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By Kellene Bishop

Comfort Food photo c/o sheknows.com

Comfort Food photo c/o sheknows.com

During the course of this month’s Preparedness Pro Food Challenge, we’ve seen several posts and e-mails conveying a very similar message: “I need more comfort foods.” 

I have shared with our readers in the past that such would be the case. Stress and boundaries bring out the cravings in all of us. So I do indeed recommend you take that into consideration in your food storage that you’re creating now. However, I’d like to offer you an alternative solution.

You see, food really is only a form of fuel. Most of us need it for an emotional fuel as well. (I’m not immune to that whatsoever.) But what most people don’t realize is that cravings actually come from a deficiency in the nutritional strength in our bodies. Unfortunately, these cravings are hard to identify sometimes, in terms of what the deficiency is that’s triggering them. For example, when you are deficient in plain water, the craving can often be misconstrued as a craving for sugar. Women who are enduring a menstrual cycle are naturally deficient in iodine. And yet the iodine deficiency is “solved” with chocolate.

So, how can we get rid of the false triggers in our body so that we don’t store any more unnecessary foods than we have to? Give our bodies quality nutrition to improve our diet now. The more food you eat now that truly meets your body’s demand for nutrients, the less you will require. Our bodies will require more of the “junk food” in a time of high stress than we eat now. So, in the interests of optimal survival, and not requiring any more space to store everything, I suggest that you begin improving your diet now by incorporating the quality foods in your diet today. Doing so will actually minimize the types of “false cravings” that you get. Ultimately, you’ll be healthier. Don’t think of this as a diet. Tell yourself you can still have exactly what you want so long as you feed your body what you know you NEED first.

A good start for a healthier focus to improve your diet now would be the following two recommendations:

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o epa.gov

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o epa.gov

Water. Your kidneys process the equivalent of hundreds of gallons of water per day. If you’re not giving your body new water, then your kidneys will end up working really, really hard processing sludge instead of water. Water is also the ONLY way that you carry nutrients from one part of your body to the other. The thicker your blood, the less able you are to deliver the vitamins and minerals to the parts of the body which need them. Drinking adequate water is a simple way to improve your diet now.

Fiber. High quality, simple foods such as whole grains give you much more energy for the mass than do simple, processed foods. In other words, you can go a heck of lot longer on a stomach full of oatmeal than you can a stomach full of Lucky Charms. As I’ve shared with you previously, I like the results that eating whole wheat bread and wheat meat give me, as I’m not hungry or craving crazy things afterwards. Remember that sprouts will also satisfy you in this manner as well (and are full of fiber like most vegetables). I like to take a bunch of different sprouts, put a nice salad dressing on them and eat them as a substitute for salad. Grant it, I didn’t think I would enjoy this when I started. But the funny thing was that after I started eating sprouts regularly, my body started craving them. In other words, the more direct you are in satisfying your nutritional needs, the less deceptive your body is in telling you what your real cravings are.

Fiber is a great source of so many of your vitamins and minerals! Sprouts have actually been proven to CURE diseases. When has a Twinkie ever done that? When you combine a high fiber bread with some sprouts and your other sandwich makings, you’ve improved the quality of the meal significantly! I also keep several cans of freeze-dried vegetables. I like to throw those into the casseroles that my husband likes. That way he’s getting the “comfort tastes” that he wants, but he’s also getting the nutrition that his body really craves and thus the meal is much more satisfying. Another great way to improve your diet now.

Freeze dired raspberries photo c/o usaemergencysupply.com

Freeze dried raspberries photo c/o usaemergencysupply.com

What you may not realize is that these minor additions have a much smaller impact on your pocketbook as well. It costs only pennies for a handful of sprouts. While it may take time to make your own bread, the ingredients only cost about a 10th the price that it costs to buy the bread in the store. I’ve found that freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are also much more economical. I can spend $4 on a half gallon of ice cream or eat a handful of freeze-dried raspberries. The sweet tooth is appeased either way, but with the fruit, I’m spending less and giving my body more quality nutrition to work with, and doing so without all of the ingredients that I can’t pronounce. This is just one way in which it literally PAYS to improve your diet now.

To successfully incorporate a smarter and more effective way of eating, I recommend that you simply ADD to what you’re already eating. Fine, go ahead and have your Dr. Pepper. But having a handful of sprouts on your salad or on your sandwich before you indulge will steer your body in the right direction. Go ahead and have your 5-cheese grilled cheese sandwich. But have it on some high quality whole wheat bread instead. Give that milkshake the appetizer of 8 ounces of water first. You’ll find that if you listen to your body now, it will do a better job of preparing you for ultimate survival much better than any blog you can read. 

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

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Typically when I mention emergency preparedness to someone they automatically think of “food storage” or “the Mormons.”  Unfortunately, a focus on either will not save your family in a time of crisis.  There are actually ten vital areas to being prepared for an emergency whether it be a natural disaster, act of war or financial collapse.  Food is only one component that we’ve addressed recently.  So let’s take a look at all 10 areas of being prepared.

I’m listing them for you in the area of importance.

