Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

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Spiritual Preparedness–September 2015

Focus on the Savior

In the 14th chapter of Matthew we read the story of Peter walking on the water. The Lord had sent his disciples on ahead by boat, while he took some time apart to pray. In the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm, the men saw a figure walking toward them on the water. After their initial alarm, they recognized the Lord. Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water”, and the Lord replied simply, “Come.” Peter stepped out in faith and began, successfully, miraculously, to walk on the water. But as he started to take notice of his surroundings, and as his focus changed, his faith wavered and he began to sink.

We too walk a perilous pathway. As those who follow Satan work to undermine, destabilize and destroy the peace and security of mankind, the ground beneath our feet may begin to seem unreliable and fraught with danger. When the darkness and winds of the latter-days claim our attention we might first find ourselves distracted, then sinking, and finally near-drowning in fear or despair. As in all things, the answer is the Savior. When we call out to Him, He hears, and assures us that we need not fear, that He has overcome this much-troubled world and bids us “Come.” As our focus becomes increasingly fixed on Him and on His work we grow to be sure and steadfast, “more than conquerors” and find that we can walk confidently over or through whatever may lie in our way. Truly, we will find that it matters very little the conditions of the world or the challenges of our particular pathway through it as long as it leads to Him.


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72-Hour Kits–September 2015

Month Three

soft side first aidThis month’s purchases:

  • 1 First Aid Kit–$10-20 Walmart, etc
  • Add any essential medications you take


*Some supplies and medications will need to be rotated.  Write the “use by” dates on your calendar so they won’t be wasted or useless when you need them.

*Hard-sided kits may do a good job of protecting items, but are bulky and heavy.  You may wish to switch to a soft container for your backpack kits.

*Consider adding: Benadryl (bites, stings, allergies, poison oak, sleep), painkillers, diarrhea medication, pediatric medicines if you have kids, liquid bandage, disposable gloves, and a cold pack.  For Brother Harmon’s list, go to: First Aid Checklist


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Cooking With Food Storage–September 2015

Traditional Fermented Pickles

PicklesSalt has been used as a food preservative for thousands of years. In the absence of refrigeration, it is a low-cost and quite reliable method of preventing the growth of fungus and unfriendly bacteria while cultivating the same gut-friendly lactobacilli present in live-culture yogurt. Although this recipe is for cucumbers, you may substitute other fresh, unwaxed vegetables such as zucchini, peppers, green beans or baby eggplants.

1 ½-2 pounds fresh, unwaxed cucumbers

3 Tablespoons non-iodized, pickling salt

A few black peppercorns

3 Tablespoons grape or cherry leaves (optional, to maintain crispness)

Several cloves of garlic (optional)

3 Tablespoons dillweed, pickling spice or other herbs

Wash and trim cucumber ends. Cut into slices or chunks if they are a larger, non-pickling variety. Place herbs, spices and leaves in the bottom of a very clean ½ gallon jar and then add cucumbers. Thoroughly dissolve salt in 1 quart of water and pour into jar, covering cucumbers by at least 2”. Keep cucumbers under the brine by filling a smaller jar or partly filling a clean Ziploc bag with brine and putting it inside the larger jar directly atop the cucumbers. Cap the jar and let it sit between 65F-85F for about ten days. Remove any scum or mold that form on the surface—as long as the cucumbers have remained submerged, it will not affect them. As you approach the seven-day mark, watch for a decrease in the bubbling or for the pickles to seem to “fall” lower in the jar as these may be signs that the fermentation is complete. The jar should smell pleasantly sour when opened. If it smells rotten or appears slimy or spoiled, throw it out and clean the jar thoroughly before trying again. If all is well, remove your submerging device, refrigerate (or store under 65F) and enjoy!

Additional helps and instructions.


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Equipment and Supplies–September 2015

Dry Shampoobrush

A dry shampoo is an excellent item to keep in one’s emergency supplies. Their use requires no water (which may be in short supply after a disaster), they will reduce the risk of getting chilled from wet hair, and cleanliness is a great morale booster! They may also come in handy in the sickroom where, again, chill is of concern and a patient may have difficulty standing or bending over a sink.

Prices are generally within the 5$-15$ range for 4-7 ounces of product. Most are in a can with some type of propellant (though there are a few exceptions) so you will want to store them away from heat sources. There is a huge range of products and you will probably want to try out a few before stocking up. Reviews on amazon, Walmart and other online retailers may help you find the one that best suits your needs.

One can also go the DIY route with one of the recipes below.  Apply with a large soft makeup brush. Allow to sit for at least two minutes, then brush out thoroughly with a natural-bristle hairbrush.

