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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Can Heed Warnings

President Hinckley said in October 2005 General Conference: 

"What (calamities) we have experienced in the past was all foretold, and the end is not yet.  Just as there have been calamities in the past, we expect more in the future.  What do we do?  Someone has said it was not raining when Noah built the ark.  But he built it, and the rains came...

We can heed warnings...We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster.  But the best storehouse is the family storeroom....Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.  We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm.  We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day..."

Monday, May 30, 2011

CNBC says Wheat and Corn crops look bad this season

Look what this article says about this season's wheat and corn crops. 

Dennis Gartman: Wheat, Corn Facing Amber Waves of Pain

Published: Friday, 27 May 2011 | 1:35 PM ET
Text Size

Wheat futures [WCV1  819.75  ---  UNCH    ] are up more than 75% over the past year and continued higher Friday on concerns that a perfect storm may be brewing.

Specifically, a drought in Europe and flooding in the U.S. are crushing this year's crop sending supply expectations considerably lower.
819.75  ---
Chicago Board of Trade

”It’s making for bullish conditions in the grain market,” says strategic investor Dennis Gartman.

“The hard red winter wheat crop may not be made at all. Also we may not get corn into the ground in time. And we’re not getting the spring wheat crop planted in time. It’s a perfect storm,” he says.   

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bedding- How Much is a Year's Supply?

The 1978 publication, "Essentials of Home Production and Storage" simply tells us to have enough bedding, "to keep each person warm if there were no other heating supplies."
It is implied that the need for this would be during the coldest time of the year.  The bedding need not be fancy.  Old quilts can keep a person warm just as well as ones that might be more fashionable.  Many people may find that they already have enough bedding on hand. 
In my family, we have a goal to buy the best cold-weather sleeping bags we can afford.  We are waiting for a good sale at REI or some other outdoor equipment company.  (Maybe tomorrow on Memorial Day?)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Year's Supply of Clothing

The following was taken directly from the Provident Living website in 2004:

"For many people, storing a year's supply of clothing is simply a matter of making the items now being worn last for a year.  However, growing children may need clothing, shoes, underwear, and coats in larger sizes than what they are currently wearing.  The clothing of older brothers and sisters can be considered as storage for younger children.
You may also want to store items that would be needed if family members had to do more hard physical labor in producing necessities or had to spend more time outdoors in harsh weather.  Such items could include gloves, overshoes, coats, and hats.
In addition, it is wise to learn the sewing skills necessary to repair existing clothing or to produce new clothing.  When possible, store extra fabric, sewing needles, thread, zippers, patching materials, and patterns."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shelves First, Food Next

I really enjoy reading  They have made some great lists for people who know nothing about food storage, but who want to start.

It is interesting to see what they say is the #1 step in getting your food storage:


Go to their website and click "Baby Steps" on the bar at the top of the page, and you will see the other 9 steps.

You can also sign up to receive their printable "Baby Steps" emails, which come every couple of weeks.  They are really great for motivating you to do the next step.  It is a bit hard to figure out where to sign up for them, but I finally found it.

Find the "Food Storage To-Do" (its a picture of a clipboard) at the top left of their website, and click on any of the four boxes.  They all lead to the same place, where you can sign up for their "Checklists", which are better known as "Baby Steps."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Real life panic happening today in Belarus

Just when you thought you couldn't bear to hear about another tornado, here is another bad scenario to think about.

What if the value of the currency in your country just got cut in half?  That happened yesterday in Belarus, and so today all the grocery stores were empty.

One more scenario where you would be thankful to already have your food storage.  Think about it.

