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By Kellene Bishop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Kellene Bishop

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

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

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

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

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

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

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

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

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Kellene Bishop

The second most important aspect of preparedness is your Mental Preparedness. This category isn’t just about attitude, it’s about knowledge as well. Today you will receive some resources for mental preparedness that I have found incredibly useful, all in one article.

James Wesley, Rawles, author of www.survivalblog.com

James Wesley, Rawles, author of http://www.survivalblog.com

To start with, yes, there is an abundance of information available on the internet. However, a word of warning. In order to get the most reliable information for your mental preparedness, use the internet to access university studies, copies of speeches, and previous news articles. Obviously, if you have a website that you trust, use that as well in order to maximize your learning time. I believe that Preparedness Pro is one of those sites you can rely on. Personally I go to www.survivalblog.com since this is founded by James Wesley, Rawles. (He’s the author of “Patriots”, an excellent novel that teaches sound preparedness strategies. He’s truly an expert on matters of preparedness and is also a former US Intelligence Officer.) He has written on his blog every single day for five years, but recently his wife passed away after struggling with cancer. So I’m sure he’s taking a break. In the meantime, you MAY have a chance to catch up on a great deal of his content. I also love everythingunderthesunblog.blogspot.com (corrected link). This is created by one of my heroines, Wendy DeWitt. She was employed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for years to travel all over to teach various aspects of preparedness. The girl knows her stuff! (You can also find some video footage of her classes on YouTube.) Although she doesn’t update her site regularly, there’s a feast of information available otherwise. One last site that I would recommend is www.theheartlandusa.com by Dr. Gregory Evensen. (The site isn’t pretty, but the content is riveting.) Read his editorials and if you get a chance to attend one of his events—DO it! My husband and I attended an all day event of his last Saturday and I can assure you it was worth just about every minute! It’s great to associate with like-minded people, get to the root of concerns, and be educated by knowledgeable individuals instead of just web-spinners.

In addition to reading sites, I’ve found it VERY helpful to get to watch instructional videos for my mental preparedness as well. Videos on making solar powered heaters, or pressure cooking, making wheat meat, etc. I know, I know. You’re probably hollering at your screen right now wondering when I’M going to get on the stick with instructional videos as well. Well, it’s going to be THIS week, so there! :))

This may sound a bit self-defeating, but when it comes to getting information on preparedness, focusing on the internet should not be your only resource. In fact, I smirk a bit every time someone asks me to “post links” to my resources when I write an article—as if we no longer had telephones and libraries anymore. I mean really, folks, not all “facts” are backed up with links to other websites. Seriously though, books are a great resource to have on hand every day—now and even in the midst of calamity.

I personally enjoy and highly recommend the following books for your mental preparedness:

  • “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. (A real eye opener! This is the first book I recommend everyone read who’s thinking about getting into being more prepared.)
  • “Passport to Survival” by Esther Dickey. (Marked up all over with tags, etc.  I use this book all the time. Packed full of information on the use of only 4 food items for long-term survival, it’s also got lots of recipes.)
  • “The Amazing Wheat Book” by LeArta Moulton. (Another book that is all marked up. I’ve never understood the value of wheat so well and felt so confident using it as I did after reading this book. It’s invaluable!)
  • “One Second After” by William Forstchen. (Opened my eyes to components of a disaster I hadn’t thought of before…unfortunately. Note the realistic language in this book does make it “PG-13”.)
  • “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley, Rawles.
  • 5000-year-leap“The 5000 Year Leap” by Cleon Skousen. (This one is critical reading to me because it helps me study what kind of a government must be put back into play after the crisis, as well as what kind of government I need to strive for now in order to ensure that our freedoms stay in place.)
  • “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” by James Wesley, Rawles. (This book just BARELY came out but I’ve already devoured it.)
  • “Cooking Under Pressure” by Lorna Sass. (I consider her the foremost authority in cooking with a pressure cooker and MOST of her recipes have been great! She’s got many great cookbooks for pressure cooking that I would also recommend.)
  • “When There is No Doctor” by Jane Maxwell. (Great resource book!)
  • “When There is No Dentist” by Murray Dickson. (Another great resource book!)
  • “The Bible” by…well, you know who all wrote that.
  • “The Boy Scout Handbook” (This is also a regular read in my house—and not just by my husband.)

