Friday, April 8, 2016

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

"By failing to prepare, 
             you are prepared to fail." 
                                   Benjamin Franklin 

Are you ready for today, tomorrow? 

As I look over our family's life I realized there have been things that have happened we were not expecting. Sometimes they happened during the day, sometimes the next day.  Most of them were not from natural disasters nor expected.

Four examples of how heeding the warnings blessed our family . . . 

Several years ago I did not expect a few hours after my husband left for work that he would be in a serious car accident while on the job, spending the next several months recuperating from his injuries, unable to work. Disabilities checks, which we were grateful for, did not cover all the bills and needs for our young family during this time. We were grateful we had listened to the admonishments and warnings of the General Authorities and leaders of our church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", and had been working on our food storage, we had about 6 months. We also had a little savings to help with the bills. We never had to go to family, church or others for help.

In the 1980's Southern California USA was hit by a strong El Nino causing huge storms. We live along the coast and during one of the storms, with hurricane like winds and rain for two weeks, we lost our electricity for a week, downed power lines were lying on the streets in our neighborhood not allowing us to get out, there was flooding in areas around us, schools and local stores were closed, we had to shelter in place for about a week with our family. The children thought is was great to camp out in the front room, some were to scared to sleep in their bedrooms, cook by using our emergency cooking equipment, I had an electric stove at the time, read stories and play games by lanterns and flashlights and make popcorn on our emergency candles. Once again we were grateful we had heeded the warnings by our church leaders. We were able to shelter in place and use our emergency supplies and food for a week with our family and feel safe.

After almost 30 years of working for the same company, my husband's employer shut their doors. This was a devastating blow to our family, now we had teenagers. Once again our small savings, being very frugal and our food storage got us through a difficult time.

In 1992 the Los Angeles Riots hit Southern California USA. There were fires, rioting, looting, many injures and some deaths. We live in a town about 30 miles outside of Los Angeles were the riots were. The area was blocked off, residences and businesses in surrounding towns were told to shelter in place, there was an 8 o'clock curfew. It was a scaring time, many were afraid the looting and rioting would start in their own neighborhoods. Our daughter and her husband came over to stay with us. We were admonished by the local authorities to shelter in place for a few day until it seemed safe to leave our home. Once again our preparing for emergency situations like this blessed our life. We were able to shelter in place with our family and keep an eye on our neighbors and neighborhood.

Are you listening??? 

As you can see if only takes a second or a day to have our lives, our family's lives, turned upside down, and it does not take a natural disaster. We need to always be striving to be better prepared for future events in our lives. You never know when they will happen or what will happen.

Yes, we can be forewarned of natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, flooding, etc.) heading our way, but we cannot know how devastating it will be to us and our loved ones until during or after the event is over.

Please be ready for those things that can change our lives in a second. If you have not started, start today. Have some canned foods and drinking water on hand, some emergency supplies, some extra medical supplies so you can take care of your own when the time comes. It is not the responsibility of our churches, local and federal governments to take care of us, they will not be there for days, weeks, but it is our responsibility. Why not be ready now? Why?

As Benjamin Franklin said above, "By failing to prepare, you are prepared to fail." Why not prepare ahead of time for those unexpected moments in our lives.

Spiritual Preparation 

This past weekend we had the great privilege and blessing of being able to hear from our General Authorities and Leaders of our church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". If you did not get a change to listen to the 186th Annual General Conference click here and hear all the talks. Even if you are not a member of our church take the time to listen to them. They will give you hope, faith, peace and comfort and encouragement from the turmoil in our world today.

Let me share just a few words from our prophet . . .

President Thomas S. Monson (President and Prophet of the Church)

(Paraphrased) "Choices determine our destiny.  Will we reach our goal? We need to know were we want to go, our path in this life leads to where we go in next life. Our faith will sustain us, without faith we will go nowhere. Choose wisely. Repentance allows us to correct our course. Choose the harder right, rather than the easier wrong. May we ever chose the right."

We often think our choices only effect us, but they effect generations. Think and choose wisely before making a choice. 

