The latest posts from Daily Survival
Old-timers relied on the pectin found naturally in fruit to thicken their jams through long cooking, and you can use this approach today if you like. Some fruits, like sour apples, blackberries, crab apples, and grapes, naturally have a lot of pectin, while apricots, peaches, pears, and raspberries tend to be low in pectin. To make jams and jellies without any added pectin, combine three parts ripe fruit with one part under-ripe fruit, which contains more pectin. I’’ve found this approach to be a bit unpredictable, and it requires a lot more fruit than fast cooking jam recipes. Another disadvantage is that the jam doesn’’t taste as fresh and fruity because of the long cooking time required.
Another option is to use commercial pectin, available in liquid and powder form. This pectin, found in hardware and grocery stores, is made from the white pith of citrus fruits. If you make a lot of jam, consider buying it in bulk. Another option is low-methyl pectin, available online in health food stores. This is a natural product, which appeals to many people, but you’’ll have to add calcium salt for it to gel. Jams made with low-methyl pectin taste very fresh because of the short cooking time needed, but they spoil more quickly and water tends to puddle in them.
Regardless of which form of pectin you buy, follow the directions exactly and don’’t double the recipe, and you’’ll end up with fairly consistent results. I prefer powdered pectin bought in a bulk container for most of my jam-making adventures.
Once I mastered jam making, inevitably, I began wondering how I could make jam without the expense of buying commercial pectin. If you’’ve got access to apple trees, you can easily make pectin at home. Use the pectin just as you would commercial liquid pectin. Four cups of homemade pectin equals three ounces of commercial pectin.
PRESERVING IS BACK, AND IT’’S BETTER THAN EVER.
Here are the steps for making homemade pectin:
. Pick several pounds of apples. Thinly slice them, but don’’t peel or core them. You can use any type of apple, including slightly green ones and those that are less-than-perfect. Young crab apples or Granny Smith apples work well. This is a great way to use up apples that have wormholes or other defects. Simply trim out the damaged areas.
. Combine the apples in a large stockpot with water at a rate of one pint water for each one pound of apple slices.
. Boil the apple slices and water for forty-five minutes, stirring occasionally.
. Line a colander with cheesecloth. Pour the apple slices and juice through the colander into a large pot or bowl.
. Return the apple slices to the stockpot and add more water, using the same measurements as before. Simmer over medium heat for fifteen to twenty minutes.
. Remove the stockpot from the heat and let set for ten minutes. Strain the apples and juice through cheesecloth as you did before into the bowl or pot.
. Gather the cheesecloth up tightly around the cooked apple slices to make a bag. Squeeze your bag, collecting any remaining juice into the bowl or pot. The combined juice is the homemade pectin. You should have one quart of pectin for every one pound of apples you cooked.
. Cover and refrigerate the pectin if you’’re making jams right away. For long-term storage, ladle the pectin into four-cup freezer containers, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Cover and freeze for up to three months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also can homemade pectin. Pour it into quart jars, add two-piece lids, and process in a water bath canner for fifteen minutes.
Making Jam With Homemade Pectin
Homemade pectin looks and tastes a lot like unsweetened apple juice. Unlike commercial pectins, it can stand up to longer cooking times, so you have more flexibility. In fact, it’’s so flexible that you can make up your own recipes, based on individual preferences.
For example, a standard jam recipe usually goes something like this:
4 pounds fruit
2 cups sugar
1 quart liquid pectin
However, depending on the sweetness of the fruit, you can cut the sugar down quite a bit. You may also find, depending on the ripeness and amount of natural pectin in the fruit, that you need to add more pectin to thicken the jam. I usually combine the fruit and pectin in a large stockpot and boil it, stirring constantly for ten to fifteen minutes. Take a small spoonful of jam and place it on a plate. If it mounds up slightly on the plate, I know I’’ve got the consistency I like. I can then add the sugar and simmer five minutes more. If, on the other hand, the jam spreads all over the plate in a runny mess, I simply add more pectin and boil it again. If the jam tastes too tart, I just add a bit more sugar.
The thickening ability of the pectin varies from year to year, depending on the ripeness of the apples, as well as the varieties and your preparation. Just plan on experimenting a bit with each batch until your jam is perfect.
Quick Tip On Making Pectin
Here’’s another idea for saving apple pieces for pectin: Whenever you cut up an apple for fresh eating or cooking, save the peels and cores and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Store the bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, use the apple pieces to make liquid pectin. Also, once you’’ve cooked the apple slices down for pectin, run the apple pulp through a food mill to make applesauce or apple butter. What a great way to stretch your resources!
Well - I've had a year to use my All American canners and I am ready to give a review! I bought my All American's at Lehman's on a trip to the States last year. I've had a 23 quart Presto for many years so after that much time I have some opinions!
Each time I bought a canner I had a hard time deciding which size to buy. Bigger?? Smaller?? What's the most practical? Over time I have learned that there are good reasons for each canner and each size.
I'll start with the 23 Quart Presto. I was able to order it though Home Hardware for around $150.00. It wasn't far from home so I didn't have to pay shipping. I hadn't even laid-eyes on a pressure canner in real-life before I ordered it so it was rather a blind choice based somewhat on internet reviews. No one I knew in real-life pressure canned so I was on my own to figure it out and learn. I remember how scared I was at first - ha ha!! I've heard from many others who had the same experience and left the canner in the closet for a year or two before they screwed up the courage to try it. Hasn't everyone heard a story about a canner exploding all over the ceiling??? I'm sure it might be possible but if you follow the rules and let the canner de-pressurize before you open it - its IMPOSSIBLE!
My 23 quart Presto holds 7 quarts or 14 pints if you stack them in two rows. It depends a little on the size of the pints - some older ones are slightly different sizes. As far as I know this is the biggest size that Presto currently sells. The 16 Quart Presto holds 7 quarts or 9-10 pints. In comparison to the All American it's not too heavy - even when it's full. It's safe to use on my glass top stove - or any other stove for that matter. Mine (exactly as pictured except not as clean - or shiny) has a gauge and a weight and apparently you can get a "jiggler" for it. I'll explain that later. The seal which needs to be replaced every few years has held up for over 6 years with no problems.
The down side of my Presto - I wish it was bigger. If it was just a little taller you could double stack quarts in it - this of course would double your output. I also have trouble with keeping the pressure steady when I use it on my electric stove. Up - down - waaaay up- waaay down...you can't be more than a few steps away from it the whole time. I've gotten used to it. I would guess it would be more steady if it was on a gas stove due to the constant heat as opposed to the cycling nature of the electric stove.
The Presto has served me well and I expect to use it for many years to come.
My All American are absolute brutes. I bought the canners at Lehman's for about $400.00 because I didn't want to pay shipping - they are very heavy! I ones I bought hold 14 quarts and 19 pints - meaning you can process twice as much at a time as the Presto! When I stood in the store second guessing my decision on which sizes because I was dazzled at the choices to buy - I chatted with a few women who were also looking at them. I asked their advice hoping they would steer me in the right direction. One woman mentioned that she didn't have help at home (no daughters or family) so she was happy with the smaller canner. That seemed to make sense for her. I debated for quite awhile but finally decided to GO BIG OR GO HOME. I got two model 930 - 30 quarts. All American's come in many sizes - there are is one size even bigger!!
