Monday Musings: 9/9/2013

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Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share blog updates and interesting links.

First the blog updates…

299 Days:  The Visitors giveaway winner   We had the random drawing for 299 Days:  The Visitors  and reader David won the copy.  We have another giveaway planned for tomorrow – this one’s going to be unique – so please come back and check in.

What I did to prep this past week  Prices have not been as good as they are this month for Mountain House, so I ordered my favorite entree, Mountain House Noodles and Chicken. 

Two of our sponsors – Ready Made Resources and Camping Survival are both having great sales, so if you are in the market for Mountain House, please consider visiting them through our site.

Cleaning up the blog   I’ve been going through past articles, deleting old links and doing a general cleanup to avoid getting penalized by search engines.  I have to admit, this is the tedious part of maintaining a blog.  I’d much rather be writing and experimenting on stuff, but it still needs to be done.

On the plus side, I have some fun projects lined up that I cannot wait to report on, including the one I just tried below.

This really works!   You know I had to try this as soon as I read about it from Backdoor Survival – sharpening a razor blade.  I have a couple of used disposable razors in the bathroom drawer that I never discarded, hoping to find a way to sharpen them.  I followed the instructions in How to Sharpen Razor Blades for the Long Term  I also poured a bit of rubbing alcohol on the blade to speed up drying (I think I found this in the Sunday Survival Buzz)

I tested the razor that I tried it on and found it to be very sharp.  As long as the razor blades never rust, they can keep getting sharpened and will last for a long time.  This trick can really save money!

Now for the links…

Where does your chicken come from? I don’t like the idea of chicken all the way from China reaching my table, I don’t know about you, but we should at least find out where our chicken comes from.  See Chinese Chicken Processors Are Cleared to Ship to U.S.

Don’t trust the jerky treats either  This happened a little while back, but even pet treats are suspect.

Deaths of 500 dogs blamed on jerky treats, FDA says

I can remember the tainted cat and dog food recall from a few years ago, when I actually had bought some of that melamine tainted cat food.  Fortunately, I discovered the tainted food before I gave it to the cats, because one of the cat food cans exploded in the trunk of my car, leaving a huge nasty smelling mess that reeked for days.

Antibiotics for emergencies.   Even the hardiest of survivalists can have a bacterial infection that can be life-threatening without antibiotics.  Here’s a good article from Urban Survival Site that has good information on good ones to have.  See

 The 9 Best Survival Antibiotics

Denial can be Dangerous   A lot of people are still in denial about the need to prepare.  But even experienced outdoors men or women can make bad choices while in denial.  See DENY DENIAL:  Your most primitive survival skill can also be fatal

Don’t throw out your junk candles  Check out this project first – Recycle those Junky Candles into a Survival Firestarter from Survival Common Sense We all have candles or candle piece we no longer want.  This is another neat money saving idea that I can’t wait to try out.

That’s all for now, it’s back to blog clean-up for me.

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

 

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Budgeting for Emergency Supplies – the 60% Solution

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This is a reprint of an article I wrote a few years ago and it originally appeared on Modern Survival Online.

One of the issues to consider when preparing for a disaster is where to focus your spending:

  • Do you focus most of your money on buying supplies to prepare your house or apartment (Shelter in place)?

OR

  • Do you spend money on gear so you can leave your area when disaster hits (Bugging Out)?

We’ve struggled with this question ourselves.  Naturally you want to cover both scenarios all at once, but resources are limited so there has to be some direction to your spending.

Your choices will depend on your own particular situation, and on what you feel is the most likely emergency you will be facing.

