PREPAREDNESS – WHERE TO START?

preparedness

Preparedness

When you listen to the news from around the world, does it make you wonder when society will fall apart? You can sit and worry or you can look at the situation and understand that you are responsible for your own survival, if the social order as we now know it falls apart. So being self reliant means second guessing what might happen and devising a plan on how to handle it. We call it preparedness, but where do you start? Sometimes the thought of getting prepared can be overwhelming. Procrastination leads to paralysis, so doing nothing is not an option. We’re advised to make a 72 hour kit,have 90 days, then a whole year’s worth of supplies – WHOA!!

Where do you start and what do you put together? Let’s start here: take those empty 2-liter juice containers, wash them out and fill them with water. Or, buy a case of water from your grocer and put them in the closet. Now you’ve started on your water storage! We need 2 gallons per person per day.

Next, when you go to the market, instead of buying one can of corn, spaghetti sauce, or canned meat, buy three and tuck the extras away on a shelf set aside for food storage. If you do this each time your budget allows, you will see your food storage grow.
Do the same with non-perishables like toilet paper, alcohol and bandages, and soap. Gradually as you collect extras of the things you use every day, you can begin to look critically at what life would be like without services like running water and electricity. You will learn to prioritize what is important for you and you’re off.

Billie Nicholson, editor
August 2015

Clean Up Mold and Mildew

Baking SodaDo you have a problem with mold and mildew in your home? What can clean up mold and mildew without using harsh chemicals? Some natural household items can be used to clean up the moldy mess, but first determine what is causing the problem. Check for plumbing leaks around water pipes, waste lines, ice-maker lines or spigots. Remember that water can run in any direction. You may need to extend your search to exterior building leaks. Look for leaks in the wall or roof, vents, window wells or for downspouts emptying near the foundation. Even badly sealed ductwork could be the problem. Warm, moist air condenses and forms water on ducts carrying cold air. The condensation is a sign the that the duct is not insulated or is missing a vapor barrier. Moisture forms anywhere warm air escapes. Eventually the water saturates insulation and drywall and mold spores, which are everywhere, begin to grow. Once you’ve located and repaired the water problem, it’s time to clean up the mess.1

The following common household ingredients can be used to get rid of mold and mildew.

  • Use Baking Soda to remove odors from closets, bathrooms and refrigerators.
    Recipe: Mix baking soda and water to form a paste in a ratio of 1:1. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry. Scrub with a small brush and wipe away any cleaning paste remaining.
    2 To remove mildew from your plastic shower curtain or liner, put it in your washing machine with two bath towels on the gentle setting. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your detergent during the wash cycle and 1/2 cup vinegar during the rinse cycle. Let it air dry.
  • Use White Vinegar undiluted.
    Spray distilled vinegar on the mold satins using a spray bottle. If the stain persists mix a little baking soda and a little elbow grease. Leave the surface to dry.
  • Use Tea Tree Oil
    Recipe: Add one teaspoon of tea tree oil to one cup of water. Mix well and pour into a spray bottle. Mist the mixture onto the surfaces that have been tarnished by mold and wipe the surface clean.
  • Use Grapefruit seed extract
    Recipe: Add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract to a cup of water. Mix well and using a spray bottle, mist the affected area. Wipe and allow to dry.
  • Use Lemon Juice
    To get rid of mildew on clothes, make a paste of lemon juice and salt; rub into the affected area, then dry the clothes in sunlight. This works well on rust stains, too.
    3

Restoration contractor and Do It Yourself television personality Mike Holmes says, “It’s  about healthy homes. We know mold can reduce indoor air quality, and poor air quality affects our health.”4 He recommends a product called Concrobium Mold Control. Have you tried it?

Billie Nicholson, editor
May 2015

References

  1. http://www.familyhandyman.com/cleaning/mold-and-mildew/10-tips-for-mold-and-mildew-removal
  2. http://plantcaretoday.com/5-natural-ways-treat-household-mold-mildew
  3. html http://www.rd.com/home/mildew-cleaning-solutions/#ixzz3Zr5Ukl6c
  4. http://www.concrobium.com/gonna-call-concrobium-mold-control/



 

Disaster Plans for Pets

Humane Society

disaster plan for petsWhen preparing for an emergency situation, don’t forget to make plans for any family pets. Just like any other family member, pets are your responsibility, too. Here are some ideas to help you create your disaster plan to care for their basic needs. 

