Sunday, March 1, 2009

Family Preparedness Song

I found this on the Preparedness Brings Peace Blog - so cute! (It's a FABULOUS blog with TONS of food storage recipes - check it out!)

Tune: Did You Think to Pray? Hymn #140

Ere you spent your family's paycheck,
Did you think to save?
Just a little for the storage,
Just a little for the porridge
When the Times are grave,
Oh, how storage helps the faithful
When the Prophet's words we heed,
So, if you would not be Fearful,
Plan what you will need.

When your neighbor tried to teach you
How to can and sew,
Did you feel in-ti-mi-da-ted
And your plans pro-cras-tin-a-ted?
Now you're feeling low!
Oh, how empty are the cupboards,
Oh, how ragged are your clothes.
How you'll wish that you had listened
When the "good life" goes.

Wheat and beans and salt and honey
May not sound so hot.
But if you are going hungry,
If your tummy's cold and grumbly,
They can hit the spot.
Store some diapers for the kiddies,
Everything to see you through;
Cloth and patterns, thread and needles.
Store some long Johns, too.

If this topic's repetitious
And you're dull and bored,
When you've naught but empty dishes
And you've used up all your wishes,
You'll wish you had stored...
Food that's tasty and nutritious,
Cloths and bedding, tools and seeds,
Skills that guard your family's future
Gather what you'll need.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

FABULOUS Food Storage Burrito Recipe

I found this recipe in this month's Family Circle magazine (March 09) and tried it tonight. I'm definitely not a vegetarian, but will make and eat these again - they were so yummy! Here you go - enjoy! (I did modify it a little, and will note them in parentheses.)

Quinoa & Red Bean Burritos

1 cup Quinoa
2 tsp McCormick Smoky Sweet Pepper Blend
1 can (15 oz) Red Kidney Beans, drained, rinsed and lightly mashed (I used Black Beans because that's what I prefer and have on hand.)
1 1/2 cups jarred Salsa (I actually pureed just one cup to make it go further - plus I didn't want it chunky)
8 Whole Wheat Tortillas (I just used regular flour tortillas)
1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

  • Place quinoa and pepper blend in a saucepan and cook following package directions. (All you do is boil 1 1/4 cups of water and add the quinoa, lower the heat for about ten minutes and then cool for a few before fluffing with a fork.)
  • Once cooked, stir in beans and 1 cup of the salsa.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees while the quinoa is cooking and coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat tortillas in microwave for 45 seconds to soften. Place 1/2 cup of the quinoa mixture in the center of each tortilla and fold like a package. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. (I didn't have the large tortillas, so I just rolled them and placed them seam down.)
  • Lightly coat tortillas with nonstick cooking spray and top with remaining salsa and cheese, dividing equally.
  • Bake burritos at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
Per burrito: 315 calories, 8 g fat (4 g sat.) 14 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 734 mg sodium, 13 mg cholesterol


The result? They were fantastic! Ric thought that adding some shredded chicken would be even better - maybe next time! The best part is that it's a flavorful meal right from your food storage! (Yes, I'll be storing quinoa from now on!) Here's some more info about this grain, it's really good and good for you too!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Daily Survival

I was poking around Facebook the other day - did you know that they have an application you can add to promote your blogs?

Anyway, I found this great preparedness website called Daily Survival. It's a collection of preparedness and survival articles that are found on the web. There are TONS f great ideas that link back to the original blogs if you are interested.

Make sure you check it out - I've added a link on the sidebar. You can also go to:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I was practically PAID to shop!

Part of being prepared is building up your food storage for those times when you might need it. Because of this, I'm a completely obsessed coupon and sale shopper. For a while, I played The Grocery Game - which is a great website that tells you what is on sale and when to use your coupons. After some time, I figured out the pattern so I stopped paying for their lists and tried to keep track of things myself. It's a little hard, unless you have a system.

Well...I've found a GREAT system that is starting to pay off even MORE than The Grocery Game did! If you haven't been to The Obsessive Shopper website yet, you HAVE to check it out. Shauntell has a great system for organizing and using your coupons that you need to try! I'm not going to list it all out here, you'll have to go to her website to check it out for yourself - but I will share when I find great deals or save a ton of money as I'm adding to my food storage! (By the way, her website is part of a network called Fun with Food Storage - it's packed with more info than you can every use for your food storage, make sure you take a look!)

Drumroll please......

Today, I was practically PAID to shop at Shaws. Just a few more dollars and I would have been!

First, a little background on how I shop. I do not buy the essentials (Milk, Bread, Eggs, Butter, Cheese, etc.) from the "regular" stores. I have found that the prices are hyper-inflated. Instead, I pick up all of those things from Aldi. (What? Never heard of Aldi? I'll have to tell you the story about that sometime and how a friend turned me on to the BEST place for basics - and much more - ever!) For other things, I scour the ads and check my coupons to get the best deals.

This was my result this week: I spent $6 - and bought 10 jars of Mayo and 12 jars of Peanut Butter. I saved $66.90! (Calculation based on if I had purchased the same products at full price.)

(Before I'm loaded up with peanut butter comments, remember it's the PB that's added to other foods that was affected by the salmonella, not the PB in jars!)

Want to know how I did it?

