Friday, March 27, 2015

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of March 29th)

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

Spiritual and Temporal Preparedness 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
185th Annual General Conference 

Women's Session--Saturday, March 29th, 5PM (Pacific Time)
General Conference Session--Saturday, April 4th,  9am and 1pm (Pacific Time)
Priesthood Session--Saturday, April 4th, 5pm (Pacific Time)
General Conference Session--Sunday, April 4th, 9am and 1pm (Pacific Time)

Where you can watch it: 
KBYU TV Channel (Check your local cable or satellite channel)
Any LDS Stake Center in your area that is broadcasting conference.

Why We Need To Be Prepared

Many times I hear "why do we need to be prepared if a storm or disaster can wash it all away and someone could take it away in a civil unrest or if Martial Law was put into place". Why? It is all about obedience and peace of mind. When we are obedient, Heavenly Father will bless us with our needs. If it is not washed away we will be able to take of our family and help others. And, it is also our responsibility to take care of our own, no one else.

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Timothy 5:8)

"And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, ..." (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:14)

In other words, it is a commandment to take care of our own, our family. In John 14:15 we read, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." If we love our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ we will provide for
our own. In doing so, we need to be prepared both spiritually and temporally. Spiritually, we need to have daily family prayer and scripture reading, weekly Family Home Evening and attend church every Sunday. Temporally, we need to make sure our family will have sufficient for their needs if a disaster occurred.

I am amazed at how many people let their food run out before going grocery shopping, or only have enough food for a few days or one week. If there was a disaster or some type of civil unrest, the grocery stores only carry enough food in the back storage area for about 2 days to 2 weeks. Because delivery trucks could not get through they would run out very very quickly.

If you would just add a couple of extra cans or packed items your family eats each time you go grocery
shopping and store it, before you know it you would have a month or two months of food storage. 

It is our responsibility, not others, not our local government, not our federal government, not our church, but ours. If we cannot do it,  then we should go to relatives first for assistance.

We need to be prepared as much as we can. We need to be striving to be prepared. We need to be trying. If we are doing these things, Heavenly Father will provide for our needs, but we must be doing all we can first.

Being prepared brings peace of mind spiritually and temporally. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30)

Food Storage Hint . . .

When purchasing sugar and salt for your food storage never purchase them from companies that offer dehydrated or freeze-dried sugar and salt in #10 cans or buckets. Sugar and salt will keep forever as purchased from your regular grocery store. Keep moisture out by storing several of them in their original packages in ex-large plastic zip lock bags. If they become hard after several years of storage, just break them up.

New April Monthly Assignments

April Food Storage Assignment: Rice . . .

Rice, like beans and lentils, is another economical item to add to your food storage. There are many different types of rice. Store only the types of rice your family will eat. Some families, because of their cultural, eat a lot of rice, you may need to store more than most families. 

Follow these steps: 

1) Figure out how much rice (include all the ones you eat) your family eats in a week. Multiply that by 4 weeks (month supply) and then by the number of months, 1-Month, 3-Months, 6-Months, a year, you want to store.
2) Purchase an extra package of rice, or more, when you go grocery shopping.You can purchase rice in the commercial packaging at your local grocery store. You need to rotate this type of storage about every 2-3 years.
3) You can also store rice for long term storage in #10 cans at (only carry white rice), (many varieties) or other long term storage companies, or in super-pails at, (white rice) or other long term storage companies. These are usually good for 20+ years depending on how you store them, see #4 below. Another way to store rice is in Mason Jars using the Oven or FoodSaver Method. These methods are good for 5 years, some say for 20. I am not so sure about 20 years. See the videos below.
Note: You cannot Oven Can sugar, brown sugar or brown rice or whole wheat pastas. The sugars will melt and the brown rice and whole wheat pastas have too much moisture. It is also not a good idea to store brown rice or whole wheat pastas using the Oven Canning Method, once again, to much moisture. If you do your own dehydrated canning using the #10 cans or super-pails do not store brown rice or whole wheat pastas this way. They do not store well due to to much moisture.
4) Like all food storage, rice needs to be store just like other food, in a cool, dry, dark place. And Rotate, Rotate, Rotate.
5) If you rotate your rice often the regular commercial packaging will be fine.
6) If you want to store rice for long term storage, you need to use one of the methods in #2 above.
Note: You really should store rice both for short and long storage.
Note: Rice attracts moths. To get rid of the moths and their larva in your commercially packaged rice from the grocery store or big box store do the following. When you get home put the rice in your freezer for 24 hours. This kills all moths and larva in the rice. Then cool to room temperature and store in your pantry. After doing this I like to keep my rice in Mason Jars or containers with tight fitting lids to keep moths from getting in there again while stored in my pantry.

