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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

Advertisements

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

By Kellene Bishop

food-storage-shelvesHere’s one simple tip so you never have to worry about HOW to cook what’s in your food storage. 

Many folks just plain don’t know how to cook with their food storage.  When I hear this, I ask people why they’re storing foods that are unfamiliar to them or their family?  Sure there are ideal lists which include long lasting grains and legumes, but if you’re not using such ingredients now to feed your family with, it’s not going to be helpful to them in an emergency.

Think for just a moment what kind of chaos a financial collapse, an earthquake, an act of war, or some other kind of disaster could bring into your life.  Do you really want to complicate things by adding more stress into your life by consuming “foreign foods”?  You and your family are going to crave as much “normalcy” as possible.  Unless you’re already serving your family “Boston Baked Wheat” you don’t want to try it out on them while they are being quarantined for 90 days as the result of a flu pandemic.  In fact, it is exactly these kinds of times that you will want to provide the most comforting favorites for your family.  But…yes, there is a but…

Part of being prepared is being ready to live off of foods which are most nourishing and longer lasting than what your diet may currently consist of in your household.  (To this end I implore parents of picky eaters—or spouses of such—to do all they can to get them to embrace more nourishing foods.)  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are great now.  But how will they be when you have to make the bread from scratch?  Will your family even touch them?  Don’t panic.  Just start learning the lost art of bread making now.  I can tell you from experience that it’s a heck of a lot more rewarding than besting someone at an online game of Scrabble.  

Try sprouts on a meat sandwich! Photo c/o scanwiches.com

Try sprouts on a meat sandwich! Photo c/o scanwiches.com

Slowly introduce your family to new things.  For example, my husband, who I can’t get to eat a vegetable unless it’s on a slab of beef, has agreed to try and start putting sprouts on his meat sandwiches.  Why?  Because I am trying to get him used to eating this easy and widely accessible source of nutrition so when we are in the midst of an emergency, he can handle it—not only emotionally, but physically as well.  Being ready to live off those foods doesn’t involve just having the appetite for them.  We need to be prepared to use them and work with them as well.  If you’ve never tried sprouting, don’t think that the sprouter you’ve got in the basement is going to do much for you in a time of crisis.  Using it under such circumstances will only cause you more stress due to its unfamiliarity and you’ll avoid it at all costs. 

You also need to get your body accustomed to eating such foods.  In fact, if most people attempted to go from their existing diet to one containing whole wheat at the majority of their meals, they would actually DIE inside of 30 days due to the dehydration and diarrhea their body would experience in so drastic a dietary change.  This is one reason why I counsel people to store what they eat—at least a 90 day supply—and then work on introducing other, more stable storage foods, into their diet along the way.  Yes, it’s a lot less expensive to store a year’s supply of wheat, legumes, honey, and powdered milk as opposed to the ingredients for your favorite casseroles, Navajo Tacos, and brownie mixes.  But I assure you that those items won’t get used for much of anything if you haven’t already familiarized your family with them prior to a disaster.  So be sure to have at least 90 days of the familiar and then work on familiarizing your family with other foods that will have a great shelf-life in your home.  Remember, stress alters the mind.  It races the heart.  It breaks down the immune system.  If you’re in a quarantine situation, for example, can you really afford to expose anyone in your family to any of these physical stresses simply because you weren’t prepared with a realistic menu for them?  Perhaps now you may better understand why I go to great lengths to learn how to make bread, sprout, store M&Ms, make sour cream out of powdered milk, wax my own cheese, store eggs long-term, and create recipes out of what’s on my shelves, etc.  I do it in anticipation of a situation in which food and nourishment will be a comfort to the mind and the spirit, not just sustain life.  (And yes, there are indeed those times in which M&Ms sustain me. :))

I’ve been asked how I remember where all of my food storage is since it’s scattered all around the house.  I remember because I’m always in it—except when I’m on that blasted diet.  I’m always using what I store.  I’m rotating it.  (In fact I have a Mason jar full—er, half full—of almond M&Ms next to me on my desk as I write this.)  Other than the years supply of MREs we have stored in the back of the basement, there’s not a single nutritional item in my home that is “uncommon” to me.  If you have anything that’s uncommon to you in your food storage, it’s nearly useless.

kuhn-rikon-pressure-cookerPoint being, no one should have trouble cooking with their food storage, because their food storage should contain what they are already consuming and thus what they are already familiar in preparing.  Practice making your food in a Dutch Oven, or in a pressure cooker over a small butane stove, or in a solar oven.  Go to classes to learn how to make the essentials.  They are usually free.  Go through cook books and experiment with “less than fresh” items as substitutes in recipes, such as canned chicken for frozen, canned green beans for fresh, etc.  Find out from your family what their absolute favorite meals are and then find the most efficient way to stock the items for those meals.  We’re not in the dark ages here, folks.  Cooking with your food storage doesn’t have to involve an Indian dance and an archaic tool for grinding your flour.  Even without the luxury of electricity, we still will have the benefit of the luxury of knowledge and technology galore. 