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute, start your plan now. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag that is up to date and visible at all times. Getting a micro chip inserted will greatly increase your chance of being reunited should your pet get lost. If your pet is adopted from a shelter or rescue organization, make sure the registration has been transferred to you. Add your cell phone number to the tag as well.
  1. Put together a disaster kit to include:
      Food and water for at least 5 days, bowl, and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. Keep an extra gallon of water on hand to use if your pet has been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
      Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a pet first-aid kit and book.
      Cat litter box, litter, scoop and garbage bags to collect all your pet’s waste.
      Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to avoid run-aways.
      Current photos of you with your pets and a written description to help others identify them.
      Written information about your pet’s feeding schedule, medical conditions and behavior issues along with the name and contact information for your veterinarian in case you have to board or put them in foster care.
      Grooming items, newspapers or paper towels for clean ups.
  2. Find a safe place to stay. Be sure to check your local shelters and select ones that allow for pets. This includes checking with hotels and motels that might be along your evacuation route.
  3. Plan for your pets in case you’re not home or can’t get there by asking a trusted neighbor or nearby family member or friend to take your pets and meet you at a specified location.
  4. If you must wait out a storm at home, decide on a safe area of your home where you can all stay together. Pet-proof the area. Bring your pet inside as soon as local authorities announce trouble is coming. Put all your emergency supplies in your safe-room. Stay inside until the “all clear” sign.
  5. Following an emergency event don’t allow your pets to roam loose. They can get disoriented, lost or hurt in some situations.
  6. Be aware of the dangers high temperatures can cause for your pets. Heatstroke can be fatal. Apply cold towels to pet’s head, neck and chest; let her lick ice cubes and go to the vet immediately.

Billie Nicholson, editor
May 2015

Enjoy the Luxury of a Warm Shower


The SOLAR SHOWER is a great addition to emergency preparedness supplies during times when Solar Showerpower or water access is limited. Fill it with water and hang it in the sun for about three hours. You’ll have 5 gallons of warm water using the sun’s energy. When placed outdoors in the direct sun, the matt black container absorbs the sun’s light energy and converts it into heat. Learn how to use it before you need it.

Camping fever will soon be hitting every neighborhood. Do you like to “rough it” and live in the wild, miles from civilization? After a couple of days do you yearn for the luxury of a warm shower to take off the grime? Now you can have both, the solitude and a warm shower. The SOLAR SHOWER  is perfect for all your washing needs.

Constructed of durable PVC, with an easy filling cap and a sturdy carrying/hanging handle, it is perfect for all your washing needs. The handy on/off valve is connected to a shower-head for easy access allowing you to control how much or how little water you use.Once heated, the water in the SOLAR SHOWER will stay warm for another three hours after the sun goes down.

Solar Shower

Specifications

  • Capacity:              5 gallons
  • Dimensions:         20  x 16   inches
  • Weight:                 14 ounces (empty)

 

                               Learn More

Ground to Air Emergency Code

If you go hiking or skiing, these symbols may be useful should you need to communicate with a rescue team from afar. You need to send a message your rescuer will understand. Keep a copy of these symbols in your jacket pocket or better yet, commit these to memory.

Symbol              Message

I                        Serious injuries, need a doctorEmergency Ground to Air Emergency Code

II                        Need medical supplies

V                        Require assistance

F                         Need food and water

LL                       All is well

Y                         Yes

N                         No

X                         Require medical assistance

–>                       Proceeding in this direction

Go to a large clear area on the highest terrain. Use whatever you can find as a marker that can be seen from aircraft or search parties.  Pick items that will contrast with the ground. When all else fails, remember the international symbol : SOS

Billie Nicholson, Editor
November 2014

This month’s article includes:

Thanksgiving Day – An American Tradition  a change of economic systems led to this holiday for expressing gratitude  http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12222

A Winter “To Do” List  http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12232  Don’t let cold weather catch you unprepared.

