Thursday, May 31, 2012

Preparedness Week 16

Well, we only have three week left in Kellene Bishop's Ten Principles of Preparedness.  Again, her complete website can be found at
Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 8
“Food. It’s what’s for dinner.”

“Home is Where My Food Storage is.”
“Hunger is the best sauce.”

Yup, it’s time for us to address the Principle of Preparedness that so many think of first and foremost—food. Keep in mind, though that it is indeed the 8th Principle of Preparedness in order of prioritization. All of the other Principles I’ve addressed leading up to this one will indeed demand positions of greater prominence before you get to this one. As I always say, I strongly doubt that a person who’s just been hit in a car accident makes their first phone call to Dominoes Pizza. Nope. Regardless, it is a critical Principle of Preparedness. So let’s do it right, shall we?
The various aspects of this principle are Acquisition, Nutrition, Shelf-life, and Preparation.
When it comes to Acquisition there are many who feel that a year’s supply of appropriate food for their family is a financial burden that can’t be carried, when in fact a little old fashioned ingenuity will prove that the exact opposite is true. I don’t purchase large amounts of chicken and pasta when it goes on sale because I’m some kind of a hoarder, I do so to stabilize my food budget because when I take that $1.50 a pound chicken home and can it, when I take it off of my shelf 5 years from now it STILL will have only cost me $1.50 a pound—no matter what happens on Wall Street. I don’t purchase freeze-dried food because of “food storage” I do it because it’s less expensive, more nutrition, less waste, AND lasts longer. Contrary to the gargantuan efforts you see on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, a modest amount of couponing discipline applied each week—only 2 hours—will yield an enormous amount of results for your food pantry for FREE or at least really, really cheap. When the Acquisition of food is thought to be the barrier, I find that it’s not the expense, but the spending habits that are really getting in the way. Instead of going to the store and purchasing what you want each week, try getting ahead of the game for a couple of weeks then allow yourself to only purchase items that benefit your family that are on sale. If you plan your meals based on what you already have, not only will you find money in your budget that you didn’t know you had, but you’ll also handle a real crisis of living solely off of what you’ve got much better mentally.
With so many “food storage” advertisers selling stuff that barely passes for flavored cardboard—a sin regularly committed by our own grocery stores as well nowadays, providing appropriate nutrition for your family all year round is a legitimate concern. But don’t worry. There are plenty of solutions. Sprouting, freeze-dried produce, and learning to make a lot of your standard items from scratch will take care of that concern in a jiffy, with even better nutrition than you’ll get with the more traditional foods found in the American Standard Diet (SAD). For example, when I do make bread, I make it from whole wheat and honey along with other standard ingredients—standard, of course being a relative term. But the point is, I am not making it with the need to have it last for nearly a month on the shelves of the store, thus no nasty preservatives or other ingredients. (Believe it or not, quality grain bread is very simple to make. Just check out my “Kick-Butt Bread Recipe. You’ll never fail.) I make it a point to be knowledgeable of the source of each of my ingredients, including the growing conditions and time of harvest.
Continuing on, by canning my own meats, butter, and fish, I also can feel confident about nutritional content, and more importantly, I’m comforted in knowing what’s NOT in my food. There’s also a world of opportunities out there to create delicious dishes with less mainstream ingredients and without the standard hormones, anti-biotics, etc. such as making “wheat meat” aka seitan from vital wheat gluten or adding beans to baked goods such as cookies and brownies, or adding sprouts to casseroles and soups. I personally love my pumpkin and black bean soup recipe. By the way, there’s also a great book out called “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kid Eating Good Food” by Jessica Seinfeld. (I might add that it helps with husbands too.) I’ve found it very helpful in increasing the nutritional value of many dishes. By educating myself on what’s real nutrition (coconut oil, for example) and what’s harmful for my family (canola oil, for example), then I can provide better nutrition for them than they can get in any restaurant all year round. None of these strategies require extensive time in our busy lives. With the development and availability of so many wonderful tools, it hardly takes anymore time to make bread or homemade pizza than it does to go and pick it up. Once again, we come to the conclusion that meeting the demands of the aspect isn’t the problem. Our way of thinking about it and addressing it usually is.
