water


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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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Every once in a while it’s good to bring the “what if” scenarios a little closer to home. Sometimes an emergency doesn’t need to be brought on by Mother Nature, or a major financial collapse. Sometimes it can be brought to the forefront by a lack of common sense. So today I thought I’d share this clip with you regarding a very real, man-made water crisis in California. This is indeed a man-made disaster. But it is real nonetheless, with real consequences, dire in nature. It gives us just one more reason to remind us that we need to be prepared with appropriate stores of food, water, and financial strength. We also need to be more adept at recognizing the domino effect of situations. This particular water crisis in California actually affects the food supply of ALL Americans. And I’m certain that this type of stupidity is just the tip of the iceberg of what more can come. 

One final thought on this, I feel that the only anti-venom to such a scenario as this is for us to be prepared and to be more involved in what goes on around us. Where in our Constitution does it state that we are to protect the lives of wildlife at the risk of protecting our own? Where do we give Congress or anyone else the authority to put the life of a two inch fish over the strength of our commerce, our crops, and our livelihoods?

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!

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By Kellene Bishop

Don't pour your gluten water down the drain! Photo c/o godsdirectcontact.org

Don't pour your gluten water down the drain! Photo c/o godsdirectcontact.org

As the last article in our wheat meat series, I wanted to share with you some ideas about how to use the milky water you get when making wheat meat. This watery substance, known as gluten water, has a great deal of vitamins and minerals in it. So any time you can use it in a dish, you’re dramatically improving the nutrition of that dish. This water will only keep for about 24- 48 hours. (I recommend refrigerating it if you’re not going to use it right away.) After that it begins to ferment, much like a yeast starter for bread.

After making my wheat meat, I like to pour the gluten water in a jar and let it settle for about 2 hours. What settles to the very bottom is bran. This bran is a great source of trace minerals and vitamins such as potassium and phosphorous. It’s great roughage for your digestive system as well. You can use this bran as a cereal or in your favorite batters. I even have used it successfully in my fruit smoothies. The bran portion will keep for about 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator. But you can freeze it. (Sorry, I don’t know of any other way to preserve it, so it won’t do you much good in an emergency unless you’re using it the same day that you make it.)

To make a bran cereal, simply add a pinch of salt, a pinch of honey powder, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, and enough water to thin the bran substance so that it is pourable onto an oiled cookie sheet. I bake mine in the solar oven for about 2 hours. But you can bake it at 300 degrees F for only 20-25 minutes. Yup. You’ll have HOMEMADE bran cereal! Also, here’s a GREAT recipe for bran muffins that you can make with the raw bran as well!

 

 

2 C. of raw bran
1 C. shortening
2 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
5 C. flour
5 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
3 C. crushed bran flakes

Bran Muffins photo c/o meals.com

Bran Muffins photo c/o meals.com

Big B Bran Muffins

 

 

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and milk. Add bran. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in bran flakes. (Yes,  you can use a pre-made cereal for your flakes)
Bake in greased muffin pans.  375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Put in air tight container and store in fridge for up to one week.

Above the bran layer, you will see a distinct color difference of a milky substance. This layer settles between the water and the bran. This is your gluten starch aka gluten water. To extract this for use in sauces, casseroles, stews, etc, simply pour off the water slowly.  Then pour off the gluten water into a separate container. I like to use this instead of cornstarch to thicken sauces, gravies, and stews. I also like to put this in my smoothies as well since it’s so nutritious. To make a gravy, I just add 4-5 tablespoons of the gluten water to 2 cups of whatever liquid I’m using. 6-7 tablespoons will thicken a family-sized stew. You can also use this successfully when making ice cream from scratch. 

the-amazing-wheat-bookLeArta Moulton’s book, “The Amazing Wheat Book” is essentially my Bible when it comes to working with the bran and the gluten water. I love her pizza dough and cracker recipes!

