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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

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.

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By Kellene Bishop

Fuel photo c/o pgdb.co.nz

Fuel photo c/o pgdb.co.nz

One of the ten areas of emergency preparedness is fuel.  Fuel brings us the much needed light that we will require not only to see, but also to feel good.  It includes any fuel we’ll need for cooking, and the fuel we’ll need for keeping warm.

Before you elect to get a years supply of fuel for these purposes, consider the most basic rules of thumb.

1)     Think safety first

2)     Conserve energy—including yours

3)     Conserve body heat

4)     Confine the heat appropriately

Alcohol photo c/o chemistryland.com

Isopropyl Alcohol photo c/o chemistryland.com

When considering what fuel to store, the safety of it should be your primary concern.  Why store gasoline when you can safely store isopropyl alcohol outside in 55 gallon drums for a lot less money and little risk of combustibility?  (You can usually get free delivery of this alcohol too.)  A few cans of propane is much safer than gasoline, and so is kerosene if stored in a cool, dry place.  Check with your local fire department for maximum storage abilities of these fuels.

Keep in mind that if you store kerosene, Home Depot has a program in which they will buy back your old kerosene after you’ve stored it several years.  They turn around and sell it to the farmers whose diesel engines will still run on it.  To dramatically extend the life of the fuel can, be sure to add a fuel preservative to your gasoline and your kerosene.

If you’re planning on surviving off of firewood, be sure that it’s already cut up—for two reasons.  One reason is to conserve your physical energy.  The last thing you need is to be expending your own energy in the midst of an emergency.  Two, be sure that you don’t have to needlessly use dangerous tools when you’re not fully functional, especially those who may not be familiar with the use of such a tool.  That’s how tragic accidents occur.  What if you are the only one who can chop the wood and you get sick?  What will your family do for fuel?  Try a task that they aren’t as experienced at as you when they’ve had just as much stress and as little nutrition as you?  Definitely not a good idea.

Whatever alternatives of fuel you elect to use, be sure you share the wealth of knowledge on how to use those tools.  One of the most foolish things I see households do is place the majority of the lifesaving information in the hands of one individual.  This is a dangerous supposition that that person will always be around.  Every responsible person in the family should know how to use the propane heater, the pressure cooker, and the alcohol lights, etc.  

Volcano Stove photo c/o barbequelovers.com

Volcano Stove photo c/o barbequelovers.com

When you are considering what tools you’ll use to cook, light, and heat with, consider the cost and accessibility of the fuel the tools will use.  Recently my husband and I purchased a small, collapsible Volcano Stove.  We have lots of means to cook with if necessary, but the price was only $99 and it was a multi-fueled tool.  It will cook off of charcoal, wood, and propane (which also means tightly rolled newspapers, too).  That made it very attractive so that we don’t have to rely on just one fuel for our cooking.  Another cooking tool we have is a kerosene heater that has a grid on the top so while we’re heating our surroundings (with ventilation, of course), we can also be boiling water, or cooking on the same component.  We also have some Joy Cook stoves that are commonly used in Korea.  With only one can of butane and my pressure cooker, I have been able to cook three meals a day on my Joy Cook stove for an entire three weeks.  

Also, consider conserving your fuel as much as possible, especially when you’re cooking.  Once you bring a pressure cooker up to high, you can remove it from the heat, turn off your heat source, and wrap the pressure cooker in towels—it will continue to cook for up to an hour.  That’s a whole lot of fuel-free cooking.  The solar oven is even more fuel-friendly in that regard.  If you have sunshine, you have an oven that will cook anything that you can cook in your regular oven, with the exception of frying.  Better yet, nothing will scorch or burn in your solar oven and the clean up is also a breeze, thus conserving your own physical energy.  This way I’m conserving the majority of my fuel for light and heat instead of just cooking.  I use my pressure cooker and my solar oven on a very regular basis so that I’m familiar with it even in the midst of a crisis, and so that it brings comfort to my family and friends. 