Here are some considerations:

  • Do you live in or close to a major city?   Think about what will is likely to happen in your surrounding area if a disaster were to hit today.
  • Can you defend your home or neighborhood if necessary?  If you live in a close- knit neighborhood near people you can rely on, then you can potentially band together and protect your neighborhood and homes.  This would allow you to be able to stay in your home a lot longer.
  • Do you have a place to go in the event of a major disaster such as a cabin retreat or relatives you can stay with?  You do not need a cabin or retreat out in the woods; you just need to have a plan.  Identify friends and relatives you can potentially stay with should your area become uninhabitable.  Or plan out a route to a hotel in another town.  In either case you will need cash for gas and a hotel stay.
  • Would your family be able to leave on foot if needed?  There is always a chance the roads become impassable and you have to walk out of your area.  Would your family be able to leave?  If you really cannot leave, then you will most likely need to shelter in place.

In our case, we live in an apartment, in the middle of a large city.  We know that the city can potentially degrade into an unruly, crime infested area when a major large-scale disaster occurs, as in Hurricane Katrina.  We would want to leave before a powerful hurricane directly hits our city.

On the other hand, it is not always necessary to leave when an emergency occurs.  In 1992, we experienced the Los Angeles Riots.  For six days, thousands of people rioted, looted and burned parts of the city.   We got sent home early from work and drove for hours looking for a route around the rioting areas.  But once we got home, we stayed home until things calmed down.  Because the emergency occurred in another part of the city, and our utilities and infrastructure was not affected, it was a “shelter in place” type of situation.

At this point in time, we consider the highest risk to be economic in nature:  with high unemployment, rising fuel and food prices, and the country’s debt piling up.  So we concentrate 60% of our emergency preparation fund toward staying in our home.  We are purchasing food in bulk, storing water, having back up sanitation methods, communications, fuel, first aid and other supplies that may be too expensive or hard to come by, should there be a financial emergency.  Our supplies are also a hedge against inflation, since we are buying at today’s prices and using them sometime in the future if prices go up.

We also know that there could be a chance we may have to leave our home, such as a Category 4-5 hurricane, fire, civil unrest, etc.  The other 40% of our budget for supplies is going toward gear that will be needed to leave the area, such as hiking shoes, backpacks, portable food, a portable water purification system, First Aid kit, fire starter, tent etc.  We are getting our gear as inexpensively as possible, by shopping sales and buying quality used items where available.

One thing to remember is, the two options do not have to be mutually exclusive:  many items such as “Meals Ready to Eat”, portable water purifier, first aid kit and other light weight supplies can be brought along with you should you have to leave.  Just make sure you have all your supplies in one area that is easily accessible so you can grab them quickly.

You may feel differently and decide on a whole different set of threats to prepare for.   I would not recommend “putting all your eggs in one basket.”  Regardless of what area you focus on, the items that you buy now will be good insurance against whatever comes your way:  economic collapse, natural disasters or man made threats.

Get the real deal. Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

 For beginning preppers

Good ideas for building a food storage plan can be found here:

DebtProof Living

 

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Assemble your Pet Emergency Kit

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Dog in a harness - Copy

Many families have a family pet or two, and they will also need supplies in the event of an emergency.   The day before a hurricane or flood would not be a good time to run out of pet food or other supplies.  You don’t have to get everything together all at once, but today is a good time to get started.

The kit does not need to be in a fancy container – a 5-gallon bucket or a plastic crate would do.

What to Include:

Pet food – I keep an extra bag of pet food that is unopened for emergencies.  Most dry pet foods will keep for a year, but will start to crumble after a longer period.   I just keep rotating the bags.

Extra water – Don’t forget pets when calculating your household’s water needs.

Extra collar, harness and leash in case you have to leave in a hurry

Pet medicines and supplements – If your dog or cat is on Heartgard or some other vet prescribed medicines, keep a couple of extra doses for emergencies.  Similarly, if they are on supplements such as glucosamine, set aside a few spare tablets or even a bottle for the emergency kit.

Flea prevention treatments

Pet carrier – in case you have to evacuate

Backup food and water dish

Pet blanket or toy

A few other tips:

  • Make plans ahead of time of where you will head out to, in the event of an evacuation.  Many shelters do not allow pets, and only a few rare ones do.  The time to find this out is before anything happens, while you have the opportunity to make backup plans.