  • Skippy Peanut Butter - 16 oz regular price $2.50, on sale for $1.67. I had 4 coupons that gave me $1 off for every 3 I purchased - AND if I spent so much, I also got a coupon for $10 to use at another time. Result: $6 spent - $24 saved.

  • Hellmans Mayo - 30 oz regular price $4.29, on sale for $3.00. I had 5 coupons that gave me $1 off for every 2 I purchased - AND again, if I spent so much, I also got a coupon for $15 back to use at another time. IN STORE BONUS - I wasn't aware of this before I shopped, but I also got ANOTHER $10 in coupons from Hellmans to use on any products the next time. Result: $25 spent - $25 saved!
I have to say, that I was pretty much skipping to my car with my Mayo and PB. Woo Hoo!

The message I want you get from this is to just spend a little time organizing yourself and paying attention to the ads and sales, and you will SAVE A TON on your shopping! I'd love to hear what you do to save money while you are adding to your food storage! Just leave a comment!

PS - Just so you know, I don't purchase 5 different Sunday papers to get all my coupons, I have GREAT neighbors who save what they don't use for me every week!

PPS - It's so much fun to hear the comments from the gals at the checkout when I'm shopping. Today it was...WOW, looks like you'll be making a ton of potato salad soon! And the other gal said something about liking peanut butter, but not THAT much! hehe They were impressed though, with the final amount I owed in the end!

Food Storage Video Seminar Available

You'll want to check out my sister's blog (Let Us Prepare.) Last November, Wendy DeWitt presented a Food Storage Seminar that was recorded, and now is available!

There are 9 different segments (because of YouTube requirements), but they are all loaded on this post. You can also search YouTube for Wendy DeWitt.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Silly Silly People

A poem...very appropriate for today.

Silly Silly People

Noah told the people that the rain was going to fall
Noah told the people they better get on the ball
Noah told the people to repent and turn to God
Cause God had, had it up to here and the wicked He would trod

Those Silly Silly People, why were they all so blind?
We certainly, would never be, a people of that kind!

Lehi told the people that Jerusalem would fall
Lehi told the people, but all they did was stall
Lehi told the people, to repent and turn to God
Cause God had, had it up to here and the wicked he would trod

Those Silly Silly People, why were they all so blind?
We certainly, would never be, a people of that kind!

Samuel told the people as he stood upon the wall
that Christ would come in five short years and save them from the fall
Samuel told the people to repent and turn to God
Cause God had, had it up to here and the wicked he would trod.

Those Silly Silly People, why were they all so blind?
We certainly, would never be, a people of that kind!

Our prophet tells the people that there's not much time at all
Our prophet tells the people, they better get on the ball
Our prophet tells the people to repent and turn to God
Cause God has had it up to here and the wicked he will trod.

So if we look into our pantry's and find that they are bare
and if our scriptures on the shelf, show not wear or tear.
Could we be silly people? Are we possibly that kind?
That we refuse to hear our God, could we be "Oh So Blind?"

Copyright 2009 Susan Edwards and Roweena Rymer

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"3" is a Magic Number

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


"3" is a Magic Number

The number 3 is a magic number when it comes to emergency preparedness. You can survive for about 3 hours without shelter, about 3 days without water, and about 3 weeks without food. So, to keep with the magic number, we should try to find 3 ways to deal with each of those situations.

For shelter, there may be circumstances where we can shelter in place and use our home as a shelter. Other times we may be stuck in our cars. Keeping some basic items in our car in case we need to use it as a shelter can be life-saving. Some water pouches, survival food bars, hand warmers, emergency blankets, a Ready candle, and waterproof matches can help us keep warm in a winter storm situation. And what if a major earthquake made sleeping in your home impossible? Consider a backpacker dome tent or even a tube tent plus emergency sleeping bags.

Next is water. You can store a lot of water in your home by using the 30 gallon barrels and then adding the water preserver so you only have to change the water every 5 years instead of every year. You can also think about portable water in case evacuation becomes necessary. The 5 gallon stackable water containers are great for this purpose. And what if you had access to water, but it was contaminated? Think about potable aqua and an MSR miniworks water filter. The miniworks can filter up to 500 gallons of water, so it is a great tool to invest in.

Last is food. Survival food bars are compact enough to store in your car or even in your desk at work. You can store MREs and freeze-dried pouches in your 72-hour kits. And the #10 cans of freeze-dried food are terrific to store in your home for longer term food storage.

Emergencies and disasters don’t always happen how we plan, so by taking steps to resolve these 3 essential issues in at least 3 ways, you can feel secure in your emergency preparations.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why Should I Store Food?

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Why Should I Store Food?

I sometimes have people ask me why they should store food. “Why should I store a year’s supply of food? Isn’t that a bit much?” The truth is a number of situations could occur that could cripple the food system in our country. By taking precautionary steps, you can feel secure that your family will survive in times of need.

A drought like the one that occurred during the Dust Bowl could lead to a famine. It’s hard to imagine since for many of us we have always seen fully stocked grocery store shelves and never a lack of food to buy. But various situations from trucking strikes to a pandemic to crop failure could lead to a lack of food. How long could you survive with the food you have in your home right now? A few days? A couple of weeks? A month or two? We have become so far removed from our food since it is shipped to grocery stores in brightly colored packages that we may not realize that crop failures can directly impact us.

