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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

New York policemen stand guard. Photo c/o Chris Hondros/AFP

New York policemen stand guard. Photo c/o Chris Hondros/AFP

Even hardened military personnel are taxed to their maximum ability when functioning as sentries for a structure round the clock. Regardless of how much military or emergency training one has, it’s simply unrealistic to think that anything less than 6 able-bodied adults can manage and protect a home in times of peril. Thus at some point it’s very likely that you will need to accept others into your home after a disaster that debilitates society as you now know it. Think about it. Let’s say that a home is “fully furnished” with a dad and a mom. In addition to the necessity of keeping watch on your home, there’s cooking, repairs, fuel acquisition (wood or otherwise) and ensuring that some semblance of comfort and normalcy are maintained. I dare say that most adults already feel strung out to their maximum capacity. So adding a 24 hour watch to your home with just the two of you either won’t happen or it will occur poorly. Either way that compromises your safety, so you will definitely need help. But who you trust and rely on to be a part of your home/community could be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. As such, this decision could be one of life or death proportions.

The circumstances in which you take individuals in will be a primary consideration for your decisions. For example, if the disaster is related to a pandemic illness, then taking ANYONE in could spread death to your home. If the scenario is one of a nuclear nature, then ensuring that they are clean from fallout would be an important consideration as well so as not to bring any radioactive material into your dwelling or spread to the occupants. Most other scenarios that I can think of at this moment are going to require considerations of a different nature yet it is those that I want to lay out what are the two most important considerations today.

die-hard-movie-posterTrust. Although we usually see these types of scenarios portrayed through Hollywood, there is still merit in appreciating how cowards and incompetents compromise the safety of all others around them. Remember the business executive character in Die Hard who thought he would make a move with the terrorists and benefit his own life? Instead he compromised the lives of at least two other people. How many times have we seen a movie in which the person who was told to “stay put” ends up not following directions and costs others their lives? While these examples have only been seen in the movies, they are realistic portrayals nonetheless. Thus those persons you bring into your home and community must be trustworthy. You must be able to rely on them to have a spine, follow directions, and that they will not compromise your safety and survival. In most instances, the cowardly and bullheaded persons around us are just as dangerous as the “bad guys.”

You want people in your community who are willing to contribute.

You want people in your community who are willing to contribute.

Contribution. Anyone who comes into your community should be capable and willing to make a contribution to the survival of the group as a whole. This can be in the form of vital skills, the ability to help with meals and chores, and also in the form of supplies when possible. They also have to be willing to learn to do things in the way that you’ve created as you’ve pre-planned for your scenario. In other words, you don’t want someone to come in, use up your supplies and then move along. They need to be an asset to you and your community. In a disaster recovery scenario, everyone except the sick and wounded must participate in the safety, well-being and functionality of the community. 

If it were me, I would recommend you making a list now while you’re calm and comfortable as to what you would expect from everyone in your community.  Then plan on enforcing it as much as is realistic in your scenario.

Obviously, being competent enough to judge and enforce what folks to bring into your community will require that YOU are properly prepared to defend and fortify your own. If you’re scared of your own shadow, you won’t exactly be in the best shape to play gatekeeper to your world.

Well, that’s my two cents for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this community matter as well.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

I’ll be blunt. I’ve rewritten the beginning of this article nearly 10 times now trying to lessen its uncomfortable impact. But it’s nearing 1:00pm already and I still haven’t successfully eliminated any discomfort the article may convey. So, I’m just going to say it like it is.

Charitable Preparedness. Photo c/o elllo

Charitable Preparedness. Photo c/o elllo

If you are smart, you will have a year’s supply of necessities for you and your family stored. But if you are wise, you will have extra supplies on hand for the refugees that you’ll inevitably encounter after a catastrophic event.

When I say refugees, I’m not talking about neighbors and family members who have willfully made no effort to prepare themselves—you know, those who think that they can just make a “Little Red Hen” play when things get tough. Whether you aid those individuals or not is a decision that is a very personal decision only you can make. (I’ve given you my two cents on this matter in a previous article.) When I say refugees, I’m referring to those who are displaced from their homes, their supplies etc. as a result of whatever disaster arises. It’s simply naïve of us to believe that we will only be aiding our own immediate family. Here are a few scenarios to get you thinking.

Scenario 1: A mandatory quarantine order is issued on Thanksgiving weekend while you have a house full of family and friends. No one is permitted to be out on the streets. What you have in your home is your survival and comfort supplies for those who find themselves stranded at a family gathering. (Hmm…for some this is a disaster in and of itself. :)).