Pets naturally provide comfort, and we all need all the help we can get in times of high stress such as a disaster.  Take of their needs now, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

 

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Glen Tate, Author of 299 Days – Advice for Preppers and a Giveaway

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299 Days Volume 5 - Copy

299 Days: The Visitors (Volume 5)

I was excited to have the opportunity to interview Glen Tate, author of the 299 Days series of books.  Thus far I have read four of the books, soon to read Volume Five.  First, a quick background from the author’s bio:

Glen Tate has led an amazing life – and one that took a surprising turn. He grew up poor in the rural logging town of Forks, Washington. He worked hard to become a successful professional with a job in the political arena. Thinking he’d finally made it and everything was great, he was stunned to see how corrupt government is. From his observations at his job, he realized that America is collapsing and bad things are coming. Very soon. He began to prepare for him and his family to make it through the civil unrest of the coming collapse. That meant he had to return to his rural roots – quite a shock to his family and friends. Even more amazing was that he wrote down what he foresees happening during the collapse and it became a ten-book novel series published by Prepper Press.

On with the interview…

1.  The first book, 299 Days delves into the main character’s need to prepare, but his wife is not convinced.   Many preppers can relate to this predicament – what advice can you give them?

GT:  When dealing with non supportive family members, you have to stay calm and not be perceived as over-reacting.  The first thing you need to do is accept their position:  they feel your concerns are crazy.  Get them interested by appealing to what’s important to them.  For example, if they are concerned about the kids, then keeping the kids safe in a disaster would appeal to them.  On the other hand, if guns are a “turn-off” to them, downplay or stay away from that topic.  You know your relative or friend very well, so you already know their likes and dislikes.  Use whatever works in your favor to get them on your side.

Editor’s note:  This is excellent advice and I am going to try it.  I personally know people in my family who consider preparedness “just something that I do,”  One of the relatives is motivated by financial gains, so perhaps stressing how stockpiling can save money, while others are protective of their families.  Family safety in an emergency would be of interest to those relatives.

2.  Most of our readers live in big cities, and it is a big concern that cities will become unsafe in a disaster.  What would you say is the biggest obstacle to getting a bug-out location and what can you do about it?

GT:  The biggest obstacle to finding a bug-out location is money.  Not everyone can afford to buy land in a rural area.  While things are normal, write down a list of potential places, including names and addresses, that you can run to in the event of a large scale emergency.  Don’t store it electronically in the event there is no power.  This list can include friends and family whom you know enough to have contact information.  They do not need to be immediate family, but can be 2nd or 3rd tier contacts.  Try contacting them ahead of time and get a feel for how they would react.  If anything happens, such as an economic collapse, during the early stages, try and be the first one to ask.  Have something to contribute – bring your supplies with you.  Throw everything you can take in a U-haul trailer and get out.

3.  Grant Matson, the main character, has a group that he trains with – what do you think about defensive training for the average person who does not have the same contacts?

GT:  Spend as much on training as you spend on guns and ammunition.  Training is often overlooked but it is essential to build confidence and familiarity with your weapon.  Even if you just try something once, it takes the mystery out of it and you will not hesitate to act when the time comes.  You can practice at the range or even shoot at cans in a gravel pit.  You will carry yourself with confidence which also makes a difference in how people perceive you.

4.  In the book, Grant’s daughter learns how to shoot – what is a good age for children to start learning about the proper use of firearms?

GT:  It really depends on the child’s maturity.  Some seven to eight year old children have a readiness to learn while some may not be ready.

5.  Although ammunition is starting to become available again, they are still expensive.  What advice can you give?

- Stock up when you can.  Always get a few boxes as they become available.

- Consider team reloading.  Find a team you can do hand-loading with and share the cost.

