Slow and steady wins the race! Photo c/o redbrownandblue.com

Slow and steady wins the race! Photo c/o redbrownandblue.com

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By Kellene Bishop

Time’s a wastin’. Getting prepared takes a concerted effort on a regular basis. However, it doesn’t take require loads of money or fancy contraptions. It takes action. The good news is that even though I’m not surrounded with a particular need for preparedness right now, I’m still amply rewarded when I do a little something to improve my family’s state of readiness. I find that each activity I do and every effort I make in this regard increases my level of peace, confidence, and assurance substantially. Here are some ideas as to what you can do this weekend to be better prepared. Just pick one or even a couple of these activities and improve your readiness factor!

  • Organize an area of food storage. Just one area, such as soups, pastas, wheat, sugar, etc.
  • Run your family through a fire drill in the home 
    Fire Drill photo c/o njfamily.com

    Fire Drill photo c/o njfamily.com

     

  • Learn how to grow sprouts
  • Learn how to use a solar oven
  • Try making dinner on your butane stove
  • Learn how to use a pressure cooker
  • Bottle butter
  • Go fishing (Yes, ladies, that IS a preparedness skill)
  • Learn how to make a candle out of a tuna can
  • Make fire without a match (preferably NOT in your home.) 🙂
  • Cook in your Dutch Oven
  • Learn CPR
  • Fill those water barrels
  • Make notes on your laundry detergent, toothpaste, and toilet paper so that you know how long they actually last your family. (This way you know how much you need for a year)
  • Burn/cut up a credit card
  • Learn how to make bread
  • Sanitize your home including doorknobs, cupboard doors, refrigerator handles, air vents, and telephones
  • Try some powdered milk and find one that you like
  • Read for a half hour on Preparedness Pro to learn something new
  • Preserve your favorite dry foods with a FoodSaver 
    FoodSaver photo c/o foodsaverblog.com

    FoodSaver photo c/o foodsaverblog.com

     

  • Do a financial analysis of how you can allocate a bit more money each month towards eliminating debt
  • Make sure your family knows how to turn off the gas line to your home
  • Identify where all of your other water sources are
  • Attend a self-defense class
  • Attend a couponing class
  • Read the U.S. Constitution (Yup, becoming familiar with this is an act of preparedness in defense of foreign or domestic enemies.)
  • Practice target shooting at a range
  • Teach your family a “gathering plan”
  • Get your Concealed Firearm Permit
  • Learn how to use come common essential oils
  • Learn how to put up your tent all by yourself 🙂
  • Wax some hard cheese
  • Preserve some eggs
  • Go camping
  • Go for a 5 mile walk with the family
  • Learn a new recipe that you can make from what’s readily available in your pantry.

Bacon Potatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce

1 C. evaporated milk

1 ½ T. cornstarch

1 T. minced garlic (I prefer mine from the jar that’s in oil)

1 T. butter

1/8 t. salt

1 t. dried rosemary

1 T. of real bacon bits, or bacon flavored TVP

Two 15-ounce cans of whole potatoes, drained

Whisk the cornstarch into the milk until it is dissolved. Add the butter, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and bacon. Bring to a low boil and stir until thickened (This will take about 3 minutes.) Add the canned potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes—or until no longer hard. This side dish serves 4 nicely or you can also add some fried Spam and a drained can of corn and make it a main dish.

So which preparedness activity are you going to do this weekend?

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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One of the stock answer reasons why people aren’t preparing for emergencies we’ve all heard before is this: I can’t afford it. In response to this so-called-reason comes this article by Lisa L.called One Woman’s View of Budget Preparedness. Regardless of income level, Lisa explores what she’s learned some great things along the way and this is an excellent article for Preparedness Pro readers today!

Take a few minutes and click here to check out One Woman’s View of Budget Preparedness on the SurvivalBlog.com!

(Thanks to the Survival Mom for the heads up on this article!)

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

By Kellene Bishop

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Ok, here it goes. I’m going to challenge you…nah—perhaps the better word is “DARE” you. In fact, I’m going to DOUBLE DOG DARE YA to take this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge.

food-challengeWant to find out if you are really ready for an emergency? Here’s a genuine challenge for you. Your ability to implement it will say a LOT about your ability to truly survive a real emergency. The Preparedness Pro Food Challenge officially begins August 1st and goes throughout the month of August. During the month I challenge you to go an entire two weeks without going to the grocery store for any food or household supplies. 14 days. No grocery purchases, no household cleaners, no produce. Can you and your family survive? No big deal, perhaps? Yeah. Say that after you’ve done it. Then I will bow to you and call you “The Preparedness Queen/King.”

