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

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

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

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By Kellene Bishop

Pandemic or not, the time to prepare is now. Photo c/o ehow.com/

Pandemic or not, the time to prepare is now. Photo c/o ehow.com/

A lot of folks are e-mailing me or commenting that they don’t buy into all of this “hoopla” about the Swine Flu. My response is that it doesn’t matter whether or not the Swine flu amounts to anything at this moment, you STILL need to prepare for it. The point is that you should be preparing for the Swine Flu, Avian Flu, or Alien flu (yes, I made that up) the same way that you prepare for any other “disaster.” The only significance of the Swine Flu is the matter of timing. Due to the flu season and school starting back up, we MAY be looking at an imminent pandemic threat very soon. The fact of the matter is, you all still have a lot to do to get prepared to survive without all of your niceties that you’re used to. Just because the Swine Flu flurry may be perpetuated unnecessarily doesn’t make it any less of a circumstance to reckon ourselves with. I think that the issue with the Swine Flu being so pervasive in our minds is simply that it’s something that’s a bit more real to us. The timing of it is more visible. No one (who’s willing to admit it anyway) saw 9/11 coming. No one saw the damage that the tsunami was going to bring with it, and no one saw the complete disaster and horrible aftermath that Hurricane Katrina let loose on Louisiana either. Ask yourself, if you had a major earthquake tomorrow, would you be prepared? If your children all came down with some nasty flu and you were quarantined, would you be prepared?

Whether or not the Swine Flu ends up being equivalent to the Spanish Flu of 1918 is irrelevant. Yes, the Spanish Flu killed hundreds of millions of people. Yes, it affected virtually every part of the earth, even the Arctic and remote islands of the Pacific. But its biggest danger was that it came to people who were unaware, unlearned, and unprepared for such an instance. Thus what’s truly important is that you prepare for a pandemic situation like it right now while you can.

Here is a list of items for you that I recommend you have on hand in case you do end up having a patient who’s ill with a highly contagious flu virus. You will want to cordon off a room in your home for the care of such a person in order to avoid the unnecessary spreading of the virus. This list takes into consideration that you may or may not have electricity. (Obviously, this list is not all inclusive)

Items to Cordon Off a Sick Room

  • Air filter                     
  • Fan                                         
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Shower Curtain        
  • Sheets/pillow cases               
  • Heavy blankets          
  • Cot/bed                      
  • Bleach                                    
  • Rubber gloves            
  • Air masks                   
  • Hair ties                                 
  • Shower caps              
  • Thermometers           
  • Multiple sets of sheets                       
  • Ways to keep sick room dark           
  • Washcloths                
  • Portable water bins               
  • Capacity to heat water w/o electricity
  • Towels (paper and cloth)

 Items Necessary for the Comfort of Patient

  • Fabric for bandages (sanitize) 
  • Baby wipes
  • Anti-diarrhea meds
  • Anbesol                                      
  • Listerine
  • Chloraseptic
  • Whiskey
  • Honey
  • Lemon juice
  • Water, water, water
  • Salt
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Herbal teas
  • Essential oils
  • Lotions
  • Washcloths
  •  Towels
  • Multiple sets of sheets

    Thieves Oil photo c/o aromatherapyliving.com

    Thieves Oil photo c/o aromatherapyliving.com

  • Air flow
  • Visine
  • Hot packs
  • Cold packs 
  • Lavender
  • Garlic/garlic oil
  • Thieves Oil/products
  • Lanacane
  • Pain/fever relievers*
  • Vaporizers (battery operated)
  • Oversized T-shirts 
  • Gowns
  • Vicks Vaporub
  • Icy Hot
  • SOFT facial tissues
  • SOFT toilet paper
  • Gauze            
  • Medical tape
  • Neosporin                           
  • Hot water bottle
  • Straws
  • Allergy meds                          
  • Ensure               
  • Band-aids
  • Q-tips                         
  • Cotton balls 
  • Meal-in-bed tray
  • Eye dropper               
  • Mouth dropper
  • Books
  • Juice                        
  • Baby monitor
  • Pen/notebook for records
  • Anti-bacterial soap    
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Yarrow root
  • Goldenseal                 
  • Hot Toddy

    Hot Toddy

    Red sage

  • Raspberry leaves
  • Catnip                                  
  • Oregano oil
  • Sage oil
  • Bragg’s Amino acids                         
  • Scar therapy pads      
  • Hemorrhoid ointment
  • Baby bottle                                        
  • Rubbing alcohol        
  • Bed pans
  • Deodorizer                                         
  • Walker                                   
  • Sleep aids          
  • Crackers                     
  • Cough medicine* (or makings for a hot toddy: 1 T of whiskey, 1 T honey, 1 T lemon, 1 C. of hot water)
  • Pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen)*                     
  • Simple proteins (peanut butter, canned chicken)
  • Pedialyte ( Recipe: 1 liter H2O, 2 T sugar or honey, 1/4 t salt, 1/4 t baking soda)
  • Hot cereals (cream of wheat and oatmeal are best on the stomach)
  • Anti-Nausea treatment (crystallized ginger, chamomile, mint tea, crackers)

*Remember infant versions too

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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What to store in your food storage?
By Kellene Bishop

There are 3 aspects that you need to concern yourself with when it comes to your food storage.  Nutrition, preparation, and rotation.