Belarus Devaluation Spreads Panic

The Associated Press
MINSK — A sharp devaluation of the Belarussian ruble has spread panic across the country, with people rushing on Wednesday to buy dollars, euros, toasters and canned goods — anything that will not lose its value as quickly as the national currency.....
Unable to buy foreign currency, people bought all they could from stores, both to stock up on food as well as to invest in tangible goods whose value won't deplete as quickly as the ruble's. Home appliances, electronics and other durable consumer goods have vanished from the shelves, which now eerily resemble the waning days of the Soviet Union.
"I fought my bank to close my account and get 5 million rubles [$1,000] in cash, and I want to buy at least something before my money turns into dust," said Dmitry Malishevsky, a 48-year-old tractor factory worker who showed up at Minsk's main department store only to see empty shelves....
Nadezhda Gorelik, a clerk at a shopping center in central Minsk, said that people were hoarding sugar, salt and other staples. "There is a feeling that a war is about to erupt," she said.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to Calculate Food Storage Quantities

I found this great document in some food storage information someone gave me, I don't know who did the calculations.
Maybe you will find it useful.
How to calculate Food Storage Quantities
350 lbs of wheat will give you 1 lb. (2 cups) of dry wheat per day for 1 year.
50 lbs. of powdered milk would be approximately 800 glasses of milk or 2 1/2 glasses of milk per day for 1 year.
12 gallons of oil would give you approximately 1/2 cup oil per day for 1 year.
100 lbs. of Sugars and honey is approximately 200 cups or 1/2 cup per day for 1 year.
14 gallons of water is enough water for 2 weeks for one person.  (Note from Amy: I tried using no tap water for 3 separate days.  On each try, I could not get below 3 gallons per person per day.  So store more than this.

12 #10 cans of whole powdered eggs would give you 1 can per month.  1 can = 108 eggs. 
1  #10 can of Butter powder or margarine powder or shortening powder would be 42  1 oz. servings.
1  #10 can of Tomato Powder would be 42  1 oz. servings.
1 #10 can of powdered cheese would be 64  1/4 cup servings.
150 regular sized cans of canned evaporated milk would be 12-15 cans per month or 3 cans per week.  Canned milk has needed fat that powdered milk does not contain.
100 lbs. of Rice, Soybeans, and other Legumes would give you approximately 1/2 cup dry beans per day for 1 year.
1  #10 can of Beef or Chicken Boullion has approximately 300 teaspoons or 300 1-cup servings.
120 cans of canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon, spam, etc.) would be 2 1/4 cans per week for 1 year.
1  #10 can of Potato Flakes would be approximately 30  1/2 cup servings.
1  #10 can of dehydrated Vegetable Stew would be approximately 56  1/2 cup servings.
1 #10 can of dehydrated Sweet Peas would be 42  1/2 cup servings.
1 #10 can of dehydrated Sweet Corn would be 35  1/2 cup servings.
1  #10 can of dehydrated Green Beans would be 46  1/2 cup servings.
1  #10 can of dehydrated diced Carrots would be 75 1/2 cup servings.
1  #10 can of dehydrated Chopped Onions would be 80 1/4 cup servings.
1 #10 can of Popcorn would be 150 3-cup servings, popped.
1 #10 can of regular Rolled Oats would be approximately 24  2/3 cup servings.
1 #10 can of Peanut Butter Powder would be 42  2-teaspoon servings.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I Prefer Hurricanes to Tornadoes

We feel such sadness looking at the videos of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri that killed at least 89 people yesterday.

Those people may have heard the warnings to expect severe thunderstorms, but I imagine they did the same thing I always do---They probably just hoped for the best.

My normal reactions to a severe weather warning are as follows:

First, I cancel any plans to drive anywhere. (Who wants to drive in heavy rain or hail?)

Second, I unplug the computers and TVs and other electronic devices so they won't get hit by a power surge from a lightning strike.

And then, I generally just keep doing the same things I always do inside my house, and hope that the severe weather passes by without incident.

In certain night time situations, I will make everyone sleep on the ground floor of our house instead of upstairs in the bedrooms.  But usually I like my bed too much to go to that much trouble.

Thankfully, a tornado has never hit my house.  But if it did, it would come as a surprise, as it did to those 89 unfortunate souls.  There is just no way to ever know precisely that your house will be a target for any particular tornado.


