5 Food Storages Lies to Watch Out For

Thanks to Jeff at LPC Survival for contributing this article. 

LPC_5_Food_Storage_Lies-300x300I 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

Emergency Preparation Is Not Just For Grown Ups

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

emergency preparednessAfter 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)

family preparedness

  family preparedness

Resolution … Evolution … Revolution

Resolution

 

The beginning of a new year is often referred to as a new canvas. How will you paint this year? It can also be seen as a time for personal re-evaluation, of goal setting, of creating new habits or rituals.

As you begin this new year, look at your situation. What changes do you want to make? Are you sure? You will need to really want to make these changes – change requires passion. Write them down. Look at your list.

Let’s take the first thing there. Most likely it will require several steps to accomplish. Now write down three steps needed to get you from ”here to there.” Repeat this process with each item on your list. Soon you will see that you have created an action plan for each change you want to make.

Is emergency preparedness on your list? Refer to the September and October issues of “Every Needful Thing” to get the basic needs list. Evaluate where your family is in relation to each of these needs. Make a list of three things that you can improve. Now write three action steps for each. Does this look like a “TO DO LIST?” What on this list can you achieve today?

Accountability is fundamental in life. If you approach each day knowing that you will some day account for your life’s opportunities, you can stay focused. “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination, you can do it, one day at a time. Any progress makes us greater than we were before. Incorporate accountability into your DNA – evolve to be better.

Pick what you can manage to do today. You have 365 days of pure potential in this new year. Create a revolution. Manage it day by day. Write down what you accomplish. Send me a note on how you’re doing along with any questions you may have.  We love to hear from you.

Billie Nicholson 2014

1 Thomas S. Monson, Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, June 2004

Make a Flu Emergency Kit

Seasonal influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by different flu viruses. The major symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue and body aches. New Year’s eve saw 67 people in the Portland, OR area alone, hospitalized suffering from a flu strain similar to the 2009 pandemic. Striking middle-aged people, this strain causes an almost comatose sleeping state for hours. It has been identified as a re-assortment of the Avian, Swine and Human strains. With lots of holiday travel and people contained is close quarters, germs can travel far. Since the flu can sneak up on you, your flu emergency kit should include:

  • Thermometer – a high fever is one of the first clues that you have the flu. Get a digital one and wash it before and after using. Watch out for a fever that goes away and then comes back. this could mean it has turned into a bacterial infection. Seek medical attention for children who have a fever over 1040F or for adults who have difficulty breathing, persistent vomiting, sudden dizziness or confusion.
  • Keep your ibuprofen or acetaminophen up to date. These will relieve fever and muscle aches in adults and children over six months. Don’t use aspirin or aspirin containing medicine in children who have cold or flu symptoms. This can lead to Reye’s syndrome.  For babies under six months, the CDC recommends only acetaminophen. Follow all label directions closely.
  • Decongestant - Use this to treat nasal blockage. For children under age four consult your doctor before giving decongestants. Saline nasal sprays can be used in adults and children to loosen mucus. Decongestant sprays shrink nasal passages. Only use them for a few days and never in children.
  • Cough Suppressant - Include this to take at night. Avoid taking this during the day, it is better to expel any phlegm. Be careful when mixing over the counter medications. Some may have the same ingredients, resulting in an overdose. Pediatric cough and cold formulas are not recommended for children under 2.
  • Tissues and Hand Sanitizer - Stock up on these. Put every used tissue into the trash as soon as you are finished using it. Runny noses, sneezing and coughing are the main way that flu droplets spread germs. Always cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues and teach kids to do the same. If a tissue isn’t handy cough into your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often with soap and water between tissue uses. Use hand sanitizer gel, if you can’t wash often. A good alcohol based sanitizer should contain 60% alcohol. Keep your hands away from your face. Germs have ready entry through your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Liquids -  Stock up on water and other clear liquids. They help restore fluids lost from a fever and help keep mucus secretions flowing. Bottled water may taste better than tap water and may limit the use of glasses and cups. Don’t share it. You can add salt to water (1/2 tsp per 8 ounces) to make a gargle. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that will help avoid dehydration. Include herbal teas and soups. Hot liquids can be soothing. A bowl of broth based soup is easier on an upset stomach and the steam can help loosen mucus. If you’re sick, you probably will not feel like cooking.
  • Lozenges - Throat lozenges can soothe a cough or sore throat, but they are not a cure. Many of their ingredients, like honey, herbs, or eucalyptus, have been used for years. Zinc can also help. Studies have shown if taken within 24 hours of symptom onset, it helps reduce the duration and severity in normally healthy individuals. Don’t take more than 50 mg per day.
  • DVD’s - Include some comedy DVD’s in your emergency kit. Laughter can be the best medicine.

Influenza vaccines can help stimulate your immune system before you get the flu. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends all children, six months and older get a flu vaccine every year.

Billie Nicholson 2014

1 http://www.koin.com/news/oregon/pandemic-flu-hits-oregon-in-big-way

Winter Storm Survival

winter stormWinter Storms can be Killers

Did you know that most deaths due to winter storms are indirectly related to the storm? People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. They also die in traffic accidents on icy roads.

