Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"


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72-Hour Kits–November 2015

Month Five

mapThis month’s purchases:

Read about the use of betadine as a water disinfectant here.

In these kits we use betadine as a pre-treatment (3 drops per 20 oz. bottle) for the Berkey Sport bottles.  The betadine kills bacteria (making it a good first aid item as well) and keeps your bottle cleaner and the filter removes the iodine taste.

Also, see the November 2013 article on Emergency and Disaster Response to learn how to assemble your “neck safe”!

Click here for 72-hour kits-complete list


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Food Storage–October 2015

Month Six

food-in-buckets

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

25 lbs popcorn/dent corn $40 (50# yellow dent-Honeyville)*

25 lbs white rice $10 (Costco)

TOTAL $50

Expanded Storage

2 #10 cans powdered milk  $12.50 (LDS Cannery)

2 boxes rennet/junket $4 (grocery-pudding aisle)

1 32 oz bottle lemon juice $7.25 (Costco 2-pk)*

1 gallon vinegar $2.10 (Costco 2-pk)*

20 cans hard red or white wheat $61 (LDS Cannery)

25 lbs white flour $7 (Costco)

13 lbs baking soda $6.59 (Costco)

25 lbs dried beans or lentils $12 (Costco)

12 15 oz cans tomato sauce $12 (grocery store)

12 6 oz cans tomato paste $12 (grocery store)

12 15 oz cans diced tomatoes $12 (grocery store)

6 32 oz cans spaghetti sauce $20 (grocery store)

TOTAL  $168.43

Gluten-Free Storage

100 lbs corn starch $116 (Honeyville)

TOTAL  $116

*Sold in multi-packs or larger quantities than required for this list

 

 

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!


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Home Production and Gardening–October 2015

Cover Crops

buckwheatWhen we think of gardening, we might think just of planting seeds and then harvesting their products some weeks later, a process which draws nutrients and fertility from the soil. But every year the nutrients we harvest in the form of fruits and vegetables must be replenished or else your soil will become depleted and be useless for growing. Cover crops are one method of caring for and restoring health to your garden soil. They are often planted in the late summer or early fall, after your main crops are harvested. Depending on what you choose to plant, they might help improve soil condition and fertility, smother weeds, prevent erosion, or even decrease the likelihood of pests and diseases. Below are just a few of the more common.

Buckwheat—Excellent weed control, grows quickly (1 week to substantial green and just 30 days to flower), even mature plants are easy to kill by pulling or cutting down with a hoe. Plant directly in dead plant material a couple of weeks later.

Annual rye grass—Good weed control and minimizes erosion and soil compaction in high traffic area. Plant in fall before soil temperatures drop below 60F and till under when plants are 6”-9” tall and before stems toughen and seed heads develop. May be good to pair with a legume.

Daikon or oilseed radish—Long radish roots will break up compacted soils. Choose a variety that will winter kill in your area and plant without needing to till or remove plant material in the spring.

Clovers—Plant when weather cools in fall and till when weather begins to warm in spring for maximum nitrogen.

Bush beans—Time planting so that first frost arrives during blossoming (about two weeks before harvest) in order to maximize nitrogen. If frost is late, kill before bearing pods and seeds.

For more information and tailored advice, try out this cover crop selection tool. Select your management goal, planting time and how long you want the crop in place and it will give you your best choices, along with basic instructions and where to purchase.

 


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Emergency and Disaster Response–October 2015

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

traveling-by-car

We complete our preparations for the 1-hour evacuation plan this month.  To-do items are in bold:

Create a plan/checklist called “Secure Home”.  Learn how to do these things and purchase tools as needed.  Place a copy of list inside your empty “Additional Wealth” box and in your Evacuation Plans binder.  Your list may include:

  1. Turn off gas and unneeded breakers.
  2. Turn refrigerator to high—keeps food cold longer.
  3. Turn off water heater.
  4. Take steps to prevent pipes freezing if weather dictates: adjust thermostat, turn on taps, or turn off water heater and drain pipes.
  5. Flush toilets and take out trash.
  6. Lock windows & doors including garage.  Double check!
  7. Create “Evacuated” signs for main and secondary entrances.  Without a sign, emergency personnel will use any means to rescue potential survivors.  Write legibly on a full sheet of paper “Everyone Evacuated. Nobody Home Here”, or the like.  If you wish, you may also include info such as a phone number where you can be reached or your destination address.  Secure in a Ziploc bag or otherwise waterproof and secure to your door(s).  Store sign and tape inside empty “Additional Wealth” box.

Now you are ready to print up your complete 1-hour Evacuation Plan.  Keep a copy in your purse, tape one inside a kitchen or office cabinet and keep one in your evacuation plans binder.  Sample plan below:

  1. Sound the alarm.  Such as “Wildfire approaching! Come to the kitchen for instructions!”
  2. Communicate.  Begin with a family prayer.  Make sure children know what the plan is, and what is expected of them.  “We are leaving for Aunt Martha’s in 60 minutes.  Complete A, B and C and then go sit in the car.”  Adults can divide up the rest of the list.  Also, contact your destination if possible, let them know you are coming, make a reservation, etc.
  3. Arrange to collect or meet up with family members who are not onsite.  If they will not return home, assign someone to fill their box according to their list.
  4. Prepare the vehicle.  Check fluids, tires, fuel.  Do a quick clean of interior and windows.  Adjust seating.  If applicable, hook up trailer or attach external carriers. Secure additional gas cans outside the body of the vehicle.
  5. Place 72-hour kits in vehicle.
  6. Place box of Important Documents in vehicle.
  7. Place box of Family Records in vehicle.
  8. Collect “Additional Wealth” on box list.  Place filled box in vehicle.
  9. Everyone fills their personal box with the items on their list and places box in vehicle.
  10. If there is time and space, collect additional “comfort items”, such as personal pillows, blankets and airbeds.
  11. Children take seats and buckle up.  An older child or adult stays with children.
  12. Go through your “Secure Home” checklist.
  13. Securely tape your “Evacuated” signs to your doors.
  14. Get into your car, say another family prayer and drive to your destination.

