Sunday, December 7, 2008

Give a gift of Preparedness

Give a Gift of Preparedness for any Occasion......

Christmas, Birthdays, Valentines, Anniversaries, Mothers/Fathers Day, Easter, or Whenever!

Items with sayings-

~Flashlights ~100 Hour Candles ~Matches ~Oil Lamp with oil ~Candles

“You light up my day/life”

“May your Christmas be Merry and Bright”

“You are so bright”

“Let your light so shine”

“We love how you light up our lives, we've come to depend on your glow. Here's a Flashlight to store, so you'll

always be sure, to create light wherever you go.”


“No one matches you as friends/neighbors/family.”


“The kindness you show, makes our friendship/love grow and grow”

~Paper Towels (1, 3, 6, ect. Month supply)

“Blot your troubles; absorb the Christmas Spirit”

~Hand Egg Beater/Blender

“Have an Eggstra Special Holiday”

~Wheat Grinder

“Grind away your worries; have a special day”

“Just Grind right into a loaf of bread; happy holidays”

~Fire Extinguisher

“My love Burns for you; Happy Valentines/Anniversary”

~Solar Oven

“Here's a little help for Sunshine to brighten your day”

~Honey (Any size, with honey dipper & bow on top)

“Bee Prepared; Have a happy Holiday”

“Bee-cause you are great neighbors; Happy Holidays”

~Hand Crank Radio or Ham Radio

“Tuning into a great neighbor/friend/son, ect.; Happy Holidays”

“Tune into my heart full of love/friendship for you”

~Filled Basket of any individual Items

“Wishing you a basketful of Preparedness/Holiday blessings”

~ Sleeping Cots

“I “cot” the Preparedness bug, and now you can catch it too”

~Jars of Jam
(3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

“Hoping you have a hoilday jam-packed with fun!”

“Have a “Berry” nice holiday season/mothers day.”

~Cocoa Mix (Purchase a case from the cannery)

“Wishing you a warm and wonderful Christmas/new years/birthday/Valentines day”

~Pasta (Purchase a case of Macaroni from the Cannery)

“Have a “pasta-tively” happy holiday/birthday/new year”

~Muffin Mix
(3, 6, 9, or 12 year supply)

“You're getting “Muffin” for Christmas.”

(3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

“Just “popping” by with a Holiday/Birthday hi!”

~Soup (homemade jars of dry mix or a supply of canned soup)

“Wishing you a “Souper” Holiday Season/birthday, ect.”

“We wish you a Wonderful Holiday/Birthday “simmering” gently with love.”

~Washboard & Clothes Wringer or Washclothes & Dishtowels

“This Christmas/birthday/mothers day, you deserve the best, a present unlike all the rest. We considered a new car or an exotic cruise... but decided on something you could really use. Finally we found you a gift to admire,

We hope you enjoy your new Washer & Dryer!!

~Jarred Bread & Recipe
(3, 6, 9, or 12 month Supply)

“We're not “Loafing” around when we say you're the best mom/neighbors, ect. Happy holidays/birthday,ect.”

~Jarred Butter or Powdered Butter

“You “butter” have a very Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday, ect.”

~Chocolate Chips
(3, 6, 9, or 12 year supply)

“However the “Chips” may fall, we wish you a Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday, ect. All in all!”

~Pancake Mix & Syrup
(3, 6, 9, or 12 year supply)

“We are “pouring out” Christmas/birthday wishes and hoping you have a Christmas/Birthday “Flip-over”

~Rope/Bungee cords/Straps for years supply

“May your Birthday/Holidays be “tied” up with festive fun!”


“Twas the night before Christmas and Santa was worried, he had an emergency, boy was he flurried! The power was off, and his flashlight was dead, he didn't buy Batteries” when Mrs. S. said. We wouldn't want you in a similar plight, so we give you batteries to lighten your night. Merry Christmas to you, may you walk in the light”

~Cannery Fruit Drink Mix

“Pouring out” Christmas/Birthday cheer to you and yours!”

~Any Preparedness Book
(Canning, survival, recipe, gardening, ect.)

“May the message of this book fill your heart and home with love and safety this Christmas Season.”

Individual Item Ideas Big & Small-

(Wrap them up, put a bow on top, stuff them in stockings)

~Sewing Kit



~Sleeping Bags

~Hand Crank Radio

~Pressure Canner

~Metal Dinnerware

~Hand Crank/Shaker Flashlights

~Food Storage Buckets with Lids

~Any Item from the Cannery- Single Can or Case of 6 with a

~Hand Can Opener

(Add a recipe corresponding with the food to the top with a bow)

~Tarps with no tear grips & straps


~Water Bath

~Cast Iron Cookware or Dutch Oven

~Canning Jars & Lids

~100 hour Candles

~Books- Recipe/Survival/Canning/ Gardening

~Non-Hybrid Seeds

~Rope/Bungee cords/straps

Gift Baskets or Packs-
(Add to or Take Away Items, to make it cost affective)

Sewing Box/Basket

Safety Pins(all sizes) needles, thread(heavy/lightweight), buttons, zippers, iron-on patches, shoelaces, sewing

patterns, material, stove top iron -vintage

Emergency Car Kit/Bag

Food, water, first-aid kit, blanket, flashlight, gas siphon, wipes, Kleenex/T.P, map/compass, cash, pad/pencil,

cards/activities, flares, matches, jumper cables, calling card, extinguisher, a reminder to add spare keys and

walking shoes/socks.

