Friday, February 27, 2009

If you are just starting...

I am going to take this opportunity to freely steal from my own blog, and list here the amounts of long-term food storage recommended for one person for a year. I had to do some figuring, as noted in this post at Food Storage...A Necessary Adventure, and am combining the information from several posts from that month here for your convenience, so you can have it all in one post. If it's old news, you may want to skip this part... :):

Group 1: Grains
Wheat 153 lbs
Enriched white flour 16 lbs
Corn meal 28 lbs
Rolled oats 40 lbs
Enriched white rice 68 lbs
Pearled barley 4 lbs
spaghetti or macaroni 34 lbs

Group 2
Dry beans 45 lbs
Dry lima beans 2 lbs
Dry soy beans 2 lbs
Dry split peas 2 lbs
Dry lentils 2 lbs
Dry soup mix 7 lbs

Group 3: Fats and Oils
Cooking oil 5 q.
Shortening 2 q.
Mayonnaise 1 q.
Salad dressing 1 q.(mayonnaise type)
Peanut butter 1 q.

Group 4: Milk group
Nonfat dry milk 14 lb.
Evaporated milk 12 12 oz cans

Group 5: Sugars
Granulated sugar 40 lb.
Brown sugar 3 lb.
Molasses 1 lb.
Honey 3 lb.
Corn syrup 3 lb.
Jams or preserves 5 lb.
Powdered fruit drink 6 lb.
Flavored gelatin 1 lb.

Group 6: Miscellaneous
Salt 8 lb.
Dry yeast .5 lb.
Baking soda 1 lb.
Baking powder 1 lb.
Water 14 gal.

We originally got food storage information from Provident Living, which is an excellent source for even more information. I had a list figured for amounts for my family, and from my aforementioned post, this was how I arrived at the amounts:

It has been so long now that I can't remember if we counted our children as adults or not, but dividing the amount they told us for the various foods by the number of people listed, (and rounding up--wouldn't you always like to have more than less in an emergency situation?) at least what's below will give people an idea of what one person would need to have to survive for a year.

So, for those who are at a loss as to what/how much to store in terms of long-term storage, hopefully this will help. I'm still working on this, as well as a 3-month supply of foods that we normally eat, although I am trying to make meals using the long-term storage part of our normal meal schedule more and more often. Anything you get in that will last will come in handy sooner or later, so it's all a plus...

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's still cold outside...

Was pretty surprised (it's only February, after all ) that when I went shopping, there are winter things on clearance. I picked up a pair of children's mittens that won't probably won't be used for a couple of years, but they only cost somewhere around $1.50. Into the storage they go. Also into the storage? Found a pair of boots for a child in the next size up (so hopefully they will fit) for next year for $5.00. Hope I find more deals like these--planning ahead with good deals is one way to avoid financial emergencies... :)

DaggerD left a comment on my post about obtaining emergency supplies (check there for the full content of the comment), and thus I am able to add a new Idaho blog to my blog list--Idaho Survival Homesteading. DaggerD suggests Azure Standard as a supply source and notes that their delivery rates are good.

Hope you check out the clearance sales, the blog, and the company, and find something you need---gotta love getting a good deal and more information....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What have you noticed?

I ask the question that is the blog title because some things that are happening that might lead to more people needing their emergency supplies (of which they hopefully have many) are happening around our state.

Personally, sometime recently I went out to a store that used to be opened until 10:00 PM to see what their prices were on a needed purchase. I arrived to find an empty parking lot, and found upon driving past the front of the store that they are now only open until 9:00 PM. Since I don't make such trips often, that isn't that big of a deal to me, but it probably has a pretty negative cumulative effect on someone's paycheck who hypothetically could lose 5-6 hours a week off their paycheck if that used to be their shift. Even (or especially) at minimum wage, that kind of cut would hurt...

In the news, there are other things to consider, such as:

--In this article, we can read about how more families are struggling, leading to more children needing assistance in the form of school meals. This quote, found in the article,

“There are still a good number of families we know that are either trying to push by or are too proud,” said Doug Wordell, director of nutrition services for Spokane schools. “There are a lot of barriers, pride issues, economic and social pressures that are keeping families from participating.”

leaves out one option that may be in play if people aren't participating but appear to be struggling. The families to which the quote refers could quite possibly be using their food storage or emergency supplies which they had put aside in order to continue to provide for their families. If this is the case, I don't call such families proud. I call them responsible and wise for having had the foresight to put something aside for hard times. It is impossible to know, of course, but non-participation doesn't mean that the motivation for not participating is a negative one.

--In the "do you want the good news or the bad news first" category, there is this article, which discusses a food drive that went better than expected. (OK, I made an executive decision to tell you the good news first... :) Some of the bad news can be found in this paragraph:

"Area food banks estimate that 25,000 people within the four-state region of Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Oregon seek assistance each week. Compounding this year's 30% increase in demand for food is a 38% drop in donations from corporate food producers who are increasingly clearing out merchandise through dollar stores and discount outlets. The campaign this year was critical because it increased post holiday contributions, which traditionally decline in January and February while food bank demands remain high."