Now take this seriously. No cheating. Don’t go to a restaurant or get one of those free hot dogs at the furniture store promotion either. If you go to the farmer’s market, you’re cheating. Rely on all of your food and household needs strictly based on what you have available to you right now. Do it the entire 14 days. Don’t cut corners. Don’t rationalize. And for goodness sake, don’t starve your family for 14 days. 🙂

Obviously, a disaster is no respecter of bank account balances, professional positions, or “time of the month.” It’s a true equalizer of all mankind. So, at the end of 14 days, what kind of man or woman will you be? I bet you have no idea just how often you “pick up a little something” at the store.

This challenge is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t need to be made harder than it is. The challenge does not require you to go without electricity or any of your other luxuries in life. Just go two whole weeks without going out and buying anything you need for nutrition or household care.

Groceries photo c/o Shannon Steele

Groceries photo c/o Shannon Steele

The key to this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge is to do it without any notice or preplanning. That means that you don’t go out today and buy all of the groceries that you think you might need to last you two weeks. (Although, if I at least get you to do that much, maybe it’s a good thing. 🙂 ) Interestingly enough, I bet that even if you were to go shopping, you would still find yourself struggling. During this challenge I anticipate that you will struggle with what to cook. You will struggle with eating what you have instead of eating what you’re in the mood for. Bottom line, you will be challenged without all of the modern-day pampering we have when it comes to food.

So, can you take this challenge to heart? Can your family endure it without threatening a mutiny? Remember, I’m not challenging you to go without your other comforts of life. You can still watch television. You can still use your running water. You can still use your microwave and all of your other favored kitchen gadgets. Just abstain from the purchase of any kind of grocery or household items for two whole weeks. Prepare your meals any way you want. Ramen noodles? Frozen pizza? Using the microwave? Fine. Then again I would recommend you actually cook real food during this period as well, but I won’t hold you to that. Just don’t bring any additional supplies into your home to sustain you during this two week Preparedness Pro Food Challenge. Pick any 14 day period you want. Get your whole family on board. In fact, invite your friends and extended family to do the challenge with you as well. Come on, it will be a GREAT experiment!

As you accept and experience this challenge, write your comments on our blog. It will help all of our readers see some of the most basic areas of preparedness which they haven’t considered previously. I guarantee there will be some eye opening experiences.

Giveaway with GREAT Prizes! Photo c/o rei.com

Giveaway with GREAT Prizes! Photo c/o rei.com

At the end of August, we’re going to have a drawing for GREAT emergency preparedness giveaway items. We’re going to give away all kinds of preparedness items such as an EZ Sprouter, non-electric hand mixer, solar head lamp, and more. There’s a cluster of some of my favorite emergency preparedness items and I’m excited to give them to some lucky participants! The more times you write your comments on our blog on this topic, the more times your name will be entered in the drawing. We’ll hold the drawing on September 1st and notify all 12 winners! You may win a solar light/radio, private consultation time with me, or you may win a food storage cookbook. But more importantly, you’ll gain invaluable insight into whether or not you’re prepared in this one simple area. Obviously, if you aren’t able to last 2 weeks comfortably, you’re going to have a lot of trouble lasting a year. But what I really hope is that many of you will gain a sense of confidence and peace seeing that you can truly make it if need be. You can be creative with your cooking. You can be independent of our traditional commerce system. And you can successfully troubleshoot as the two weeks progress.

The question is, why wouldn’t you accept the challenge? There will always be excuses. And I can assure you that an emergency never waits until you are completely ready. Life will still have to go on regardless. But I assure you that none of your excuses will hold much water when you consider the invaluable experience you will gain from this. This is only a two week challenge. You get to keep everything else normal in your life. But through this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge, you’ll begin to see where the gaps may be. You’ll realize perhaps just how reliant you or your family members may be on the conveniences of our society. Your kids will learn what they are made of. You’ll all learn to think and strategize just a bit differently. If I have a vote, I say heck yeah! Take this Preparedness Pro Food Challenge! You’ll be SO glad you did!

The winners have been drawn! Click here to see if you were one of the 12 winners!

