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
Additional Articles in September 2014 newsletter include:
Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef
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
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
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.
Check your calendar and make your reservations to attend one or more of these upcoming emergency preparedness training expos. We will be there with lectures and demonstrations using the Sun Oven®. Plan to take one home along with lots of other preparedness ideas.
Other articles in the August 2014 Newsletter include:
Are you the proud owner of a SUN OVEN®? We hope you are prepared for emergencies when the power to your cooking appliances is interrupted. There are many situations when we may need an alternative to our ovens and cooktops. The SUN OVEN® is an efficient option in disaster situations and in everyday use, too.
So, having purchased one, have you opened the box to examine and prepare it for use? The All American Sun Oven® ships with a
set of pot and pans that are lightweight graniteware that heat up quickly. The baking pans are non-stick. What did you get? Have you washed them and started using them? They can be used on a conventional stove or campfire as well. When you first open the package, set it up outside and preheat some soapy water. Steaming this inside the oven will prepare it for use. Once you’ve prepped the oven, why not go ahead and cook something? Our website is jammed with recipes to use. The three drying racks make wonderful supports with parchment paper to hold cookies while they bake.
Are you planning a trip this summer? Will you be cooking? Take your SUN OVEN® with you. It can be used to keep food cool until you’re ready to cook and works great if you’re camping in a no burn area, where campfires are prohibited because of drought.
Look at using your SUN OVEN® as a challenge. How many times can you use it in a week? Take the time to listen to the videos on our website and become familiar with it’s set up and use. Remember familiarity will save you hours of guesswork during stressful times. With the longer sunlight hours of summer and lots of fresh foods available to cook, save some electricity in your home by cooking with solar energy. SUN OVENS® are not just for emergencies. They can be used every day. What is the most unusual thing you’ve cooked in your oven? Send your week’s list to email@example.com. We look forward to reading your mail.
In the September 2013 “Every Needful Thing” newsletter, we included a list of items to pack in an emergency escape bag, AKA your 72-hour kit. Hope you made one! We included some things that can last a long time and others that have a shorter storage time. This month is a good time to pull out the bag and review it’s contents.
- Exchange the food - Did you pack some granola bars and cracker packets? How about some nuts or peanut butter items? Many of these items contain oil of one kind or another that oxidizes or goes “rancid” if kept for over six months. Take out your snacks and eat them – or at least taste them to determine if they are still fit to eat. As you eat them, add these items to a list as a reminder to replace them on your next shopping trip. It’s a real disappointment to open one of these packs and find them yucky. Can you imagine how bad you would feel if you were in an emergency situation and that is all you had to eat? Do you have an 72-hour kit for your children? Are they still eating those “chicken sticks”? Have their favorite snacks changed? Staying up to date on their favorites will make a disruptive situation a little more comfortable.
- Check clothing sizes - This is a good idea for adults as well as children. Kids are always growing and changing sizes, so make adjustments by including some currently fitting and well used clothes for them. Since disasters can happen any time of the year, a bag of extra jackets for snow or lighter weight clothes for warmer weather is a good idea. Adults, include some extra socks, “sweats” or jeans and long sleeve shirts that can be rolled up if necessary,. Rain ponchos are a must, how does yours look?
- Rotate Batteries & Medicines - Do you have battery operated items like two way radios or flash lights in your kit? Batteries leak when stored for a long time and can ruin the item they’re in. Remember to store batteries separately. Prescriptions have expirations. Rotate these, too.
Keep Your 72 Hour Kit Updated
Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:
- A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
- What are your plans to provide protein in your diet in an emergency situation? Here are some items to add to your supplies …
- Are members of your family hearing impaired that might not hear a smoke alarm?
- Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of ReadyNutrition.com. She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
- Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
- Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more …
- Speaking of gardening, do you use Epsom salts? Here’s why.
- We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
- Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.
Billie Nicholson, Editor
Cindy Rajhel at Home Grown Fun
- Banana Peels – Eating a banana helps replenish lost potassium. Roses love potassium too. Simply throw one or two peels in the hole before planting or bury peels under mulch so they can compost naturally. Get bigger and more blooms.