I see food storage as a type of insurance plan. I don’t know if we will be hit by a massive earthquake, a flood, or a worldwide pandemic, but I do know that I have taken steps to care for my family if any of those situations occur. I am a mother and am driven by a mother’s need to care for her family. The thought of my children calling out, “What’s for dinner?” or pleading with me that they are hungry, and knowing that I have nothing to feed them, that we have no food, is a horrifying thought to me.

By eating out one less time a month, I can put an extra can of food in our food storage. By making small changes, I know that I can take steps to prepare my family and ensure their safety in times of distress.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Way We Use Water

Originally posted at The ReadyStore Blog


The Way We Use Water

Water is the most essential thing you can store in times of emergency. Let me say that again, water is the most essential thing you can store. You can live for weeks without food, but only about 3 days without water. Think of the ways you use water every day: to brush your teeth, to wash your hands, to flush a toilet, to wash dishes, to run your washing machine, to fill a pot for dinner. We use water and we use a lot of it.

It takes about 35-40 gallons of water to fill a bathtub and we use about 5 gallons a minute when we shower. Because water is so accessible and so cheap, it is often hard for us to imagine a time when water might not be available. In areas that have had to enact a boil water order due to an emergency situation, it takes about an hour and a half for bottled water to sell out. Make water storage a priority. 30 gallon drums, 5 gallon stackable water containers and filters such as the MSR miniworks are great ways to get your water storage going.

We need to store a minimum of 14 gallons per person in our household which equals out to a 14 day supply. Half of that is set aside for drinking water and the other half is for things like bathing, laundry, and food prep. Take steps to make water storage a priority and make this essential resource a necessity for your personal preparedness program.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tools and Other Stuff

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Tools and Other Stuff

While we may think of food, water, and shelter as being important in an emergency, we may overlook the necessity of tools. Whether you are turning off your gas due to an earthquake or just trying to open a can of food, there are essential tools we should have.

I believe that every home should have a gas shutoff wrench. This one comes with a zip tie so that you can tie it onto your gas meter. No more worries about where the toolbox is or if the kids have run off with it. Another important tool is work gloves. Disasters create big messes and those messes have to be cleaned up. Having good work gloves can prevent injury and speed the cleaning up process.

Another basic is a manual can opener. Freeze-dried food in #10 cans can be hard to get to if you don’t have a can opener to open them up. Scissors are also a fantastic all-around tool to keep in your 72 hour kit. Another helpful tool is a folding shovel. I keep one in my car so that if we are stuck in snow, we can dig ourselves out. The shovel is also very compact since it folds into thirds.

Other tools you might find useful are 100 ft. of nylon rope as well as a Leatherman tool. These can serve multiple purposes, making them essential in an emergency situation. Having the knowledge to deal with a crisis is essential, but so are the right tools to help you deal with that situation the best way possible.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog



Doing inventory can help you use your resources more effectively when you are preparing for emergencies through emergency preparedness and food storage. Do you buy the same things over and over while other sections of your preparation are lacking? Do you have a dozen emergency blankets, but not a first aid kit? Do you have a way to heat your home, but no plans for sanitation?

The best way to do an inventory is to sit down and pull everything out. I know this may seem like a daunting task, but if you don’t know what you have, you don’t know what you need. I did this recently with my sister and brother-in-law. While they were pleasantly surprised by the amount of things they had in their 72-hour kits, they found they were lacking in some areas. They had a portable potty lid and bags, but needed toilet chemicals. They had several tools, but no matches and no 115 hour Ready candles.

Once you know what you need, you can break it down into categories such as light and communication, food storage, first aid, etc. Then you can figure out what you need in each area and make a plan to acquire those items. With a little time and effort, you can make sure you are ready for whatever circumstances you may encounter in an emergency situation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get Involved

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Get Involved

I often ask parents what their child’s school emergency plan is and I am shocked that most parents don’t know if the school has one, never mind what the safety plan actually is. The same goes for the workplace. Do you have a safety plan at your place of employment? If your school or work doesn’t have a plan, volunteer to help set one up.

Does your city have an emergency plan based in scenarios most likely to occur in your area? If not, go to a city council meeting and bring it to the attention of the mayor and city council. Coordinate with the police and fire chiefs to help your city develop a realistic plan to help all its citizens. You will need to take into account the various businesses such as nursing homes and preschools to make sure that everyone is accounted for and assisted to the level they need.

Talk to your neighbors about their plans and what assistance they may need. Partner with a friend so that if you aren’t home when a situation occurs that she will care for your children and commit to do the same for her children. You can lessen the impact the disasters will have on you by taking the tine to get involved in planning for the inevitable.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Preparing Children

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Preparing Children

We don’t want to think that bad things will happen and the thought of our children being scared or hurt is a painful thought to parents. But you can prepare your children by discussing possible scenarios and how they should respond. Our children mirror our own emotions. If we are upset and panicked, our children will be too. If we are calm and thoughtful, our children will act the same way.

Do regular drills. We try to do fire drills at least twice a year as well as earthquake drills since we live in earthquake country. We remind our children never to return to a building that is on fire as well as our family emergency plan.

Play the “what if” game. Ask your kids, “What if there was an emergency and you were stuck at school? What would you do?” Or, “What if you came home from school and mom wasn’t there and the house was locked? What would you do?” Talk about family rules and who they can go to if they are in trouble.

