alternative uses for items


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By Kellene Bishop

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o thereadystore.com

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o thereadystore.com

While I am able to obtain produce periodically, I have to say the majority of the fruits and vegetables in my food storage are of the freeze-dried variety? Why? Cost and convenience.

Consider this. I can purchase a flat of fresh blueberries for $30-$35 at a farmers market. Undoubtedly there will be some waste, bruising, and I may or may not be able to use them all before they spoil. I will also need to wash them and dry them off prior to using (depending on what I’m making with them). However, if I purchase a #10 can of freeze-dried blueberries, I still get 90-95% of the ORIGINAL fresh produce nutrition, without any bruising or waste. Plus there’s no need to wash and dry them, or to sort through them and clean off any stems. The freeze-dried produce is picked at their prime and I get them without any pesticides or any other “yucky” ingredients. In addition, the shelf life of the brand I prefer (I haven’t checked on ALL of the brands) is 20 years. Not only that, but the Blue Chip brand (a.k.a. Morning Moos) also guarantees that AFTER you’ve opened that big #10 can, it’s guaranteed for its taste, texture, and nutrition for a full 18 months! So there’s no need to be overwhelmed at the thought of opening the can.

My husband and I munch on the freeze-dried fruits as snacks quite frequently during the day. And when I watch for the sales, I’m paying LESS than I would have had to pay for fresh produce.

Photo c/o freeze-dried-food.com

Photo c/o freeze-dried-food.com

The benefits of freeze-dried foods deserve restating:

Last 20 years on the shelf
Last 18 months after opening
No yucky ingredients
Taste great
Easy to use
AND COST LESS

Sometimes the “costs less” component of freeze-dried foods is hard to wrap our minds around. We think in terms of paying $1.29 for a small pint of berries, for example. But then when we see the price tag for a #10 can of freeze-dried produce at $25-$30, we choke. Keep in mind you’re getting a LOT of produce that can easily replace a flat of produce you would purchase elsewhere.

As opposed to dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods reconstitute with much less water and time. In fact, in many instances, I don’t even bother reconstituting a lot of what I use by relying on the moisture in the dish I’m making or the heat from cooking to do the work for me. That way I get a much fresher, powerful burst of flavor. Even better, with freeze-dried products I don’t have to waste freezer space on the items which may or may not taste mushy or get freezer burn.

Even more important, these foods are really nutritious FOODS as opposed to somethings I bring home from the processed foods aisles. Can words ending in “oxins” “ose” “itrates” or ithin” really be considered “food?”

Freeze-dried foods also look prettier and more appetizing in my meals. I recently purchased a muffin mix with “real blueberries” in it. The “blueberries” were just shredded little bits. So the next time I had a hankering for blueberry muffins, I simply put some of my whole freeze-dried fruit in them. My volunteer munchers scarfed them down.

The other day I made jam in a jiffy just by using a little bit of sugar, the freeze-dried raspberries (or strawberries or blueberries) and some water. No cooking or refrigeration was required. And just as important it didn’t require an entire day of canning. I just made up exactly how much I needed/wanted to go with my homemade bread.

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Ultra MaxiGel Jam/Syrup

1 cup Morning Moos (Blue Chip) freeze-dried raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. UltraMaxigel
Water (about 1 cup+)

Blend all ingredients well with a high speed mixer or blender. Add enough water to create the consistency you prefer. You may add more water for a syrup consistency as well.

That brings me to another point of using freeze-dried fare everyday. It’s so simple. The recipe I just gave you is easy enough that a 4-year-old could make it. For example, when I’m making meatloaf, I just throw in a handful of freeze-dried spinach flakes and some freeze-dried red and green peppers that are already diced up. Cooking with freeze-dried foods simply couldn’t be easier.

As you may be able to tell, this food isn’t “just” for food storage. In fact, I kind of think of the two words “food storage” as a bit of a nasty connotation in my home given that I use these kinds of ingredients every day. While these types of products may be great FOR food storage, these everyday items are vital ones of convenience in my home. So keep your eyes open for freeze-dried products in your area. And if you have any doubts as to the taste, write to the company and ask for some samples to be sent to you before you spend the money on them. I’m a true convert to this kind of product—especially when it comes to my produce.