  1. Component of Emergency Preparedness #1: Spiritual. This category has everything to do with your belief system.  It’s where you draw on peace even in the midst of chaos.  It’s also where you draw on knowledge and understanding of that which is to come.  Your spiritual preparedness needs to be fed on a regular basis.  It will be incredibly invaluable in a time of great need, such as a catastrophic emergency.  If your spiritual preparedness is lacking, not much else you focus on will be of benefit to you.
  2. Component of Emergency Preparedness #2: Mental. This category has to do with your knowledge level, skills, and mental rehearsals for chaotic scenarios.  This area requires constant nourishment, education, and deliberate thought.  Unless you mentally prepare for a situation such as self-defense, or mass chaos, or the fact that all hell can really break loose, then you will be physically and emotionally paralyzed from being a leader and a protector to anyone, let alone your family and loved ones.  The mental preparation is what prepares you in spite of the crazy looks and comments you get from friends and loved ones.  Immerse yourself in movies, books, and conversations relevant to emergency preparedness (see #5).  Expose yourself to as much learning experiences as you are able.  Work that mental muscle as much as possible.  It will serve you well in a time of crisis as well as long-term survival.
    The key to your mental preparedness is Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. Fortunately all three of these aspects can be obtained without monetary cost as there’s so much available through classes and online.
  3. Component of Emergency Preparedness #3: Physical. This area covers a great deal.  Physical preparedness has to do with your physical strength and ability to maximize your physical strength, such as the
    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    use of wagons or wheel barrels, your ability to protect yourself and your family, as well as planning for any necessary travel needs.  Keep in mind that your physical strength will be your primary asset when it comes to travel.  Since most of us aren’t trained extensively in military tactics and maneuvers, firearms are a key consideration for physical self-defense.  Make sure you have tools like small wagons, bikes, wheel barrels, etc.  You can strengthen your physical preparedness by adjusting your diet now to avoid foods that impede your performance or you won’t have access to later.  And no, I’m not going to rattle them off because you already know what you’re doing wrong in that regard.  Exercise is critical for your physical preparedness as well.  You will inevitably be called upon to be more physical in your survival efforts in an emergency.  Perhaps you will need to trek 30 miles.  Or perhaps you will need to do some heavy lifting to create a suitable shelter.  You will also need to function without air conditioning or heat like you’re accustomed to.  Take precautions now so that you are better physically prepared later.

  4. Component of Emergency Preparedness #4: Medical. This includes having what you need for first-aid, solutions for your existing medical needs, as well as sanitation.  First-aid needs includes bandages, a field surgical kit, pain relievers, herbs and essential oils, as well as the knowledge to use such items.  Your existing medical needs will be a challenge since most individuals can’t get a year’s supply of prescription medicines.  If I were you, I would make sure to study up on alternative options available, such as herbal nutrition, essential oils, homeopathic care, etc.  Recently, as a result of my goal to be more prepared medically, I set a goal to eliminate all of my prescription drugs.  I started the New Year with seven prescriptions on my nightstand, and I’m now down to one.  The most recent I was able to get rid of was my thyroid medicine by incorporating quality nutrition products into my diet instead of my thyroid medicine.  While my doctor wasn’t happy with the approach, he did acquiesce just this last Friday that my blood tests showed that I was no longer in need of my thyroid medicine!  I feel much more independent and capable now.  While I can’t supply a years worth of pharmaceuticals safely, I sure can keep a year’s supply of various nutritional products.  (Just FYI, I elect to use Reliv products.  No, I don’t sell them but you can locate them easily online.)
    As far as sanitation is concerned, you have to be sure you’ve thought this one through.  Digging a hole out in your back yard will not do.  You’ve got to have the chemicals on hand to break down the waste.  I assure you that if the hole in the back yard was everyone’s strategy, everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 30 days!  The holes have to be dug deep.  Plan on using some type of a disposal breakdown chemical regularly.  Disposing of the waste, keeping it covered, and minimizing its location and effect on everything else around you will be critical in a time of emergency.  Understand that this aspect of preparation will not be simple.  You should expect a lot of diarrhea initially as a result of stress, different foods, and drinking less liquids.
  5. Component of Emergency Preparedness #5: Clothing/Shelter. This category is a higher priority than food and water.  Many folks really overlook this critical area.  While being able to survive in your own home is ideal, it’s not necessarily possible for a myriad of different reasons.  Be sure that you’ve got SPARE clothing available for all of your children’s ages and have it readily accessible.  This may mean you need to go to a local thrift store and purchase clothes for a year in advance of your children’s sizes right now.  Sturdy shoes will be critical—especially if you have to walk long distances to get to safety.  Also, be mindful of your clothing and your shelter accommodating either warm or cold weather.  Be sure to have hats and gloves for everyone—spares so that there’s no chance of them “getting lost” in the event of a crisis.   Even if you are able to survive in your present dwelling, be sure you have tools on hand to reinforce it, such as hammers, nails, sheeting, duct tape, and even some plywood.  (My preferred sheeting is purchased at Costco.  It’s twice as thick as others, you get twice as much, and it’s less expensive.)  Be sure that you don’t have to rely on electricity and batteries for the use of your tools as well in the event of a solar flare or an EMP attack.
  6. Component of Emergency Preparedness #6: Water. Let me be perfectly clear on this.  A two week supply of water is NOT sufficient.  That’s short-term.  I hardly EVER address short-term preparedness in my articles, and am almost always focusing on long term.  As overwhelming as it may sound, you need one gallon of
    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    water, per person, per day.  That’s 365 gallons per person.  Yes, that’s a lot of barrels.  But that’s just the MINIMUM.  You’ll be using water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and bathing.  There are a myriad of different ways to conserve water, but you’ll want to employ those even if you do have the 365 gallons per person.  Water is the only thing that will keep your organs functioning properly.  You need water just as much in the cold as you do in the heat.  Your kidneys process hundreds of gallons worth of water each day.  You do not want to treat your kidneys like a teenager treats their oil filter, right?  You’ve got to continue to give your organs new water in order that they will not shut down.  Your body uses flavored water very differently than it does real water.  You use more energy to benefit from the flavored water than you do just straight water.  In addition to storing enough water, I also store a lot of paper goods that I can use that won’t require cleaning afterwards.  I also store cleansing cloths.
    You don’t need to treat your water before storing it if you’re using tap water.  Plan on treating it afterwards if necessary (8 drops of Chlorox for each gallon of water).  You can rotate your water once every 5 years and be just fine.  Stale water can taste a LOT better if you simply aerate it—such as pouring it back and forth from one container to another before serving.

