Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hopefully you're more prepared than not...

By now you have probably heard about the possibility of a flu pandemic, and Ernie over at Indiana Preppers has done a lot of work to compile a somewhat massive list of articles to read about it here.

Hopefully everyone has been putting some things together in preparation for emergencies/hard times/name your situation, and these things would help those who have done so immensely should there be circumstances that require everyone to stay at home. Some of my thoughts on this issue:

--I was telling my husband that if they declared a pandemic and told everyone to stay home, the first thing I would do would be to fill everything that I could with water. If everyone stays home, chances are that regular water services will be cut off. We have some water in storage, but nowhere near what we would need for 3 months worth, which is the general number that I've heard about how long a quarantine would last.

--Over at Colorado Preppers, there is an excellent post about Preparing for a Home's Power Outage. Hope we never have to use these pointers, but there's a lot to think about in case we do have a power outage.

--In particular for Idaho readers, and anyone who lives near an Albertson's that has this sale running, there are a couple of good prices on storage items if you want to run out and strengthen your supplies. As far as I know, you do have to have one of those oh-so-nifty Albertson's cards. Progresso soups, which last time I checked at the local national chainstore were $1.68 (hopefully I don't have them switched with Campbells dinner soups, which I think are currently going for $1.62) are $1.50 each if you buy 4. (It's one of those things where if you buy $10.00 worth at $2.50 each, you get $4.00 off at the register, making it 4 for $6.00, hence $1.50 each. Aughhh, I don't even like reading that....but it's a good deal, compared with current prices.

There are also some pretty good prices on cold cereal, which would come in handy for power outages.

--These are only some of the thoughts I have--I just hope people have already been preparing for something like this, and that this doesn't turn into a pandemic. Someone who is very emergency preparation minded sent an e-mail this morning, part of which I'm cutting and pasting here:

" Will this be a pandemic? Or is it just another hard flu? You will have to decide for yourself what this is at this point and whether or not you will quarantine yourself and your family before the government says to. Now is the time to keep up with the news and rely on prayer for guidance for your family.

At the very least this is a wake up call to have the recommended three month minimum supply of food, water, medicine and all necessities. If this becomes a pandemic we can expect to be quarantined for three months. The government has been warning us for several years so most of you, hopefully, believed it and prepared. If not, get to the stores before the shelves are empty. Call your doctor NOW if you need a 90 day prescription refill and get it as soon as you can. It will never hurt to always be 90 days ahead on essential meds.

Please do not underestimate the time a disease will take to spread. With our methods of travel added to the ventilation systems in large confined areas and the number of times we go to malls, sports activities, etc., one person who was exposed a day ago could unknowingly begin the infection of thousands of people before really feeling sick him/herself.

What am I doing? I am taking my own advice and staying home the rest of the day and checking the news frequently. Am I panicking? No. I am watching and waiting, going about my usual routine and not doing anything differently than planning to not go out into crowds. I am regretting I didn't see this sooner because I did go shopping this morning and I would not have had I been aware of this article."

Get as prepared as you can while you can. Wishing everyone the best, and hoping that our food storage/emergency supplies will not be needed until another day, if ever....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You can't believe everything you read or, Is this really happening?

Yet another entry from the e-mail files. Received an e-mail today saying that the sender had received a message and wanting to know if anyone in their e-mail realm could verify it or not. Can you? Here is the message, minus the added personal commentary, plus the extremely limited editing, and compliments of copy and paste:

"I just don't know how true this is - it sounds really wackky. So will have to see what is up.

I had a conversation last night with a family member who lives in north central Missouri out in farm country. We were discussing the signs of the times and he told me something that made my blood run cold! His friend/neighbor works for an agricultural supply company that furnishes fertilizer, pesticides, and the next season's crop seeds to most of the farmers throughout his region there in Missouri.

According to his friend, business at his company should be going full throttle right now, they'll do 80% of their business in a four month time frame. But right now, their business is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD! When the orders didn't start coming in at the end of Feb. like they usually do in years past, the company called the farmers to see when they were going to start ordering. They got the same answer from almost everyone, THEY WOULDN'T BE PLANTING THIS YEAR!

The agricultural supply company's business IS DOWN 85% over the same time last year, the farmers can't get credit from the banks to buy their seed and supplies for the beginning of the growing season. If this problem is typical across the country then the horse manure will be hitting the fan THIS YEAR. I'd like to get a sense of what's going on in other parts of the country and see if this credit problem is regional or national in scope. I'm hoping members of the forum can check in their local areas to see what's happening.