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

expiration-date-browniesIf you’ve read my articles in the past, then you know that I usually take issue with folks who are naïve and spread their ill-informed opinions around—usually to the demise or hindrance of other’s preparedness efforts. Well, yesterday I was commenting on a couponing forum to a gal about how her addiction to brownies no longer needed to be hindered by the expiration dates on her mixes if she was properly equipped with a FoodSaver. Unfortunately, a naïve, very ill-informed person got after me and claimed that it was unethical and just plain wrong for me to tell anyone that they could store any food product for that long. She even went so far as to present the grid that FoodSaver publishes which is their official claim in terms of how long food can be preserved with the benefit of a FoodSaver. (Obviously, the claims were nowhere near the time periods I had expressed.) So, today’s article is in honor of those who have been duped into believing that the expiration dates printed on a food product are some kind of a Cardinal rule to live by. And I’m even going to tell you exactly why they are not.

In a previous article I shared with you that “expiration dates are created for one reason and one reason only” and that was to protect the food manufacturers from any legal liability. It’s not liability from food poisoning so much as it is false advertising. For example, if you store your cereal that claims it has 100% of a days worth of Vitamin C, well, that won’t be accurate if you store it forever, right? Eventually the nutritional value will be lost and yet they will still have printed on the box an assertion regarding the Vitamin C content. With this article however, I’m also going to show you a couple of other darker sides in the use of expiration dates.

One of my food storage heroes, Wendy Dewitt

One of my food storage heroes, Wendy Dewitt

First of all, let’s face it. Food doesn’t poison a person. Germs and molds IN the food do. So let’s make sure we’re battling the correct culprit here. If you can store a food in such a way that you inhibit the growth of “critters,” then you will outlast the deadline of any expiration date on the planet. Oxygen, light, and heat are your enemies when it comes to preserving food. If you can control the exposure your food has to those beastly enemies, then you can control the longevity of your foods. One of my personal food storage heroes, Wendy DeWitt, has successfully stored Snickers candy bars for eight years by adhering to this battle plan. (How she refrained from eating it that long is beyond me.) The Snickers tasted just as wonderful as it did the day she bought it. I have successfully stored brown sugar, brown rice, oats, Keebler Fudge-Striped Cookies, nuts, chocolate chips, Peanut M&Ms, pudding mixes, Rice-a-Roni, and other packaged foods (even with hydrogenated oils) successfully in my cool, dry, basement for over 10 years by eliminating oxygen, light, and heat!

Of course there’s no manufacturer on the planet that is going to say “You can store this $2 box of cake mix for 10 years, so stock up when they are on sale and never think about buying them again for 10 years”, right? Think about this for a moment. You can store sugar for years and years. You can store cocoa for years. You can store spices for years. And you can store oils for years. So what makes a package of brownie mix exempt from being stored just as long? Oh. It’s that mean, ole’, ugly, expiration date on there, eh?

Rotting macaroni. Photo c/o wichita.edu

Rotting macaroni. Photo c/o wichita.edu

This leads me to another one of the dirty little secrets of the food manufacturing industry. Another key reason for issuing an expiration date on a particular product (and in some cases their 1st consideration) is for marketing purposes. They don’t want you to take advantage of that special at the grocery store in which you can get a box of brownie mix for only .47 cents, stock up, and not buy their brownie mix again for years. Their strategy, when they work with retailers to create a special sale, as well as print and distribute coupons, is that you will TRY a product that you may not have tried otherwise, and/or to increase their sales by 3-12% in order to keep stockholders happy. But darn it. They can’t combat the savvy couponers out there who will stock up on products when such deals come along and who then buys 10 boxes of brownies, or cereal, or pasta sauce, etc. So what counter measures do they employ in order to force even the coupon crazies to fall in line and buy the product again and again? They convince the consumers that the food will be rotten, disgusting, and just plain scary after the expiration date. This isn’t about rationing food or keeping you safe, folks. This is about selling more product. Tell me you haven’t fallen for it before? Sure the cereal tastes stale after it’s sat in your pantry for too long. But you didn’t repackage it, did you? Sure you’ve had salad dressing that goes rancid after being stored too long. But that doesn’t make the expiration date rule the be all and end all for every food. (Note: I haven’t found a way to make salad dressing last much longer than 6 months outside of refrigeration past the expiration date. So instead I like to also store items that I can successfully MAKE dressings with to use on my sprouts.) 