- Coffee Grounds – Acid loving plants such as tomatoes, blueberries, roses and azaleas love coffee grounds mixed into the soil, sprinkled on top of the ground before watering, or poured on top of the soil. If using as a soil drench, soak 6 cups of coffee grounds in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Let it sit for 2-3 days and then saturate the soil around your plants.
- Egg Shells – Wash them first, then crush. Work the shell pieces into the soil near tomatoes and peppers. The calcium helps fend off blossom end rot. Eggshells are 93% calcium carbonate, the same ingredient as lime, a tried and true soil amendment! I use eggshells in my homemade potting mix. This gives me healthy, beautiful fruits fit for seed saving.
- Seaweed – Fresh seaweed should be washed well before use to remove salt. Asian markets sell dried seaweed. Both fresh and dried versions are considered excellent soil amendments. Seaweed contains trace elements and actually serves as a food source for soil microbes. Chop up a small bucket of seaweed and add it to 5 gallons of water. Let it sit for 2-3 weeks loosely covered. Use it to drench the soil and foliage. 2 cups work well for a small plant, 4 cups for a medium plants and 6 cups for a large plant. Experiment with amounts. Combine seaweed with other tea fertilizers.
- Weeds – You’ve got your own fertilizer growing under your feet! Nettles, comfrey, yellow dock, burdock, horsetail and chickweed make wonderful homemade fertilizer. There are several ways you can use them to make your own brew or to speed up your compost pile. If your weeds have not gone to flower you can dry them in the sun and chop them up to use as a mulch. They are high in nitrogen and won’t rob your plants of nutrients. Borage (starflower) is an herb but for some people it’s a weed. It has many of the same nutritional properties as comfrey. I dry the entire plant, root and all, and put it in my compost tumbler. It helps break everything down and gives the pile an extra dose of heat. For this next brew, get out the bucket and your bandana! The bandana you’ll need for your nose because this technique gets stinky! Place a bunch of weed leaves and roots in a 5 gallon bucket. Weigh down the leaves with a brick to ensure the plant matter is covered and add water to cover. Stir weekly and wait 3-5 weeks for the contents to get thick an gooey. Then use that goo, diluted 1:10 or more as a soil drench fertilizer. To make it even more convenient, you can use two buckets and make a hole in the bottom of the bucket that contains the plants. The goo will seep through to the lower bucket. It’s always best to apply the liquid fertilizer diluted – it should look like weak tea.
- Molasses – Using molasses in compost tea increases microbes and the beneficial bacteria that microbes feed on. If you want to start out with a simple recipe for molasses fertilizer, mix 1-3 tablespoons of molasses into a gallon of water. Water your plants with this concoction and watch them grow bigger and healthier.
- Human Urine – Sounds disgusting, but urine is considered sterile if the body it’s coming from is healthy and free of viruses and infection. High in nitrogen, urea contains more phosphorous and potassium than many of the fertilizers we buy at the store! If serving tomatoes that have been fertilized with pee gives you the “willies”, try it in the compost pile. A good ratio of urine to water would be 1:4. You can collect a cup of urine and pour it into 4 cups of water in a plastic bucket used outside for fertilizing plants. Pour 2 cups around the perimeter of each SMALL plant. For MEDIUM plants add 4 cups and LARGE plants deserve a good 6 cups of your personal home brew.
- Grass Clippings – Rich in nitrogen, grass breaks down over time and enhances the soil. Fill a 5 gallon bucket full of grass clippings. You can even add weeds! Weeds soak up nutrients from the soil just as much as grass. Add water to the top of the bucket and let sit, covered for 3 weeks. Stir it once a week. Dilute your grass tea by mixing 1 cup of liquid grass into 10 cups of water. Apply to the base of plants using the same amounts as listed above in the urine recipe.
- Manure – Chicken, horse, cow manure. With a little effort, you’ll find folks that are giving away composted animal manure for free. Use manure that has been exposed to air and heat for at least six months. To speed up the process, add some straw, shredded paper or leaves. Add the composted manure to a small permeable bag made from recycled cloth, e.g., a t-shirt or old towel. Let it steep in the shade for a few days and apply it to your soil to condition it before planting. Bury or discard the used bag. Some people use manure tea to soak bare root roses!