FoodSaver Mason Jar Canning

Note: I purchased my FoodSaver on EBay for about $20 and the Jar Sealers (Large and Small) for about $10. Do not purchase a new one. Make sure it has the port hole for the sealer cap tube.

Oven Canning in Mason Jars

April Emergency Preparedness Assignment: 
               Vegetable and Herb Gardening

This year set a goal to plant a vegetable and/or herb garden and do it! No more procrastination. 

If you know someone who plants a vegetable garden I am sure they would love to show you how or your local garden center. This blog can also help you.
In Southern California USA and most of the United States this is the time of year to plant your vegetable and herb gardens. In Southern California USA we can have vegetable gardens all year long, paying attention to what you can plant each season. Spring and Fall is also a great time to plant fruit trees. 

It does not matter how much space you have, everyone should have a way to plant some vegetables and herbs, either in the ground, a raised bed or in containers on a patio, balcony or any space where you get at least 6-8 hours of sun a day. 


Vegetable gardening is fun and for the whole family. It can teach our children responsibility and how much fun it is to plant, grow and eat your own vegetables. They are so much sweeter and organic. You can freeze them and can them for long term storage. I will show you how to do this in August.

Check out the blog posting under "Postings" on the right for ways and how tos of planting a vegetable under "Vegetable Gardening".

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Portable Outdoor Fireplace . . . Love this idea

What a great idea, and it is portable. Great for any family fun time and an emergency if you cannot cook in your conventional oven in the house. This can be moved around anywhere in your yard. Here's how you construct it:

1) Use standard size cement blocks you can purchase at your local home center
2) Do not use mortar, that way it is portable
3) Recycled grill racks (from an old BBQ)
4) Collect tender and wood for the fire or you can use charcoal in a metal pan
5) Make sure you clear the ground area of all dry foliage and grass before constructing
6) Construct as shown in the photo

(Mother Earth News, created by Ronnie Norwood)

Comments:  Please share your comments below. We all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. Thank you for your comment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Asisgnment (Week of March 22nd)

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

Water . . . A Most Precious Thing

Man can live without food for 30+ days , but he cannot live without water for more than 2 days. 

"From droughts to contamination, water is a fragile resource. This makes being prepared with your own source of water essential." (

Here in California USA, and some other parts of the United States and other countries, we have been experiencing a severe drought. Soon they may issues water rationing. Yes, it is that serious! We have been asked to cut down to watering our lawns and plants to 3 times a week, 15 minutes in each area of the lawn for a couple of years now. April 1st we are being asked to cut down to 2 days a week. In some areas of California USA they cannot water their lawns and plants at all. Some reservoirs, dams and lakes have already dried up, others are at an all time low.

How many of you have water stored? When was the last time you replaced the water in your large 15-55 gallon water barrels? How many of your have dehydrated and freeze-dried food storage? Do you have a way to filter contaminated water?

My biggest concern is not having enough water, especially if it comes to a disaster.

If they start rationing water you will not be able to replace the water in your water barrels. I would suggest doing that now if it has been awhile. If you do not have water stored I would start now. If you do not have room for the big 15-55 gallon water barrels then store water in the commercial containers you can purchase at big box stores and your regular grocery store. Have some water stored!

If you are in a disaster situation, water may not be available and may be contaminated. It takes water to rehydrate your dehydrated and freeze-dried food storage. Besides drinking water, it takes water to cook and handle medical emergencies.Go to the posting on this blog under "Postings" on the right and click on "Water Storage and Water Barrels" to learn how to store water. Richard King of Huntington Beach Stake taught us at our Ward Emergency Preparedness Fair, after placing the water in the barrels along with the bleach (1/4 cup for each 55 gallons), to help your water last longer to first put an ex-large black plastic trash bag over each water barrel, then wrap them together, depending on how many you have, in a large tarp. They should also be elevated on 2x4s or bricks to let air circulate. This helps keep the sun from heating up the water and causing algae and contamination sooner and you can store the water longer than the recommended one year, maybe up to 5+ years. Everyone should have a good water filtration pump, pitcher or water bottle. Seychelle Water Filtration (website) has the best ones I have been able to find. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends the Seychelle Water Filtration water bottles to all full time missionaries in areas where the water is questionable. Check our to order the ones the missionaries have.

Please make storing water one of your priorities on your Emergency Preparedness Bucket List. 

March Monthly Assignments

Food Storage . . . Beans and Lentils 

Emergency Preparedness . . .Making a Family Evacuation Plan, Family Drills and Knowing Your Resources

Go back to the March 1st posting to see what to do. 
Also check our the March 8th and 15th postings.

Emergency Preparedness Idea

Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook . . . 