My relative's friend said that there is typically a 6-8 week lag time between ordering these supplies then getting them in and then out to the farmers. If the credit backup broke loose tomorrow, they could still get most of the supplies in and out to the farmers by the end of the planting season. But if the problem persists for another 30 days or more then forget it. This season will be toast as far as the food supply is concerned.

With all the talk in recent months about drought, floods, cold weather, wheat rust, false smut, and the like, I never considered the fact that perhaps the single biggest threat to our food supply would be the lack of credit!

I posed this on another thread a few days ago. Add to this the current world food storage supply which has been severely depleted and we are talking disaster here. The writing is on the wall. If building up your food storage is not your primary goal this year, then you are just plain nuts.

One of my best friends tells me of another of her friends- they own and supply about half of the dairy to the Las Vegas area.The Government is forcing them to sell their milk at a certain price which does not cover their expenses. They are about bankrupt. When they finally do go bankrupt the Government plans on taking over their business."

End of e-mail.

I asked the person who sent it to me if I could post this on this blog, and the first reaction they had was to wait until we found out if it was true or not. I said maybe someone in this national network knows if this is true, so it was agreed that I could post it. Anyone know what the status is with farming this year? I know that farming is down--I've posted about the decrease on my other blog. This, however, if true, is a decrease on a much larger scale.

Then there is the classic "friend of a friend" or "friend of a relative" thing going on. I'm always suspicious of reports where it's someone's best friend's uncle's mechanic's friend of a friend or something vague like that. Hard to know if it's true or not, because it could just be an attempt to respect someone's anonymity.

Not trying to perpetuate rumors, just trying to find out what is really going on. I actually checked out before writing this post, but there was nothing there, at least under what I entered as the main ideas. Things can be scary enough without exaggerating an already difficult situation. If someone has the facts, I would appreciate the input....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A (really, really) brief update

Well, I sent off a thank you e-mail to Senator Risch.

However, when I tried to send a thank you e-mail to Congressman Chet Edwards, I was unable to do so because his website only accepts e-mail from Texas, and I had no Texas zipcode to enter.

No Texas zipcode=no e-mailing for you.

I am still grateful that he had legislation ready to protect the military benefits. Hope someone (or everyone :) who does have a Texas zipcode tells him thank you for me....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Remember making some noise? Thank you.

Had to share this excerpt from a letter I received from Senator Risch today (I hope he doesn't mind me quoting from it):

"When President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2010 Budget in February, one of his revenue-raising proposals aimed to restructure Tricare For Life (TFL). Right now, TFL allows military retirees to receive health care at no cost to them for life. The President's proposal would have initiated a TFL cost-sharing arrangement in which military retirees over 65 would be forced to pay for large portions of their health care.

In response, Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas introduced H.R. 816. After a constructive dialogue with Congress, President Obama decided to drop his budget proposal to restructure TFL. Therefore, at this time, H.R. 816 is not necessary. Should this issue arise again and come before the United States Senate, I will be sure to take your thoughts into consideration."

So, for now, there is no plan to increase out of pocket health care expenses for the military, an issue I wrote about in this post. My sincere thanks to Senator Risch for letting me know about this, and to each of you who let your voices be heard--as I mentioned in my earlier post, this issue would affect those I know personally. And thanks as always to those who have served/are serving our country in the military--- I'm very glad that your healthcare benefits will remain unchanged.

Since I doubt they read my blog, I now need to e-mail thank yous to Senator Risch, and Congressman Chet Edwards, who, according to this article, introduced the above-mentioned H.R. 816, entitled "Military Retirees' Healthcare Protection Act." Glad it was there if it had been necessary.

Hope this never becomes an issue again, but if it does, we'll just have to make some more noise in an effort to support our military. Thanks again to those of you who contacted your representatives and/or others....for the military, it's a show of support. No increase in out-of- pocket healthcare costs is an important promise kept.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Personal Responsibility trumps this...

Got an e-mail recently--thanks to friends who send e-mails--entitled "Socialism made simple." Although this does apply to socialism, I have been thinking about how it applies to our emergency preparedness mindset, and how our views on personal responsibility will affect how well any/all of us will make it through an emergency. Said e-mail, with limited editing by yours truly:

Socialism made simple

Don't know if this is true or not, but it's an interesting teaching process and a point well made.