Shelf-life can be a bit tricky if you’re accustomed to consuming highly processed foods. Ironically the foods which provide very little nutrition usually end up having a much shorter shelf-life than those we would want long-term—well, except for Twinkies. I understand those babies will last for EVER! Chances are, if you’re stymied by getting a necessary staple food to have a long shelf-life, you’re simply lacking in some easy-peezy tidbits of knowledge that will make extending your shelf-life a snap. Brown rice, nuts, chocolate—you know, those essentials of life—have received an unnecessary bad rap for going bad quickly, when in fact it’s all in how such items are stored. Cool, dry, dark, and void of oxygen is all that’s necessary for keeping such items palatable for nearly a decade. And if you’re only bringing home foods that your family will enjoy, nothing should be sitting around for 10 years anyway. Rotation, rotation, rotation is one of the easiest fixes to shelf-life concerns. Come on. Even the military rotates their MRE’s. If you’ve acquired any of those “30 year foods” that you’ll only eat if you “had to” then in my opinion you’re preparing to be miserable. If you want your shelf-life problems to go away, then I suggest you stop purchasing items you have no desire to consume now. Otherwise, there are several articles on here which address the proper preservation of foods such as the use of the FoodSaver combined with Mason jars, canning, oxygen absorbers, waxing cheese, bottling butter, preserving eggs with mineral oil, etc. which will help you establish a food pantry of real foods for you and your family, not cardboard which is supposed to taste like fettuccine alfredo.
Lastly I’m going to address the preparation of our foods. Obviously, most folks are competent with the stove, oven, toaster oven, microwave, etc. but will we still be able to prepare our family’s favorite dishes with no traditional power sources? Dutch ovens, solar ovens, pressure cookers, rocket stoves, small Korean cook stoves with butane, pressure canners—all of these are tools which will make your present way of preparing meals easily replicated in such events. In fact, I dare say that such alternative methods have merit now. For example, I love, love, love my pressure cooker. It’s one of my favorite tools in my house. I can make great beans in minutes, not hours; perfect rice or risotto in under 10 minutes; and even a tender and juicy pot roast from zero to perfect in less than an hour. Solar ovens allow you to cook anything you can cook in your inside oven with the kiss of the sun and without having to pay to cool off the house after you’ve done so. I love the taste of any frozen meat I cook in it without any seasonings! It’s delightful! The great news is you won’t have to envision a life of cooking in an open fire pit while you endure a crisis. I think that’s the last thing anyone needs under such circumstances, don’t you?
One last bit of advice I’d like to share as a part of this Principle. We are emotional eaters to some extent or another. Some folks have their breaking point sooner than others, but the fact of the matter is, we have a very emotional relationship with food. It’s emotionally trying to even imagine enduring a shortage of food for ourselves, let alone watching our children suffer for a want of food. Keeping in mind the emotional aspect that we have at present; understand that if you are ever required to endure a more trying time such as a financial collapse, massive power outage, earthquake, etc. you will be even more emotionally in need of the foods which are familiar and comforting to you and your family. As such, it’s imperative that you plan for such dishes. In fact, I believe that everything you plan on feeding your family under such circumstances should already be familiar and acceptable to them. I usually put it this way: Be sure that you have found a way to make your spouse’s and children’s favorite meal that they would want you to make on their birthday. Doing so will put you so much further ahead mentally and emotionally in your efforts to thrive in whatever circumstances get thrown at you.
Applying all of these strategies to your Food Preparedness will definitely result in you experiencing the peace in your preparedness efforts which I continually discuss. I assure you, peace is a significantly better way (and a less expensive one) to prepare for whatever may come along than a panicked one.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Preparedness Week 15

