Monday, December 31, 2012

The final ABY: Here comes 2013!

My 53rd ABY: An emergency car kit

If I could add anything to this, it would be: An entire kit is pretty inclusive, so I would just say have a bag in your car that has what you need if find that you are away from home when an emergency strikes, and/or if you have to abandon your car and walk a while to get to your destination. Preferably, in this case, it would be a bag that you would be able to reasonably carry, and would at least have water in it... If it is a scenario where you would need to walk, and your normal footwear is not the best for walking, you might want to have a pair of walking shoes in your trunk just in case as well.

Well, my 53 ABYs were nowhere near inclusive, but they were a start. As always, feel free to leave comments with your ideas--what may seem obvious to you may not be obvious to others...

Happy New Year, and all the best wishes to you and yours for 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #52 for Dec. 30

My 52nd ABY: Small bills and change

If I could add anything to this, it would be: All my other preparation resources so I wouldn't need the small bills and change...

If the power goes out, and there are stores that are still open for business, it will be easier to buy things with cash than with a credit card, etc., and more ideal for everyone involved if you don't need anyone to make large amounts of change for you. And if the person you are purchasing things from doesn't have any change, you will overpay by much less if you are using smaller bills and/or change.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

ABY #51: Digging it...

My 51st ABY: A shovel (Or two. Or three.)

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Gloves to protect your hands while you are digging: whatever. Not whatever, as in it doesn't matter-- whatever, as in, there are may situations where a shovel might come in handy. Building a latrine, (let's hope not) digging a well, removing the debris from around your living area after a natural disaster, come to mind among others. I might also add a snow shovel, having used one recently myself. Ah, Idaho...

Anyone care to share something I haven't mentioned in this series? It has never been meant to be all-encompassing, it has just been to help people think about what they could do to be additionally better prepared before the end of this year... only 2 more ABYs left! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

A day off--numbers wise

When I started the ABY series, I figured I could write about 53 things to do to additionally better prepare before the end of the year. Turns out, by the 31st, there would have been 54 ABYs. I say "would have been" because I'm not doing an ABY today. If you have done an ABY today, then you now have Saturday off for the ABY series...

Of course, you could have taken it off anyway, and may have already planned to, since there is nothing binding you to the ABY series. May I suggest, however, that you add something to your food storage instead? Perhaps check out the BY series on my other blog, and think about some cans that you might want to add before the end of the year, or add to your water storage? Maybe throw in some extra powdered/canned milk in light of what might happen come the New Year? My vote is for the water storage idea--yeah, definitely the water storage additions, if possible...

In any case, please enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ABY #50: Keeping warm....

My 50th ABY:  Sleeping bags

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Pads to place under the sleeping bags, so you have insulation from the ground, if you end up using the sleeping bags in an outdoor situation. Yes, it matters...

I know I mentioned sleeping bags as an addition under ABY #33, (which was a tent) but if the power is out in winter in someplace as cold or colder than Idaho, a sleeping bag could be helpful inside as well....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ABY #49: Mint, fruity, whatever...

My 49th ABY: Toothpaste (flavors above, or other) and toothbrush(es)

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Clean water and some dental floss would be nice...We picked up some new toothbrushes and some small tubes of toothpaste for under $1.00 each at the store today--before tax.

Did you get anything that helps with emergency preparedness for Christmas? Did you give anything that helps with emergency preparedness for Christmas? Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

ABY #48: Blogging ahead for Christmas

My 48th ABY: List, in hand, on paper, of important addresses, phone numbers, important contact information that you would want to have in an emergency (Speed dial/electronics might not always be helpful in an emergency)

If I could add anything to this, it would be: A system agreed upon where there is one person outside your area that everyone can contact so that all the people in your group can find out information about anyone/everyone in your group by calling the contact person who would (hopefully) not be affected by your emergency.

Have a Merry Christmas, and all the best wishes to you and yours!

ABY #47: Liking the clean...

