Friday, October 30, 2015

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of November 1st)

Hi Torrance Stake, Carson Ward, Family and Friends,

I am back! 

We have been super busy the last two weeks helping our daughter and her family prepare and move out of state and finalizing the preparations and having the Bi-Stake Emergency Preparedness Fair, which was a great success.

Fair update: If you would like to see the photos from the Fair go to the Torrance North Stake Facebook or click here. Scroll down until you see the two sets of photos from the Fair. Thank you to all who participated and made the Fair a great success.

Comment from one Fair attendant: One attendant told me she has attended the Fair in years past but only felt it was information to help us be better prepared. This time she said there was a special spirit at the Fair and she felt a strong urgency we need to be prepared now!

Are you prepared for El Nino to hit Southern California USA this Winter ? 
        Be Aware, Be Prepared, Take Action 

Meteorologist are predicting the largest El Nino since the last two El Ninos in1982-1983 and 1997-1998 to hit Southern California USA this year. They are expecting 35 inches of rain, flooding and catastrophic damages in some areas. Are you prepared? Those living in Southern California USA, what do you need to do to be prepared? 

1) Assess your property, even those who rent. Possibility of flooding and water getting into your house, mud slides if you live at the foot mountains lacking foliage due to our server drought, old or damaged roof that could causing leaking and water damage inside your home, business, old trees that could uproot if saturated with too much water and fall on your home, clogged rain gutters, clogged and full street curb drains, etc. If you rent, contact your landlord regarding your concerns.

2) FEMA and NASA are warning residents and businesses to purchase Federal Flood Insurance. Did you know that your Homeowners, Homeowner-Condo, Renters and Business Insurance does not cover flooding nor mud slides? If you live in an area that has flooding and mud slides you should purchase Flood Insurance. It is not effective right away, there is a 30 day waiting period. And if there is  a flood there is a 30 day moratorium on purchasing it after a flood in your area. Yes, it can be pricey, but well worth it if it saves your home from disaster and major damages.  If you know you do not live in a flood or mudslide area from the last El Nino then you will probably be alright, but make sure you assess your area and possible damages. Contact your Homeowners Insurance Agent for a flood insurance quote.

3)  Your roof--Is your roof in good shape or is it old and deteriorating? If your roof leaks due to age and deterioration, your Homeowners Insurance will not cover to replace or repair it. But it will cover any water damage it causes inside your home. If your roof is in good condition and receives damages from the high winds and rain you may want to find out from your insurance company if it would be covered and if the claim would cause your insurance to increase. If you have a roof you think might leak and you do not have the money right now to replace or repair it purchase a large roof tarp from Home Depot or Lowel's so you will be ready when the rain comes. Keep the receipt and do not open the box, if you do not need it, Home Depot and Lowel's may refund you your money.

4) Check your roof rain gutters and street curb drains. Make sure you clean out your roof rain gutter to avoid flooding around the house and other damages. If your street curb drains are blocked or full call your local water and power company or street maintenance to have them come out as soon as possible to clean them out to avoid flooding. 

5) Electricity could be lost and for a long period of time. In the 1982-1983 El Nino we lost our electricity for a week, and surrounding areas. Power lines were done in the street and we were advised to not go out. There was some flooding in some areas. It rained for two weeks, with high winds and very heavy rains. There was no school for the children and retail stores and grocery stores were closed due to no electricity. We quickly learned how little we were prepared in some areas. We had some flash lights with batteries and a lantern. We could have used more. Since we had an electric stove at the time, we could not cook and had to resort to other means. REMEMBER, DO NOT USE YOUR CHARCOAL BBQ IN YOUR HOUSE, IT WILL KILL YOU! Food in the freezer and refrigerator was spoiling. 

7) Be ready with flashlights, extra batteries, lanterns, a battery operated radio on hand to hear the news and for any evacuations, extra blankets for warmth in case it gets cold and you have no heat, be ready to "shelter in place". Important: You should keep a battery operated radio on at all times during a storm to hear of any evacuation warnings.

6)  Food storage: Have some canned foods on hand if you do not already have them. You may not be able to go out to grocery stores and some may be closed due to lack of electricity. If you do loose your electricity, use the refrigerator food first, then the freezer food, then canned and packaged foods.

7) Water: Water may become contaminated due to run off and you may be advised to boil your water first or drink bottled water. Have some on hand if do not already have water stored. Listen to radio for water contamination warnings.

8) Evacuation: If you are told to evacuate, do it IMMEDIATELY! Do not hesitate! Have your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks and Family Bag ready to go. Check your food kit and replace any foods that have expired. Keep your car gas tanks at least half way full at all times. Gas pumps may not be working.

9) Important papers, documents, photos, heirlooms and cherished family history items ready and all together. If you have not already, gather all important papers, documents and genealogy together in a safe water proof containers. Have all precious family photos gathered together in one place (photos albums, etc.) Keep a flash drive of all important papers, documents, genealogy and family photos in a safe place, easy to access if needed. Keep family heirlooms in a safe place, easy to gather if you need to evacuate. Be prepared the best you can. 

10) Have a Family Emergency Plan. Be prepared if you are separated with out of state contact names and phone numbers. Each family member should carry these numbers on them in a wallet, purse, backpack and at work. Have a Family Evacuation Plan in place and practice it often.

11) Have a Neighborhood Emergency Plan.  Get your neighbors together. Know your neighbors, their special needs, who lives in each household, know their skills and make a Neighborhood Emergency Plan to help each other. 

12) Pre-program your cell phones. In an emergency situation we do not always think clearly. Help family members who have texting, especially children and the elderly, to pre-program their cell phones with a text message of, "we are alright". "we have evacuated to _______", " we need help". 