By talking to our children and giving them information, we give them the power to make smart choices in whatever situation they may face.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just Like an Astronaut

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Just Like an Astronaut

So, is it just me, or did you LOVE going to the science center/museum when you were a kid? Wow, I would get so excited when I found out we would be going there on a field trip! Ok, so I have to admit, it wasn’t probably for the same reasons everyone else liked to go there. I liked to go to the science museum because it was the only place I could find freeze-dried ice cream! Yes, I was addicted, and I love it to this day. I was so thrilled to be eating the same stuff that astronauts ate it space…and it tasted great! Although, I always wondered how they got that ice cream to fit in an aluminum package and not melt somehow in the process. Well, I finally found out how that process works…

Freeze-drying was first developed during World War II to preserve blood plasma for emergencies without the use of refrigeration. (Yes, the freeze-drying process can be used for many things other than foods.) After the war was over, the process was then used for food products. Coffee was the first manufactured product that was sold on a large scale.

All food is tested and checked for purity before it goes through the freeze-drying process. Meats and fruits are checked for bacteria before they are used. Seafood and meat must be pre-cooked before it is freeze-dried. That way, when you open the package to use it, the meat requires no cooking to eat it…only the addition of water to re-hydrate it. After the foods have been checked and tested, they are spread out flat on metal trays. Then the trays are wheeled into a huge walk-in freezer where the temperature is around -40degrees. The food is frozen quickly. After they are frozen, the foods are wheeled to vacuum drying chamber. In this room, a process called “sublimation” is used to force solid material to change into a gas material without ever having turned into a liquid. This can be achieved by evacuating the air with a vacuum pump to reduce the air pressure. Once the pressure falls below the point of sublimation, the water vapor from the food is drawn away from the food, leaving the dry food behind. The dry food retains its original size and shape. The food is then packaged into airtight containers so that moisture from the air will not re-enter the food. The whole freeze drying process can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours.

So, yeah, it’s a bit complicated, but fascinating all the same. Freeze-dried food has so many advantages to other food storage options. It is extremely light-weight, requires no refrigeration, and the food retains its color, shape, texture, and most importantly…flavor! Freeze-dried food may cost a bit more to start with because of the complex equipment that is needed to make it, but in the long run, it will be an asset. Freeze-dried food can last up to 30 years and sometimes longer! I challenge anyone to show me a can of mushy green beans that can do that! Freeze-dried food is definitely the way to go for emergency food storage.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Value of Taking Stock

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


The Value of Taking Stock

Regardless of how much you might prepare for disaster, it may not be enough. If disaster strikes, it pays to be prepared for the aftermath.

When the California wildfires threatened to destroy their Escondido home, Costco members Tana and Damian Jackson were able to maintain a degree of calm, knowing they would weather the storm. They knew they couldn’t stop the fire from destroying their home–ultimately, it didn’t–but they were reassured by having a complete, verified inventory of everything in it to give to their insurance company. . .

The Jacksons offer these reasons why businesses, and homeowners, should compile an inventory:

  1. Forty percent of small and medium-sized businesses do not reopen after a catastrophic event because of a lack of resources
  2. Insurance companies rely on a documented inventory of belongings to process a claim. They may not require it but they do recommend it.
  3. Without an inventory, you claim will likely take longer and your benefit will be smaller.
  4. You are probably underinsured, and you will not realize it until it is too late. An inventory may help you determine what coverage is really needed.
  5. It is easier to add now than by memory after a catastrophe.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Food Bars?

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Food Bars?

When I first heard about food bars, I thought they were just the “Powerbar” type things you can buy at any local retailer. I had no idea what a beneficial product they could be to me in an emergency. My parents bought my family and me an emergency box for Christmas. It was filled (and I mean completely packed) with emergency supplies. Water packs for drinking, flashlights, a crank-powered radio, matches, a mini stove, and a supply of food bars. I was curious because the food bars were the only edible item in the kit. “How in the world could we survive on Powerbars,” I thought? I knew they were nutritious, but I didn’t think they could sustain us completely. So, I did some research on food bars, and this is what I found.

Food bars have a shelf life of 5 years. That was wonderful! No more digging the stale, broken peanut butter crackers out of the 72 hour kits every couple months. There is absolutely no preparation needed to eat the food bars. Just peel of the wrapper and eat. There are a few different brands of food bars, and each one has a bit of a different flavor to it. I’ve heard of ones that taste like lime creamsicle bars or apple-cinnamon cookies, but my favorites are the shortbread flavor. My grandma always had Lorna Doone cookies in her cookie jar, and that’s what they remind me of.

Also, food bars are made to withstand extreme temperatures. So, whether you live in the middle of the Arizona desert, or in the Alaskan tundra, they will stay fresh and completely nutritious. Another really great benefit of food bars is that they are made with very low sodium, so you don’t get thirsty while you’re eating them. (Unlike those terrible old peanut butter crackers!) That will help you reserve your water rations in an emergency.

The nutritional value of a food bar is astounding. You can purchase them in either 3600 or 2400 calorie packages. The 3600 calorie bar has 54 grams of protein, 378 carbs and 180 grams of fat. The 2400 bar has 36 grams of protein, 252 carbs and 120 grams of fat. They are made out of all natural ingredients with no preservatives. They are kept fresh by being vacuum sealed. The main ingredients are wheat flour, vegetable shortening, cane sugar, water, coconut and salt.