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

Paying attention can get you some great laughs, memorable moments, or vital warnings. Yesterday I was driving behind a police car and noticed that he had a license plate border that said, “Actually, I prefer bagels.” I got a much needed laugh off of that one. Glad I was paying attention.

Photo c/o globalcrisisnews.com/

Photo c/o globalcrisisnews.com/

Most Americans are unaware at just how tenable the financial culture is in our nation right now. But seriously, to not know it is simply a matter of not paying attention. It’s not like we have to trust in some kind of a prophet to see for ourselves. There is a bounty of evidence right now that begs for our attention so that we can be prepared for an inevitable challenge. This evidence spells out the critical need for us to get our own homes in order so that we can survive through the looming financial crisis.

In 1962, the “Cuban crisis” suddenly left the grocery shelves of stores nationwide empty overnight. Yet there was plenty of warning ahead of time to those who were paying attention. These persons had the ability to be independent of panic and price gouging. Yet did anyone pay attention to a looming financial crisis a year in advance of the triggering incident?

Didn’t Americans wake up to what they thought was a routine day on December 7, 1941? Unfortunately there’s some evidence military didn’t pay attention to and we were tragically caught unaware. 

While the “great depression” erupted in a matter of hours, its effects reached millions of Americans for years, in spite of numerous warning signs. Unfortunately, the indicators of today’s looming financial collapse are more rampant and indicate a much more severe collapse than that of 1929. Here are the reasons why I state as such.

1)     Financial Crisis Clue #1: A new batch of over $12 billion (yes, that’s a “B”) of pay option arm mortgages are coming due this fall. We’ve seen how those due dates have affected the market thus far. With unemployment rising, finance restrictions getting tighter, and the mortgage market being so stale, this is NOT going to be a pleasant ride, folks.

Australian Lacrosse Team Quarantined in South Korea Because of Swine Flu. Photo c/o theage.com.au

Australian Lacrosse Team Quarantined in South Korea Because of Swine Flu. Photo c/o theage.com.au

2)     Financial Crisis Clue #2: Flu outbreak. You do realize that one simple interruption in our nation’s transportation industry will cause a serious financial domino effect, right? There are over 250,000 trucking companies in the U.S. alone. The majority of them are “small businesses.” Just as you live hand to mouth, so do business owners. The trucking industry is no exception. We are due for quite the outbreak of this Swine flu this fall. I’ve never seen a more real potential for a quarantine in the last several decades as I do now. We’ve been warned of a possible quarantine as recent as the first of this month. I’m certain that the delays are being extended as long as possible holding out hope that it won’t be necessary due to the financial domino effect it will have. Other countries have begun some quarantine procedures, costing them over 5 billion dollars a day in lost commerce. I don’t think our economy is healthy enough to endure such a financial hit. The transportation industry is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at the effect a quarantine would have on everything else that doesn’t get paid as a result of consumers not being permitted to go to work. Then look at the businesses that could fail as a result of employees not being able to go to work. Look at the travel industry, hospitality, gasoline, groceries, utilities, credit, entertainment, etc. The cost of a quarantine on our nation would be immense and just by itself bring about a huge depression that would take us 7 years to recover from.

3)     Financial Crisis Clue #3: Hyper inflation. This year the U.S. needs to sell the equivalent of 1.5 times its national deficit amount in the form of foreign investments in order to survive the present financial set back. Unfortunately, we’re almost into August and we haven’t succeeded at that yet. This year our deficit is “only” $1 trillion. However, next year it is $3 trillion. If we aren’t able to raise enough foreign investors for the $1 trillion this year, how are we to expect to raise 1.5 times our projected deficit for 2010—a process which USUALLY begins the quarter preceding the year the investments are needed? When hyperinflation occurs, the only solution is to raise taxes, print more money, or sell foreign bonds. They’ve already raised taxes. We aren’t being successful in selling the bonds. So, what happens if we print more money?

emperor's-new-clothes4)     Financial Crisis Clue #4: Currency value is highly questionable. As I’ve attempted to explain previously, national currency only has value in a fully functional economy.  It only has value when there is a healthy balance between supply and demand. As we see in our news on a regular basis, we’ve long surpassed the criteria for a functional economy. I firmly believe our economy is as dysfunctional as Jon and Kate Gosselin’s marriage. Since the Federal Reserve refuses to publish the M3 report anymore which tells the American people just how much currency is in circulation at one time, we are seriously in store for an “emperor’s new clothes” scenario.  The fact that we don’t know how much money is in circulation does not change the fact that we’re seeing significantly higher amounts of currency being exchanged than ever before. The reason why our government has been staking claim to so much land (in spite of the fact that it’s unconstitutional) is so that there is more “collateral” for our foreign bonds. Fort Knox is empty, folks. Even food commodities which we have had in store in abundance in decades past have been exported in desperation to bring cash flow into our country’s government. The clouds are getting awfully dark in this warning, folks.

