Friday, November 30, 2012

ABY #23: Location, location, location

My 23rd ABY: An inventory of your emergency resources

If I could add anything to this, it would be: More resources? Yeah, that would do it... :)

Having an inventory of what you have and where you have stored it would make things a lot easier in the case of an emergency, and really, even while you are preparing and trying to make sure that you have everything that you would like to have stored in case of an emergency. This might also help in terms of rotating your emergency supplies so that the oldest supplies go out first...

Here's hoping you have a lot to inventory.... :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

ABY #22: And two makes a pair

My 22nd ABY: Dried beans

If I could add anything to this, it would be: You know what's coming....wait for it...... rice. Hence, with my 21st ABY, we have a pair.

As mentioned in my 21st ABY, when you put rice and beans together, you get a complete protein. I have to admit when I walked away from my post last night, I was wondering if I should have mentioned rice as an ABY, (additionally better prepared...) when I was labeling it as a basic supply. I think it works, because the BYs (better prepared) series on my other blog is a series of cans--things that you could eat as is (notice that I don't say anything like would love to eat) if you had to, and as long as you could manage to get the can open--no heat or preparation required. (You might highly desire additional water in some cases...)

Rice is a different story. So are dried beans. But, oh how lovely they can be when you have the means to prepare them and a recipe that the people that you are responsible for actually like to eat. The BYs are great, and if you have power, you can add many of them to rice, etc. But what if your emergency is not a short one? What if the emergency is that trucking is delayed/your roads are unpassable/ food is unavailable due to drought/food prices rise, and you have to make your supplies stretch/name your long term emergency here? Beans are a great staple--and when you buy them dry, and in bulk, as well as rice in bulk, you get a lot more for your money than when you buy canned beans, or flavored packets of rice. However, starting from scratch does take more fuel and more water, so you have to plan accordingly.

Here is a link to my post that lists some bean recipes that I love. I was unable to link to the first recipe, so if someone does make it work, let me know. I was able to link to the second and third recipe, so if you don't have any bean and rice recipes, this gives you a place to start.  I highly, highly, highly recommend that you print out a copy of any recipes you may use, just in case, say, one of the links you were depending on doesn't work...gotta love having an emergency notebook when you need it. :)

Yeah, and I figure that I should add some more rice and bean recipes myself. If you have any that take minimal ingredients (or not--the more items in storage, the more you have to work with, after all) and are pretty tasty, please share...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ABY 21: One o' the basics

My 21st ABY: Rice

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Wow, where to start? :) When you add it to beans, it makes a complete protein, but you can also add it to soups, put soup over it, make a casserole with it, etc. ... Yeah, you gotta love rice.

From what I understand, brown rice is better for you, but white rice stores longer. I'm always on the lookout for more rice and bean recipes, and any rice recipes that use storage-friendly ingredients. If you have any, feel free to share. :)  Gotta love variety, too...


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ABY #20: A logical step...

My 20th ABY: Seeds

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Details (in an emergency notebook/binder/file, perhaps?) on the best way/time/location to plant the seeds stored, which plants don't grow well next to each other (heard a story the other day about a cucumber-squash that emerged in one garden, if memory serves) and the like. Of course, many times some details are included on the back of seed packets, but I would rather have too much information than too little.. And, ideally, it would be better practice and have gardened before an emergency, but you do what you have to.

Oh, and non-hybrid seeds are preferred, although they can be difficult to find...


Monday, November 26, 2012

ABY #19: Planning for the freshest food possible

My 19th ABY: A gardening plan

If I could add anything to this, it would be: The knowledge and ability to improve the soil available to improve whatever crop is being cultivated.

Some people already have gardens, and some people have no room for a garden, so there are all types of situations. If you are one of those who don't have anywhere to put a garden, I am reminded of the idea that you can put potting soil in a bucket and grow something there. We do have a garden area, and save the leaves that blow hither and yon in our yard for compost.

Any additional ideas, especially on indoor gardening, or on improving a gardening situation, would be greatly appreciated... :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #18 for November 25

My 18th ABY: Spices

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Seasonings, flavorings, whatever you like that would add enjoyment to your food storage supply. It's really a personal matter of what you think tastes good--but it would help in an emergency to be able to eat something that you actually like the flavor of. Even if you only have basic supplies stored, being able to vary, say, the flavor of your bread, would help the situation...

Feel free to comment about any ideas you have for your ABYs... would love to hear them!

