Friday, September 30, 2011

Another reason for a car emergency kit

Check out this news story that I saw this morning on the Today Show. This man crashed his car into a ravine and then survived there for six days drinking water from the river close by and eating bugs and insects. His kids were out looking for him and calling into ravines and hear his cry "help" from the bottom of the ravine. NOW, if this guy had an emergency kit (supposing he could access it in his car after the crash) he would have possibly had a whistle to call for help and emergency food to eat and water to drink. If he had a three day supply of calories he could have survived literally for weeks if need be. He had several broken bones including bones in his back (if I am remembering correctly from this mornings newscast). This would have been excruciating for him to drag his broken body from his car to the river below for water.

Six days after cliff plunge, kids find dad

Interestingly, there was another car which had crashed many months earlier on this same stretch of road and into the same ravine. No one had rescued this other person who was dead in his car and decomposing.

I know that I am going to get that whistle that I have been wanting for a while and I am putting it on my keychain for just those emergencies.

Go get yourself a whistle too today!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When is it too much?

Okay, work with me here.  As I scour the web looking for lists of items for preparation.  I find a zillion different lists, with a zillion different items.  Let's take the 72 hour emergency grab and go bag for example.  I thought the idea was to grab a backpack and go.  That is the premise right?  So some 72 hour grab and go lists include lots of things that won't fit in a back pack.  Now I understand that if you are going to hold out at home then you can have items that are larger.  HOWEVER, do you really need them all in one place or can they be in your everyday place.  Do you need a second something in the "emergency" place or can you just check off that you have a manual can opener in the drawer?  Does that manual can opener need to be with your food?

Now, let's talk about other stuff.  When does prepping become hoarding?  When does prepping become clutter?  I am struggling with this now.  I am trying to declutter my house and in the process plan and prep for emergencies or even a "end of the world as we know it situation" and while decluttering I find myself questioning whether or not I should keep an item just in case I might need it again and not be able to repurchase it or trade for it.  Oh the dilemma!

So while I am working on this decluttering process in our house I am also trying to reorganize stuff.

My question today is:

Where do you store your stuff?  Emergency supplies?  Food storage?  Is your food storage all in your pantry?  Do you have a basement to store your items in?  Do you store your food storage in other areas of the house?
If so, where?  Is it hidden or in plain sight?

Monday, September 19, 2011

More on Hurricane Preparedness specially for RVers.

This article I just found is specifically for Rvers but goes over a lot of basics that we all should just know by heart.

I love that they suggest exactly what my family did and that was to take your RV, stock it with food and water and supplies, and head out of the way of the hurricane.

This second article is a great layman's terms explanation of what a hurricane is and how it is destructive.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How is your garden growing?

Mine is done - well pretty much done.  We are still getting a few random tomatoes off the vines.  There are plenty of green ones left to ripen.  Other than that, it is done!

This year I planted:
yellow squash
green beans

The corn did nothing. Cantaloupe and watermelon made fruit but they didn't taste or look right.  I think they cross pollinated with the cucumbers.  The watermelons were really little and ripened way too fast.  The cantaloupe had a bitter taste to it and didn't really taste like cantaloupe at all.  We had another banner year with squash and zucchini.  But we ate as much as we harvested.  So there was nothing to put away for winter.  The tomatoes did well and I now know not to waste my time on odd varieties.  I need to focus on the varieties that we love and not plant the rest.  Some turned out quite odd looking.  No one in my house at the green beans fresh.  I need to work on them.  The cilantro is a cooler climate plant and didn't do so well when the hot sun shined on it.  It shriveled up and died.  We had lots of lettuce and cucumbers and enjoyed them in our salads all summer long.  We harvested a ton of carrots but ended up not having a chance to clean and freeze them so they shriveled and died.  It was sad.  The beets didn't do much either, unfortunately.