AA's can NOT be used on glass top stoves - they are too heavy. I have a Chef King double propane stove - it's definitely my favourite "stove" for outdoor use. I also have two kerosene canning stoves for indoor winter use.
So what's MY favourite? By far the All American's. I like to can lots at one time but I usually have help. It depends a lot on what I am canning. Some items require more preparation. Canning 14 jars of most things wouldn't be too much in my home! The quality can't be beat - they are heavy duty and are built so you can hand them down to your kids in your will - if they aren't tired of canning before then!
If cost is a factor - and when ISN"T it - I would buy the Presto first and save up for the All American to be purchased at a later date. I have NEVER seen one for sale second-hand but if that option opened up I would be careful. The gauge can be damaged and then the pressure would not be correct. I have still not been able to find a place in Canada where you can take the canner to have the pressure checked - if anyone knows please post it below in the comments.
Pressure canning is a huge leap forward in being able to preserve your own food and make huge inroads into your food storage. You can process meat, soups, low acid vegetables and everything has ONLY what YOU put in it - no chemicals or preservatives - no impossible to read ingredients. Healthy and delicious and FUN too - and I promise the canner won't blow up! What'cha waiting for????
Original Article from Beyond the WireWe all know radiation is dangerous and can have severe effects on the body; we only need to look at the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster or the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see their horrific effects. But how much radiation can a body take? Can you recover? And what are the signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning?
The first thing you have to understand about radiation is you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. The only time it will be visible is the fallout after a nuclear blast. This dust will have the appearance of dusty snow. Apart from that you won’t have any idea your in a radioactive zone without proper detection equipment.
So just how much radiation can the human body withstand? Here is a list giving you a basic idea of what to expect at what levels. All measurements here are calculated in RADS which is short for radiation absorbed dose.
5 RADS and under - No visible symptoms
5 to 50 RADS - Temporarily decreased red blood cell count (you’ll survive but will fee pretty ill)
50 to 100 RADS - Decreased production of immunity cells, you will be susceptible to infections, nausea, headache, and vomiting are common. With treatment you will survive.
150 to 300 RADS - Up to 35 percent of those who are exposed to radiation up to this level will die within 30 days. They will suffer nausea, vomiting and will lose all their hair
300 to 400 RADS - At this point your chances drop to 50/50 fatality rate after 30 days. Like the last level all the same symptoms will happen but with the addition of uncontrollable bleeding in the mouth, under the skin, and the kidneys
400 to 600 RADS - You have a 60 percent fatality rate after 30 days, symptoms like those at the 150 to 300 level starts to become visible in a couple hours after exposure
600 to 1000 RADS - Almost 100 percent fatality rate after 14 days. Your intestinal tissue will be severely damaged and almost all bone marrow will be destroyed
1200 to 2000 RADS - 100 percent fatality with immediate symptoms after exposure
2000 RADS and over - Symptoms set in instantly upon contact then will cease for several days, giving the victim a “false hope” that they are recovering. Suddenly gastrointestinal cells are destroyed and death will begin with delirium since the brain can’t function normally and starts to shut down.
If your interested in learning more about radiation poisoning I found this documentary on YouTube made by the BBC about the Chernobyl disaster and the following cover up the Soviet government used to try to try and down play the disaster.
Sadly, we seem to be having more and more mass shootings these days.
If you are involved in one, do you know what to do?
Read this book and give yourself a chance to survive one.
This book is an easy-to-read guide to surviving a mass shooting. Mass shootings are a tragedy, but we can prepare for them in the same ways that we prepare for every other disaster.
This book is a simple, easy read that will begin your preparations.
- Have an assortment of firearms that aren't purchased, registered, or otherwise connected to your name.
- Have a "burner" phone (a prepaid cell phone purchased with cash) and pre-paid "minutes" for your cell phone also purchased with cash (likewise, you don't want to log into your email or Facebook or otherwise associate yourself with the cell phone if you want to keep it truly private).
- Many new digital cameras will invisibly mark each photo with the GPS location of where the photo was taken. You may want to disable this feature and of course, not include yourself in any photos taken.
- Basically everything you do on the internet allows you to be tracked either overtly (your every post on Facebook, your every utterance on Twitter) or covertly (browsing history, cache, and cookies on your computer). Be sure to keep your computer/tablet as "clean" as possible or use an anonymous computer if necessary to avoid being tracked this way.
- Shield your everyday life. Your address, where you work, the license plate on your car, the RFID chip in your passport, the tattoos on your arm...consider all of the ways that you can be tracked and identified then set to work to disconnect yourself from these entities (ie: have a ghost address, a car registered under a LLC, have location independent work, shield any item that contains a chip, remove--or better yet don't get--tattoos or permanent markings on your body).
1. Prioritize. I know this is is a far bigger thing and really arguably negates the rest of the article but I do need to touch on it briefly. Choosing preparedness stuff instead of other things is a very valid option. I find it easier to have the goal in mind and do the math working towards it. Example doing the math that at 4 bucks a pop you would need to choose drip from home instead of fancy coffee 15 times to get the medium fixed blade knife you want or 10 nights out at $50 a pop to buy a rifle or whatever. For me this makes it a choice to prioritize that specific goal instead of just general budget tightening which kind of sucks.
2. Cut down on your vices. Drink less, smoke less, chew less, gamble less, go from $5 coffee out to drip from home, use that money to prepare. [This is probably #1 for overall life improvement but for saving cash to fund preparedness, which is the topic of the post, I put it at #2. The reason is that prioritization (which also touches on vices) is more all encompassing.]
3. Buy used. Many things can be had gently used for 50-80 cents on the dollar. Once you take the tags off, use it a couple times and it will have a few scratches or wear marks anyway so save the $$$.
4. Build the same systems but with lower priced (but not junk) items. Common Mans $150 BOB by TEOTWAWKI Blog (though I think it's more of a Get Home Bag) is a great example of this.
5. Get basic guns. A tight budget does not mean to buy cool guns because you like them and then skimp elsewhere. If you can't afford food you definitely can't afford an AR and a Glock, let alone an M1A and a high end 1911 with a bunch of mags each especially with prices these days!. It means you need to get basic but quality guns that will serve your needs but not bust the budget. The odds you need an AR-15 over a bolt action 30'06 or pump shotgun or a Glock 19 over an old SW Model 10 are a lot lower than that your family will start eating drastically less. Honestly if tomorrow our gun collection was a 30-30, a bare bones Rem 870/ Moss 500 pump shotgun, a pair of .38/.357 revolvers (his and hers) and a .22 it would be a decent enough setup. If we had 2 of everything and I had a J frame as well as a bigger revolver (aside from her pistol) it would be a good setup. Bought over time most folks can afford a $400 30'06 or 30-30, a $300 shotgun, a $300-400 pistol and a .22 of some sort along with plenty of ammo to go with them.
6. Get items that serve a lot of purposes. If money is tight it might not work in the short term to have 6 dedicated preparedness knives (huge camp, medium general purpose fixed, small fixed, folding EDC, multi tool and "fighting") a folding saw a hawk or hatchet and an ax. Instead a small ax or hatchet/ hawk (AO dependent), a medium sized fixed blade and a folding EDC/ multi tool (lifestyle dependent) might just be it. Those 3 tools would handle most all of your realistic preparedness cutlery needs.