Blogging ahead: ABY #17 for November 24

My 17th ABY: Vitamins

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: A balanced food storage that would make it more likely that you were getting adequate nutrition in the first place. Pretty much speaks for itself, but in a case where you have people of different ages, nutritional needs, etc. depending on what you have stored, it would help to make sure that they and you are in a situation to be as healthy as possible...

Oh, and a little fresh produce from a home garden would be good too... :)

ABY #16: Water, water--oh, and did I mention water?

My 16th ABY: Water purification system

If I could add anything else to this, it would be:  Extra filters, extra water purification tablets, extra stored water that I know is already clean. Translation: More, more, more ways to make sure that available water is clean, and that there is plenty of drinking/cooking/cleaning water available...

You may recall that my first ABY was water. Can't underestimate the importance of water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation purposes. Just sayin'...

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #15 for November 22

My 14th ABY: Cookware that can withstand alternative cooking methods

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Knowledge on how to care for such cookware, plus utensils that wouldn't say, melt, after the first or second use over a firepit/grill/woodstove.

The first thing that comes to mind here is cast iron pans and the like. I need to do more research in this area, so any advice/knowledge/information that readers can provide would be appreciated. Otherwise I will share what I learn as I learn it...

As this is the post that corresponds with Thanksgiving Day, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! All the best to you and yours!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #14 for November 21

My 14th ABY: A map and a plan

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Reliable transportation with a full tank of fuel, and a good 72-hour kit for everyone involved

In some emergencies, like natural disasters,  you may be asked to evacuate. Would you be ready to go? Would you know where you are going? Would you know the easiest/fastest/safest way to get there? What if circumstances (washed out/snowed out/closed road, for example) make it necessary for you to take an alternate route? Hopefully it won't ever be necessary, but it may help to work out plans A-F or so to determine where you could go and/or who you could call if you had to evacuate. If you have to resort to plan E, you might find that a map could come in handy in terms of  reaching your destination...

I mentioned on my other blog why I am blogging ahead--since that series is focused on food, it might be nice to go into the sales next week with a few ideas of emergency canned food to purchase--gotta love when you can get what you are looking for for a lower price. This series has a different focus, but I would really like to keep them going at basically the same rate.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for the BY series, please add your comment--you never know who you might end up helping..

Blogging ahead: ABY #13 for November 20

My 13th ABY: Extra linens

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: A washboard, or some other type of device that would make washing clothes by hand easier.

In an emergency situation where the power has gone out and you need to do laundry before your situation improves, it would be helpful to have an extra set of linens to use while yours are hanging in your laundry room and/or drying somewhere in the fresh air. By linens, I mean towels and washclothes, and possibly a spare sheet set for any beds you may need to change, and which might be difficult to get your hands on in the middle of an emergency situation. Drying clothes without a dryer takes quite a while sometimes, and you never know in what season you may be in when you need to use that clothesline or clothes rack.

Just an idea--this is my series on being additionally better prepared, so this is not as urgent as some other issues. Being comfortable as possible during an emergency could make things more pleasant at the very least...

Blogging ahead: ABY #12 for November 19

My 12th ABY: Toilet paper

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Water for flushing if the power is out, wet wipes/hand sanitizer, and an emergency toilet (bucket with seat and some of those stored garbage bags from ABY #8) if there is no access to regular facilities.

There are other options (I've heard of using cloth, spray bottles, phone book pages, etc.) but hopefully in at least the immediate time following an emergency, you will not have to give up toilet paper if you have stored enough.

Yeah, unpleasant to think/talk/blog about, but a necessary item nonetheless--and if you have enough, you may be able to share with those who run out before help comes or your situation improves...

Blogging Ahead: ABY #11: Lightening up

My 11th ABY: Candles

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Flashlights, with plenty of batteries

Why would I put candles first? Well, I admit that everything I've listed so far is a light source, but it might be easier to find something to light candles with in an emergency than it would be to find new batteries for a flashlight if the emergency lasted for a lot longer than three days or so.

I have also received in the past an e-mail that suggested using the solar lights that you would normally put along your walkway for light in an emergency--apparently they could just be brought inside as a lighting source when it's dark, and then put out during the day, and thus used as a renewable light source. I don't have such lights, and have not tried this, but if it works, it is a brilliant idea. In more ways than one....

Anyway, I would want candles and flashlights at the very least--and a way to light the candles, of course... :)

ABY #10: Making life easier...