Scenario 2: A tornado is heading for your area suddenly as you are out for a Sunday drive. Yes, you have a 72 hour kit in your car and yes, you have a year’s supply at home of necessities. But you are forced to immediately abandon your car and run for the nearest shelter—hopefully a person’s home with a basement. The home survives the impact for reasons only God knows. But the roads, power lines, and communication lines are destroyed in the wake of the tornado. Your automobile is somewhere out there…lying in a heap of course. Will the new friends you’ve made as a result of this disaster even have enough food and water for themselves as well as you sufficient to endure a few days or weeks while FEMA or the National Guard mobilizes for the clean-up and restoration of society?

In the event of an EMP, vehicles would be rendered useless and commuters would be stranded. Photo c/o losgatosobserver.com

In the event of an EMP, vehicles would be rendered useless and commuters would be stranded. Photo c/o losgatosobserver.com

Scenario 3: At 5:35 p.m. on a Friday night, the nation is hit with a fully debilitating electro-magnetic pulse. While you were fortunate enough to be in your home with your family in place, millions of others (some of whom you even know and love) are stranded right where they are. Think about it. Commuters, shoppers, night workers, expectant travelers at the airport, families enjoying dinner at a restaurant, parents and kids at a soccer game, etc. All of these people are stuck right where they are. Very few people have ever even conceived of a plan of what to do in such circumstances, let alone communicated it. So what do these people do? Do they begin traveling by foot? Will rampant crimes of unspeakable natures erupt? Yes. Will places of refuge be critical to the survival of all of these displaced souls? Absolutely.

We cannot assume that we will be comfy in our homes when a disaster hits. As all of you have do doubt experienced, trials never come at convenient times. I suspect that a major disaster such as I’ve described will be no different.

Countless narratives have been shared by the survivors of the World Trade Center attack. These narratives convey an almost super-human amount of charity, kindness, concern, and courage that was conveyed from one person to another as they struggled to escape the horror of the crumbling buildings. Not all who were affected by this event found this Christian side of them, but many, many did. I believe it’s impossible to squelch such an inclination in catastrophic types of situations. So what will you do when you encounter refugees from a disaster and you have nothing to offer them? Send them on their way empty handed? Perhaps you’ll be tempted to give of what little you have at the risk of putting your own family in mortal danger? Of course it’s simply not acceptable for us to shirk our duties to our own families in the name of helping others. Our forever responsibilities are to those whom we have been blessed with as a part of our family nucleus. But having to turn others away doesn’t sound like a comfortable moral dilemma to be in either, right? So, to put it simply, don’t put yourself in that position. Prepare for charitable preparedness now. Do so by asking yourself, “Do I have enough and to spare?” 

It’s not common for us to see real life angels nowadays. But that doesn’t mean that the work of our Lord ceases to go forth. The lack of celestial angels on the earth doesn’t mean that lives are no longer blessed. Rather our lives are blessed through the angelic service of others around us. In order to avoid a stressful moral dilemma, we would do well to be prepared to be charitable as well. Prepared is the key word though—not just assuming that you will give charitably when you are confronted with just the right faces of desperation.

Charitable Preparedness: Giving blankets to girls at Allahuddin Orphanage in Afghanistan. Photo c/o thinkbigadventures.com

Charitable Preparedness: Giving blankets to girls at Allahuddin Orphanage in Afghanistan. Photo c/o thinkbigadventures.com

Even though it’s just my husband and I in our home, why do I have extra square buckets laden with hygiene supplies? Why do I have pans large enough to prepare food for a small army? Why do I keep buying fleece when it gets drastically reduced at the local fabric store? Because I do not intend to live out a disaster with just my husband and I.  I WILL BE FULLY PREPARED TO AID OTHERS WHEN NECESSARY. Can we give any more sincere thanks to a God who blesses us than when we clearly accept some stewardship for the care and concern of others? Are we more convincing in our prayers of gratitude when we actually back it up with actions of charitable preparedness? If I can give them a meal and send them on their way without compromising my own safety and survival then I will do so. If I can provide them with some tools (such as razors, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and a toothbrush) so that they feel more like a human being than an animal, I will do so. Besides, as I’ve pointed out previously, thanks to the use of coupons it costs me nothing anymore to obtain these kinds of items. So what excuse do I really have not to prepare to be charitable and mindful of the needs of others?

I know that this article on charitable preparedness may be a bit stressful to you as you’re probably working hard trying just to get your own needs met. But let me ask you. Do you think you would have some extra Divine assistance getting prepared for your own family if you also had the well-being of others in mind? I’m quite positive you wouldn’t be “doomed” in any way for approaching your preparedness efforts in this manner. I can personally attest that I KNOW that I have been blessed with “enough and to spare” because of this charitable preparedness approach. I have a different level of peace knowing that even if my home is obliterated, I have PROVEN myself willing to aid others in a disastrous scenario. As such I can confidently trust that the Lord will provide for me if ever I find myself a helpless refugee.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Volunteer rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Volunteer rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Here’s a component of preparedness that few people think about—obtaining the necessary skills now that will aid in the rebuilding of our society in the aftermath.