We are continuing this week providing you with part 7 of Kellene Bishop's Ten Principles of Preparedness.  Her website can be found at
Ten Principles of Preparedness–Part 7
I admit I worry about the preparedness status of others far too much. However, if there was one aspect that I worry about the most, it would be the lack of proper Water Preparedness. As I review all of the questions that I’m asked via e-mail and my classes, the theme of Water Preparedness seems to be the most rife with fallacies and underestimated planning. So for starters allow me to be unmistakable on this principle: There will come a day in which you will be very grateful that you have 365 gallons of COVERED drinking water per person in your family. Yes, I know that’s a lot—but compared to what? Having 40 pairs of shoes is a lot too, but for some reason it’s a bit more acceptable in our society today, even enviable, than having water. That kind of acceptance and prioritization is a little out of whack, don’t you think, considering that water is literally lifesaving on several different levels—shoes, uh, not so much. Yes, I realize that 365 gallons of water per person isn’t exactly an aesthetically pleasing improvement to your land, it’s a lot easier to tolerate than dead bodies. While it’s not an activity that you take care of overnight necessarily, it should certainly be your initial goal in this particular principle of preparedness and here are some of the reason why it’s so vital to the well-being of you, your family AND your community.
One: The brain simply cannot function without it. Your brain is the most water-ladened part of your body. The distribution of messages and signals to the rest of your body relies primarily on the amount on oxygen and water that your brain has to work with. (Think of your brain as the car in a courier service—it’s not going anywhere without the fuel.) In a time of great stress, you will need every physical asset you can possibly muster, thus having water for the brain is an invaluable investment of your time and space. Here’s an interesting tip. The next time you have to endure a grueling mental or physical exercise, instead of grabbing your can of caffeinated beverage to “get you through”, give water a try. You’ll actually find that you are able to endure the distance of the task far better than you have in the past with your other chemicals of choice, and you’ll find that you’ll recover from the endurance test a lot faster as well.
Two: Water for the proper function of the entire body will prevent permanent physical damage to internal organs. You may have heard the too-often told myth that claims a person will die if they don’t have water for longer than 72 hours. This is indeed a myth though, as was proven during the Haiti earthquake of last year. A man was found among the rubble, very much alive, 11 days after the earthquake hit. No, he didn’t have any water during that time. While he was still very much alive, the fact of the matter is that your body will suffer physiological damage if without water for more than 72 hours. So sure, he was alive and able to join some of his family members, but I assure you, that lucky survivor also has permanent kidney or liver damage to show for it. Your heart will pump smoother, your skin will look smoother and softer, your eyesight improve, and your metabolism will work harder in a well hydrated body. So if the thought of potential gloom and doom motivation doesn’t get you on the water bandwagon, at least permit some vain motivation to play a role. *grin*
By the way, the word is WATER, not beverage. A soda pop or Kool-aid drink does not replace water in any way, shape or form. It requires so much more energy from your body to extract any beneficial water from such beverages to the point that you’re in a negative nutrition position. And yes, if you continue in this pattern then physiological damage will take place.
The brain has first shot at all of the water you provide the body. The reason being is because the cells of the brain must be hydrated in order to function. If they dry out, then they die, period, and cannot be replaced. What’s gone is gone. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are drying agents in your body. They consume copious amounts of water in order to be shuttled to the proper areas of the body. In other words, they rob your body of water. This is why when a person has drunk alcohol heavily the night before they will wake up with the proverbial hangover. That hangover is your head screaming for water. So the last thing you should be feeding your body to take the edge off is caffeine or nicotine . All you’ll end up doing is increasing the glycogen levels in your body and then you’re off to a completely different set of complications.