- Cat and Dog Food – Depending on the dog food you recycle, this soil amendment may not be organic. However, even the cheap stuff contains protein and micro-nutrients that benefit the soil. To prepare a garden plot for planting, sprinkle dry pet food on the bed, turn the soil and water. Let it decay naturally. To discourage wildlife from visiting for a snack, cover with cardboard until the food decomposes. The cardboard will also trap moisture and discourage weeds. Make sure the cardboard get wet all the way through and cover with mulch. Water thoroughly every week for four weeks. Soybean meal and alfalfa pellets from the grain store work great too. Sometimes grain stores will sell for cheap or give away spoiled grains. Check the feed for salt content and try not to add pet or animal food considered high in sodium. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends dry dog food contain a minimum of 3% sodium to support normal growth and development.
- WAIT, THERE’S MORE
- Cornmeal – Contains lots of phosphorus and nitrogen and acts as an effective fungicide. Add a cup of cornmeal to 5 gallons of water. Let it soak for several hours, then strain the liquid so you can add it to a spray bottle. Spray the leaves of plants that are susceptible to fungus. You can combine this cornmeal tea with compost tea for even more benefits. I use the leftover water from cooking corn on my vegetable garden.
- Worm Poo – Making my own worm tea is easy. I started with a handful of red wiggler worms about 6 years ago and haven’t stopped since. Check out our video below on composting with worms to see how easy it is to make this amazing fertilizer!
- Reproduced with Permission. To read more articles by Cindy, visit her website at Home Grown Fun
Last month Survival Summit interviewed Nicole Telkes, an herbalist from The Wildflower School in middle Texas. Her definition has nothing to do with growing marijuana, but rather means foraging for, eating, and growing plants that we may have considered annoying weeds. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can create foraging space, even in urban areas. As people interested in using the plants we have and in conserving our environment, the first step is becoming aware of the plants growing around you. There are lots of useful and edible plants in your neighbor-hood. With only a few plants sprouting as spring begins, it is a good time to acquire a plant identification book or two to study before you start eating wild plants. Learn to recognize the poisonous plants first.* Here are a few edible plants to look for:
- Wild onions and wild garlic – these will have smaller bulbs than garden grown ones and will have a distinctive onion scent. They pack a lot of nutrients. Best cooked in soups.
- Chickweed – as one of the first spring weeds, it has small, white flowers that have five deeply lobed petals, a single row of hairs on the stem and opposite smooth edged leaves. High in vitamins A&C, it is also a good source of iron and anti-oxidants. Can be eaten raw as salad greens or cooked like spinach.
- Dandelions – the leaves, flowers and roots of this ubiquitous plant with toothed edged leaves and yellow flowers are edible. Young leaves are best when picked before the flowers appear. Serve them in salads or wilted with a hot dressing. Flowers can be cooked as fritters, and the roots used for tea.
There are too many people in the US to survive off wild plants. If we needed to forage for 100% of our food, we would need to get creative and very accurate in plant identification. In addition, we would be spending most of our days finding food. That’s why agriculture became so popular. Challenge: make a list of the top ten weeds in your neighborhood. Study them and learn their uses.
*Note: Never eat any part of a plant unless you are 100% positive of it’s identification. Plants along roadsides may have been treated with herbicides. Use common sense and reasonable caution when foraging. As you compare the book’s description with a real plant, do not mentally force the plant to fit the description. This can become a dangerous habit. A good reference is: The Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer (http://www.ForagersHarvest.com)
This article was contributed by Robert Nicholson of Rusty Buggy Enterprises, Inc.
We are slaves of electricity.
It might appear that Edison wrangled electricity into submission —giving us usable power. Almost every facet of contemporary society is dictated by the properties of electricity. Ever since the first commercial light bulb and the telegraph, electricity has ruled the lives of men.