Also, here’s another little secret to let you in on. When the coloring changes in a food, it does NOT mean that the original nutritional value has been altered yet.

About 8 years ago I read a study that the Army had done to determine the expiration of MREs. (I WISH I had known that I would be writing like this professionally many years later so that I could provide it to you. But even a lengthy look on Google didn’t turn up anything—yet.) While MREs are indeed created to undergo more extreme storage conditions, the key results of the study were interesting. The Army study discovered that despite the intended expiration date of 3 years the meals continued to provide their original nutrition value for 25 years and only then began to have coloration variances.

Just in case some of you are wondering what the heck a FoodSaver has to do with significantly extending the life of your foods, I’ll remind you of one of my well-used tactics.

Foodsaver lid. Photo c/o cabelas.com

Foodsaver lid. Photo c/o cabelas.com

You can stuff a Mason jar with any dry ingredient such as rice, nuts, chocolate chips, granola, etc. Place the lid, no ring, on the jar. Connect the air port from the FoodSaver to your Mason Jar attachment with the hose that comes with the FoodSaver. Place the jar attachment on top of your jar. Turn on your FoodSaver, and bzzzzzz…a moment later you have successfully sucked out the oxygen from your jar. After doing so you should store it away from heat and regular light. As such you will win the battle against expiration dates.

Foodsaver Canister

Foodsaver Canister

Here’s some really good news. As it turns out, if you have the canisters that typically come with the FoodSaver, you don’t need the Mason Jar attachment. All you have to do is put the jar with the lid on it inside the canister and then seal the canister like you would with anything else inside. Doing so actually sucks the air out of your jar. Simply remove the seal to the canister once you’ve done the seal process and then store your jar. Pretty cool, eh? (To be on the extra safe side, I would use the jar sealer though if I had my druthers.) The nice thing is WHEN you do get into that jar of Peanut M&Ms, so long as you don’t ruin the lid trying to dig in feverishly, you can simply reseal the jar again and again. In fact, since your seal is not reliant on the rubber ring getting hot, you can even use old lids that you may have left over from other canning projects. Simply make sure they are nice and clean when you use them.

Just in case any of you are looking for the jar attachments, FoodSaver isn’t offering the regular sized one right now, only the wide-mouth. But a Google search will easily pull up several options for you.

Well, I hope that clears up expiration dates for you. And I hope that you are never duped by them again.

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

germ-cartoonSalt and pepper shakers, currency, and microwave touch pads are the enemy—at least if you’re trying to keep your family healthy and well—especially during the flu season.

We really do take cleanliness and sanitation for granted, folks.  I think the only reason why some things are on my radar is the result of my time spent living in the Philippines. So for that, I’m grateful!

Let’s talk about some major germ spreaders we encounter in our home and out in public.

  • Public—Salt and pepper shakers. Think about it. Have you EVER seen someone cleaning them? I’ve worked in restaurants plenty in my life, including as a manager, and I can tell you that I’ve never cleaned the outside of those. Refilled them, yes. Sanitized the outside, no. You’ve got artifacts younger than the germs on those things.
  • Public—Condiment jars. Same with the salt and pepper shakers, although errant kids are less likely to stick their dirty fingers inside and play with them. So if you do use the jars at your table, use a napkin on your hand to protect yourself from the germs. And please, don’t use the same napkin to wipe your mouth.
  • Public—Door handles. Again, you simply don’t see those ever get cleaned. Sure the glass gets wiped down periodically. But the door handle to any mall, office, etc. is a festering pool of germs just waiting for you to
    Photo c/o dsc.discovery.com

