Rotate your supplies

The seasons are changing (again). Now is a good time to take a look at your 72 hour kits. Do you have good warm clothing? Is your food fresh?

What about your water supplies?

It is also a good time to take a look at your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Change the batteries and make sure the levels are up on your extinguishers.

Honey and Onion Natural Cough Remedy

Here’s an easy homemade cough remedy that you probably already have the ingredients for.  It’s a honey onion syrup–before you get grossed out, it doesn’t taste like onions when it’s done.  Really.  We’ve been having some coughing and sore throats among the little people lately, and my husband remembered his dad making this for him so we thought we’d give it a try.

What you’ll need:

Raw honey (regular honey would work okay, but the raw honey has enzymes in it that have been cooked out of the processed honey you get at the store)
Onion
Garlic (optional)
Ginger root (optional)

Natural honey onion cough syrup Continue reading “Honey and Onion Natural Cough Remedy”

Wood stove installation

It took a few more months than I hoped, but at least I made it before the coldest part of the winter. As you will recall in my previous posts on home heating, I have been saving and planning for a wood burning stove. As promised, here are photos to document the installation and thoughts on additional things I have learned. Continue reading “Wood stove installation”

Oct-87 Ezra Taft Benson Food Storage Quote

Another excellent quote, from and LDS source, but applicable to all. Specifically aimed at fathers and our responsibility to taking care of our families.

Fathers, another vital aspect of providing for the material needs of your family is the provision you should be making for your family in case of an emergency. Family preparedness has been a long-established welfare principle. It is even more urgent today.

I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel? The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.

Also, are you living within your income and saving a little?

Are you honest with the Lord in the payment of your tithes? Living this divine law will bring both spiritual and material blessings.

Yes, brethren, as fathers in Israel you have a great responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family and to have the necessary provisions in case of emergency.

 – Ezra Taft Benson, Oct. 1987 (Full Text /video /audio)

Guest Post: Things To Keep In The House In Case Of Emergency

Today’s guest post comes to you courtesy of Becky W. who is a freelance writer that loves to write on a number of things such as safety, food, and health. In her spare she loves to try new dishes in the kitchen and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

While nobody anticipates that an emergency is actually going to befall them, these things happen before anybody can begin to plan. There are a few items you can keep around the house that will be of great use to you and your family if you ever experience a wide-scale emergency.

A first aid kit should be at the top of your list of essentials. It is inevitable that somebody will be hurt by a cut, burn or scrape. Your kits should include latex gloves, bandages, gauze pads and antibiotic moist towlettes. You should also have tweezers, saline solution and scissors on hand. If anybody in the family takes prescription medications, have a bottle on hand. Do not forget to include any inhalers, pain medications and antihistamines.

It is also vital to have a well-stocked pantry and emergency supply of food available. Water is essential. It never hurts to have a few cases of water in plastic bottles around the house. You should also keep some drinks with electrolytes in them for their minerals. Canned fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat and have a long shelf life are great. You may even keep some canned meat, like tuna or chicken. Don’t forget to pack some granola, protein bars, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers and cereal. If you have an infant, you want to keep some jarred baby food as well. Check expiration dates regularly and be sure to pack a can opener along with paper cups, utensils and plates.

There are a few personal items to keep in a safe place. It is good to have an area stocked with old prescription glasses, a pair of sturdy shoes and sleeping supplies. A sleeping bag that can be used outside is a must. You also want to pack warm clothing and a few books to read. Keep a stock of personal hygiene items, such as menstrual pads and toothpaste, on hand.

Other practical items, such as a sump pump, are great to have on hand in case a pipe bursts. You should also have a self-powered flashlight. There are flashlights you can turn a lever to power, and they are easy to maintain. You can also find a self-powered radio. You should also have a car charger for your phone and other important electronic items. Of course you also need to have a sturdy container to hold all these items.

Put Your Excess Halloween Candy in Your Food Storage

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my kids certainly came home with plenty of candy from last night’s trick-or-treating. Maybe you, like us, also have some left over that you intended to hand out. If you have too much candy around your house today, here are some great ways to put some of the excess in your emergency supplies.

Hard candy, suckers, smarties, and other candies that are primarily sugar have an extremely long shelf life (as if any candy isn’t primarily sugar, but you know what I mean). These are great for adding to your bug out bags or emergency kits just as they are. They even do well in a vehicle kit where temperatures fluctuate. Continue reading “Put Your Excess Halloween Candy in Your Food Storage”

Six Reasons I’m Not a Fan of Pre-Mixed Food Storage Meals and Why I Still Have Some

Pre-packaged food storage meals are super convenient and easy to store and cook. Ranging from MRE’s to dehydrated mixes to freeze dried entrees, these meals have all the meal ingredients in them and are either heat-and-eat or add water and cook. It’s tough to find a food storage company that doesn’t offer at least a handful of pre-mixed meal choices. They sound like a good deal–I mean, who wouldn’t want to be served lasagna or chicken a la king without having to actually make it? Well, here are 6 reasons I don’t like pre-made food storage meals and a couple reasons why I still have some in my preps.