Use household items to make your own Gel packs for sprains and swollen joints  http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12238

Super size your rain water storage  http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12265

Inviting pests to leave your home this winter, naturally http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12260

Squash Chips – an alternate way to preserve summer squash without freezing  http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12272

French style Stew   http://www.sunoven.com/archives/12032

French Style Stew

 

Beef Stew

There’s nothing like a hearty stew on a cold night. And like most stews, this one is even better the next day.

Provençal Beef Stew

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces salt pork or thick cut bacon, diced

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into chunks, patted dry with paper towels

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry red wine

2/3 cup beef broth or stock

1 bouquet garni, (sage, thyme, basil or herbs of choice)

1 small onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves

grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a large pot. In the same skillet, working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, transferring it to the pot as it browns. Add oil as needed. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and continue cooking until just softened, about 4 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the garlic. Pour the wine and broth over the meat in the pot. Add the onion studded with the cloves and the bouquet garni. Add the vegetable mixture from the skillet. Cover and transfer the pot to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beef is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove and discard the bouquet garni and the whole onion. Stir in the orange zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Emergency Medical Assessment

Dr. James Hubbard, The Survival Doctor

 How to Figure Out What’s Wrong

Picture yourself walking down a trail and you find someone lying down, unconscious. Or it could be inside or outside your house, on the side of a road after a wreck—virtually anywhere. But let’s stick with the scenario of a trail. What would you do? Put yourself in the scene. What would do?

Go for help? Yell for help? Run over and actually try to help? Ignore the whole ordeal? That’s going to be a little awkward given the situation that you’re the only one around, but I’m sure it would be tempting to some. But, in fact, after you’re viewed all the segments in this video series, I hope they’ll prompt you not only to help out, but in some instances take charge, even in a crowd of people—at least until expert help becomes available, if that is an option.

Okay, have you thought about it? Someone’s unconscious. What you should do?Emergency Medical Assessment

Your Safety First

First is make sure you’re safe. Make sure whatever might have injured this person isn’t going to injure you. I mean, you’re not helping anyone if you get injured also. In fact, you’re doing more harm because now there are two victims to save. So, look for possible falling rocks, animals, other people who may wish you harm. Next, if you deem it safe, go over and check the person. Yell, “Are you okay?” Shake their shoulder. Pinch their face.

You might get a pinch back if they wake up, but do whatever you can to wake the person … except, what’s the number one thing you should not do at this time? Do you know?

Do not move the person. Not even their head. Not even a little bit.

Only in dire circumstances, like a fire is coming right toward you, should you move the victim. Why? You don’t know whether there’s been neck or back trauma. If you move a person with a broken neck, for instance, and the person pulls through, you could potentially have caused paralysis. More on how to protect the neck and back in my spine segment.

If you can’t get a response, check for any signs of life at all. Such as is the person breathing?

Check for Breathing

So how to check for breathing? Look at and feel the chest. Is it moving?

If the person is moving the chest or any other part, say a hand or foot, you can assume they must be breathing and the heart is beating. If the person is making any sounds, even a grunt, you can assume there’s breathing and a beating heart.

You should do this assessment within a few seconds. Also, about now, you want to shout for help and call 911 if it’s available. If someone’s with you, they should do it, while you continue to assess.

If There’s No Breathing

     If there’s no breathing, begin chest compressions right away. But why not check for a pulse? Current thinking is, unless you’re experienced in doing that, you may be uncertain of whether you’re feeling one and waste valuable time before you start compressions.

Why no mouth-to-mouth? Doing chest compressions alone has been found to revive as many people as combining it with artificial breathing. Again, this assumes you’re not a medical professional. If the person is not breathing, you can assume the heart is not beating. Start compressions.

If you cannot get 911 and someone is with you, they should immediately go for help or at least go until they get into cell range.