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism..

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little..The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great,the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away; no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that....

So, what does this have to do with emergency preparation? I worry that some people think that there will always be someone else to meet their needs in an emergency,that there are those-- like the students in the story who studied hard for the first test---will have worked hard enough on emergency preparations that they will have enough to carry everyone else through whatever emergency comes along. Even if that were true, it would only last through a first emergency, if that, just like such benefits only existed for the first test in the story. I also think, that like those hard workers in the story, those who had to carry everyone else wouldn't appreciate having to do so.

Then, there is the fact that even if someone else has the supplies that you need in an emergency, they may not be able to get them to you in a timely fashion. If you think of any of the huge disasters that have happened in recent years, you may find that relief may have come, but for many it was not immediate relief. If you have even a little to tide you over until relief comes, it may make a huge difference when you are dealing with an emergency. That's one reason why even if you can only afford a little bit at a time when it comes to emergency supplies, every little bit helps...

Um, yeah, this isn't a political blog--but I thought the connection between the ideas presented in the e-mail and ideas about emergency preparation might illustrate how important it is for each of us to get prepared individually--here's hoping. And the greatest part about it is that we still have some time to "study" and all get A's, or at least a much higher grade than an F, if we work on our preparations.....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For any tax procrastinators...

I don't know what is going on in your area, but in our area, there will be no late night postal service tomorrow for those who put off doing their taxes until the last possible minute. (Um, yeah, been there, done that, or at least very close to last minute---but not this year.....) If you are planning on working on your taxes late into the night and then dropping them off, please make sure that your particular post office will take care of mailing them on time for you.

No one likes late penalties, and it really surprised me when I found out that the post office wouldn't be opened late. Better to be surprised early than to find out at 11:45 pm that you're the only one outside the post office...

Monday, April 13, 2009

SE Idaho: Ucon Preparedness Fair

Found out this information:

Area Community Preparedness Fair
Saturday, 18 April 2009
10:00 am-4:30 pm
Ucon Elementary School
(108471 North 41st East)

From what I read, there will be mini-classes, demonstrations, displays, and food samples.
Free admission--Public Invited, all adults in our community encouraged to attend.

There is a lot of information on this sheet--wish I could just upload it here, but there are notations around the side: survival skills, how to store & use wheat, emotional preparedness, dehydrating fruits, vegetables & herbs, gardening.

There is a lot more information--if anyone is interested in more details, let me know!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Being an aggressive prepper is ok, though...

Just a head's up on something that I found out about this morning, and promptly went to find an internet source about so that you can see it for yourselves. No one should ever be an aggressive driver, anyway, but according to this article, a campaign running from April 10 (yeah, starting tomorrow)-April 19 will target aggressive drivers. Also mentioned in the article is the fact that the aggressive driving citations start at $75.

Wouldn't you rather have that $75 (+) for emergency preparations? And when I say that being an aggressive prepper is ok, I mean that it's ok to prepare with zest and zeal, vim and vigor, and a positive "let's-get-it-done!" attitude, not cut people off in the grocery aisle, or something like that. Just so we're clear on that..... :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hunters might like this one...

I don't hunt, but still got a kick out of the quote below, which was sent to me in an e-mail as a picture of a newspaper with the quote marked:

"To all you hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you; you ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed."

Hunting and gathering information in this person's case might be in order. I know I'm always looking for more... :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Always good to have a reason

Thinking about it, I guess my last post could be questioned in terms of how it actually relates to emergency preparedness---isn't just a matter of me asking people to make their voices heard on yet more legislation that I don't like? Kind of--I don't like it, and I am asking people to speak up--but that is not the entire reason that I wrote the post.

I've heard things along the lines of, "you can only keep what you can defend" when there are discussions of what might happen if a situation arose where the only resources available were what people had put away in terms of food/water/supplies storage. This post on PreparednessPro provides a lot of food for thought on the need to be prepared when it comes to defense. It's unfortunate but true that there may come a time when we have to defend either our storage, or ourselves/our family/loved ones. Legislation along the lines that I wrote about could inhibit our abilities to do so (or even hunt for food to sustain ourselves) by prohibitive costs or other restrictions that directly affect our ability to prepare ourselves for emergencies. That, and I love the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution, and don't want them messed with. At all.

Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. I just hope that we all will do what we can to make sure that our ability to prepare for the worst is not hampered in any way, including making our voices heard.