Dutch Oven photo c/o cityweekly.net

Dutch Oven photo c/o cityweekly.net

This leads me to my final reminder in this area of preparedness.  USE that which you are planning on using to survive a crisis.  Use it now when it’s convenient.  Don’t buy it and then stash it away until a crisis hits.  What if it’s not in working order?  What if it’s missing a part?  Also, waiting to use something until the crisis hits will only use up more of your vital physical fuel as you expend a lot of it through stress.  Remember, prepare in comfort of panic in chaos.  For example, if you have a Dutch oven that you’re planning on using in a crisis, great.  But be sure you’ve used it enough before a crisis so that you’re comfortable with it.  Besides, Dutch oven cooking is yummy.  So if you enjoy it now, when it comes time to having to use it, it will feel more like a comfort to your family rather than a science-fiction survival mode.  The more you use these items, the more you can truly be prepared because you will notice parts and components that will make your job easier that you may not have thought of previously.  For example, I use my pressure cooker all the time.  As such, I notice that the rubber seal that goes in the lid of the pan eventually gets old and thus doesn’t seal as well.  So, in the interest of truly being prepared, I’ve stocked up on a surplus of those rubber seals so that when my life is reliant on the proper function of my pressure cookers, I’m not left starving.  

Fuel doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.  Ways to keep your family warm and cook for them are usually one-time purchases that will ensure you’ve got a full life beyond, even in the midst of 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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How to prepare medically for an EMP attack

By Kellene Bishop 

When any natural disaster hits a region there will always be devastating consequences, particularly to those who are in ill health or who rely on medications and modern technology to get through their day.  Unfortunately, without preparing medically, these individuals will be the first casualties of such a disaster.  I understand that stating such a reality doesn’t make me popular or a preferred guest at your next dinner party, but I do feel compelled to teach you the real consequences of a crisis, while also teaching you to prepare medically so you can avoid being a death statistic.

Photo c/o chip.state.il.us

Photo c/o chip.state.il.us

First get the 10,000 foot view of how an EMP attack or a solar flare will affect your medical preparedness.  ALL electrical gidgets and gadgets will be fried and made useless, regardless of whether or not they are turned on, plugged in, or out of their styro-foam box.  So, if your “plan” is to race to Walgreens once you catch wind of an emergency, you’re in for a rude awakening.  Medical supplies such as prescriptions run on a one day delivery schedule.  That means that the most that pharmacies have on hand is ONE day of supplies for their regular number of customers.  Regular, as in a peaceful, calm, normal day.  If the “fit hits the shan,” you need to understand the mathematical problem in expecting your supplies will be on hand when you need them in a mass emergency situation.  You will have LESS than 30 minutes to get there, get it, and get out.  So you see why that’s not the best plan to prepare medically?  What you should do is to have a frank conversation with your doctor, tell him that you want and need to prepare medically for an emergency, and ask for a 1 to 3 month supply of your medications in addition to what you need to be taking.  So long as your prescription is not a controlled substance, you should be able to make a convincing argument to prepare medically.

If you are dealing with diabetic issues in which you need insulin, get what you can as a supply AND store advanced technology ice packs to prepare medically.  There are kinds of ice packs that look like a pox-marked quilt that stay frozen and distribute the cold for longer periods of time than simple ice.  There are also gel packs that can be heated or frozen.  They hold their temperature a lot longer than ice.  Keep in mind, if you store your insulin in the refrigerator, dramatically limit opening that refrigerator.  You will be able to keep it cool for a 50% longer period of time.  Other preparedness methods that you should explore are solar energy generators sufficient only to run a small refrigerator, a “solar oven” that converts to a refrigerator at night and how to construct an electricity free refrigerator (see Google).  Our forefathers did without electricity and so can we if need be.

Photo c/o ehow.com

Photo c/o ehow.com

Another suggestion to prepare medically is for you to be certain that you are storing nutritious foods.  I hear folks frequently tell me that they will be able to survive off of their food storage simply because of all of the boxes they have of Kraft Mac and Cheese.  I assure you, that is not surviving.  It’s barely even living.  In an emergency situation your body is naturally in a heightened state of stress.  Your body needs MORE nutrition to “survive”, let alone to thrive.  Stress compromises your entire health system—especially your immune system.  Having proper nutrition in a crisis situation is the utmost of importance.  Multi-vitamins, essential oils, quality grains, sprouting supplies, etc. will all be crucial to you surviving not only an existing medical crisis, but one that may occur due to your circumstances as well.  You can not underestimate the power of nutrition for your health—especially in an emergency.