My 10th ABY: Disposable cutlery

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Dish soap for the regular cutlery when the disposable cutlery runs out...

I would store disposable cutlery and use it sparingly if possible during an emergency--it would come in really handy if the state of the water were in question, or if you had limited water supplies that you wanted to use solely for drinking/cooking. Hopefully any water issues would be taken care of, and then you could just wash your regular stuff, but it would be good to have clean and ready-to-go "silverware" at  your fingertips while you are waiting for clean water clearance...

Would love to hear anyone else's ABYs--hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

ABY #9: Continuation of a theme...

My 9th ABY: Gloves--for cleaning up messes and protecting your hands from germs, contamination, etc.

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Work gloves. The thin kind of gloves that you use for cleaning probably wouldn't last very long if you were trying to move debris and the like from your property. Even if your property isn't affected directly by a natural disaster, you might need such gloves to help others in need.

This ABY came to mind because of a post over at Prepared LDS Family, where there was the following video of an effort coordinated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy:


Also quoting the linked article at Prepared LDS Family, the efforts are for everyone:

'According to the creator, Joshua Brown, "thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to volunteer to assist in the recovery efforts within these communities. On Sunday, November 11th, thousands of Mormons cancelled their church services and arrived by air, bus and train from all across the country to help.

"Please share this video with any friends and family that might be able to help the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Not only at the Rockaways, but Staten Island, Long Island, and New Jersey. The church is coordinating the efforts, but anyone (both Mormon and non Mormon) is welcome to come and help." '

I really suggest that you go to the linked article, because under the video there are links to learn more about how to help. Really excellent post. Thanks, Prepared LDS Family!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ABY #8: Cleaning up...

My 8th ABY: Garbage bags

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Return of sanitation department pick-up as soon as possible? That would be extremely advantageous after an emergency situation. Since that is not really something that I can add, I will say for the record that I would add gloves.

Even if sanitation pick up is not disrupted after an emergency,you may find that you need any stored garbage bags you have for the protection/transportation/clean up of belongings before, during, or after an emergency.

Yeah, extra garbage bags could be helpful for a variety of reasons, and since they are useful in a non-emergency situation as well, it's a win-win... 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ABY #7: Being warm's good too...

My 7th ABY: Blankets, blankets, and more blankets

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Hand warmers--hopefully more than I would actually need, in case some of them were defective and didn't work.

I'm probably thinking about this because I live in Idaho, it is cold and snowed today. It would be pretty miserable if the heat went out and I had no alternative heat source, or my fuel for any such heat source ran out. To be warm is good--and if you don't need the blankets, during an emergency, chances are that somebody will...

Yeah, basic--but basic is good when you're in the middle of an emergency, and you have planned ahead for it. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, and all that.... :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ABY #6: Gotta love being clean...

My 6th ABY: Wet wipes and hand sanitizer

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: Bar soap. I remember reading in a book about World War II that regular soap was scarce and appreciated. Hopefully not going to have to deal with a situation like that, but for a longer term emergency when trucking was halted or the like after a disaster, a little soap would be nice to have.

 If there were enough clean water, I would use bar soap. If clean water were scarce to non-existent, wet wipes and hand sanitizer would at least improve the situation. You don't want to have stored nice clean food and/or water, and then have to eat it with dirty hands. Nice to have a few packs/bottles/bars on hand for an emergency...

Hope everyone is doing well with their ABYs!

Monday, November 12, 2012

ABY #5: Need to do some non-traditional cooking?

My fifth ABY: Aluminum foil

If I could add anything else to this, it would be: An alternative cooking device: grill, firepit, etc.

This post comes today because of my BY post over at my other blog--there are times when you could eat something cold that would really, really, really just be better-tasting cooked. Seems to me that canned ham (the BY listed today) would be one of them, although I'm just guessing really, since my experience with canned ham is, at best, limited. Thing is, if you have aluminum foil, you can do tinfoil dinners, along the lines of those listed here--if you have the food items available, of course. Where, in the linked article, it says serving of meat, you could use something like the above-mentioned canned ham, or perhaps Spam, or canned chicken. And it would be useful way to use up that bag of potatoes when the power is out...