Coming back to guns because we dudes tend to gravitate there and thus overspend limited resources which should be spent elsewhere. In terms of guns that can do a lot of things compact sized pistols are a good one. A Glock 19 or 3" small/ medium framed revolver can fill a lot of roles adequately. A pump shotgun with long and short barrels can do a ton of things. Toss in whatever center fire rifle fits your lifestyle and budget best then round it out with a decent .22 and you are good to go.
7. Put in the time. Oh you are busy too, well make some choices. Watch less tv or something. Learn stuff from people you know. Helping them is a great way to do this. Ask somebody to HELP YOU fix your car or wall or whatever and just maybe they will do it. Say you will HELP THEM with their next project and you'll get a phone call in a bit. Expect to carry some stuff and do some other nugg work but you will learn stuff. Also once they see you care enough to put in the time and energy most folks will go out of their way to help you learn.
8. Avoid mistakes. Buying items that don't fit your needs/ wants must be avoided at all costs. I have a variety of stuff that has been purchased then cast off to be extras or backups or sold at a loss. Even if you research enough to find out an item is quality there is the ever unquantifiable ergonomics. If money was tight I would only buy items I could personally handle and ideally try out (like borrowing a friends for a week) before purchasing.
9. Trade. There are some balancing acts there as you have to be a bit flexible but can't lose sight of your real needs as you can't afford to get unneeded or significantly lower priority stuff. On the other hand turning your unused guitar and amp (or whatever) into the backpack and sleeping bag you need is just irresistible. Sometimes, though rarely especially with vastly different types of stuff, you can trade strait across. However more often you end up selling the music stuff to get money which pays for the camping gear.
10. Gifts. This isn't exactly a savings but it does help. Instead of asking for stuff you don't really need for birthdays, Christmas, etc ask for preparedness stuff you can use. Many folks would be happy to get you a preparedness item of comparable price than whatever the usual gift might be.
That is about all I can think of right now. Anyway I hope these ideas help give people some ideas on how to become better prepared on lower budgets.
Edited to include: After Snoops comment I went back and put them in what I feel is rank order.
There are some emergency food considerations to keep in mind:
- The amount of people in the household.
- Have a good amount of food varieties to reduce food fatigue.
- The serving size of the food.
- Vitamin content in the food.
- The expiration date or “best if used by” labels on the food.
- Special health conditions for family members.
Your Food Storage LayersLayer 1 (0- 72-hours) – In the onset of an emergency and the days following a disaster, the first food to go should be from the refrigerator. Keep in mind that refrigerated food will stay cold for four to six hours, assuming the door is left closed as much as possible. In a fully stocked freezer, foods remain safely frozen for approximately two days if the door stays closed. You want to use up your perishable foods first and then begin preparing your foods that are frozen. Plan meals to meet a 1500-2000 calorie diet that are high in nutrients. Once the perishable food has been consumed, it’s time to move onto your secondary layer of your emergency preps. A word of advice – have an ample supply of water on hand!
Layer 2 (4-30 days) - These emergency foods should consist of “just add water” meals or meals that do not require substantial amounts of water, fuel or preparation time. Having some canned, pre-packaged dinners, or meals that are “ready to eat” during emergency scenarios will help you begin acclimating yourself to cooking in a grid-down scenario as well as to help provide some comfort at the same time.
Keep your family’s preferences, any existing health conditions and food allergies in mind when preparing this food storage layer. Another thought to keep in mind, is that a large amount of water will be needed to rehydrate some of these meals. Have a large amount of water stored or a means to filter water during an emergency.
Layer 3 (31-99 days) - I have often said that our preps are our life line. The items we choose should be able to carry us, not only through difficult times, but perhaps through impossible times as well. This layer of pantry foods should consist of multipurpose, everyday pantry items. These foods are relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire. Keep food storage shelf lives in mind and regularly rotate these items in order to maintain a fresh food source. Further, having a fresh source of vitamins will help your body thrive during an emergency. Consider storing a supply of seeds for sprouting – they are cheap, easy to store and require minimal amounts of time for growth.
For those who are preparing for longer term or extended emergencies, at a minimum you should have a 3 month supply of food and build it up to a 6 month supply. This will be the beginning of your longer term food source, and re-packaging these food sources into more durable containers or packages will keep your food’s enemies away. Further it is a good idea to begin storing large quantities of foods that have extremely long shelf lives.
For a list of the 11 emergency foods items than can last a lifetime, click here.
Another method of bulking up on foods with long shelf lives is to invest in freeze-dried foods. These preserved foods have a shelf life of 20+ years! All you need to do is add hot water and voila!
Some foods to consider for longer term storage are:
Layer 4 (100-365 days+) – If you find yourself in an emergency for over 100 days, it’s time to get real about the situation you have found yourself in. You must assume this could be your new reality. That said it is time to take steps toward long term survival. Having an understanding of essential skills, homesteading and gardening/farming concepts and learning ways to sustain yourself for the long term is of the utmost importance.
- Carbohydrates: white rice, pasta, wheat, oats, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, sugars, honey, fruits, roots and tubers (cook these well) and cereals. For those with wheat allergies, click here.
- Proteins: legumes, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, canned meats and fish, oatmeal, grains, wheat, quinoa, seeds, MREs, popcorn
- Fats: whole milk, ensure, peanut butter, oil (preferably plant based oils), nuts and seeds
- Vitamins and Nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, vitamin powders, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, seeds to grow vegetables and for sprouting, survival bars
Micro livestock is a group of hearty animals that will help you make the most of smaller pieces of land. To read the pros and cons of this livestock choice, click here. For those in suburban dwellings, consider chickens, rabbits and fish stored in aquaponic for a long-term food source.
As a prepper preparing for long term emergencies, you want to continue storing up foods mentioned in the last layer and add freeze-dried or dehydrated foods to your stockpile. Given that you are preparing for an extended or long term emergency means that you will also need to begin looking at ways to prepare or preserve food sources off the grid. Learning how to can, dehydrate and ferment foods will help you maintain your food supply. Moreover, to prevent malnutrition, you will want to concentrate on accruing essential food sources such as carbohydrates, protein sources, fats and essential vitamins and nutrients (see above list of food considerations). Having a vitamin source such as sprouting seeds or stockpiling multi-vitamins during this period will also ensure that you are providing your body with regular doses of needed vitamins.
During an emergency, we are often left to fend for ourselves. Having an ample supply of emergency foods can help your family thrive during the most difficult of times. Take the time now to learn how to make the most of your food supply, learn pertinent skills and the importance of balanced diets and the lasting effects nutritious food has on our body because when emergencies occur, we will need this knowledge the most.
By Wyzyrd, Editor-At-Large
1) Your home-repair tool kit(s). Yes, you CAN get by with a multi tool and a rock, but real tools work a lot better for their intended uses. Get a couple gooseneck crowbars, if you don’t have them already.
2) Your kitchen tools. You CAN peel potatoes with a machete, and cook ‘em in a canteen cup, but why not think up a way to bring along your favorites? (I have a knife/tool roll that I bring to cooking jobs, but a quick yank can pull 2 magnetic strips out of a sheetrock wall to pack them, too…..)
3) Your water heater. About 20 gal. of clean water you can get to, even if utilities are out.
