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By Kellene Bishop

elephant-in-the-roomIt’s a critical consideration for any person who intends to be prepared for whatever comes their way and yet it seems too taboo to discuss.

It will assuredly save your life or that of your family, and yet many shrug it off.

In the name of goodness many folks ignore it. Yet true goodness is willing to battle evil.

It’s the difference between being prepared and being able to access your preparedness supplies. So why is it dismissed and vilified?

Self-Defense is the 3rd most critical component of preparedness (as it falls under the Physical Preparedness category), and yet it’s treated by many as the elephant in the middle of the room. We dance around it. We whisper about it. Our discomfort excuses ourselves from a conversation relating to it. Very few are willing to embrace that elephant as an asset instead of as an unwelcome guest.

Make no mistake about it. I’m not keen on taking someone’s life. However, I am more committed to protecting my life and those that I love than I am against taking someone’s life. Make no mistake about it. If my life, liberty, or virtue is threatened I will fight back decisively and in a very final manner. I’m under tall, over weight, and out of shape. I have no misconceptions that I will be able to handle a drug-crazed violent attacker with a karate chop to the groin, a “dancing flight of the beetle” move, or my sheer will. While I’m proficient at street fighting self-defense, that’s only for “just in case” when I may not be armed with my ultimate equalizer—a firearm.

concealed-carry-beltYes, firearms are dangerous—to an attacker. Yes, accidents to happen with firearms—by those who refuse to follow the rules of safety. But they are indeed the self-defense of choice in my home because they provide a critical element of surprise, an effective defense when distance is preferred, and an element of strength that I simply cannot create even with a daily 3 hour workout regime. In the name of preparedness and acknowledging the darker side of some human nature, I’ve gone from being “no way is a gun going to be in my home” to being a proficient firearms marksmen instructor, Utah Concealed Weapons Permit instructor, and the NRA’s highest certified female instructor in the Western States. Yup. That path didn’t come overnight. But it wouldn’t have come at all if I hadn’t acknowledged that elephant in the middle of the room.

Just as an example, let’s take the scenario of a mandatory quarantine. So, everyone is supposed to stay in their homes and not venture out, right? Does that mean your streets will be quiet? Does that mean that EVERYONE is going to respect the quarantine order? How about the individuals who are woefully addicted to pain medication? The pharmacies will be cleaned out after only 24 hours. So, no way for the addicts to get their prescriptions filled. No pharmacies to rob. Even if, for some reason, all of the drug dealers are able to avoid getting sick, where are the addicts going to get their supply? It will run out eventually, right? So their only hope is to rob a home in hopes that someone has some pain medications on hand. So, he chooses your house. What are your plans? To just give him the pills? To reason with him and convince him to enter rehab? Remember, you’re not dealing with a sane person. You’re not dealing with a person who has boundaries. In fact, by all intents and purposes, you’re not dealing with a person. You’re dealing with an addiction that’s clearly out of control. Do you really plan on risking everything you’ve done to protect and preserve your family for a time of crisis just to appease one drug-crazed addict? So you simply give him what he wants perhaps. If you think it’s this easy to decide and this cut and dry, I think you’ve been watching too many movies.

Photo c/o diabetes.org

Photo c/o diabetes.org

Let’s forget the drug addicts for a moment. Let’s consider a scenario that perhaps more of us can relate to. Suppose you have a 5-year-old daughter who has a serious form of diabetes. Your supply of insulin has run out. What do you do? Do you try to get more from the pharmacy as soon as you hear of a possible quarantine? Sorry, but you will be sharing that thought with hundreds of other concerned, desperate parents. Your success is not likely. So then what happens? Do you become desperate like a drug-addicted criminal? It’s possible. And I think that we don’t fully appreciate just how desperate folks can become in the name of taking care of their family—especially their children.

The obstacle for many people when they think of having to defend themselves against a crazed attack of another is they emotionally view that attacker as a human being. Unfortunately though, a person who would physically harm, maim, violate, or kill another person to get gain is NOT a human being any longer. They have instead taken on the characteristics of a wild animal. When it comes to defending yourself, you must not view the assailant as a human being. If you want to stay alive and safe, you must view an attacker as the sub-human that they have become.

This kind of a mindset does not happen overnight. You must mentally prepare yourself for what you will do, under what circumstances you will do it, what tools you need, what skills you need, and what safety procedures you will implement in order to ensure your safety in any scenario…but particularly in one which will foster looting, plunder, and violation of independence, virtue, and safety. Then you must physically prepare yourself with the SKILL and physical muscle training to put your plan into place. Remember, no one defends themselves with a firearm successfully without having mentally rehearsed it first.

bourne-self-defense-magazineIn closing, I just want to point out the obvious. Your Jason Bourne moves are only powerful in your dreams. You should be armed with a serviceable firearm as well as a decent supply of ammo. This will effectively defend you at a distance in spite of the strength and rage of an assailant. This will also give you a fighting chance against multiple assailants. My rule of thumb is that you have 1,000 rounds of ammo per caliber of firearm. Anyone who’s capable and mature enough to handle a firearm in your home should be trained to do so. While this may sound like a apocalyptic scenario, the fact of the matter is you don’t truly know how long a survival situation may last, how much hunting you may have to do for food, nor what kind of security your community may require when lawlessness steps in. Once a true emergency hits your community, your civilized way of thinking and living will be altered dramatically.