Basic Dry Shampoo

¼ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

3-4 drops essential oil (for fragrance)

Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair

2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

Another recipe:


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Financial Preparedness–September 2015



President Gordon B Hinckley got a laugh in 2003 when he was listing womens’ roles and included “shoppers,” in his list.  I appreciated that he followed with, “Until I got older I never dreamed of what a demanding responsibility it is to keep food in the pantry, to keep clothing neat and presentable, to buy all that is needed to keep a home running.”  Shopping wisely and well can be very difficult! Here are some techniques that may be helpful in learning to do it better.


Plan menus.  This might seem like a funny place to start, but this makes a huge difference in grocery shopping.  If your menu for the week/month/quarter is planned, your grocery list is made!  It’s much more fun to plan meals on your living room floor surrounded by cookbooks than in Safeway surrounded by your tired kids.

Make lists.  If you shop with a list you will be more likely get what you need and avoid what you don’t.  You will end up with less food wasted and will cut down the amount of time you spend in the store.  Once you know your store layout, you can even make your list in the order you will find the items.

Estimate your costs.  I faithfully estimated every shopping trip back when I was a student and living on air.  You wouldn’t believe the number of times I caught mistakes, both mine and theirs, this way!

Shop with cash.  My mom’s first stop every shopping day was at the bank for cash.  Without plastic, the only way she could go over budget was to make a second trip to the bank.

Plan when to shop.  Limit your shopping as much as possible.  Typically, the more often you shop, the more you will spend.  Frequency will depend on family size, mobility issues and your family’s home food production abilities, but once a week is generally sufficient.  I like to go on Wednesday morning to avoid crowds and to get the best shot at the “while supplies last” sales.

Other items

Don’t rush.  Unless it’s an urgent need, take your time.  This is the shopping version of “measure twice, cut once.”

Distinguish between wants and needs.  “There, there little luxury, don’t you cry, you’ll be a necessity by and by.”  It’s a good idea to do regular evaluations to prevent this slippage.  Make a list of your family’s gray area items and ask yourself, “what if we couldn’t buy this?”  There will be some items you really do need (serious impacts on productivity, health and comfort) and many others that you don’t.   Eliminate them or confine their purchase to birthdays or Christmas.  Luxuries are more luxurious when they are rare!

Do your research.  With smaller purchases, you can rely on trial and error, but for big ticket items check out reviews at Consumer Reports,,, etc.  Often you can search your item name plus “reviews” or “best” and end up with more info than you could imagine.

Compare prices.  Once you have determined what product you want to buy, start checking out prices.  You can call around, get online or pay attention when you are out making other purchases.  Record your findings.

Buy used.  Check Craigslist or other classified ads, garage sales, thrift stores or ask around.  You can save a lot this way.

Buy online.  Online stores typically have less overhead than brick-and-mortar shops and oftentimes have lower prices and a better selection.  Shipping costs will make or break the deal, so look for vendors that offer shipping discounts.  Also, do your research!  Search the store name plus “problems”, “complaints” or “reviews” and see what comes up.

Plan when to shop.  Summer clothes go on clearance after July 4th and Winter clothes after Christmas.  Back-to-School sales are the time to purchase office and some craft supplies.  Appliances, computers and cars go on sale just before the new models come out.  Determine when you are likely to find the best sales on items you need and plan annual or semi-annual shopping trips.


 “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”   D&C 64:33


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Emergency and Disaster Response–September 2015

Evacuation Plans—Part Two: The 1-Hour Plan—section B

important documents

We continue our preparations for the 1-hour evacuation plan from last month.  To-do items are in bold:

1.   Gather box of Important Documents.  Purchase a package of sturdy cardboard banker’s boxes—three per family, plus one for each family member.  Label the first “Important Documents” and assemble it to include:

  • Vital Records—official legal certificates, licenses, wills, trusts, etc
  • Identification Records—driver’s license & Social Security card (photocopy),  passport, permits, etc
  • Education Records—transcripts, degrees, diplomas, awards, certifications, etc
  • Work Records—resume, accomplishments, professional awards/certification, pay stubs, W-2, etc
  • Medical Records—History, allergies, medications, dental x-rays, immunizations, etc
  • Property Documents—Home purchase documents; inspection reports; rental agreement; auto titles and registration; receipts for appliances, firearms, etc; take photos of home, furnishings and property to expedite replacement by insurance company
  • Insurance Documents—home, auto, life, health, supplemental
  • Current Bills—mortgage, loan & credit card payments, utilities, cable, memberships, etc
  • Tax Documents—tax returns for last three years, other tax documents
  • Membership Documents and Records
  • Financial Records—bank, investment and retirement accounts, credit cards (photocopy), other assets
  • Military records

List contents, tape one copy inside lid of box and insert one into Evacuation Plans binder.