New April Monthly Assignments

Food Storage . . . 
                 Legumes and Rice

Two of the most basic food storage items are legumes and rice. Legumes are supper foods. Legumes include all types of beans (kidney, navy, great northern, red, pinto, black, garbanzo, lima,  black eyed peas, lentils, and split peas). Legumes along with rice are a perfect protein. Rice also comes in a variety (white, long grain, medium grain, short grain, brown, forbidden, wild, basmati, and jasmine). They are economical and easy to store. They can extend other food items you store by adding them to soups, stews, casseroles and other recipes.

How to store: In original packaging, Mason jars, plastic containers that seal well, freeze dried/dehydrated #10 cans and 5-6 gallon buckets. As with all food storage keep in a cool, dry, dark place. You can store them under your beds, in closets, cupboards and your pantry. I would suggest removing them from the plastic packaging you get at your local grocery stores or big box stores. They will attract moths. Legumes will store about 3-5 years in their original packaging (they get hard and difficult to cook) or 20-30 years in #10 cans or 5-6 gallon freeze dried/dehydrated buckets.

How to treat: If you purchase your legumes and rice in their original packaging from your local grocery store or big box store, first put them in the freezer for 24 hours, then let cool down to room temperature before transferring to other containers. This kills all moths and their larva.

Note: Brown rice only stores for about 6 months in original packaging, a couple of years if kept in the freezer or 10 years in #10 cans and 5-6 gallon freeze dried/dehydrated buckets. It has a lot of moisture content not allowing it to store for 20-30 years like other rice. 

How much to store per person per month: Legumes . . . store a variety, 6 pounds per person per month. Rice (included with grains), store a variety, 25 pounds per person per month. You should have 25 pounds of grains, which includes rice, per person per month.

Emergency Preparedness . . .
                          Emergency Cooking

An important part of our emergency supplies is to have a way to cook without using your standard stove/oven. We need to be prepared with different types of emergency cooking equipment and the fuel to run them. Examples are a charcoal BBQ, gas BBQ, Butane Stove, Propane Stove, fire pit, homemade BBQ, solar oven, Dutch oven, etc. Make sure you keep enough fuel stored for the type of emergency cooking equipment you store. It may take days, weeks, even months before help can arrive and our normal way of life is restored.

When we lost our electricity in the story above regarding the 1980's El Nino storms, we were grateful for our emergency cooking equipment. We did not have a lot then, in fact, we only had our emergency candles you could cook with in the house that we had made at church and our charcoal BBQ we could only use outside. We learned a valuable lesson to be better prepared. Our stove was electric, the microwave did not work and it was raining outside for two weeks not allowing us to our charcoal BBQ. We quickly learned me needed better and different types of emergency cooking equipment for different types of emergency situations. Now we have several different ways to cook inside and outside.

When our kitchen was being remodeled for 3 months by our son I quickly learned how to cook on a Butane Stove, which I could use safely inside the house, our microwave and the charcoal BBQ outside. I was amazed how many dishes and meals I could make with the Butane Stove and microwave. 

Love the creativity of how this person is cooking outside. It appears he cleared an area, need to do to keep from starting a wild fire, placed rocks (or bricks) around it, put down some kindling and wood, then looks like he placed a baking sheet over it and started cooking. You could also use the grill rack from your oven. When we are in an emergency situation and need to find a way to heat water and cook we need to use our imagination and the things around us.

For some great information on the different types of emergency cooking equipment click on the link under "Posting", "Cooking and Heating and Lighting", or click here to go directly to the link.  

Set a goal to purchase at least 2-3 different types of emergency cooking equipment (inside and outside equipment) along with its accompanying fuel.  If you already have cooking equipment you can use in an emergency situation check to make sure it is working probably and you have enough fuel for that type of equipment. Keep all emergency cooking equipment together along with the fuel needed.Check on it periodically to make sure all is well.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas 

Some great videos on setting up ways to cook.

DIY Handmade Fire Pit . . .

Swedish Fire Torch . . .

Comments and Questions: Please share your comments and questions below. Remember, we all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. If you have a question you can email me at Thank you for sharing. 

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