Wish that food bank demands didn't remain so high. And that it was only necessary this year. However, according to the article:

"In a perfect world, we'd only have to do this once," said Tom Harris, "but we're already gearing up for next year's campaign. We may even need to bring in a CAT 773 to carry all of the donations."

In a nutshell: Good news = lots of donations. Bad news = lots of need, with a forecast that the need will continue.

---Newspapers are hurting big time, from what I understand, and just one example of cutting down on newspaper production/ delivery that I have heard of can be found in this article. While,

"For now, editors say they do not anticipate lay-offs in the newsroom",

I can only surmise that hours and thus wages will be cut significantly for many people involved. I have noticed in the local paper that there are hardly any job listings, and the paper has gotten thinner and thinner as time has gone on.

So what have you noticed that could increase the need for emergency food storage and supplies? I heard, rather than saw, a person mention on the TV, I believe, that his job was secure. Don't know what that job was, but losing employment is only one incidence in which someone might need to use emergency provisions. Having been to the store lately and seen prices that are getting higher, I can think of at least one more reason that I'm glad that I have already started to get some food storage in. Always trying to improve the supplies, and finding more reasons to do so all the time, unfortunately...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Have you ever heard of the Baltic Dry Index?

Once again, I turn to my e-mail inbox for more information, this time about the Baltic Dry Index. Using the wonders of cut and paste, I present for your consideration an e-mail I received via five other people about this index, and the news, if accurate, is not good. Since the author, a Mr. Dan Mullen, a gentleman that I do not know, provided links for further information, I leave it to you to decide if it's something to worry about. It truly sounds pretty dire to me, though I don't claim to understand everything in the articles, some of which are more recent than others. I hope you are already preparing in terms of food storage and other emergency supplies, but if not, this may give you the motivation you need. I am titling it what was in the subject headline of Mr. Mullen's e-mail, and providing said links under the title of the article rather than just the website link, which is how I originally received it. Because, as Mr. Mullen states in his e-mail, he has " been e-mailing everyone I can think of ", I hope that he doesn't mind that I am reproducing it in this forum, and that I had to work with the format after cutting and pasting it.

Thus, and at long last, a look at the BDI:

Shortages On Store Shelves Next 12 months/new links
Dan Mullen
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is an indicator of how much product is actually out for delivery throughout the world. It cannot be cheated or manipulated because it deals with actual products that are either actively being shipped, or are on docks awaiting to be shipped as Freight On Board (FOB). Back in June, 2008 the BDI stood at a reasonably healthy 11,600. As of today, the BDI has plummeted to 791. That's about a 94% drop in goods actually being shipped worldwide.
This portends unprecedented disaster around the world, especially as it relates to food. Products are simply not being shipped. They aren't being shipped because there aren't any orders for them. This will translate into massive, unprecedented unemployment worldwide and, as things get worse, massive food shortages.
I have urgently asked each member of my family to stock up on dry foods like 50 lb bags of rice, 50 lb bags of oatmeal, beans, powdered milk, canned foods, canned vegetables and such to assure your family will have enough to eat when the world economy totally collapses. Many of my acquaintances laughed me off as some sort of kook for making those suggestions, with some of my friends going so far as to call me "chicken little, the sky is falling." Well, it appears I'm having the last laugh.
I correctly forecast the economic meltdown which took place in September. For over a year prior to that meltdown, I warned it was coming and, in March of 2008, I actually pinpointed the month the meltdown would take place, warning you it would happen in ( with help from LADP77) September. It did. Now I am once again warning you about food shortages because the facts are irrefutable. The BDI proves that goods are not being shipped.
There has been a 94% reduction in shipped goods since Dec. of last year and it is only going to get worse. If you do not have food stored up for your family, you will starve to death. If you do not own guns and ammunition, any food you DO have will be stolen by roving bands of savages who are trying not to starve to death.
The social breakdown that is coming is unparalleled in modern history. We are going to suffer on an order of magnitude greater than folks suffered during the Great Depression. Please, I urge you, prepare. There are only a few precious months left before it all goes to h---. So, as I said, I have been e-mailing everyone I can think of and here's a very interesting email I received back from a friend tonight. He's a senior level electrical engineer for a large engineering and construction firm in Denver and designs and builds large power plants for a living. A mid-to high-level executive with a logistics/cargo firm. His company (as well as all other shipping companies) have seen huge dives in the amount of business they do. The main point that many people do not understand is that without trade between states and nations no one prospers!
___________Believe or don't, the choice is yours but at the very least I suggest you start doing the research on this subject or you may be starving in a few short months.
Here is the new link with the charted collapse of the BDI. Notice the lack of significant improvement since October 2008
More links to articles on the growing Trade collapse and world trade crisis. I urge every reader to read them all.
End of e-mail. It gives me something to think about. Maybe you already knew about this, but I didn't, and from what I understand about it, it's all the more reason to be prepared for hard times...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Excellent article from an e-mail

I received the following article in an e-mail and wanted to share it--I don't know Jane M. Hawley, but I'm grateful that she took the time to write this article so that other people could benefit. When I cut and pasted it, the text came out squished together so I had to arrange the spacing--I hope the way it came out would not bother the author. Boy, do I still have a lot to do....and I'm glad to find that out now, rather than later. With thanks again to Jane M. Hawley, here is her excellent article:
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 travelerswere 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
Tornado...............................................Earthquake Hurricane...........................................Tsunami
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 anditems 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 supplyof 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, washrags, 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 glowsticks. 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?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A little of this, a little of that...