Ultimately you need to be prepared for the worst, and pray for the best.

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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quarantineThere’s a lot involved in answering that question. If you’re in the Utah County area you can attend the Preparedness Pro class by the same name. Sept. 8 at the Pleasant Grove Macy’s at 7 p.m. or Sept. 9 at the Orem Macy’s. Tell your friends! See you there! 

(Don’t worry out of town folks. We’ll be holding a webinar on this topic soon!)

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!

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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By Kellene Bishop

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

Photo c/o globalcrisisnews.com/

Photo c/o globalcrisisnews.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Kellene Bishop

emergency-sanitation-sewageSanitation is one of the ten critical components of emergency preparedness.  In my book, it is usually one of the top two that are most overlooked.  A lot of us take emergency sanitation for granted until our toilet breaks down or the sewer backs up.  Keep in mind, if there is a quarantine, who’s going to maintain the proper working order of the sewage services?  If there’s a financial collapse, how will we even have the wherewithal to send our waste somewhere else?  If you don’t take emergency sanitation seriously, then the consequences can be extremely dire—even up to a 50 mile radius.  Preventing waste from contaminating the soil is just as important as preventing the spread of any other disease as it contaminates crops, water, and air.  Additionally, as water will be scarce in a time of emergency, ensuring that it does not get contaminated with improper sanitation habits is critical.  

High amounts of hydrogen sulfide results from human waste.  It not only smells horrible but can also be very dangerous if a great deal of build-up occurs locally.  Flies, rodents, and other unwelcome “guests” are attracted to the smell of fecal matter.  Flies actually consume it.  Unfortunately, this also means that human waste is speedily spread to humans via flies and rodents to multiple locations and can subsequently affect an entire community with a sanitation disaster within 48 hours.  Thus ensuring that your toilets are covered and you have the ability to break down the waste is critical in order to ensure the best health in a stressful circumstance.

Your Toilet photo c/o ehow.com

Your Toilet photo c/o ehow.com

Your first line of defense for emergency sanitation will still be the toilet in your own home—for a little while at least.  You may only have enough time to build an alternative source, but you should at least have some time to implement these initial strategies.  So long as you have water supply, flush conservatively.  When you aren’t able to flush any longer, plan on pouring water down the toilet to get rid of the waste.  (Think how fast you’ll be using that water folks.  Now do you start to see why I say a gallon per person, per day is the minimum amount you want to store?  Although, keep in mind, you can use dish water, laundry water, or leftover cooking water for this purpose.)  After you no longer have this option, plan on using the toilet as more of a “bucket.”  Turn off all of the water to the toilet, and then plug it up with a tennis ball to ensure that no sewage comes through.  Then line your toilet with a bio-degradable, compostable bag.  When you’ve exhausted the use of that bag, seal it, and then bury it so it will decompose properly.

In the eventual likelihood that you will have to move your “outhouse” outdoors, there are several additional considerations for emergency sanitation.  Obviously, you want to keep it away from any food or water supply.  But you will want to be sure that you have chlorinated lime or bleach on hand to chemically and safely break down the waste matter.  (Note: Powdered, chlorinated lime is available at building supply stores and it can be used dry.  Be sure to get chlorinated lime and not quick lime, which is highly alkaline and corrosive.)

Toilet Lid for 5 Gallon Bucket photo c/o amazon.com

Toilet Lid for 5 Gallon Bucket photo c/o amazon.com

Every single time a person uses the toilet, some type of disinfectant should be sprinkled on top.  It can be chlorinated lime, bleach, or even some other household disinfectants such as Pinesol, Lysol Cleaner, Arm & Hammer cleaners, plain baking soda, laundry detergent, etc.  (All of which, by the way, I’ve obtained for dirt cheap lately using my coupon strategies.)  Remember, regardless of the smell or condition of your toilet area, it should always be kept well covered for emergency sanitation.  Don’t use DRY bleach.  It can eat away at your bags and containers.

We have a few options on hand in our home in addition to the indoor toilet.  We have a 5-gallon bucket that has a “toilet lid” which fits securely on top. If you’re going to use the bucket method, I recommend you line it with a garbage bag, then fill it with about ¾ a gallon of water with one cup of liquid chlorine bleach.  This will help in breaking down the smell and the waste immediately upon use.  (I have a lot of Acco clips stored to help ensure that the plastic bags stay in place.) When the bucket is about half full (no more) seal off the bag and bury it properly.  If you have babies in diapers, be sure to store their used diapers in this bag as well and dispose of accordingly. 