Not only will food bars be nutritious for you and your family in an emergency, but they will also taste great! They are very light-weight and small, which makes for easy transportation when you need to be on the move. I am very grateful to my parents for thinking of our emergency survival. Food bars will be something we buy more of in the future. Whether you store them in your 72 hour kit, in your car, or in your office, they will bring peace of mind if an emergency should strike.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Recession and Stimulus Checks

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Recession and Stimulus Checks

The news seems to be full of doom and gloom when it comes to financial matters. Headlines scream about possible recession, the mortgage crisis, and whether or not attempts by the government to avoid a recession will work. I am not a financial guru, so I am not sure about how stimulus checks will impact the economy.

But I do know how the stimulus checks will affect me personally. My husband and I sat down several months ago as the new year approached and laid out a financial plan for our family that included paying off credit cards, paying off our car loan, building up an emergency fund, and beefing up our food storage. While we have been very fortunate to keep this plan in place in spite of the bad news about the economy, we have also realized that money in the bank does not equal food in our fridge.

I have seen news reports about the skyrocketing price of wheat and rice as well as the never ending climb of gas prices. We have seen less money in our pockets as a result. But we have also realized what is truly important. We don’t need to see another movie, but I do feel that having a year’s supply of food is essential.

As an insider to the food storage and emergency preparedness industry, I have also come to see that just because we want something doesn’t mean it is available. While The Ready Store usually ships orders in 2-3 days, we are seeing that due to increased demand as well as conditions on a global level, we are seeing up to a 2 week delay on shipping of some of our freeze-dried items. This is a lesson that things may not always be available when we want and need them. That is why it is essential to prepared ahead and be ready before an emergency strikes.

So, my advice is get your priorities in order. If you have $600 from the government burning a hole in your pocket, use it to prepare yourself and your loved ones. We live in turbulent times and I truly believe that we need to make preparations now to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Infant Kits

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Infant Kits

One of the questions I am often asked is, “What should I put in an infant 72-hour kit?” Babies have very specific nutritional needs and their kits should be custom-designed for them. So, here are the basics of what should be in every baby 72 hour kit:




Jarred baby food and snacks

Disposable diapers


Change of clothing


Infant medication

Sling for carrying baby

Diaper rash ointment

Soap for bathing and laundry



Contact Info

Favorite things: book, toy, blanket

I know that there are lots of moms out there who nurse their babies who are thinking, “I don’t need to have formula if I am breastfeeding.” That may be true, but I am a big believer in preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. What if you didn’t have enough to drink and were unable to produce enough milk? What if you were separated from your baby? By having water, formula, and bottles on hand, you can know that the nutritional needs of your baby will be met.

I know that there are also people out there who use cloth diapers. So, why do I recommend disposables? In emergency situations, you are dealing with limited time and resources. While I think it is a good idea to keep some cloth diapers in your kit, there is no guarantee that you will have a place to store, wash, and dry cloth diapers. Plan to keep a minimum of 3 days worth of disposables in your infant kit.

I also like to keep an infant fever reducer in my infant kit in case my child is teething or fighting a fever. A sling can be helpful if you are required to carry your baby and nare unable to use a stroller. A sling can be a lifesaver for your back and arms. It is also important to consider the emotional needs of your baby. Does she sleep with a stuffed animal or read a certain book before naptime? By providing your baby with comfort items, you can make a difficult experience much easier to deal with.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Emergency Water

Originally Posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Emergency Water

Water is an essential part to your emergency preparedness. Water can also be pretty heavy. One gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, so a 5 gallon water container is going to weigh 40 lbs. That is probably the most weight I feel comfortable carrying and I probably wouldn’t get very far with that.

But don’t just think about how you would carry all that weight. You might be forced to evacuate, but be able to take your car. In that case, you can load up a bunch of water if you already have it stored. I love the 5 gallon stackable water containers for this purpose. You might be forced to evacuate on foot, but think in terms of a modern-day handcart and use strollers, wagons, garden carts, or even wheelbarrows to transport your water.

Don’t just think about carrying water, think about carrying a weigh to purify water like an MSR miniworks water filter or aqua purification tablets. They are both lightweight and take up little room, but allow you access to clean, drinking water whenever you need it. Water is one of the most important parts of emergency preparedness and can be done without breaking your back if you take the time to think things through and formulate a plan.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SIRQ - Self-Imposed Reverse Quarantine (Part 2)

Originally Posted on The ReadyStore Blog


SIRQ - Self-Imposed Reverse Quarantine (Part 2)

Yesterday we talked about how a pandemic flu would necessitate a self-imposed reverse quarantine, or SIRQ. So, how do you prepare for something like this? You can take simple steps to make your family better prepared. Talk to your employer about what steps the company has in place if a pandemic flu occurred. Are you able to work from home and telecommute? Talk to your city about their plan for maintaining services like garbage pick-up, water, and sewer during a pandemic. By finding out the answers to questions now, you will be better prepared and may help your city develop a plan to deal with the repercussions of a pandemic.

Think about the basics your family needs to survive: clean, drinking water, shelter, sanitation supplies, and food. Plan to have at least a 3 month supply of each of these things. Do you have a water filter to purify water? Do you have feminine hygiene products? Do you have diapers and wipes for your infant? Do you have at least a 90 day supply of food? If you have what you need in your home, you will not need to go outside and expose yourself to infection. You can also keep masks like the N95 and N100 on hand so that if you must venture out, you have the appropriate protection.