Three: Our bodies expire two quarts of water per day via urination, perspiration, and breathing. You’re losing the necessary water content of your body at the rate of two whole quarts per day. If you’re not at least replacing those two quarts then your body will suffer physiological damage as well and if such habits persist, then such damage will be permanent. A lot of my research on water over this past year has even indicated that many mental illnesses can be helped dramatically with the constant consumption of water and that many of such illnesses are simply the consequences of a poorly hydrated body. In fact, there’s one well-known author by the name of Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, MD, who has successfully studied the impact of water consumption as a remedy for chronic depression and even cancer. If we practice diligently hydrating our bodies now, then even when a serious crisis comes our way in the future, we’ll be able to endure it far better if we’re not starting out with a water deficit in our body. At the very least everyone age 12 and up should be drinking at least two quarts of pure and simple water per day, just to stay on top of the needs of our bodies. Anything less is like running that same quart of oil through the engine again and again and again. Why BE a filter when you can make it so much easier on yourself and drink your water?
Four: Water is vital to hormone balance. Depression, diabetes, ovulation, thyroid issues—all are complicated when the hormones are out of balance. Without water, it’s absolutely impossible for our hormones to regain their proper balance. For example, if the brain doesn’t get sufficient amount of water, it will instead demand glycogen and spike the sugar levels of our blood. Insulin is a hormone and it’s a very influential hormone. It hasn’t a chance at working properly in a dehydrated body. There’s not a day in your life in which you couldn’t benefit from a more healthy hormonal function. During a crisis is definitely not the time I would
suggest experimenting with that fact.
Five: Water is critical to proper digestion. While there are many who believe food may be more important than water, such persons will re-think that strategy once they find themselves in gripping abdominal pain as the result of their sudden change in lifestyle full of fiber-rich meals. There are many of you who are planning on indulging in more hearty fiber and freeze-dried and dehydrated foods when things get really bad. That’s great, except you’re going to need to hydrate your body even more than just the 2 quarts a day to compensate for that change unless you want to literally die as a result of that change in diet. Nothing moves in your body without water. Not the food, not your blood, not even air. You might as well try to live a life without love as to try and make a body work without it–and lots of it!
Six: Having sufficient COVERED drinking water on hand is the only way to prepare against potential biological exposure which threatens to harm all open water sources; and depending on the intensity thereof, even the in-ground water sources. Preparing to meet ones needs with an open water source really isn’t preparing; it’s hedging and hoping.
These are just a few of the reason to have plenty of water on hand for each person in your household. If you’re only storing one gallon of water per person per day, keep in mind that just to break even in our physiological functions we need to consume two quarts daily; so you can see how 1 gallon per person, per day, is barely a “drop in the bucket” of the potential needs. In addition to this gallon of drinking water (which may also meet the majority of your cooking needs), there is also the water necessary for sanitation. I won’t get into the gruesome details, but regardless of how “hard core macho” you think you are, it’s imperative that you bathe regularly and you wash your clothes regularly–not to mention the handling of the waste.
When your body perspires, it’s doing so by shooting toxins out of your pores. So basking in those toxins for weeks at a time isn’t exactly going to make you suitable to be on the cover of Fit Magazine. One person practicing poor sanitation has the potential to wipe out an entire community within a 50 mile radius in less than 30 days. Again, those blue 55 gallon barrels may not look like much, but they are a heck of a lot easier to tolerate than piles of dead bodies. Additionally, I realize that paying $40-$100 for such containers may not sound like a good investment, but by comparison did you ever consider the price of a medical procedure that promised to make the pain go away, help the body function better or preserve a person’s life? I didn’t think so. Yeah, tally the difference between a life without water and the financial demands of having plenty on hand. I think you’ll easily see that it’s a no-brainer.
So how about we get our necessary water, practice proper storage methods, AND faithfully use it now in our daily lives and keep it in its proper perspective and start giving it the attention it deserves.
Obviously, there are myriads of other ways to store water such as in buried tanks in the back yard, one 2-liter bottle at a time, etc. etc. I only beg you to be wise about such methods. Be sure that you can stake your life on the WAY that your store your water and the AMOUNT of the water you store, because I assure you, someday that’s exactly what will be at stake.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Preparedness Week 14