  7. Component of Emergency Preparedness #7: Food. As I’ve shared in the last 8 part series, be familiar with the food that you’ve stored, be prepared to cook it without electricity, and be sure that it’s nutritious.  90 days of food is SHORT-TERM.  It’s not the end result.  One year of food supply for your family is absolutely necessary.  Also be sure that you have all of the tools on hand you will need that don’t require electricity.  Be sure you have nothing in your equipment stores that you have not used yet.  (In other words, don’t just buy that solar oven and put it in your basement.  Use it.)
  8. Component of Emergency Preparedness #8: Fuel. Your fuel should be usable on as many tools as possible, and every responsible member of the family should be familiar with its use.  I store butane for my small oven, propane for the grill, and kerosene for my lights, heaters, and another stove.  I also have some
    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    charcoal and some wood for other forms of cooking.  I’ve experimented with my cooking fuel coupled with my pressure cooker and have learned that I can cook 2 meals a day for 3 weeks on one can of butane.  It’s critical that you know how much fuel you need for your family.  It’s also critical you know that the lights you’re relying on can actually put out enough light.  We bought these “100 hour candles” only to discover one night that they barely put off enough light for us to see the match and the wick so that we could light the next one.  I recommend to all of my clients to try a day or two without electrical lighting.  I also recommend that they go a whole week without using any electricity to prepare their food—including the refrigerator.

  9. Component of Emergency Preparedness #9: Financial.  Financial preparation isn’t just about having debt.  Most of us will have a mortgage if nothing else.  I recommend my clients pay their utilities and their taxes in advance whenever possible.  It’s also critical that you have goods with which to trade such as wheat, sugar, and other stores that will be in high demand.  Anything more than $500 cash on hand is a waste, in my opinion, as a crisis will quickly make money worthless.  If you don’t already have what you need, you will NOT be able to buy it amidst a mob of crazy people who are unprepared. 
  10. Component of Emergency Preparedness #10: Communication. All of the other areas of preparedness I discussed are focused on you and your family.  This is the only area of preparedness that focuses on reaching out to others.  In order to be prepared for communication in an emergency, you should have a very specific plan of communication with you family and friends.  You should have a specific point of gathering agree upon for everyone to meet in the event of a disaster.  Additionally, plan on other forms of communication such as a HAM radio, accompanied by the license and skill to operate.  Also plan on good old fashioned message delivery.  (Another good reason to employ physical preparedness.)  Being able to coordinate with the outside world will become important during and after your initial crisis reaction.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of this.  Just put it on your radar and start chipping away at it.  Look for opportunities to learn and strengthen your spiritual and mental preparedness first and foremost.  Everything else will appropriately follow.

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

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: James Davies

Photo: James Davies

With the market being the way it is, many are asking what is the safest investment nowadays.  I’ll tell you.  FOOD.  FOOD is the BEST investment today. 

Why?  Because if used properly, it’s life saving.  A meal today will always be worth a meal tomorrow.  Food is the best investment because Wall Street can never alter its impact on our appetites.  The rate of foreclosures can never diminish its taste.  The great thing about food is that competition reigns supreme among the grocery stores in most cities throughout America.  As a result, all kinds of food—from fresh to processed, from sensible to indulgent—can be obtained at an extreme discount.  Try buying stocks and bonds at a ninety percent discount or getting paid to buy them.  That’s exactly what happens when I obtain FOOD, thus truly making food the very best investment. 

Try chewing on a pair of $1,000 shoes when all of your power goes out for a month due to a freak storm.  Try living off of your gold bullion for nutrition and survival.  In such circumstances all of the Coca-Cola decorations, scrapbooking supplies, stacking dolls, and baseball card collections won’t be worth a penny.  As such they will all be downgraded in their value to a nuisance and perhaps even a regret.

In addition to that, allow me to indulge in being a bit prophetic.  Mark my words.  There are too many indicators coming from all different directions that the value of food is better than anything else you know right now.  I assure you, a bucket of wheat will surpass the value of a bucket of gold!  You don’t need to look very far (geographically or in time) to see that this is all indeed possible.  Food is truly your best investment.  While many may come up with never-ending excuses to abandon this wisdom—in exchange for an aesthetically pleasing environment, or the inconvenience of rotating the food, or having to gain more knowledge so that can be smart in the use of their supplies—these boil down to very short-sighted excuses.  Think about it.  How many of us have endured difficult education experiences and high tuition rates just so that we could provide a good life for ourselves and our families?  And yet we refuse to acknowledge the need to continue to educate ourselves with this relatively simple practice of storing foods.  I know many parents who firmly believe they would die to save their children’s lives.  Yes, but will you LIVE in such a way now so that you can save them?

Food is your BEST investment.  Water is also virtually free, so there’s no excuse not to obtain that in a hearty supply.  And just in case you were wondering, ammo is next on the list.