You may be familiar with the terms frostbite and hypothermia, but it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of each.

FROSTBITE 

Frostbite is damaging to body tissue caused by that tissue being frozen. Frostbite causes loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.

HYPOTHERMIA 

The warning signs include:

• Uncontrollable shivering

• Memory loss

• Disorientation

• Incoherence

• Slurred speech

• Drowsiness

• Apparent exhaustion

If you notice any of the warning signs, start by taking the person’s temperature. If it’s below 95 F (35 C), immediately seek medical care. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person slowly. Warm the body core first. If needed, use your own body heat to help.

Get the person into dry clothing, wrap them in a warm blanket, covering the head and neck. Do not give the person any hot beverage or food; warm broth is best. Do not warm extremities first, as it can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure.

TIPS TO STAYING WARM 

Wear a hat or wool stocking cap, because more than 50% of the body’s heat is lost through the head or neck area.

Keep your feet dry by wearing a thin pair of polypropylene socks underneath heavy wool socks. The wool socks will wick moisture away from your feet.

Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Also, mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.

THE C.O.L.D. RULE 

When dealing with winter survival, the C.O.L.D. acronym can help you stay safe and warm.

• Keep your body and clothes Clean

• Avoid Overheating

• Dress in loose Layers of clothing that will trap body heat

• Keep clothes Dry

 

November, 2011               Every Needful Thing                             Jason M. Carlton

 

Get Your Family “Trained”

Red Cross can help families “Get Trained” 

One quarter of Americans say they’ve been in a situation where someone needed CPR. If you were one of them, would you know what to do?

Getting Trained 

Studies have shown that being trained in hands-only CPR can make the lifesaving difference when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest.

Join the millions of people we train each year by taking a 30-minute Citizen CPR class at your local Red Cross chapter. The course teaches how the hands-only technique can save a life.

Download the Hands-only CPR Ready Reference sheet depicting the steps of this technique in English and Spanish.

The Red Cross also offers courses that certify people in first aid, full CPR and using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

What is hands-only CPR? 

Hands-only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth to mouth contact. It is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse.

The hands-only technique increases the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings.

How is full CPR different from hands-only CPR? 

Full CPR combines rescue breaths with chest compressions and is the best option in some emergencies, including those involving infants and children, drowning victims, or people who

collapse due to breathing problems.

How else can I get involved? 

The American Red Cross wants to educate 5 million people about hands-only CPR. Will you help us spread the word about this lifesaving technique?

Click below the graphic below to access additional information about American Red Cross classes in your area.

Red Cross         Training 

 

October, 2011         Every Needful Thing                        Jason M. Carlton

Danger – Carbon Monoxide

Understanding the dangers of Carbon Monoxide 

Carbon Monoxide, known by the chemical formula “CO”, is a poisonous gas that kills approximately 534 people in the United States every year. Of that number, roughly 207 were killed by CO emitted from a consumer product like a stove or water heater. You can’t hear, taste, see or smell it. It’s nicknamed the Silent Killer because it sneaks up on its victims and can take lives without warning.

CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion, and its sources often include malfunctioning appliances that operate by burning fossil fuels. When these malfunctioning appliances aren’t adequately ventilated, the amount of CO in the air may rise to a level that may cause illness or death. Other CO sources include vehicle exhaust, blocked chimney flues, fuel-burning cooking appliances used for heating purposes, and charcoal grills used in the home, tent, camper, garage or other unventilated areas.

When victims inhale CO, the toxic gas enters the bloodstream and replaces the oxygen molecules found on the critical blood component, hemoglobin, depriving the heart and brain of the oxygen necessary to function.

The following symptoms of CO poisoning should be discussed with all members of the household:

• Mild Exposure: Flu-like symptoms, including headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

• Medium Exposure: Severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate.

• Extreme Exposure: Unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, death.

Young children and household pets are typically the first affected. Carbon Monoxide alarms are intended to signal at CO levels below those that cause a loss of ability to react to the danger of CO exposure.

CO detectors are not a replacement for proper use and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances.

CO Safety Precautions 

Install a CO detector in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home and make sure it cannot be covered up by furniture or draperies.

• NEVER burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.

• NEVER use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.

• NEVER leave a car running in an attached garage, even when the garage door is open.

• NEVER service fuel-burning appliances without proper knowledge, skills and tools.

• NEVER use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers for heating your home.

• NEVER operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in any room with closed doors or windows, or in any room where people are sleeping.

• NEVER use gas-powered tools and engines indoors.

 

October, 2011                     Every Needful Thing                            Jason M. Carlton

 

Part III: FRS Radio Communication

 Neighborhood Preparedness

 We’re three-fourths of the way through our series on preparing to execute an emergency preparedness drill in your neighborhood. We hope you are taking this information to your neighbors and encouraging them to be prepared, too. 

The adjacent article talks about using radios in an emergency, but the best way to know how to use your radios is to do just that – Use it. 