Well, we are in the 6 tip for preparedness from Kellene Bishop at Again, I must say that I do not agree with her every thought, but it is thought provoking.

Fuel Preparedness

By Kellene Bishop

Yes, I’m an airhead sometimes. There have been times in which our power has gone out and so I tell myself “Oh well. Since the power’s out I might as well watch some television to pass the time until it comes back on.” Yup. True story. And it gets worse from there sometimes. *grimace* I’m clearly guilty of taking power for granted. As such, I’ve had to really focus on the various ways I need to be independent for my environmental control, cooking, lights, and other power needs. The stark reality is, our power and fuel supply is a very volatile system and can crumble to a halt with the slightest bit of provocation. What most people don’t realize is that such an interruption is possible well beyond a few days, or weeks. It’s actually possible that we could lose our luxury of on-demand fuel and power for months and even years. So, what do we need to do now to suitably prepare for such a scenario?

Just as a recap, understand that out of the Ten Principles of Preparedness, in order of prioritization, Fuel Preparedness falls into position number 6. Understand that when I say “fuel” I’m referring to any type of energy/power which makes our life around us “go” whether that is the lights, automobiles, refrigerator, or even the water heater. As it’s in position #6, this means that there are 5 other aspects of Preparedness needs which will confront us before we are faced with the challenges of fuel. That’s not to say that we won’t be faced with this reality speedily. That which fuels our life is vital for our health, sanitation, comfort, safety, water, food, communication and so much else. Once again, this is a Principle which is vast in its impact on our life. As such, preparing for a life without the conveniences we presently enjoy can be a daunting task. So that best way I have used to be properly prepared in this aspect is to pay attention to my everyday needs and usage. (Clearly, not exactly easy when one is an airhead.)

I consistently ask myself, “If I didn’t have any power, or gas, etc. how would I perform this particular task?” For example, I was making my yummy bread with my Bosch mixer. I love my Bosch. It allows me to make my bread from start to finish in less than an hour. So when it occurred to me that I may not always have such a luxury, I was highly motivated to figure out a solution. (I did by the way, thanks to the hand crank attachment that the Bosch mixers have.)
Anyway, this is my routine. I take on the seemingly monumental task of replacing the convenience of fuel and power in pieces, one bite at a time.

Practice, Practice, Practice

One of the experiments I suggest that folks try in their homes is the 48 hour “lights out” experiment. This is when you and your family commit to going an entire 48 hours with no other light sources other than the alternative ones you’re planning on using in a long-term “lights out” scenario. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that you go without electricity all together for this experiment. Just the lighting.

There are a couple of reasons why I suggest this practice. 1) It will show you whether or not the lighting you’ve planned on using is sufficient. I’ve found far too many times that my lighting choices have been woefully inadequate for lighting that I may have to use long-term. I actually discovered this by using my alternative lighting tools. 2) It will show you just how much you actually NEED to rely upon—especially if you’re trying to prepare for at least 12 months. One of the other things I learned is that I actually prefer to use tapered candles to light my lamps and candles instead of matches. I can easily light the tapered candle with one match rather than risk wasting match after match trying to light all of my tools. And 3) Familiarity eliminates stress. I’d much rather find out now that my lighting solutions are insufficient rather than when my life might rely upon it. Now’s the best time to discover that I need more ventilation than I expected for my intended room heater and to respond and plan accordingly now while I can still pay reasonable, non-emergency prices for the tools I need. Practice, practice, practice. Anything else is asking for unnecessary stress and who needs added stress when you’re obviously already having to endure one of life’s curveballs?
Back-Ups for Your Back-Ups

I’ve learned to not rely on only one source of fuel for my power needs. For example, I am prepared to cook with a solar oven, Korean cook stove, Volcano Stove, reflector oven, Dutch Oven, Rocket Stove, propane grill, and an open fire because I recognize that there are a lot of scenarios that can play out which may negate one of the ways I intend to cook. Or I could find myself needing to feed dozens of people and one or two solar ovens on a cloudy day just won’t cut it. I realize that some of you reading this may feel a bit overwhelmed as you consider the dollars that might be involved. But it’s important that you recognize that I didn’t accumulate all of this overnight. I began with the most affordable means of cooking and then added to it all from there. The same strategy applies to lighting and heat. As a person who lives and breathes preparedness, I just can’t fathom putting all of my eggs in one basket in this regard.

By the way, as is appropriate, I believe it’s vital that all of the family members become familiar with using the alternative power/fuel tools. Not only do you want to have back up tools but you want to have back-up people who are capable of using those tools.


So let’s pretend for a moment that there’s been a complete financial collapse and as such the dominoes have fallen and taken out the entire grid system in the U.S. There will be no pumping of fuel, so very little of your traditional automobile traveling, right? Can you still envision a scenario in which alternative travel options might be beneficial? I sure can. I can conceptualize a scenario in which I’d be grateful for something as simple as a wheelbarrow, a Little Red Wagon, a quality bike with a storage basket on it. Heck, even roller blades might be helpful in such a scenario.