4) Manual pencil sharpeners (the cast aluminum ones from an art or craft work better than the slightly-cheaper plastic ones). Quickly put points on sticks/darts, make your own fire tinder rapidly.
5) Picnic/Party coolers. There’s almost always a need to keep cold things cool, and hot things warm, without external power.
6) Zip-top storage bags–at least a zillion uses.
7) Ground cayenne pepper (or hotter chiles). Season food (obviously), repel deer and various other pests, use as a blood-coagulant on wounds (not fun, but does work), steep in warm veg oil for a day or so and fill a dollar store spray bottle when the commercial pepper spray runs out.
8) Rope, cord, string, twine. Need I say more?
9) Depending on your location, mostly–Your kids’ old BB guns/slingshots/bows and arrows. Cheap and quiet small game-getters, and there’s an old saying “It hurts a lot more to be hit by a BB, than missed by a .44 Magnum”.
10) Electrical extension cords. If there is power available, you’ll need ‘em. If not, more cordage.
Growing ALL of our own food is a pretty lofty ideal. We strive to make progress in this area every year, but that’s a tall order. One thing everyone can make time and space for is growing sprouts.
What are “sprouts”?A “sprout” is simply a seed allowed to germinate and grow a shoot. Most people are only aware of bean and/0r alfalfa sprouts. In reality, there are a couple dozen seeds you can eat as developing shoots.
We’ve all heard the arguments for “whole grains” and how nutritionally superior they are compared to the refined and processed choices. Sprouts are all that and more. They provide all the fiber and whatnot, but as a raw (live) food, they are packed with amino acids and enzymes that can help us utilize the nutrients in the other foods we eat.
Take the wheat berry. (As a prepper, you probably have buckets and buckets of that!) Each kernel contains the bran (outer protective coating), germ (the part from which the growing plant will develop), and the endosperm (the food source). Wheat is extolled for its vitamins, minerals, lignans, and other phytochemicals. It is a good source of Vitamins B and E, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Except for those with gluten intolerance or similar conditions, whole wheat is considered a terrific food.
Now consider what happens as a seed sprouts. When water penetrates the bran layer, it stimulates the germ to develop. The starch in the endosperm gives the shoot the energy it needs to grow. As any sprout shifts from seed to growing plant, its nutritional profile is magnified (by up to 600% in the case of vitamin C sometimes!). The percentage of some enzymes contained in the organism is highest at this point too. If allowed to grow until the first seed leaves appear, you can get a nice boost of chlorophyll too.
How to Sprout SeedsThere are many good posts and tutorials on sprouting seeds out there. No fancy equipment is needed. It can even be done in a canning jar. Alternately, you can purchase a seed sprouter. This is what we have and like a lot. With this set-up, I can start a new batch of seeds every day or so and I only have one thing to add water to or harvest.
What to SproutWhich seeds you turn into sprouts will largely be a matter of what fits your tastes. There are a few things you should not sprout. But there are plenty of things you can use to produce a variety of nutrients and flavors.
You can purchase sprouting seed mixes to get you started in finding your favorites. This is how we started out. We now enjoy things as varied as clover, wheat, broccoli, dill, fenugreek, and radish as well as the more traditional bean and alfalfa. I have learned that I must stick a little masking tape label on the side of the tray to identify what is in it. In the time between adding the seeds and harvesting, I tend to forget which kind I put in each.
A Few Words of CautionSeeds and the resulting sprouts should be handled carefully (with clean hands, containers, etc). Every so often, a news story breaks about people getting food poisoning from sprouts, but as far as I know, they are from commercial sources. Sprouts thrive in the same environments that some germs do, so always take care to wash everything well, refrigerate or eat them when ready, etc.
Also, here are a couple lessons learned the “hard way” (pun intended). Pick through your sprouted beans carefully! We nearly broke teeth the first time I put bean sprouts on a salad. Even though in my head I knew that it was common for a few seeds in any given batch to not germinate, it did not occur to me to examine them all before tossing them in. Those beans that had not sprouted were like little rocks! Also, we found that adzuki beans tend to stay rather firm even when sprouted and we will probably only use them when we intend to add them to soups or other foods where they may be softened by cooking.
Sometime in the future, I may do one more post on some additional ways you can use sprouts besides the age-old salad. In the meantime, if you have some favorites, please mention them in the comments section.
- The Outdoor Pharmacy, part 5: Oregano
- Wheat, part 3 (Alternatives for Those with Wheat Allergies)
- Eating the Fruits of the Land: Blackberry Pie
Now put yourself in the shoes of an individual with a permanent disability – someone who requires a walker, a wheelchair or a scooter to move around. Clearly, an evacuation will be slow and ordinary objects such as furniture, stairs, curbs, and doorways become obstacles or even barriers to escape. Add to this the challenge of moving about during chaos and panic and you can understand why planning in advance for survival tactics is important.
Today I am going to share some preparedness tips for people with mobility challenges. But please take note. These tips are for everyone because when and if the time comes, it may be you with the challenge and not your neighbor, your spouse or your friend. Having an awareness of the obstacles that a person with mobility issues faces will make you a better prepper.
BUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
Regardless of any physical challenges, the basics of prepping still apply. Accumulate food, water, first aid, self defense and the other items to get by under dire conditions. Have the gear you will need to stay warm and the means to cook your food when the grid is down. Practice your homesteading skills and develop a community of like minded people to watch your back as you will watch theirs.
These are the things you will do because these are the things that all preppers do. And for now, that is all that I will say about that.
PREPAREDNESS TIPS FOR PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY DISABILITIES
Store Your Stuff
Store emergency supplies in a pack or backpack that can be attached to crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a scooter.Put Together a Specialized Emergency Supply Kit
Store the needed mobility aids (canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs) close by in a consistent, convenient and secured location. Keep extra aids in several locations, if possible.
Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
Keep a pair of heavy gloves in your supply kit to use while wheeling or making way over glass or debris.Know your surroundings
If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, consider having an extra battery available. A car battery can be substituted for a wheelchair battery, but this type of battery will not last as long as a wheelchair’s deep-cycle battery. Check with your wheelchair or scooter vendor to see if you will be able to charge batteries by either connecting jumper cables to a vehicle battery or by connecting batteries to a specific type of converter that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter in the event of loss of electricity. And if so, get some of these cables to keep in your emergency pack.
If your chair does not have puncture-proof tires, keep a patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires, or keep an extra supply of inner tubes.
If possible, store a lightweight manual wheelchair.
Arrange and secure furniture and other items in a manner that will provide a clear path of travel and barrier free passages.
If you spend time above the first floor of a building with an elevator, plan and practice using alternative methods of evacuation.
If you cannot use stairs, determine in advance which carrying techniques that will work for you. Understand that there will be instances where wheelchair users will have to leave their chairs behind in order to safely evacuate a structure.
Sometimes transporting someone down stairs is not a practical solution unless there are at least two or more strong people to control the chair. Therefore, it is very important to articulate the safest mode of transport if you will need to be carried. As an example, for some, the traditional “fire fighter’s carry” may be hazardous due to respiratory weakness.
Plan at least two evacuation routes; you never know when your primary means to exit will be blocked or inaccessible.