Potty Bucket
“Hope you don't have a crappy day”

Toilet(bucket & seat), T.P., hand sanitizer, baby wipes, garbage bags(for lining bucket), gift card to purchase

feminine products.

First Aid Kit

list is endless, purchase already made, or create your own.

Emergency Family Activity Basket/Rubbermade Container/Box

Board games, cards, dominoes, coloring books/crayons, game/activity books, pencils/sharpeners, puzzles.

Water Pak

30 0r 55 gallon Barrels, hand pump, barrel wrench, Filter, water purification tablets/liquid, white hose.

Keeping your Mouth Happy Basket (3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

Toothbrushes (1 per month, per person) Toothpaste (1 lrg. per month per person) Dental Floss (1 a month per person) Mouthwash (1 bottle per 2 months per person) Toothrepair kit(fillings, picks, ect can be bought at store)

72 Hour Kit/bag/backpack

There are a lot of different ideas and lists. Remember to add a reminder to pack clothes and shoes.

Lighting the Way Basket

Add any and all kinds of ways to light. Candles, flashlights, matches, oil lamps, lightsticks, lighters, ect.

A Gift that keeps Giving Basket

Non-Hybrid Seeds, small garden tools, sprouter, gloves, seed starter, watering can.

Basket of Preparedness Books

Canning, recipe, survival, herb/plant, gardening, ect.

Laundry Gift Tub
(packed in large tub)

Clothes line, bag of clothes pins, hand crank clothes wringer, laundry soap or gift card, wash board, scrub brush

Keeping You Connected, Communications Gift Basket

Hand crank radio, signal mirror, signal whistle, road flares, calling card, quarters/cash, map, pre-stamped

postcards, document to be filled out entitled friends and family phone numbers/addresses with your name already on the list to start.

Dutch Oven, any size

Add dutch oven liners, hot pads, lifter, cook/use book

Cooking Gift Basket (3, 6, 9, or 12 month supply)

Plastic wrap, heavy duty foil, zip lock bags (all sizes), wooden/metal spoons, tongs, spatulas, colander/stainer,

cheesecloth, dish towels

A to Z Preparedness Items


This list covers a variety of conditions - being able to stay in the home after a crisis, as well as having to leave your home because of a disaster.

Some of these items are obvious luxuries which would bring comfort in a time of crisis. Prepare for a variety of scenarios.

Carbon Monoxide - Battery Powered

Aluminum Foil:
Regular & Heavy Duty, also for Make-Shift Items (See “Cardboard”)

Arts & Crafts:
Paints, Colored Pencils, Glue, Beads, Art Paper, etc.

Wheat grinder-Hand & Electric, Blender, Mixer, Crock Pot

Electric Fry Pan-Roaster, Toaster, Pressure Cooker (Electric with Solar)

Diapers, Formula, Ointments, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Wipes, etc.

Backpacks-Duffle Bags

Re-chargeable, Non-rechargeable, Solar Batteries

Battery Chargers:
Electric & Solar

Cots, Mattresses, Tri-Fold Pads, Frames, Mats

Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Pillows, Sheet Sets, Throws, Quilts

Tires, Tubes, Pumps, Chains, etc

Plain, not scented: 4-6% sodium hypochlorite

Scriptures, Religious, Camping, Survival, Educational, Relaxation & Entertainment

Mosquito Coils, Repellents, Sprays, Skin So Soft, Fly Swatters

Canning Supplies:
Canner, Jars, Lids, Wax, Timer, Markers

Have on hand to construct make-shift survival items for others who do not have these things such as sun ovens, coal ovens, refrigerators, etc. Patterns are available trough internet & books.

Cleaning Supplies:
Disinfectant, Scrubbies, Dish Detergent, Window

Clothing & Shoes:
Cold Weather, Outerwear, Underwear, Night Wear, Sunday Wear, Athletic Shoes, Boots, Sandles, Water Shoes

Cast Iron, Electric skillet (Solar), Pressure Cooker, Pots,Pans

Ham Equipment, Frequency List Books, Radios, Walkie-Talkies, Flare Signals, Mirror-Signals

Chests of Drawers:
To contain and transport items

Bleach-Non Scented, 6-6% Sodium Hypochlorite, Anti-Bacterial Soap, Disinfectant Sprays & Wipes

Essential Oils:
Distiller, Droppers, Spray Dispensers, Empty Bottles & a Variety of Oils as an alternative means of medicine, cleaner, ect.

Electrical Access:
Power strips and Multiple Size Extension Cords to connect to Solar Unit

cards, books, board games, crayons, ect.