The reach of electric-powered devices and machines is unbelievably vast. With modern robots, there is almost nothing that electricity can’t do. The amount of work performed by electricity is beyond belief. From growing crops to preparing food, from making computer chips to manufacturing cars, electrical powered machines do much work that would otherwise have to be done by humans.
What is an Electromagnetic Pulse?
Just for a moment, suspend your scientific beliefs and imagine that electricity suddenly ceased to exist. Waking up, your alarm wouldn’t work. Unless you have a gas grill, you can say goodbye to your morning toast. Your car wouldn’t start. Trains and busses would useless. Automatic doors at the entrance to your office, school, or favorite coffee shop would remain shut. Prison cells would spring open. Elevators would not operate. Your PC, your wireless router, your digital camera, your smartphone — all computers everywhere would be dead. No telephone, radio or TV. Forget cable. No batteries either. The list is endless.
Enter the “Electromagnetic Pulse” or EMP. An EMP event can be either natural, such as solar flares and lightning strikes, or an EMP can be man-made by the detonation of a bomb. Whatever the cause of an EMP, it can disrupt electrical communications and electric power. Also all people wearing pacemakers will be affected. Modern vehicles, full of electronics, will stop working. In the past, EMP events have ruined telegraph equipment, disrupted radio signals, and taken down the internet for short periods of time. Military EMP events can be used to disable enemy electronics causing power outages, water systems to fail, and communications to fail. An EMP may well be the method employed as a future attack on America.
How would you prepare to overcome an EMP?
There is a simple way to do this. Buy or build a Faraday box, named after Michael Faraday, who discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831. The Faraday box is a metal enclosure, like a galvanized trash can, with a tight fitting lid. This shields the contents from an EMP event. You need to line the interior of the enclosure with insulation, such as styrofoam, cardboard, or the like. You can also wrap each piece inside your Faraday box with bubble wrap. During an EMP the electromagnetic waves are absorbed by the metal case and not transmitted to the interior because of the installed insulation.
We have a surplus metal cabinet with tight fitting doors. We store a set of two-way radios, with batteries, a few solar battery chargers, a world band radio, a solar radio, radiation monitor and the like in our Faraday box. If I had a motor scooter, or old car, I would also store an extra condenser for the motor in my Faraday box. We also have outfitted a 15 gallon galvanized feed can as a Faraday box. You can get one at the local hardware store for around $20.00. Follow the same procedure, wrapping and insulating each piece of electronics you store. Be ready.
Thanks to Jeff at LPC Survival for contributing this article.
I have noticed a trend over the last few years when it comes to food storage, A lot of companies are claiming anything in order to get your business. I wanted to expose these things as food storage lies, whether intentional or not. At the very least, they are misleading claims, but having received many calls and emails from food storage companies, I had to share this list of what I see as food storage lies or misleading statements when it comes to purchasing long term food storage.
Lie #1: “Our dehydrated pouched Food Storage meals last 25 years.”
The most prolific of all the lies, this one doesn’t reveal the fact that the food must be stored at 55 degrees or less at all times. The chances of you storing it at 55 degrees is extremely rare. They don’t even put this on their web sites, and won’t even tell you on the phone. Once you get the bucket, you will see the fine print. Some may not even have this fact on the bucket when you get it. Also, one Food Storage company who claims a 25 year shelf life has even admitted to me that they use the claim just to be “competitive.” Integrity should be the first thing a company stands by. I have seen reputable companies offer Freeze dried food in pouches and only claim 10-12 year shelf life. That is what I look for.
Lie #2: “Our Food Storage is Non-GMO.”
If any company says that, I would specifically ask them for what certifications they have. Then have them email you the certifications. Don’t let them say I will get back to you, demand to see them before placing your order. If they have a USDA Organic Certification or another reputable GMO testing certification, then they have something to back up the claim. Buyer Beware on this Claim, be sure to see the evidence.
Lie #3: “Our Food Storage is Gluten Free.”