It’s easy for us in this country to become complacent with all that medical technology will do for us that we aren’t willing to do for ourselves.  On New Years Day this year, I looked at my nightstand and was struck by how many prescription bottles I had that I needed to take everyday.  I suddenly became very aware of how those prescriptions would compromise my ability to survive and emergency.  Thus in the name of emergency preparedness I made a vow that I would eliminate the need for all of them this year if it were at all possible.  As of May, I have eliminated all but one of these meds by being more conscientious of what I eat, how active I am physically, and using nutrition as my medicine instead of just as my food.  (Please consult your physician before attempting this.)

Photo c/o flickr.com/photos/troikkonen

Photo c/o flickr.com/photos/troikkonen

For the first 8 years of my marriage, my husband’s breakfast consisted of two handfuls of peanut M&M’s, a Cherry Coke, and a bag of Cheetos (he fondly called it “Vitamin C3”).  Throughout the day he would eat Lindt chocolate and any other kind of sweets that sounded appetizing.  I couldn’t get that man to eat veggies unless it was on a slab of beef.  Healthy, eh?  However, one day it hit him that he didn’t want to be a slave to these kinds of foods in an emergency.  So he went from a sugar addict to a “no sugar guy” overnight.  He’s now 2 years “sober”—all in the name of emergency preparedness.  He also runs up “Y” mountain in Provo, Utah every morning while stopping long enough to do a total of 600 push-ups along the way.  Each day it’s being prepared for an emergency that motivates him. (Please consult a psychologist before attempting this! 🙂 )

While it’s not realistic to arm yourself with a year’s supply of medicine, you can arm yourself with as much health and strength as you can possibly store AND you can also have a year’s high-quality nutritional products on hand.  I’m not talking about diet shakes.  I’m talking about products such as Reliv, Sunrider, Young Living, Xooma’s water sachets, etc.  Worst case scenario, stocking up on some Ensure may save your life if you can’t get the other products.  I don’t recommend nutritional products such as these to make money in an “MLM.”  I recommend products like these to literally save your life.  (Which is exactly why I’m NOT going to provide you with contact information for these products. Please Google them.)  

Increase your knowledge of the use of essential oils, herbs, and alternative medicines. There is an abundance of information freely available.  Even cancer can be appeased with alternative medicine (click here) All of these chemicals we take have their own natural origins.  Go to the source.  Even diabetes can be made less severe with essential oils and herbs (click here).

Lastly, in order to prepare medically you need to keep in mind that in the event of an EMP attack, it’s not likely that you will have any notice.  Unlike a tornado warning, you won’t be able to go underground for safety.  BUT…if you DO have such a warning, then be prepared to flee into or to store vital items immediately in a Faraday cage or like protection.  (More info on that coming up this week.)  If you have a pacemaker or oxygen machine, get yourself as far below ground as possible.

The bottom line is, we do not have to be helpless medically in any event with some concentrated efforts to prepare medically now.  Remember, you won’t be able to rely on hospitals, doctors or emergency services to help amidst a catastrophic event (Think Hurricane Katrina).  But as you prepare medically, you can be self-sufficient with mental and physical preparedness now.

  • EMP 101: Part I–The Likelihood.
  • EMP 101: Part II–The Aftermath.
  • EMP 101: Part III–Prepare Medically.
  • EMP 101: Part IV–Faraday Cages.
  • 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

    Many are reluctant to take food storage preparations seriously due to a fear that they will have to live merely on beans and rice.  While I do enjoy a good meal of beans and rice, I’ll admit the thought of it makes me somewhat depressed.  As a professional preparedness consultant, I can assure you that your meals need not be any less enjoyable during an emergency that they are now.  You can truly anticipate meals that are fit for a king, even when you’re living off of your storable commodities.  Perhaps the only downside to these meals is that you’ll have to do the cooking.  A little bit of preparation now will go a long ways in preserving your own physical energy and warding off the blues in the event of a crisis.  Bring on the succulent feast!  