Remember the PHYSICAL Fuel

When planning on providing your family with alternative means for power and fuel, be sure to consider your own physical fuel! The most important fuel is your own physical capability. While it might be a bit easy now in the comfort of our 21st Century living to believe that you can meet your needs with some hard physical labor in the midst of a crisis, it’s a very dangerous thought process. Remember, that if you’re in a crisis scenario your mind and your body will already be taxed significantly. The last thing you want to do is to PLAN to tax your physical strength during such a time.

Keep a Low Profile

If you don’t already know, I’m NOT a fan of a traditional generator. Not one bit. They are too noisy, too smelly, too dangerous under crude circumstances (which is when they are most likely to be used) and they require yet another fuel source to operate. Granted, there are numerous instances in which a generator might be absolutely necessary. (more on that in a moment.) I’m also NOT a fan of the expensive solar generators that you see at all of the Sports Expo’s and hear advertised on popular national talk shows. They are too expensive and you get too little power for your money, barely sufficient to run a couple of light bulbs. However, I am a firm believer in several “do-it-yourself” kinds of solar generator options. They are significantly less expensive, and you can get 4-10 times the power that the expensive, over-hyped models deliver. Such options will help with those “must have” scenarios such as refrigerating insulin. And guess what, I’m actually going to provide you with an article AND pictures to show you how to create something like this for yourself (this week). In the meantime, it’s important that you also understand that whatever your heating, lighting, cooking and traveling solutions are, you’ve GOT to make sure they are inconspicuous. The last thing you need to do in a crisis scenario is to draw attention to yourself. Lights and pleasant cooking smells emanating from your home might as well be a big bull’s-eye on your shelter that’s begging for some roaming loon to come and disrupt the safety of your home. So, when it comes to Fuel Preparedness, you’ve got to include solutions for how you’re going to maintain your privacy and safety.
If you’re going to have the luxury of lights at night, then be sure you have your windows fully covered so as not to leak any light. If you’re going to cook something other than PB&Js on saltine crackers then you’ll want to be sure that you do so within the confines of a SAFE and SECURE dwelling. That can be managed either through the integrity of your structure, or through a trusted community watch program sufficient for your circumstances. Ultimately, when it comes to using your alternative fuel resources, you’ve got to consider your security as well. Obviously, you’ve got to plan on security measures that you’re comfortable with. And by the way, if you’re not comfortable and prepared to employ security measures on behalf of you and your family’s comfort and safety, then you better get on the stick and get there soon. In a world in which the social norms and standards have been compromised, the natural consequences will be a disruption to order and decorum. It’s simply unrealistic to expect to have one end of the stick without the other.

Recap: Practice with your alternative fuel options. Have back-ups for your back-ups. Consider alternative transportation needs. PLAN now to conserve your own physical energy. And above all, keep a low profile. ‘Til next time—here’s to peace in your preparedness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baptism of Sarah Coenen

Good Morning Sisters!

We have a very special baptism at the church on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

Friday is Sarah Coenen’s 8th birthday and what better way to celebrate than to enter into the waters of baptism.

Please join Sarah for this joyful occasion!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shop Till You Drop @ the West Monroe Convention Center

You’re Invited


Come and taste the delicious freeze dried foods by:


Consultant: Lisa Bostic

Lisa will be hosting a booth at the Shop Till you Drop located at the West Monroe Convention Center, Friday, May 18th from 3:00-7:00 and on Saturday May 19th from 9:00-6:00.  The admission is $3.00 per person and admission for children 10 and under is free.

Please drop by to see and taste the delicious foods that Shelf Reliance has to offer.  These freeze dried foods look and taste great!  Shelf Reliance wants you to look at food storage with a new outlook.  They have programs for you to build up your food storage but also to incorporate it in your everyday meal planning.  They offer a program “The Q” where you can designate a portion of your monthly food budget towards building your food storage and the food will automatically be sent to your door.  They have a very wide range of products.  They are not just limited to food storage.  They have water storage containers, shelving for food storage, and many other preparedness items.

Please visit our website at to preview our product line and create a custom Home Store plan.