    Photo c/o dsc.discovery.com

    give them a good home. So, what do you do? Well, ideally make use of someone else opening the door whenever possible. If that’s not available, I always tuck my hand under my shirt and grab the door handle that way. Yes, I did say “always.” I am especially adamant about doing this in the restrooms as well, even when I go into a stall. I KNOW what someone was doing before they touched that handle. I’ve never seen someone clean the handles specifically. And even if they did, they get nasty each time they are touched. (Am I starting to sound like a germ-ophobe?) So, when I go into a stall, I use my shirt to close/latch the door. When I leave the restroom, I use the paper towel that I just dried my hands with. In those pesky restrooms which only give you the option of “blowing your hands dry” I still use my shirt on the handle.

    Speaking of restrooms, when a sink has handles that you have to turn on and off yourself, it kind of defeats the purpose of cleaning your hands when you have to touch the same handles that everyone has touched right after they’ve done their business. So if it’s not an automatic water flow, then use a paper towel or your elbows if necessary. (It’s not quite as bad as being a contortionist.)

  • Public—Shopping Carts. I’ve started seeing more and more grocery stores offer sani-wipes at the entrance of the store for customers to use to clean off their shopping cart. Question: Do you take the time to use them? Even if all you’re going to pick up is a few things, don’t lift that basket handle without cleaning it.  I’m all for cute babies and kids. But I’ve seen what they put on their hands. This gets on the handles. You wouldn’t pick up someone else’s poo with your bare hands, so why would you put your bare hands on that shopping cart? Sorry folks, but yes, it is indeed very much the same thing.
  • Photo c/o esquire.com

    Photo c/o esquire.com

    Public—Currency. Believe it or not, money is the WORST offender in spreading germs. I’ve heard of money launderers, but I don’t think they are actually cleaning the money. Your only defense is to make sure that you sanitize your hands whenever you touch it. This is one reason why I prefer to use my debit card instead of cash. I rarely have cash in my wallet. Now my husband knows why.

  • Public—“Sign here, please.” Those pens and signature utensils that are used at the check stands are rife with germ invaders. Again, have you EVER seen those cleaned? This is why I always have my own pen with me to sign documents, etc. And yes, I do clean it regularly. For the credit card processing machines, I either use my own pen with the ink retracted, or my finger on the screen.

Whether you’re a clean freak or not, you still have a great deal of germ farms in your home. Be mindful of keeping the cupboard handles, door handles, microwave touch pads, table edges, and toilet lids clean.  Ignoring that pesky bathroom carries more with it than just seeing the dark ring develop in the tub. That dark ring is also full of dead skin particles and old germs that are living it up in a warm, wet location. If nothing else, spray your tub down regularly with a daily bathroom cleaner. And by all means, wash your hands before you eat–pah-leeze!

Germs Are Not for Sharing illustration by Marieka Heilen

Germs Are Not for Sharing illustration by Marieka Heilen

While this all may seem excessive to some, keep in mind that germs grow and become more powerful when they are allowed to flourish. Yes, some germ exposure for our bodies is good in order to build up our immune systems. But unfortunately, a lot of the germs we’re exposed to nowadays are from feces. (I know. Gross, right?) I have yet to find even a back jungle culture that exposes their members to feces germs in order to make a man stronger. It’s great if you are mindful of sanitation. But unfortunately others simply are not. Even if they wash their hands after using the restroom, they are still inevitably exposing themselves to the germs of others who do not. I’d much rather be safe, rather than sorry, wouldn’t you?

As you may have guessed by now, I carry with me hand sanitizer as well as my own pack of sani-wipes for those instances in which they aren’t available. Start thinking like a germ and you and your family may actually ride out the flu season unharmed.

Well, gotta go. I just had a sudden urge to go clean the handles all over my home.

