Why Food Storage and the like


This blog comes to help us all deal with FS questions and to build up from a starting place & build a more complete and full FS & how to be more Self Reliant. Let us all get Prepared & ready for anything that may come our way. You never know when Mother Nature, Man Made Disaster or Money Problems may come and you would need your FS to get you through! I will talk about Emergency Preparedness also!

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness, Other tips and Ideas. Let me help you get ready for what ever may come!

I started Food Storage over 15 years ago. I have taught many classes and been a speaker and helped many people over the years. This is a place where I can state things or address issues I want to cover.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hurricane WARNING


What is a Hurricane Warning?

A Hurricane Warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center where sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher are expected within a specified area within 24 hours or less. All precautions must be completed immediately.

If You Live in a Mobile Home

Check tie-downs, turn off utilities and leave immediately for a safer place. Mobile homes are unsafe in hurricanes, tornadoes or severe thunderstorms. Can you imagine what hurricane-force winds would do to your mobile home?

Prepare for High Winds

Brace your garage door. Lower antennas. Be prepared to make repairs. Awnings, garbage cans, grills, lawn furniture, loose garden tools, toys and all other loose objects can be deadly missiles. Anchor securely or bring indoors. Securely board up or shutter large windows. Draw drapes across windows and doors to protect against flying glass.

Move Boats on Trailers Close to House

Fill boats with water to weigh them down. Lash securely to trailer and use tie-downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house. Check mooring lines of boats that must remain in water, then leave them. Accomplish this ahead of the hurricane watch to save time. 

Store Valuables and Personal Papers

Put important documents (birth certificates, heirlooms, personal inventory lists, pictures, titles, wills, etc.) in waterproof containers and store them in the highest possible location protected from potential flooding. If you evacuate, be sure to take them with you. You should have secured most of your valuables and important papers in a safety deposit box, during the family planning process.

Prepare for Storm Surge, Tornadoes & Flooding

Storm surges, tornadoes and floods are killers associated with a hurricane. In a Tornado Warning, seek inside shelter below ground level if possible. Otherwise, go to the inner-most small room away from outside walls, doors and windows on the lowest level of your structure. If you are outside, seek cover in ditch or other low spot. Do not attempt to outrun a tornado!
Mobile homes and portable buildings are extremely unsafe, during a tornado! The surge of the ocean water plus flash flooding of streams and rivers due to torrential rains cause 90% of the deaths associated with hurricanes. If you anticipate that your family will be at risk, evacuate early before the hurricane watch is issued! Complete evacuation well before the arrival of tropical force winds.

Test your generators. Make sure it is well has good ventilation  and You may want to think about chaining it up or securing it up! 
Bring pets indoors! 

Stay indoors! 

Of course you have have to decide what to do for yourself and your family. Only you are in charge of you and your family. 

Hurricane WATCH

What to do for a Hurricane WATCH.

A Hurricane Watch is issued by the National Hurricane Center to ALERT specific regions or states that hurricane conditions pose a threat to a specified area within 36-48 hours. Monitor storm reports on radio and television closely. Implement your family plan. If evacuation has not already been recommended, consider leaving the area early to avoid long hours along congested and limited evacuation routes.

Here is a list of things to do when there is a Hurricane Watch issued for your area.

 1. Fill up your car with gas.

2. Secure buildings. Have Materials for protecting windows and doors. Have shutters or lumber ready to protect large windows and doors. Be sure to include the needed hardware and tools to securely cover windows and doors. 

3. Review evacuation plan.

4. Listen to a radio or television for official instructions.

5. Check your family's emergency supplies.

6. Bring in outdoor objects (i.e. toys, garden tools).

7. Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings.

8. Secure outdoor objects which cannot be brought inside (i.e. boats, lawnmower).

Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils

10. Have non perishable food, that you can prepared with out cooking and need no refrigeration. 

11. Make ice in your freezer for coolers. You will need a lot of ice and there will be little to no ice available to buy right before or especially right after a hurricane! 

12. Start prepping food to eat for the Hurricane. If you staying plan on pre cooking food before the storm hit. If you are evacuating, pre make food to take with you. As always take precautions for food safety and food borne illness. Keep things cold enough in coolers! Lots of ice! 

As always these are suggestions. You need to make your own choices and make your own plan. You need to decide what to do for yourself and your own family. No one can tell you how to prepare. You choose to do what is best for you! 

Hurricane to do list long before the Storm comes

There are many to do lists, and many things that people need to do before any emergency. Since Hurricane season is upon us, I wanted to touch base on a few things I have seen, learned and I do each year.

I would want to encourage everyone in a Hurricane area to go through and update there kits and plans. Now if you do not have a plan or kit, this is the time to make them.