The reason I prefer hurricanes is that you KNOW they are coming.  When a hurricane is approaching your area, you have a couple of days of really serious preparation time.  You shouldn't talk yourself out of it, or just HOPE that it will miss you.  Hurricanes are over a hundred miles wide, and if it is coming in your direction you better assume trouble is on its way and make some plans.

We haven't had a direct hit here in the Raleigh area since Hurricane Fran on Sept. 5-6, 1996, so we are overdue for another one.

Governor Purdue has issued a statement concerning the upcoming hurricane season:

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue says residents should take this week to get prepared for hurricane season that starts next month.
Perdue has proclaimed May 22-28 as Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Residents are urged to create family emergency plans and prepare supply kits. Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November. Perdue says the deadly tornadoes that passed through the South in April should be reminders of the need to be prepared.
Residents also are encouraged to review and update homeowners' insurance policies now to make sure they include coverage for accidental damage and natural disasters. They also should make sure they are insured for flood damage.
Emergency supply kits should include enough nonperishable food and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Shouldn't We Store Plastic Water Bottles on Concrete?

Which storage item is cheap, good for you, and so important that you can’t do without it for more than a few days?  WATER!!!  Of course!
THE GOAL:  Store 1 Gallon of Water per day per person for a minimum of 14 days!  This is a recommendation for drinking water.  You will also need much more water for washing, bathing, etc. 
It is best to have at least part of your water storage in portable containers.  If evacuation becomes necessary, you can easily grab these containers and put them in your car.
Several cases of bottled water
Gallon jugs of bottled water (Do not re-use milk cartons, they will leak!)
5-gallon blue water containers, available at WalMart, or camping stores
If you have a large family, you might find it practical to store water in large 30 gallon or 55 gallon water barrels

In an emergency, you may be able to find sources of clean, drinkable water in your home:
Water heater storage tanks – Be sure to turn off the electricity or gas supply to the heater.  Open the drain at the bottom of the tank.
Pipes – Several gallons of water are stored in your pipes at all times.  After shutting off the main, open the lowest faucet in your house (usually either the bathtub on the main floor or an outside water spigot.)
Pools & waterbeds also serve as large reservoirs of water.  However, due to chemicals & dirt, you will need a good filter in order to utilize these sources.

So, why shouldn’t we store plastic water barrels on concrete?  The following statement is from preparedness lecturer, Kenneth Moravec:

“Concrete attracts fluids and ‘bleeds’.  Anything that has been on or in that concrete will find its way into your plastic water barrel.  This includes the lime in the concrete, any hazardous materials (i.e. gasoline, oils, kerosene, or anything a contractor used in construction), algae, etc.  Usually, it is not enough to make the water toxic, but it will taint the water enough to make the taste unbearable.  And no amount of pouring it from container to container will take that taste away.”

This is also the reason why we are cautioned about placing plastic food storage buckets directly onto concrete.

Notice that these barrels were placed on top of 2X4 boards.

Using 2x4’s or plywood under barrel and buckets is an easy solution to the leaching problem.

Water stored in plastic containers should not be stored near gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances.  Vapors from these substances could permeate the plastic and affect the water.

Empty, clean-disinfect, and refill large water storage containers at least once a year.

Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Learn to Use Your Food Storage BEFORE the Crisis

The pastor Harold Camping has predicted the Rapture for today, and after that he says tribulation will come upon the wicked who are left upon the earth.  We, in the LDS church do not believe his prediction, but let's think about it.

We have been taught by modern prophets that the trials and tribulations will come first, and that Jesus Christ will come after that.  What if the tribulations actually started today?  

Would you have enough food storage, and would you know how to use your tents, water purifiers, campstoves, and propane heaters if society as we know it fell apart, we had no power or drinkable water and we were running for our lives?

Many people store food they do not know how to use.  They think that they will miraculously learn how to use it  when under stress.  But a disaster is not the time to try to learn new skills.  It is the time we fall back on what we already know.