2.   Gather box of “Family Records”.  Include:

  • Original photos and scrapbooks
  • Journals, letters, Patriarchal Blessings and personal histories
  • Books of Remembrance: digital and paper copies
  • Family videos
  • Computer back-up discs and drives
  • Other irreplaceable family memorabilia

List contents, tape one copy inside lid of box and insert one into Evacuation Plans binder.

3.   Make a list of “Additional Wealth”, label third box and tape list to inside of lid.  Judge wisely and try to stick to the banker’s box size limit. List could include:

  • Laptop computer (may want to carry separately for safety)
  • Cash or precious metals
  • Valuable items currently on display in your home
  • Medicines and medical supplies
  • Irreplaceable books, heirlooms or antiques
  • Firearms and ammunition (may want to carry separately for safety)

List contents, tape one copy inside lid of box and insert one into Evacuation Plans binder.

4.   Label a banker’s box for each family member to fill with their own items.  Create lists, assign small children a helper and do a “dry run”.  This might be a good FHE activity when teaching about handcart pioneers or preparedness.  After the boxes are filled, members should load them into the vehicle, sit in their seats and buckle up.  Items might include:

  • Additional change of clothing and a couple changes of underclothes and socks
  • Church clothes, work clothes for adults
  • Pajamas
  • Favorite book, toy, stuffed animal
  • Toiletry items
  • Bath towel and washcloth

List contents, tape one copy inside lid of box and insert one into Evacuation Plans binder.

(to be continued…)

(I have drawn HEAVILY on the ideas and recommendations of a Hurricane Katrina survivor for the sections on evacuation.  Unfortunately, although his website is an absolute wealth of knowledge, his language is very crude and I don’t feel great about linking directly to it.  However, wanting to give credit where credit is due, if you would like to visit his site, run a search on “the place with no name Katrina” and it should be your top result.)

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Home Production and Gardening–September 2015

Growing Garlic

GarlicPlanting: Garlic is planted in rows 18” apart with 4” in-row spacing. Loosen and fertilize the soil and plant individual cloves 2” deep with the pointy end up. Mulch will help insulate over the winter and help keep weeds down as the weather warms. Plant 2 weeks before first frost—in our growing zone, we would plant the last week of October, preceding our first frost around November 14th.

Growing: Water as necessary to keep soil evenly moist. Trim scapes (seed heads) when they start to point downward—this will improve bulb size. When the tips and outer leaves of the plant start to die, stop watering.

Harvesting: About 2 weeks after you stop watering, your garlic should be ready to harvest. Loosen the soil around the bulb, grasp by leaves and pull gently.

Curing: Tie or braid garlic leaves together and hang in a shady area (garlic can sunburn!) with good airflow. Allow to cure for a month or two until the roots are dry and stiff and the leaves are entirely brown. Garlic can be eaten during this time—curing just lengthens your storage time.

Storing: Trim off dried roots to ½”. Optimal storage conditions are between 45F-55F degrees and 60-70 percent humidity. With thorough curing and under these conditions, garlic may last as long as a year.


How to grow garlic video.

How to braid garlic video.

More info and recommendations for varieties.


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Food Storage–September 2015

Month Five


Food Storage plans are intended to feed one person for one year:

Here are the year’s totals for all of the plans:

The Bare Minimum      $480 for the year, with monthly purchases averaging $40

Expanded Storage     $1870 for the year, with monthly purchases averaging $155

Gluten-Free Storage       $1017 for the year, with monthly purchases averaging $85

We hope this is helpful!

The Bare Minimum

50 lbs dry beans     $24  (Costco)

2 cans sugar   $9 (LDS Cannery)

TOTAL $33.00

Expanded Storage

300 multivitamins $16.20 (Vitacost, Nature Made Multi Daily*)

4 #10 cans rolled oats  $11.80  (LDS Cannery)

5 26 lb buckets hard red or white wheat  $77  (Walmart)

1 #10 can powdered margarine     $13  (Emergency Essentials)

4 #10 cans instant potatoes  $18  (LDS Cannery)

1 8 oz. bottle black pepper   $5 (grocery-generic)

TOTAL  $141.00

Gluten-Free Storage

50 lbs white rice     $20 (Costco)

25 lbs popcorn   $38 (Walmart)

2 20 oz cans xanthan gum   $40 (Walmart)

TOTAL  $98.00

 *contains iron


Store names provided when I thought they might be helpful in keeping costs down.  If you are having a hard time finding items for the price listed, leave a comment by clicking on the link at the top of the left sidebar and I will give you my pricing info. Pricing is subject to change…as anyone shopping these days can testify!