Germ Warfare – Part II

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

Photo c/o Self-Reliant Sisters

Photo c/o Self-Reliant Sisters

Far too many folks I’ve spoken to have shared with me that they have their 72 hour kit and thus are ready for an emergency. Before I go into detail about the contents of 72 hour kits, I’d like to make perfectly clear that 72 hours kits serve one purpose and one purpose only – to aid you IF you are forced to flee your home and relocate somewhere else for safety and supplies.

That’s right. A 72 hour kit is not to live off of through the duration of a disaster. For crying out loud, you’ve got teenagers whose meltdowns last longer than 72 hours. What kind of a silly person would think that a 72 hour kit is intended as survival for anything else but to aid in a “bug out” scenario? 

I will admit, I have 2 levels of “72 hour kits.” I have one that is VERY minimalistic in a large backpack, and I have another one that is much more inclusive and requires my rolling suitcase or a hand-pulled wagon to be mobile. If I’m unfortunate enough to have to travel in the midst of an emergency, then there’s a pretty good chance that I would be able to throw on the backpack and still pull the rolling 72 hour kit behind me as well.

That said, I want to remind folks that there should be sufficient consideration for providing mobility for those in your home who may not be able to carry their own 72 hour kit. I’ve seen folks pack enormous 72 hour backpack kits for their 4 year old daughter. Ugh! If you’ve got young ones or fragile elderly that are accompanying you on your emergency trek, be sure to pack sufficient supplies AND make sure that you’ve got a wagon or something to ensure that everybody and everything is mobile in case you aren’t able to travel via automobile. 

HugaMonkey Baby Sling

HugaMonkey Baby Sling

Wagons, bicycles, bike side-cars, jogging strollers, carts, and rolling suitcases are great resources to transport your belongings. Be sure that you also consider a carrier for the young ones that don’t interfere in your own mobility. (I HIGHLY recommend the HugaMonkey Baby Slings. They work well with newborns in sleep/nursing position, as well as babies a bit older in the forward or on the hip position.)

Another consideration is the transportation of your pets. Are they the kind that can safely join you on a voyage or will they require that you carry them? Do you intend to take them with you? If so, do you have the necessary supplies so they can endure a 72 hour period safely as well? I’ve managed to raise two “sissys” with my little pooches. They aren’t the big husky kind of dogs. So a leash WITH a harness would definitely be necessary for them but so will some accommodation for relief from lengthy walking. I have foot covers for them so that they won’t experience too much strain on their feet in comparison to the carpeting. (Yes, I am embarrassed to say that I’ve raised two wimps.)

The key to a quality 72 hour kit is to minimize the impact of the size and space of everything you are packing. This is why I use coupons to obtain trial sizes of items (for free usually). Bug out or not, you still need to have everything available that you use on a regular basis. Hygiene, clothing, sanitation, food, water, clothing, medical, light source, utensils, shelter, self-defense, communication supplies, bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, some currency, etc., etc., etc. It’s not a bad idea to have a 72 hour kit available in your office as well. The likelihood of you being at work when all heck breaks loose is substantial.

You also need to be sure that you’ve properly packaged the items in your 72 hour kit. When I’ve done home assessments for emergency preparedness, 72 hour kits are frequently accompanied by granola bars that are old, dry, and pungent! Yuck! So, not only do you need to package items so they stay usable, but you also need to refresh items in your 72 hour kits. You can’t afford to create them and then forget them.

72-hr-kit-living-willImportant documents are also critical to have on hand in your 72 hour kit. Let’s face it. If you’re having to use your kit, it won’t be under ideal circumstances. Having copies of items such as your will, deed to the home, title to the car, drivers licenses, birth certificates, wedding certificate, etc. should all be a part of your 72 hour kit. Such evidence may make the difference between you being allowed into “door number 1” or a less desirable “door number 2.” You may also want to sock away an emergency debit or credit card in your kit as well.

Tomorrow I’ll provide for you a detailed list of supplies I recommend for your 72 hour kit. Until then, keep prepping!

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

(Sorry folks. It had to be addressed eventually.)