Eye Glasses:
Reading and Prescription

Extinguishers, Baking soda, Matches, Lighter Fluid, Fire Starters

First Aid Kits:
Basic First Aid Kit, Trauma Kit , Suture Kit

Poles, Lines, Supplies & Tools

Tarps, Rubber Squares, Carpets, Outdoor Mats

Drinks, Oils, Baking Goods, Canned Goods, Drinks, Grains, Legumes, Milk Products, Dry Packed Meals, MRE’s, Snacks, Spices, Sweeteners, Thickeners

Chairs, Tables, TV with DVD player, Shelving, Chests, Beds, Kitchen set-up, PVC Pipe Bathroom Cubicle

Food Storage:
#10 Cans, Buckets, Bucket Lid Opener, Diatomaceous Earth, Oxygen Absorbers,

Propane, Kerosene, Lighter Fluid, Charcoal, Wood, Gas, Siphons, Pumps, Funnels

Games, Cards, Dice, Timer, Pads & Pencils

Garbage Bags:
Several sizes

Garbage Cans:
For Garbage, Transporting & Water

Garden Basics:
Square Boxes & Grids, Seeds, Tools, Water Pail

Garden Soil:
Compost, Peat Moss, Coarse Vermiculite (1/3rd each)

Family Histories, Search & Result Files, Forms

Gas Generator, Solar Generator

Rifles, Hand Guns, Ammunition, Cleaning tools, Holsters

Hooks & Hanging Cubbies:
Use hooks on vertical poles in tent

Hygiene Needs:
Body, Hair, Dental, Feminine, Nails, & Shaving, Facial Products, Make-up, Curling Iron/Curlers

Ice Chests:
insulated (Also keeps things from freezing in winter)

Important Papers:
Bank Records, Birth Certificates, Church Records, Deeds, Medical Records, Certifications, Wills, Genealogy.

For Windows, Tents, Make-Shift items (See “Cardboard”)

Diaries, Scrapbooks, Journals, Personal History

Kitchen Aides:
Can openers, Egg Beater, Whisks, Timer, Cooking Utensils-Spoons, Grater, Drainer, Bowls, Colander, Cutting Board

Files, Stones, Steel, Hunting Knives, Pocket Knives & Kitchen

Clothes Line, Clothes Pins, Hangers, Detergent, Washboards, Mop bucket- wringer, Buckets, Plunger

Light Sources:
Solar Lights, Flashlights, Light Sticks, Torches, Candles, Wicks, Lamps, Lanterns, Mantles, Oil, Light Bulbs

Various types and sizes

Medical Equipment:
Blood Pressure Cuff, Stethoscope, Oximeter, Thermometer, Glucose Meter

Medicines & Alternatives:
For Common Medical Conditions such as ADHD, Anxiety, Asthma, Depression, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Hypothyroid, Heart Medications, Oxygen Needs, Seizures, EO's ,Etc.

Music & Movies:
CD’s & DVD’s, LDS Hymnal, Primary Music, etc.

Maps, Compass, Address Book, Phone Book

Over-the-Counter Medications & Alternatives:
For Allergies, Bites, Stings, Bronchitis, Colds, Canker Sores, Constipation, Diarrhea, Eye Irritation, Fever, Fever Blisters, Flu, Fungal Infections, Hemorrhoids, Indigestion, Nasal Congestion, Nausea, Pain, Poison Ivy, Sunburn, Vomiting, Wound Care

Office Supplies:
Paper, Pads, Pens, Pencils, Sharpener, Calculator, Stapler, Tape, Ink Cartridges, Lap Top, Printer

Solar Oven, Wood or Coal Burning Oven, Propane Oven, Dutch Ovens, kerosene

Paper Products:
Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels, Napkins

Picnic Products:
Plastic Utensils, Plates, Cups, Bowls

Rain Gear:
Ponchos, Rubber Boots, Umbrella

Repair Kit:
Screen Patches, Glue, Nails, Screws, Nuts & Bolts, patches for Inflatable’s

Various sizes and types

Soy Sauce, Braggs, Vinegar, Bullions, Gravies

72 Hour Emergency Kits

Scissors, Fabrics & Sewing Supplies

Special Needs:
Babies, Elderly, Handicapped, Medical Conditions

Propane, Coleman, Kerosene, Wood-Coal-Pellet Stove

Tape & Plastic:
Duct Tape, White& Black Plastic for Misc needs

Tents & Storage:
Tents, Tarps, Stakes, Twine, Rope, Spikes

Hammers, Screw Drivers, duct tape, Etc.

Plastic Bags, Disinfectants, Deodorizers

Towels & Rags:
Dishes, Hands, Bathing, Multi-Purpose

Mouse, Rat, Ant, Cockroach, Wasp, Fly Swatter

Child and Adult

Transporting Receptacles:
Wagons, Carts, Bikes & Dollies

Purifiers, Filters, Storage Receptacles, Pumps, Siphons

Wood Cutting Tools:
Bow Saw, Axe, Hatchet, Wedges, Honing Oil

Zip Lock Bags & Plastic Wrap:
Several sizes and rolls

As you may notice, this list is quite extensive and extreme. Yet I like how detailed it gets in some areas...I think more then anything it is good to get one thinking about what might be useful for one's specific circumstances. And also getting out of our complacency.