    My primary suggestion for the preparation in the future is to begin to embrace freeze dried and canned foods in your everyday cooking now so that you can enjoy dishes fit for a king.  (Photo care of http://www.logoi.com/)

    Photo c/o bluechipgroup.net

    Photo c/o bluechipgroup.net

    Freeze dried products have come a LONG ways.  I am very partial to the Blue Chip products as they are SO tasty, and even come with an 18 month guarantee that’s effective AFTER you open the #10 cans.  Now when I use freeze dried veggies and such, I don’t throw away or waste produce, I only use as much as I need, I don’t have to sacrifice taste or nutrition and I also save a great deal of time.  For example, I have several food storage recipes which call for a part of a can of tomato paste.  By using the freeze dried version, I only use exactly what I need and the rest will be there for me over the next 18 months.  When I want a little bell pepper and spinach for an omelet (how’s that for dishes fit for a king?), I don’t have to take the time to dice the produce.  I just add in what I want and the put the rest away for later.  Easy, right?  I’ve tried over 35 of the Blue Chip products (also recognized under the name “Morning Moos”) and have never been dissatisfied.  In fact, I have enjoyed some of the products so much, that they’ve definitely made their way into my everyday cooking!  

    So enjoy these recipes fit for a king today and know that they will taste just as yummy in the future!

    Turkey Tetrazzini

    (Serves 4)

    2 10 oz. cans of turkey or chicken

    14 oz. of spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds, cooked and drained

    1 6 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, or the equivalent of freeze dried mushrooms

    1 T of minced onion

    1 T of minced garlic

    1 t. of fresh parsley (fresh is best so consider keeping an herb garden)

    1 16 oz. can of chicken broth

    1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

    ½ cup flour

    1 t. salt

    ½ t. pepper

    ½ C of butter (or dried equivalent)

    ½ C grated parmesan cheese

    Make a white sauce by mixing the butter, flour, chicken broth and 1 C of evaporated milk in a pot on medium heat, stirring constantly until creamy.

    Stir in the mushrooms (if dried, allow them to rehydrate before adding in any other ingredients) and then the turkey/chicken.  Add onion and garlic and parsley.

    Add in the cooked pasta.

    Stir the sauce and pasta together well and place in a baking dish.

    Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  This can be baked in a Dutch oven easily or a solar oven.  It can also be baked in a covered grill at a low heat.  Be sure that the casserole dish can withstand direct fire contact. 

    Photo c/o lapetitechinoise.com

    Photo c/o lapetitechinoise.com

    Shepherds Pie

     (Serves 4)

    1 40 oz. can beef stew

    1 12 oz. can vegetables (peas, corn, or green beans)

    1 C of “potato pearls”, “potato gems” (made by Blue Chip), or “potato buds”

    ½ C grated cheese (optional.  You can easily keep cheese in your food storage by waxing your own cheese)

    1 C very hot water

    Combine stew and vegetables and pour into a 9×9 baking dish. 

    Combine potato pearls with water. Stir briefly. Cover and let stand for 5- 10 minutes.

    Spread potatoes over the stew mixture, top with grated cheese if desired.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

    This can also be cooked in a Dutch Oven or a solar oven very easily. You can also put the mixture into individual ramekins and cook them in the solar oven as well.

    Beef Stroganoff

    (Serves 4)

    1 10 oz. can of beef chunks of cooked ground beef

    1 4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms (or equivalent of dried mushrooms)

    1 10 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup

    2 T of dehydrated onion

    8 oz. of egg noodles, prepared according to directions

    OR

    1 C of rice prepared according to directions

    1 C of yogurt or sour cream (this can easily be prepared from your powdered milk)

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients except for the yogurt or sour cream and noodles/rice.  Heat through.  Stir in the yogurt or sour cream and heat through.  Serve mixture over noodles/rice.

    Notes: You can also add some fresh parsley to this dish or a can of peas, drained.