-  Use 22s at the range.  If you can, get a 2nd gun that functions the same, mechanically, as your favorite gun.  This way you are training with less expensive ammunition.

6.  If you can only choose one rifle, what would it be?

GT:  I am an AK fan, but since the question is only of one type, I would choose the AR-15, because it is easy to operate ergonomically.

7.  We try to stay away from politics at Apartment Prepper, but what would you say is the biggest risk for our country at this point?

GT:  The problem is non-partisan, the country is borrowing too much, spending too much, and printing money too much.  Both parties are not acting fiscally responsible and the highest risk is economic in nature.

Politicians do try to do what the people want, and many or their constituents feel entitled and believe there is such a thing as a “free lunch”  The problem is, this willingness to take stuff is not sustainable.  An economic crash will cause problems to the political system, which in turn will cause social break downs.

The good news is we can all prepare while we still can and I feel I am doing what I am meant to do:  get people aware of the need to prepare and get the message out.

We had a great interview with Glen Tate.  Although the 299 Days series of books is pure fiction, Glen is an active prepper and has experienced or witnessed many of the situations described.  Thank you Glen for taking the time to speak with Apartment Prepper.

Now for the giveaway:

You can win a copy of 299 Days:  The Visitors

For a chance to win, just leave a comment below:

– What are your biggest concerns that you are preparing for?

OR

– What have you done lately to prepare?

The winner* will be chosen at random on Saturday,  Sept, 7 at 8 pm Central.

*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

 

 

The Prepper’s Pantry

The Prepper’s Pantry

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Monday Musings: 9/2/2013

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Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share blog updates and interesting links.

First, blog news…

Huge Mountain House Sale!  Our recently renewed sponsor, READY MADE RESOURCES is having their biggest Mountain House Sale ever, with discounts of 45-70% off while supplies last.  These are wholesale prices, so these sales don’t come around very often.  Due to the huge volume of sales expected, please allow two weeks for delivery.   Click on this link  https://www.readymaderesources.com/cart/storable-food-units/mountain-house-free-shipping-45-70-off-never-been-this-discounted/cat_201.html?_a=viewCat&catId=201&sort_by=price&sort_order=low

Or Call 1-800-627-3809

Take advantage and stock up while you can.

What I am working on.  I am still working my way through the reading and testing list that I mentioned last month.  We have giveaways coming up every week this month, so please read the next article.

Aquaponics photo from Back to the Roots

Aquaponics photo from Back to the Roots-I hope mine looks this good!

Getting ready for the second growing season    Texas has a second growing season late September through early October so I am excited about my upcoming project:  the AquaFarm home aquaponics garden  

It’s a self cleaning fish tank where you can grow food.  The beta fish waste is suppose to feed the plants, while the plants clean the water.  I received my order and will be trying it out this week.  Of course I will keep you posted!

Now for the links…

Great tips from yesteryear  Who knew 1911 was a good year for tips!  Check out The Art of Manliness article:

Things All Scouts Should Know: 16 Camping and Life Hacks from 1911

 

Do you know how to shut off your apartment’s utilities if you had to?   It would be a good exercise in preparedness to know where to look before a disaster happens.  See Advanced Survival Guide’s     Shutting off our Utilities after a Disaster 

When you want to erase your accounts.   I can no longer find the original link, but I am pretty sure I found this out via SurvivalBlog    

Just Delete Me offers a directory of links to delete your account from popular websites, and rates the difficulty.

This has happened to many bloggers.  I found out about his article from The Sunday Survival Buzz over at Backdoor Survival.  Having had this happen to me personally, I appreciate Todd Sepulveda over at Prepper Website shining a light on this issue.

 A Note of Courtesy for Prep Bloggers and Preppers who Read Them

I am happy to share my articles as well, as long as a link back to the original Apartment Prepper post is included.

I hope you are having a nice Labor Day.  Seeing Halloween candy and decorations being sold already, I feel I am being rushed.   Slow down and take it easy today!