I have a cousin that told me that they as a family have decided to not buy anything at all in the month of December. They are going to try and live only on what they already have stored, and stocked up on. I need to do a follow up with her and ask how that is going. A possible idea to implement in your on family. It would probably take me a year of preparing and setting up to do a full month of not going to the store, or doing ANY type of shopping.

If anyone is thinking of trying this, please let me know..I would love to hear how it goes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Wish List

I really like this list of preparedness items to ask for at Christmas. I found the list at Safely Gathered In blog:

In past years, whenever my husband/parents/in-laws asked me what I wanted for Christmas/birthday/anniversary, my mind went blank. Well, this year I know exactly what I'm asking for - food storage and emergency preparedness items!

We have compiled a Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness "Wish List". These are things that you may want to consider purchasing for yourself (or spouse, parents, children) this year, or you can mention these items when someone asks what you want!

We've broken down the items by price, but of course many items range in prices, so some things may be listed under two prices. If you aren't sure what some of these items are, just Google them and they're pretty explanatory. Or, feel free to email us (safelygatheredin (at) and we'll give you more information about a certain product, along with some recommendations.

*Note: these prices are based on quick online research. Shopping around or buying used will help you find the best deal on any of these items.

Under $20
Small first aid kits
Flashlights for the whole family
Jumper cables
Fuel for your camp stoves or grills
water storage containers
spices and herbs
seeds for the garden
bottles/jars for canning

$20 - 50
Water purifiers
good-quality sleeping bag
jumper cables
Dutch oven
Solar-powered radio (or solar radio/flashlight combo)
Wheat grinder (very small, hand cranked - useful if you lose electricity!)

Ready-made 72-hour kits
Wheat grinder (small - hand cranked or automatics)
Pressure cooker (small)
55-gallon drum for water storage

Rotating shelf systems (small)
Wheat grinder (small electric)
Good quality electric or hand-crank wheat grinder
Pressure cooker (large)

Rotating shelf systems (small to large)
Good quality electric wheat grinder
Pressure cooker (huge)
Good quality, large solar oven

Generators (for information on these, read a Popular Mechanics article here)

You could also just ask for some actual food storage - #10 cans of wheat, rice, beans, oats, powdered milk, etc.... YUM!

Other ideas would be stuff for camping. My sister has a cool bucket that has gloves, heavy duty spatula, aluminum foil, roasting sticks, salt and pepper, paper towel, hatchet, etc. Everything ready to grab and take when you go camping.

These same items above would help in a 'clean up' situation, if there was a hurricane, fire, earthquake or ? that happened in your neighborhood/city. Here in AZ we get microbursts. Trees are up rooted, telephone polls are downed, etc. Gloves, hatchets, goggles, flashlights, etc would be handy things to have around. (of course don't mess with any downed electric/telephone polls)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ideas of storing perishables long-term

There are SO many ideas out there on how to bring our perishables from the fridge to the Pantry shelf.

Boxed milk, evaporated milk, canned butter (yes, you really can do this...I have seen it done, I should do a tutorial, sometime), powdered eggs, etc, etc.

I had someone ask me recently about storing cheese. Her grandchildren LOVE Macaroni & Cheese, and she wanted a more long term, and possibly more cost-effective way of storing Mac & Cheese.

The neat thing is, there are many different ways to store don't have to rely on refrigeration.

I read a method of how one family stored a block of cheese in a cool dark place for many was still edible, just a sharper flavor.

There is also powdered cheese...which is of course PERFECT for the comfort food of Macaroni & Cheese. Below are a couple of links to companies that carry Cheese Powder...I have never ordered from any of these places, so I don't know anything about them...I just wanted to give some ideas.
Honeyville Grain
Emergency Essentials
A browse through a search engine will bring you a dozen more ideas. There are SO many companies out there! If you have ordered from a specific company, or know of a place that has fair prices, and good service...please share your information.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Helpful Hints

Random Helpful Hints and ideas, that just might (or might not) come in handy sometime:

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.


Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!


Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Ground Beef

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Scrambled eggs/omelets

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.


Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.


Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up.
Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size.. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.
Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.
Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. It unseals easily.


Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The lint filter is made of a mesh material, using dryer sheets can cause a film over the mesh that can eventually burn out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ... well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! The best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. It makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! (You will know it is filmy, because won't run through very well, it will basically collect in the mesh screen, but once you wash it, the water should run right through.)

NOTE: I tried this last 'hint' myself, with the lint filter...the water ran straight through for me, without washing with warm water and soap, maybe because I use softener liquid in the washer. Someone who uses dryer sheets needs to try this, and let me know their results via 'comments.' ~Steph

Monday, November 3, 2008

Top 100 items to Disappear First During a National Emergency OR Items You'll Wish You Had On Hand

Imagine you hear a rumble in the distance.....You wonder what it could be as it grows louder and louder. Whether it's an earthquake, a bad storm, nuclear testing, or an invasion of our country and the beginning of war, imagine the panic that would set in. Can you weather the storm? What if gas, power and water were unavailable? The reality of such a catastrophe would be much easier to survive through if some "essentials" were thought of and purchased ahead of time...