Essential items to help prevent the spread of disease like soap, rubber gloves, facial tissues, bleach, and disinfectants also should be a large part of your pandemic preparedness.

What if you have children and schools were closed for 6 months? Consider keeping age-appropriate workbooks around. If you don’t use them, they can become a summer study program. Have a variety of books on your bookshelf at home covering topics from science to social studies to history to fiction.

Part of surviving any kind of disaster is having the right mindset. If you have the peace of mind that comes from being prepared and knowing that you have done everything within your power to protect yourself and your loved ones, you are more likely to have a positive attitude even in the face of extreme adversity.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SIRQ - Self-Imposed Reverse Quarantine (Part 1)

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


SIRQ - Self-Imposed Reverse Quarantine

OK, so I wanted to talk a little bit about pandemic flu. The flu happens every year. Because some people have immunity to various strains of the flu, it doesn’t infect everyone. But a pandemic flu is a worldwide epidemic. Virtually no one in the world is immune to pandemic viruses, meaning that many more people become ill and die during a pandemic than during a yearly outbreak of the flu.

Pandemics occur about three times every century and we are due for one. Pandemics are a naturally occurring phenomenon and there is little we can do to prevent one. But we can take steps once we know a pandemic is out there to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

The way it will happen is that the CDC will make an announcement that pandemic flu has been confirmed in the United States. At this point, the flu is already out there. Estimates are that it took only a couple weeks for the Spanish flu of 1918 to spread across the country and we are obviously much more mobile that in 1918. Scientists cannot even predict how quickly a pandemic would spread.

Your best strategy for staying healthy is SIRQ which stands for self-imposed reverse quarantine. During a quarantine, ill people are separated from the healthy population, but in a reverse quarantine, the healthy are quarantined. The government may take action such as closing schools and church meetings as well as large public gatherings. Once the news is out that a pandemic flu is in the country, it is too late to go grab a few gallons of milk or run to the store to stock up on toilet paper. You need to be able to stay in your home with no contact with others for about 3 months.

Tomorrow we will focus on what we can do to prepare for a pandemic and the consequences of one.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fun with Food Storage!

Hey everyone! You don't want to miss this!

A BRAND NEW website with TONS of ideas for your Food Storage! Because they are brand new, they are having a PARTY and celebrating with TONS of giveaways! (Do I say TONS too many times?)

The website is Fun with Food Storage ( - don't miss this opportunity to first, get more food storage ideas AND to win some great prizes!

Family Communications Plan

Originally Posted on The ReadyStore Blog


Family Communications Plan

When I was a junior in high school, a natural disaster hit. Late one spring afternoon, I was at my school at the softball field. My softball team was having sliding practice since the field was so muddy and the weather was so overcast. All of a sudden the wind started whipping around so fiercely that large drums that we used as garbage cans tipped over and started blowing away. Debris stirred up everywhere and the air seemed to fill with dirt and dust. The sky turned dark and it started to rain. We all started running for our cars. My mom was supposed to pick me up about an hour later, but we all just ran to cars and left as quickly as we could. I jumped in the car with a teammate and we took off. As we passed the school, the air pressure that had built up resulted in the windows of the school exploding. Large tree limbs scattered the road and a horrific roaring seemed to be right on top of us. We had no idea what was happening, we just knew we needed to get as far away as fast as we could.

We later learned that a tornado had hit our city. We didn’t live in an area where tornadoes occurred very frequently and we were caught by surprise. I ended up going home with a friend, and didn’t know if my mom and sister were OK. A few hours later, we were all reunited since the phones were only out for a short time. Trees fell on houses and there was substantial property damage to some homes. We were lucky. It could have been much worse. We didn’t have an emergency plan in place and we could have been separated for days, not knowing where our loved ones were or if they were safe.

I have worked on an emergency plan with my family so that my kids know what to do in an emergency. If we need to evacuate our house (think house fire or gas leak) we meet at the park across the street from our home. If we have to evacuate our city, I am in charge of picking up our children from school and then meeting my husband at a local fast food place just off an interstate exit. We know that whatever may occur, we have a plan in place so that our family can be together.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Where Do I Start?

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


The 4 Step Paper Process

One of the questions I hear a lot is “Where do I start?” Think about starting your emergency preparedness and food storage on paper before you start buying things you don’t need or already have. There is a 4 step way to get prepared.

  1. Know where you are. What do you have and what do you need? Maybe you set up your emergency preparedness supplies when you were single and now you are married with 2 kids. Your needs change as your circumstances change.
  2. Decide what your priorities are. Do you want to be done and prepared as quickly as possible or do you want to prepare as you can afford it? Do you have a pet, an infant, or special medical needs? Your individual needs and priorities will shape your preparedness program.
  3. Establish a budget. Work food storage and emergency preparedness into your monthly budget. Set aside a specific amount of money each month for freeze-dried food, sanitation supplies, battery-operated lantern, or water containers. By establishing a budget, you create a path to making your preparedness a reality.
  4. Keep a record. Some of us may think emergency preparedness is important, but when our products arrive, we put the boxes in the basement and forget about it. You need to keep track of what you have and what you receive so that you can know where you are still lacking.

By taking a few minutes to do this 4 step paper system, you can rest assured that you are getting what you need to prepare yourself and your family members and making every dollar count for what you truly need.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Are You Prepared?