Keep in mind that in a previous article I wrote, I recommended that folks start their food storage by storing their food in “meals” as opposed to “pounds of items.”  In other words, if your family loves waffles, then be sure you have the makings for waffles.  If you have such ingredients sufficient to make them 12 times, then you only have to come up with 29 other meals.  (Or less, depending on how often you want to eat waffles.  I recommend coming up with a great variety for your family though so that they don’t suffer from “appetite fatigue.”)

It all boils down to this: Store what you eat and eat what you store.

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

Ultimately, emergency preparedness is about independence—the ability to rely on yourself to provide for you and your family’s needs.  That’s really what being prepared boils down to.  It’s not about absolving fear in your life.  It’s about celebrating your independence, your abilities, and your responsibilities.  It’s about proactively ensuring your future health and happiness.  In my opinion, your continual acts of preparation manifest your commitment to independence.

Ultimately, that’s what independence in our nation boils down to as well.  A state of independence is the ONLY thing that ensures freedom.

Independence Day Flags photo c/o giftideasdirect.com

Field of Flags in Lubbock, TX photo c/o giftideasdirect.com

Independence Day.  Yet another holiday whose true meaning has been drowned out with meaningless commercialization, furniture and auto sales, and oblivious talking heads.  Even the very name of this momentous holiday has been marginalized, watered down, and forgotten.  And yet this day, unlike all others, serves as an all too infrequent reminder that all of the joys and values in our life that we hold dear exist because of this one day in history. 

Grant it, this day was not possible without all of the battles that were fought before and after its day of significance.  But what is critically important in my mind is that this day would have no longevity and substance had it not been for the millions of Americans who have fought to preserve its intent ever since.  To assure its invaluable presence in our lives today, the same proactive measures taken by those who went before us must be reenacted every day of our lives.  We can’t afford to allow the luxuries and conveniences of our generation to blind us to that which made possible such blessings.  Just as we can not profit by killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, we cannot exist without the freedoms that guarantee joy and happiness in our life.  In fact, try as we might, we cannot even willingly give away such freedoms. They are indeed unalienable.  But sadly, we can ignore them to the point that they are foreign and unthinkable.

Picture this: You’re watching the evening entertainment on television.  A Special Report interrupts your show with this statement.

independence-the-world-is-flat“A renowned author and scientist, Dr. Geek, has just announced to the world that in spite of all of our previous research, the world is actually flat.  In fact, Dr. Geek has evidence to support that the outer edges of the world have still not been completely explored, and that we’re simply sitting on a much larger flat surface that we have previously believed.” 

Ridiculous, right?  But would a mass amount of media reporting for an entire month begin to cause us to doubt the truths we already know?  Would an act of Congress passing a multi-billion dollar budget to explore such “scientific evidence” make us believe that it must be true?  Would we then develop a divisive belief in our nation comprising of the Flats and the Rounds?

Our freedom of independence cannot be altered just because a story is consistently in front of us on the evening news.  Independence cannot be sold, voted against, legislated into oblivion, mortgaged, traded, bought or given away in a treaty.  But we can surrender it in our hearts and thus ignore it.  We can stop believing.  We can stop behaving like independent souls.

Family photo c/o ora.ucr.edu

Family photo c/o ora.ucr.edu

Our family, our faith, our liberties, and the efforts of ALL of our life’s pursuits are all meaningless in a nation without true independence.  This independence does not restrict itself to one day a year.  Rather this singular event in history has the power to provide us with independent freedoms for as long as this nation shall stand.

In the name of the freedoms we enjoy every day, and even those that we have surrendered already in our hearts, may we all remember this Independence Day for what it is truly about.  May we renew our hearts this weekend in appreciation and passion for how the Declaration of Independence permeates our lives and assures us lasting joy.  May we hold our Independence close to our hearts and never surrender it to any man.

declaration-of-independence

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!