So are a few to do lists:
1. Learn what to do before, During and After a Hurricane. Go to your cities, towns websites, Emergency management websites. Most Places that have hurricanes will put out booklets, pamphlets, etc. Also look at FEMA, RED CROSS, READY.GOV, and other for tips, ideas and checklists.  
2. Discuss with your family's Hurricane plan.
3. Go through, gather or assemble your family's Disaster kits. There are all kinds of check lists out there, but know that you will be with out power for days even weeks, depending on the strength of the storm.
4. Identify your out of state or out of area contact. TELL them they are your contact. Then be sure to tell other family members, friends, etc that they are your contact. Be sure everyone has the name, address and phone number of the contact person. (the reason is everyone can contact this person and update others, You only have to make one call, send one text to the contact). Also on this topic if all family is connected through a social media outlet, ie twitter, facebook, then everyone can know at the same time that you are ok and such.
5. You also need to have for those that need to a plan for those that are elderly, have disabilities, or have special needs. For example if you have someone in your family who needs oxygen to breath, know how long your battery back up is. Plan on if this person needs to be moved to a safer location for power. Plan ahead!
6. Pets. All your pets need to have a plan too. If you are going to a shelter, you can not take your pet. You need to know what to do with spot and fluffy. If you are evacuating you need a kit for them, and all there supplies.
7. You need to know a main evacuation route and an alternative route, in case you are asked to leave. You will need maps! GPS may not work! Also try driving the routes before hand, so you know where to go, landmarks, and smaller highways, or roads. Become familiar with the area especially areas you do not drive on a regular basis.
8. Know how to turn off your utilities in case you need to Evacuate.
9. Know your children's school plans, work plans in case of Emergencies.
10. Take a First aid course, CPR. Update your families first aid kit!
11. Review your status of your automobile, flood, home owners or renters insurance coverages. List and photograph or videotape valuable property. Make hard copies and place in your document kit. Be sure add the phone numbers of all insurances and account numbers. Take this kit with you if you evacuate!
12.List and photograph or videotape valuable property. Write down serial numbers, description, etc. Make hard copies and place in your document kit. Take this kit with you! If you have special insurance an item, be sure to have all the information you need in order to make a claim!

Family Disaster Supplies Kit

Keep these supplies at home throughout the year in preparation for major emergencies or disasters. We recommend that you keep them in a separate "Family Disaster Supplies Kit" so they are easy to find when you need them. Identify a safe room for storage of the supply kit and where you can go if a hurricane hits. Don't forget to rotate and replace expired items throughout the year.
Family members should discuss and plan additional supplies that might be needed over an extended period of time. Be ready for the hurricane season. Some supplies will be required in the event you elect to stay in your home. Others may be required if you evacuate or relocate or go to a shelter. Plan supplies so they are clearly accessible and identifiable. After a hurricane watch is issued, there may be a high demand and short supply of many items.
  • AM/FM radio (AC/DC battery operated)
  • Baby food, diapers, formula and other supplies
  • Backpack, duffel bag, portable cooler or other containers
  • Bleach (without lemon or any other additives)
  • Canned or packaged foods, milk and beverages (minimum 7-day non-perishable food supply for each family member)
  • Can opener (non-electric)
  • Changes of clothing, hard soled shoes and rain gear for each family member
  • Eating utensils and supplies
  • Emergency cooking facilities (camping equipment and supplies are great)
  • Extra prescription medications, glasses or hearing aids (see your doctor)
  • Fire extinguishers (checked and serviced annually)
  • First aid kit (adequate capacity and type for the size of your family)
  • Flashlights & extra batteries (size and type for flashlights, radios, etc.)
  • Food and water for pets
  • Important documents (driver's license, birth certificate, insurance documents, etc.)
  • Lanterns and fuel (stored in safe container & location)
  • Matches (stored in a safe and protective container)
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Non-perishable foods, milk and beverages (minimum 7-day supply for each family member)
  • Plywood boards ¾" to board up windows (cut & fit ahead of time)
  • Quiet games, toys, books and cards
  • Sleeping bag and blankets for each family member
  • Spare batteries for flashlights, radios, etc.
  • Spare keys for home, vehicles, boats, etc.
  • Toilet paper, soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste and other personal hygiene items
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day for drinking purposes)
  • Water purification procedures & tablets (check with your local health department)
  • Weather alert radio (AC/DC battery operated)
  • Other items preplanned by the family

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hurricane Season


Hurricane season is upon us! The time is now to prepare!

Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Certainly, there are other areas of tropical storm activity, but those storms carry other names. The tropical storms that occur in the Pacific Ocean are called typhoons and in the Indian Ocean and southwestern Pacific, they are referred to as cyclones.

Officially, the U.S. hurricane season is defined as June 1st to November 30th of each year. The ending date has been progressively moving later in the month of November from 2008 into 2009 and 2010.
These dates have been set to include 97 percent of all major hurricane days and 79 percent of all tropical storm days. As a guess, these dates are fairly reliable but there are always exceptions to any rule. Hurricanes have hit in the months of May and December in the past.
The early part of the hurricane season is usually mild but hurricane activity begins to pick up by the mid part of August. The peak part of the season is usually September.
Your location may influence possible months for experiencing a hurricane. Some experts say that the western Caribbean experiences most of its activity and intensity during the period of mid-September through until the end of November. If however, you are located along the Atlantic coast your peak is a bit earlier in the season, mainly between mid-August through mid-September.

