Sunday, September 4, 2011

alternative fuel ideas...

Have you ever thought much about how you will "cook" your 3 month supply and long term storage during an emergency?

Right now for the Labor Day weekend Home Depot and Lowes has 2 - 20# bags (40#'s total) of Kingston Charcoal for $8.00. Forty pounds of fuel for $8.00 is a great deal!! So you have only tomorrow to get this sale.

There are a number of ways to store your Charcoal. (Which keeps indefinitely if kept dry) 5 gallon buckets (fits 20#) Or even blue barrels. (fits close to 200#)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Solar/Sun Ovens

The guy (Paul Munson) who taught the free Sun Oven class last week told us about a blog that has recipes and hints on it from a woman that uses hers every day that lives in our area. He said you could find the link at his web site which is:

Lots of information on this blog. Lot of the same stuff he told us at his meeting this week. Mr. Munson has been to 5 continents, including Africa, teaching people how to save on fuel and to cook their food with the sun... He said the more people that he can help to help themselves, the better this world will be... As I said, it was a great class! He also said the solar oven works in -5 degrees below zero, but we live in a great climate to make it even easier. He said as long as you have about 2-3 hours of sun a day, you can cook; and he also said that it may take longer than regular cooking in some places, but that you can leave what you are cooking all day (say you put it on in the morning before you go to work, and then it will be ready when you get home later in the day), that the food does not burn in the solar oven...

He also has some great recipes using our food supplies-

Also see Jennifer's Solar Cooking Page with lots of tips and hints, links, and upcoming solar cooking events in our state, as well as elsewhere, books, and other solar oven manufacturers. Very informative and interesting information.

Also see: On this website, among other things, she talks about pasturizing your water with a WAPI... find out what that means and how easy it is to do that.

Do you know you can boil eggs in the solar oven without any water? See how at She also talks about cooking a frozen chicken... see what happened with that!

Wendy DeWitt talks about solar oven cooking on

Top 10 Mistakes Found in Most 72-Hour Kits

(This was sent to me in my email...unfortunately I don't know the other, so I can't give credit.)

I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of 72 hour kits and go bags for myself, friends, families, and clients and it amazes me how most of them have the same basic problems.
Fortunately, most of them are easy and inexpensive to fix and I’m going to tell you how you can identify and fix 10 of them.
1. Medications. If you have medications that you have to take on a regular basis, you need to keep at least 3 days worth in your 72 hour kit. Many drugs break down in the extreme heat of a car, so ask your pharmacist how long they’ll stay safe in your car and how long they’ll stay effective.
As an example, if your pharmacist tells you that a certain drug will last for 3 years at room temperature, but only 2 months if you keep it in your car, then you should use the drugs that are in your car every month or two and replace them with fresh drugs.
The life expectancy of your drugs will, of course, be different depending on where you live and the season of the year.
2. Footwear/clothes. If you ever wear flip flops, heels, or dress shoes, then consider carrying a pair of quality shoes/boots in your car.
Stick in at least one pair of quality socks and underwear as well.
Remember the pictures and videos after 9/11 of people running barefoot, holding their $500 shoes? Imagine how your body would feel after doing that for a few miles.
3. Clothes for the wrong season. You should either carry clothes for both summer and winter, carry convertible clothes, or change the clothing contents of your kit every spring/fall. Shorts won’t help much in the winter and insulated cover-alls won’t help much in the summer.
4. Young children. If you have young children, they add a HUGE level of complexity to any survival situation. Can/will they eat your survival food? Do you have spare clothes/diapers/wipes for them? Do you have a way to manage their pain from teething/injuries?
Do you have a way to transport them? It might be worth learning how to use a regular bed sheet to create a wearable baby sling. If you have a stroller with inflatable tires, do you carry spare tires and/or a tire repair kit?
5. Pain. If you aren’t good at handling pain, learn proven techniques from someone you know who has done natural child-birthing, a midwife, birthing coach, or doula.
In addition, consider carrying ibuprofen, anbesol, or even prescription pain medications. If you are concerned about a hurt pet, consider getting livestock lidocaine. (It requires a vetrenarian’s prescription, but costs a fraction of human lidocaine.)
6. Bad Equipment. Almost every 72 hour kit that I’ve bought or reviewed has had bad equipment in it. Some of the worst offenders have been multi-tools that don’t work, matches that are brittle and break, knives that are dull, band aids/tape that doesn’t stick anymore, survival blankets that are worn through, and pumps (both water and liquid fuel camp stoves) that have dried out seals. The only way to know that bad equipment won’t bite you in the butt is to test out all of your equipment every 6-12 months.
7. Can you use your equipment? If your fire starter is a glass or Fresnel lens, can you make it work? Will it work in the late afternoon/evening? On a cloudy/smokey day? What would you do at night? What happens when you eat your survival rations? Can you stomach them? Do they keep you full? (If not, throw in some fiber capsules) Do you know how to start a fire with your flint and steel? Does everyone fit in the emergency shelter that you have? Can you carry your 72 hour kit/go bag if you have to leave your car on foot?
In short, you bought a 72 hour kit/go bag to keep you alive in a worst case scenario. Does it do any good to carry around a bag full of stuff that doesn’t work and that you don’t know how to use? Don’t trust anything. Take the time to test out the equipment that you expect to save your life. If it doesn’t work, find a replacement that does work. Testing your equipment will mean that you’ll have to replace some and it means that you’ll have to repack it, but until you know everything works and that you can use it, it doesn’t do much good to carry it around in your car.
8. Water. Do you have 1 gallon per person per day and 1/2 gallon per animal per day? (2 people and 2 dogs would require 9 gallons for 72 hours. At 8.35 pounds per gallon, that’s almost 80 pounds of water taking up 2000 cubic inches!!) If not, do you have a way to collect and purify more? Do you have an empty 1 liter bottle, collapsible bucket, or water bladder? Do you have one for both dirty and clean water? Do you know if your body can handle water that’s been purified with iodine?
9. Pets. Do you have 72 hours of food for your pets? Are you going to feed them your emergency food? Will they eat it and can they digest it? Can you eat their food if you need to?
10. Bags that are all jumbled together. Most 72 hour kits have everything thrown in the main compartment. Every time you need something, you have to sort through all of the contents. Consider taking some zip lock freezer bags or packing cubes like Eagle Creek to separate the different categories of supplies. Make sure to mark everything VERY plainly. I like doing this by writing on a strip of duct tape or athletic tape. One method you can use to separate everything is the following system:
Medical (prescriptions, pain, stomach, etc.)
Trauma (bandages, splints, tweezers, scissors, wound irrigation, etc.)
Here’s the trick to getting this all done. Print this page and underline or highlight everything that you need to do. Then, pick the easiest item, do it RIGHT NOW and then cross it off when you’re done! (Crossing off to-do items is great for the mind.) If you can fix more than one issue in a day, that’s great…keep going. If not, make a decision to fix one or more problems each day until they’re all taken care of.
After going through this process, two things are going to happen:
1. Your 72 hour kit(s) will be much better stocked.
2. You will have more confidence and peace of mind since you KNOW that your 72 hour kit will support you and your family in an emergency rather than just guessing and hoping that everything will work out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Being 'READY'