Another article from The ReadyStore Blog.


Are You Prepared?

If your city’s alarm system went off right now, warning you of immediate danger and requiring the evacuation of your family, would you be ready? If you haven’t thought about that, maybe it’s time that you do. In today’s world there are so many disasters that could strike in a moment’s notice. From natural disasters to a terrorist attack, we should be ready to protect our families by being prepared for these emergencies.

In an immediate emergency, what do you need to survive? Experts tell us that we should have a “Go-bag” or “72-Hour Kit” ready for each member of our family in case of emergency. Something we can take with us right at the moment, that’s packed with essentials and ready to go. It’s a great idea to set aside a backpack for each member of your family for this purpose.

There are many different options with regards to what to put in your go-bags. These are some of the basics. First of all, make sure each family member has an I.D. tag in their bag. You would also want to have a card listing their allergies (medication, food, stings) and copies of your insurance cards. If you have members of your family who wear glasses, try to have a back up pair in the bag. Emergency cash, in fairly small quantities is good; especially quarters for phone calls.

Also in each bag you should include: A flashlight, extra batteries, a whistle, a pocket knife, a local map, a permanent marker and paper, a bit of twine, list of emergency phone numbers, toothbrush and toothpaste, an extra key to your home and vehicle, and some basic food and water. You can purchase food bars that have 2400-3600 calories per bar. They have a shelf-life of 5 years, and are specifically formulated to not cause thirst when eating them. A smart way to pack water easily is to purchase water pouches. They also have a 5 year shelf life, and you can pack one per meal. They are 4.227 ounces of water each, which is exactly the amount the Red Cross recommends you should drink per meal in an emergency.

Don’t forget to put your go-bags in an easily accessible location. Do not hide them away under all the other junk in your garage. Make sure each family member knows where they are stored, and knows what is inside of them. Go over a family emergency plan. Pick a location to meet at in case you are not all together when the emergency first occurs. There are many other things you can do to prepare your family for an emergency, but this is a great start to help give you peace of mind in these turbulent times.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How Do I Keep My Family Warm?

The blog at The ReadyStore is down, but there was some great information that I wanted to pass on to you, so I'm going to repeat it here.

How Do I Keep My Family Warm?

Last winter we had quite a few major wind/snow storms. The winds reached 85 miles per hour one night! It was a bit frightening to sit in a quite home in the middle of the night, hoping a tree wouldn’t crash into our window. In the morning that followed, that major storm was over in our town, but across the state, it was still raging. People were losing power where the wind storms had caused massive rolling blackouts. It got me wondering, how in the world are those people staying warm in the middle of winter with no heat? So I decided to do a little research on my own to protect my family from any such disasters.

First of all, dress warmly to conserve as much body heat as possible. If it is extremely cold, your bed is a good place to stay. Cover up with as many blankets as possible. Sleep with your family huddled together this way. You can also purchase space blankets that are very inexpensive and lightweight. They are made to keep heat trapped under them, and will help to keep your body temperature at a more normal level.

There are ways, other than electrical heating units, that can be used to warm your home. Safety is extremely important when trying to use alternative heating methods. You should not burn anything in your home larger than an average candle, unless you have good ventilation to the outside. Possibilities include fireplaces, camp stoves, a wood, gas or oil heater, or a gas run hot water heater.

The best way to stay warm in your home is to confine the heat source to one room. Make sure it is ventilated properly for the heat source you are using. Choose a room on the side of your house that won’t have a majority of the winds blowing on it, and a room with smaller windows. If you have a basement, the earth may act as insulation in the winter. Keep the doors to your heated room closed at all possible times. Cover the windows with heavy bedding to prevent drafts.

If you can’t stay warm in your house by following these suggestions, pack up and go! Find a shelter with a generator that can keep you safe. Don’t forget to take your 72-hour kits with you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Top Ten?

Do you like Top Ten lists? Here's a GREAT one created by Wendy DeWitt from Everything Under the Sun - make sure you check out her blog, she has information you don't want to miss!


Top 10 Reasons Why I Don't Have My Food Storage.

10. My neighbors have a TWO year supply! No, they don't. They don't have any food. Did you know that 85% of the members of the church don't have any food storage at all? If your idea of food storage is to eat someone else’s food………..this is a really bad plan.

9. I've paid tithing for 20 years...the church can give me a little food. Many members believe that when the times get hard, the church is going to come through like Joseph in Egypt. Absolutely not true. All the church storehouses and welfare farms across the country would only feed 4% of the members of the church. The church has been asking YOU to store food for 75 years. They're NOT storing food for you. Thus, another bad plan.

8. I'm moving in with my children / parents! Really....that’s just a bad plan all by itself. But it points out that most members don't have a year's supply because they're PLANNING on eating someone else's food! Of course, since no one HAS any food, we have yet another bad plan.

7. I have a year's supply...and the bullets to go with it! I've heard time and again, "How dumb is that to go to all the time and expense of getting food...just to have some guy with a gun come and shoot my family to take it away?" Here's a better question. Are you afraid of the guy with the gun? Or are you more afraid of BECOMING the guy with the gun? What would you do if your children were starving to death? Would you lie? Cheat? Steal? Would you shoot your neighbor for his food? I guarantee....if you were watching your child starving to death, you would do anything you had to to keep them alive. If you don't have your year's supply, you are putting yourself in danger of losing not only your temporal salvation, but your spiritual salvation as well.