Picture this. An EMP has wiped out all of our communications and electrical systems. After 6 months, many have died as the result of such a disaster, but what will those who have survived do now that our nation has been thrown back into the 19th century? Sure the wise will be able to survive about a year on what they have stored and prepared for such an event. But what about beyond that? Seeds and farming won’t solve all of our ails. Does anyone know how to work a steam engine anymore? Who will make the shoes? How will we obtain clothes? Who’s got skills such as metal work skills, medical skills, child birth skills, construction skills, weaving skills, etc. We need to prepare for that aftermath as well as the immediate aftermath of a disaster. 

Woodworking skills photo c/o bs2h.com

Woodworking skills photo c/o bs2h.com

This isn’t just about rebuilding a society. This is also about you developing a skill that you can use to provide for your family. Let’s say that you’re a CEO right now. I’m sure the paychecks are great. But in the event you survive a financial collapse or an EMP strike, your paycheck will cease and your skills as a CEO may bring you very little sustenance. People will be forced to only barter for that which they actually NEED, not titles. Your professional customer service skills may provide for your family now, but what kind of skills do you have to back that up with in the rebuilding of a society and providing for others? Even the most advanced computer programming skills will become insignificant if we experience any type of event like I’ve mentioned in previous articles. So think about this, and fix it. Be sure that you are will be a vital part of your community in the long-term aftermath. Start researching and learning these “old fashioned” crafts and trades such as woodworking, leather working, weaving, iron works, steam power, cheese making (yup, that’s what I’m focusing on…hee hee) Who knows. You might really enjoy it!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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Sorry, folks — I’ve taught two classes in the last day and been on the road six hours between classes, so there will be no article today. 

By the way, if you live in the Salt Lake / Utah County areas and I’m not teaching at your Macey’s, community center or church, give them a call! Insist on it! We’d love to bring the classes closer to you. Thanks!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

I’ve have to admit I’ve got buckets on the brain right now. A friend suggested that I share with you why that’s the case. To put it simply it could just be because that’s how I alleviate anxiety. But for some of you, buckets may be a way to peacefully organize your storage items, including food and preparedness supplies, in a more strategic manner.

5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lid photo c/o Home Food Storage

5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lid photo c/o Home Food Storage

I’ve stored food, medical, camping, and many other supplies in plastic buckets for as long as I can remember. They are tough enough to store nails in and very versatile. If there ever is a flood, I’ve ensured that a lot of the supplies in buckets will be undamaged, and if there is an earthquake, a great deal of the items will stay in tact and unbroken. I make sure that I use food-grade buckets only. When it comes to the lids, I use regular 5 gallon lids, but I have several gamma lids also. I replace the old lid with a gamma lid once I’m getting into the bucket regularly for items such as wheat, beans, and rice. The gamma lids have a great seal on the bucket, but can be easily unscrewed in the inner circle of the lid for my use. The gamma lids cost about $5 to $7, so that’s why I don’t just use them on all of my buckets. The 5-gallon buckets also have “toilet seats” for emergency sanitation. (I’d like to pat the guy on the back who came up with that idea.) I’ve been using 5 gallon buckets to store a great deal of my items almost exclusively until about 2 years ago. That’s when I discovered the 4 gallon square bucket.

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

Although only 42 years old, it doesn’t take much for me to throw my back out, so hefting a 5 gallon bucket isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. Also, when I see a group of round buckets, I can’t help but notice the space I’m wasting—both inside and outside the buckets. So when I discovered 4 gallon square buckets, my biggest concerns were alleviated. They are manageable to lift, they store nice and tight with the wall and other items, and are easy to fill more thoroughly. They can also stack about 6 or 8 high comfortably (depending on the weight of the contents). While there isn’t a “gamma lid” contraption for the square buckets, there are rubber sealed lids with essentially a flip open top. Much like I use the gamma seal lids, I use these more rugged lids in place of the standard ones when I’m regularly using the contents of a square bucket. They even have a nice little “stay open” feature when I’m scooping contents out. Then all I have to do is snap the lid back into place.

Since discovering the 4 gallon square bucket, I’ve begun using them even more than before. One way I utilize them is by storing all of the contents of a particular meal in a bucket along with the recipe. This way, I don’t have to go hunting for the various ingredients when I go down to my pantry. And in the event of a survival situation, I can give myself some peace of mind without having to stress “what will I cook?” since I label the buckets according to the meals that are inside. Sometimes I have enough for 20 servings in each bucket, sometimes 50. It all depends on how “ingredient intensive” the meal is. For example, for my Chicken Poppy Seed casserole, I put the Rice-A-Roni in a FoodSaver bag (in its original box), along with the cans of chicken, cream of chicken soup, Ritz crackers, poppy seeds, powdered sour cream, salt, and pepper with a large label on the bucket that says “Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole.” I’ve created several recipes for items which are “pantry friendly” that I know the hubby and others already love and have buckets of these meals stored accordingly. Can I just tell you what kind of a peace it gives me to go into the pantry and see buckets of meals that actually sound good and are easy to make? I mean really, which would you rather see? A bucket labeled “wheat” or a bucket labeled “Beef Stroganoff?” :)

When I use items from the buckets (which I do all of the time) I simply replace the ingredients with future grocery shopping trips OR with other items I have in my supplies. Either way, what I don’t want is a false sense of security when I see labeled buckets. I want to know I can rely on them to have the meals inside. It’s also MUCH easier to take a semi-annual accounting this way.