Pizza Dough—by LeArta Moulton

2 cups starch/gluten water
2 cups flour (whole wheat, of course)
4 t. cream of tartar
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
5 T. oil
Mix all ingredients, adding oil last.

Spread dough with hands or rolling pin on pizza or baking sheet. Makes four 12-inch crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the dough is set but not browned. Garnish with your favorite toppings. Bake until heated through. (Be sure not to make the crust too thick, otherwise it will be tough.)

To make crackers, you can take the exact same recipe as above, but spread the dough thinly on a large cookie sheet, about ¼ inch thick or less. Instead of putting the salt in the dough, I like to sprinkle it on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and then score with the tines of a fork. Bake for an additional 10 minutes then turn over the cracker and bake and additional 5 minutes. I love topping these with parmesan cheese and garlic salt!

Wheat Meat Series

  • Part I: Discovering Wheat Meat
  • Part II: Preparing Wheat Meat
  • Part III: Great Wheat Meat Recipes
  • Part IV: Working with Gluten Water
  • 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

    Tap Water photo c/o scienceblogs.com

    Tap Water photo c/o scienceblogs.com

    Water Storage Myth: Treat your water and then store it.
    Water Storage Fact: Actually, if you use regular tap water, it’s already treated. There’s no need to add any additional chemicals to it when it’s just going to be sitting in a container. If your water needs treatment, do so at the point of using it, not prior to storing it.

    Water Storage Myth: Don’t store your water barrels on cement.
    Water Storage Fact: Actually, there’s always a missing component to this myth. The key is not to store your water barrels on HEATED cement, and even that’s questionable advice. To store your water in your basement on the cement floor is just fine. There’s no need to make your barrels less stable by putting them on 2 x 4s. Cement only leaches chemicals when it gets hot. If you’re going to store your water in your garage, where the sun heats up the connecting driveway cement, then yes, I’d consider raising your barrels up on floor boards or such.

    Water Storage Myth: Stored water tastes bad.
    Water Storage Fact: Stored water is merely lacking oxygen. You can get it back to tasting great simply by pouring it back and forth a couple of times between a couple of pitchers, or glasses. This will infuse oxygen back into your water. 

    Photo c/o flickr.com

    Photo c/o flickr.com

    Water Storage Myth: I’ve got a pool out back for our water storage, so I don’t need to store any otherwise.
    Water Storage Fact: One who has this opinion is taking a big risk, one which I would not venture to take. It’s presuming that no animal waste, nuclear waste, or other biological poisoning will enter the pool water. Also, if there is a water shortage in your area, and your big pool is out there for all of the desperate folks to see, you’re simply begging for some dangerous self-defense scenarios. You might as well leave your car doors unlocked with your wallet on the front seat. In the event of a real emergency, I would ALWAYS recommend that families store water as well as presuming that their pool water supply will be available, thus preventing it from outdoor contaminates and ensuring that you have water to survive in the event of all possible scenarios.

    Water Storage Myth: I have iodine tablets and I know where the river is.
    Water Storage Fact: You and everybody else. Just how long do you think that river supply is going to be available to you and your family? How useful will that river supply be to you in the event of a flood? Iodine tables don’t do too well with cleaning out home and body parts. How much vital physical energy will it take you to fetch enough water for you and your family to survive long term? People who have this attitude sure are taking a huge gamble. Remember that conserving your own physical energy should be your first priority in an emergency. So purposefully putting yourself in a situation in which you need to work hard for water is short-sighted. Also, you’re assuming that your iodine tablets will take care of whatever is in the outdoor water, regardless of what it’s been exposed to. (See previous myth/fact example) If you have water stored in quality containers in your home, you can save your physical energy for other more important tasks, and you will ensure that your water supply is protected and is YOURS. Not only that, but chemical treatment of water is not the safest.  Heating your water, such as boiling it, is by far the safest method of treating your water.

    You’re also assuming that you won’t be quarantined and that the streets will be safe to travel.