This is mostly done over the phone, but I have seen it on some of their web sites. This claim goes a long with the Non-GMO claim, ask for certifications and make sure they are from organizations that you find reputable. Ask for certifications before thinking about purchasing any of their food storage. I also recommend calling the certification companies, and talking with them about the process. Your health could be at stake, I recommend being extremely cautious of any food storage company that claims Gluten Free. Making Gluten Free food can be pricy, so if the prices are low or comparable to their regular meals, I would look elsewhere.
Lie #4: “Our Pouches are nitrogen flushed and have an oxygen absorber in them, which helps them last 25 years.”
While the first part of this claim is true, the 2nd part is not. They can also say they double or triple nitrogen flush the pouches, its all marketing. Also, check Lie #1 for their claim of 25 years.
(If you are unfamiliar with nitrogen flushing, here is a basic description of what it is:
Nitrogen flushing is a type of preservation method used with packaged foods such as coffee beans, nuts, rice cakes, snack crackers and chips. When you go to the grocery store to buy a bag of chips, you’ll probably notice the bag is puffed and filled with ‘air.’ But it’s not exactly like the air we breathe because the package doesn’t contain oxygen. When processed food is exposed to oxygen, it deteriorates – oils go rancid, discoloration occurs and the food spoils. Oxygen can be removed from the packaging by removing all of the air with a vacuum, which will increase the shelf life of the food packed inside.)
Lie #5: “We have Celebrity and Radio personalities that endorse our products”
These are paid endorsements and some of them are very costly endorsements. I wonder if these people have even tried the meals which they endorse, as they seem to mimic each other when the ads run. Don’t fall for the marketing, if there is a high profile endorsement, I personally won’t buy it.
Lastly, there are reputable food storage companies and organizations to buy food storage from. The ones I personally purchase are either 100% freeze dried, USDA Organic, or minimally processed. I avoid dehydrated Meals because I have seen that they are highly processed.
Be sure to check the list above before falling for what I call: “Food Storage Lies”. -Jeff
LPC Survival have helped thousands of people get better prepared. Visit them at LPC Survival Reproduced with Permission
As Shared by Francesca Dodge Taylor
Family Emergency Preparedness
Every year my family has a theme for family home evening. Our theme for 2013 was preparedness. Teaching our children the importance of being prepared, each week we would have an activity, like map reading, remembering directions with land marks, and packing go bags for a quick get away. Our four children range in age from newborn to 12 years old. We included the older three in our projects. For Christmas day, we planned a treasure hunt, which included their daily chores along with some fun.
To mark the clues along the way of the hunt, we cut out picture pieces of scrap wrapping paper and taped them at each location. the clues were drawn and listed by number on the treasure map that we created. The map had to be given a look of authenticity, of course, again adding to the fun of it (also making it harder to read) I tore pieces of the paper off and wrinkled it up to give the aged look.
Making Preparedness Fun
After breakfast, the kids had their choice of opening presents inside or going outside for the “Treasure Hunt.” Even though the morning was cold, they opted for the treasure hunt first. In their footed pajamas, they raced to get their boots on! Then ran to the front door to get their first clue, as they had to use the door to get outside to start the hunt! The second clue was a metal egg basket sitting in front of a bush where our hen likes to lay her eggs, the kids had to collect them. Next, they headed to the back yard chicken coup and let out the chickens and our duck. The fourth clue headed them through a course set up with cones. They all had to keep together and help one another follow directions and weave through the course.
We have a rock climbing wall attached to a tunnel. The next clue was to climb the rock wall together. Don’t you love the teamwork idea? Once at the top of the wall, they had to crawl through a tunnel (sometimes you may need to be brave making an escape.) The tunnel ends in the playhouse, where they found the last clue, a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. They were so excited, to my surprise, not even noticing the cold outside.
Inside the playhouse, behind the little tree were three brand new, loaded Go bags, customized for each child with survival items they can use. Our son (the twelve year old) got para cord, a tree saw and a head lamp. The girls got fishing poles, astronaut blankets and age appropriate activity books among other things they will need to spend nights away from home. Funny thing, of all the gifts they received for Christmas, they spent the most time playing in their Go bags. (Photos provided by Francesca Dodge Taylor)