My neighborhood conducts a weekly radio check, which lasts only a couple of minutes, but serves as an opportunity for neighbors to practice using their radios, so in a disaster, they don’t have to try and learn. 

Every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on channel 8, subchannel 1, our communication specialists welcomes everyone to the call and invites them to check in by stating their name. 

Once everyone has checked in (which is usually 3-7 people), we open it up for conversation about any topic on preparedness. 

These scheduled radio checks keep radios charged and used, so in an emergency, my neighborhood understands how to use them, which gives me a lot of peace of mind.                                            Jason M. Carlton

How to Communicate radio

Did you play with walkie-talkies as a child? Did you ever think that one day you would be using them as a means of communicating in a disaster? Well, if phone lines and cell towers are damaged in an emergency, a set of Family Radio Service (FRS) devices can help your neighborhood mobilize and communicate faster than boys on bikes.

In order for this tool to work most effectively, members of your neighborhood would need to have, and know how to use, FRS radios. Here are two things to consider when selecting the one that’s right for you:

1. The longer the range on your radio, the better you will be able to communicate throughout your neighborhood. FRS radios are line-of-sight transmissions. So if you have a lot of houses and trees between you and the person on the other end, communication may be difficult. For example, a radio that boasts 32 miles, may only provide two-miles in a populated neighborhood.

2. Many radios come with non-removable, rechargeable packs. These can wear out over time. The recommendation is to go with a radio that can also have this rechargeable pack replaced with AA batteries, which may help strengthen the signal when needed.

3. FRS radios contain channels, as well as subchannels. Make sure your radio has subchannel capabilities; otherwise you may be able to hear your neighbors, but not have the ability to communicate back to them.

These radios offer multiple channels that can be used in an emergency, so if your neighborhood needs to communicate, you must coordinate a channel on which all communication will take place. For example, your neighborhood can plan to communicate on channel 8, subchannel 1, while the neighborhood adjacent to yours can take channel 9, subchannel 1.

Another best practice is to designate a communications specialist for your neighborhood who can direct all radio traffic. This person will keep things orderly when crisis strikes and help those seeking to identify families’ needs obtain the information vital to responding.

October, 2011         Every Needful Thing                             Jason M. Carlton

thing

Part I: Organizing Blocks and Block Captains

 

In my role as an emergency preparedness coordinator for my neighborhood, I have had the opportunity to plan and execute a few neighborhood communication drills. The lead article is the first in a series of articles related to organizing a neighborhood in such a way that a full-scale emergency drill can be executed. 

In each of the neighborhood exercises I have been a part of, I have learned something that helps me to refine my own neighborhood’s communication plan. 

Here is a list of the articles that you will read in upcoming issues: 

1. Organizing blocks & captains 

2. Color-codes of emergencies 

3. FRS radio protocol 

4. Executing the drill 

By the end of 2011, we hope to provide you with the information necessary to better organize your neighborhoods so you can test this organization through a communication drill and customize it to better prepare your neighbors and friends for anything that may come your way. 

Jason M. Carlton

Neighborhood Preparedness 

How often do you see a news story about a disaster that occurred and sent the city into panic and disorganization? Having a practiced and refined emergency preparedness plan in place can help reduce the panic in your own neighborhood.

It would be naive to say that in an actual emergency, your plan will go exactly as planned and practiced – every disaster may warrant different circumstances. But if the residents feel confident that a plan is in place, and has been practiced before, the level of panic will remain much lower.

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Don’t let this be your neighborhood.

STEP 1: Identify a block captain 

Block captains are volunteers assigned to a designated collection of houses and who help gather the information necessary to identify and address the needs of that given neighborhood.

Ideally, the block captain should be able to stand in front of their house and see the houses to which they have been assigned. In the corresponding graphic, a few examples of block organizations have been identified, with the block captain’s home identified in white.

 

STEP 2: Provide basic training 

When asking a neighbor to “volunteer” to be a block captain, it is important to be able to provide them with an understanding of what their role is in an emergency.

Layton City (Utah) prepared a PowerPoint presentation for block captain training and has made it available on their Website. You can access the PDF file with this link:

http://bit.ly/TrainBlockCapts 

Once your block captains have been organized, hold a meeting with as many block captains as possible so they can meet each other and start to develop the “team” mentality needed in an emergency. 

CONCLUSION

Organization will be key. It may take some time to organize the block captains, and they may change as time goes by, but this is the first step in preparing your neighborhood for an emergency.

Block Captains

August 2011, Every Needful Thing                                                                 Jason M. Carlton

Emergency Preparation – Basic Need: Your 72 Hour Kit

Family Supply List

Ready Kids & The Federal Emergency Management Agency present:

Family Supply List

Emergency Supplies:
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
- A jacket or coat
- Long pants
- A long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- A hat and gloves
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler’s checks, change
- Paper towels
- Fire Extinguisher
- Tent
- Compass
- Matches in a waterproof container*
- Signal flare*
- Paper, pencil
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Disinfectant*
- Household chlorine bleach* – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

corin