    Photo c/o alwaysupward.com

    Photo c/o alwaysupward.com

    Water Storage Myth: Boil your water for 10 minutes in order for it to be safe.
    Water Storage Fact: Actually, you do not need to boil your water. Boiling the water is actually a waste of precious fuel. Water boils at 212 degrees. However, getting your water to a heat of 160 degrees for 30 minutes will kill all pathogens, and 185 degrees at for only 3 minutes. This is true even at a high altitude. (Note that my preferred way of heating water is in a solar oven. No fuel waste!)

    Water Storage Myth: You only need 2 weeks worth of water for your family.
    Water Storage Fact: Two weeks is only enough to get you from one point to another. Long-term survival will require a year’s supply of water. The magnitude of a disaster which would create a long-term water shortage, would also require 3.5 years of repairs in order for you to have the kind of water access you are accustomed to now. So really, a one year supply of water is still a minimalistic “get-us-through-until-we-can-find-a-good-well-or-other-water-supply” kind of storage. And besides, if you’re not storing a year’s supply of water, no one else is. So now let’s compound your problem exponentially in your community and discover just how fast the “native get restless.”

    Water Storage Myth: I don’t need to drink a gallon of water a day!
    Water Storage Fact: The recommend amount of one gallon per person, per day is not just for drinking. It’s for bathing, (as hygiene is critical), sanitation (you gotta manually flush your stuff in an emergency, folks), medical (some instances require more drinking water than others), cooking, and cleaning. Next time you think one gallon of water a day sounds like a lot, measure how much water you put in the pot when you boil water, wash your dishes, or wash your clothes. It’s a LOT more than you think!

    Also, your kidneys process the equivalent of 400-500 gallons of water per DAY! If you don’t feed your body new water, then the old water ends up looking like nasty oil in a car that hasn’t been changed in 10,000 miles. When times are tough, you don’t want to try and use that kidney of yours as a commercial slime filter, do you?

    Water Storage Myth: Food is more important than water.
    Water Storage Fact: Nope. You can go several days without food. You cannot live without water for longer than ONE day without seriously beginning to tax your body. It only goes downhill from there. Without water, your muscles lose their elasticity, your organs shut down, and your senses are dulled. None of these are situations you want to occur during an emergency.

    Water Storage Myth: I don’t need water. I’ve got a year’s supply of Gatorade.
    Water Storage Fact: Liquid intake is not the same as water intake. The moment you add ANYTHING to your water, your body no longer takes it in as water. It has to process it, filter it, and THEN use what water is left in the liquid before it benefits from it. If your body has to work hard to process the liquids it takes in, it’s using more vital energy. In a perfect world, your water drink for refreshment would consist of distilled water, as that’s what you body can use the most readily.

    Don't Store Water in Milk Jugs! photo c/o chartertn.net

    Don't Store Water in Milk Jugs! photo c/o chartertn.net

    Water Storage Myth: I’ve got 2-liter bottles, old milk jugs, and juice bottles full of water. I’m set.
    Water Storage Fact: Ok. This is better than nothing. But if it’s water than you intend on saving your life, I would definitely consider more sturdy and durable containers. In my opinion, even the water that is sold in the stores is insufficiently packaged for long-term storage in most cases. The plastic is too vulnerable for rugged use and access. I also don’t advise storing drinking water in used containers. And whatever you do, stop storing water in the old milk jugs. Those are the WORST in terms of chemical leaking and plastic breakdown.

    Water Storage Myth: I’ve got ten 55 gallon drums full of water. I’m set.
    Water Storage Fact: It’s great that you’ve got that much water. However, consider also having some water that’s more portable as well. It will make your life physically easier in surviving a long-term emergency situation. And by all means, make sure you’ve got the hardware necessary to get your water out of those big drums such as a hand pump, wrench, etc.

    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

    Photo c/o gardengrowth.com

    Photo c/o gardengrowth.com

    So, about that garden you’re growing… What it IS ideal for is to provide your family with quality produce now—during the comfortable times—teach you how to successfully garden before your life may depend on it, and to provide yourself with affordable, safe produce that you can bottle and store for a “rainy day.” But, relying on your garden for “during an emergency” is not a safe play. Here’s why.