First of all, the calamity that necessitates your using food storage will take a toll on you all by itself, without the additional stress of suddenly changing your diet and learning new cooking techniques.

You don't want to have crying, hungry children after a disaster, and then ruin the bread or burn the beans, while  cooking over some campfire.  It would be much better to practice cooking or baking outdoors during a fun Family Home Evening, and then if you ruin the food you can always feed them something else.

Friday, May 20, 2011

CDC Warns Public to Prepare for "Zombie Apocalypse" (tongue in cheek)

This news article compares preparing for a hurricane or pandemic much the same way you would prepare for "flesh eating zombies" (although of course hurricanes and pandemics are real threats and flesh eating zombies are just fiction.)

The post, written by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan, instructs readers how to prepare for "flesh-eating zombies" ..... Perhaps surprisingly, the same steps you'd take in preparation for an onslaught of ravenous monsters are similar to those suggested in advance of a hurricane or pandemic.

"First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house," the posting continues. "This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored)."

Other items to be stashed in such a kit include medications, duct tape, a battery-powered radio, clothes, copies of important documents and first aid supplies.

"Once you've made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan," the posting continues. "This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your doorstep. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake or other emergency."

Read more:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hinckley's repeated references to 7 yrs of plenty, 7 yrs of famine

(Keep in mind yesterday's post about President Eyring saying that warnings are always repeated.)

The first time President Hinckley referenced Pharaoh's dream was in 1998 ("To the Boys and to the Men, Nov. 1998 Ensign)  when he told about the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine.  "Now brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future.  But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order...There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed... That's all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable."
President Hinckley again referenced Pharaoh's dream just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in his talk "The Times in Which We Live".  (Ensign, Nov. 2001).  He talked about getting out of debt, paying off our mortgages, setting food aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need.  

He then referenced Pharaoh's dream when he said, "I do not know what the future holds.  I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.  I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh's dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn.  I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew.  I am familiar, as are you, with the declarations of modern revelation that the time will come when the earth will be cleansed and there will be indescribable distress, with weeping and lamentation (see D&C 112:24).  Now, I do not wish to be an alarmist.  I do not wish to be a prophet of doom."
Then five years later, in the October 2005 General Conference, President Hinckley gave a repeated warning:  "Let us never lose sight of the dreams of Pharaoh concerning the fat cattle and the lean, the full ears of corn and the blasted ears, the meaning of which was interpreted by Joseph to indicate years of plenty and years of scarcity."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One of the Keys to Recognizing Warnings is That They are Repeated

Elder Henry B. Eyring gave a talk in General Conference in October 1998 ("A Voice of Warning", Nov. 1998 Ensign), and it was published once more in its entirety as the First Presidency message 11 years later in the Jan. 2009 Ensign ("Let us Raise a Voice of Warning").
"Because the Lord is kind, He calls servants to warn people of danger.  That call to warn is made harder and more important by the fact that the warnings of most worth are about dangers that people don't yet think are real...Here is the charge given to each of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:  "Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor...It's easy to say, "The time isn't right."  But there is danger in procrastination.
Here is another talk Elder Eyring gave at Conference, which was reprinted again.
In April Conference 1997, Elder Eyring said, "One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated....One of the ways we may know that the warning is from the Lord is that the law of witnesses...has been invoked.  When the words of the prophets seem repetitive, that should rivet our attention and fill our hearts with gratitude to live in such a blessed time."
("Finding Safety in Counsel")
Eleven years later, that same talk was used as the First Presidency message in the June 2008 Ensign. ("Safety in Counsel")  AGAIN, same exact talk:  "One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated...."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Stack or Not to Stack

(Photo from

I was reading a post on FoodStorageMadeEasy, and saw these photos.  The top and bottom photos look good, but the middle photo bothers me.  I think this person is going to regret stacking the buckets like that.

I do not recommend stacking your buckets like this.  We had many buckets full of wheat, and had them stacked 2 high and sometimes 3 high.  Every one of the lids on the lowest buckets cracked, and a lot of our wheat was ruined.