From “The Survival Doctor’s Emergency Training Course

Emergency Medical Assessment

October 2014

Additional articles in this month’s issue:

Prepper Camp™ Recap
What’s in Your Every Day Carry Kit?
How’s Your Battery Health?
10 things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF by Elise Xavier,
Waste Not … Want Not… Making Apple Cider Vinegar
Escaping a Riot

Our Solar Chef presents Solar Apple Potato Soup

The One That Got Away

Robert Nicholson

Speedhook

When I go fishing, I always remember the story that my father used to tell. It was about “the one that got away”.  Now is the time to prepare when there may not be enough food to go around by honing fishing and trapping skills. But how exactly can you do that? There is no one single magic step to prepare, but many small steps may give you the advantage you need to provide for your family. Fishing from a number of lakes and streams may not be an original idea, but there are still some things which may give you the edge over other fishermen, like fishing after dark with a light, etc., if you prepare in advance. When fishing a lake, stick to the windward side, where wave action stirs up more morsels of food, hence more fish are found there. If nothing bites, whack the water once or twice with a stick. Sometimes this really works because it wakes sleeping fish. Fish early morning or late afternoon, and don’t forget the mosquito repellant.

I discovered a company that markets a “Speedhook”. The Regular Speedhook is specifically designed for survival applications and is so effective, it is outlawed for non-survival use in some areas like Minnesota. This small device can be used for fishing and trapping. The Speedhook works like a spring-loaded trap and when a fish, or other small animal, “takes the bait”, it automatically springs open setting the hook. This is the same great Speedhook device as the one included in the military fishing and trapping kit. This is a perfect supplement to the emergency fishing kit required by Alaskan and Canadian Aviation Regulations. No fishing pole is required as fishing line is included.

The Speedhook comes in two versions, a basic setup and a military version complete with artificial dehydrated bait. Both versions include full instructions. Either version can also be used to snare small animals like birds, squirrels and chipmunks. If you are lost in the woods a diet made up of these small animals may just save your life.

The kit is available at www.SpeedHook.com and the company also offers other small emergency items not easily found. Don’t let your fishing story be about “the one that got away.”

October 2014 

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Prepare for emergenciesPeople with disabilities need to prepare for emergencies, too.

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. For people with special needs disabilities, being prepared is a matter of life or death. If you are on your own, you need to have a plan.

The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs.

Think about a given day, what do you do, what do you need and who can help you? Work on a plan to make it on your own for at least three to five days. It is possible in an emergency that you will not have ready access to a medical facility or pharmacy. Basic supplies for survival include food, water and clean air. Consider assembling two kits. One to use at home and one to take with you if you have to leave home.

Recommended basic emergency supplies include:

*    Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
*    Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food and where possible, extra medication.
*    Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
*    Flashlight and extra batteries for any necessary electronic equipment
*    First aid kit; a week’s supply of any prescription medicines; include copies of all prescriptions and dosage instructions; copies of medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cards; instruction for operating any equipment or life-saving devices you rely on
*    Whistle to signal for help
*    Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
*    Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
*    Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
*    Local maps
*    Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag and supplies for your pet or service animal

Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency.

Write it down and keep it with your emergency supply kit. For every aspect of your daily routine, plan an alternative procedure. Create a personal support network. Share your plans with them and make sure that someone in your support network has a key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies. Practice it. Keep a list of network contact information in your wallet. If you need to evacuate, select a shelter that can accommodate your needs.

It’s important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region. For more information about preparing for emergencies for people with disabilities, click here for a printable document.

Information from Ready.gov

September 2014

 

Additional Articles in September 2014 newsletter include:

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

Growing your own food all year

Home Security Checklist

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Solar Meatball Stew

Meatball Stew

The spices in this stew are reminiscent of  Northern African cuisine and go best with couscous, but it could also be served with a good, crusty bread or pasta.

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground lean ground beef

2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, combine the oil, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the onion is soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Prepare the meatballs while the onion mixture is cooking. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Using damp hands, shape the beef mixture into 24 meatballs; set aside.

Bring the pot with the onions in and leave Sun Oven out. Add the tomatoes, water, and tomato paste. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the meatballs. Cover and return the pot to the Sun Oven. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Stir in the lemon juice and mint. Serve over couscous.

 

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