American Prepper sent another link for a local co-op that may be helpful to Idahoans in the South Central area of the state. Idaho's Bounty has many locally produced items that may be useful to you, including citrus products and duck eggs, so if you are interested, please check them out.

Found another Idaho blogger, Lonesome, at Sawtooth Survival. He already has a couple of interesting posts up, and I look forward to reading more.

I liked Carla's post, Surviving the Big Snow-In, over at Violet Lane. She gives a run-down of what worked well for her, which supplies she found most crucial, and what she plans to get in stock for an even better experience next time. (It sounded to me like she was pretty well-prepared.) A lot of it has to do with handling snowy conditions--applicable in a lot of places, really, but in Idaho, a must...

Gotta love learning from others--a big thank you for sharing your information, whether through blogs, links, or comments... :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gotta love the opportunity to buy locally...

American Prepper, over at American Preppers Network, sent a couple of links my way. He's from Naples, ID, and up in Northern Idaho they are putting together an internet market where you can support ID businesses and get some good supplies in store for yourself as well. Sounds like a win-win to me:

Six Rivers Market

From what I have read, they are a new operation, so if you want more information, check it out and check back regularly, because they have an information meeting coming up later this month, the details of which have yet to be announced. From what I saw, they have a great variety of products that will be available already listed. The ordering system will start in April, it looks like--so it's a brand-new, exciting opportunity for supplies that we can check out.

He and his wife are also personally involved, and you can check out her site:

Christine's Naples Farm

There are heirloom seeds (a must-have), eggs, and apparently chicks when available. I still need to find out if it's legal to raise chickens where I live (though I seriously doubt that it is). That would be a great resource to have, emergency or not.

True confessions--American Prepper just sent me a comment, and after I checked out the links I turned it into this post, so I hope that it works out for him the way that I have presented it. (If not, this post may mysteriously disappear... cue eery background music, etc. :) I agree with a phrase that was also in the comment:

"I would like to see fellow Idahoans get involved with organizations like this".

From reading what I have read on these links, (and I am going back to learn more) I hope that this whole enterprise takes off. Idahoans helping Idahoans, or wherever you are, Americans helping Americans, people helping people--it's all good, emergency situation or not.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What are your emergency supply sources?

If you are new to emergency preparation, or even if you are experienced at getting prepared, it is sometimes helpful to check out different businesses to see what is available and for how much when it comes to emergency supplies. (Seems like one can never underestimate the importance of how much, unfortunately... :) Here are some links that you may find helpful if you are looking for ways to stock up on your food storage or other emergency provisions:

Walton Feed (located right in Montepelier, ID--and with a red announcement across the top of the website currently that says that UPS orders are 4 weeks out)

Emergency Essentials (I have been in their store while visiting relatives in Utah, and have purchased some of their products.) What I like about their shipping is what I just found in their FAQs section, so it is current at this writing:

$0 to $60------ $6 S&H

$60.01 to $120---- $9 S&H

120.01 and above---- $12 S&H

The two above companies I have purchased products from, and the following I have found or heard about on the web and/or elsewhere, but have not yet had the pleasure of purchasing any of their products:

Shelf Reliance

Get Prepared Stuff

Where do you get your supplies? We have a store with an emergency preparedness section locally, and we have bought MREs at an Army Surplus Store as well. We were at a dollar store this past weekend and picked up some shampoo for storage. You can buy in bulk many places, and then put your food in storage-safe containers. At this point you have many options, but some are better than others, so it's good to know what the options are. I supply the links above so that you can have a starting point to work from---you might find some things that would make your life easier in an emergency situation that you never heard of before. Seems to happen to me often enough... :)

If you have a link that you would like to see on this website, send it in as a comment--it would be helpful if you added something about your experience with the products on the website, or put in a recipe of your own, or why you would pick a particular emergency heating source over another, etc. If you do send in something that would work as a post, I will publish it as a post rather than a comment, and give you credit.

An example of something that I bought from Emergency Essentials would be the usually not-mentioned-in-polite-company-yet-essential-emergency item called a portable toilet kit. I need to make sure that I actually did this--but the plan was to put a few boxes of trash bags for liners in the kit and then leave it very much alone. Just one of those things that you really hope that you never need to use. An emergency radio may be a source of entertainment outside an emergency, but this, not so much.... Just like with the shampoo, preparation is about more than just food, though food does usually take one of the highest slots in terms of priorities.

You never know who you might help by sharing your information--just because it's second nature to you, doesn't mean that it isn't breaking news to someone else....