Photo c/o crusa-soccer.com/

Create balanced meals. Photo c/o crusa-soccer.com/

The nutrition aspect has to do with WHAT you store.  Be sure it’s not food that will simply enable you to survive, but THRIVE.  Feeding your body quality nutrition in a time of stress is critical.  It’s one thing to try and live off of fast food and such when you lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle.  You may not think of food much now in your every day life.  But having nourishment will be one of your most overriding primary instincts to kick in during a time of survival.  (Yet another reason why to try and get the picky eaters in your family to expand their food repertoire.)  I’ve read messages from some folks that they have a years supply in dry cereal, or Kraft Mac & Cheese, etc.  While these “foods” may give some comfort immediately, they will not provide the nutrition you need and appetite fatigue will surely set in. 

What should be a part of your food storage?  As you plan your meals, go back to creating balanced meals.  You know, fruits, vegetables, protein, and grains.  Each meal you plan for your long term food storage should provide at least one serving in each of these categories. Keep in mind that you will use and require more carbohydrates in a crisis scenario than you most likely do now. 

Remember, the key is to not get overwhelmed with the food storage.  If I were to tell you that you needed to store 300 pounds of grains (wheat, pasta, flour, etc.) per person over the age of 7, no doubt that would stress you out and overwhelm you.  (Even though that figure is correct.)  This is exactly why I encourage folks to create their food storage based on meals and dishes rather than pounds.  THEN when you feel like you’ve accomplished your goal in that regard, do a little bit of calculating using this food storage calculator link and see if there may be some items to add in various categories such as fats and oils, or legumes, or sugars.

If you store based on “meals” then you don’t have to really concern yourself with “oh yeah, I need 3 pounds of cinnamon for the year” or other seasonings and sauces.  You will essentially have a year’s supply of menus figured out and thus you’ll have all of the seasonings you need for those dishes.  Add the extras after the fact.  Planning this way will also save you LOTS and LOTS of money too.  You’ll be less likely purchasing something just because it looks like a good deal, and only purchase what you know you and your family will use in specific meals. 

Propane Stove

Propane Stove

The next aspect of your food storage is preparation.  Do you have the tools and resources you need to prepare the food?  Do you have the recipes stored with the dishes? While it’s great that you may have recipes memorized, what if you’re ill or otherwise unavailable and aren’t the one preparing the food?  Do you have a hand beater stored since you won’t be able to use an electric one?  Do you know how to use your solar oven, Dutch oven, charcoal, propane stove or wood burning stove?  How are you going to clean up from cooking?  How are you going to ensure sanitized cooking conditions?

The last consideration of what to store in your food storage, is rotation.  If you find a great deal on 30 gallons of cooking oil, great, get it—but ONLY if you already use such an oil and can do so in an appropriate period of time.  Very little of your food storage should be purchased or stored with a “store it and forget it” mentality.  You need to look at just about everything you’ve got from a rotation standpoint.  This is a monumental task if you’re not already using what you store. 

Personally, I think making an excel spreadsheet of one’s food storage or taking time to label each container of food prior to putting it away, is a major pain in the fanny and certainly yet another deterrent to being prepared.  I store my food left to right, front to back, and I use it right to left and back to front.  I don’t put any labels on the food (other than when I bottle or freeze it) and I don’t have a special software accounting system.  As I bring things up from my food storage, I make a note on the grocery list to replace them.  The “system” is as easy as that.  As a result, I keep a pulse on what I have and its condition.  Very little of what I have purchased over the years gets wasted this way. 

As you can see in this series, the key is to make your food storage as underwhelming and second nature as your grocery shopping and meal preparations are today.  Your food storage efforts just need a little tweak in your mental preparedness and you’ll find that you have the time and energy to focus on the other aspects of preparedness that may more appropriately stretch your skills and time.

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

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No, You’re Not Crazy
By Kellene Bishop

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

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

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

    Pressure canner for canning meat

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

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

    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

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

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

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

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

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By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o sqpn.com

Photo c/o sqpn.com

Are you ready to survive a 90-day quarantine?  Is such a scenario even realistic? Well, let’s explore that. 

Suppose the flu virus did get out of hand.  In all actuality, it’s quite likely.  The most current strain is eerily similar to the Spanish flu virus of 1918 which went pandemic in less than 3 months.  It took the lives of over fifty-percent of those who contracted it.  It took only 8 months for it to kill 100 million people.  The only thing saving us right now is that the swine flu and the bird flu have not completely morphed to the point that it transfers easily.  Once that does occur, you can indeed expect to see a quarantine situation.  It means that each and every home affected by a pandemic must be ready to survive a 90-day quarantine.