My 47th ABY: Cleaning supplies

If I could add anything to this, it would be: That's a hard question, since cleaning supplies are kind of all-encompassing. I didn't put particular supplies, since everyone has their personal preferences in this area. But cleaning supplies to clean whatever needs cleaning would be helpful. I'll leave it at that.

Snowing here, so it looks like it will be a white Christmas in our area!!! Be safe, everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #46 for Dec. 23

My 46th ABY: Powdered milk

If I could add anything to this, it would be: The proper equipment (cans or buckets) to keep it fresh for a long time, and the knowledge of how to use it for different purposes (buttermilk, etc.).

Yeah, not a long post, but it's a busy weekend, right? Hope it's a good one for everyone! :)

ABY #45: 72 hours, 3 days, it's all the same...

My 45th ABY: 72-hour kit for each member of the group for which you will be responsible

If I could add anything to this, it would be: This is a pretty big order, so I will leave it at that. Clothes, water, food, light, heat, etc. for 3 days is enough to keep anyone busy.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, December 21, 2012

ABY #44: Adding more flavor...

My 44th ABY: Seasoning mixes, i.e. gravy, ranch dressing, taco seasoning, etc.

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Knowledge on how to make these mixes from scratch, if I had to.

Some things that I consider mixes are not really typical mixes, or could be used for their original purpose, other than just as flavoring--like Italian dressing packets, and ranch dressing packets, etc. But I do use them in cooking, and would miss them if I did not have them.

What's your favorite kind of mix? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ABY #43: Protecting your feet

My 43rd ABY: Good sturdy shoes, and/or work/hiking boots

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Good socks, and the chance to wear the footwear of choice for awhile before the emergency situation so that they would be comfortable already.

You never know when you might have to evacuate on foot, or to a place that will make you wish that you had different shoes to wear. Even without evacuation, if the emergency at hand leaves a situation where you have to do major cleanup, it's a good idea to have protection for your feet.

I know that I already mentioned having shoes in storage--I'm just saying that you might want to have some good shoes that are protective and good for working in, and of a type that you might not immediately think of, in storage as well...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ABY #42: What's for dinner?

My 42nd ABY: A cookbook using basic food supplies that you have in storage, or a list of recipes for the same

If I could add anything to this, it would be: The food to use with it....

This would be a very valuable part of an emergency notebook/binder/insert your filing system of choice here. It is preferable to have a paper copy of anything you would need to easily use your food storage, since in an emergency it might not be possible to access all those cool recipes on blogs, pinterest, etc. You might be able to throw something together using your food supplies in a pinch, but it will lessen the stress to have a list of recipes to use instead...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ABY #41: On the go

My 41st ABY: Reliable tires, and a reliable spare

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Everything that I would need to have in a car if I got stuck in any kind of weather, hot or cold.

If you need to evacuate in a hurry, it would be really nice to have everything in the car already that would make it reliable transportation, and any kind of equipment that would help in a situation where it was suddenly unreliable (i.e. jumper cables, oil, jack, etc.) Not too long ago when we were on a trip we stopped to fill up and there was someone there with an Idaho license plate (not unlike ours :) and there was obviously a problem with the vehicle. My husband talked to him and found out that he needed oil for his car, so my husband reached into the back of our vehicle, pulled some out, and gave him a bottle. I don't know if it was enough to solve his problem, but he appreciated it.

For the record, all the credit for that goes to my husband, since I had no idea the oil was back there. And come to think of it, I have no idea if that bottle has been replaced now, either, in case we need it. Better go check.... :) 

Monday, December 17, 2012

ABY #40: A little o' this...

My 40th ABY: Nuts and/or dried fruit

If I could add anything to this, it would be: A dehydrator, so I could make my own dried food... Yeah, that would be nice. Barring that, some dried fruit, jerky, nuts, and the like would be good to have in the storage.