This will either be the worst article you’ve read from me, or, if you’re female, it may be one of the best.

menses-preparation-TampaxLadies, exactly what do you intend to do during a prolonged emergency survival situation when you’re not able to obtain feminine products which you’ve grown accustomed to? I admit, I’m storing loads of these kinds of products, but frankly, I’m intending to use feminine pads as bandages, if necessary.

Keeping in mind that sanitation is critical to the health of everyone around you, and the fact that a hot running water shower won’t come easily, I think it’s important that women take alternative options into consideration in dealing with their menses.

Realize that the comfort and care of a female during this period of time may not be isolated solely to experienced women. If you are the mother of a young daughter who happens to enter this phase of her life during a survival situation, it can be pretty traumatic if she has to do so the way the pioneers handled it. (ie: stuffing rags, ergo the term we hear sometimes today, “on the rag.”)

So what are your options? Well, you can store a lot of feminine pads and tampons and take up a lot of valuable space in your storage. Or you can plan on doing it the pioneer way by ripping strips of rags to use in lieu of a tampon and constantly change them, thus using lots of fuel and water to sanitize them. Or you can use a menstrual cup.

DivaCup photo c/o gladrags.com

DivaCup photo c/o gladrags.com

A menstrual cup resembles a diaphragm. It is reusable and easy to sanitize with some potable water and a mild soap. They are about 2 inches long and about 3 inches in diameter. The good ones are made of a soft plastic silicon for comfort. (Beware of those made with latex!) They are inserted much like a tampon would be and they collect the menses flow. They do not absorb the flow. Unlike tampons, there have been no reports of Toxic Shock Syndrome associated with their use. A menstrual cup can even be left in place for 12 hours on light flow days without any adverse consequences.

You should plan on having one menstrual cup per year per person—contrary to what the advertisements say about using one for 10 years. I definitely would NOT plan on relying on that statement. A menstrual cup should not be used for any other purpose and it should not be shared with any other person after use.

The cost of a quality menstrual cup is about $35-$40. Frankly, considering the cost of feminine pads and tampons, it’s no wonder menstrual cups are used regularly in many European countries. I recommend the DivaCuptm.  It has extensive benefits vs. more generic and less researched brands and it does not contain any latex or nitrosamine. You can obtain them easily at drugstore.com where there have been times when I’ve seen great discounts there for any item you purchase.

Ok. Well, now that I’ve gotten that topic out of the way, tune in for less “icky” topics. :)

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!

By Kellene Bishop

Pandemic or not, the time to prepare is now. Photo c/o ehow.com/

Pandemic or not, the time to prepare is now. Photo c/o ehow.com/

A lot of folks are e-mailing me or commenting that they don’t buy into all of this “hoopla” about the Swine Flu. My response is that it doesn’t matter whether or not the Swine flu amounts to anything at this moment, you STILL need to prepare for it. The point is that you should be preparing for the Swine Flu, Avian Flu, or Alien flu (yes, I made that up) the same way that you prepare for any other “disaster.” The only significance of the Swine Flu is the matter of timing. Due to the flu season and school starting back up, we MAY be looking at an imminent pandemic threat very soon. The fact of the matter is, you all still have a lot to do to get prepared to survive without all of your niceties that you’re used to. Just because the Swine Flu flurry may be perpetuated unnecessarily doesn’t make it any less of a circumstance to reckon ourselves with. I think that the issue with the Swine Flu being so pervasive in our minds is simply that it’s something that’s a bit more real to us. The timing of it is more visible. No one (who’s willing to admit it anyway) saw 9/11 coming. No one saw the damage that the tsunami was going to bring with it, and no one saw the complete disaster and horrible aftermath that Hurricane Katrina let loose on Louisiana either. Ask yourself, if you had a major earthquake tomorrow, would you be prepared? If your children all came down with some nasty flu and you were quarantined, would you be prepared?

Whether or not the Swine Flu ends up being equivalent to the Spanish Flu of 1918 is irrelevant. Yes, the Spanish Flu killed hundreds of millions of people. Yes, it affected virtually every part of the earth, even the Arctic and remote islands of the Pacific. But its biggest danger was that it came to people who were unaware, unlearned, and unprepared for such an instance. Thus what’s truly important is that you prepare for a pandemic situation like it right now while you can.