5)     Financial Crisis Clue #5: Credit crisis. Why in the world would credit card companies—who know full well that the economy is in serious trouble—start increasing minimum payment requirements to more than double the amount they’ve been in the past? What kind of financial sense does that make? Surely they will lose customers in doing so, or cause bankruptcies due to the irresponsible pool of consumers they cater to, right? So why would they make such a seemingly desperate move? It has to do with the fact that their money isn’t as valuable on the international trade markets any longer. As a result, the credit companies themselves have over extended themselves and thus have to cannibalize their source of income in order to bail themselves out. In addition, if you were to go to a grocery store consistently and find them out of milk each time, wouldn’t that start affecting your confidence in the availability of milk? You might start hoarding it when you did find it, or suspect there was a problem with it. The same is happening with money. Consumers are finding the “money shelves” bare at banks, credit companies, and lending companies. This directly affects consumer confidence so they are not parting with their “milk” quite so easily. Consumer confidence has a HUGE effect on currency value.

Utility Bills Could Bankrupt You. Photo c/o co.fort-bend.tx.us

Utility Bills Could Bankrupt You. Photo c/o co.fort-bend.tx.us

6)     Financial Crisis Clue #6: Credit crisis affects power companies. Most power companies purchase their power in bulk. They are able to do so based on their credit ratings through contracts known as power purchase agreements (PPAs). However, as the credit crunch in our nation becomes more obvious, even power companies are losing their stellar credit ratings and thus have difficulty renewing power purchase agreements, or at the very least, negotiating the best prices. This means, of course, that the power costs are going to go up this fall when many of these agreements are up for renewal. Couple that with the Cap & Trade “TAX” and you have a recipe for yet another financial disaster. It could come to the point where an employee literally cannot afford to drive to work. Your utility costs could bankrupt you. If this type of domino effect occurs, not only would there be a financial collapse, but several utility companies could go bankrupt with no one and nothing to rescue them. Imagine a power company sitting there looking like a ghost town.

Well, I think that suffices for now, folks. My purpose in sharing this with you is to give you yet one more reason why those of you who are preparing for “something” AREN’T crazy, and why the rest of you need to wake up and take advantage of the good times to get ready now. It sure would be a shame if the times of plenty lulled us into a sense of numbness to common sense, wouldn’t it? My friends, I beg you to please wake up and pay attention to the looming financial crisis and prepare accordingly. When this occurs, currency will be useless. Items which have an inherent value to them such as food, medical supplies, fuel, etc. are the only thing that will be worthwhile. Right now you can still obtain such items with our questionable currency. But how long will that last? Is that really a gamble you’re willing to make on your family’s life?

Wake up and smell the currency folks. The financial collapse is indeed looming.

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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Recently we posted the Ten Components of Emergency Preparedness.  There’s a reason these ten components are in the order that they are.  It’s not about ease or difficulty of storage or preparation.  It’s about what you can and can’t fix down the road when an emergency arrives.  Allow me to explain. 

Prepare Physically. Photo c/o thesealquest.com

Prepare Physically. Photo c/o thesealquest.com

The top three areas of preparedness on the list of ten components of emergency preparedness are preparing spiritually, mentally and physically.  Whatever level of preparedness you possess when an emergency happens, that’s what you have to work with.  It’s not like you’ll be able to go and read 30 preparedness books when a disaster strikes and immediately be up-to-speed.

Contrast this with food preparation.  With food, you can go into the mountains to gather food, or trade services to obtain what you need.  If you have no food stored now, this does not automatically preclude your survival in an emergency.  But physical preparation?  You can’t trade any of your food storage for a portion of someone else’s physical fitness.  That’s just not how it works.