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

 

water

 

Get the most from your water in an emergency by observing the following tips:

 

  1. A Vegetable Water Bin: When you open a can of vegetables, (peas, corn, etc), instead of draining the liquid and throwing it out, drain it into a large bin, covered with a lid.  Drain all of your vegetables in the same bin.  Then when you make a soup, rice, or pasta, you can use this water to cook with instead of having to use fresh water.  The same holds true for any water that you use to cook vegetables in on the stove.  Suppose you use just a tad bit of water to steam your cabbage in, for example.  Rather than discarding the water, put it in your vegetable water bin instead.  
  2. canned-fruitSave Your Canned Syrups: The same goes for canned fruits, however, the water in these cans tends to be thicker, and certainly sweeter.  You can use this “syrup water” to sweeten grain dishes for breakfast such as oatmeal, cracked wheat, etc.  It’s also a great substitute for water in many baked good recipes.  You can also use this liquid to make a “sweet milk” with your powdered milk and have a very pleasant taste.  It’s yet one more way to ensure your children get their nutrients from powdered milk.  
  3. Re-Use Your Bath Water: In the “olden days” it was not uncommon for multiple family members to reuse bath water.  While a bit of hot water may need to be added, a couple of baths does not constitute needing to throw it out.  You can reuse your bath water to wash laundry in.  If you use biodegradable bath soap, then you can also use your bath water to water your garden with as well.   
  4. Washing Dishes to the Two-Step: When you wash your dishes, have two bins of water, one for washing, and one for rinsing.  When you need to dispose of your wash water, then use your previous rinse water to wash in.  Yes, you will need to add some more hot water, but it’s obviously a lot less than starting with a new bin of water.  Also, the biodegradable soap is a good idea in this case as well.  (As stated previously, I highly recommend using the Shaklee products in this case as they take up much less of your storage space, have multiple uses, and are complete environmentally friendly.)  
  5. Use Paper Goods When Possible: Instead of using dishes for everything, be sure you have paper goods on hand so that you can conserve the amount of water needed for cleaning.  The paper goods also serve as good kindling when you’re making a fire to cook with. 
  6. lsDAMIANOCatch Rain Water: Unless you live in Colorado which forbids its citizens from catching rain water, you should indeed set yourself up to do so.  Simply place an open bucket (I recommend a 55 gallon one) at the base of your roof’s run off.  You will be shocked at just how fast you can fill up a 55 gallon container with just a couple of mild rain storms. This water can be used for drinking once it’s pasteurized, and it certainly can be used for watering your garden, cleaning, bathing, etc.  Don’t overlook what the good Lord can provide you.  Capture it.
  7. Catch Bath Water: My husband and I have procured a “solar shower” so that we can enjoy a shower in times of “roughing it” rather than using a tub.  However, we’ve also purchased a large, shallow, plastic bin about the size of a mini-shower floor.  We’ve done so in an effort to capture even the shower water in order to be able to reuse it.
  8. Alternative Bathing Method: I lived on a very rustic farm periodically as a kid.  We didn’t have the luxury of a bath tub or a shower.  Instead, when we needed to bath, we simply filled up a plastic bin with hot water.  We then used a washcloth and soap to clean ourselves up.  Nothing fancy.  But it works just fine, and is a valuable approach to bathing when water is a scarce commodity.  We grew up calling this a “spit bath.”  
  9. Save Your Pasta Water:  In addition to having a veggie water bin, and a fruit water bin, I would indeed recommend having a pasta water bin to store the water in which you cook your pasta, rice, and other starches in.  This water is ideal for thickening sauces, soups, and casseroles.  
  10. Avoid Running Water Actions: Most brush their teeth with running water.  You’ll have to get over that habit real quick in a time of emergency.  Out of necessity while living in the Philippines, I discovered, lo and behold, that I didn’t need to wet my toothbrush prior to brushing my teeth.  And I can simply use a cup of water to rinse my mouth and my toothbrush with.  The same holds true for hand washing.  If you wash your hands first in a more communal bin for the tough stuff and then just rinse them off with fresh water, you’ll conserve a lot of water.  

Overall, before discarding a liquid, ask yourself what else you can possible use the water for?  As you may recall, it is recommended that you store 1 gallon, per person, per day for whatever time period you’re preparing for.  (I plan on a year.)  This gallon of water is intended for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning.  However, is it a MINIMUM recommended amount.  Putting these conservations tips into practice will help you stretch that gallon to its maximum capacity.

 

For more on storing water, 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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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

flu-masks

You’ve heard the announcement on the TV of a pending emergency.  What’s your first reaction?  Well, if you’re like 95% of the adult population it’s to go to the store and stock up.  But if you already have key items on hand and know how to discern between that which is needful and that which is foolish, you’ll avoid the chaos that will inevitably be present at any store after such an announcement. 

Want to know what to be sure you have on hand in the event of an emergency?  Here is a list of items that typically were scarce or flew off of the shelves first in other areas of the country when a disaster hit.  Obviously, if these items are the first to go when doom and gloom is forecast, then it is logical to believe that these are items that people will value most in an emergency.  However, while I will highlight these items as those which individuals hoard in an emergency, I will also address why you may be smart to avoid the hoarding inclination.

NOTE: I don’t typically post blogs this long, though I realize people may want to print this off as a reference.  This is a very thorough list, but if you read nothing else, read #58. 