Here is a list of items for you that I recommend you have on hand in case you do end up having a patient who’s ill with a highly contagious flu virus. You will want to cordon off a room in your home for the care of such a person in order to avoid the unnecessary spreading of the virus. This list takes into consideration that you may or may not have electricity. (Obviously, this list is not all inclusive)

Items to Cordon Off a Sick Room

  • Air filter                     
  • Fan                                         
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Shower Curtain        
  • Sheets/pillow cases               
  • Heavy blankets          
  • Cot/bed                      
  • Bleach                                    
  • Rubber gloves            
  • Air masks                   
  • Hair ties                                 
  • Shower caps              
  • Thermometers           
  • Multiple sets of sheets                       
  • Ways to keep sick room dark           
  • Washcloths                
  • Portable water bins               
  • Capacity to heat water w/o electricity
  • Towels (paper and cloth)

 Items Necessary for the Comfort of Patient

  • Fabric for bandages (sanitize) 
  • Baby wipes
  • Anti-diarrhea meds
  • Anbesol                                      
  • Listerine
  • Chloraseptic
  • Whiskey
  • Honey
  • Lemon juice
  • Water, water, water
  • Salt
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Herbal teas
  • Essential oils
  • Lotions
  • Washcloths
  •  Towels
  • Multiple sets of sheets

    Thieves Oil photo c/o aromatherapyliving.com

    Thieves Oil photo c/o aromatherapyliving.com

  • Air flow
  • Visine
  • Hot packs
  • Cold packs 
  • Lavender
  • Garlic/garlic oil
  • Thieves Oil/products
  • Lanacane
  • Pain/fever relievers*
  • Vaporizers (battery operated)
  • Oversized T-shirts 
  • Gowns
  • Vicks Vaporub
  • Icy Hot
  • SOFT facial tissues
  • SOFT toilet paper
  • Gauze            
  • Medical tape
  • Neosporin                           
  • Hot water bottle
  • Straws
  • Allergy meds                          
  • Ensure               
  • Band-aids
  • Q-tips                         
  • Cotton balls 
  • Meal-in-bed tray
  • Eye dropper               
  • Mouth dropper
  • Books
  • Juice                        
  • Baby monitor
  • Pen/notebook for records
  • Anti-bacterial soap    
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Yarrow root
  • Goldenseal                 
  • Hot Toddy

    Hot Toddy

    Red sage

  • Raspberry leaves
  • Catnip                                  
  • Oregano oil
  • Sage oil
  • Bragg’s Amino acids                         
  • Scar therapy pads      
  • Hemorrhoid ointment
  • Baby bottle                                        
  • Rubbing alcohol        
  • Bed pans
  • Deodorizer                                         
  • Walker                                   
  • Sleep aids          
  • Crackers                     
  • Cough medicine* (or makings for a hot toddy: 1 T of whiskey, 1 T honey, 1 T lemon, 1 C. of hot water)
  • Pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen)*                     
  • Simple proteins (peanut butter, canned chicken)
  • Pedialyte ( Recipe: 1 liter H2O, 2 T sugar or honey, 1/4 t salt, 1/4 t baking soda)
  • Hot cereals (cream of wheat and oatmeal are best on the stomach)
  • Anti-Nausea treatment (crystallized ginger, chamomile, mint tea, crackers)

*Remember infant versions too

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

Comfort Food photo c/o sheknows.com

Comfort Food photo c/o sheknows.com

During the course of this month’s Preparedness Pro Food Challenge, we’ve seen several posts and e-mails conveying a very similar message: “I need more comfort foods.” 

I have shared with our readers in the past that such would be the case. Stress and boundaries bring out the cravings in all of us. So I do indeed recommend you take that into consideration in your food storage that you’re creating now. However, I’d like to offer you an alternative solution.