The key is that you actually READ these books–not simply have them on hand as some informational reading DURING a crisis. The time for preparatory learning is before the opportunity manifests itself. I heard a gal the other day claim that one of her preparedness “assets” was the fact that she had so many books on preparedness. Uh, nope. Not unless you think you can learn by osmosis.

If you’re inclined to read books from the LDS genre, I highly recommend Chris Stewart series, “The Great and Terrible.” This 6-book series is addictive! It’s like “Alas, Babylon” but on steroids and I absolutely loved it—when I could sneak it out of my husband’s clutches, that is. I also LOVED the book “Prophetic Statements of Food Storage for Latter-Day Saints” by Neil H. Leash.

Ok, those are the books that I’ve read that are fit to recommend for mental preparedness. (Unfortunately there are at least 50 others I’ve read in the last 18 months that AREN’T fit to recommend.)

May I also recommend that you go to as many classes on preparedness topics that you can possibly handle! Anything that fits within the 10 Areas of Preparedness would be worthy of your time. Take your family with you as much as possible, and understand that getting this kind of information is an investment in your family. I had one gal who drove 200 miles last Friday to attend two of my classes. There is another delightful woman who regularly drives 3 ½ hours to attend my classes whenever she can as well. (Yes, I call her a stalker. Hee hee.) And I don’t want to hear any griping about how I’m not any closer to YOU or in your area. I’ve told you a hundred times that I’d be willing to teach in your area if you just took care of travel expenses. All you have to do is contact my assistant Sarah to arrange for dates. We don’t charge anything to teach the classes–yet. It just can’t cost me anything except for time—otherwise I’d definitely go broke.

Bottling butter photo c/o Adventures in Self Reliance

Bottling butter photo c/o Adventures in Self Reliance

Attending classes is an investment in time, and sometimes money, but with as much as you all think I know, you should be aware that I also attend classes at every possible chance I get. It also presents a great opportunity to “interview” other individuals. In doing so, I’ve been turned onto aspects of preparedness that I never would have thought about otherwise—such as cheesewaxing, bottling butter, canning meat, diatomaceous earth, etc. In fact, last Saturday my husband and I spent a rare “free” Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a Dr. Greg Evensen event. I loved it. It was also great realizing that my husband isn’t crazy. Hee hee.

To be perfectly blunt, if I could do a “mind dump” to share what I know, what’s in these books that I’ve recommended, and what Dr. Evensen teaches to only 500,000 people in America, I would sure sleep better at night. And frankly, every other American could sleep better at night knowing that there are people like you who care and are prepared.

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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wheat-investment

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By Kellene Bishop

How long will your wheat last? What’s the best way to store it? How do I keep insects out of it?  What do I do when it smells like the can?

Today I was doing a training which involved going over the shelf life of various foods. One woman in attendance incorrectly stated to the entire class that “wheat goes bad easily because it has oil in it, and so it goes rancid if you’re not careful.”

I got to talking to my husband and asked him what other misinformation he may have heard about wheat. Turns out, there sure is a lot of MIS-information out there. So, I decided to help dispel some of the rumors so that you can more confidently store this vital food.

First of all, what IS the shelf-life of wheat?

Wheat does have an oil in it. It’s called vitamin E. It’s what gives the grain some fat content which makes it an even more complete food. (Nice how God is so thorough that way, eh?) In fact, by extracting the oil in wheat, you come up with the expensive oil called Wheat Germ oil. (Very healthy for you, by the way.)  However, oil doesn’t go rancid because of its mere existence. It goes rancid when it’s exposed to oxygen, primarily. 