Just don't forget to store some water to wash a little o' this fruit and a little o' that jerky down, in case access to water is difficult to come by--sometimes in emergency situation, clean water is not easily obtained.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #39 for Dec.16

My 39th ABY: A hat

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Sunscreen, or a scarf, coat, and gloves, depending on the weather. Since you don't know when an emergency will strike, I'll have to say all of the above...

Yeah, can't add much more than that--just be sure you have what you need to protect your skin, no matter what the season...

ABY #38: Looking ahead

My 38th ABY: Spare pair(s) of prescription glasses

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Reading material?

Not much to say here, except that if your glasses break in an emergency situation, it might be hard to replace them. Also, if they are glasses that you only use at certain times (i.e. reading glasses) it might be a good idea to pack a pair in your 72-hour-kit, because in the stress of an evacuation situation it would be easy to forget to grab your regular pair on the way out.

See what I mean? (Sorry, I couldn't resist... :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

ABY #37: Buying ahead--the clothes edition

My 37th ABY:  Shoes and clothes (next size up for younger people who are still growing)

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Since I put clothes in general, it pretty much covers everything, but I will add coats here. Hey, this is Idaho... :)

Just think of things that would be hard/extremely difficult/nearly impossible to make on your own (you will note I put shoes first) and try to have some of those items in storage. And check your 72-hour kits periodically to make sure that the clothes there are the right size for the person for which they are intended, and also for the right (ish) season that you might end up using them. I say right (ish) because with the weather in some places, you never know.... :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ABY #36: So, sew, sew...

My 36th ABY:  A sewing kit

I could add anything to this, it would be: Knowledge and ability to mend and sew whatever needed mending and/or sewing.

I don't recall at the moment if I have mentioned on this blog that sewing just isn't my favorite thing. I have a lot of work to do in this area. However, it would be good to know how to do the basics--sew on a button, mend a hem, take in and/or let out clothes as needed, etc., should an emergency arise where these skills were needed.  This to me is one of those things that the least thing to be done is to have the materials you need on hand to perform the skill--then if the time comes that you need to practice it, you have something to practice with, and you may be able to find someone that will help you with the actual sewing even if they can't help you with the buttons, velcro, thread, etc. that is needed for the sewing/mending.

Yeah, not my favorite thing, but a great thing to have if you need it in an emergency...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ABY #35: Fun and games

My 35th ABY: Games, and other forms of entertainment that don't require electricity

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Oh, electricity, by a long shot... :) Be sure to have something that will entertain the people in your group--a card game, coloring books, books, etc. so that while you are waiting on the power to come back on/the roads to be cleared/name of problem to be solved here, things can be as pleasant as possible.

Any other ideas for keeping people (especially young children) entertained in an emergency?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ABY #34: Could you pass the...

My 34th ABY: Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise (your condiment of choice here)

If I could add anything to this, it would be: The actual food that such condiments would enhance. I have to say that ranch dressing is a big favorite around here, so it would probably be a good idea to have some of that in storage. Of course, some condiments require refrigeration, so keep that in mind before you open some in the middle of a power outage...

Any other condiments that you plan on adding to your storage? 

Monday, December 10, 2012

ABY #33: Shelter could be an issue...

My 33rd ABY: A tent

If I could add anything to this, it would be: An all-weather tent would be nice, and it would be really good to have good, warm dependable sleeping bags if you needed to use the tent in the winter, say, or maybe in the summer in the mountains in Idaho... :)

A tent is not the only option for (hopefully) temporary shelter after an emergency, but it is a good one. What are your plans if you can't stay in your home?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #32 for Dec. 9

My 32nd ABY: Vinegar

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Maybe a list like this one on some of the uses of vinegar--it really is a wonderful thing to have in storage. 

I'll ask the same question that I did for ABY #31 about honey: why would you store vinegar?


ABY #31: Definitely sweet

My 31st ABY: Honey

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Fresh homemade bread seems like a good answer here...