Communication Skills are Important
Practice giving clear, concise instructions regarding how to move you. Take charge and quickly explain to people how best to assist you. Determine in advance how much detail will be needed and drill your “speech” with a trusted friend that will give you some feedback.Community
You know your abilities and limitations and the best way that someone can assist you or ways in which you can assist them. Again, practice giving these instructions clearly and quickly, not in four paragraphs but a few quick phrases, using the least amount of words possible.
Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate your equipment.Other Important Items
Discuss your needs with your employer.
If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building during a disaster. The more people who know where you are and the need for assistance the better.
Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.THE FINAL WORD
Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify any disabilities that may not be visually obvious to a stranger.
Just like any other survival skill, it is important to practice your emergency plan through regular drills. Imagine the worst and practice for that.
I want to be clear.
This is not an area where I have first hand experience. Sure, I have helped nurse family members following an operation that limited their movement but other than basic care, I never had to deal with mobility challenges in an emergency. On the other hand, while researching this article a realized how many of these strategies could become important when we least expect it.
Fortunately, while researching this article, I found that there are some really good resources available from government agencies, senior centers and just plain folks that are willing to help formulate preparedness strategies for people with mobility challenges.
One of the better resources I found was the free booklet Emergency Evacuation Preparedness by the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions. You can download a copy by clicking on the link and I encourage you to do so.
The life that gets saved just might be your own.
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Map reading is hard. You have to remember stuff. You have to practice. Hell, you even have to do some math.
Why should I learn it when I’ve got a GPS in my pocket that will tell me exactly where I am and give me directions on where I need to go?
Let’s go to a pretend world for a bit…
The grid is down. The global economy went to hell three months ago and despite all the promises by the government and news media things aren’t getting better. After the first month food deliveries were sporadic at best and despite a police presence outside most of the supermarkets in town there are very few supplies left. Rioting has been reported in some of the larger cities.
After the first month of not getting paid a growing number of people stopped showing up for their jobs and without skilled engineers and workers the power plants supplying electricity slowly went off line. It’s not out completely, but with rolling brown outs and black outs electricity just can’t be depended on.
It wasn’t like everything crashed at once. It was more like the frog in the pot where the water is slowly brought up to boiling. Things deteriorated slow enough that it prevented you from triggering your bug-out plan and now you’re stuck in your apartment with your wife and two sons. Luckily they’re old enough to walk long distances and you feel like you’ve raised them right and can rely on them in case of an emergency.
Well, now it’s an emergency.
You’ve decided to head for the doomstead you have set up with two other families and you kick yourself for not going right away. There’s no more gas for vehicles, so that means you’re going to bug out on foot cross country. Your GPS tells you your destination is 88 miles northwest as the crow flies. You figure you can do it in four days with your family if you push them hard enough.
Three days later you realize you’re still at least four days away. Nothing has gone right. You had to ditch some gear from the packs because they were too heavy for walking. There have been roadblocks not mentioned by the media and you’ve had to take the family off the road and circle around them praying you don’t get spotted.
And this afternoon the batteries in your GPS died and you discover the spares you packed in your BOB two years ago are dead too. Didn’t the manufacturer claim these batteries would last ten years in storage? You make a mental note to write a strongly worded letter to the company.
Now what? You’re a little more than halfway to the doomstead, food is running low, and now you’ve lost the only means of navigation you had.
You break the bad news to the family, but your 16 year old son – the boy scout – does something strange. Instead of panicking he grabs his pack and pulls out a map and compass. You show him where you are on the map and he plots a direction to your bug-out location. Then he picks up the compass and declares he’s going to take point and leads the way.
Four days later you arrive. Hungry, tired, and foot sore, but you made it.
You tell your son how proud you are of him and thank him for saving the day.
Oh, maybe the story is just a little dramatic, but you get the point. GPS batteries only last for so long and if you’re trusting your life to a piece of electronic wizardry you’re gambling with your life and the lives of whoever is with you. If you think you won’t run out of batteries in an extended emergency you are dead wrong. Just don’t get dead because of it.
And what happens if the satellites fail? Oops.
GPS is Cool!
I was on a mountain with my smart phone recently using it as a GPS and it was fantastic. When you can look at a device and know exactly where you are and what’s over the next rise it doesn’t get better than that. But I was using it heavily and after just a few hours the battery was very low.
Of course I had a map and compass and went back to doing it the old fashioned way.
I’ve read many stories where someone has followed GPS directions blindly down back roads only to wind up stuck for days and sometimes even got themselves dead because of it. Always have a manual backup and the knowledge of how to use it.
Like I said earlier, map reading is hard and it will take some work to get proficient at it. You don’t have to get to the point where you’re looking for a ten meter square clearing in a huge forest, but if you can point a compass and follow an azimuth there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually get to where your going. And you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying don’t use a GPS. They’re awesome devices. What I am saying is learn the skills necessary to stay alive in case something happens to your device, whether you drop it in water, break it or the batteries die it’s always good to have a back up.
Just in case.
Next week we’ll talk about direction and how to shoot an azimuth on your compass.
How about it, Prepper?
Sound off below!
Physical fitness is a preparedness area that needs constant attention. It is something that needs to be worked on and kept up on. Just because you were a long distance runner on the high school track team doesn’t mean you can outrun the zombies at age 35. And you do want to be able to outrun the zombies, right?
Actually, outrunning the zombies is only one reason to be in good physical condition. In a grid down situation, there will be plenty of manual labor to be done. Everything from clearing debris, to building shelter, to hiking yourself and your family and all your gear to a safer location.
I’m not saying you need to be a marathon runner or super body-builder (unless you already are–then you’re ahead of the game). But being out of shape will not help you a bit when your physical abilities are being tested in what could be a life and death situation.
There are a few things to consider when you are thinking about conditioning your body for work harder than sitting at a desk in a cubicle eating jelly doughnuts.
1. Start slow. Especially if you haven’t been doing much physical activity in the recent past. If you have health considerations, you may need to consult your physician about which activities and exercise programs would be best for you.
2. Don’t quit. Exercise is only good while you are doing it regularly.
3. Just because someone is lean doesn’t mean they are in shape. I have a crazy fast metabolism, so rarely look like I’m out of shape. However, I know that I have been. And I know there are people who look out of shape that could outwork or outrun me pretty easily.
4. “Good physical condition” is not the same for everyone. It is not the same for me now as it was when I was 19 or as it will be when I’ll be 65. Our bodies give us certain physical limitations depending on age, genetics, etc. The idea is to be in as good a physical condition as you in your present circumstances can be.
5. Is a little fat good? Maybe so. It could act as a buffer against disease, or lower the food intake you will need. But don’t go believing an extra 100 lbs of weight you don’t need on you qualifies as “food storage”!
6. You will lose weight as you begin exercising. If you are exercising before a disaster, you can go buy new clothes that fit! But if you don’t start exercising until after the disaster (or even if your exercise level intensifies–especially if your food intake decreases), you’ll probably shrink out of your clothes. Consider stocking smaller sizes of clothes, overalls (they always fit, right?) or suspenders. Another option is having the skills to alter clothes to fit your new smaller size.
Your physical condition could be one of the most important parts of your preparedness efforts. It won’t do you any good to have lots of supplies if you’re going to keel over from a heart attack when you need to relocate it all quickly. And the extra energy and strength you will have will help you even if disaster never strikes. So go ahead and get off the computer and go for a walk. If it’s just too cold out there for you, there are plenty of exercise videos available online, or you can even probably check some out for free at your local library. Find something that you enjoy and stick with it!
