Category: Supplies


Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition

Being well-nourished during a disaster can mean the difference between powering through the event with strength, stamina and energy or plodding through the situation barely able to put one foot in front of the other.

One often overlooked component of the prepper’s pantry is protein.  This vital nutrient:

  • Helps with the repair and building of muscle tissue
  • Helps the body heal from injuries
  • Provides long-lasting stamina
  • Helps boost the immune system

Protein is stored throughout the body. It can be found in muscles, bones, hemoglobin, myoglobin, hormones, antibodies, and enzymes. In fact, protein makes up nearly 45% of the human body. Without a steady supply, body functions will cease to operate effectively.

Protein is often thought of as one of the more challenging items to stockpile for an extended period of time. Most people think of a freezer full of juicy steaks and roasts when they contemplate protein. They feel that the next resort is tins of highly processed meat pieces.  The good news is, there are many ways to add muscle-building nutrients to your long term food storage without resorting to a sodium laden closet full of Spam.

To see a breakdown of protein amounts in food sources, click here.

Although pantry basics such as dry non-fat milk powder and powdered cheeses offer protein for the diet, there are other food sources to consider. Here are the top 5 healthy (and tasty) protein sources to add to your stockpile:

Beans

Beans are more than just a vegetarian staple.  While beans can stand on their own as a delicious protein source, adding beans to a dish that contains meat can stretch your budget by providing lots of protein while using less meat.

Due to their high fiber content, beans prevent blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making this food source an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. Having a high fiber food source also helps to slow the rate of absorption of carbohydrate thus making it a more energy efficient food source.

Dried beans provide the most bang for your food storage buck. They are one of the most low cost food sources on the market. The canned variety will prove to be more fuel efficient. Canned beans can often be purchased on sale. Plain canned beans and beans in barbecue sauce can provide instant nutrition in the event of a power outage.  If you don’t want to eat beans that have been processed, it’s easy to can your own.  Click here for directions on preserving homemade pork and beans.

Store dried beans in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, then placed the sealed bags inside large plastic food grade buckets for added protection.  Click here for details.

Chia Seeds

The Chia seed is a tiny little powerhouse that can add a lot of benefits to your long-term food storage while only taking up a small amount of space. The word “Chia” is actually the Mayan word for strength. In ancient cultures, they are considered the food of the warrior because of their nutrient density and ability to sustain running messengers for long durations without other food.

Chia seeds have double the amount of protein found in other seeds, as well as many other nutritional benefits.

  • 2x the protein of other seeds
  • 5x the calcium of milk
  • 2x the potassium of bananas
  • 3x the antioxidants of blueberries
  • 3x the iron of spinach

Chia seeds can be sprinkled dry on top of other foods, they can be sprouted or they can be soaked to create a tasteless gel to stir into soups or sauces.

Chia seeds can be stored for 2-4 years in a cool, dry place. They can be stored in large glass jars or Mylar bags.

Click here to learn more about the nutritional value and uses of Chia seeds.

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Article Written by Lee Flynn

Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said, “I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best” (Quotery.com). Some people falsely believe that being prepared is the sort of thing that is only reserved for fear mongerers and doomsday enthusiasts. However, being prepared does not mean that you want the worst to happen. On the contrary, it means that, although you hope for the best, you are simply ready for anything that might come your way. In the same way that you get insurance in case your health declines, it is important to take out your own “insurance policy” for every area in your life. This might include food storage, home repairs, budgeting, or any number of tasks.

Large-Scale Disasters

The most common motivator for people when it comes to preparedness is the type of disaster that gains international attention. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and all manner of natural disasters have a habit of igniting the prepping spark in many people. Such occurrences are often unpredictable and can leave hundreds of people without homes or even, sadly, their loved ones. However, even those on the outskirts of a disaster can suffer dire consequences. At the very least, they may be trapped in their homes for days on end, perhaps without power or water. This is where your emergency food and water comes in handy.