Preparing spiritually, mentally and physically is of crucial importance because if an emergency were to strike today, your current preparedness level is what you have to make do with.  That’s why we need to be as prepared as possible, particularly in these three areas.  Even if you have NO money to address the other seven areas of preparedness (medical, clothing & shelter, food, water, fuel, financial, and communications) efforts to prepare spiritually, mentally and physically can be done right now.

Are you adequately prepared spiritually, mentally and physically?  Are you where you would like to be were an emergency to hit tomorrow?  How many people do you know who are sufficiently prepared spiritually, mentally and physically?  What are you doing today to increase your preparedness in these areas?

Feeling Overwhelmed? Photo c/o problogger.net

Feeling Overwhelmed? Start where you are. Photo c/o problogger.net

Even if it’s just small preparedness efforts, it’s important to do something each day to be better prepared in an emergency.  Just do one thing every day and be consistent with it.  Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by the amount of preparation necessary to be adequately prepared.  You don’t have to do it all right now – just start where you are and take baby steps forward. 

The key is to start.  It doesn’t even matter what “it” is that you are doing to prepare.  Just do it and start now. 

Maybe it’s one push-up or one sit-up every day.  That’s acceptable.  That’s one more push up or sit up than you’re doing now.  Maybe it’s reading a preparedness book like One Second After, skipping the soda at dinnertime or doing an extra lap around the track.  Whatever your spiritual, mental and physical preparedness efforts may be, stay consistent and then just increase them a little at a time.

The Right Path. Photo c/o jedchan.com

The Right Path. Photo c/o jedchan.com

Remember folks, it’s not a competition with anyone else – it’s only a competition against yourself.  As long as you’re moving consistently in the right direction, you’re on the right path. 

In closing, your challenge is to do one thing consistently every day to prepare spiritually, mentally or physically for an emergency.  Next week, do two things consistently every day.  If you think doing two things consistently is too much, do one and a half things every day instead.  Just be consistent! 

What baby steps will you take today to prepare spiritually, mentally and physically for an emergency? 

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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No, You’re Not Crazy
By Kellene Bishop

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

How to influence that skeptical spouse when it comes to emergency preparedness efforts is a query I hear frequently in my line of work.  I affectionately call it the “$64 million dollar question.”  Surprisingly, the question isn’t dominated by one particular sex or the other, either.  I guess both men and women are equally skeptical when it comes to this topic.  Obviously, it is tough to have one member of the family focused on something so important without the support of knowledge, enthusiasm and additional expertise from the other.  Being on the same page for this sort of thing boils down to more than just being able to “share in a hobby”—it’s literally lifesaving.  That’s why I address this query with some very specific and deliberate strategies.

  1. Money.  Money is usually the number one reason why a spouse is not on board with food storage acquisition.  The minute you go out and put a bunch of money on a credit card to obtain some emergency preparedness supplies, you’ve created a valid barrier.  Even if your spouse was on board with preparedness, that shouldn’t be an acceptable action.  Be just as prudent in acquiring your supplies as you are in the fact that you DO prepare for a rainy day.  I assure you that when you come home with a couple bags of emergency preparedness supplies and are able to tell your spouse that you got them for nearly free or cheap, you will have successfully taken down one of their most strident objections.  Just as many divorces ultimately end as the result of a disagreement about finances, emergency preparedness efforts are thwarted the same way.  If you are prudent and consistent in your preparedness efforts, you’ll be able to prepare without starting World War III in your home.
  2. USE and Familiarity.  Any spouse would be understandably frustrated to have their partner bring home a relatively large or significant investment such as a solar oven, a pressure cooker, a Glock handgun, etc., only to have it collect dust and take up valuable space.  No purchase you make for emergency preparedness should be disconnected or “foreign” to you.  You should incorporate it in your life on a regular basis.  It’s really not so much about “emergency preparedness” as it is just plain “preparedness.”  For example, I have a lot of folks who attend my “Bring on the Sun” solar oven class and tell me that they have owned one for ages but never knew how to use it.  Obviously they bought it “for emergencies.”  Argh!  That makes me cringe.  I have to wonder how their spouse felt about tripping over this big lug of inconvenience that was purchased “just in case the aliens attack.”  If you don’t use it folks, it’s no help to you and it doesn’t get attached to a realistic scenario in your spouses mind.  When you can present a delicious meal that was prepared in your pressure cooker, for example, the doubting spouse will simply see the meal as a yummy, simple, and efficient way of cooking—not another expense for a “fantasy ‘what if’ scenario” that they don’t believe will actually occur.  If the use of your tools and preparedness supplies is sporadic, it sends the wrong message to the doubters in your life about your level of commitment to preparedness.  If you’re committed enough to use money out of your family budget to acquire it, then you really should be serious enough to utilize and be familiar with the item as well. 
    Pressure canner for canning meat