  1. Generator: If you must get one of these, do not skimp.  Get a good quality one.  However, I don’t recommend that you waste good money on this when you don’t have everything else ready.  A generator should be the last thing you acquire because it is a luxury item.  And worst case scenario, you can trade some of the many other valuable items you have for the temporary use of a generator.  In order to use one of these, you will need to store gasoline which does not have a long shelf-life.  It will also be a target of thieves and it makes its share of noise too. You will also need to be prepared to perform repairs on it as well.
  2. Water Filters/Purifiers: Iodine tablets, charcoal based purifiers, gravity fed purifiers, etc, are ideal.  You can also use a solar oven to pasteurize your water.  Also, store regular Chlorox to purify your water as well.
  3. visa-potty1Portable Toilets: This item has been increasing in price on a regular basis.  You can purchase an inexpensive 5 gallon bucket and a “toilet lid” for it as well.  Be sure to store lye or some other available products to break down the waste.  Chlorox is useful for this as well.  Also store plenty of heavy duty plastic bags to line the bucket with.  It’s smart to have shovels on hand as well to provide alternative resources or to dispose of the waste as well.
  4. Seasoned Firewood: While it doesn’t necessarily need to be seasoned, that’s simply what hoarders go after.  It usually costs about $100 per cord; Your regular wood can take between 6 to 12 months to become sufficiently dried.  It takes a great deal of wood to use as a heat, light and cooking resource.  I recommend that you store alternative types of fuel instead such as propane, kerosene, or Isopropyl alcohol.  Obviously, whichever fuel you have you’ll want to make sure that you have the appropriate items which USE such fuel.
  5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps: Too often folks forget to have multiple wicks.  I’ve read and seen situations where there were plenty of oil, but not enough wick.  Considering they are inexpensive it’s a shame not to have the on hand in abundance.  Be sure to buy clear oil.  You will be happy to have as much of this as is legally possible to store.  I store lamps which function on kerosene instead of the more traditional expensive lamp oil.
  6. Coleman Fuel: I’m not advocating this particular fuel specifically, it’s just the first to go in the event of a looming emergency.  While this may not be important to you, it may be urgent for your less-prepared neighbors.  The cost is between $2.69 to 9.00 a gallon, depending on where you go.  Ultimately, Coleman fuel is white gas.  It burns hot and clean.  You can also purchase MSR fuel which is more expensive, burns hotter and cleaner.  In fact, if you have a problem with a stove that’s not burning right you can burn MSR fuel through it and it do better.  This is definitely something that I would have plenty on hand!
  7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats, Slingshots, etc.  Ok.  If you’re going to store guns, then be sure you have stored at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun.  Yes, one thousand.  If all heck breaks loose, your ammo supplies will be worth more than your cash!  Whatever it is that you store to ensure you are not the victim of civil unrest or lawlessness, be sure you know how to use it properly (see www.womenofcaliber.com for more information on this topic) 
  8. can-openerHand-Can openers & hand egg beaters, whisks: If you’ve relied on these items electrically, be sure you have the skills to get the same task done without the electricity.
  9. Honey, Syrups, white and brown sugars Honey is your bet all purpose sweet item.  It stores well longer then sugar and has a better glycemic affect on the body than sugars.  Consider storing the sugar in a 5 gallon bucket, but use one of the stone sugar preservers (mine are all in the shape of gingerbread men).  They keep the sugar soft and nice.  
  10. Rice; Beans; Wheat: White rice is now $12.95 – 50# bag. Sam’s Club.  White rice stocks in store all over are depleting often and then being replaced with the more expensive Jasmine Rice.   So bottom line, when you see it on the shelves for a price that doesn’t feel like our national debt, get it.  Rice, wheat, and beans will cook faster and with less hassle in a Pressure Cooker.  I highly recommend you embrace this way of cooking.  You may also want to consider adding flax seed or millet to your collection of grains as well as they are an asset to your digestive system as well.
  11. Vegetable oil: for cooking, baking, maintenance, etc.  You’ve got to have oil so that your hormones and joints will function properly, so don’t try to skimp on using such a commodity.  Peanut oil burns very hot and can store for a long time.  We’ve stored ours for as long as 5 years, and that’s after using it.  Olive Oil also has a good shelf life and is also good for you.  However, the best oil to store is expeller pressed coconut oil.  It doesn’t taste like coconut in your foods, and has a very, very long shelf life.
  12. Charcoal & Lighter fluid: While this may be OK for an immediate source of cooking, it’s unrealistic to think of this as a long-term solution. Being able to store enough is not likely and the lighter fluid is combustible, so not ideal to store either.  Think in terms of more long-term solutions such as the fuels I’ve mentioned previously.  However, these two items will become scarce very, very quickly if a news report breaks out of a coming catastrophe.
  13. Water containers: In my opinion, if you wait for the news report to try and obtain these, then you’ve waited too long.  You should be acquiring these now.  Only use hard clear plastic.  Do not use milk bottles as they break down very quickly.  It’s important to think in terms of all different kinds of sizes so that you can have portable water as well as primary sources.  You can live without food for 3 days, but you cannot go very long without water.  It’s necessary for the 200,000 gallons of blood your heart pumps through each day, and the several thousands of gallons worth of water than your kidney and liver go through each day as well.
  14. Fuel-based heater: It would be a shame to have plenty of food and water on hand but still perish due to cold weather.  Cold weather will also compound any illnesses that you and your family may be experiencing as well.  If you use a kerosene heater, you can use it inside in an emergency situation, but you will need to have ventilation as well. 
  15. Grain Grinder: Yes, these get hoarded in an emergency situation.  You need to have a non-electric one on hand.  Flour will fly off the shelves with the right newscast.  And it’s significantly more expensive than the whole grains of wheat, millet, etc.  So start looking now for the ideal model while you have the luxury to do so in order to not have to do with whatever is left.
  16. Propane Cylinders: Another highly hoarded item is the grills that go with the propane cylinders.  Be sure that you have a quality grill on hand now and some spare propane cylinders as well.  
  17. Lamps such as Aladdin, Coleman, etc.: YOU will not successfully be able to light your environment without something more substantial than candles.  A human being will function an average of 8 hours each day when there is no natural light on hand.  You’re probably more reliant on light that you realize.  So be sure to think in terms of long-term lighting solutions now.  Be sure that you have appropriate hardware to hang a lantern someplace as well.
  18. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula/ointments/aspirin, etc.  These items were some of the most asked for items when the Teton Dam broke.  I would suggest that if you have little ones in diapers that you at least store some cloth diapers and pins for an emergency as well.  Even though we do not have children, we have put them in our storage as a great trade item should things come to that.
  19. washboard2Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer: Sanitation is critical in an emergency.  And having clean clothes is a serious component of maintaining a sanitary environment.  There are also small hand-cranked clothes cleaners you can purchase at emergency preparedness supply stores.  Your biggest downfall will be if you think in terms of “short-term survival” and think that you won’t need clean clothes.  Be sure that you have liquid laundry detergent on hand as well!
  20. Cookstoves: such as propane, Coleman, and kerosene.  I would suggest that you get these now while you have the luxury of selection and also be sure that they operate properly.  Having to live off of such a small cooking surface can be daunting.  The use of a pressure cooker will help you conserve fuel as it takes less to heat them up and keep them hot.  And you’ll still end up with very hearth and satisfying meals with them as well.
  21. Vitamins: I’m relieved that such an item is hoarded.  Do not underestimate this asset.  It is critical.  Due to the lack of serious diseases in our culture so many of them are off our radar, but in an emergency when you are making your meals from what’s dead and processed on your shelves, supplementing that food with sheer vitamins is critical.  Vitamins C, E, and B are the top of my list.  If you’re involved with a nutritional network marketing company, be sure to store a year’s supply of the health product of your choice!  (I prefer Reliv to everything else I’ve tried out there over the last 3 decades… Not only is it the highest quality of nutrition I’ve found, but I could live off of it too if I had to.)