Smaller Catastrophes

However, although these are the ones which gain the most attention, natural disasters are not the only, and certainly not the most common, reason for needing to keep certain emergency items in your home. You might not have considered it before, but a sudden job loss could come from nowhere and make it extremely difficult to feed yourself and your family.

Read More Here

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DrBones NurseAmy DrBones NurseAmy

Published on Jan 15, 2014

Are Preppers normal? Dr Bones answers the question that 97% of the population is asking. http://www.DoomandBloom.Net for more articles and information about medical preparedness.

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Be prepared: Wall Street advisor recommends guns, ammo for protection in collapse

 

By PAUL BEDARD | DECEMBER 26, 2013 AT 12:33 PM

 

 

 

A top financial advisor, worried that Obamacare, the NSA spying scandal and spiraling national debt is increasing the chances for a fiscal and social disaster, is recommending that Americans prepare a “bug-out bag” that includes food, a gun and ammo to help them stay alive.

 

David John Marotta, a Wall Street expert and financial advisor and Forbes contributor, said in a note to investors, “Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms.”

 

His memo is part of a series addressing the potential for a “financial apocalypse.” His view, however, is that the problems plaguing the country won’t result in armageddon. “There is the possibility of a precipitous decline, although a long and drawn out malaise is much more likely,” said the Charlottesville, Va.-based president of Marotta Wealth Management.

 

Marotta said that many clients fear an end-of-the-world scenario. He doesn’t agree with that outcome, but does with much of what has people worried.

 

Read More Here

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Could Prepping Become Illegal Here Too? Venezuelan Govt to Detain “Hoarders”

Posted by: | on October 4, 2013

could prepping become illegal

As people who spend a lot of time focusing on preparedness, we can learn a lot about our future by watching as the economies and civilizations of other Western countries crumble.

Today’s lesson is that when times get tough, the government can and will persecute those who have planned ahead.

The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

She called on prosecutors to seek their detention.

The attorney general called on people to remain calm, not to fall for provocations, and not to be afraid of the “alleged” food shortage.

Based on the figures provided by the Central Bank of Venezuela, shortage hit 20% in August; in other words, 20 out 100 items are missing from the shelves.

According to a press release, the Attorney General Office has designated an ad hoc group of prosecutors to work nationwide with other authorities and cope with the threats against food security and, consequently, against the State. (source)

So basically, the Venezuelan government intends to treat those who prepared ahead of time like domestic terrorists…sound familiar?

Last February the South American country responded to soaring inflation with some crippling economic strategies.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner responded to her country’s sky-rocketing inflation rates by freezing prices on food, a move Forbes magazine says will soon lead to widespread corruption in the business community and government.

In Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez has attempted to control all aspects of his country’s economy, price freezes instituted on essential goods like diapers and cleaning products over a year ago failed to curb soaring inflation which registered at over 22% last year. In response, with their quiver out of arrows, the Venezuelan government announced today that they are devaluing their national currency, the Bolivar, by over a third. The announcement had the immediate impact of increasing the price for a US dollar in Bolivar by nearly 50%. (source)

There’s Already an Executive Order in Place

The game pieces have already been moved into place to ban “hoarding” in America.  In 2012, our Fearless Leader signed an executive order that gives the federal government authority over every resource and infrastructure element in the United States.  Mac Slavo of SHTFplan warns:

It should be clear from the laws that are already in effect that the government has given itself a legal pretext for confiscating anything they so choose in the midst of an emergency.

Should an emergency befall the United States, the military, national guard, and local police operating under orders from the Department of Homeland Security will have carte blanche to do as they please.

In a widespread emergency where supply lines have been threatened and millions of Americans are without essential resources because they failed to prepare, the government will swoop in and attempt to take complete control.