  1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage is risky. of thieves)
  2. Water Filters/Purifiers
  3. Portable Toilets
  4. Seasoned Firewood (Wood takes about 6-12 months to become dry enough for home use)
  5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First choice: BUy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
  6. Coleman Fuel--Impossible to stockpile too much.
  7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats, and Slingshots
  8. Hand can-openers, hand egg beaters, whisks
  9. Honey/syrup/white and brown sugar
  10. Rice--Beans--Wheat
  11. Vegetable oil (for cooking) Without it, foods burn/ must be boiled, etc.
  12. Charcoal, lighter fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
  13. Water containers (URGENT item to obtain) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY note--food grade if for drinking.
  14. 14 and 15 are missing on my list???
  15. ???
  16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur)
  17. Survival guidebook
  18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer term lighting is difficult)
  19. Baby supplies: Diapers, formula, ointments, aspirin, etc.
  20. Washboards, Mop bucket w/wringer (for laundry)
  21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
  22. Vitamins
  23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: small canister use is dangerous without this item)
  24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products
  25. Thermal underwear (tops and bottoms)
  26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, wedges (also,honing oil)
  27. Aluminum foil Reg. and Heavy Duty (Great cooking and barter item)
  28. Gasoline containers (plastic and metal)
  29. Garbage bags (Impossible to have too many)
  30. Toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels
  31. Milk--powdered & condensed (shake liquid every 3 to 4 months)
  32. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid) (A MUST)
  33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
  34. Coleman's pump repair kit
  35. Tuna fish (in oil)
  36. Fire extinguishers (or...large box of baking soda in every room)
  37. First aid kits
  38. Batteries (all sizes--buy furthest out for expiration dates)
  39. Garlic, spices and vinegar, baking supplies
  40. Big dogs (and dog food)
  41. Flour, yeast, salt
  42. Matches (Strike anywhere preferred) Boxed wooden matches will go first
  43. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators
  44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in winter)
  45. Workboots, belts, Levis and durable shirts
  46. Flashlights, lightsticks and torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
  47. Journals, diaries & scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experiences; historic times)
  48. Garbage cans, plastic (great for storage, water, transporting--if with wheels)
  49. Men's hygiene: shampoo, toothpaste/brush, mouthwash, floss, nail clippers, etc
  50. 50 is also missing--fill in the blank???
  51. FIshing supplies/tools
  52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
  53. Duct Tape
  54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
  55. Candles
  56. Laundry detergent (liquid)
  57. Backpacks, duffel bags
  58. Garden tools & supplies
  59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
  60. Canned fruits, veggies, soups, stews, etc.
  61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
  62. Canning supplies (jars, lids, wax)
  63. Knives & sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
  64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains , etc.
  65. Sleeping bas & blankets/ pillows/ mats
  66. Carbon monoxide alarm (battery powered
  67. Board games, Cards, Dice
  68. D-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
  69. Mousetraps, ant traps & cockroach magnets
  70. Paper plates/ cups/ utensils (stock up, folks!)
  71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
  72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc
  73. Shaving supplies (razors, creams, talc, after shave)
  74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
  75. Soysauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soupbase
  76. Reading glasses
  77. Chocolate/cocoa/tang/punch (water enhancers)
  78. "Survival-in-a-can"
  79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
  80. Boy Scout Handbook, also leaders catalog
  81. Roll-on window insulation kit (MANCO)
  82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix/jerky
  83. Popcorn, peanut butter, nuts
  84. Socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc.
  85. Lumber (all types)
  86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
  87. Cots and inflatable mattresses
  88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
  89. Lantern Hangers
  90. Screen patches
  91. Teas
  92. Coffee
  93. Cigarettes
  94. Wine/liquors (for brides, medicinal, etc.)
  95. Paraffin wax
  96. Glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts
  97. Chewing gum, candies
  98. Atomizers (for cooling, bathing)
  99. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs
  100. Livestock

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Water Storage

I have talked with a few people about the importance of water storage. The trick is finding creative ways to store the water (the right containers, the right place to store it, etc.)

Below are a couple of different articles derived from other groups I am part of.

Water Storage

By Scott Pedersen, Vicki Tate, and Barry Crockett

How Much Water Do You Need?

Store as much “drinkable” water as is convenient to maintain. The average water need for an average-sized person in an average climate is approximately one gallon of water per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for cooking). Most preparedness experts recommend storing 14 gallons of “drinkable” water per person. When you consider that the average person uses about 100 gallons of water per day for drinking, bathing, laundry, water lawns, etc., it is evident that one gallon per person per day is minimal. But in an emergency, you can survive.


It is important that you use only new, high quality, food-grade plastic containers designed for water storage. Do not use old bleach containers, plastic milk jugs, fuel cans, paint buckets, or antifreeze containers to store drinking water. There are many other storage options that are safer and more reliable. We recommend using durable, dark-colored (blue, green) polyplastic, polyethylene containers that restrict light. This helps control algae and bacteria growth.