Honey stays good indefinitely, and is a great addition to food storage. Just another one of the basics, really, when it comes to cooking with food storage, and it's very useful.  Why would you store honey?

Friday, December 7, 2012

ABY #30: Not such a big surprise...

My 30th ABY: A wheat grinder

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Some white flour, so I could mix the wheat flour with the white flour in baking and gradually go to all wheat flour if the situation merited it.

Yeah, like the post title indicates, no big surprise here considering that ABY #29 was wheat. Be sure to have a hand grinder available, since if the power goes out, the electric type of grinder won't do you much good. I don't have an electric grinder, but I hear they are pretty nice...

You may want to check the comments under ABY #29, where someone was kind enough to list some internet and book sources on bread--like I often say, check the comments--it's worth it... :) Thanks kind anonymous person!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

ABY #29: Remember the little red hen?

My 29th ABY:  Wheat

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Knowledge on the best way to use wheat, whether it was sprouting, grinding it into flour, using it for cereal, etc.

Gotta love the little red hen. She knew how to do everything from growing the wheat to making it into a loaf of bread.  You may not have to grow wheat on your own, but it is a good idea to have some of it in storage so that you can learn how to best use it if you don't know how already. Even if you don't know how to use it right now, if you have some in storage you can learn at your leisure...

I would much rather be the little red hen in that story than any of her "friends". There's a lot to learn about working with wheat, but the end result is worth it. What do you do with your wheat?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ABY #28: Nothing like homemade bread...

My 28th ABY: Yeast

If I could add anything to this, it would be: The other basic necessities needed to make bread. And a good bread recipe. And practice making said bread recipe so that there would be less pressure when the bread had to be homemade...

It's always good to have some yeast on hand. What I need to do now is learn how to make and use sourdough starter. :)

Have any easy, basic bread recipes you'd like to share? More info means more options in this case...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ABY #27: We're not talking elbow grease...

My 27th ABY: Cooking oil

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Info on how to use beans instead of oil, like that found here on  TM Frugal Gourmet's blog, TM Preparedness. That is a page that is going in my emergency notebook! TM Frugal Gourmet has also left some great comments on my BY series that you might want to check out on my other blog--thanks, TM Frugal Gourmet!

Yeah, when reading about other times when food was hard to come by, cooking oil appears to have been in high demand. Good to have some on hand, and/or a substitute for it...

About 1/2 way through the ABYs--time flies... :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

ABY #26: More than just a seasoning

My 26th ABY: Salt

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Knowledge/information about the different kinds of salt. What I am referring to is just the table salt, but I know there are different kinds that are used for different things, so if anyone would care to add their expertise, it would be greatly appreciated.

A lot of canned and prepared foods come with salt, but if you end up using your basics (beans and rice, wheat, etc.) and/or doing more cooking/baking, chances are you will end up needing salt. I still remember when they realized in Alas, Babylon that, oh, yeah, they needed salt to survive...

Plus, hey, it can really make things taste better.... :)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blogging ahead: ABY #25 for Dec. 2

My 25th ABY: Plastic cups

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Soda bottles full of clean, drinkable water.

Water is crucial, and I suppose in an emergency you could just pass one of those soda bottles that were washed out and filled with water a while ago and just let everyone take a swig. You could, but I figure it would be more ideal to give each person a cup with their name/initials on it, and let them keep their germs to themselves as they reuse their own cup throughout the day...

ABY number one was water for a reason--what other things would you store with your water to make an emergency easier to deal with?

ABY #24: Gotta love the easier way...

My 24th ABY: Two or three or more good can openers

If I could add anything to this, it would be: Lots of cans to open. Yeah, sounds like I'm kidding... but not really.... :)

There's a saying out there and I can't remember where I read it first, but it goes something like this: "Three is two, two is one, and one is none." Always store extra supplies when you can. As for the title of this post, it would definitely be easier to open a can with a can opener than trying to figure out another way to get it open...

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend... :)