    Gardening in an emergency takes up a great deal of physical energy. In my teachings I always point out that energy is the most important resource that you want to conserve. If you don’t have energy, you’re useless for just about anything. Understand that having to deal with an emergency can suck up a great deal of energy that you’re not used to expending at present. Just being without any climate control can do that to you, right? During an emergency survival situation, expending your precious energy that could otherwise be used to prepare food for your family, protect them, and comfort them will definitely take more time and effort than you are already accustomed to. Along those same lines, remember that gardening requires a lot of time as well. When you harvest it, it won’t be a matter of just picking produce, cleaning it in your kitchen sink, turning on the stove, putting some water in a pot, and preparing it. It will be more like pick it, filter your water, clean the produce, preserve the water for other uses, create your cooking source, wait for it to boil the water, filter more water, put just enough in the pot to cook the produce, etc., etc. You get the picture. Do you know if your body will be well enough for you to garden during an emergency? What would expend more energy—opening a jar/can of vegetables and fruit, or going out to harvest it? Think about it.

    This leads me to another caution. At least in my part of the country, gardening requires regular and generous amount of water—a vital survival item. Whether you have a pool, a cistern, or an Artesian well, you have no idea what your water situation is going to be like. What if the water is contaminated? What if the water source is damaged in an earthquake?

    Canned Corn photo c/o fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

    Canned Corn photo c/o fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

    Lastly, relying on your outdoor gardening abilities is presuming that all will be well outdoors in the event of an emergency. Because an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or nuclear attack can shoot that plan all to bits, right?

    While I get a great deal of joy from successfully consuming the fruits of my labors, I prepare myself by never assuming that something will be available to me. I anticipate a need for back up plans. It’s true that many military and intelligence personnel actually store weapons in multiple places—and I do mean multiple, even outside of their home. They do so in order to never get caught without their “survival tools.” I look at food storage the same way. I store seeds so that IF I can garden during an emergency, I will. But I store a lot of canned/jarred produce as well so that if I can’t, I still will get the nutrients I need.

    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

    Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

    Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

    Typically when I mention emergency preparedness to someone they automatically think of “food storage” or “the Mormons.”  Unfortunately, a focus on either will not save your family in a time of crisis.  There are actually ten vital areas to being prepared for an emergency whether it be a natural disaster, act of war or financial collapse.  Food is only one component that we’ve addressed recently.  So let’s take a look at all 10 areas of being prepared.

    I’m listing them for you in the area of importance.

    1. Component of Emergency Preparedness #1: Spiritual. This category has everything to do with your belief system.  It’s where you draw on peace even in the midst of chaos.  It’s also where you draw on knowledge and understanding of that which is to come.  Your spiritual preparedness needs to be fed on a regular basis.  It will be incredibly invaluable in a time of great need, such as a catastrophic emergency.  If your spiritual preparedness is lacking, not much else you focus on will be of benefit to you.
    2. Component of Emergency Preparedness #2: Mental. This category has to do with your knowledge level, skills, and mental rehearsals for chaotic scenarios.  This area requires constant nourishment, education, and deliberate thought.  Unless you mentally prepare for a situation such as self-defense, or mass chaos, or the fact that all hell can really break loose, then you will be physically and emotionally paralyzed from being a leader and a protector to anyone, let alone your family and loved ones.  The mental preparation is what prepares you in spite of the crazy looks and comments you get from friends and loved ones.  Immerse yourself in movies, books, and conversations relevant to emergency preparedness (see #5).  Expose yourself to as much learning experiences as you are able.  Work that mental muscle as much as possible.  It will serve you well in a time of crisis as well as long-term survival.
      The key to your mental preparedness is Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. Fortunately all three of these aspects can be obtained without monetary cost as there’s so much available through classes and online.
    3. Component of Emergency Preparedness #3: Physical. This area covers a great deal.  Physical preparedness has to do with your physical strength and ability to maximize your physical strength, such as the
      Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

      Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

      use of wagons or wheel barrels, your ability to protect yourself and your family, as well as planning for any necessary travel needs.  Keep in mind that your physical strength will be your primary asset when it comes to travel.  Since most of us aren’t trained extensively in military tactics and maneuvers, firearms are a key consideration for physical self-defense.  Make sure you have tools like small wagons, bikes, wheel barrels, etc.  You can strengthen your physical preparedness by adjusting your diet now to avoid foods that impede your performance or you won’t have access to later.  And no, I’m not going to rattle them off because you already know what you’re doing wrong in that regard.  Exercise is critical for your physical preparedness as well.  You will inevitably be called upon to be more physical in your survival efforts in an emergency.  Perhaps you will need to trek 30 miles.  Or perhaps you will need to do some heavy lifting to create a suitable shelter.  You will also need to function without air conditioning or heat like you’re accustomed to.  Take precautions now so that you are better physically prepared later.

    4. Component of Emergency Preparedness #4: Medical. This includes having what you need for first-aid, solutions for your existing medical needs, as well as sanitation.  First-aid needs includes bandages, a field surgical kit, pain relievers, herbs and essential oils, as well as the knowledge to use such items.  Your existing medical needs will be a challenge since most individuals can’t get a year’s supply of prescription medicines.  If I were you, I would make sure to study up on alternative options available, such as herbal nutrition, essential oils, homeopathic care, etc.  Recently, as a result of my goal to be more prepared medically, I set a goal to eliminate all of my prescription drugs.  I started the New Year with seven prescriptions on my nightstand, and I’m now down to one.  The most recent I was able to get rid of was my thyroid medicine by incorporating quality nutrition products into my diet instead of my thyroid medicine.  While my doctor wasn’t happy with the approach, he did acquiesce just this last Friday that my blood tests showed that I was no longer in need of my thyroid medicine!  I feel much more independent and capable now.  While I can’t supply a years worth of pharmaceuticals safely, I sure can keep a year’s supply of various nutritional products.  (Just FYI, I elect to use Reliv products.  No, I don’t sell them but you can locate them easily online.)
      As far as sanitation is concerned, you have to be sure you’ve thought this one through.  Digging a hole out in your back yard will not do.  You’ve got to have the chemicals on hand to break down the waste.  I assure you that if the hole in the back yard was everyone’s strategy, everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 30 days!  The holes have to be dug deep.  Plan on using some type of a disposal breakdown chemical regularly.  Disposing of the waste, keeping it covered, and minimizing its location and effect on everything else around you will be critical in a time of emergency.  Understand that this aspect of preparation will not be simple.  You should expect a lot of diarrhea initially as a result of stress, different foods, and drinking less liquids.
    5. Component of Emergency Preparedness #5: Clothing/Shelter. This category is a higher priority than food and water.  Many folks really overlook this critical area.  While being able to survive in your own home is ideal, it’s not necessarily possible for a myriad of different reasons.  Be sure that you’ve got SPARE clothing available for all of your children’s ages and have it readily accessible.  This may mean you need to go to a local thrift store and purchase clothes for a year in advance of your children’s sizes right now.  Sturdy shoes will be critical—especially if you have to walk long distances to get to safety.  Also, be mindful of your clothing and your shelter accommodating either warm or cold weather.  Be sure to have hats and gloves for everyone—spares so that there’s no chance of them “getting lost” in the event of a crisis.   Even if you are able to survive in your present dwelling, be sure you have tools on hand to reinforce it, such as hammers, nails, sheeting, duct tape, and even some plywood.  (My preferred sheeting is purchased at Costco.  It’s twice as thick as others, you get twice as much, and it’s less expensive.)  Be sure that you don’t have to rely on electricity and batteries for the use of your tools as well in the event of a solar flare or an EMP attack.
    6. Component of Emergency Preparedness #6: Water. Let me be perfectly clear on this.  A two week supply of water is NOT sufficient.  That’s short-term.  I hardly EVER address short-term preparedness in my articles, and am almost always focusing on long term.  As overwhelming as it may sound, you need one gallon of
      Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

      Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

      water, per person, per day.  That’s 365 gallons per person.  Yes, that’s a lot of barrels.  But that’s just the MINIMUM.  You’ll be using water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and bathing.  There are a myriad of different ways to conserve water, but you’ll want to employ those even if you do have the 365 gallons per person.  Water is the only thing that will keep your organs functioning properly.  You need water just as much in the cold as you do in the heat.  Your kidneys process hundreds of gallons worth of water each day.  You do not want to treat your kidneys like a teenager treats their oil filter, right?  You’ve got to continue to give your organs new water in order that they will not shut down.  Your body uses flavored water very differently than it does real water.  You use more energy to benefit from the flavored water than you do just straight water.  In addition to storing enough water, I also store a lot of paper goods that I can use that won’t require cleaning afterwards.  I also store cleansing cloths.
      You don’t need to treat your water before storing it if you’re using tap water.  Plan on treating it afterwards if necessary (8 drops of Chlorox for each gallon of water).  You can rotate your water once every 5 years and be just fine.  Stale water can taste a LOT better if you simply aerate it—such as pouring it back and forth from one container to another before serving.

    7. Component of Emergency Preparedness #7: Food. As I’ve shared in the last 8 part series, be familiar with the food that you’ve stored, be prepared to cook it without electricity, and be sure that it’s nutritious.  90 days of food is SHORT-TERM.  It’s not the end result.  One year of food supply for your family is absolutely necessary.  Also be sure that you have all of the tools on hand you will need that don’t require electricity.  Be sure you have nothing in your equipment stores that you have not used yet.  (In other words, don’t just buy that solar oven and put it in your basement.  Use it.)
    8. Component of Emergency Preparedness #8: Fuel. Your fuel should be usable on as many tools as possible, and every responsible member of the family should be familiar with its use.  I store butane for my small oven, propane for the grill, and kerosene for my lights, heaters, and another stove.  I also have some
      Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

      Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

      charcoal and some wood for other forms of cooking.  I’ve experimented with my cooking fuel coupled with my pressure cooker and have learned that I can cook 2 meals a day for 3 weeks on one can of butane.  It’s critical that you know how much fuel you need for your family.  It’s also critical you know that the lights you’re relying on can actually put out enough light.  We bought these “100 hour candles” only to discover one night that they barely put off enough light for us to see the match and the wick so that we could light the next one.  I recommend to all of my clients to try a day or two without electrical lighting.  I also recommend that they go a whole week without using any electricity to prepare their food—including the refrigerator.

    9. Component of Emergency Preparedness #9: Financial.  Financial preparation isn’t just about having debt.  Most of us will have a mortgage if nothing else.  I recommend my clients pay their utilities and their taxes in advance whenever possible.  It’s also critical that you have goods with which to trade such as wheat, sugar, and other stores that will be in high demand.  Anything more than $500 cash on hand is a waste, in my opinion, as a crisis will quickly make money worthless.  If you don’t already have what you need, you will NOT be able to buy it amidst a mob of crazy people who are unprepared. 
    10. Component of Emergency Preparedness #10: Communication. All of the other areas of preparedness I discussed are focused on you and your family.  This is the only area of preparedness that focuses on reaching out to others.  In order to be prepared for communication in an emergency, you should have a very specific plan of communication with you family and friends.  You should have a specific point of gathering agree upon for everyone to meet in the event of a disaster.  Additionally, plan on other forms of communication such as a HAM radio, accompanied by the license and skill to operate.  Also plan on good old fashioned message delivery.  (Another good reason to employ physical preparedness.)  Being able to coordinate with the outside world will become important during and after your initial crisis reaction.