It has been a year and a half since I have posted here on my preparedness site. I guess my 'time and season' is focusing on other aspects of my life, right now.

I viewed a commercial yesterday that talked about disasters. What we need to do as a family in the event of a disaster. The website given was:

I went to this website and it looks to be interesting. I haven't had much time to peruse it, yet. I hope to find an opportunity, soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Everday Food Storage Cookbook

This cookbook seems to combine 2 of my passions. Food Storage & Cookbooks. I am somewhat of a fanatic when it comes to cookbooks. I love 'em! I love to look at the pictures, and envision making a specific recipe. Often times, that is as far as it gets. (mostly because I don't have the exotic and unique ingredients the recipe calls for) I think with this Food storage book, I will go beyond just looking, I will delve into the actual making. It has ingredients that we often keep in our pantry, and don't have to go to the local specialty market to find. I really look forward to perusing the recipes inside. Especially the bread recipes right now. (My hubby is on a tangent of making homemade bread...I don't mind, at all.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gardening Seminar - Mesa, AZ


Special Guest Jim Kennard, Master Mittleider Gardening Instructor

President of the Food for Everyone Foundation

International teacher of the Mittleider Method “BEST OF ORGANIC gardening method

Jim is Humanitarian Missionary for the LDS church and travels WORLD-WIDE teaching these methods.

Less water → bigger plants

Less money → More savings

Less work →greater harvest

Learn a better, simpler way to garden

When: Friday, March 27th, 9 A.M. – 2 P.M. also Saturday, March 28th 9AM – 2PM
Where: 1 McDonald Center
(Main St./McDonald-Lower Level)
Mesa, Arizona

This is Hands On and space is limited.

RSVP: Please email to reserve your space.

"Every family should have a garden"

-Spencer W. Kimball & other Prophets!

"The day may come when we will have to live on what we produce"

-Marion G. Romney
Is that day here?? Don’t wait another day!

*5 hours of unique training to give you a great garden in any soil – or in NO soil!

*Demonstrating the world-renowned Mittleider Method, including "the best of organic" and "the poor man's hydroponics."

*You can grow the same great garden in the soil OR in containers.

*Double or triple the amount of healthy produce you get from your garden by using this method.

Jim Kennard, President of the Food For Everyone Foundation & Humanitarian Department Missionary (, will conduct the Seminar.