Whether you are set to travel into a bad neighborhood or if you are preparing for a societal collapse in which most neighborhoods will turn bad, knowing how to be street smart may save you trouble or your life. You cannot just learn it by reading about it and then saying to yourself that you will do those things if and when you have to… instead you must practice it in your daily life and apply it in appropriate degrees of purpose for your given location. It should be part of your situational awareness and response thereof.
Know Where You AreIt is quite easy to pick out someone who is a tourist, lost or confused. These people will be targets. Know the streets that you are on, or will be on; the way in and the way out. Look at a map ahead of time so that if you get lost, you will know the direction to get out.
Don’t start a trip without a full tank of gas, particularly if you are planning to go into an unfamiliar area. Never let your gas tank go below half full, for more reasons than just one.
Learn everything you can about the public transportation system in the area, if there is one, because you might need to use it. Understand the routes and fares. Know the hours that station attendants are working, as these are the safest places to wait for your ride. A train, subway, ferry or bus station can be a dangerous place late at night, and not knowing what you’re doing will make the situation more dangerous.
Blend InDress to blend in and avoid clothing and colors that may cause you to stand out from the crowd. Plain and neutral colors are often best, worn in an understated fashion. Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing jewelry, looking ‘too good’, or being individualistic in any way.
Act Like You Don’t CareWhile you need to be at peak situational awareness, you need to look like you don’t care… flowing with the crowd. Do not stare. Do not look all around as though gazing at new surroundings. Do not run. Do not engage in loud conversation or laughing or fooling around. Just be quiet and go where you are going in a purposed direction.
Avoid Contact With StrangersAgain, use situational awareness. Look well ahead as you move. If you see that you will be meeting with potentially questionable individuals or a group, then cross the street or change direction if it will not look obvious that you are intentionally avoiding them. If you must cross paths, then stay at your pace. Don’t speed up. If you were talking with a companion, don’t stop talking or suddenly talk real quiet.
Eye ContactThe best way to deal with this in a bad neighborhood is to treat the situation exactly the same as you would in what you consider a safe neighborhood. Don’t stare. Don’t look away too fast. If you make eye contact, then a quick pleasant smile should suffice. Even if you are nervous, you must come across as comfortable.
Responding To A Talking StrangerYou’re walking down the sidewalk and pass a stranger who says “How’s it going?”. Simply respond with “It’s going well, thanks”, and keep on walking at your existing pace. Do not say “It’s going well, how about you?”. Don’t invite conversation in a neighborhood where you feel unsafe. While it is true that some people are being genuinely friendly when asking, unfortunately there are those with darker intentions. Sometimes it is more obvious than others.
Street Smart success begins with situational awareness and going about your business in a purposeful manner that does not attract undue attention. Problems arise when people who have not practiced Street Smarts suddenly find themselves in an environment where they need to be careful… they are usually very easy to identify in a crowd. The next time you are out and about, imagine to yourself what you look like to others as you go about your business. Picture yourself from across the street or someone who is sitting or standing still watching you. What do you look like? Do you fit in with the environment you’re in?
In all of these cases, you want to find out as much information as quickly as possible. Here's how:
- Check Twitter. I follow a number of first responder agencies in our city, a few news outlets--both local and national--and when in doubt, I simply search the most likely terms in Twitter and can usually come up with people tweeting about what is going on.
- Check Reddit. If your city/area has a subreddit, this is often one of the first places that people post "what the heck is going on?" posts quickly followed by others commenting on what they have heard/seen/know.
- Check your local news services. This may include tuning in to TV news, checking the local newspapers online, or turning on your car's radio and picking up the local news.
- Check the national news. If it is a big enough event, CNN and other national news services will probably pick up on it pretty quickly.
- Check with the appropriate agency. If the event has to do with a fire, I can check out our local fire department's website/Facebook page/Twitter account. If it is something larger--like a storm or earthquake--I would check with NOAA or the USGS website.
- Text a friend. If you know an event is happening where you know a friend or family member may be, simply sending them a text may get you the answers you need. Likewise, check their Facebook page/Twitter feed/Instagram/etc if they are likely to be posting instead of making them take the time to answer you back.
299 Days: The Visitors.
If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it.
The Visitors, the fifth book in the 299 Days series, follows Grant Matson, the Team, and other Pierce Point residents as they adjust to a rapidly changing post-Collapse reality. When the Team is summoned to bust a meth lab and protect their neighbors, they find themselves in an intense crime scene that results in the community having to decide innocence, guilt and punishment.
Adjusting to this “new normal” is a challenge to Grant and others as they navigate a world where Pop-Tarts cost $45 a box, neighbors die from easily preventable conditions, and what remains of the former U.S. Government is deliberately choosing who they will and will not help.
As tensions grow in Pierce Point and the Team begins to face organized opposition, they are presented with an incredible opportunity by the arrival of Special Forces Ted and his game-changing proposal. Grant finds himself at a crossroads as he must decide whether he and the Team will formally join the Patriots and train to become guerilla fighters against the growing forces of the Loyalists or standby and watch events unfold. Grant knows one decision could risk his marriage and family, while another would mean letting others decide their fate.
You have to learn you neighborhood well. You should know what wild foods are edible and where and when they grow. There is only one way to do it. Walking is best because you see much more than you do driving. When you are in a car you don’t even notice all of the little hills that you go over. When you are walking or riding a bike you notice each and every hill. Similarly, when you are whizzing by at 45 mph you can’t really check out the landscape, flora and fauna (15 points using flora & fauna in the same sentence).
When you are walking you’ll begin to notice what the same plant looks like at different times of the year. I usually walk a lot, but with the sun setting so early during these short winter days it’s tough. Still walking is the best way to learn the area. Take your time. Look around. Really open your eyes. When you see something don’t just look at it and take it for what what it is, but ask why or why not. Zen. Keep an eye out for where water may be, places to stash stuff or hide if need be, places to camp or forage, keep an eye out for things you can use now or at some time in the future. When you see those red canes leaning over in the winter remember to come back in the summer for sweet berries. Figure out where the electrical substations, powerlines, water and sewage treatment, refineries, chemical plants, factories, police, hospitals, fire stations, reservoirs all are.
You should own some map books of your state and the surrounding states. I’m not a big fan of the folding state maps. They’re ok, but they don’t show enough detail for me.
I like these Delmore maps by state. They show all the detail you really need, but it doesn’t list the name of every side street and it’s not a real detailed topographic map. Delorme maps do have topo lines, roads, highways, campgrounds, natural and man made attractions, state parks, recreational areas, lakes, rivers, streams, railroads and trails. You should own a map book like these Delorme ones for your state and each of the contiguous (5 points) states. You also need a book for each of the states that your bug out plans call for you to traverse. Like I said these map books are great all purpose maps, but for going afield I like the the old 1:24000 USGS maps. The USGS topo maps are what I use when I go hiking. They show as much detail as you could ever want. They even show seasonal water.
If you don’t know how to read a map that is one skill you don’t want to delay learning. Having a map and knowing how to read it can mean the difference between sweet, sweet life and a cold and shivering or gaunt and starving death. GPS units are great, but have a compass and know how to use it.
I guess what I am trying to say is GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!©
Doing what I now do. Notice all the seals in the water and moi is the only one standing?
