Friday, January 23, 2015

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Monthly Assignments (Week of January 25th)

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

O Be Wise and Focus on the Important Things  
What are you focused on?

Family, home, health, job, world and local events? Family is the most important thing in the world. Protecting and providing for them is our responsibility alone, no one else. Emergency preparedness should be one of our focuses. So many of us focus on the end result and become overwhelmed when it comes to emergency preparedness. We need to simplify things. We should never go to extremes and become in debt for our food storage and emergency supplies. We need to make goals, small ones, to get to the final goal. When it comes to food storage and emergency preparedness we are never done. It is an on going process. We have been working on our food storage and emergency supplies for 40 years and we still have much to do. Do not get discouraged. Decide what your goals are for you and your family when it comes to emergency preparedness. Make a plan to reach those goals.

This blog will help you accomplish your goals without feeling overwhelmed at trying to do it all at once. Each month I give you monthly assignments, sometimes weekly, to help you accomplish your goals. Decide what you want for you and your family. Is it acquiring 1-Month, 2-Months, 3-Months, 6-Months or a years supply of food? Then focus on that one step at a time. Work on getting one type of emergency equipment in each area, cooking, heating, lighting, shelter, sanitation, etc. Then you can work towards more after that is accomplished. 
One of our daughters has a saying on her kitchen counter, "Be Wise". This can apply to all our choices in life. Be wise in your choices and include emergency preparedness as a part of them.

While listening to the news this morning I was starting to feel a little over whelmed and concerned. I turned off the television. Yes, we need to be aware of what is going on in our local area, county and the world, but we do not need to inundate ourselves with it. If we have the basics things like some food storage, water storage, emergency medical supplies, are spiritually and physically prepared and at least one item in each of the areas mentioned above we will have peace of mind knowing we are prepared. Once we have the basics we can continue to add to them.

Personal Experience from a Viewer . . .

Our daughter in Huntington Beach shared this interesting experience they had, and their neighbors, when the electricity went out for almost 3 hours. They live in a large apartment complex. It was evening, around 
dinner time, it was dark and her husband was not home from work yet. This affected about 4,200 people in their area.

When the electricity went out she told her boys to go get the flashlights. The boys were excited because they knew when the lights went out they would play board games by flashlights and candles. Being it was dinner time and our daughter had not started dinner she asked the boys, "What can we eat when the power goes out?". One son said we can make toast. Mom reminded him they had no electricity. The ideas went on until they realized it took electricity to make most of the things they suggested, they have an electric stove. After a few minutes it was determined they could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, eat cold soup or canned vegetables, and fruit. They even came up with the idea of making a fire outside to cook on.

Many of their neighbors were unprepared. They had no flashlight or in some cases working flashlights. One woman said they had them in the garage but it was dark in there and she would wait for her husband to get home so he could get them. She was willing to sit in the dark until he was home. Another neighbor remembered they had their 72 Hour Emergency Kits and there were flashlights in them. It amazed our daughter how unprepared her neighbors were.

What if this extended into days, weeks, months. What would you do? Could you take care of your family's
needs? How many of us forget about our 72 Hour Emergency Kits and have not checked them in months, years? We all need to be prepared ahead of time, not wait until the emergency is upon us, then it is to late as her neighbors found out very quickly. It does not take a disaster or a major emergency to need your emergency supplies. We all need to strive to be bettered prepared, especially for the little emergency in our life.

You will not want to miss this event.

Bi-Stake (Torrance Stake and Torrance North Stake) Emergency Preparedness Fair
Saturday, October 24, 2015
9:00am - 1:00pm
2000 Artesia Blvd, Torrance, California 

Over 30 booths and activities for the whole family.

Continue to work on your January Monthly Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Assignments 

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 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.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Citrus Fruit Trees . . .  
This is the time of year, especially in California and other states, where your citrus trees are full of fruit. What to do with all that citrus fruit? Well, you can give the fruit away or save the juice for another time when your citrus fruit trees are no longer producing fruit. There are two ways to save the citrus fruit juice, freeze the juice in cupcake pans or plastic freezer zip lock bags. To freeze in cupcake pans, line each one with plastic wrap, pour in the citrus juice about half way up, then place in your freeze, do not fold the remaining plastic wrap over them yet. Once they are frozen, pull them out, wrap with the remaining plastic wrap and place them in a large plastic freezer zip lock bag, mark the date on them. This size makes them convenient for cooking. Or, you can put 1-2 cups of citrus juice in a medium size plastic freezer zip lock bag, lay the bag flat in your freezer, then freeze the juice. Make the date and amount on the bag. The fruit juice will keep about 1-2 years. 

Meals in a Jar . . .

Update: Last week I mentioned how you can put together meals in a mason jar. Make sure you seal the jar by using a FoodSaver. Go back to the January 11, 2015 posting to watch the video on how to do this. If you do not get the moisture out they will not last as long. You can also place an oxygen absorber in the jar to help remove the moisture. If the lid will no longer spring up and down it is sealed. Remember: Moisture is not a friend to dehydrated or freeze dried foods, in fact any food storage. You want to keep all food storage in a cool, dry, dark place. 

Comments: Please share your comments, suggestions and experiences below. We all learn from each
other. We love to hear from you.

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