Gotta Go Toilet from ChemiSan

Gotta Go Toilet from ChemiSan

We also have a “Gotta Go” potty from ChemiSan.  We’re sure to also have plenty of garbage bags, plastic gloves, and disinfectants available.  What good is making a great meal if the aroma is overwhelmed by the nausea you feel as a result of the pervasive stench of sanitation problems?  I actually highly recommend the ChemiSan products.  (Do a Google search to find a dealer near you.)  They are truly amazing in ensuring proper sanitation.  The ChemiSan company has portable toilets made of cardboard, ideal bags for the disposal of waste, and of course, their ChemiSan powder product that actually consumes the human waste in a matter of hours, neutralizing the odors so that flies and other rodents aren’t attracted to the waste area.  (This powder can be obtained in small, individual packages—ideal for camping as well.)

In addition to the human waste aspect of emergency sanitation, be sure that you consider the most sanitized way of disposing of your regular garbage.  If you drain your garbage of all liquid, it can be stored longer.  Obviously, the ability to burn your garbage is ideal.  Both garbage and human waste should be buried no less than 12 inches deep in the ground, preferably 18 to 24 inches.

Perhaps not so obvious to some is to ensure that you are constantly keeping your hands clean.  Typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, diarrhea, infectious hepatitis, salmonella and giardia are diseases that spread rapidly in times of emergency and threaten the lives of all of those around you.  Yet these are all diseases that can easily be controlled by simply following the rules of good sanitation.   

Along these same lines of emergency sanitation, do you even know how much toilet paper your family goes through in a week so you can plan accordingly?  If not, then the next time you put a new roll of t.p. on, use a Sharpie and mark the date on the inside of the roll that you’re putting it on.  Then when it’s empty, check the date and you’ll eliminate the guessing.  In my opinion, you can never have too much toilet paper, especially for emergency sanitation.

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

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By Kellene Bishop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We’ve composed an update for you relative to the effects of Swine Flu in Argentina.  It’s worth paying attention to…which is why I’m posting it for you all.

President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner with Health Minister Dr. Juan Manzur, right. Photo c/o Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner with Health Minister Dr. Juan Manzur, right. Photo c/o Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

July 8, 2009 from All Headline News 

  • More than 60 confirmed deaths in Argentina from swine flu
  • Government officials decided to shut down banks Friday (July 3) in an effort to contain the virus
  • Travel has nearly fallen in half in the past few days, would cost the hospitality industry $150 million/week, should the pace continue.
  • Economic analysts’ estimate economic impact at $1.6 billion if the epidemic last a month.
  • 2,485 officially confirmed cases in Argentina

 July 7, 2009 from Republican American  

  • Outbreak of swine flu in Argentina may cut output by 0.6 percent said Orlando Ferreres of Buenos Aires research company Orlando Ferreres & Asociados
  • Health Minister Juan Luis Manzur said yesterday about 90 percent of the country’s influenza cases involve the H1N1 virus, displacing other types of flu that have affected Argentina in the past.
  • The city of Buenos Aires and several provinces have declared a health emergency, moving up winter vacations for schools and universities, and canceling some public events
  • The national government granted pregnant women 15 days paid leave.
  • The Argentine Association of Theater Owners yesterday announced the suspension of functions for 10 days after demand for tickets fell 80%, said Carlos Rottemberg, head of group.

July 7, 2009 from Screenhead.com  

  • Film distributors in Argentina have delayed the movie premieres as an outbreak of swine flu reaches attendance
  • Admissions declined 34% from July 3-5 compared with the previous week despite releases of Ice Age and The Proposal, says box office tracker Ultracine

 July 3, 2009 from NY Times  

  • Swine flu has killed more people in Argentina than in any other country in South America
  • The death rate of 1.6 percent is more than three times the world average, Claudio Zin, the health minister of Buenos Aires Province, said Friday.
  • Argentina passed Canada this week as the country with the third-highest death toll from the flu…remains behind Mexico and the US
  • Officials suspect that there are 100,000 cases of swine flu in the country, compared with 320,000 cases of other types of flu.
  • Some private health officials have said that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government should have declared a state of emergency before national congressional elections last Sunday.
  • That would have likely delaye the elections, which Mrs. Kirchner had moved up by four months to increase the chances that her husband, former President Néstor Kirchner, could prevail in his race for Congress.
  • Several doctors have said former health minister Graciela Ocaña had recommended calling a national state of emergency and delaying the elections, but was overruled.
  • The outbreak is expected to cost the economy up to $2.9 billion this year
Swine Flu in Argentina photo c/o AP

Swine Flu in Argentina photo c/o AP

July 1, 2009 from BBC UK

  • Local officials said school in the capital and three other regions are cancelled from Monday (July 6), bringing forward winter holidays due to start on 20 July.
  • “Families … should see it as a time for the children to stay at home as much as possible and avoid places where people are crowded together,” said Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri.
  • Officials said that restaurants, cinemas and other public buildings would remain open.
  • Many cases in the region have been reported in working class and poorer areas, says BBC’s Candace Piette in Buenos Aires.

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