The waves are supposed to be 10 foot tall this weekend because of Ida.
Scrapings from a woodpecker. This stuff id light up pretty well with just a firesteel I bet. You’d never see this pile of sawdust driving around.
Emergency Preparedness Kits:You may have to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having in sufficient quantity, your own food, water and other supplies because you don’t know if you will get help in hours, days, weeks, or longer. The disaster will define the emergency response time; meaning the type and severity will impact the resources and ability to get help to you.
HOW LONG UNTIL HELP OR RECOVERY
A typical Prepper will have prepared in some way for disaster scenarios that could lead to being on your own for a relatively long period of time. Even if you do not consider yourself a Prepper and are not so concerned about major collapse scenarios, you can still be readily prepared for the most common and likely emergency situations by simply building an emergency preparedness kit that will keep you in reasonable condition until help or recovery.
Emergency Preparedness Kits:When choosing what to include, consider how you would manage without the basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephone for a period of days, or even a week or longer. It’s as simple as that.
HOW TO DECIDE WHAT’S INSIDE
It may not be so simple to get along without those basic services, but it is simple to analyze and choose what it is that will help you through it.
Go through the process one at a time. What is it that you do each day that depends upon… electricity (fill in the blank), and then try to come up with solutions for your basic needs.
Building emergency preparedness kits can be fun. It is a personal set of choices that determine what goes inside. In fact, you could build a kit today, and then build another one in a few months to discover that you have included some different items.
While I won’t burden this with long lists of items (which can be found in plenty here on this site and others), it is helpful to look at the lists of others, many of which will give you great ideas. Start simple. Something is better than nothing.
Consider the seasons. Add or subtract based on typical weather conditions and changing needs.
Change your water storage every six months as a general rule of thumb. Rotate your food too, especially for car kits.
Emergency Preparedness Kits:These kits do not necessarily have to be contained in a pack, case, bin or other constraint. You could easily keep the items you would need in your home in locations wherever it makes sense for you. On the other hand you should seriously consider building a kit that fits in a pack or bin for the trunk of your vehicle. This could be an additional emergency preparedness kit that is solely for you car, while you also keep items at home.
WHERE TO KEEP IT
Having a car kit will cover you for while you are at work (assuming you drive to work), which when you think about it is a significant part of your day… meaning that you are nearly as likely to encounter a disaster while at work as when you are at home. This is a serious thing to think about and may impact what you decide to keep in your car kit.
If you commute to work with someone else or take public transportation, you should tailor an emergency preparedness kit that you keep at work, and one that fits on your person or inside a shoulder bag or briefcase that you typically carry around with you. This will require special thought with regards to items of practicality versus bulk, weight, and carry-ability.
I personally like the idea of the ordinary backpack / shoulder pack for simple emergency preparedness kits because it’s easy to grab and go, and it is easy to carry if you have to walk out. Even if you are building a serious kit for home which involves lots of items, bulk and weight, it remains a good idea to keep a bug out bag at the ready (although having one in your car may negate this necessity).
So what are you waiting for? Start building yours today!
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- Do you have your name on your mailbox? If so, take it off so that strangers who come up to your door won't be able to address you by name as part of a ruse.
- Do you have a locked mailbox and/or only send mail via a secured mail box? Mail theft is still one of the easiest ways to steal an identity. By securing your mail as much as possible you can deter this type of theft.
- Is your house number clearly visible from the street? On the other hand, you do want to be able to call for emergency aid and have them respond to your house as quickly as possible; a clear address will assist with this.
- Do you have favorable landscaping in front of lower level windows? Rose bushes, cacti, and other spiky plants will deter burglars from breaking in through lower level windows in your house.
- Is all overgrowth and debris removed from the areas surrounding your home? This will not only help block wildfires but will also discourage people from stealing your unsecured property and/or providing concealment for lurkers.
- Do you dispose of packaging from various high end items (TVs, computers, etc) somewhere other than at the curb for your weekly garbage pick up? Leaving this type of packaging laying around outside your home lets potential burglars know what kind of items you keep inside your home.
- Do you have adequate lighting all around your home? With the flip of a switch you should be able to illuminate all of the areas around your home.
- Are exterior stairs and walkways secure and free of debris? This is more for your benefit as it will provide a safe place for you to walk and avoid falls.
- Are all upstairs windows inaccessible from the outside? This means no trellis or trees that would allow someone to crawl up and into your home.
- Do you keep all outside property secured? This means no keys left in the truck or the tractor, all motorcycle and bicycles locked up when not in use, etc.
- Do you have a garden hose and fire extinguisher easily accessible from outside? These items are useful for fighting unexpected fires.
- Does the outside of your home look well maintained? Sloppy landscaping and a generally unkempt look can make you home look unoccupied and be an invitation to burglars.
- Do you have an exterior security system complete with remote access cameras? This type of system can be very useful for both discouraging thieves AND for identifying them after the fact.
- Do you regularly inspect large trees in your yard and remove them if they are in poor condition? Better to take down sick and dying trees on your timetable rather than to wait for a storm to do it for you.
- Are your outbuilding secured? Outbuildings often contain tools, spare gasoline, and other valuable items that thieves are looking for.
- Is your property fenced? This is a small deterrent but a deterrent nonetheless, to keep out unwanted people.
- Do you walk your property regularly to check for problems that need to be fixed? By walking your property regularly you will notice when fences need to be repaired, when shrubbery begins to look over grown, etc.
- Do you have warning signs posted? No trespassing and beware of dog signs let people know you are serious about protecting your property.
- Does your home look "lived in" both during the day and at night? By having a car parked in the driveway it makes people think someone is home during the day. By having interior lights go on and off at various times during the evening, it makes your home look like it is occupied whether it is or not.
- Do you always close and lock doors when you enter or leave the house (including the garage door)? Leaving doors and windows unlocked or leaving the garage door wide open all day is an invitation to have your home burgled.
- Do you hide a spare key outside just in case someone in your family forgets theirs? Burglars know where all of the hiding spots are so this is yet another open invitation to have your home burglarized.
- Do you keep your drapes or blinds set so that it will make it difficult for people to see into your home from the outside? No use leaving all of the valuable items in your home on open display for anyone who walks by.
- Do you make arrangement for package pick up/drop off? A note on the door telling the delivery person that you work from 8am to 5pm does nothing for your packages or your home security.
- When you go on vacation do you have someone to pick up you mail/the newspaper as well as ensure your home remains secure and the yard is mowed? If you are gone for an extended period, it is a good idea to have an actual person coming around regularly to check on your home.
- Do all family members abide by the rule to not talk about the items your family owns (guns, gold, etc) as well as not talk about vacation plans or other times that your home will be unoccupied? Blabbing about valuables in a home can make you a victim of either burglary or home invasion.
I just became aware of a new book, Getting Home, that is currently on sale in Kindle form for .99
I've lately been reading many fiction books along the same concept & will be giving this non-fiction one a read.
Get it before it goes back up to full price.
What will you do when disaster strikes?
How will you get home to your family?
What should you have with you to survive?
Getting Home addresses these, and many more questions.