  22. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder: Small but important.  The small canisters are actually dangerous to use without them.
  23. Hygiene products: such as feminine products, shampoos, toothbrushes and paste, floss, deodorants, and lotions.  There is a reusable product called a menstrual cup made from either latex or medical-grade silicon. They work much like a diaphragm.  I recommend the DivaCuptm.  Also be sure you have combs and brushes on hand.  For some reason there was a run on women’s hair bands after the Teton Dam broke as well.  Guess when you don’t care what you look like, you just want to pull that hair back and get back to work.  Be sure that you also have baby wipes also.  Using them to “bathe” with will conserve your water and your energy. So will anti-bacterial liquids such as Purell.
  24. Thermal underwear: Remember tops and bottoms.
  25. Bow saws, axes and hatchets & Wedges: Remember the honing oil as well.
  26. Aluminum foil: If you have to select between regular or heavy duty, get the heavy duty.  You can wash it and reuse it under many circumstances. (Great Cooking & Barter item)
  27. Gasoline containers:  I completely disagree with this item, but if you’ve got to flee in your vehicle, it is smart to have on hand. However, for long-term survival, gasoline is impractical.  It’s dangerous and it will only put a target on your back from looters who can’t think to survive any other way.
  28. garbage-bags1Garbage bags: This is one item that you do not want to skimp on. If we fail to take care of sanitation, then everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 90 days.  It’s impossible to have too many of these.
  29. Paper products: such as toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels.  Do you even know how long one roll of toilet paper lasts in your home?  Better find out.  Also paper plates and plastic cups and utensils will help to conserve your water supply as well as your energy.
  30. Milk: Think in terms of powdered or condensed milk.  Be sure the shake the canned milk ever 90 to 120 days.  You can make a whole lot of your ideal dairy products with powdered milk such as cheese, yogurt, sour cream, butter, etc.
  31. Garden seeds: (Non-hybrid) Do not buy canned seeds – they must be aerated.
  32. Clothes pins/line/hangers: This should be a “duh” item, but most of us take our electric dryer for granted.
  33. Canned meats:  Thank goodness for the big wholesale warehouses that sell quality canned beef, chicken, turkey and tuna.  Also, I’d rethink your negative stigmas of the canned “meat” Spam.  I’ve made several great dishes with this recently.  And Spam stores for a very, very long time.
  34. Fire extinguishers: Where there’s chaos, there are fires.  Be sure you’re prepared.  It would also be smart to have very large boxes of baking soda on hand for the same purpose as well.
  35. First aid kits: Ideally you can also have a military field surgical kit on hand as well.  This is an area that is significantly underrated and will be used more times that a toilet in an emergency. Be sure to remember aspirin, ibuprofen, and cough syrup as well.
  36. Batteries: You’ll want to be sure that you have all different sizes on hand.  In my opinion though, you’re best off if you have rechargeable batteries and invest in a solar battery charger.  Be sure to be mindful of the expiration dates on the batteries your purchase.
  37. Spices and baking supplies: Be mindful of flour, yeast, salt, garlic, and other spices that you use on a regular basis.  Be sure you have bouillons and soy sauce, plus mixes for soy sauce, vinegars, gravy mixes and soup mixes on hand as well.
  38. Matches: While matches are an asset, you’d be better off getting a magnesium stick with a striker.  However, if you’re going to purchase matches, be sure to get the “strike anywhere” kind.  Keep in mind that the boxed and wooden matches will go first in an emergency.
  39. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators: Don’t make me expound on this one.  Just make sure you have plenty paper and writing utensils on hand J
  40. Insulated ice chests: Ice chests have a dual purpose in both warm and cold weather.  In the warm weather they obviously can prevent items from overheating, but in the cold, they can keep items from getting freezer burn or just plain getting too cold.  Think of them as an insulator for what ever temperature you want to maintain.
  41. work-glovesLabor attire: such as work boots, belts, gloves, jeans, etc.  You’ll find yourself much more active in an emergency. So your everyday clothes that you may wear for fashion as opposed to function just aren’t going to cut it.
  42. Flashlights, light sticks, and torches: Portable lighting will be invaluable in an emergency.
  43. Cast iron cookware: When you’re cooking on raw open flames you definitely don’t want to you use your standard cookware.  Be sure you have cast iron cookware available.
  44. Fishing supplies/tools: While this is a resource for getting “protein” in your diet, the likelihood of fishing supplies really coming in handy during the initial phase of an emergency is slim.  Waters could be poisoned in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack, and you will be much more focused on taking care of your family right where you are rather than expending energy to forage for food in the lakes and streams. This is yet another reason why you need to have food stored that you can use in your home, and not kid yourself into thinking that you can fish your way through a disaster.
  45. Pest and Insect repellents: Consider sprays, creams, or lotions.  The oil made by Avon, called Skin-So-Soft is actually a VERY effective mosquito repellent and obviously has multiple purposes.  In the event of a disaster which requires you to live without your standard comforts, get ready to make friends with the bugs. Keep traps and bug sprays on hands as well.  When all heck breaks loose, the varmints will come from everywhere they normally are foraging for survival just like you.
  46. Duct tape: You will NEED duct tape.  And lots of it for a whole lot of reasons.  We have purchased cases of it at the warehouse places.  
  47. Shelter Materials: Be sure you have heavy tarps, stakes, and rope on hand to ensure that you do not go without shelter. You will also need the tarp to section off rooms in the cold so that you’re heating just small spaces instead of your entire home.  You’ll want to be mindful of screen patches, glue (super glue, craft glue and fabric glue), nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
  48. Candles: While these do run in short supply very quickly in the event of a looming disaster, they are extremely ineffective as a source of light.  See comments on lamps for more details.  Spend your money elsewhere.
  49. the-north-face-patrol-35-backpackBackpacks & Duffle bags: in the event that you’ve got to leave your home and travel with sufficient supplies elsewhere, backpacks are necessary. These are also ideal for a 72 hour kit if you choose to have those handy as well.  
  50. Sewing supplies: Clothes will need repairs; fabric will need modified, so be sure that you have a really good quality of scissors. If you don’t know how to sew, it will serve you well to take a couple of basic classes. Regardless of what your financial circumstances are that may prohibit you from purchasing the preparedness items you need, you have no excuse not to hoard knowledge.  You’ve got the internet, the library, and a whole lot of cheap or free classes available so that you can learn these types of necessary skills.
  51. Canned goods: such as fruits, veggies, soups, etc.  Be sure to have your own canning supplies on hand as well such as the jars, lids, and paraffin wax.  This makes plug #3 for a pressure cooker a wise investment so that when you do can foods, you ensure your jars seal properly.
  52. Knives: Be sure to have the foresight for sharpening tools as well.  Obviously these are good as weapons, tools, cooking aids, etc.  Don’t skimp on something so critical.  My husband periodically takes solely a knife and hikes into the wilderness.  It’s the most important tool he takes with him. 
  53. Bedding: While you may believe your own bed is comfort enough, you’re very likely to be taking others into your shelter in the event of an emergency, or to need to flee elsewhere with transportable bedding.  Think of having sleeping bags, cots, self-inflating mattresses, pillows, sheets, blankets, and ground mattresses on hand.  You’ll be useless if you can’t get quality rest at night.
  54. Games: such as board games, cards, dice, etc.  I love seeing that these are items that are in high demand in the event of an emergency.  Many have the foresight to take care of the mental needs of themselves and their loved ones.
  55. Water enhancers: such as chocolate or strawberry powder, Tang, Kool-Aid etc.  While it takes much less energy to add a flavor to stored water to make it taste good, it’s not the best way to intake your daily dose of water, especially in an emergency state.  Your body even treats water with a simple lemon in it completely different than it does straight water.  It has to exert energy to filter it prior to it being used by the kidneys and the rest of your body.  Your body needs WATER.  Just plain WATER to function properly.  Try to avoid relying on flavors to get your necessary intake.  Instead try pouring the water from one container to another to aerate it to make the taste more pleasant.
  56. Easy foods: Such as graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix, beef jerky, peanut butters, and nuts.
  57. Lumber: 2 x 4s and sheets of plywood are the first to go.  Having a few of these pieces on hand will save you a great deal of stress later. stop-introder       