A Mittleider gardener for the past thirty years, Jim is a Master Mittleider Gardening Instructor and has taught classes and worked one-on-one with Dr. Jacob Mittleider. He has also conducted many gardening projects himself in the USA and other countries.

Come Prepared to Dig in the dirt!

Don’t miss this gardening season! The kennards leave soon to fulfill other commitments in two countries in Eastern Europe – call now!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are You Prepared?


By Jane M. Hawley

Trained by the American Red Cross to lead Disaster Action Teams, and by FEMA as a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) in our area, and having observed the disasters and conditions in the world which bring alarm, I write this article in hopes that I might encourage others to become better prepared. I would propose this question: "How will you feel when others who depend on you suffer needlessly because you did not take preventative measures against disaster? I would like to share the following experience as an example where disaster planning could have made the difference:

During July of 2007, in an area right outside of St. George , Utah , we had an experience that has caused me great concern about disaster preparedness. A lightening storm bolted through the tinder-dry mountainous region 3 miles east of our home. The forest fire threatened the power lines supplying our entire county of 100,000 people. The front windows of our rural home framed this dramatic scene as we watched 30' flames amidst the raging fire becoming out of control. Helicopters, tankers, planes and fire crews were engaged in a hot battle.

The greatest concern came when the smoke engulfed the power lines. Smoke can create arcs of electricity between the lines and the ground. Multiple fires could ignite along the 80-mile stretch of power line if something were not done quickly. Authorities decided the only thing that could be done was to "power down." The countywide power outage began at 4:25 p.m. on this very hot, July day of 110 + degrees, just before the evening commute was to begin.

In the first several hours, there was much confusion and chaos. The stream of information was slow and scanty at best. No one seemed to be able to answer the demanding questions of "what happened?" and "how long until we have our power back?" As the fire raged on and homes were flooded with the summer heat, people grew more concerned and tuned into the local radio stations for information. Here's a small taste of what happened:

* I called my husband immediately to let him know of my planned route of travel home. I had a full tank of gas and a gallon of water in my car. I took the route with the least amount of traffic, nonetheless, what would normally have taken 25 minutes, took 1 hour to get home.
* Communication became difficult. Within 5 minutes after I used my cell phone to call home the circuits were busy and remained that way for the next 6 hours.
* Traffic lights were without power which created a traffic gridlock and many frustrated travelers. It took many commuters 1 to 3 hours to get home, in what should have been minutes.
* It was reported that only 2 to 3 gas stations had back-up generators to pump fuel. Those stations had long lines, quickly ran out of fuel-then closed.
* People became stranded and couldn't get home. With the cell phones overloaded many of those people could not call for help. I15 travelers were out-of-luck for their expected needs as well.
* There were overheated and stalled vehicles along the roadways.
* Businesses quickly closed their doors having lost their lights, automatic doors, elevators, security systems, electronic cash registers, and all ability to conduct credit or debit transactions.
* CASH was the only method of payment accepted. With banks closed and credit or debit card machines down, no cash could be obtained by these means. The people who were able to purchase gas and supplies were those who had cash.
* Radio stations were a great help, but with the absence of official information there were many assumptions, rumors, misinformation, anger and panic being expressed by citizens who shared their comments on the air, live and unscreened.
* The hospital went into emergency mode and began treating those affected by heat, and those who had health conditions that required medical devices, monitors, oxygen, etc.
* Many of the elderly and those in convalescent homes had to be evacuated to Dixie State College to escape the heat and be treated for heat-related problems.
* Within the first two hours the local water tanks were nearly dry. The pumps were down for lack of power and the citizens in the county were instructed to use water for DRINKING ONLY (no showers or unnecessary flushing of toilets, etc).
* Stores began to lose their inventory of refrigerated foods and frozen items.
* Police, fire and emergency officials were on overload.
* Hotel rooms in the nearby town of Mesquite , Nevada , went from $35 a night to $350 a night as people flocked to their doors to get out of the heat.
* Dining in Mesquite required hours of waiting in long lines before people could get their meals.

I found it amazing how ill-prepared the majority were to live without power, in the heat, and without essential services for such a short time. In our family we learned a few lessons ourselves. Situations like these cause us to reflect and question, "How prepared is my family for an emergency? I strongly urge you to consider situations that could affect your locale, and then set up an emergency plan to accommodate your future needs. Here are some things you should consider:

Power Outage......................................Severe Storm

Flood....................................................Lightening Strikes

House Fire............................................Forest or Brush Fire

Severe Smoke & Ash............................Streets Closed to Home



Hazardous Material Spill......................Evacuation

Truck Strike........................................Terrorist Attack or Invasion

Chemical Attack...................................Nuclear Accident

Highways/Bridges Down.....................Quarantine


Make a two-fold plan: SHELTER IN PLACE (staying where you are) and EVACUATION (leaving your home). There are many wonderful books available on this subject that can help you be fully prepared. Check out your library, bookstores & internet.