They will enter our homes and search them without a warrant. They will confiscate contraband. And they will take any ‘excessive resources’ that you may have accumulated. This includes food, toiletries, precious metals and anything else emergency planners and officials deem to be a scarce material. (source)

The Importance of OPSEC

By all means, don’t stop preparing.  But be aware that everything you do online leaves a trail. Every purchase you make that is not a cash transaction can be traced right to your doorstep.  It is vital to practice OPSEC (Operational Security) by keeping your preparedness related activities on the down low.  Preparedness and self-sufficiency author Tess Pennington warns that in a crisis situation, things you said months or years ago could come back to haunt you.

A person should think twice about telling others about any prepping investments they have made.  If a SHTF scenario occurred, anything said previously can be used against that prepper.  For example, if you tell your neighbor you have silver coins stashed away, if times were desperate enough, that neighbor could turn on you.  Keeping quiet about what one does is second nature to some.  But for others that are new to the idea of prepping, they do not see the whole SHTF picture.  If one person tells another about their preps, one person could tell another person about what preps their neighbor has.  Then, the word spreads throughout; especially when a severe situation occurs.  People will remember what you have told them, and come to you for help (if they are unprepared).  Helping a neighbor or family member in need is a noble deed.  However, those preparedness items are an investment for you and your family; and therefore, no one outside of the family should know what you have (unless you want that person to know). (source)

Time is short.  Our economy is collapsing before our very eyes.  We’ve been blatantly warned about the potential for total grid failure. If you aren’t prepared, there is little time left.  Maintain your freedom by becoming self sufficient. Get started now to put together a one year food supply – but be discreet because you just don’t know when that supply may make you an outlaw.

The following links are to articles on OPSEC:

http://americanpreppernation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/prepper-opsec-operations-security-or-opsec-is-an-important-topic-

http://graywolfsurvival.com/how-to-be-a-prepper/opsec/

http://readynutrition.com/resources/mums-the-word-using-opsec-with-preps_21032010/

http://uscrow.org/2013/05/24/opsec-for-preppers-and-survival-groups/

http://reluctantprepper.blogspot.com/2012/07/opsec.html

http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2012/02/importance-of-opsec-for-preppers-when.html

http://readynutrition.com/resources/prepping-on-the-down-low_23082013/

Thank you to NinaO for the links!

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Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article fist appeared,offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca
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pantry

STOP! Before throwing any of these items away, read this post about repackaging food!!

Based on my own personal experiences and mistakes, I do not recommend storing these foods in large quantities, long-term. Let me know what you think of my list and what other foods you would add.

I discuss this list in today’s episode of The Survival Mom Radio Hour.

1.  Any canned vegetable or fruit that you do not like. Don’t assume you will fall in love with slimy, aged canned apricots five years from now if you detest apricots now! Canned veggies and fruits aren’t nearly as tasty as fresh versions, so if you decide to store them, make sure you really like them.

2.  Tuna. I know that canned tuna is a staple in many food pantries. However, I’ve discovered that after a couple of years, canned tuna becomes mushy. Now, if you love the taste of tuna, you may not mind the mushy version, but for me, I really didn’t like it. Also, reports from a year ago found that every single bluefin tuna caught in the Pacific Ocean, in a study, was contaminated by radiation from Fukushima. I don’t know what the current status is of radiation in bluefin tuna, but I’d rather not store it in our food pantry.

3.  Flour. As flour ages, it can develop a stale, rancid smell. Additionally, it likely contains the microscopic eggs of flour weevils, which will hatch at some point. To get the longest possible shelf life out of flour, first place it in an airtight container and freeze it for about a week. This will kill the insect eggs. Then, before storing it, add an oxygen absorber or two, depending on the size of the container. Still, you can expect a shelf life of 18 months or so from flour, which is why most preppers prefer to store wheat.

4.  Saltine crackers.  Just for fun, take a sleeve of saltine crackers out of the box and set them aside, at room temperature, for 3 or 4 months. You’ll never get over the stench of rancid saltines! If you must, you could store them in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers, or learn how to make them from scratch. Buy and enjoy saltines but do rotate through them and don’t depend on a giant stash staying fresh a year from now.