Thanks for spending part of your day with me.   Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

ReadyMade Resources is a trusted source for your preparedness supplies-Don’t miss the Mountain House sale!

 

 

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Sourdough Bread Project

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Sourdough breadmachine bread

Bread making is good skill to have; I’d already made an artisan bread, and regularly make sandwich bread in the bread machine so I wanted to branch out.

An established sourdough starter can last for years and years, and can be passed from generation to generation.  In the old days, people even packed sourdough starter with them when they traveled, to avoid having to buy yeast.  However, since I don’t know anyone nearby who has tried this, I purchased my San Francisco sourdough bread starter from Amazon.

San Francisco Sourdough starter

San Francisco Sourdough starter

The packet contained dehydrated sourdough starter.  The instructions stated it needed to be activated by adding the the contents to a one quart wide mouth jar -  I used a large recycled glass jar.

Still following directions, I then added 1/4 cup water, plus 1/4 cup flour and stirred, making sure to add a lot of air into the mixture.  Then, I used a coffee filter with a rubber band around it as a cover.

Jar of sourdough starter on counter (1)

Jar of sourdough starter, covered with a coffee filter

Directions said to leave it alone in a warm area for 12-18 hours.  I left it inside the oven with the light turned on.

After 12 hours I repeated the process by adding 1/2 water and 1/2 cup of flour, mixing well and allowing air into the mixture.  Once again, I left it inside the oven with the light turned on.  This time, I placed a paper towel underneath, in case it bubbled over.

After another 12 hours, the directions said to discard all but 1/2 cup of the mixture, but add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour all over again.  The discarded mixture can be used to make pancakes.

Growing Sourdough starter

Growing Sourdough starter

The goal is to keep the process going until the sourdough mixture keep growing until it looks light and bubbly.  It took about three days of repeating this process before it looked “light and bubbly” to me.

Jar of sourdough starter on counter (2)

Sourdough starter is getting bubbly

More and more bubbles appeared as the days passed.  The mixture also kept increasing.  It had a pleasant, faintly yeasty smell.   Extra starter can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for use later.  I had plenty.  But once refrigerated, before you can use it, it has to be left at room temperature and mixed with water and flour to get bubbly all over again.

When I made the bread, I followed the instructions by adding fresh sourdough starter to flour, water and salt.  Then you had to leave the dough to rise for 4-24 hours.  At this time I was starting get impatient.  This sure takes a lot of time!  I did exactly that but there was a problem.  The dough did not rise to bread size.  I baked it anyway and it came out flat and hard.  But I was not ready to give up.

I checked online for an easier recipe that can be used in a bread machine.  I found one in the King Arthur flour website.  The difference is, you had to add yeast, while “real” sourdough breads should not require yeast.

I just wanted to see if I can make a loaf with a sourdough taste so I tried the King Arthur flour sourdough bread recipe

It worked and the resulting bread was very tasty, with a mild sourdough taste.  I admit I “cheated” a bit, but I was pretty pleased with the result.   It had the right amount of crust, and a fluffy texture on the inside.

Sourdough breadmachine breadUnfortunately for my sourdough starter, after a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, the mixture started to looking brackish and had a metallic odor.  I ended up throwing it away, but at least I got one good bread loaf out of it.  I’ll have to order another starter soon so I can try it again.

 

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How to Get News in an Emergency

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We had a lightning storm not too long ago and although we had power, we lost access to our TV channels for a couple of hours.  The satellite provider was out, and in some areas, cable was out, and people lost both internet and TV.    I am not talking about losing access to favorite shows, although some people can get very disturbed about this, they actually called 911.  In an emergency, you’d want to have access to local news just to see what’s going on.