    Swiss Steak

    (Serves 4)

    1 1.25 oz. package of dry, brown gravy mix

    1 15 oz. can diced or pureed tomatoes (depending on your texture preference)

    1 12 oz. can roast beef chunks

    1 C potato pearls, gems, or buds

    2 T dehydrated carrots

    1 T diced dehydrated green pepper

    2 T minced dehydrated onion

    1 ¾ C water for gravy

    1 C very hot water

    2 C of boiling water to mix with potatoes

    First hydrate the carrots, green peppers and onions by placing them in a bowl and covering them with the very hot water. Set them aside for about 10 to 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, mix together the water and gravy with a whisk.  Stir until lumps have been dissipated.

    Stir in the hydrated carrots, peppers, onions, and the tomatoes. Bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add beef and continue to simmer until heated through.

    In a separate container mix together the potatoes and 2 cups of boiling water. (Water previously used for cooking pasta, rice or vegetables is ideal)

    Enjoy your new food storage dishes, fit for a king! 

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

    By Kellene Bishop

    Photo c/o hubpages.com

    Photo c/o hubpages.com

    I’m not afraid of an earthquake.  I’m not afraid of a famine or a pandemic.  I’m not afraid of a nuclear attack.  And in some sadistic moments I hope that some idiot will actually try and harm me or my family so that I can put my firearm self-defense training to good use.  🙂  Obviously, the absence of fear is one of the fruits of being prepared.  But what about a fire?  Having my house catch on fire is my number one fear.  To me that seems so arbitrary.  A fire is no respecter of persons.  It doesn’t matter how well prepared I am, my toaster or my refrigerator, or any other electrical wiring could just decide one day to spark and voila, I’ve got a fast spreading fire that I can’t do much about in less than three minutes.  In such a case a great deal of my “preparedness” can literally go up in flames.  While I regularly focus on being prepared for a crisis or some kind of natural disaster, I give just as much focus to preventing the one disaster that can wipe me out—a fire. 

    First of all, there are a few facts that you should be aware of.  The U.S. has the highest number of fire deaths per capita than any other country.  Why?  Because our use of electricity is the highest.  Once every 16 seconds a house fire is reported in our nation.  A flaming fire can double in size every 30 seconds.  Overall, flames travel nineteen feet every second.  Unlike some misinformed macho beliefs that circulate out there, you literally have only three minutes to get out of the house in the event of a fire before you become a death statistic.  It’s not the fire that kills a person; it’s the lack of oxygen, smoke inhalation, toxic gases, and asphyxiation that kills.  All of these killers can be present in even the smallest of house fires.  The majority of fires occur while you are asleep.  You can NOT rely on being warned of a fire in your sleep with your sense of smell.  It is during your sleep that this sense is at its lowest.  And the likelihood of a smoke detector properly alerting you to a fire is only 44.2 percent.  (Gotta love those kinds of odds, right?) So what can you do to sleep better in your home?  Plenty.  Here are a few vital preparedness tips so that all of your other preparedness efforts don’t go up in smoke. 

    1. Keep non-vital items unplugged.  The kitchen is the most common place for a fire to occur and contrary to popular opinion, it’s not because of grease fires.  Toasters and other modern conveniences are a huge culprit in heating things up.  Keep all non-essential items unplugged.  This means the toaster, the countertop mixer, the blender, etc.  (Be sure to do this with you curling irons and blow dryers in the bathroom as well.)
       
    2. Have a GOOD fire extinguisher on hand in all high-risk areas.
      Photo c/o masterguard.com

      Photo c/o masterguard.com

      When you use the fire extinguisher, be sure that you aim it at the base of the fire and then sweep it back and forth.  There have been several incidences in which the use of a fire extinguisher only SPREAD the fire because all it did was spray the flames broadly from being used incorrectly. For starters, it’s important that you have an “ABC” fire extinguisher.  It’s also important that it is a full metal extinguisher, including the nozzle, as plastic can melt and malfunction very easily.  (I don’t understand the logic of stores that sell the cheap plastic versions.  You won’t see those kinds on the walls of their own store, so why should it be OK for your home?)  Be sure to shake up your extinguisher every six months to prevent the settling of the insides.  This will ensure you don’t have a jam when you need to use it.  Fires are common in the kitchen, the bedroom, the garage, and rooms with a fireplace.  Do you have fire extinguishers there?  Since a fire is most likely to occur when you are asleep, wouldn’t it be wise to keep one next to or underneath your bed?  After all, you keep some kind of a self-defense weapon there since a break-in is most likely to occur at night, right?  Why not a fire extinguisher as well?