Written in a clear and concise manner, with the reader that has beginning or intermediate knowledge of survival and disaster preparedness in mind, Getting Home explores the following topics:
1. Creating a robust Every Day Carry (EDC) kit
2. Supplementing your EDC with a Daypack (DP)
3. What to store in your office (or other facility while you are away from home)
4. Selecting and outfitting your vehicle
5. Selecting and outfitting a Get Home Bag (GHB)
6. Creating Caches
7. Getting Home: Tips and Tactics for Survival
Each person will devise their own EDC based on their own unique circumstances and needs, but in case you need some ideas, here are 100 items you might consider for everyday carry:
- Small firearm
- Extra magazine/ammo
- Fixed-blade knife
- Knife sheath
- Pepper spray
- Stun gun
- Razor blade
- Steel baton
- Cell phone
- USB drive
- Multi tool
- Folding knife
- Wet wipes
- Alcohol wipe
- Latex gloves
- Packet of aspirin
- Super Glue
- Packet of Benadryl
- Acidophilous tablets
- Paracord bracelet
- Mylar "Space blanket"
- Fire starter (ie: small tube of petroleum jelly)
- Business cards
- Fisher space pen
- Mini Sharpie
- Small notebook (ie Moleskein)
- Magnifying glass
- Deck of playing cards
- Digital camera
- Spare memory cards
- Duct tape
- Electrical tape
- Work gloves
- Aluminum foil
- Ziploc bag
- Snare wire
- Pocket survival guide
- Mini sewing kit
- Bottle of water
- Granola bar
- M & Ms/chocolate
- Breath mints
- Tea bags/packet of instant coffee
- Beef jerky
- Hard candy
- Packet of raisins
- Condiment packets: salt, pepper, Tabasco, etc
- Credit card
- Debit/bank card
- Gold coin
- ShotPak (alcohol shot in foil pouch)
- Challenge coin
- Foreign currency (for country you are most likely to go to)
- Prescription pain killers (prescriotion in YOUR name)
- Laminated list of emergency contacts
- Condom (non lubricated)
- Tampon (OB)
- Folding "spork"
- Flat can opener
- Micro prybar
- Foam ear plugs
- Surgical mask
- Necessary prescription medication
- Hand lotion
- Safety pins
- Rubber bands
- Nail clippers/nail file
- Stuff you need: denture adhesive, hearing aid batteries, eye drops, contacts, glasses, etc
- iPod/MP3 player
- Emergency alert bracelet
- Key chain backpack/tote bag
Powdered milk is a prepper staple that all prepper sites suggest we stock up on. To calculate how much your family needs, click here. Bear in mind that if you have small children or are a nursing mother, it is important to have even more powdered milk stored.
Not many know of the versatility of the nutritional value of our little powdered friend. One cup of dry milk provides you with a good source of protein, vitamins A and D, calcium, magnesium and essential fats.
To reconstitute dry milk:To reconstitute one quart nonfat milk, sprinkle ¾ cup (3.2 oz) non-instant dry milk powder on top of 3¾ cups water at
room temperature. Beat with mixer, rotary beater or wire whip until dissolved.
To reconstitute one gallon nonfat milk, sprinkle 3 cups (12.8 oz) non-instant dry milk powder on top of 3 qt 3 cups
water at room temperature. Beat with mixer, rotary beater, or wire whip until dissolved.
Tips on preparing powdered milk:
- Mix it very well. Using a clean egg beater or mixer helps to break up the clumps.
- Mix powdered milk with very cold water. When mixed, keep it very cold.
- Make powdered milk the night before use. This helps the flavor come out.
- Mixing equal parts of fresh milk to reconstituted milk to help ease fussy drinkers.
- A little sweetener can go a long way. Adding a spoonful of sugar, chocolate syrup or vanilla extract can help enhance the flavor.
- If your family still doesn’t like the taste of reconstituted milk, use it for cooking purposely only and save your real milk for drinking.
Storing powdered milk:
According to USA Emergency Supply, “Dry milk products are probably the most sensitive to environmental conditions storage foods there are, particularly to temperature and moisture content. Their vitamins A and D are also photosensitive and will break down rapidly if exposed to light.My family stores powdered milk in sealed Mylar bags (In my opinion, this is the best long-term storage method). Adding desiccant pouches to minimize moisture will also prevent “lumping” in the powdered milk. Once opened, we store the unused powdered milk in the refrigerator for prolonged freshness. Use the instructions outlined in this article to store powdered dry milk in Mylar bags.
The area where your dry milk is stored should be kept as cool as possible. If it is possible to do so, air-conditioning or even refrigeration can greatly extend the nutrient shelf life. After opening a package of dry milk, transfer the powder to a tightly covered glass or metal container (dry milk can pick up odors from plastic containers) and keep it in the refrigerator. Unsealed nonfat dry milk keeps for a few months; dry whole milk for a few weeks.
Aside from using powdered milk as a substitute for the real thing, there are other ways that you can use this essential pantry item when cooking. The following are just a few of the recipes found in The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals.
Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe
Equivalent to 14 ounce can
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 cup nonfat dry milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- In a small saucepan, add the butter in the hot water and stir until combined.
- Pour into a bowl and stir in the dry milk powder and sugar. Mix well until the sugar and milk powder are dissolved.
Equivalent to 12 oz. can
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 cup nonfat instant dry milk
- Place the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously.
Makes 6 cups
- 2 c. dry milk powder
- ½ c. non-dairy creamer
- ¾ c. sugar
- ½ c. cocoa
- Dash of spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cayenne or pepper
- Mix all ingredients together and store in a cool, dry space.
- To make drink, add 1 cup of warm milk or water to 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa mixture.
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
- Whirl the milk and dry milk powder in a blender until thoroughly mixed. Use in baking or cooking dishes that call for heavy whipping cream.
Makes 14 – half cup servings
- 6 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/3 cup dry powdered milk
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried fruit or nuts
- In a large bowl, combine all of the above ingredients. Then store in airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 month.
- Place 1/2 cup of mix and add 1/2 cup boiling water or milk to the mix and stir until oats are softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- 3 cups nonfat dry milk
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Stir all the ingredients together until well blended. Store in a covered container or in individual 1-cup packages.
- To make pudding, place 1 cup pudding mix in a small saucepan. Slowly sir in 2 cups boiling water. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Let the mixture cool slightly and then pour into individual containers to make homemade pudding cups or into a single container. Cover and keep refrigerated.
Chocolate pudding—Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to 1 cup of dry mixture before cooking. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon butter once the pudding has thickened.
*Place plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming – me, I love pudding skin, but maybe I’m weird. Cool for 15 minutes till room temp and then spoon into individual bowls if you want, refrigerate for at least an hour
For more delicious recipes, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals is available in bookstores now.
- Hot Cocoa Mix
- Prepping With Milk Allergies
- A Southern Girl’s Survival Guide to Thanksgiving: Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping
- Fresh Farm Cheese in 4 Easy Steps
- Dry Soup Mixes For Long Term Storage
I love a good storyline. The type of book that you just can't put down and will read in just one day.
On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his flight home to Montana when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.
Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on take-off, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its slow spiral into chaos and anarchy.
A great storyline with a great amount of detail on the gear used by the main characters.
I'd almost call it a reference book disguised as excellent fiction.
Just had a nice conversation with the author and was informed that book 2 is well in the works.
You can check out the author's official website here: http://www.angeryamerican.com/ or follow on Facebook here: Angry American Facebook
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