So with all that Lingo going on, here is my two cents:

After going through my very first Hurricane I have added to my kits and altered my plan just a bit! As anyone should do when you are making your own kits for any disaster!

There are many lists, guides and websites to check out! FEMA, RED CROSS, Local news stations, generally give out guides or can print them off online. I have given lists back in August 2011 along with links, not going to redo that.

First and for most know what is going on around you! Know what the weather is like and what is "coming". Sign up for alerts from the weather channel, local news, NOAA, etc.  You can follow all on twitter, facebook, and some even by email. You can get apps for your smart phones and sign up for alerts to come to your phone.

Things I am going to do this year, is have a few more things to do for groups to do, like games, puzzles, books to read, etc. We have no young children but one thing I noticed last year was when you have a group of 20 somethings that are used to be "entertained" by electronics it can be hard for them to not be bored!

I will be getting more glow sticks to have in the house, one for each room for a week! Even when the power goes out for a bad thunder storm they come in useful!

WATER! yes water and ICE! I am buying water by the cases, a few cases each week. I will also buy a few gallons of water. I will be making Ice chucks as the summer goes on! Always need ICE after the power goes out.

Propane for the BBQ. Need to have plenty and maybe even an extra one for the season.

Food, everyone needs food. Last year I planned and cook the day before the hurricane hit. That was the best thing I could do! Made a turkey that we had for dinner the night before, day of hurricane we had turkey sandwiches, and the next day I make a turkey soup with dumplings. a little 10 pound turkey fed 6 people for 3 meals! So prepping food the days before a hurricane is to hit is a very good plan! As always food that is easy to prepare with out a lot of work, fuel, water, is best for when with out power.

Anyway I can go on forever on things. Bottom line is if you are on the coast and you are in a hurricane area prepare now. Get your family ready for the season. Put your mind at ease and get your kits together!

What a start to 2012 Everyone needs a will

Hello all,

Wow what a start to 2012. This year already has brought on some very trying and challenges.
I have been called away and had to fly across country to be with family, my Father in law. He took a bad turn. I spent 5 weeks there with him, and was able to get him well enough to travel, with Doctors ok. I was able to move his household, and drive across country with him. We moved him in with us. He needed 24/7 care. He could not be left alone. We were just getting him settled and we even had an outing to the zoo. The next week he took another bad turn for the worse in a very short amount of time. Family was called and we brought him home, in a new bigger place with Hospice care. I am sad to say that he did pass away, he was comfortable, and he was in no pain. He passed away with his family at his side, at home. Which is what he wanted.

The Last seven months has been hard for my family, dealing with health issues of older family members, across county makes it even more difficult. Phone calls daily do not do it. Having to put your life on hold to be there in person to care for and do what ever you can to help family is not easy. We all can do it! I am happy to say that I was able to do what ever I needed to for family. Most people hear that he was my father in law and you care for him like he is your father. He was my father for over twenty years. Just because I married in to the family he was still my father. Family is family! Most people even think of some of their close friends as family and will do anything for them. That is the same thing.

So here is what I want to stress to EVERYONE! You have to have a will. You have to have a health care plan for you! You should all have a health care power of attorney written up!
You also should have all paperwork, for life insurance, loans, and creditors all in one place. You need to have all businesses that you do business with and your account numbers.

You also should have all passwords, for email, banking, anything you do online in a place where family can have access to it, if something was to happen to you. Another thing is to have a few signed checks put away, especially if there is no one else on the bank account.

Another thing that everyone needs to have in a file, and a hard copy is birth certificate, not only of yourself, but your spouse, and children even grown children! Death certificates of spouse, parents, children. You also need to have social security cards, military paper work, marriage certificates, divorce papers. The basic list goes on!

I personally have all paperwork for my immediate family. When my father in law came to be with us, he did not have everything. I have been going through all his paperwork, still missing important things. I do assume he may of shred some of the paper work we needed before he moved. He was a shredding machine. We had talked about him writing a will 3 days before he went into the Hospital. We did not have a chance to get it done. Even when you do not have an "estate" you still need a will. If he had a will and in the will stated that he wanted his 3 solid gold teeth removed before cremation, it could of been done. As it was not he had to be created with his teeth. Even though he had told everyone that is what he wanted done. Also if he had stated in a will that he wanted to be cremated and his other wishes it would of been easier than having to get a hold of all the children all out of state and having them all sign paperwork so he could be cremated, as he wanted.

I guess bottom line is EVERYONE needs a will! Even if you do not own a dang thing in this world you need a will. Just telling people what you want is not good enough anymore. There are so many rules, and laws that are in place to protect people, just the family making choices and decisions is not how it is anymore.

No one wants to think about death. No one wants to die. But the fact is we all will die some time. But what we need to do is make things easier for our families to have things in order! make a plan, have things done and in a safe place. Update wills, and such as needed.

We are doing well and going on with life. We have a few more lose ends to tie up on my father in law. All this comes with time and finding the right paperwork, phone calls, emails and money.