If you are not able to drop by the Shop till you Drop, you will have an opportunity to find out more about THRIVE products at Monica’s home party.  (Date to be announced later.) Come to the party and get the lowest pricing available!

Be sure to bring a Friend!!

These products are great! Check out the website and learn about the ordering program.

Thrive foods are foods that are offered by Shelf Reliance. Shelf Reliance is a company that was developed to satisfy the need for healthy nutritious, canned food that is affordable, tasty, and can even be delivered to your home. The Thrive program can even help you prepare a meal plan, a budget for your food storage and send it a little at a time to your front door. The link to follow will give you more information about thrive food. They have a calculator to help you figure out how much food storage you will need for your family.

Bridal Shower for Ruby Chang

Please Join us to celebrate the upcoming marriage of
Ruby and Brad

Monday, May 7, 2012

Preparedness Week 13

Well, we are now into week 5 of Kellene Bishop's preparedness tips.  Her website is
Clothing/Shelter Preparedness

By Kellene Bishop

When you think Clothing and Shelter Preparedness you need to think about them in terms of environmental control, durability, repair, and safety. These four aspects cover all of the potential considerations for being self-reliant in matters of clothing and shelter, which is why both are considered as one Principle of Preparedness.

First let’s take the clothing aspect. The clothing which you purchase today may end up being clothing that you rely upon long-term. I’m not just talking about some kind of a survival situation in which you end up wearing the same pair of jeans and tennis shoes for 11 days while you try to navigate your way out from under earthquake debris. Preparedness minded clothing actually involves much more everyday kind of thinking as well. For example, while the jeans you’re looking at may be absolutely head-turning adorable—verify that they are extremely durable, well crafted (so as to minimize repairs) and adaptable for future fashion trends as well. I’ll be perfectly forthright here, I love being a girly girl, dressing up, and feeling pretty. But I still keep my clothing tastes reigned in from a practical stand point and will then accessorize with more trendy, less expensive items to make my outfits more socially acceptable for both business and regular social environments. On the other hand, I have a small bin of clothes that I’ve purchased from the local thrift stores that may not be fashion friendly, but that are undeniable durable and necessary should my life take on more physical labor. I have a bin for both my husband and myself and for both cold and warm weather.
When it comes to preparing appropriately for the children’s clothing needs, I highly recommend making use of hand-me-downs from friends and family and thrift stores. If you find something that will work for future sizes of your children that is in good condition and durable, by all means, pay that thrift store price and sleep better at night! I recommend 3-5 outfits for each child, for both warm and cold weather, for the upcoming 3 years of anticipated sizes. As an experiment, I took some neighbor kids shopping with me one day at a thrift store. The children’s ages were 6, 8 and 11. For less than $13 per child I was able to get all of the outfits (with the exception of shoes, socks, and underwear) for each child. That’s right. Both warm and cold, 3-5 outfits, for 3 years of anticipated sizes. I specifically chose 2 outfits in bright colors—for easy identification purposes—and one outfit of dark colors—for strategic concealment if necessary. This is definitely a worthwhile focus of high value to consider in your preparedness efforts.
When it comes to shoes and socks and underwear, I personally believe in having an entire year’s supply of underwear and socks for everyone and three pairs of shoes on hand for their present size. The reason why I have allotted so much in underwear and socks is because my research of previous disasters always manifests a unique finding that these two items were oft requested and made a world of difference to survivors of traumatic circumstances. So such a goal is practical and preparatory from the standpoint that it allows me to assist others. I also find that the women and children shelters nearby are always in need of such items. The icing on the cake is that I’m constantly able to purchase such items for about 10 cents on the dollar by combining coupons with sales. (Please don’t allow yourself to believe for one moment that you are the exception to this rule. I’ve lived in all but 13 states in the U.S. and traveled all but 2 of them. Getting amazing deals on these items is very realistic everywhere.)
I find that my nieces and nephews go through 2 pairs of recreational shoes on an annual basis, and that’s just with regular wear and tear. If you consider the possible necessity of walking lengthy distances each day or more physical labor, then the 3rd pair of recreational shoes will be vital. Again, I have had no problem over the years purchasing such items for my husband and I, very, very affordably (I know, it’s not really even a word) by employing coupons coupled with sales.