5.  Graham crackers. I didn’t think our family favorite, graham crackers, could go bad, but they do go rancid with time. Again, you can repackage them in an airtight container  using oxygen absorbers, but that’s a lot of extra work. You can also store the ingredients to make homemade graham crackers. Have an extra 3 or 4 boxes around is quite fine. Just remember to rotate and use up the oldest crackers first, while storing the newly purchased crackers for later.

Read More Here

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image by Elana's Pantry

image by Elana’s Pantry

As a follow-up to my blog post about which foods you shouldn’t plan on storing long-term, here’s a list of foods typically found at grocery stores that can be stored but must be repackaged.

Keep in mind, that by repackaging these foods you will also be protecting them from oxygen, pests, and humidity, three of the five enemies of food storage. (The other 2 are heat and light.)

  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Any type of cookie or cracker
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread crumbs
  • Cornmeal
  • Candy
  • Pancake mix (Sometimes these are packaged directly inside the cardboard box without any type of inner plastic bag.)
  • Pasta, rice, and potato convenience mixes, such as Rice-a-Roni, Pasta-Roni, instant potatoes, scalloped potato mixes, etc. (These may either have microscopic insect eggs inside the package already and/or be invaded by insects and rodents from the outside.)
  • Tea bags (Repackage for best flavor and longest possible shelf life.)
  • Dried, instant milk (If not already in a sealed can.)
  • Spices and herbs packaged in plastic bags
  • Shortening
  • Chocolate chips, baking chips of any flavor
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar
  • Any type of mix to make bread, cornbread, pizza dough, etc.
  • Most anything else that is packaged in flimsy plastic bags and/or cardboard. This type of packaging is not intended for long-term storage, but that doesn’t mean the food inside can’t have a longer shelf life if repackaged correctly.

Repackaging instructions

Most everything on this list will do very well packaged by any of these procedures:

 

 

Read More Here

 

 

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Are You Prepared for a Water Emergency?

July 16, 2013

Wikimedia Commons

Barking Window

Earl Griffin

Listening to the radio on the way into work this morning I learned that hundreds of thousands of people will be without water for “days.”

How many days? The official speaking on the radio would not say.

It would be difficult to come up with a worse time to deprive hundreds of thousands of people of life giving water. Today’s heat index is expected to hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit! Similar heat indices are expected throughout the remaining week.

According to the report the problem is found in a “Fifty four inch main that is without redundancy.” Monitors indicate that the main is going to blow. It is believed by the water provider that allowing the main to blow and then performing the repair would mean the end user would be without water even longer and that the repair would be more expensive.

How many of the people who will be affected by this water emergency will hear this warning? How many of those who do hear it will do so in time to act before the water is cut off and what little water is available in stores is gone?

How many of the people who hear this warning in time will act?

What should they do to prepare for a water emergency that will certainly last for days?

In heat like this each person needs two gallons of water a day. Having two gallons will provide at least a gallon for drinking and a little water for personal washing.

The official in the interview said that the water emergency would last for, “days.” He would not elaborate further. Does that mean two days, five days, or thirty days?

Let us suppose for the moment that the water emergency may go on for a as little as a week. Let us also suppose that we are planning for a family of four. Each person will need two gallons of water per day. Remember this only allows for drinking, cooking, and some personal washing. Never mind flushing the toilet, bathing, or washing clothes or dishes!

Based on the bare minimum of two gallons a day, a family of four will require at least eight gallons of water per day. Just to provide drinking water for a family of four for one week you must set aside fifty six gallons of water – or just a little more than one fifty five gallon drum full of water. That will get you through ONE WEEK!

Unless of course you have friends and family who are in need and come to you for help…

What will you do then?

If you are selfish you will turn them away. If you are a little more thoughtful you will prepare something extra for those who may come begging when they realize that you have resources that they do not.

If you are the thoughtful type you may well need to set aside twice what your family needs to offset the suffering of others!

Storing water takes up a great deal of space – especially if you are the kind of person who thinks that buying cases upon case of individual bottles in smart.