So far, all the reasons we don't have our food storage involve eating someone else's food. Please, don't put your family's temporal salvation in other people's hands. No one is storing food for you. Not your neighbors, not the government...not even the church.

#6. The boat and the 4 wheelers are taking up all my storage space! (priorities!)

#5. 3 letters....Y2K. Ok, that's 2 letters and a number....but they're always making way too much out of everything! This is never going to happen!” (Every prophecy that has ever been given WILL happen.)

#4. If anything DOES happen, the government will be here within hours! (insert laughter) Did you know the government has been telling us that we need to have food storage? They're actually CALLING it food storage! We now have the government telling us to store food, water, medicines...whatever we will need to be able to stay in our homes for several months.

#3. I can't afford scrap booking AND food storage. The average food storage can cost as little as a dollar a day. We live in the richest society in the history of the world, and while there are cases where money may be a problem, most of the time it is a matter of priorities. We have chosen bigger homes, nicer cars, more tv's, computers, vacations ...everything is more important than our food storage. If I asked, "Who has a cell phone?" most of you would say yes. You pay at least $30 a month to have a cell phone....that's about a dollar a day...the cost of one year's supply of food for your child. Is your cell phone really more important than your child's temporal salvation? You have to make food storage a priority.

2. I'm waiting for the cannery to sell Papa John's dehydrated pizza! Food storage has always had a stigma attached to it. If it's not wheat, beans and powdered milk, it's not food storage. With the system I use, food storage can be sweet and sour chicken, tamale pie, chile and cornbread, beef stew, shepherd's pie, minestrone...even chocolate chip cookies! Your imagination (and your pocketbook) are the only limitations you have.

And the #1 reason why I don't have my year's supply of food? A year?? I thought it was 72 hours!!

You KNOW you should have your food storage. You WANT to have it, but it can be so overwhelming! How much do I buy? Where do I store it? How do I cook it? It seems like an impossible task.... but it's not. It doesn't matter if you use my system or just start buying extra food, the important thing is to do something. Good luck in your efforts!

Make it a Reality!

This article was originally posted on The ReadyStore's blog - it's an important one today as we all set goals for the coming year.


Make it a Reality!

Many of us work on our emergency preparedness and food storage a little at a time. A first aid kit here, some freeze-dried fruit there. But often we fail to properly inventory and track what we have and we often fail to think about how much food we really need and set a goal with a due date. So, I guess my challenge to everyone is to first, truly assess what you have and what you still need. Do you have a dozen flashlights, but are missing essential sanitation supplies like a portable potty lid with chemicals and bags? Do you have a 72 hour kit, but need to put one in your car? Do you have MREs for your 72-hour kit, but are lacking in longer term food storage? So now that you know what you have, you can better determine what you need.

My second challenge is to set a goal. If you are just now starting, set a date to have your 72-hour kits completed. Then when you have that done, turn your attention to having a 2 week supply of water. Finished with that? Look at the needs of your family. Do you need to stock up on freeze-dried fruit or do you have a bunch of dinner choices, but no breakfast options stored? Set a goal and stick to it. We often think that food storage is a good idea, but how often do we make it a priority and say, “I will have a year supply of food by June 30th?” We have to make it a goal, make it a priority, and then take steps to make it a reality.

We don’t know when a disaster like a flood or earthquake will hit or when a personal disaster such as a disability or job loss can strike, but we can take steps to prepare ourselves and our loved ones so that we can be ready for whatever may come our way.

Happy New Year! Let's Get Ready!

A new year means new focus, right? That's what I'm going to try to do here. I've slacked a bit (OK a LOT) on my product reviews and other things, so I'm going to keep up with it better. The changes in the world and the 'signs of the times' just create more urgency for me to prepare and to 'warn' others as I have been warned.

So here goes...on to a BRAND NEW YEAR!

Don't miss the post below about some great resources I've found over the past few months that give you far more info than I can!

FABULOUS Preparedness Resources/Blogs

I'll be adding these links to my side bar, but here's a little more info about each one:

All About Food Storage ( - Home storage and preparedness tips from a mom who was looking for a place that had comprehensive info, rather than just bits and pieces of preparedness information. She started her own site and she posts a lot of great things to think about.

Every Day Food Storage ( - This FABULOUS site contains all sorts of recipes tutorials and ideas for using your food storage! Are you worried that you'll be in an emergency situation and not know how to use the food you've stored? This is the place to go!

Everything Under the Sun ( - If you are looking for some information about how to set up a food storage system that works for your family, THIS IS THE PLACE!

Home Storage Skills ( - WOW, you'll find great tutorials to beef up your food storage skills at this site. Ever wondered how to can butter? You can find it here!

iPrepared ( - If you need motivation or even some ideas to get started, you'll find this and MUCH more here. Great site!

Let Us Prepare ( - OK, I have to plug this one because my sister is the one who writes it!

Safely Gathered In ( - I just ran across this site - it's great because the author gives almost daily ideas for small things you can do every day to become better prepared. Don't miss this one!

The Pantry Panel ( - A group of gals who collaborate with great info once again!

I'm sure that there will be TONS more that I'll run across. I'm definitely not an expert, but I can pass info on that I find - or at least send you to places that I think are important!

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