13)  DO NOT DRIVE INTO OR ACROSS A FLOODED STREET, BRIDGE OR AREA! You do not know how deep the water it, if here is a sink hole, and how quickly the rising water will rise or if there will be a flash flood. Water is powerful and can move a car quickly. How many times have we seen news reports of cars and people caught in flooded streets, and on bridges. 

14) Be Aware, Be Prepared, Take Action! 

Share this information with family and friends. It may save their life!

For more detailed information on these subjects check out the postings on this blog under "Postings" on the right. 

New November Monthly Assignments 

Food Storage: Vegetables

It is important to have vegetables in your food storage to give us the vitamins and mineral our bodies need. You can store them commercially canned, home canned, frozen and dehydrated/freeze dried (long term storage, 20+ years). I would store vegetables in a variety of ways.

First start by keeping track of how many varieties of vegetable you and your family eats in a 2-week to one month period. Keep a list on the refrigerator. Each time you cook vegetables or use them in soups, stews and casseroles add the amount and type to the list. Then you can multiply by the number of months you have set your food storage goal.

 Commercially canned: Come in a variety of types. Only store the vegetables your family will eat. Try to purchase them on sale.They usually store for 2-3 years. You can still use them after their expiration date as long as they are not dented, the lid is not bulging or they are leaking. The nutritional value will diminish over time. Keep in a cool, dry, dark place.

Home canned: If you have a vegetable garden or purchase vegetables while in season you can home can them. It is not hard to do but does take time. Most vegetables are canned in a canning pressure
cooker. High acidic vegetables like tomatoes are done in a water bath canning. They will store for 2-3 years. If the lid pushes down when pushed on they are no longer good for consumption. Keep in a cool, dry, dark place.


Frozen: Frozen vegetables will keep in your freezer for about one year. You can also freeze the vegetables from your vegetable garden or fresh from your grocery store by blanching them first, draining off the water and placing in a plastic freezer zip lock bag. Mark the date on the bag.

Dehydrated/Freeze Dried: For long term storage consider purchase dehydrated/freeze dried vegetables. The can come in a variety of sizes, #10 cans, 2.5 cans ( has them), and pails (sometimes in individual Mylar bags. They can last for 20+ years depending on the temperature you store them. Store them in a cool, dry, dark place. 

Companies I like to purchase my dehydrated/freeze-dried vegetables from are (limited), and Walmart online Augason Farms. Other companies are Honeyville, Thrive/Shelf Reliance, and There are many other companies out there too. To make sure you are getting the best price, divide the price by the number of servings per can.

Emergency Preparedness: 
       Family Records, Documents and Photos

Each family should have a "Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook". This notebook should contain your family's important documents. Each family member's documents (a separate folder within the notebook for each family member) should include their birthday certificate, adoption certificate, baptismal certificate, Social Security card, copy of their Medical insurance card, immunization records, any special needs or prescription drugs they take,  doctors information (name, phone number, address), emergency fingerprinting and ID cards (you can purchase these online, mostly for children but good to have for everyone in the family), life insurance policies (insurance agents name and phone number), passport and VISA and any other important documents. 

There should also be a folder for important documents like originals or copies of your Homeowners, car and other insurances, marriage and divorce certificates, Power of Attorney, Advance Directive for each family member, Will and Trust, guardianship for children, an up to date of each family member's photo, out of state contact information. Anything that you will need to take with you if you have to evacuate immediately. 

It is a good idea to keep all heirloom jewelry, artifacts and other items together in a fire proof, water proof safe. Keep all family photos albums and photos together for quick assess if you need to evacuate. 

Keep all computer information on a hard drive or flash drive, easy to grab and take with you if you need to evacuate immediately. 

Click here to see how to set up the "Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook under "Postings" on the right of this blog.  

Set a goal this month to gather all important family documents, heirlooms and photos, organize them and put them in a safe fire proof, water proof container. Make sure all family members know where it is in case you need to evacuate.
Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Rules of Food Storage . . .  

1) Only store what your family will eat! It is a know fact that people, especially children will not eat what they do not like, even in a disaster or emergency situation.

2)  First, store commercially canned and packaged foods. 3-Monthis is a good goal. If 3-Months seems overwhelming then set with a goal of 2 weeks, then keep adding until you reach the 3-Month goal. 

3) Store in a cool (below 70 degrees if possible), dry, dark place. Your garage and attic are to hot. If you need to store in your garage and the garage is attached to your house, store your food on the wall attached to the house. Remember, the high the temperature the food will diminish in nutritional value quicker.  Be creative where to store your food, in closets, under beds, in enclosed end tables and coffee tables, create a table with a cloth over it to hide the food, in the pantry, in spaces in your kitchen cabinets that are hard to reach into, like in an "L" shaped lower cabinet in the back corner.

4) Rotate, Rotate, Rotate! Rotate your food storage regularly. If you use a can, package or long term storage replace immediately. Watch discount stores. Their food products are usually about to expire or have expired. Only purchase them if you plan on using them immediately. Most canned foods will last longer than the expiration date as long as the lid is not bubbled or the can dented. The food will diminish in nutritional value over time. Keep inventory of your food storage and re-inventory about 3 times a year, rotating items that will expire soon. 

5) DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR YOUR FOOD STORAGE! We have been admonished by our church leaders to not go into debt for our food storage. Add it gradually when you can and watch for sales. Food Storage does not happen overnight, it takes years and is an ongoing process. 

Comments and Questions: We love hearing your comments and questions. Please post them below under "Comments" or email me your questions at "theark,". Remember, we all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. Thank you for your comments. 

Having a problem leaving a comment--Sometimes I have to put in my comment (save it by hitting control "c"), try to post it, and after trying to post it, put it back in by hitting control "v". Sometimes you need to use a different server like Mozilla FireFox or Google Chrome. 

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