Storing wheat for 30+ years is a drop in the bucket—excuse the pun. The key is to store it in its whole grain form. I do the same thing with dent corn. I store dent corn in its whole grain form so that I will have plenty of cornmeal on hand when I need it, otherwise just plain cornmeal would go rancid relatively quickly. In the cornmeal stage all of its oil is fully exposed to oxygen. Oil exposed to oxygen is what makes things go rancid. It’s nice that whole dent corn is easy to store for 30+ years. I’d never get that far with cornmeal. The same goes with groats instead of oats. Groats are the “whole” form of oats.  By the way, when you store grains in their whole grain form, you can sprout them—YUMM-MEE.

Use the whole grain Photo c/o uniflour.com

Use the whole grain Photo c/o uniflour.com

The ideal temperature for storing wheat for the longest shelf life is 75 degrees or cooler. However, yes, you can store wheat in a warmer environment so long as it’s packaged well. Ideally you’ve got it in a double-bagged packaging. Or in a bag and then in a bucket. Or better yet, in an number 10 can—although more expensive to buy that way (you can always buy it in the bags and then use a canner). Wheat stored in a Mylar bag in a bucket would be another good method, however, it’s also more expensive than the simple bag or bucket method. So long as you keep your wheat off of a heated cement floor, and out of direct sunlight, you’ll have success in storing it long term. Remember though, the cooler, the better and the easier the wheat will be to work with in your recipes too.

Continuing on with the temperature issue… Keep in mind that wheat was found in the pyramids, and Egypt is NOT known for its cool climate. 🙂 I had someone comment to me recently when I told them this: “yeah, but the deep dark corners of the pyramids are rather cool.” First of all…have you been to a pyramid? It’s flippin’ HOT in there. Sure it’s COOL-ER than outside of it. But it’s not a cool 75 degrees. (Although SOME have been found to maintain 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Why can’t I build my home to do that?!) Second of all, such a statement presumes that the wheat came fresh off of the stem before it was put in the pyramid. *heavy sigh* In other words, it’s presumed that it was never exposed to any heat prior to being placed in the pyramid tombs. As I’ve shared in a previous article, when I lived in the Philippines, they would frequently “dry” their grains by spreading them out on the road for a couple of days. And yes, it is extremely hot and humid in the Philippines, and yet whole grains are the most vital food source they have. Whole grains are just another one of these neat miracles that God has given us to feed us, if you ask me. They are temperamental foods that the majority of the world can’t store without refrigeration.

A metal can is the ideal way to store wheat simply because varmints can’t chew through it. But to be forthright with you, I have very, very little wheat stored this way. Most of mine is in the big, thick, double 50 pound bags. The wheat of my mother’s that we kids moved around for 18 years was also stored this way. I’m sure many of you have parents and grandparents with their wheat stored the same way. Remember, that if you do get little bugs in your wheat, there’s no need to throw it out. Simply put it in 180 degrees for about 20-30 minutes and Voila! You no longer have bugs. You simply have extra protein. (Don’t worry. You’ll get over it.)  

When you open a can of stored wheat it may smell a little “tin-ish.” Don’t worry about that. It’s natural for the ingredients to take on that smell. But the good news is that it’s not permanent. Simply aerate the wheat for a couple of hours outside of the can, and you’ll eliminate that smell just fine.

I don’t mess with buying the more expensive wheat. I almost exclusively store the hard red wheat. It’s more environment- hearty and tolerant to store than the hard white wheat. My bread, pie crusts, and cookies turn out just dandy with the hard red wheat. When selecting your wheat for storage, make sure that it doesn’t have a moisture content higher than 10 percent in order to successfully store it long-term.

Well, I hope this helps answer some of your grainy questions about wheat. (Sorry, I’m in a punny mood today.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DivaCup photo c/o gladrags.com

DivaCup photo c/o gladrags.com

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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