Water weighs eight pounds per gallon, and transporting a 440-pound, 55-gallon drum would be almost impossible without the use of a hand truck. Likewise, the 1-gallon containers or the 2- to 3-liter bottles don’t hold enough water and would require that you make many trips to a water source. The 5- or 15-gallon containers can be easily transported in a wheelbarrow or a child’s wagon. The 5-gallon metallized bag in a box is another good choice for storing portable water because it is nonporous (odor control), and it prevents light from entering. Beyond these transportation problems, however, the 2-liter pop bottles make good containers.

Storing Your Water

Heavy containers should always be stored close to ground level and secured to prevent breakage or possible injury in the event of an earthquake. Be sure to store your water in plastic containers away from any harmful chemicals or foul-smelling products because plastic tends to absorb odors. Avoid setting water storage containers directly on a cement floor because they will leach moisture from the cement that will end up in your water.

Elevate the containers by placing them on boards or pallets. Rotate your water at least annually to ensure freshness, taste, and purity. Pastel or white colored containers need to be stored in a dark room or pantry to avoid being exposed to light. If you cannot store containers in a dark room, cover containers to keep out light.

Here is a link from Alan Martindale of the city of Mesa (AZ) Water Department: Water Storage And Purification. I chose to do it as a link, because it is a pretty long article.


Seven Major Mistakes in Food Storage

I am part of a yahoo group that talks about preparedness. Below is an article sent to me, that I really liked

Seven Major Mistakes in Food Storage
by Vicki Tate
Sunday, August 12, 2007

“Considering conditions in the world,” a woman once told me, “my husband and I decided to put away some food storage. I bought twenty bags of wheat, some 60-pound cans of honey, and now all we have to do is get a couple of cases of dehydrated milk.”

“Do you know how to cook with your wheat?” I asked. “Oh,” she chuckled, “if we ever need the storage, I’ll learn how. Anyway, my kids only like white bread, and I don’t have a wheat grinder.”

She had just admitted every major misunderstanding about storing food (other than not storing anything at all). She’s not alone.


Here are seven important concepts to remember when planning your food storage program.

1. Variety

Many people only store the four basic items: wheat, milk, honey, and salt. Most of us could not survive on such a diet for several reasons: a) Some people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they eat wheat meal after meal. b) Wheat may be too harsh for young children. They may be able to tolerate it in small amounts, but not as the main staple in their diet. c) Appetite fatigue—we get tired of eating the same foods over and over. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible.

The solution? Store wheat, become familiar with using it, and be sure to add other grains, particularly ones your family enjoys eating. Also store a variety of beans to add an array of color, texture, and flavor. Both whole grains and beans store well for long periods of time and are very inexpensive. Store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion. Put away a good supply of the spices that you like to cook with.

Flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited in the dishes you can create. Buy a good food storage cookbook, read it, and decide what your family really would eat. Notice the ingredients. This will help you know what to store.

2. Extended Staples

Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store dehydrated and/or freeze-dried foods as well as home-canned or store-bought canned goods. Makes sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can’t cook even the most basic recipes without these items.

3. Vitamins

Vitamins are especially important if you have children, since children may not be able to store reserves of nutrients in their bodies as well as adults can. Most vital to your storage program are a good multivitamin, minerals, and vitamin C.

4. Quick-and-Easy and “Psychological Foods”

Quick-and-easy foods can help you through the times when you may be under too much stress to cope with preparing food, such as times of illness or in situations when you cannot safely make a fire. “No cook” foods such as freeze-dried foods are wonderful since they require almost no preparation. Other quick-and-easy foods are MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and canned foods, such as chili and soup. “Psychological Foods” are goodies such as Jell-O, pudding, and hard candy. These may seem frivolous, but they can raise your spirits.

5. Balance

Too many people make the mistake of buying all their wheat, then buying all of another food storage item. Keep balance in mind as you build your storage. Buy a variety of items rather than a large quantity of one. If you suddenly needed to live on your present storage, you would fare better having a three-months’ supply of a variety of items rather than a year’s supply of two or three things.

6. Containers

Always store your bulk foods in food-grade storage containers. So often food is thrown away because it was susceptible to excessive sunlight, moisture, insects, or rodents. Use a food-grade plastic liner or metallized plastic bags—never use garbage bags—to line your plastic buckets.

7. Use Your Storage

Not knowing what to do with food storage is one of the biggest problems. It is vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. Learn to prepare these foods. This is not a skill you will want to acquire during a time of stress. A stressful situation is the worst time to dramatically change your diet. Learn how to prepare these foods and begin eating them!

Getting Started

If you have a limited budget, here are some things you can do that may cost you little or even nothing.

· Set aside a plot of land to grow some of your own food. For examples, tomatoes don’t take up much room. If you live in an apartment where gardens are not allowed, make a deal with a friend who has some idle ground in his or her yard or someone who owns a vacant lot. Share part of your crop. You can also grow plants in pots in a windowsill.

· Sprouting seeds cost pennies yet yield big dividends in quantity and nutrition. Sprouts make tasty additions to salads, sandwiches, soups, and stir-fry recipes. Sprouts are your fresh greens while you are waiting for your garden to mature.