Here are a few ways to stay connected:

  • News apps for your smartphone.  Many TV stations offer apps for smartphones, to give instant access to news, weather and traffic.  I personally do not have them, as many of these apps indicate they have access to personal information for advertising.  However, it’s an option.  Some counties also offer emergency alert apps as well.
  • Internet.   Assuming you haven’t lost internet access, you can get news from your favorite news sites online.  Google has a feature called Public Alerts which gives emergency information locally and around the world.
  • Social media.  If you have access, Twitter and Facebook updates will give you a clue what’s happening within your contacts.
  • “Rabbit ears”   Many of us remember these from when we were kids and our parents did not want to pay for cable.  When they work, they give access to basic TV channels.  I tried it but it did not work well in our unit.  The picture tends to be blurry, however, it may work for other locations.
  • Indoor HDTV Antenna   We installed one of these and the result was great.  We get all the free channels without having to be hooked up to cable, and the HD picture quality is excellent.

20130827_163109 - CopyMohu Leaf TV Antenna - Copy

Although we purchased it for emergencies when cable is out, I may not even mind cancelling cable service now that we have all the basic channels.

  • Weather radio   I always recommend having a weather radio with battery backup power in case you lose electricity.
  • Ham radio.  Ham radio is highly recommended by enthusiasts.  This is still in my to-do list, but I haven’t got the space just yet.

It’s good to have redundancy in your communications options, so you never feel “cut off” in an emergency.

 

Get the real deal. Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

 For beginning preppers

Good ideas for building a food storage plan can be found here:

DebtProof Living

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Monday Musings 8/26/2013

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Welcome to this week’s Monday Musings where we share blog updates and interesting links.

Who won The Prepper’s Cookbook?

Michelle was the lucky winner of the random drawing for The Prepper’s Cookbook.  Here was her entry:

Our food storage levels vary based on the time of year and how many people we have living at home at any given time (college kids). With the freezer/fridges I would estimate that we have about 3 months of food, perhaps more if we followed portion control and were creative with what we have. We only store what we eat, so I sometimes find us getting low in areas if I don’t monitor things carefully enough…especially when the young adults come home full time in the summers and eat through things without me realizing it.

Thanks to all who entered-we’ll have another giveaway shortly!

Reader review of Spiraling Downward  Below is a quick review of Spiraling Downward by Ron, who won a copy at our giveaway:

“I read Spiraling Downward, and  I thought it was very detailed oriented and well researched.  This is the type of book someone in economics would understand. I had a difficult time getting through it.  I did like how that the author provided hope and how America will overcome this economic spiral. He also mentioned  it would take time. Peter Damaris also emphasized how all the knowledge that we have accumulated will not be lost. Society will still have the  information. Thank you Bernie  and  thanks to Peter Damaris for donating this as a give away.”

I really appreciate when I receive comments or thoughts about a book they read or won at our giveaway.  It helps all of us.  Thanks Ron!

Now for the links…

Archer Garrett’s The Western Front Book 5 is outThe Border Marches, the 5th book in the Western Front Series, is now available on Amazon.  The story picks up where the Nine of the North left off.

 

For those new to Archer’s work, Part 1 of Book 1 in the series is available for free here: http://acotwf.blogspot.com/p/w.html

 

A Great Collection of Links   Don’t miss

100 Ways to Prep: Watch, Read and Tweet Your Way To Self Reliance

from http://mybugoutbaglist.com/

 

Something Many of Us have Wondered About  When someone in the family gets hit in the head, we all worry whether a trip to the emergency room is warranted.  Here is a good article for everyone from The Survival Doctor:

 

When You’re Hit Upside the Head: 6 Signs It’s Dangerous

Just in Time for Back to School  Mom with A Prep has these great posts

 How to Make an Emergency Survival Kit for Kids at School

  10 Survival Skills Every 12 Year Old Should Know

 Hurricane Season is Still Here

How To Hurricane Proof Your Home

How To Hurricane Proof Your Home [Infographic] by the team at US Door & More Inc

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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An Essential Ingredient for your Emergency Storage

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Reading the post What will the End be Like for Me if I Don’t Prepare,  got me thinking about things that I would really miss if no one was making them anymore.  Besides basic things like food and water, we take for granted many other items we use on a daily basis such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, trash bags, clothing, etc.  One item that came to mind is salt.  I decided we need to store more salt:  it is inexpensive and plentiful now, but if we were to run out, we would really miss it. 