If you have to stack buckets, at least put a board across so that the weight is spread out a little better, over the rims of the buckets instead of just in the centers of the lids, and then only stack them 2 high.  Another good idea is to put lighter things, like rolled oats, on the top layer.  (A bucket of wheat or sugar weighs about 42 lbs, but a bucket of rolled oats only weighs 22 lbs.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Solar Shower

I happened to buy this Solar Shower for $6 at Walmart the other day, to put in my preparedness supplies.  Coincidentally, the next day we lost our water for 24 hours.  I ended up using the solar shower (I hung it inside my bathroom shower), and it was wonderful.  In fact, the water got so hot I had to add a bunch of cold water to it because it was burning me.
I decided to go back to Walmart and buy several more, to give to all my kids.  I went back and in three days, the price had gone up from $6 to $6.80.  These are plastic, so they are made of petroleum, so they are only going to get more expensive.
The box says that these are not food grade plastic, so you are not supposed to drink the water from them.  But I am going to buy several for myself, so that when we don't have power we will have hot water for doing dishes and for doing laundry.

We have a propane water heater for camping, but it is about the size of a toaster oven and it is heavy, plus it was expensive.  I think this is a much more economical solution.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wooden Clothespins are Cheap. Get Some.

Picture yourself without power or without water, or both.  You have to handwash the laundry, and then somehow hang the clothing up to dry.

I've tried to do that without clothespins, and it is a joke.  If you lay the clothing over a bush, it will eventually fall on the ground and get all dirty.

If you lay the clothing on the ground, ditto.

So right now, while you have power and water, go to the Walmart Housewares department, near the hangers and laundry baskets, and buy 100 clothespins for $1.97.

This will be a great preparedness item for you during the next disaster.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flooding may affect us directly

Barge traffic is facing difficulties on the Mississippi River, many barge terminals are closed.
Ships have to turn back because they are no longer able to fit under bridges.
Oil refineries may have to close because of flooding.

Transportation of food supplies, and production of gasoline may be jeopardized.

These are just two of the reasons it is always smart to have your food storage.

This isn't mine, but I wish it was

How would you like this in your food storage?

They say candy lasts about 3 years if it has been vacuum sealed with a FoodSaver vacuum sealer.  But peanut or peanut butter things go bad faster.  At least thats what I've heard.

(Note:  I know candy isn't very nutritious, but when that time comes when you are having a difficult life because of natural disasters, etc., you will really appreciate having a little treat.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flooding the Wheat, Corn, Rice, Cotton, and Soybean Crops

Some more bad news for the food supply:

Fox News reported today that because of the flooding,

"the vital grain crops in the region are in peril. In some places, the floodwaters are swamping or bearing down on wheat that is almost ready for harvest and corn that has broken through the ground, as well as plantings of rice, soybeans and cotton. "

"Arkansas, the largest rice producer in the country, probably lost 300,000 acres of rice in the floods..."

"Irwin said 1 million acres or more of cropland could be completely wiped out from the flooding in the southern states. But he said the delayed planting in the northern Midwest, in his neck of the woods, could have even more of an effect on food prices nationwide....

Underscoring how far behind farmers in the water-logged region are, Irwin said Ohio has only planted 2 percent of its corn crop, compared with 74 percent by this time last year; Indiana has planted 4 percent of its corn crop, compared with 80 percent by this time last year, he said. "

Read more:

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Use the Solar Funnel Oven as a Refrigerator

Remember the solar funnel oven I told you about yesterday?  Now the BYU professors that invented it have come out with an update.  They tell you how you can reverse the heat flow at night and it will freeze water, even if the outside nighttime temperature is 60 degrees!  And even if the nighttime temperature was above 60 degrees, the food you put into it at night will be 20 degrees cooler, so it acts as a refrigerator.

Think how happy that would make you when we are out of power in the hot summer after a hurricane!

(Remember to print out this document, because when you really want these instructions you won't have any power to look at your computer.)