    3. Maintain and use quality smoke detectors.  Here’s the aspect of fire safety that really gets me.  Do you realize that the majority of mainstream smoke detectors have about 50 pending lawsuits against them at any one time?  Why?  Because they didn’t work when necessary.  Sure they go off when you burn the bacon or have too many romantic candles lit, but during a fire they are less likely to go off because of how they are scientifically built.  What’s worse is that out of all of these lawsuits, the companies never end up having to pay.  Why?  Because if you read the arduous fine print of a disclaimer you will see that smoke detectors aren’t “foolproof” and that the “parts could fail at any time for any reason.”  Yup.  The manufacturers actually put this in the information in the product for all the world to see.  It’s just highly unlikely that you or I will actually read the part that says that they “shouldn’t be relied on for saving a life in the event of a fire.”  They even go so far as to say that they may not go off in over 35% of all fires!  (Statistically they don’t go off in over 55 percent of all house fires!)  It also says in there that if you don’t change it every two years, clean it every week, and change the batteries every six months that the company isn’t at fault for them not working anyway.  Geesh!  These made in China or Mexico pieces of garbage are what most Americans rely on to save the life of their family?!  There have been numerous incidences in which the smoke detectors don’t go off until the majority of the house has burned to the ground.  No wonder you don’t readily find a long warranty on most smoke detectors.
      Photo c/o e-zsecurity.net

      Photo c/o e-zsecurity.net

      I will recommend that you invest in a detector that has a heat sensor AND an optical sensor that watches for smoke (known as thermal and optical sensors).  I’m not talking about using a fancy security system.  Heck, the flames can burn through the walls lickety split and then you have no way of the security company being alerted of a fire.  If you’re willing to do a little detective work, you’ll find smoke detectors that will have a REAL warranty (about 25 years), with a long reputable company history, and an optical and a heat sensor.  This is ideal to truly protect your home and family. 

      On a side note I would also recommend that you prepare appropriately for a fire disaster by stocking up on Burn Free.  It really does do a great job in the event of a burn in pulling away the heat and subduing the pain.  A fire burn is very, very painful.  Relief is critical.

    4. Last but not least, use some common sense.  Electrical items, furnaces and heaters need to breathe.  Don’t stack plastic bags and other things around any of them whatsoever.  Don’t stack things on top of or around your television.  Clean behind your refrigerator regularly (at least every 6 months) and be sure that you not only empty the lint filter in your dryer, but you also wash it with soap and water to eliminate the film that comes from your fabric softeners.  You MUST clean out the lint hose at the back of the dryer regularly.  Never leave your home with your dryer running unless you’d like to increase the likelihood of not coming back to one.  Have all of your vital documents scanned on a thumb drive/disk and stored outside of the home.  And finally, be sure you have suitable fire insurance not only to replace your home, but to replace ALL of your belongings therein, including your food storage, firearms, ammo, clothing, etc.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the cost of these things sure add up.  (If need be, take pictures of your belongings and store them outside of the home to ensure proper reimbursement of that which actually can be replaced.)

    Ensure your preparedness efforts and materials are safe from a fire.  Invest in that which will assist your safety.  If wheat and water are critical to your survival, then protecting those items is just as important. 

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

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.
    By Kellene Bishop
    Photo c/o youngmuslimmother.com

    Photo c/o youngmuslimmother.com

    While preparing main dishes for your family is necessary, it’s important to consider food for the non-nursing babies as well.  Due to the lack of preservatives in most baby foods, it’s not feasible to have enough baby-friendly foods stored in the event of survival living.  It also takes up a lot of valuable storage space.  If you’ve read my articles previously, then you know that I’m always trying to save space and find items that serve multiple purposes.  I take the exact same approach with food.  The nutritional value in baby food will deplete dramatically as it is stored, and yet in an emergency, it’s critical to ensure your child is getting the maximum nutrition in order to counteract the inevitable changes he or she will undergo.  So here are a few tips so that you can easily make your own infant-palate foods from the preparedness supplies that you’ll hopefully already have on hand.

