Friday, August 19, 2016

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of August 21st)

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

"Not As Miserable!"

A few weeks ago I was talking with a member of our church in the hallway. He mentioned the blog and being prepared. I have been thinking a lot about his comment. "At least when we are some what prepared we will not be as miserable if we had nothing".  Thank you R. Ponsonby for your comment and giving me a topic for this week's blog posting.

How much are we willing to be miserable if a disaster strikes, or some other emergency situation, in our life? How much are we willing to let our family be miserable, especially our children?  What can we do to assure them they will not be miserable, or at least not to miserable?

Or, will you be the only one/family around you who is not miserable because you have prepared for what may be down the road at any given second? Will you be the one with some food storage, water storage, cooking, lighting, shelter and sanitation emergency supplies, medical supplies, physically and mentally healthy, spiritually healthy, with rainy-day money stored away?

This blog, other emergency preparedness websites and blogs and many other resources in your local community and federal government are there to help you and your family "not be as miserable" as many others who have not prepared. Why not take the time with your family to be better prepared? Why be miserable when you do not have to be? Why not have peace of mind because you know you are striving and are preparing and are prepared for what many come your way?

Emergency preparedness should be a daily part of our lives. Always thinking of and acting on our emergency plans so we and our loved ones are not as miserable as others after a disaster hits.

August Monthly Assignments

Food Storage . . . 

What a great time of year to stock up on vegetables. If you have a vegetable garden you can freeze and/or can them and put them away to use throughout the year. Your local farmers market will also have seasonal vegetables you can freeze and/or can. If you do not have a vegetable garden then purchase commercially canned and frozen vegetables to store when on sale. You can also purchase freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables in #10 cans or super pails for long term storage. Purchase only those vegetables your family will eat. Remember, the key to any food storage is rotation, rotation, rotation. When on sale purchase extra cans. First, I would work on storing commercially canned vegetables from your local grocery store or big box stores. Once you have at least a 3-months supply then work on getting some long term vegetables. (or and WalMart (online, Augason Farms products) is a good source for freeze-dried and dehydrated #10 and super pail long term storage vegetables. 

Emergency Preparedness . . .
              Physical and Mental Health 

Click here to learn about physical health and why it is important.

Click here to learn about mental health and why it is important.

Make physical and mental health a part of your self-reliance. My husband who is 71 years old walks and jogs 4 miles a day. does strengthening exercises and rides his bike, everyday but Sunday. Due to some back issues I am not able to walk so far. I try to do stretching and strengthening exercises to stay physically healthy. We both strive to eat healthy each day. To stay mentally healthy we read the scriptures and pray daily. We strive to keep our minds clear and active by not taking anything harmful into our bodies, minimizing the stresses in our lives the best we can, enjoying hobbies, taking time to mediate and staying close to the Holy Ghost.

"You have to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to conquer any mountain."
                                          (Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom, Great mind)

Emergency Preparedness Ideas 

Flooding in Louisiana and Texas 
    and Wildfires in Southern California (Cajon Pass) . . .

With all the natural disasters going on around us in the United States the last few days there are some things we can do to be prepared if we need to evacuate immediately.  

1) Keep a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Backpack (click for information) for each family member ready at all times in case you need to evacuate immediately. Keep them in your car or some place in your home and work place so you can grab them quickly. Keep extra water in your vehicles.

2) Keep a 72 Hour Family Emergency Bag (click for information) in your car at all times. Along with a good First-aid kit.

3) Always keep at least a half of tank of gas in all your vehicles at all times. There may be long lines at the gas station giving you no time to get gas and the pumps may not be working due to lost power.

4) Keep cash on hand at all times. Small bills and change. Keep the money in your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Backpacks or your 72 Hour Family Emergency Bag  You may not be able to access cash from the ATM machines, no power, not enough time. You may be only able to use cash to purchase items.

5) Keep all valuable papers and documents in a safe place together so you can grab them quickly and you do not have to think about where they all are. Keep valuable antiques and jewelry together too. Keep copies of all insurance policies together with other valuable papers and documents. Have a Family Emergency Preparedness Notebook.

6) If you have pets make sure you have pet cages for each of them so you can take them with you. If you have larger animals like horses, cows, etc., know where you can take them and have vehicles available to do so. Keep 72 Hour Emergency Kits for your household pets. 

7) When told to evacuate, do it immediately! 

8) If you live in a brush area, keep and clear all brush and trees several feet away from your property. Make sure your roof eves are enclosed.

9) Have an evacuation escape route, with an alternate one, if you need to leave. 

10) Keep a portable radio on hand with extra batteries. It may be your only way of knowing what is going on and what you need to do be protected.

11) Listen to the first responders, your local and federal government leaders. Follow their instructions, it may save you life. 

12) Be wise, be smart, stay calm, be informed, listen to the Spirit! 
How to safely store different types of fuel . . . 