Consider storing water in food grade fifty five gallon drums. It will take up much less space! The up front cost of buying food grade drums can be expensive but it will be much less costly then purchasing cases of individual bottles. Another benefit that drives down the cost is that you can reuse the drums again and again. Two drums will store enough water to provide a family of four with drinking water for two weeks during a water emergency like the one about to occur in southern Prince George’s County. Four drums will provide that same family with drinking water for a month or will ensure you have a little something to share with the ill prepared during a shorter emergency.

Be mindful though – that much water is very heavy. Plan accordingly to prevent damage to your home. If possible keep it on the ground floor. It may also be a good idea to store barrels in separate areas to distribute weight.

If you choose to use fifty five gallon drums you have the added benefit of having a drum or two to convert to rain barrels should the need arise.

During an ongoing water emergency you will quickly find that life does not continue as we know it today. Due to a lack of water the washing machine will no longer clean your clothes. The dishwasher will no longer wash your dishes. Showers will no longer flow. Toilets will stop flushing!

Your drinking water is only for drinking, cooking, and personal washing. That precious two gallons a day will not provide water for dirty dishes, laundry, or toilets.

So what do you do?

The hard facts are these: During an ongoing water emergency you will have to make serious changes in the way you deal with sanitation.

Paper plates and plastic cups, and bowls purchased in bulk will help offset the need to wash dishes – at least in the short term.

Hand sanitizer provides a means to clean dirty hands and frees up more water for drinking.

You may find it necessary to wear your clothes longer between cleaning than you prefer. Hand wash under garments, using as little water and possible, will make life a bit more pleasant. Let the jeans and outer shirts go. During a water emergency (remember we are not talking about life as per usual here – this is and EMERGENCY and there is no water flowing from the tap) things will change – there simply won’t be enough water to live as we are accustomed.

Whatever you do – do NOT use your drinking water for anything other than drinking, cooking, and a bit of personal washing!

As for as bathroom habits go here are some tips:

You need heavy duty garbage bags. Empty your toilet bowl of water then line the emptied bowl with the heavy gauge plastic trash bag. Use the toilet this way. If you have kitty litter sprinkle a little over the contents of the bag after each use. Saw dust or even leaves are also good alternatives to kitty litter. Doing this helps keep the smell down. Replace the bag as needed. Do not wait until the bag is to heavy to manage or until it becomes so heavy it may burst! Place the bags of waste outside your home for trash pick up.

I suggest listening to the radio for public service announcements. Your local government may have different or additional instructions for you to follow. If they do provide direction in this regard you should pay attention. If they do not that is just fine – you know how to proceed.

Don’t forget hand sanitizer!

When the water is off cooking soups and stews (that are full of water) is a good idea!

Drinking alcohol and soda is a bad idea. Both of these dehydrate!

During a water emergency dehydration is a much greater problem than normal. Be sure that everyone in your home is drinking plenty of water! The onset of diarrhea can quickly become an emergency! Be prepared with anti-diarrhea meds. If they don’t work – seek medical attention!

Standing in line made up of angry, desperate people with jugs, pans, and buckets waiting for your turn at a spigot at the back of a tanker truck is a terrible way to spend your time. If you prepare in advance for your and your family’s needs, the likelihood of you having to brave those desperate lines will be much lower.

The math is simple: Two gallons of water for drinking, cooking, and a bit of personal washing – per person, per day is the absolute minimum you should plan for.

Paper and plastic dishes will give you something to eat off of without having to use vital water resources for washing. Keep in mind though that the is a short term solution.

Set aside more water for cleaning undergarments – do not use your drinking water for this! Let your outer garments go.

Heavy plastic bags (the strongest you can find) to line your toilet will allow the bathroom to continue to be used with only some inconvenience.

Don’t forget to store – and use, hand sanitizer!

We are all responsible for ourselves and for our families. This water emergency comes with a warning – most emergencies do not! Don’t count on the government, the community, or your neighbors to provide for you. Take action now so that your family need not fear a water emergency or any other emergency.