As an aside, any time you can get your hands on shoe/boot strings for a deal, I’d snatch them up!
One other point that I feel merits restatement, is that even if you’re dressed for a special night out in your more “high brow” attire, always be sure that you have back up shoes and clothing in your vehicle. (This is one of the reasons why I always insist on driving.) Remember, I mentioned “safety” as a consideration for proper clothing preparedness. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation in which you curse those flip flops or 3 inch stilettos.
Shelters, such as our homes, tents, or campers, are simply an extension of our personal shelter needs met by clothing. A good shelter should provide protection from the elements, security from those who might harm us, and satisfy the emotional need of home. I always say, “Home is where my food is.” *grin* What I mean by that is even if you are uprooted and need to go somewhere else, if you can introduce familiar objects, meals, blankets, etc. into the new environment, then you will be able to satisfy the emotional needs of all of your family members.
Just as you do with clothing, you’ve got to anticipate some future needs such as tools and supplies for common repairs, maintenance, and modifications with the consideration of crisis circumstances—and above all—tools to ensure your shelter is one of safety. In a “lights out” scenario, I consider my tools of self-defense as critical as my tools which will hide the light in my home from outside viewers. Having plywood to board up my windows in the event of a hurricane is just as important to me in terms of safety as a well-stocked first aid kit. Quality shelter and the means to maintain it will go a long way to prevent the need for more extreme emergency measures.
Obviously, having appropriate tools, repair and maintenance supplies BEFORE a need arises is considered “preparedness.” Going to the hardware store after a major storm or tornado has been announced is called emergency preparedness. (It still baffles me all of the people who live in hurricane prone areas who don’t have any nails and plywood on hand when they know where they live and what the weather’s like.) Staying on top of structural issues, maintaining the proper function of doors, windows and piping—these are all components which ensure a more safe and reliable shelter. For example, poor plumbing could turn into a matter of life and death when sewage is able to back up into the home. Thinking as to how these kinds of matters will be addressed before they occur is vital—and obviously even more important than the typical “preparedness concerns” of food and water. While the body can endure long periods of time without either food or water and still live, hypothermia or heat stroke exposure can take a life in a matter of hours.
Part of my own considerations in being prepared in this area is to have plenty of “just in case” structure supplies. Duct tape, nails, 3 or 4 hammers, cordless drills (that are always fully charged) Visqueen/plastic tarps, stapler gun, plywood, rope, some 2 x 4’x AND homeowners/renters insurance are all key essentials to my Shelter Preparedness supplies. (I just bought a bunch of the window sealing kits for only $2 on clearance at Wal-Mart this past week—sweet!) All of these tools will come in handy for many potential natural disasters
and so much more.
Quality clothing and shelter will have an impact on the remaining principles of preparedness as
well, such as Financial Preparedness. While having a leaking roof may not be the end of the world to some, it could be a painful hit to a family that suddenly has to come up with a $1,000 deductible.

As always, Preparedness is an everyday affair and clothing and shelter is no exception to that rule of thumb. Safety, maintenance, meeting emotional needs—these are all matters which we focus on today and will need to focus on every day. When it comes to safety within one’s shelter, I personally believe that you can never been too careful. Locking the door as soon as you enter your home; screens on all of the windows; wooden dowels in each of the sliding windows to act as an additional stop; and even the placement of mirrors, wall art, and furniture all can be used as strategic safety measures for your home and those of your loved ones therein. The wide scope peep hole, establishing rule with what children convey to strangers on the telephone, outside lighting, etc., these are all a part of the Clothing/Shelter Principle of Preparedness.
Reminding you of another hard and fast rule, please, don’t “surprise yourself” with the use of the tools and resources you have planned for meeting these particular needs. Use the drill. Test those sealed windows at night and determine if
your visqueen is thick enough to hide the light. Assemble your big tent. Try the clothes on periodically. Surprise and stress do not mix well, I assure you. Become as familiar with the contingency plans and the tools you intend to use as possible.
While this particular principle of preparedness is vast, I hope that this article has at least done some good in getting your gears going and coming up with contingency plans and solutions as to how you can be better prepared in this particular area.