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Buckets are also great to keep other types of contents in them. For example, I’m frequently getting good deals on small bottles of olive oil. (Thank you, coupons!) Instead of stacking them on a shelf and leaving them to the wiles of an earthquake, I wrap them up with newspaper (again–thanks to coupons) and place them in a bucket marked “olive oil.” (Yes, I came up with that brilliant label all by myself. Hee hee.) Now, with these square buckets full of olive oil, I can easily and securely stack them on top of each other. Whereas with my large containers of olive oil that I got from a warehouse, all I can do is have their big selves take up space on the shelf or floor in a single layer. That sure is a waste of height, don’t you think? This way I’m not forced to shell out for expensive shelving for everything. The same goes with BBQ sauce, spices, salad dressings, etc. Some items simply come in awkward sizes and shapes, but the buckets sure make things nice and organized for me. Since I don’t buy my items “by the case” usually, I can’t store them that way. 

Here’s another thought. If I had only a day’s notice to move all of my things, wouldn’t it be a heck of a lot easier to take buckets out of the pantry than stopping to pack regular sized bottles or boxes of food and supplies?

I also use buckets for storing medical and hygiene items, as well as groups of supplies such as cheese waxing, egg preservation, sewing, dental, etc. This prevents me from purchasing or paying “too much”. What I mean by that is when I see deodorant on sale for 59 cents, I may think that’s a good deal. But when I go downstairs and see two buckets marked “deodorant,” I’m easily reminded that anything more than FREE is a bit expensive to me. In other words, when I know I’ve got a bucket full of a particular hygiene or medical item, chances are I already have enough and don’t need to spend the money.

Now remember, you can put diatomaceous earth IN your buckets of goods and prevent the insect critters from bothering anything. I would definitely put the DE in the bucket if it’s a grain, legume, rice, or pasta. But when you have a cluster of buckets full of items that don’t already come with their own supply of insects *grin*, then you can simply sprinkle DE around your grouping of buckets instead of putting it inside of them.

Where do you find these buckets? There’s several options. “Wally World” sells them, but I hate their prices. You can easily get used buckets that were used for food grade purposes. During the harvest season you can get them directly from fruit growers for 50 cents or so. You can also obtain them from bakeries in your local grocery stores for FREE. So try making a few calls and make the most of those options first. However, in many areas I’ve lived, getting them year round has been a challenge. Thus I’m in love with Five Star Preparedness as my bucket source for this reason. They have used, 4-gallon, food grade buckets all the time, and tons of them too. (You can get about 25-28 pounds of grain and such in each bucket.) Each used bucket and lid are $2 each. They guarantee that each bucket and lid will be in sound condition or they will replace it cheerfully. Even better, for those of you who are in Utah or who come through the area, if you pick up the buckets yourself they are only $1.50. They will ship them in increments of 10 all over the continental U.S. with no additional handling charge. Another option is that you can have them make a massive delivery to your area based on a minimum bucket order. Apparently they frequently have church and community groups that request these by the hundreds. The minimum bucket count for the order depends on where they are being delivered. You can also get the new lids that I mentioned as well for only $2. I found these same lids at “Wally world” for more than 3 times their price! You can e-mail them at fulfillment [at] fivestarpreparedness [dot] com or you can call them during business hours at 801-734-9596 (which is answered in the same office as our executive answering service in Utah.)

So now perhaps you’ll look at buckets a bit more differently. Didn’t you know? Plastic is the new gold? :)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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Genetically Modified Wheat photo c/o digitaljournal.com

Genetically Modified Wheat photo c/o digitaljournal.com

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

As if we need any more “signs, indicators, or reasons”, here is  yet another reason why I believe we all should be getting a year’s supply of wheat for our family. If GMO wheat is widely accepted, then that means that it won’t just affect your buckets of wheat that you may buy in the future. It obviously means that ALL products which you purchase which will contain wheat, or wheat by products, will also contain unwanted chemicals necessary for the GMO process.  I’m simply not a fan of those kinds of limited choices. Thus having my own supply of wheat is a must for me and my household.   Just some “food for thought” folks.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_19379.cfm

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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