· Cut down on waste. Plan a menu and stick to it. Buy in bulk. The extra is storage! Make sure you store extra or bulk items properly to avoid expensive waste.

· Budget a comfortable amount of money each week to use for your family’s preparedness and food storage plan. You’ll be amazed how fast your reserves grow.

· Can excess fruits and vegetables from your neighbors’ unwanted crops.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How does your Garden Grow?

Until recently I figured I was a bit limited in what I could grow in my garden, since it gets SO HOT here during the summer. I knew that you could grow things in the early spring, but I don't think I realized that you could actually have a garden over the whole winter! AMAZING! I really need to turn my backyard (at least a large portion of it) into a veritable green house. I could even do more if I got a small greenhouse.

I have tried growing a few things here in AZ, but haven't had a huge amount of success. I have grown a small handful of cucumbers, radishes, peas and even a couple of squash successfully. I HAVE had a fair amount of success with tomatoes, but I usually only plant 3 to 5 plants.

I have tried planting carrots, broccoli and peppers. I knew when planting them that they wouldn't work, because it would be too hot too quickly. Didn't even stop to consider doing it later in the season. I think it's a bit too late now, I should have planted any 'cold weather' plants probably about 4 weeks ago. I might just go to Home Depot or Lowes tomorrow, and see if they have any strawberry and maybe green pepper plants.

Sad that I have been here for over 12 years, and just now starting to 'climatize' to the gardening methods. Planting in late May and into June is just SO ingrained in my brain. I didn't pay much attention to exactly when my parents planted things, but I knew most of the planting happened when school was out (or close to being out). Here, if you don't start planting by February or March, then WATCH out, it will get too hot for your plants before they can produce.

For some of the different veggies (and timing) to plant them, here in our AZ climate. Click here: AZ Planting Schedule.

If you know of any other good gardening sites for AZ, or for the climate you live in, please share. Also your success stories in gardening. I will add pictures if you send them to me. :)

These are my tomato plants the summer of 2008. We were gone for a couple of weeks, and the tomato plants were neglected..Jakob counted over 30 tomatoes that we picked when we got home from our vacation. The tomato plants didn't survive, though. :(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, the interesting things you can Can...

We had our ward temple night this evening. Afterwards we went to a icecream social with some of the ward members. There was a couple there that had recently gotten home from a mission in Wyoming. Already they have planted in their garden!! They have only been home a few short weeks. They have strawberries, peas, lettuce, carrots, etc. I had NO idea of the many things you can grow here in AZ over the winter months. I guess I better not complain about the TOO HOT growing season ever again...since in actuality we probably have 2 or 3 'growing seasons'.

Gardening can (and will be) a whole other post or 2, or 3...

Why I mentioned gardening in the first place, is because what do you do when you have extra produce? You should CAN it, of course! ;) Well, at this gathering we talked about all of the different things you can Can. From peaches, to pinto beans, to chicken, and even cakes and breads! Bet some of you didn't know that! One person mentioned how canning is becoming a lost art, and how when he was growing up it was just automatic at harvest time to start storing up foods in jars. (Yup, been there, done that..Mom still cans a lot of things). Another gal said that she would much rather learn how to can, and preserve foods, then learn how to better scrapbook. She said scrapbooking is fun, and all...then her husband said that he guessed the would have to get a pressure canner. She said that is what she wants for Christmas, and also a steam canner. :)

I really REALLY want to try some of these interesting and unique things. (A couple of months back I went to a Preparedness activity where they canned butter!) Oh the amazing things you can do with canning jars!

Ok, so...what is one of the most unique or enjoyable thing that you have canned? Please share...and then give the directions of how to do it. Also which canning method you used. Whether you used the bottle bath method, a steam canner, or a pressure canner.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Odds & Ends

Last night while flossing my teeth, I wondered how much was left in the canister. Did I need to buy more floss? Which inadvertently led to the question: Do I have enough floss for my long-term storage? You might wonder how I jumped from flossing my teeth, to thinking about my long-term supply...well, lately it hasn't taken much to pull my mind toward such thoughts. I will be making lunch for my kiddos, and question how many ziplock bags (in various sizes) I might actually use in a year. What about soap, shampoo, etc. How much to store of each of those? And WHERE to store?

There is the big and where and in what quantity do we store these obscure, yet useful items? Floss might have an easy answer...since a canister of floss doesn't take up that much space. And you might need 1/2 a dozen canisters. It takes up a lot more space to store some of the other daily items we use. Such as soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc. (and this is just things we need for hygiene.) There are many other non-edible things (beyond our long-term supply of food) that are a good idea to store. From the afore mentioned ziplock bags, to extra socks & clothes to laundry soap & softener, etc. (and wow! a long-term supply of all your laundry needs will take up a good chunk of space!)

These aren't the only questions I frequently ask myself. I am so used to running to the local store if I run out of something, that I really don't have a clue some of the things that maybe I should be storing. School supplies, batteries, band-aids, pain medicine. Wow! The list could get pretty extensive...let alone daunting. (in checking my wording in the previous sentence, I noticed that I first wrote 'expensive' instead of 'extensive'. Both would be true.)