Consider all of your needs for 3 days and include those items in your kit. Go through those kits every year and update clothing sizes and items with expirations.


Have a hand-cranked radio, a no-battery required home telephone, and a cell phone with a back-up battery or solar charger. Several Walky-Talkies placed on the same station that extend a number of miles could also be effective for families living in the same area. Have coins to use in public telephones.


Determine as a family where you would meet if unable to reach one another. Also have an out-of-state contact which each of you could call to assure that everyone is okay, or what you are planning to do.


Consider ways to get about under varied conditions. Keeping your gas tank as full as possible is a first step. Have a good pair of shoes for walking. Have other means such as bicycles, wagons, ATV's, and/or horses.


Obtain what you need in small bills and some coin for at least 30 days.


Water is critical. Have reserves available, not only for drinking, but for cooking and hygiene needs. A survival ration is one gallon per day, per person. Have at the very least, a 2-week supply for each person. Keep several gallons in your car and also consider water purification methods and treatments.


HEAT: Have battery & solar operated fans, spray bottles, sunglasses, hats & sunscreen. COLD: Have gloves, hats, coats, boots, & scarves. RAIN: Have waterproof ponchos & waterproof boots, with extra clothing.


Consider fireplaces & stoves for cold weather, storing no less then 4 cords for the winter. Consider a generator, and solar unit.


A 3-month supply of prescription medications is best. Have over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies & essential oils on hand. Consider the need for natural antibiotics. Have potassium iodine on hand to protect the thyroid in the event of radiation. Give special consideration to those who need oxygen, daily injections, inhalers, etc.


Have a good First Aid book and kit, CPR mask, splints, etc. Consider how to care for blisters on your feet and shoe pads. Know what needs to be done in any number of incidences that could occur in a disaster to ease pain, assist in healing & save life.


It is recommended that every family should have a 30 to 90 day supply of food they are accustomed to eating. A one-year supply is ideal. START NOW! Stores either close immediately or are empty in less than 24 hours. Special dietary needs should also be considered. Grow a garden, plant fruit trees & berry bushes. Learn to bottle & dehydrate foods. Supplement with vitamins & minerals as well. Find a way & do it now!


Consider your cooking needs if there were no power: propane oven, stove & grill; charcoal grill, pit & dutch oven; wood fire pit; pots, pans, utensils, dishes, can openers, serving dishes, etc; towels, wash rags, wash bins, detergent, scouring pad; paper towels, paper & plastic dishware & utensils; tables and chairs.


Don't depend on someone else to shelter you against the elements. Hotels may be booked for miles. Be ready with your own tent, sleeping bags, tarps, etc... Consider how you will transport these items. If possible, have racks mounted on top of your vehicle, and/or have a transport trailer or camper.


Make sure you have several sources of light such as flashlights, kerosene lamps, lanterns, candles, oil lamps, solar lights, and glow sticks. Don't forget batteries, matches, etc.


Have clothing and footwear for heat and cold. Consider what you would wear in the heart of a snowy winter day without heat.


Have lotion, shampoo, soap, moist towelettes, make-up, powder, etc.


Know the principles of sanitation, how deep and how wide to dig an area for waste products, depending upon the size of your group. Have portable toilets, bags to enclose waste, disinfectants, etc. Consider how you will contain & dispose of garbage.


Consider the many needs of infants, the elderly, the handicapped, pets, other animals & livestock. Make a list and purchase!


Have an ID, photo & birth certificates for each person. Have insurance papers, bank records, living wills, trusts, maps, addresses & phone numbers, etc., and place them in a water-proof receptacle.

Remember, disasters rarely come with a warning. I encourage you to calmly and quickly obtain information to educate & prepare yourself, NOW, while you are comfortable and safe, for TOMORROW may not be so!

Preparedness takes time, money, energy and ACTION… it's enemy is procrastination - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"

So you see, the Law of Unintended Consequences cascaded through a series of events that caught everyone off-guard.

* What would happen in your city, home or family in the event of a local disaster/emergency?
* Are you prepared to shelter-in-place if necessary?
* Can you meet the needs of your family for an extended period of time if the much talked about pandemic finds its way to your area and a quarantine is imposed?

Are you prepared?

Response to the captioned photos in the last entry was quite enthusiastic. So I plan to continue to include additional photos as they're appropriate to the current entry's topic (and probably even if they aren't!). I DO think the following is totally apropos to today's entry!

President James E. Faust
Some have said, "We have followed this counsel in the past and have never had need to use our year's supply, so we have difficulty keeping this in mind as a major priority." Perhaps following this counsel could be the reason why they have not needed to use their reserve (Ensign, May 1986, p.22).