Every family, no matter the size, should have a Family Emergency 
Preparedness Notebook. It should be kept in a safe, easy assessable and water proof place. If there is an emergency and you need to evacuate immediately it will be easy to pick up and take with you. All family members should know where it is kept and explained the importance of it. Many of us have important documents scattered around the house. Take the time now to gather them together and organize them into your Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook. 

You will need the following:

1) A large 3-ring binder (depending on the size of your family and the number of documents you have)
2) 3-Ring Poly Envelope (one for each family member, pets, other important documents) I found these on, 3 for $3.88. Target, office supply stores like Office Max, Office Depot, Staples may carry them. My daughter said the best time to purchase them is around school supply time. You can get them very reasonable, but I would not wait until them.  You can also purchase heavyweight top loading sheet protectors. But I like the 3-Ring Poly Envelopes the best. They close from the side with a Velcro flap.
3) 3-Ring dividers

Next step:

1) Gather all you important documents together. 
2) Write in permanent marker each family member's name on the top of each 3-Ring Poly Envelope. Do not forget your pets.
3) Separate them into each person's records.  They may include birth certificate, Social Security Card, Passport, school records, immunization record, adoption record, court name change document, copy of driver's license, military record (DD Form 214), academic certificates, copy of medical insurance card, medical records (including allergies, prescription medications, etc., contact information for all doctors, for minors--an authorization letter to receive first-aid and other medical treatment, etc.
4) You will also need other 3-Ring Poly Envelopes for things like insurance documents (personal, home, car, business, etc.), bank and financial records, tax returns, wills/trust, marriage and divorce certificates, guardianship certificates, HIPPA release, living will, Durable Power of Attorney, Deeds (home, cars, equipment, etc.), Titles to equipment and property, contracts, stocks and bonds certificates and other financial instruments, credit and debt cards information, inventory of of property and household items (photos, videotapes, on flash drive), medical Advanced Directive, contents of Safety Deposit Box and where it is located,emergency contact information, and other important documents relative to your personal needs.
5) Separate each family member's Poly Envelope and other Poly Envelops with a divider with their name or topic on the tap to easily find. If you need more than one notebook put all family information in one and the others in another notebook. Keep them together.
6) Keep the Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook(s) in a secure, water proof, easily accessible place. 

Note: Remember to update records as they change and new family members are added to your household, like a new child, other extended family members come to live with you.

Note: It is also a good idea to keep cash on hand, small bills ($1 and $5) and change. You may not be able to access money from the bank or ATM machine if power is down. You should try to have enough to cover a month's expenses.

Comments: We love to hear from you. Each of us can learn from each other experiences and knowledge. Please share your comments below. Thank you.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of March 15th)

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

It makes my heart sing and jump for joy . . .

Last Sunday while attending another Ward (church) a sister came up to me and said I bought some canned chicken for our food storage this week. I know we are suppose to be working on beans and lentils this month, I will do that too.

Whenever a person comes up to me and says they looked at the blog and are adding items to their food storage and emergency supplies it makes my heart sing and jump for joy. Thank you for taking the time and interest in checking out this emergency preparedness blog and utilizing the information here to help you become better prepared.

Spiritual and Temporal Preparation . . .

Improve the Shining Moments

"Improve the shining moments; Don't let them pass you by.
Work while the sun is radiant; Work for the night draws nigh.
We cannot bid the sunbeams To lengthen out their stay,
Nor can we ask the shadow To ever Stay away.

Time flies on wings of lightning; We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward Along its onward track,
And if we are not mindful, The chance will fade a way,
For life is quick in passing. 'Tis as a single day.

As winter time doth follow The pleasant summer days,
So may our joys all vanish And pass far from our gaze.
Then should we not endeavor Each day some point to gain,
That we may here be useful And every wrong disdain?

Improve the shining moments. In this you are secure,
For promptness bringeth safety And blessings rich and pure.
Let prudence guide your actions; Be honest in your heart;
And God will love an bless you. And help to you to impart."

(Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hymn #226)

As I sang this hymn in church and read the words I began to realize it is up to us to "improve the shining moments" in our life. It is up to us to follow the guidance of our Heavenly Father. It is up to us to not let time pass us by. It is up to us to prepared both temporally and spiritually. It is up to us try each day to improve our life and protect the lives of our loved ones. And if we let Heavenly Father guide us and follow his counsel we will be blessed.

"Let the Holy Spirit guard; Let his whisper govern choice.
He will lead us safely home If we listen to his voice."
("Let the Holy Spirit Guide", hymn #143, The Hymns of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

March Monthly Assignments

Food Storage . . . Beans and Lentils

This month we are adding beans and lentils to our food storage. One of the most economical items to add to our food storage. Go back to March 1, 2015 to see the posting to see what to do. . 

