DVDs. We had all 29 movies converted for less than $200. Now our family can safely enjoy watching them for many more years to come. The Sam's Club fellow also told us another person converted theirs because when they tried to watch them on their movie projector they caught on fire. So if you have 8mm or 16mm family movies that are old, get them converted as soon as possible. They also convert VHS tapes to DVDs.

Comments: We love to hear your comments. We all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. Please share your comments below.