     

  58. And last, but definitely NOT least… Guns and Ammo: While many so-called emergency preparedness experts tend to shy away from discussing this need, it’s naïve and frankly derelict in my opinion to do so.  If there’s an emergency, chaos will ensue.  There’s no guarantee that those behind bars will stay there.  And there are PLENTY of persons who are not prepared for such a disaster that will be desperate and highly motivated to get the resources they need—from your supplies.  You can say to yourself that you would be willing to die if someone needed your food and other supplies that badly.  That’s fine.  That’s your choice.  But are you willing to make that same choice for your children?  It’s naïve to believe that only your supplies will be targeted by those who would harm you for what isn’t yours.  Are you willing to watch idly by while those you love have their virtue threatened at the hands of violent criminals as well?  In order of priority, get a handgun first, then a shotgun, and then a rifle.  Be sure that you have at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun type you have.  And last but not least, be sure you get sufficient knowledge so that you can actually use a firearm in an emergency.  Mark my words, there will come a time in which ammo is worth more than the currency you carry in your purse or wallet.  So even if you have no intention of defending yourself, you may want to at least have something of value on hand to get what you need.  If you don’t believe that these items will be important in the event of an emergency, understand that sales have increased over 40% from last year just because of an administrative change in our government.  People will be more aware of this need in the event of a disaster.  Having the supplies are one thing. Being assured that you get to benefit from them is another.