Emergency Preparedness . . .  
    Making a Family Evacuation Plan,
       Family Drills and Knowing
         Your Resources 

Go back to March 1, 2015 to see the importance of and how to plan a family evacuation plan and family drills. They will save the lives of your family and bring peace. 

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Make a list of your resources if a disaster occurs . . .

After a disaster or emergency situation we are not always thinking clearly. It is a good idea to make a list of all your local community and government, state government and federal government resources and what they can do for you. Example: How to file a claim with your insurance company (keep a copy of your policy numbers in your emergency preparedness notebook), websites, phone numbers and addresses for your local community and government agencies, your state government agencies and federal agencies (FEMA, etc.) that will help during a disaster or emergency situation. Having them readily available will make life easier and a little more peaceful. We need to be prepared in all areas if a disaster happens.Keep this list in your Emergence Preparedness Notebook. Do not have an Emergency Preparedness Notebook? Then start one and keep it accessible. Make sure the whole family knows where it is kept. Next week I will discuss other things that should go into your Emergency Preparedness Notebook.

Comments: We love hearing from you. Each of us can learn from others experiences and knowledge. If you have a question, please post it here and I will answer it. Thank you for your comments, they are most appreciated.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of March 8th)

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

"I'll pass."

Sunday while passing out flyers after our Sacrament Meeting for our new March Monthly Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Assignments one our member said to me, "I'll pass". I have been thinking about that statement since then.

"I'll pass". Pass on what? Did they know what they were passing on? Did they not care enough to find out what it was they had chosen to pass on? Pass on being prepared both temporally and spiritually? Pass on following the council of our First Presidency, Apostles, General Authorities, Stake and Ward Leaders? Pass on following the scriptures and the word of the Lord and our Heavenly Father? Pass? Who can pass on those things? I guess some do!

Which of the 5 Virgins are you? Are you the 5 that passed on filling your oil lamps with oil? Or, are you the 5 Virgins that filled their oil lamps ahead of time and were prepared? (Matthew 25:1-13)

There are many scriptures that show the importance of being alert and prepared both temporally and spiritually:

"But keep on the alert at all times,...." (Luke 21:36)  

"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit." (Luke 12:35)

"Take heed, keep on the alert, for you do not know when the appointed time will come." (Mark 13:33)

"..., to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things ...." (Doctrine and Covenants 29:8)

"..., you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you."  "Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, to prepare and organize yourselves ..." (Doctrine and Covenants 78: 7, 11) 

We have been warned and warned by our church leaders and in the scriptures to be prepared, both temporally and spiritually. The day will come when there is no more time to prepare.The storm will be upon us!

Please do not "pass" up the opportunity to be prepared for what ever might come your way! Always strive to be prepared both temporally and spiritually. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30)

March Monthly Assignment

Food Storage . . . Beans and Lentils
This month we are adding beans and lentils to our food storage. It is the most economical food storage item to add. Click here to go back to March 1st to see what to do.

Emergency Preparedness . . .  
    Making a Family Evacuation Plan, 
        Family Drills and Knowing 
            Your Resources

Click here to go back to March 1st to see the importance of and how to plan family evacuation plans and family drills. Protect you family and loved ones!

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Vegetable and Fruit Gardening . . . 

It is that time of year again to be thinking about what we will plant this year in our vegetable gardens. If you have never planted a vegetable garden now is the time to start. It is not hard, you can do it. May be you are saying we do not have room for a vegetable garden. Everyone can find some space for even a small vegetable garden, be it in a large pot or flower box (short rooted vegetables) on  your deck, balcony or patio. Even if you just grew some tomatoes, carrots or green onion in a large pot. You can then freeze and can what you cannot use as they mature.

A few days ago we planted two blueberry pushes in large containers. It is also a good idea when you want
to plant a tree in your yard for shade to plant a tree you can get food from, like a citrus tree and other fruit trees. You can grow the dwarf ones in large containers.

Click here to go the blog posting regarding planting a vegetable and herb garden and fruit trees. There are a lot of fun and creative ways to plant a vegetable and herb garden. It does not take a lot of space or know how, just a desire. There are also lots of great ideas on websites and on YouTube showing you how to plant a vegetable garden.

For us in Southern California USA we can have vegetable gardens all year long. I just harvested some carrots a week ago from our vegetable garden. I also grew peas and broccoli this winter. Check your local area to see what vegetables you can grow and during which seasons. You local gardening centers will be happy to help you. It is such a rewarding experience to plant something, watch it grow, harvest it for your food and either freeze or canned the extra for your food storage.

Comments: Your comments are always appreciated. We all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. Please share your comments below.