 

(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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Equipment and Supplies–October 2015

Firestarting Supplies

flint and steelFire is, at once, heat, light and the ability to cook food and purify water and there are nearly as many ways to start a fire as there are uses for it. Below is a list of inexpensive firestarters. If you are assembling 72-hour kits according to our list, the survival whistle has, built in, both a small waterproof container and a flint that may come in handy for your chosen supplies and method. As you will see below, every method has its strengths and weaknesses, so it is advisable to have a back-up or two.

  • These come in a wide variety of types—waterproof, windproof, strike-anywhere, strike-on-box are just a few. They are lightweight and easy to use, but once they have been struck, that is the end of their usefulness.
  • Pocket-size lighter. Again, very easy to use, will hold a continuous flame for a longer period of time than a match will. The fuel will eventually evaporate, so check periodically.
  • Magnifying glass. Will concentrate the rays of the sun and start a fire, but you must have sun—no firestarting at night or in the rain when you might need it most.
  • 9 volt battery and extra fine steel wool. Can last for years, but must be protected from water and accidental shorting between the two terminals. Store separately! There are a limited number of arcs to create a spark. Instructions and video.
  • Flint spark torch igniter. Cheap, simple, reliable and compact. If you purchase a unit with extra flints it can start many, many fires and requires no practice.
  • Fire piston. Virtually unlimited fires, but more expensive (unless you make your own!) than most other methods. Requires practice.
  • Flint and steel. Will also last practically forever, inexpensive and compact, but technique requires practice.  Video here includes instructions on making char cloth.

Any method will work best with good, dry tinder material. Carry this with you if you wish to ensure firestarting success. Extra fine steel wool creates a very hot flame as it burns and is an excellent choice.  Cotton dryer lint is the next best starter tinder and it is free!

 

 


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Financial Preparedness–October 2015

Build up Savings and Cash Reserve

cash

“We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.”  Gordon B Hinckley, 2005

One common misunderstanding is that preparedness is only for widespread, apocalyptic-type events.  While we know that these kinds of “great upheavals” will become more common in the last days, we also know that disruptive events occur even more commonly on a single-household basis.  Employment ends or changes for the worse, auto accidents occur, medical emergencies befall, major appliances fail, water pipes break, and things always seems to fall just outside the purview of insurance and warranty.  At these times, having adequate savings can mean the difference between peace in the midst of trial and facing immediate financial catastrophe.

Shortly after our marriage, my husband and I felt prompted to save up for our Six Month Savings Fund.

  • We made a list of only our monthly essential needs and pared them down as much as we could For us, at the time, this was housing, electricity, telephone, water/sewer, insurance, diapers, 2 tanks of gas and a little fresh produce to supplement our food storage.  Multiply by six.
  • Pray!  My husband felt strongly that we should set a certain date to achieve our goal…a date by which it was mathematically impossible for us to reach our goal.  Our reaching our goal by that date was simply miraculous.  Heavenly Father wants us to live providently and will bless our efforts!  Remember Nephi’s courage…
  • Keep your goal in sight.  Pray daily.  Purchase carefully.  Be willing to sacrifice short-term wants for long-term blessings.
  • Once you achieve your goal (congratulations!), keep the money accessible.  It may be tempting to invest it somewhere your yield might be greater, but don’t risk your rainy day fund.  Keep it out of stocks, accounts that are uninsured or have long periods when you cannot access your money (such as retirement accounts and certificates of deposit).
  • Enjoy your new-found peace of mind.  Since then, we have known that whatever calamity may strike, we have six months of essential needs covered so we can address that problem rather than trying to figure out how to keep bills paid and a roof over our heads.

Another important aspect of having money set aside is having Cash on Hand.  This is a bit controversial in some circles, but here are some reasons you should consider it:

  • If your purse, wallet or identity were stolen, you would likely need to freeze your accounts and credit cards for at least a couple of days while they issue you new cards, perhaps much longer if your case is complicated.
  • Severe weather, software problems and security issues can disrupt the daily operations of your financial institutions.  If your bank’s headquarters were just hit by a hurricane, computer glitch or hacker, you may face difficulties or delays in accessing your money.
  • Local power outages can also wreak serious havoc.  Typically, ATMs will not work, credit and debit cards will be useless and checks may be particularly undesirable to merchants if they cannot verify funds or know when they will be able to deposit them.

These are situations we are likely to face that make having available cash highly desirable.  You will need to determine how much.  Recommendations vary.  You should aim to have at least enough for three days’ worth of essential purchases.  You may decide you would feel safer with a month’s worth of essentials, a month’s complete expenses including bills, or even more.  Once you have it, keep it safe.  You may wish to install a good, fireproof safe, or, if your finances do not allow that, search online for suggestions on hiding valuables in your home.  Here is just one page of ideas:

http://lifehacker.com/5960300/the-best-places-to-hide-valuables-in-your-house

 “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