    Don’t get overwhelmed with all of this.  Just put it on your radar and start chipping away at it.  Look for opportunities to learn and strengthen your spiritual and mental preparedness first and foremost.  Everything else will appropriately follow.

    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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    Yes, You Can Find Space
    By Kellene Bishop

    We’ve all thought it.  “Where in the world would I put a years supply of food storage?!”  Unfortunately, such a question leads many to not even attempt to be prepared for an emergency.

    55 Gallon Water Barrels

    55 Gallon Water Barrels

    When it comes to having somewhere to put your emergency preparedness supplies, it usually boils down to priorities.  I know you don’t want to hear that, and I realize this isn’t ALWAYS the case.  But throughout my emergency preparedness consulting, I’ve always been able to find “more room” for emergency preparedness—even in a small studio apartment.  The ultimate question you have to ask yourself is how important those emergency preparedness supplies are.  I understand a 55 gallon water barrel doesn’t usually match anyone’s décor.  But do you really think you’re going to care about that when your family needs food, water, or medical supplies?  Grant it, you could be artistically inclined and perhaps arrange the canned goods against your wall to resemble a Van Gogh, but I’m not talking about getting quite that creative.  

    I understand when you have a 500 square foot apartment, space is limited.  But the question is limited to “what”.  While not everyone has a basement, storage rooms, or large pantries, I’ve been in big beautiful homes decorated to the hilt and have been told by the owners that they don’t have food storage because “they don’t have room.”  Geesh.  Clearly, I’m not talking to those people here.  I’m speaking to those who actually want to do something to better prepare their family for an emergency.  My hope is that you rethink your priorities of the storage of other items in your home and perhaps help you uncover some problem solving skills.  Here are a few additional suggestions on storing your emergency preparedness supplies.

    1. “Under the Bed” Storage.  I have yet to look under someone’s bed and not see stuff underneath it.  But it’s usually “stuff” that isn’t life saving or providing any semblance of security.  You can store an entire years’ food supply for one person underneath a twin sized bed.  Now, presuming that everyone in your home has a bed to sleep on, this can easily take care of your storage requirements.  I don’t recommend storing just the food storage for one person underneath their bed.  Instead, I would put the powdered milk and wheat under one bed, for example, pasta and beans under another.  For the record, I’m not saying to substitute your bed frame with your food storage.  I’ve seen folks do that.  When push comes to shove, I’m all about a comfortable nights sleep, and I’m not sure wheat bags are intended for that.  🙂
    2. Store things you don't use often in the garage. Photo c/o greendarlingblog.com

      Store things you don't use often in the garage. Photo c/o greendarlingblog.com

      Stuff the Cupboards.  You’ve already got food in your cupboards, but are they really full to the max?  I see a lot of homes that don’t maximize the use of their existing cupboard space.  Instead of using the space under your kitchen sink for detergents, use it for more practical purposes like Tupperware stuffed with pasta, legumes, etc.  Store those big kitchen gadgets like the George Foreman grill you don’t use very often in the shed or garage.  I assure you it’s equipped to handle the heat, whereas your supplies necessary for chicken ala queen can use that valuable space inside.  Maximize the cabinet space you already do have with emergency preparedness items.  These should be a priority for you. When you see space in your pantry or cupboards, think about what you could be storing there in the form of food storage.  Behind our towels in the linen closet you’ll find dried peaches.  In the corner of the entry closet you’ll find salt, powdered milk, and some other items.  Finding space for items is a lot easier after you’ve obtained them.  And acquiring them will do more to help you and your family. 🙂

    3. Compact Loose Items.  I store a great deal of items in used 4 gallon plastic square buckets.  They’re great for organization but also because I get the benefit of available height without spending a lot of money on shelves.  Besides, in the event of an earthquake, the square containers are waterproof and can take a bit of a beating, protecting what’s inside.  
      Square Buckets photo by Preparedness Pro

      Square Buckets photo by Preparedness Pro

      These square buckets can be obtained for free from bakeries and restaurants and they don’t waste any space like the 5 gallon circular ones.  I store ingredients for specific meals in them as well as specific categories like dental, pain relievers, bandages and pasta.  This way I don’t have loose pieces cluttering up space.  Minimizing loose pieces actually creates more space.  You’ll be surprised what you can store in a closet from floor to ceiling when you use these square buckets.  Just like you can utilize space under the beds, you can also utilize space at the back of deep cabinets, under the stairs, under the deck, the back of the shed, behind the couch, under the desk, in the crawl space, on the back porch, and in every closet in your home with these square buckets without intruding on the rest of your space.  

      For those of you who don’t want to go around asking for free buckets and cleaning them out, check out The Bucket Guy.  (They also have a great price on zip-lock Mylar bags and 1500 cc oxygen absorbers.)  Tell them that you heard of them through Preparedness Pro for a discount below what they advertise on their site. 

      Ultimately square buckets are about making the most of your existing space.  Other sturdy, square containers will accomplish this as well.  I don’t recommend using cardboard though—it’s not as sturdy or reliable against bugs, kids, and moisture.

    4. The "Waterbed" photo by Preparedness pro

      The "Waterbed" photo by Preparedness Pro

      Get Creative.  There are a couple of “crazies” out there who bury their food storage out in the back yard, but I strongly advise against this.  Why?  Because in an emergency you need to conserve your physical energy.  Having to locate and dig up your food just to survive is a bad way to use your energy.  Plus you have to be really, really careful how you store it underground so it doesn’t leak or get underground “yuck” in it as well.  (Let’s not call them crazy. Let’s just call them zealous.)  As you can see in the picture, my husband got a bit zealous himself and put several 55 gallon drums of water under a mattress set we have in a spare bedroom.  We affectionately call this our “waterbed”.  I cleaned out a great deal of scrapbooking supplies to make more room for a lot of freeze-dried foods I purchased on sale.  On the other hand, for years I had a round piece of wood covered with beautiful circular tablecloth at both ends of my sofa in the living room.  These full water barrels were the most “kid proof” furniture I owned.  And they weren’t unsightly in the least.You can always “hide” food storage with a full length curtain from the floor to the ceiling or some sort of a room divider.  I also like to hang things from the ceiling.  In fact, for years my husband had shelves hanging from the rafters in the basement with chains.  Now he has bunk beds going the entire length of the room and we use that as shelving.  This way we not only have the maximum amount of storage space, but in unfortunate circumstances, we also have more room for others to sleep.  

      You can also stack plywood boards and #10 cans or 4/5 gallon buckets on top of each other to make shelving, too.  In other words, your food and emergency supplies ARE your shelving.

      I also make use of the space behind a door and attach hanging door shelves on the backs of them.  Again, the key is to look at all of the unused space in your home and get creative with it.

    5. Use Your Outdoor Space. There are many items that can actually be stored outdoors, such as medical supplies, pasta, rice, water (so long as you leave room in the container for expansion), fuels, etc.  You can also store food storage sealed in #10 cans outside that are coated with double enamel.  They will only rust if they are dented.  My husband and I also obtain used 50 gallon barrels from a local cannery (for free) and store extra clothing, sleeping bags, pillows, etc inside after sealing them in bags that suck all of the air out of things.  (I know, eloquent, eh?)  That’s a whole lot of space that you can make available from within your home simply by transferring appropriate items outdoors.

    Mind you, I can be a creative “pack rat.”  When my husband and I got married I was living in an 800 sq. foot apartment, but when we moved into our new home it still required a full-sized moving truck to transport everything.  Many close friends helped us load the truck that day.  Time and time again these same friends who frequented my home asked me where in the world I had all this stuff “hiding.”  I was still able to have an inviting home in spite of my food storage.  

    Bottom line, if you WANT to store precious goods to help you and your family in an emergency, you will find a way to do it.  Really.  I’m not saying you haven’t wanted to up to this point.  But I hope I’ve helped you ask yourself the right questions to make it a higher priority. 

    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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