Looking to next year, I need to be more on top of my garden.  I need to plant at the right times and then keep other plants from cross pollinating with others.  I am not sure our fruits are doing well at all and I might not plant them next year.

As for bugs and varmints, we did pretty well this year until late summer.  The bugs were manageable until the rabbits found our garden.  Oh and the squirrels.  the squirrels ate every single apple and peach off our trees.  We need to do some squirrel control next year.

At this point I am not thinking I will have a winter garden.  I will just wait until February and begin planting then for cole crops.  This winter though I am going to research better varieties of vegetables and look into installing a sort of "greenhouse" over some of my squares.

How is your garden growing?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Progress on my Prepping

Hurricane Irene wiped out our freezer and fridge.  We have been dwindling down over the past couple weeks on pantry storage too.  I have gone back to baking bread but our schedule isn't consistent enough to bake a loaf each day so I have ended up wasting some batches.  I mix a batch and then refrigerate it and use the dough over the next couple days, but I have had two batches sit in the fridge a week before I get back to making another loaf.  I need to work on this organization.

With our freezer empty and our fridge having only a small amount of food in it I am getting ready to make a large grocery run.  I would like to use coupons but at this point I don't have the time for that.  So I am going and will just shop the sales at this point.

My pantry has plenty of pasta, rice, and cake mix in it.  LOL  I think I need to add some other items there too.  I also need to replenish the water bottles that we have been using in the kids lunches recently.

My BOB is suffering terribly.  I have lists and lists. I have lots of research and I think about items that should go in the bags all the time.  HOWEVER, I haven't actually gotten it together.

I need to go back to baby steps and work on one thing at a time.  My priority right now feels like it should be my food storage.  That is most immediate.  We have another potential looming in the Atlantic. If it doesn't turn it could hit us. So food should be top on the list.  I have my big BOB (our trailer) still sitting in the driveway that we can evacuate with like we did the last one.  It is still stocked.

My goal for food is a three month supply.  I want to also begin talking to my husband about freeze dried foods and longer term storage.

My garden this summer was killed in the last hurricane.  I have only a few tomatoes that are still working on turning ripe.  Everything else just needs to come out at this point.   I don't think I am going to mess with a winter garden this year.  I will start everything again in the early spring.

How are you doing in your food storage?  How long will you last on what you have do you think? 3 months, 1 month, a year???

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Old Saying.....

Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.  I heard this for the first time about 20 years ago and I was floored by the circumstance in which someone had said that to me.  I have kept this saying in my head since then.  Now I disliked the person who said it and this comment made me dislike this man even more after it.  The situation was completely different than poor planning for a weather emergency or an emergency in general.  Basically they didn't think that they should have to help out others who didn't prepare for a situation beyond their control. 

But in the same time, it does pertain to us "preppers".  I honestly don't think that the world is going to come to an end.  I do think that our country can continue to fall into worse governmental meltdown than it has.  I think that it is possible for our economy to collapse or for another country or even a group of terrorists to invade us and terrorize us on our soil.  I also think that even more realistic is that my husband or I could lose our job, or severe weather can reek havoc.  If these very real scenerios can happen to us then they can also happen to our neighbors, other family members, and our friends.

So the question is: do we prepare to help our neighbors as well?  Do we tell our neighbors that we are preparing?  Do we ask our neighbors to prepare also?  How is the best way to prevent us from saying to a neighbor "I am sorry but failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."  I would hate to have to say it to them.  Should we stock extra so we can share?  Should we teach our neighbors to prepare also?  These are all things I am thinking about right now. 

We "preppers" can be known in some circles as "extremists", "crazies", and "nutjobs".  I don't think I am any of those.  I am not extreme.  I am prepared.  I am not crazy.  I am just ready.  I am not a nut job.  I am protective of my family.  So how do I approach this subject with my neighbors?

I would love any advice that others might have on this subject.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Active Hurricane Season

Just when we think it is okay to go back in the water......