    The key to success in creating baby foods is to have a non-electric hand blender/beater available.  I would recommend a good hand potato masher or a potato ricer as well.  These are great tools, not only for what you can prepare for the rest of your family, but for creating ideal baby food as well without electricity. 

    Obviously making the foods smooth and edible for the smallest tykes is a critical component of their foods.  Yes, you’ll need a little bit of elbow grease to make their food, but you can typically do so from what you’re preparing for the rest of the family with some small modifications.  After beating the food well with your blender/beater, check for smoothness.  To do so just take a small amount of puree between your fingers; rub fingers together.  If you feel any large particles, then be sure you keep beating the food.  Junior or toddler foods should contain some larger particles, so they will require a little less blending.  Also keep in mind that you can add finely ground cereals to any of your baby’s food (meat, vegetable, and fruit) to ensure appetite satisfaction and the appropriate amount of fiber.  This can include rice, barley, lentils, and oats.  Remember, everything should be very soft, well-cooked, unsalted for the most part and unseasoned.  Also be sure that your foods do not contain nitrates in them as they are very toxic to small children’s bodies.

    Photo c/o Noel William

    Photo c/o Noel William

    In addition to making baby food, it’s relatively simple to relactate in order to feed your little ones in an emergency.  In the Philippines, Filipino mothers are breast feeding their children to the age of 5 due to food shortages.  While I know that makes many women cringe for obvious reasons, in the event of an emergency, it may be a life saver, nonetheless.  Relactating is prudent especially for young infants.  Mothers who have been bottle-feeding their infants will begin to produce milk if they put the baby to breast.  During times of limited or questionable water supplies or the lack of availability of baby formula, breastfeeding obviously provides safe and continuous feedings for the babies.  Just be sure that the mother is eating additional nutrition to compensate for the breastfeeding.  

    If relactating isn’t an option for you, and your infant isn’t up to eating even soft baby foods yet (under 6 months of age), then you can make your own baby formula.

    Combine 6 tablespoons of nonfat dry milk, 2 teaspoons of quality vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon of sugar (ONLY REAL SUGAR—no alternatives) in one cup of purified water (boiled, pasteurized, etc.).  Thoroughly mix all the ingredients and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before serving to your child.

    Here are some other baby food recipes.  

    Chicken Custard for Babies

    ¼ cup chicken broth

    1 egg

    ½ cup cubed cooked potatoes (or mashed potatoes)

    ½ cup cubed cooked chicken

    Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Place into small greased casserole dish then place in a water bath.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.  You will have two “custard-like” meals.

    All in One Meal

    Photo c/o babyfoodcoupons.org

    Photo c/o babyfoodcoupons.org

    ½ cup of prepared milk (powdered or evaporated is fine)

    ½ cup cubed beef or veal

    2 tablespoons of cooked carrots or peas

    4 tablespoons of cooked rice

    Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Heat before serving.  Makes 2-3 servings

    Cottage Cheese Custard

    ¾ cup hot of prepared milk (powdered or evaporated is fine)

    ½ cup of cottage cheese (remember, this can be easily made from powdered milk)

    2 tablespoons of light corn syrup

    1 egg

    Nutmeg—optional

    Blend all ingredients together except for the nutmeg.  Pour into small greased casserole dish and then sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.  Place casserole dish in a water bath and bake 40 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.  Cool to lukewarm before serving.  Makes 3 servings.

    Apricot Pudding

    ½ cup dried apricots

    1 ½ cup of prepared milk (powdered or evaporated is fine)

    ¼ cup sugar (Note: never substitute sugar for honey or other sweeteners due to potential health hazards to the baby)

    2 tablespoons of cornstarch

    Soak apricots in milk overnight or at least 5 hours.  When ready to prepare, blend the milk and the apricots well until the mixture resembles a puree.  Then add the sugar and cornstarch.  Blend until smooth.  Heat in a saucepan on medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly.  Cool to lukewarm.  Makes 4 servings.

    For more baby food recipes, click here

    If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

    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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