  A great blog posting from emergency essentials Click here to read the article. 
Keeping Kitchen Staples Fresher Longer . . .   

Note: You can cut and paste this to Microsoft Word or another type of word document to save. You might want to print this chart and post this on the inside of your cupboard or pantry where you keep your staples for future reference.

Keeping Kitchen Staples Fresher Longer
(from Cooks Illustrated and The Ark)

Note: Most food staples should be stored in a dark, dry, cool place in your pantry or cupboard. A few items last longer in the freezer.

Food Item
Shelf Life
How and Where to Store

Spices and Dried Herbs
Whole spices: 2 years
Ground spices & Herbs: 1 year
Do not store on the counter near the stove. Better to store whole spices and grind as you need them. Last longer and releases the volatile compounds. Keep in dark, dry, cool place in the cupboard.
Olive Oil
Unopened: 1 year
Opened: 3 months
Do not place on counter top or windowsill. Keep in a dark, dry, cool place in the pantry or cupboard. Check for freshness: boil a little in a skillet, if smells rancid, throw out. Good test for all oils.
Other Oils and Shortening
Unopened: 1 year
Opened: 6 months
Shortening: 3 years
Store in pantry: Canola, Corn, Peanut, Vegetable. Store in fridge: Sesame, Walnut
Shortening: Store in dark, dry, cool place in the pantry or cupboard.

Vinegar (con.)

Don't throw away old vinegar. Most contain about 5% acetic acid, which prevents harmful bacteria growth.
Ignore any sediment in your vinegar. Harmless. Can easily strain out.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Once opened keep in fridge. Sediments are alright, just shake before using.

Soy Sauce
1 year
If pasteurized store in dark, dry, cool cupboard.
If unpasteurized store in fridge.
Sweeteners (Sugar, brown sugar, honey, pure maple syrup, molasses)
Sugar: Indefinitely
Brown Sugar: Indefinitely
Honey: Indefinitely
Pure Maple Syrup: Long lasting
Molasses: Long lasting
Keep in a dark, dry, cool place in your pantry or cupboard. Sugar will get hard but can break up. Keep the original bags in a large plastic zip lock bag or air tight container. Brown sugar: Store in air tight containers. I use Mason jars. If becomes hard and soften by placing the brown sugar in a bowl with a slice of sandwich bread, cover, microwave 10-20 seconds. Or store with a terra cotta Brown Sugar Bear.
Honey: Do not store in metal cans. Only store in glass or plastic bottles. Invert the honey every 6 months. If crystallizes, put the glass jar in a sauce pan with about 1 inch of water. Heat until 160 degrees. Store in a dark, dry, cool pantry or cupboard.
Molasses: Store in pantry. Do not store molasses or honey in the fridge.
Pure maple syrup: Store in the pantry if not opened. Once opened store in the fridge to avoid growth of yeast, mold and bacteria.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: 6 months.
Instant or Active Dry Yeast: 4 months in freezer. If dehydrated, vacuum packed: 2-5 years in the freezer
Baking Powder and Soda: Store in a dark, dry, cool place in the pantry or cupboard. Replace regularly. Yeast: Do not keep in the pantry because it is a living organism. Observe the expiration date on the package. Freezer is the best place to store yeast.
All-purpose flour: 1 year
Whole Wheat flour and Cornmeal: 1 year (in freezer)
All-purpose flour: Remove from package, store in an air tight container to protect from moisture.
Whole Wheat flour and Cornmeal: Do not store in pantry or cupboard, they contain natural oils that will go rancid within 3 moths. Store them in the freezer in their original packing in plastic zip lock bags.
Unsweetened and Dark Chocolate: 2 years
Milk and White Chocolate: 6 months
Store opened bars of chocolate tightly in plastic and store in a dark, dry, cool pantry or cupboard. Do not store chocolate in the fridge or freezer, as cocoa butter easily absorbs off-flavors from other foods, and changes its crystal structure. Milk solids in milk and white chocolate give them a shorter shelf life. To extend the shelf life of chocolate use the Mason jar FoodSaver method (on YouTube) to extend to 3 years.

Vanilla Extract
Keep vanilla in a tightly sealed container away from light and heat. Don't get rid of old vanilla. It's high alcohol content makes it's shelf life long lasting, 10+ years.
Bay Leafs, Nuts and Seeds
1-2 years
If kept in freezer
1 year in freezer
1 month in fridge
It is best to keep butter in the freezer until needed. In the fridge it can pick up off-flavors and only good for about a month.
3-5 weeks in the fridge
Store in their original containers in the fridge, not in the fridge door egg holder, to warm. Water freshness test: If the egg stays on the bottom of the bowl filled with water, still alright to eat, even if stands up on end. If floats to the top, do not eat.

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

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that shelf life chart
    we try to keep cash on hand but i
    didn't think of putting into back pack... duh
    thanks again for everything,
    bro holt