This is why I think it is important to have your long-term goals, as well as short-term, and attainable goals. Someone training to do a marathon, isn't going to run the 10k immediately, they are going to start with smaller and reachable goals, to help build their stamina up to the ultimate goal.

So, that is what I am going to start doing...and maybe take a portion of either Sunday evening, or Family Home Evening to evaluate and update the short term goals, see where I have gotten...and what I need to do in the upcoming week.

Anyone have any good resources for getting together a 3 month supply, and on to the long-term supply of more then just food? In a step by step 'attainable' method.

Here is the link to the website on Family Home Storage.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's in YOUR pantry

This is a rhetorical question, of course. Wouldn't want a mob of hungry people at your door, if you tell us that you have enough stored away to last into the next decade. hehee.

I ask this, because I have had my pantry come to the forefront of my mind this last week. My pantry was a HUGE mess just a couple of weeks back. It's still not in excellent order, but you can at least see what is available, and pretty much know the general area where something might be if it's needed. I found that I do have a variety of items, but there are really some areas that are LACKING. Such as spices, canned meats, mayonnaise, oil, etc. So, it is a goal of mine to start listing some of the immediate needs that our family might need. (working toward the 3 months supply of food that we have been counseled to obtain)

Here is an example of one person's 3 months supply list, it will vary extremely from family to family. Depending on size, finances, tastes, etc.


This is how much food we need for 3 months (14 weeks). There are 12 dinners, because we can make 6 dinners per week and have leftovers on the 7th day of the week. And then I multiplied those dinners x 7, because 12 dinners x 7, including leftovers, is enough for 14 weeks worth of dinners. For lunch we can have leftovers half of the time and peanut butter jelly or another kind of sandwich the other part of the time. Breakfast can be oatmeal or bear mush most of the time, and a bread product made from scratch like bagels or muffins less of the time. We will keep a list on the fridge, separate from our regular grocery list, and mark all these items, so that when we use one up, we can write the item on the list to be sure to replace it.

1. pasta, marinara, canned green beans
2. tuna casserole with peas
3. lentil burgers, broccoli
4. stir fry vegetables and rice
5. boston baked beans, rice, broccoli
6. chickpea ratatouille, spinach
7. festive dal soup, bread
8. homemade “spaghettios”, green beans
9. “everything” rice
10. chicken veggie fajitas, spinach
11. sub ball sandwiches, broccoli
12. mac and “cheeze”, canned green beans


3 buckets of hard wheat
1 bucket of oats or oat groats
1 bucket of sugar
1 bucket white flour
1 bucket brown rice
1 bucket kidney beans
1 bucket navy beans
1 bucket chickpeas
1 bucket red lentils
1 bucket regular lentils
smaller bucket of raisins
smaller bucket of bear mush

3 containers of salt
8 jars jam
8 jars peanut butter
8 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
8 cans cream of mushroom soup
8 cans tomato soup
14 cans green beans
14 cans tuna
16 cans petite diced tomatoes
16 cans regular diced tomatoes

14 lbs. macaroni
4 lbs. penne
4 lbs. fettuccini
4 lbs. spaghetti
bag of instant yeast
2 jars baking powder
1 gallon vegetable oil
1 container molasses
1 container maple syrup
1 bottle soy sauce
1 bottle stir-fry sauce
1 container olive oil
2 bottles ketchup
1 bottle mustard
1 jar mayo
1 tub breadcrumbs
1 container lemon juice
1 bottle vinegar
8 cups nutritional yeast (a big bag full)

15 pounds butter
8 lbs. frozen green beans
4 lbs. frozen spinach
8 lbs. frozen broccoli
4 lbs. frozen peas
4 lbs. frozen corn
1 bag frozen bell pepper
8 lbs. frozen stir-fry vegetables
8 lbs. ground beef
8 - 12 lbs. frozen chicken breast

Please share a couple of your meal ideas & recipes, and what you might buy at the store that would keep well for at least the 3 months.

Can you sleep when the wind blows?

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast.
He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were
reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the
awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received
A steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached
the farmer. "Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him.
"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help,
Hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from
dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.
Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.
Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed
next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the
little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming!
Tie things down before they blow away!"
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No
sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on
the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.
To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had
been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens
were in the coops, and the doors were barred.
The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down.

Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his
hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while
the wind blew.

MORAL of Story:

When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically,
you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the
wind blows through your life?
The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he
had secured the farm against the storm.

This is an Uncle Arthur story. I think the title was "I can sleep on windy nights" from -- Uncle Arthur's Online.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A long time in the making

For quite some time now, I have had the desire to create a place just for ideas on preparedness, self-reliance, basic skills, etc. I know that I will probably have kind of a rough start, and might not be able to portray exactly where I am coming from, but it is a start. So, there may be a lot of random wanderings. (I tend to go on tangents), intermixed with some interesting finds, and information.

The more input, the better...for this blog. I have created it not only to have a place to jot down my thoughts, ideas and links. But also to gleen information from others.