I know too much salt is harmful, and too much of it is already present in processed food.  We all know that avoiding excessive salt helps lower blood pressure risk and stroke.  But I am talking about moderate use of this essential ingredient, as well as emergency uses:

Food

  • Seasoning for cooked food
  • Brining (or soaking meats in a salt and water solution) helps soften tough meats
  • Preserving meats and vegetables

First Aid

  • When dehydrated, you can restore the electrolyte balance in your system with a mixture of salt and water
  • Sore throat remedy:  mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle
  • Salt and water can be used to rinse wounds
  • Make a paste with salt and a small amount of water and apply on insect bites to relieve the itch.

Hygiene

  • Mouthwash
  • Aid for brushing teeth

Pest Control

  •  Pouring salt on snails, slugs and leeches will kill them

Hunting

  •   “Salt lick” will attract game

 Cleaning

  •  Salt can be used as a general cleaner.

Storing Salt

Salt does not go stale.  If it hardens during storage, you can crush it back into tiny particles.

Try to store about five pounds of salt (more if you have the space) per person as a year’s supply.

Store in a cool, dry, place in an airtight container. 

Keep away from toxic chemicals such as gasoline, as it will absorb the fumes.

If you have limited space, at least store a few canisters in your pantry.  At 2 for $1, it’s inexpensive enough to fit any budget, and you’ll be glad you have extra just in case.

 

ReadyMade Resources is a trusted source for your preparedness supplies:

 

 

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The Government Expects YOU to be a First Responder During an Emergency

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There have been several large disasters in recent memory – Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes, ice storms, where hundreds of people lose vital infrastructure, or are displaced, taking weeks or longer to recover.  A state of emergency is declared, sometimes even ahead of the event, and in the aftermath, people bemoan the fact that the government wasn’t around to provide much needed help.  Well, the truth of the matter is, the government does realize emergency services will not be around to provide immediate assistance as soon as a disaster happens and they actually rely on people to be able to help themselves and their community.

It’s true, the FEMA website states the following:

"Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and 
medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services.
 Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road 
blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they 
have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have 
to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life 
saving and life sustaining needs.
One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, 
fellow employees and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each 
other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where 
untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people 
lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price 
to pay and is preventable through training."

They actually provide classes so you and I can handle ourselves in the event of a disaster, called CERT.

What is CERT?

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team.  These are a series of classes provided in many counties all over the country, to train people in disaster preparedness.

Some additional background from the FEMA website describes CERT:

"The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual 
will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a 
disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement its response 
capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as 
neighborhood, business and government teams that, in essence, will be 
auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to 
victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had 
the training and collect disaster intelligence that will assist 
professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources 
following a disaster. Since 1993 when this training was made available 
nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have 
conducted CERT training."

I picked up a flyer in our community that showed upcoming classes on:

-Disaster Preparation

-Fire Suppression

-First Aid

-Incident Command

-Search and Rescue

-Disaster Response

-Hazardous Materials

Classes are usually held in a fire station or other community meeting place.  Some of the supplemental classes cover

  • Amateur radio operation
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Automatic External Defibrillation (AED)

These skills can certainly come in handy in a disaster.  Start searching for classes in your area here.  

You’ll need to search around a bit – some of the community sites are not the easiest to navigate.  You may have to copy and paste your area’s website into your browser in order to reach it.

The government knows they can’t be around to help in a big disaster, and they implemented a program to help people learn disaster preparedness skills.  Whether you’re watching your pennies or have a big prepping budget, learning these skills can be valuable.  And since we’ve already paid through our tax dollars, you can’t beat the price – free.

 

 

 

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