You see, food really is only a form of fuel. Most of us need it for an emotional fuel as well. (I’m not immune to that whatsoever.) But what most people don’t realize is that cravings actually come from a deficiency in the nutritional strength in our bodies. Unfortunately, these cravings are hard to identify sometimes, in terms of what the deficiency is that’s triggering them. For example, when you are deficient in plain water, the craving can often be misconstrued as a craving for sugar. Women who are enduring a menstrual cycle are naturally deficient in iodine. And yet the iodine deficiency is “solved” with chocolate.

So, how can we get rid of the false triggers in our body so that we don’t store any more unnecessary foods than we have to? Give our bodies quality nutrition to improve our diet now. The more food you eat now that truly meets your body’s demand for nutrients, the less you will require. Our bodies will require more of the “junk food” in a time of high stress than we eat now. So, in the interests of optimal survival, and not requiring any more space to store everything, I suggest that you begin improving your diet now by incorporating the quality foods in your diet today. Doing so will actually minimize the types of “false cravings” that you get. Ultimately, you’ll be healthier. Don’t think of this as a diet. Tell yourself you can still have exactly what you want so long as you feed your body what you know you NEED first.

A good start for a healthier focus to improve your diet now would be the following two recommendations:

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o epa.gov

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o epa.gov

Water. Your kidneys process the equivalent of hundreds of gallons of water per day. If you’re not giving your body new water, then your kidneys will end up working really, really hard processing sludge instead of water. Water is also the ONLY way that you carry nutrients from one part of your body to the other. The thicker your blood, the less able you are to deliver the vitamins and minerals to the parts of the body which need them. Drinking adequate water is a simple way to improve your diet now.

Fiber. High quality, simple foods such as whole grains give you much more energy for the mass than do simple, processed foods. In other words, you can go a heck of lot longer on a stomach full of oatmeal than you can a stomach full of Lucky Charms. As I’ve shared with you previously, I like the results that eating whole wheat bread and wheat meat give me, as I’m not hungry or craving crazy things afterwards. Remember that sprouts will also satisfy you in this manner as well (and are full of fiber like most vegetables). I like to take a bunch of different sprouts, put a nice salad dressing on them and eat them as a substitute for salad. Grant it, I didn’t think I would enjoy this when I started. But the funny thing was that after I started eating sprouts regularly, my body started craving them. In other words, the more direct you are in satisfying your nutritional needs, the less deceptive your body is in telling you what your real cravings are.

Fiber is a great source of so many of your vitamins and minerals! Sprouts have actually been proven to CURE diseases. When has a Twinkie ever done that? When you combine a high fiber bread with some sprouts and your other sandwich makings, you’ve improved the quality of the meal significantly! I also keep several cans of freeze-dried vegetables. I like to throw those into the casseroles that my husband likes. That way he’s getting the “comfort tastes” that he wants, but he’s also getting the nutrition that his body really craves and thus the meal is much more satisfying. Another great way to improve your diet now.

Freeze dired raspberries photo c/o usaemergencysupply.com

Freeze dried raspberries photo c/o usaemergencysupply.com

What you may not realize is that these minor additions have a much smaller impact on your pocketbook as well. It costs only pennies for a handful of sprouts. While it may take time to make your own bread, the ingredients only cost about a 10th the price that it costs to buy the bread in the store. I’ve found that freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are also much more economical. I can spend $4 on a half gallon of ice cream or eat a handful of freeze-dried raspberries. The sweet tooth is appeased either way, but with the fruit, I’m spending less and giving my body more quality nutrition to work with, and doing so without all of the ingredients that I can’t pronounce. This is just one way in which it literally PAYS to improve your diet now.

To successfully incorporate a smarter and more effective way of eating, I recommend that you simply ADD to what you’re already eating. Fine, go ahead and have your Dr. Pepper. But having a handful of sprouts on your salad or on your sandwich before you indulge will steer your body in the right direction. Go ahead and have your 5-cheese grilled cheese sandwich. But have it on some high quality whole wheat bread instead. Give that milkshake the appetizer of 8 ounces of water first. You’ll find that if you listen to your body now, it will do a better job of preparing you for ultimate survival much better than any blog you can read. 

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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