    Pressure canner for canning meat

    I have the luxury of being equally yoked with my husband in our emergency preparedness efforts, but I can assure you that if I were to ask him to get me something that costs more than 50 bucks, I darn well better be prepared to show him the WHY I would like such a tool, and then immediately use it when it comes into the home.  For example, he bought me a large pressure canner for our anniversary recently.  I made sure that I was canning meat that very weekend, showed him how easy it was, and then followed up with making a couple of yummy meals from the results of that canning.  You can bet that he didn’t feel like the purchase was a waste.  (Especially now that I brought home over $50 of FREE steak to can this weekend. :))  If you bring home that handgun, be prepared to practice with it and participate in as many classes as you can.  If you purchase the Food Saver, start using it.  I think you get my point.  (By the way, I’ve discovered that the best bang for your buck on a Food Saver is ONLINE at Costco.  The Food Saver comes with all of the necessary attachments, plus the bags for only $78 bucks, including shipping.  Even in comparison to Ebay, that’s a great deal.) 

  3. Education.  Use every opportunity to factually educate your spouse—not preach to them.  For example, make a scrumptious casserole or brisket in your solar oven.  When you present it to your spouse and family for dinner, tell them how easy it was and how it didn’t require any electricity.  You don’t even need to mention the word “preparedness.”  The dots will get connected eventually so that you don’t have to translate everything into plans for an emergency.  If you aren’t able to spend the money on something until your spouse is “converted”, then borrow someone else’s and demonstrate it for them.  You’ll be better off mentally for having used it successfully, and you’ll be better for putting your mind in the position of a student, then a teacher.  It’s a win/win situation with this approach.  In order to properly educate those around you, be sure to be fully educated yourself so that your “teachings” aren’t just theory or supposition.  They are much more readily accepted when delivered this way.
  4. Patience.  Your own preparedness efforts take patience and faith.  The same holds true in educating the doubters in your life.  Patience is usually only fortified by consistency.  If the doubting spouse in your life sees a crack in your resolve, they tend to go after it mercilessly.  Make your plan and then execute it with the resources that you have available to you.  Be patient and faithful that those around you will receive their own enlightenment about preparedness little by little as well.  Your example will go a very long way in helping them to understand and internalize for themselves the importance of this mindset.  
  5. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

    Immersion.  A lot of folks believe that “doomsday” will never come.  They have heard about it for so long that they are just plain tired of hearing it and being beat up by it.  In other words, it’s not a reality to them at all.  To the unbeliever, it’s just a fantasy created by the makers of bottled water, camp stoves, and generators.  One of the easiest ways to educate someone on the reality of preparedness is to help “immerse” them in a world in which such may be needed.  Movies, books, and even “hypothetical questions” like “what do you think we would do if…” are very helpful in educating the mind of someone who may not “get it.”  As I’ve shared previously, I loved the books Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, One Second After by William Forstchen, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse by James Rawles, among many others.  These are enjoyable books but also enlightening, causing even the most educated “prepper” to consider the reality of areas or possibilities that they may have missed previously.  I also have found the right movies to work towards this purpose as well, such as “Independence Day,” “Twister,” “Outbreak,” “Red Dawn,” etc.  These tactics are beneficial to those who need to mentally expose themselves to the possibility of unexpected events, but they are also great ways to strengthen your mental preparedness, too, as you find yourself mulling over what you’ve read or viewed and ask yourself “What would I do if…?” kinds of questions.

    Clearly I wouldn’t be a preparedness pro instructor if I didn’t also encourage you to take advantage of various classes offered to help you and your family better prepare for disasters.  CERT training for example, doesn’t have to be about handling “the end of the world.”  It can simply be about being a better asset to a community.  But it will also go a long way in helping to transition the mind and the heart of resistant “preppers.”

     Obviously, getting those you love and care for on board with preparedness is an important task.  Unfortunately there isn’t a quick fix for it.  Your efforts will need to be informed, consistent, prudent, and patient.  But I can assure you that by using these efforts, you have the best chance of being successful.  Good luck!

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

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.

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