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Barking Window (BW) where  this  article first  appeared promotes a philosophy of self reliance. This is a place for those who believe in the wisdom of being prepared for hard times and recognize the value of doing it yourself.

All of our writers are able proponents of self reliance. We have different political views. We follow different spiritual paths. We do not write with an agenda beyond that of promoting self reliance and disaster preparedness. Rather the writers who are good enough to share their work on BW have a genuine desire to contribute to a pool of knowledge that may benefit the reader.

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Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition
July 11th, 2013

Several ingredients food in cloth bags

One of my favorite phrases that I tell new preppers is that “your preps are your lifeline.” We must put measures in place before a disaster is upon us in order to have these lifelines available to us when we need it the most.

Building an emergency pantry is one of those lifelines that takes both time and planning to make it fully functional. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that serve multiple purposes.

A few other points to consider when starting an emergency food pantry are:

  • To store emergency foods that will not require refrigeration, and should require little electricity or fuel to prepare.
  •  The food should have a long shelf life.
  • It should provide ample nutrition and contain little salt.

In my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals,  I use the following essential food staples as the basis for the recipes. The following foods are all popular food staples that should be considered as “must haves” for your emergency pantries. The advantages to storing these items, is they encompass all of the key consideration points listed above. Best of all, these items are very affordable and versatile, thus making them worthy of being on your storage shelves for extended emergencies.

Keep in mind, that water is your most important prep. You need water for consumption, food preparation, and for sanitary needs. Ensure that you have a large quantity of water stored away for emergency use.

Stock up on the following items today to get your prepper pantry ready for the next extended emergency:

1. Canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups
2. Dried legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
3. Crackers
4. Nuts
5. Pasta sauce
6. Peanut butter
7. Pasta
8. Flour (white, whole wheat)
9. Seasonings (vanilla, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, pepper, taco seasoning, etc.)
10. Sugar
11. Bouillon cubes or granules (chicken, vegetable, beef)
12. Kitchen staples (baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vinegar)
13. Honey
14. Unsweetened cocoa powder
15. Jell-O or pudding mixes
16. Whole grains (barley, bulgur, cornmeal, couscous, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat berries)
17. Nonfat dried milk
18. Plant-based oil (corn oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil)
19. Cereals
20. Seeds for eating and sprouting
21. Popcorn (not the microwavable kind)
22. Instant potato flakes Instant potato flakes
23. Packaged meals (macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, Ramen noodles, etc.)
24. Purified drinking water
25. Fruit juices, teas, coffee, drink mixes

Use this list as a starting point on beginning or extending your preparedness pantry- and don’t feel handcuffed to only stocking up on these items. Always keep your family’s food preferences and dietary needs in mind when investing in your food supply. It would be extremely advantageous to have a two week supply (at a minimum) of these shelf stable food items on hand to care for your family. To see how much your family would need, click here.

We never know when disasters or emergencies may strike, so why not be prudent and be ready for them before they effect our livelihood and well being.

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Contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition.

Prepper's CookbookTess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years.

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How basic can you get? List #1 for beginners

 

 

beginner How basic can you get?  List #1 for beginners

image by laura_h_knight

 

This weekend some very good friends of ours spent several hours at our house.  At one point over dinner, the husband, James, began asking about food storage.  How did I know what to store?  How long would it last?  His wife, Dawn, had questions of her own and I began making a simple list of how to start with preparedness.

 

I asked them both what their concerns were.  Dawn mentioned the news about the solar flares that might cause problems with electronics on Earth and James said his main concern was a war developing in the Middle East.  Since we had never talked about preparedness before, I was surprised that those concerns were on their radars.  Previously, we had just chatted about work schedules, homeschooling, and whether or not our kids should go to church camp this summer.

 

After James and Dawn left, I started writing out a list of the most simple steps we had talked about and then decided to post them here.  If you are new to the  idea of preparing for an emergency or worst-case scenario, here’s where you can start!  I’ll be posting additional lists throughout the year, all titled, “How basic can you get?”

 

Here is List #1.

 

Continue Reading  List  #1 Here

 

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How Basic Can You Get? List #2

 

beginner How Basic Can You Get?  List #2

image by laura_h_knight

Just getting started with prepping?  Has some piece of news scared you to death for the future and that of your family?  You can become better  prepared for …whatever…by just jumping in and doing something proactive today.  I posted List #1 here.

  1. Track down a source for free, white plastic buckets.  Bakeries, restaurants, delis and grocery stores all have them, often for free.  I get mine from the bakery counter at my grocery store.  You’ll use these to store larger amounts of dry food and for organizing smaller items that you begin to accumulate, such as toothpaste and bars of soap.
  2. Watch for sales on canned goods, and then buy as much as you can afford.  Focus on canned soups, canned meat (tuna and chicken), canned beans, and canned veggies.  Also, cans of ravioli and beef stew come in handy.  Generally, canned food has a very long shelf life and, once opened, doesn’t require any cooking in a dire emergency.

 

Continue Reading List # 2 Here

 

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How Basic Can You Get? List #3

 

beginner How Basic Can You Get?  List #3

image by laura_h_knight

 

For beginning preppers, here are more simple ideas for getting started.  Experienced preppers might even find a few useful reminders!

 

  1. Shop ethnic stores for basics like varieties of rice and beans.  A grocery store in my area is advertising 5 bags of elbow macaroni for $1 and cans of shelf-stable table cream for just 79 cents!
  2. Make an appointment for a physical for everyone in the family over the age of 18.  Health care will be more expensive and less accessible in a collapse scenario, so deal with health issues now.
  3. On a related note, start getting in shape.  I’ve taken this advice and have lost 40 pounds, and so can you!  A physically fit body at a normal weight will be less inclined toward dozens of health issues.  It also makes survival and preparedness a whole lot easier.
  4. Identify your top 3 events to prepare for by answering these questions:

 

Continue Reading List  #3 Here

 

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How Basic Can You Get? List #4

beginner How Basic Can You Get?  List #3

 

Here’s another list of simple, basic steps for getting started as a Survival Mom or prepper.

 

1.� Find a source of inexpensive spices, herbs, and seasonings and begin stocking up on those you use most.

 

2.� Buy a Food Saver vacuum sealer. You’ll find these on Craigslist and eBay, Walmart, Target, and even Cabela’s. This machine will vacuum seal the Food Saver bags as well as jars.

 

3.� Be on the lookout for canning jars. The lids and rims of these jars provide a tighter seal than the lids of jelly or other jars.

 

4.� Once you have a Food Saver and canning jars, invest in one final item: a Food Saver jar sealer. This will allow you to fill those canning jars with foods that would melt or otherwise be spoiled in the canning process, vacuum oxygen from the inside of the jar, and have those foods ready to store long-term.

 

5.� Wherever you have food stored, be on the lookout for insects and rodents who might chew through food containers. You’d be surprised at what a diligent mouse with a lot of time on his hands can do!

 

Continue Reading  List # 4 Here

 

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How Basic Can You Get? List #5

beginner How Basic Can You Get?  List #3

Here are ten more tips to help a newbie get started and a seasoned Survival Mom stay on track!

 

1.  Start looking for both tarps and rope. As long as they aren’t worn out or frayed, they will be useful for making shelters, wind breaks, and even for water collection. They can provide a quick patch to a roof, a wall, or a broken window. Six tarps and a few hundred yards of rope would be a good start, and both are inexpensive.

 

2.  Even if winter weather isn’t a major issue where you live (Wave if you live in Phoenix or Honolulu!), you should still have a few cold weather clothing items for each member of the family. It’s so easy to pick these up at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales, and end-of-the-season sales at department and sporting goods stores. Warm waterproof boots, wool socks, long underwear, heavy jackets, waterproof gloves and warm caps should be a minimum. If you have kids, buy these in larger sizes when you find them at great prices.

 

3.  Make a rice and beans meal 3 or 4 times a month. These two foods combined create a complete protein, they’re very cheap, and have long shelf lives.

 

4.  Add one method for cooking food and heating water when the power goes out. If you already have a propane camp stove, make or buy your own solar oven or rocket stove. The BioLite stove is a great option because it requires so little fuel, is lightweight, and very portable.

 

5.  Begin to acquire camping equipment even if you don’t camp. A tent, sleeping bags, a camp stove, etc. will come in handy in case of an evacuation or if your home is damaged and unlivable.

 

Continue Reading  List #5 Here

 

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How Basic Can You Get? List #6

 

 

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beginner How Basic Can You Get? List #6

image by laura_h_knight

 

Are you ready for more? Did you work your way through Lists 1-5? This next list should keep you busy and out of trouble for a while!

 

1.  Learn how to use a compass and a map. It’s a lot harder than you might think, but it’s a skill that just might make the difference between you or a loved one wandering around in the wilderness, lost, and finding your way back to civilization. Look for classes at stores like REI or Cabela’s. This video does a pretty job explaining the skill.

 

2.  Do your kids know what to do if your home’s smoke alarms ever went off? Have a family meeting and make sure everyone knows these basic rules of home fire safety and where everyone should meet if there ever is a fire.

 

3.  Have pets? Stock up on a month’s worth of extra food for each one. If you buy dry food, be sure to store it in a heavy-duty plastic bin with a tight fitting lid. Rodents, insects, and even the dogs and cats themselves will find a way into this stash. Trust me!

 

4.  Hit a few garage/estate sales this month and buy some extra blankets. Thesealways come in handy! Be sure to keep a couple in the trunk of each car.

 

5.  Make a mini-survival kit for each kid or grandkid in the family. Here are some super-easy instructions.

 

Continue Reading List #6 Here

 

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The Jamaica Plain New Economy transition town has found that pie parties are a good way to get more people interested in disaster preparedness.

In his forthcoming book, Prepared Neighborhoods, social entrepreneur Scott James writes, “the neighborhood is where sustainability meets preparedness. It is one step beyond caring for your own family, and one step back from what the emergency professional does best at a national level. Self-sufficiency for every citizen is not only unattainable but also undesirable. The answer is resilient community.”

How do we build resilient communities? Is there a way to organize around preparing for “short term emergencies” to build neighborly relations and also strengthens us for other systemic economic and ecological challenges ahead?

This summer, our local “transition town,” the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition, is experimenting with “preparedness pie parties.” It may be a way to bridge some of the race, class, and political differences in our neighborhood.

Neighbors meet each other, share information, and identify elderly and disabled neighbors to check in with. Neighbors take a few minutes to look at an “emergency preparedness checklist,” like the one FEMA puts out. Maybe one subgroup volunteers to coordinate the bulk purchase of flashlights and supplies. Another puts together a simple contact list with everyone’s name and basic information.

If neighbors are motivated, they could look at the “Map Your Neighborhood” process, piloted in Washington State and now adopted in other states. They have a nine-step process for neighbors responding to disasters, including urging neighbors to put “OK” signs in their windows—and visiting neighbors who haven’t put up a sign.

Some people might dismiss such organizing as fear mongering, a local version of the National Geographic series “Doomsday Preppers.” This is why the tone of such organizing matters: respectful, informed, friendly and hopeful. The message is “our individual security is linked to the well-being of our neighbors.”

The history of recent northeast ice storms and hurricanes such as Sandy and Irene underscores that neighbors are our true “first responders,” and that a modest amount of networking and preparation makes a huge difference. Many of my neighbors view this as common sense.

Rebecca Solnit, in her remarkable book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, reminds us that adversity unleashes extraordinary community spirit and generosity among neighbors. The fearful images of looting and selfishness are well publicized, but they are not the norm.


Chuck Collins wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Chuck is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good.

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