Photo c/o AP

Photo c/o AP

Why a 90-day quarantine?  Because our government and the World Health Organization will definitely demand that the virus be halted.  This can only be done through a quarantine period of time that is sufficient to ensure that the virus ceases to be transmitted.  Ten to twelve weeks is that appropriate period of time to ensure that someone is past the incubation period and the virus is no longer spreading.  (But remember, it took 8 months for the Chinese to eliminate SARS from their country.)

While our nation has not experienced such a quarantine in over a century, I assure you that when a quarantine occurs, it will cause panic and unintentional deaths.  Many of these deaths will NOT occur as a result of the pandemic, rather as a result of a lack of preparation.  Being ready to survive a 90-day quarantine is about much more than just food and water.  To be sufficiently ready you will require several components you may not have previously considered.  

So what does this mean to you in terms of physical and emotional survival?  Well, for starters it means that the person’s household you planned on joining to live off of their preparedness supplies will NOT be an option.  You will be forbidden to travel under any circumstances.  While many have strategized that they will gather in groups to survive a crisis, such a plan under these circumstances could mean death to those who leave the sanctity of their homes.  However, travel restrictions may require you to stay right where you are which may be in a gathering.  This means that if you are visiting at Aunt Beatrice’s or on a vacation when the pandemic hits, you will have no choice but to stay put and ride it out for 90 days.  Ask yourself.  Do you have at least a multiple day survival kit on hand with food, water, a change of clothes, and simple medical supplies such as a dust mask for such an occasion?  Remember.  You must think in terms of surviving a full 90-day quarantine period.  

This also means that you will NOT be permitted to go to the grocery store or gas station for a last minute stock up.  A mandatory quarantine of this nature will require that the roads are clear of anything other than non-essential travel.  This also means that if you have the luxury of the quarantine order going into effect while you are home, you—and all those with you at the time—must be able to live off of the food, water, medical, and financial supplies that you have for three whole months.  It means you will NOT be able to visit your grandmother in the nursing home.  Depending on where you are, this could also mean that you will NOT be able to get to the hospital to give birth to your child—and frankly, you will not want to go to the hospital in order to avoid getting deathly ill.  Typically, only life and death cases will be admitted during a quarantine.  This means that many of the businesses you rely on will be shut down as the owners and employees will also be quarantined to their homes.  As such, this also results in many desperate individuals, unable to obtain their oxycontin or other drugs of choice, who may roam the streets.  Not only will you need to make sure you can survive in your home with sufficient food and water, you will need to make sure you can defend safely as well 

food-storageAnother consideration to survive a 90-day quarantine is whether you will be able to endure the flu itself should someone in your home contract it.  The food you have in your storage could literally mean life or death to all who are dwelling with you—not just from the standpoint of providing meals, but being able to provide nutrition for the ill.  Stocking up on effective anti-oxidants, intensely nutritional products, air masks, sanitizing solutions, WATER, FLUIDS, nutritional foods, and other needs are also vital for you to be prepared. 

Food, water and medical supplies are obvious needs in such a situation.  Please understand that regardless of whether or not you’re permitted to go out and work, your obligation to pay your bills, your mortgage, and credit cards will NOT go away.  In fact, in the midst of such an event, it’s likely that companies which find themselves financially vulnerable right now may act with less compassion and patience than they may have in the past.  

I’m not attempting to alarm or panic anyone.  But I assure you I will be quite distressed to think of all of the folks I know presently who are indeed NOT ready for a quarantine.  To me this is not a matter of IF it will occur.  It’s a matter of WHEN such an instance manifests itself.

Here’s a little bit of comfort for you.  Chances are, in a quarantine we will still have electricity and sewage services.  Thank goodness.  So that means that while we may have to endure a 90-day quarantine with people we don’t get along with 24/7, at least we can have some comfort.  Refrigeration should still be viable, as should microwave uses, and even video games.  🙂  Additionally, sufficient food for one person can be obtained for only a dollar a day.  You do not need to spend a fortune to get ready for such an instance. 

So, don’t panic.  Just get educated and get prepared.  You can indeed be ready to survive a 90-day quarantine.  And in fact, that’s just the beginning. 

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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pringles

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

Here’s a valuable post from Colorado Preppers on Keeping Your Valuables Safe.  It’s a three part series and definitely worth checking out! 

My favorite tip from Part 3 was to store important documents in a Pringles can and make sure it doesn’t look out of place.  Brilliant!  (Especially if your Pringles collection looks like this!)

http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/05/keeping-your-valuables-safe-part-1.html

http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/05/keeping-your-valuables-safe-part-2.html

http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/05/keeping-your-valuables-safe-part-3.html

What advice do you have for keeping valuables safe?

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