1. Amazingly picky eaters. Especially the kids. No, especially the husband. Well, maybe the kids have him beat sometimes. They haven’t met a pre-made meal they really love and few that they even like enough to eat. A couple of Mountain House varieties have been deemed okay for camping if we don’t have anything else (but only Turkey Tetrazzini and Chicken a la King) as well as a couple of varieties of the Thrive pouch meals (Baked Potato Cheese Soup and Pasta Carbonara). I can’t say that I have tried every variety from every manufacturer–there may be a couple more that my family would accept but I don’t hold out high hopes. Maybe this all stems from reason number two.

Continue reading “Six Reasons I’m Not a Fan of Pre-Mixed Food Storage Meals and Why I Still Have Some”

Wildfires in Utah

Feeding ‪#dumpfire‬ Fire crews.

We are now into Day 3 of the Dump Fire at Saratoga Springs in Utah. Our own Jayce and Neybar live near the fire, and while their homes do not seem to be in any danger, they still left work early yesterday to volunteer to help. Their experience and knowledge has undoubtedly been invaluable to the volunteer effort. They have been keeping us posted on Twitter (@JayceHall and @neybar), and I have seen several of their tweets mentioned and retweeted by others needing information. For those who haven’t been following along, you can keep an eye on the #dumpfire hashtag on Twitter. For any ham radio folks who want to monitor, they’re on 145.23 repeater (131.8 tone). NetOps is at station 2.

Cause of the Fire

It is believed that the fire was caused by people target shooting near the landfill. They were shooting in an area where it was legal to do so, and when the fire started, they called 911 and attempted to put the fire out. They have been cooperative with authorities, and have been helping the effort to put the fire out. Because they were shooting legally and did everything right after the fire started, they are unlikely to be charged criminally.

Being Prepared for Evacuation

In following news reports, I have noticed some things. When crews knocked on doors on Day 2 of the blaze to tell people they had 15 minutes to evacuate, a lot of people scrambled to pack up what they considered necessary. Family photos, pets, medications and a change of clothes. Less prominently featured in the stories were people who decided that they were going to have to evacuate, and started packing their cars long before evacuation orders came in. While I’m sure there were plenty of preppers who already had 72-hour kits ready to take at a moment’s notice, they were apparently not as newsworthy as the less-prepared. Though my family lives in Magna, far away from the fire, we still had one evacuee knock on our door asking to buy a small bottle of shampoo from my wife’s basement salon.

Food donations for the #dumpfire.

This incident underscores not only the importance of fire safety, but also the importance of being prepared and keeping a current 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag. Fortunately, several local businesses pitched in to provide food and water at the local evacuation centers, but this is not always the case. Be sure to check expiration dates on the food in your kits and in your food storage in general.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire, and we hope that it will be out soon.

Preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs

I work near a Sam’s Club and sometime head over for a lunchtime visit. It is hard to beat a Polish Dog and soda at $1.50 for lunchtime frugality. While I am there I often browse through the store to see what seasonal items are on display. Over the last couple months I’ve noticed a few preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs.

Continue reading “Preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs”

Creating your own Bug Out Location

You have a perfectly set up 72 hour kit/bug out bag for each member of your family. They are located in vehicles or in a grab and dash spot so you can be on the road and on your way within seconds. Now what? Where are you going? Generally speaking, an evacuation plan should include a few set locations that you and those you are bugging out with are familiar with. One common solution is to head to a family member’s house some distance away. This solution might work in some scenarios, but in many circumstances you might find that you’ve placed a burden on your family by bringing more mouths to feed in an extended crisis. In other situations you might find it difficult to get to your family member’s home due to distance, lack of fuel or inaccessible roads depending on the nature of the disaster that has caused you to leave your home.

When starting your journey down the rabbit hole of preparedness you’ll often see terms referenced such as GOOD (Get out of Dodge), BOL, BOB (Bug out Location, Bug out Bag) and other acronyms that hint at evacuating an area should there be a disaster, civil unrest or many of the other events that we prepare for. One question that can’t be answered by a simple acronym however is WHERE?

My nearest family is about 10 hours away and in either highly populated areas or in areas with limited access in a disaster, so my family needs to consider something more local for our evacuation plan. We decided that as part of our general preparedness efforts we would like to work towards obtaining a property to eventually build a bug out location as well as provide a place for our family to camp and enjoy nature on a frequent basis. I’d like to share some of the things I learned in this process on creating your own bug out location.
Continue reading “Creating your own Bug Out Location”

Utah Prepare Conference and Expo – Ticket Giveaway

Interested in a day of workshops focused on preparedness? Who wouldn’t?  Utah State University, BYU, and BeReady Utah have combined to host a day of classes and booths called the Utah Prepare Conference and Expo. Now, the title is rather similar to our name, but hey, it involves many groups that we rely on for well-researched information.

I’m really excited about this conference, in that it is *not* a sales machine. BeReady is the state organization charged with getting citizens ready for known disasters in the state, and it has teamed up with some of the best resources for preparedness around. Anybody who has done real research into local agriculture, animal husbandry, or food preservation has come upon materials published by the USU extension. They are the standard for food preservation testing in the country, and we love having them locally.

Of course, there are vendors there as well, so don’t fret about missing out on the “toys” and fun there as well, but the conference itself is not “consumer-first”, and that should mean a lot to real preppers.

Continue reading “Utah Prepare Conference and Expo – Ticket Giveaway”