Ha ha ha.  Isn't that the tag line from the movie Jaws?  Anyway, this year so far has been pretty active for hurricanes.  Many years we don't have to worry too much about them because they just rage out in the sea and most never touch or come close to land.  This year we have had quite a few that has started to threaten us on the east coast.

Irene, which actually came on shore, got us all thinking about preparations even though the weather forecasters didn't think it was going to be much of a big deal where I am.  Well it was.  We were out of power for 7+ days and I think that is a big deal.  However, it allowed us all to remember that we aren't safe from these storms and we learned what we needed most in this situation.  Then comes Katia, which now looks like it will be pretty much not really a threat to us.  Lee comes on shore but weakens just before he gets here and then dumps a whole lot of rain where we just had a bunch from Irene.  We are flooding again!  Now we have a new storm Maria which is in the same path and could threaten us once again. 

One thing that I know is before each of these threats I check my supplies and then go ahead and stock up on items that I know I will be using even though I already have them.  Batteries for one.  If I have the time and money, why not buy extra and rotate that stock.  Can't have enough water and extra food on hand.  If you know I will be using it then it is not an emergency and my supply is for emergencies, so why not replenish prior to the storm.  Just makes sense to me.

After each storm or event. I take stock in what I used, replace it and get ready for the next one.  I also look at what I used, learned and wanted or needed.  I stock up on those supplies too.  It just makes sense.

One thing that became apparent to me this past time was that if I can stock up or have time to prepare for an emergency then it hardly is an emergency at all.  It becomes just an event.  If I have a  plan then I am more at ease during the event and my family is too.  It just makes sense.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Don't be afraid

to leave me a comment or become a follower.  I would love to hear from those who are reading.

Do you like my blog?  Do you like what I am saying?  Did you learn something new from this?  Do you think I am wrong?

Tell me your ideas.  What would you like to see me write about?  What information will help you out?  Where are you in your planning?  What are you thinking about today?

Don't be afraid to leave a comment or even just click the boxes below.  Was this helpful?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September is Emergency Preparedness Month

All this month I will be posting topics that we should be thinking about when preparing for an emergency.

Today let's talk about the basics:  Food, Water, Shelter

The national government has advertised that we need to have at least a three day supply of food in case of emergencies.  Since we don't know what kind of emergency we will be preparing for all the time if we are going to talk "basics" here then we need to think about a variety of food items that will sustain us for at least three days.  We might have power, we might not.  So we should prepare for both.  If we have power then we can cook on an electric stove or oven.  We could also include foods from our freezer, fresh veggies on hand and canned foods that need to be heated to eat.  If we don't have electricity then we should be prepared to eat foods straight out of the package or canned foods cold.  If we don't have electricity we might still have a cooking source like our grill or a campstove.  It is a good idea to include an alternate cooking source in our emergency kit that way you have a way to cook other than relying on power.

Recommendations say we should have a three day supply of water for each member of our family and for our pets.  This is a gallon a day per person.  So for my family a three day supply of water is 15 gallons.  That sounds like a lot, especially if we have to move.  If you can't keep a three day supply of water or if you have to evacuate and can't carry it then consider a filter system or purification tablets.  They are much easier to carry.

This will vary from emergency to emergency and from season to season.  The best place for shelter is our own home.  If we can stay there it will be best.  However, that is not always  possible.  A shelter may be a tent, a trailer if you have one, a hotel room or possibly your car.  When thinking about shelter we also need to consider the season and the weather.  Again sheltering in place seems the most logical but if it is the dead of winter then we need a heating source.  If we have to evacuate our home then we need to think about another type of shelter.  A tent would be logical but in the dead of winter that may not be reasonable.  Sheltering in your car might not be logical either.  If we keep a small amount of emergency money in our BOB (Bug out bag) then we might be able to afford a hotel room or other accommodations for a while.

Once you have these basics then you can begin to expand upon them.

Here are a link to help get started: