Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be Prepared and Stock Up

Here's a great article that was printed in our Sunday paper today.


Be Prepared and Stock Up


The New York Times

The New York Times / STEWART CAIRNS

CUMMINGTON, Mass. — One Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, as cable news channels carried bulletins that two government-sponsored mortgage lenders might go bankrupt, Kathy Harrison stood in the kitchen of her 9th-century farmhouse here, about 20 miles northwest of Northampton, laying out herbs from the garden.

The American economy seemed, at least to some, at the edge of an abyss, but all was calm in the Harrison house. Two loaves of bread, baked fresh that morning, sat on the counter. Harrison’s daughters, Karen, 14, and Phoebe, 5, were laughing and playing dress-up, while her husband, Bruce, 62, stood at his wife’s side.

The obvious peace of mind in the Harrison household has something to do with the provisions Kathy Harrison has stockpiled throughout the house, which include cans of powdered milk; several hundred pounds of wheat berry, oats, flour and rice; water purification tablets; shelves of toothpaste and toilet paper; a solar oven; packs of hermetically sealed seeds; and other items to sustain the family in an emergency.

Harrison believes in home preparedness, and after readying her own home for a worst-case scenario — be it a flood or a nuclear or bioterrorist attack — she has written a book, Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens (Storey Publishing, $16.95), to help others do the same.

It’s full of practical tips. What affordable bedding preserves heat best? PrimaLoft comforters, according to Harrison’s informal tests. What company makes “the Cadillac of nonelectric lamps,” using kerosene? Aladdin, she says.

Her wisdom is delivered in a tone of pioneer optimism. “In a time of crisis you want to start the day with a good breakfast,” she writes, introducing a recipe for something called cornmeal mush. The book, which draws on Harrison’s wide reading in the literature of preparedness, as well as books on narrower subjects like canning, cheesemaking and felling trees, is notable for discussing what to do in the event of a chemical attack without detouring into panic-mongering territory.

“I don’t expect someone to drop a nuke on me,” said Harrison, 56, an energetic and upbeat woman who calls herself a prepper rather than a doomer. “But after 9/11 — and certainly after Hurricane Katrina — I realized that, holy smoke, the cavalry doesn’t always charge in to rescue you.”

Harrison became interested in preparedness almost 30 years ago, when she and her husband were caretakers of the William Cullen Bryant homestead in Cummington and lived miles from the nearest store. She grew more serious about it two years ago, after they attended a local film night and saw The End of Suburbia, about what would happen if oil became scarce. She formed a group with some neighbors to promote self-reliance, and to trade tips and equipment.

“I’ve got a wicked good grain grinder,” Harrison said. “Anyone who wants to come over and grind grain can do that.”

Unlike preparedness advocates who stockpile weaponry, they do not own a gun — “I don’t want to shoot anybody,” Harrison said.

After reading other books on the subject, all of them seemingly geared to the Soldier of Fortune crowd or to Mormons, who for religious reasons believe in keeping a year’s supply of food, Harrison wrote Just in Case for the average homeowner, who she contends is in serious need of preparedness training.

Her tone shifts from chipper to mildly scolding when discussing how Americans, in her words, “sold out to easy” — owning a closetful of clothes but never learning to sew a button; driving everywhere but being unable to change a tire.

Opening a storage cabinet in the basement,she pointed to supplies like a pressure canner, assorted canned goods and enough cooking oil to open a restaurant.

“Let’s go upstairs,” she said, marching up two flights of steps and stopping in front of a second-floor closet. Inside was the waiting-out-the-apocalypse mother lode: containers of freeze-dried whole eggs, freeze-dried green beans, cornstarch, butter powder, cheese powder, powdered milk. By her estimate, the supplies in the house could last the family six months or more.

Much of the food was in powder form and looked unappetizing, but Harrison said it was important to cook with your backup supply regularly, as she does — using powdered milk on a daily basis, for example — because “in an emergency you don’t want everything to be strange.”

Kneeling down and opening a crawl space off the “preparedness extra room,” Harrison pulled out bucket after bucket of basic staples like wheat and rice.

“I just ordered another hundred pounds of sugar and flour,” she said, explaining that she continually replaces what she has used. It is part of a system she calls OAR: organize, acquire, rotate.Prepared, frugal and practical

Figure out your vulnerabilities “We all need food, water and shelter,” said Kathy Harrison. “Tabout what you’re preparing for.”

Preparedness doesn’t have to be expensive Harrison says ease the cost of stockpiling by buying in small increments. “When you go to the grocery store buy a few extra items,” she said.

Don’t buy economy sizes of items that need refrigeration

Buy foods needing refrigeration after being opened (like mayonnaise) in small quantities, so they can be consumed within a day or two.

Beyond bread alone — Harrison says that including comfort foods like pudding or Jell-O can brighten spirits. She recommends keeping nonelectronic entertainment like books and games on hand. Keep extra supplies of soap, toothpaste, shampoo and toilet paper,” she added, as well as extra pet food and supplies for those with pets.For the urban among us

What are Kathy Harrison’s preparedness recommendations for urbanites who possess neither the storage space for buckets of powdered milk and dehydrated beets nor the inclination to consume anything that isn’t haute cuisine?

“I’d invest in a water filter — and look for a way out,” she said, laughing. Turning serious, Harrison said that even in a small apartment stockpile a few weeks’ worth of water and nonperishable food like peanut butter. Consider a crank radio to hear newscasts and perhaps a bike or motor scooter to get around.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

MRE Brownies - yep - there's such a thing!

You're probably thinking that I'm kidding about this. Nope - there really are MRE Brownies available at The Ready Store AND at a ReadyParty!

I can hear you now...eeeewwwwww!

WRONG! These actually taste great!

All MRE's last for 5 years, and are perfect to put in a 72-hour kit to supplement your food and they are great for a little psychological relief if you actually had to survive for three days with just your emergency kit!

At a cost of .99 each at a ReadyParty ($1.96 if purchased online at regular price) you can't go wrong ordering a dozen or more of them "just in case!" (They are cheaper the more you buy.)

These brownies are moist and very chocolaty - Ric and Ryan both give it thumbs up! In fact, when if someone even mentions them, Ryan goes on and on about the "special brownies" - wanting another one.

So the bottom line is...we love them! We're definitely putting them in our 72-hour kits (if they last that long!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lumin Flashlight

When I opened the package for the Lumin Flashlight, my first thought was - "what the?"

It's kind of funny looking, don't you think?

Well, this flashlight is the COOLEST thing! First, you have to plug it in, and keep it plugged in to get the full benefits. When it's plugged in it functions as a night light. (The light is below the charging unit.)

Second, after it's fully charged, whenever you take the flashlight off the base, it's automatically on! I love that! It has 7 LED lights - so it's pretty bright when you need it!

Third, and this is the best part, if the power goes out, it automatically turns on! Woo Hoo! How do I know? Well the instructions say so, BUT, last Wednesday night, we tested it! Not that we wanted the power to go out, but it did around 11:00. We were in bed, but since it was the first time the power had gone out since we plugged it in, I made Ric get up and check the flashlight! True to it's claim, it was ON!

There's only one thing I wish was different, and that's the charging base - even though it's only plugged into one outlet, it takes up almost the space of two. If places to plug things in are scarce around your house, it may be an inconvenience.

Bottom Line: I highly recommend the Lumin Flashlight. In fact, we're going to buy some more! They would be perfect for bedrooms, and I want one in the garage too!

Retail Price: 32.95
Online Price: 24.95
ReadyParty Price: 21.95 (*No shipping either! Check out how to get this price!)

What is a ReadyParty Anyway?

Official Definition: A ReadyParty is a casual open house, where throughout the evening your invited guests can check out products, browse catalogs, ask questions, sample food and get amazing deals on emergency preparedness products.

My definition: It's a chance to gather your friends for a very different kind of home party. The products you and your guests can purchase at a ReadyParty may very well save your life! (I'm not trying to be dramatic, it's true!) From fully-stocked 72-hour emergency kits to freeze-dried foods, you can't go wrong purchasing products that will protect your family in one way or another. There's nothing MORE important than that!

What's in it for you? Here's the best part! When you host a ReadyParty, you earn 10% of the entire party sales to spend at the ReadyStore! (From the catalog, etc.) What better way to quickly start to gather those emergency kits or make a dent in your long-term food storage?

What's in it for your guests? Well...this is pretty good too! Even though you can purchase products online at The Ready Store website - the prices for the SAME products are LESS than the online prices! Woo Hoo! PLUS, there's NO TAX* and NO SHIPPING! What's better than that? Just one more way to save money while protecting your family!

Ready to have a party? Just contact me to schedule it! Invite your friends (I'll give you invitations and other info), and let me in the door when I arrive! (Parties typically last only 2 hours.)

*If you live in Utah, you do have to pay sales tax.

PS - If you don't want to have a party, but plan to spend more than $200, it counts as a party anyway! You can be anywhere in the country and take advantage of this! Let me know if you are interested and I'll give you all the details!

Emergency? What Emergency?

Just what do I mean when I say "get ready for any emergency?"

Well, it can be just about anything from getting laid off from your job to a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake! If you're getting ready for one thing, you're getting ready for all of it!

I've been asked - "Why should I prepare anyway? Doesn't that mean that I'm expecting something to happen?" Absolutely not! Why shouldn't you prepare?

Has any of the following happened to you or anyone you know?

  • You or your spouse loses their job. Now what do you do? (unemployment only lasts so long!)
  • Your car breaks down and it's not going to be cheap to fix it!
  • Severe storms knock out power for days! (Everything in the fridge spoils! Yuck!)
  • Any kind of natural disaster hits your area. What if you have to evacuate? Will you have what you need to keep your family safe for a few days?
  • Something happens in your neighborhood and you're told to evacuate immediately. Do you have what you need in your car to help you survive for a couple of days?
  • We hear it in the news - a flu pandemic. An extreme scenario might be a quarantine no one comes or goes from their homes - yes it's extreme, but it could happen! What would you do? Would you have enough food to feed your family if something like this happened?
The most important reason? YOU LOVE YOUR FAMILY!

That's why I say "Get Ready!"


Welcome to Get Me Ready!

I hope you find the information you need to get yourself and your family ready for any emergency! This site is not all about "doom and gloom" - rather, it's a place to learn about preparedness products, food, kits, and general "Getting Ready" information!

Feel free to link to me - and if you have your own preparedness blog/website, let me know!



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