Would love to hear any suggestions that you are using for your ABY--as well as how you plan to cook when the power is out...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

ABY #4: Sunday's on Saturday: Laundry stuff

My fourth ABY:  Laundry rack, and/or a clothesline and clothespins for doing laundry without power

Realistically, if you had to hang your clothes from a clothesline that you hung in your laundry room, you might be able to do ok without the clothespins for the larger clothes/laundry items, since you can just hang them over the line half on each side, but clothespins would sure come in handy for smaller items such as washclothes or socks. You don't need a big emergency to need some kind of line or rope and clothespins for laundry purposes--your dryer just has to go out when you need it. (Yeah, speaking from personal experience on this one, although it was a while ago.) Power outages have the same effect, though...

Haven't seen many clothespins around here lately, so it's probably time to invest in some (more?) of those...enjoy the rest of your weekend!

ABY #3: Medical (very very) basics

My third ABY: First aid kit

There are some ideas for a first aid kit here.  Another list is provided here. If you have other ideas that aren't included, please feel free to comment. It would be difficult, to say the least, to find that you needed something in an emergency situation that you could have easily acquired for your kit if you had only thought to include it beforehand...

Recently I got a sliver in my foot, (little monster went right through my sock) and I was definitely grateful that we had a needle with which my husband could extract it. The placement was such that it would have been a definite struggle for me to try to extract it myself, and it took awhile to get it out. So, I'm thinking I should be sure that there are a couple of needles in any first aid kit that I put together, as well as means to disinfect said needles.

I am also thinking that if you have medicine you need to take on a regular basis, you should try not to let your supply get too low, so that if  for some reason there is a delay in refilling it, you'll be able to wait out any unexpected supply interruptions (trucking/transportation supply problems, etc.) without a problem.

I'm also thinking that sunscreen would be a good addition to supplies--sunburn would be uncomfortable at best.

The usual disclaimer--I'm not an expert, and everyone is responsible for their own choices when it comes to this or any matter on this blog or my other blog--including making sure the supplies you get are stored safely and properly.

I'm thinking that thinking about first aid ahead of time might help people be better prepared in the case of an emergency....

What are you thinking? Hope everyone is doing well--best wishes with any ABYs you're doing!

Friday, November 9, 2012

ABY #2: Using (some of) the basics

My second ABY: Flour, oil, salt, water (so many reasons my first ABY was water...)

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Several recipes with variations on a theme so I could make different kinds of breads, plus having already learned how to do at least one variation before an emergency.

OK, series-long disclaimer here: I am going to be linking to recipes, ideas, etc. that are new to me in the course of this series. Since I am trying to do a post a day, there is no guarantee that I will have tried them before I post them, but they will be of the nature that I think that they would be handy, easy to do in an emergency, etc.

I have not yet tried the following linked recipe.

That said, this recipe for super easy survival bread looks pretty good, simple to make, and the author even gives you ideas on how to cook it if you have no power. Thanks, Be Survival!

One recipe that I have tried is this one for tortillas. Thanks, Happy Housewife!

The only problem that I would run into in making the tortillas is if I didn't have refrigeration (and/or butter), in which case I would have to substitute oil, which stores without refrigeration. Haven't tried to substitute oil in this case, so I don't know exactly how that would work out. Guess I have (more) work to do...

How about you? Any easy recipes using only flour, oil, salt, and water?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

ABY #1: This blog and the other...are you in?

On my other blog, I am posting a series on adding a can of food a day to storage between now and the first of the year. You can read more (and participate if you like) about it here. In brief, ABY is what I am using to refer to the phrase, "Additionally Better Prepared by the New Year", by using the first letters of the first two words and then the first letter the very last word of the phrase. On this blog, instead of focusing on canned goods, I plan to post daily between now and the end of the year (posts for Sunday will appear on Saturday or Monday) about ideas, recipes, additional items, etc. that I have found that will hopefully end up making me better prepared by the end of December.

My first ABY: Bottled water

If I could add anything to this, it would be: More water. Ok, I am kidding, but only kind of.  I think of all the difficulties that arise during emergencies, and having water to drink, cook with, and otherwise use would help with a lot of those problems. Storing water in clean soda pop bottles is an option if you don't want to buy the water already bottled. Pretty basic, but having water on hand can end up being crucial in an emergency.

So, a challenge...what would you like to learn, acquire, practice, before the end of the year that would make you "additionally better prepared"? I would love to hear if you would like to share. You don't have to have a blog to share--just leave a comment here or a link to your ABY post on your blog in the comments so that others can benefit.

So...are you in?