Preparedness Pro Note: 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 also has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

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

 

Recently I’ve been inundated with requests from readers to know how I’ve personally prepared for the future.  These requests have come about as a result of my blog post of Gerald Celente’s economic forecasts (see link here).  In fact, I’ve even create an entirely new blog called Preparedness Pro, devoted exclusively to emergency preparedness in the categories of food (including cooking), water, first aid, self-defense, finances, and emotional preparedness.  Be sure to add Preparedness Pro to your blogroll (www.preparednesspro.com) and check back often! 

 

What makes me a pro?  I’ve been practicing personal preparedness doggedly for over 9 years.  Our house has 3 full rooms of necessary emergency supplies.  Usually, instead of going to the store, I just go downstairs to our food storage room, grab what I need, and replenish about every 6 months or so.  It will be up to you to decide whether or not what I share with you has merit.

 

water-myoakforestFirst Things First—WATER! 

 

If you have not started preparing for an emergency, do not start with food.  Start with WATER!  If you’ve already started a sufficient emergency supply food storage, you are probably like the majority of individuals and have put off storing water.  “Where am I going to store those ugly barrels?” you ask?  Believe me, that’s the last thing you’re going to care about when you need water.

 

How much water should I store? 

You can go without food a heck of a lot longer than you can water.  I know this may sound a bit overwhelming, but you really need to store enough water to provide you and your family with 1 gallon per day—minimum—for at least 3 months.  Allow me to restate this.  1 gallon per person is MINIMUM.   That’s a lot.  But you don’t need to go back too far in history to realize that such a need could exist.  Think of the hurricanes our nation has had in recent history.  Is your area ripe for an earthquake?  What if some moron crashes their chemical truck into your water supply?

 

Keep in mind that that one gallon of water is not just for drinking.  It’s for hygiene, (and don’t even think that you’ll avoid bathing all together…this will foster serious illnesses, among other things) cooking, toilet use, laundry, and cleaning. 

 

How do I store my water?

Store your water in NEW barrels.  Please don’t store water you intend to use for drinking and cooking in barrels that have been used for something else.  You will suffer, indeed.  (It’s fine to use those kinds of barrels for water you will use exclusively for cleaning, etc.) 

 

Please, please, please do not store your water in empty milk or soda pop bottles.   They deteriorate.  (Although is you have to choose one of them, pick the soda pop bottles instead.  They last a bit longer)

 

Should I store purified water?

Don’t treat your water before storing it.  Chance are very good that it’s already been sufficiently treated by your municipality.  Besides, I would recommend treating your water prior to using it for drinking or cooking anyway.  To do this you want to use 8 drops of pure Chlorox per gallon of water. 

 

You can fill your water barrels through the garden hose.  As long as you let the water run through the hose a bit and there aren’t any bugs sitting in it, you’re fine.  Surely you drank out of a hose when you were little and you’re no worse for wear, right?  If you’re a purist, you can purchase a marine hose that is lined with an anti-bacterial coating.  Those are readily available at your local hardware store.

 

Keep in mind that the water in your water heater, water bed, and toilet tanks is usable as well. 

 

Iodine tablets, colloidal silver, and quality camping water filters are also a good preparedness step in the event you’re required to use water from sources you’re not familiar with. 

 

One of the things that I stock up on as well are the little Xooma water sachets. These small, tea bag like sachets contain minerals and such that can bring your water to a good non-alkaline levels and infuse minerals in them. I personally believe that doing so helps for better hydration to the body.  So I keep stocked up on these for an emergency as well. 

 

How often do I replace the water?

We empty and refill our water barrels every two years.  You don’t need to do it that often, but we’re a bit fanatical about things.  You’re fine to go out 5 years prior to refilling them as long as it’s good water to begin with.  You will want to aerate your water though prior to drinking it.  Doing this is as simple as pouring it a few times from one container to another, such as a couple of pitchers. 

 

Where am I supposed to store all this water?

water-blogged-3If you’re in a small apartment, you will be pleasantly surprised how easily you can disguise a water barrel as an end table with a small round piece of plywood and a classy decorative tablecloth.  We are fortunate enough to have enough space in our basement and have several of them lined up and then have plywood stacked on top of them to begin shelving for our food storage.

 

Note to wives: If your overzealous husband convinces you to store “an extra” eight 50-gallon barrels under one of the guest beds, you may want to think twice.  It’s a family joke now when folks come to stay with us and sleep in the “water bed.”

 

Don’t buy into the myth that you can’t store your water barrels on cement.  Clarification is that you should not store your water on cement that gets heated by the sun.  So if you’re storing it outside, the sun will heat the cement, which will then heat your water.  This makes water taste nasty.  If you’re storing them outside, place the barrels on top of 2 x 4s.

 

You can store your water barrels outside in freezing weather, but you run the risk of them freezing and cracking.  At the very least, you should not fill them up to maximum capacity to allow for the freezing expansion.

 

Conserving Water

Consider ways to conserve water in an emergency as well.  Storing paper goods such as paper plates and cups will eliminate cleaning, and learning to cook with a pressure cooker which uses a minimum amount of water for cooking is also a good idea. (more on pressure cooking in a future blog.)

 

P.S.  In view of some of the e-mails I’ve received, I just want to clarify…you only want to use HOUSEHOLD chlorine, such as Chlorox.  And remember, don’t treat the water prior to storing it if you’re getting it from your tap.

 

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 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!