Search This Blog

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tips on Emergency Preparedness by Coleman

I was on the Coleman website the other day, and saw this whole page about emergency preparedness.  Of course, they are telling you to buy all Coleman products, but you can ignore that if you want to.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do you have fuel?

For the past couple of days, I have been referring to an internet post I read, written by a woman who was participating in the 7-Day Challenge by

She wrote about loading her car with her emergency supplies, to simulate evacuating from a impending disaster.

I noticed a couple of things she failed to mention.  

She didn't mention whether or not she had any gas in her car.

If a disaster is coming, you better have some fuel.  I try to make it a habit to fill up every time my car's gas tank is half empty.  I never want to be caught without gasoline in my car.

The other thing she didn't mention was a campstove.  She probably needed to pack something to cook with, whether it was a propane cookstove or a rocket stove that uses charcoal or wood, or a little backpacking stove that uses cans of white fuel.  

The following is some information from a book "Making the Best of Basics", p. 223.

"Fuels will be very important should an emergency arise--food must still be prepared, dishes washed, people bathed and warmed.  

Electricity, natural gas, and other energy sources could be interrupted by an earthquake, flood, hurricane, or other natural disaster, not to mention rationing of energy-producing commodities due to trucking strikes, economic or other unexpected problems.  

The family with fuel to provide adequate energy for cooking, cleaning, sterilization, lighting, and warmth will be much better prepared than those families who ignore this important storage category.  

However, in your eagerness to accomplish this priority, don't forget the essentials of safety."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Only 30 Minutes to Evacuate

Yesterday I talked about an internet post I read, talking about a bedside grab bag.

Here is some more information from that same lady.

She was doing the 7-Day Challenge from  On Saturday, Sept. 17, the challenge was to grab your 72 hour kits, and load everything in your car as if you were running from an impending disaster, and the time limit to pack your car was 30 minutes.  You were supposed to imagine that your home would be gone when you returned.  What would you take?  And what would fit into your car?

The woman chose to put these things into her car:

 her bedside grab bag
her 72 hour kit with all the regular stuff she normally keeps in there.
Insurance info
4 sets of clothing
extra underwear, socks, sneakers,
pillow and 2 blankets
sleeping bag
25 meals she had previously sealed in mylar
picture albums, and flash drives containing more digital pictures
her emergency 3 ring binder (you can learn more about this on
solar charger and cords for recharging cell phone
a couple of her precious antiques
water purifier

She said by this time the car was getting pretty full.  She was only able to fit in very few more items:

Bathroom bag with shampoo, toothbrush, etc.
a package of 6 rolls of Toilet paper
1 box kleenex
her purse

Then she said there was only enough room left for her body in the driver's seat.  And it only took her 18 minutes to collect and load everything into her car.

I thought it was a great exercise to read about.  I was out of town on Saturday, so I couldn't participate, but I am hoping that I will do the evacuation challenge some other time.  I really want to see how fast I can find all my supplies, and see how much will fit into my 15 passenger van (I am pretty sure I will be able to fit more than she did.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bedside Grab Bag

I have to admit I never EVER thought of this before.  This is a brand new idea for me.

(Maybe this is more common in earthquake-prone areas.)

I just read something on an emergency preparedness site, where a woman was listing all the things she kept next to her bed.

In her bedside grab bag, she kept a whistle, hard hat, flashlight, work gloves, an emergency ration bar, and a crowbar.  I can only imagine that each of these items would be very, very useful if you were buried in an earthquake and had to fight your way out.  In fact, in an earthquake-prone area, I think any intelligent person would want to keep these things beside their bed.

I am not sure we have that big of a need to keep these things beside our beds here in North Carolina, but we should probably brainstorm what items would help us.

In our house, we keep flashlights beside our beds.

I also keep a pair of old shoes right under my side of the bed, because I heard Carol B. talk about a tornado she lived through.  When they woke up in the night, they had to run through their demolished house and neighborhood, and she wished she could find her shoes.  That was a good enough warning for me, and now I always know where my shoes are.

What other emergency supplies do you keep by your beds?  Add your comments.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Get your Camp Stove Ready for the Ward Campout

Our ward is having a ward campout in a couple of weeks, and I am arranging a "Treasure Hunt" for the kids and the adults.  To do the treasure hunt, each person will need to go around and see what cooking methods the other families are using to cook their evening meal.  My goal is for my ward members to get an idea of all the types of camp stoves and portable grills that are available, and see how they work.

We won't be having a cooking competition (no judges are going to eat your food) but I hope the family chef will be able to answer questions about their cooking equipment, especially to help those people who don't own any camp stove or grill yet.

To my ward members:  Email me and tell me:
       if you are going on the ward camp out
       what type of cooking equipment you will be using
       if you are willing to tell people about your cooking equipment as they tour around

For your information, here are some current prices of campstoves and portable grills:

(I just googled various camping/cooking phrases to come up with these, I am not trying to advertise a certain brand.  Google it yourself to come up with a lot more ideas.)

L.L. Bean:


Review of best portable grills:

Alcohol stoves for backpacking:

Deadwood Stove:

Pumpkin Shortage

I turned on the TV the other day, and caught the end of a news item.  They were saying that there will be a pumpkin shortage for Halloween because such a large number of pumpkin farms were wiped out by Hurricane Irene.  (I didn't hear which states' farms were affected the most.)

So I can't tell you if canned pumpkin (the food items) will be in short supply, or if they were mainly talking about Halloween pumpkins (the decorative items), but I thought I would pass it on.  I'm assuming BOTH kinds were damaged by the storm.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beef prices according to CNBC

Record Drought in Texas Could Mean Lower Beef Prices

Published: Friday, 16 Sep 2011 | 4:26 PM ET

"Even though a glut of beef coming to the market could help consumer prices now, the concern is that next year hamburger prices may rise after so many cows are taken out of the system."

Read more at:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spouse Family Financial Affairs Questionaire

Today on the 7-Day Challenge, we are supposed to consider what would happen if our spouse dies.  Do we have all our financial affairs in order?  Read about today's challenge here:

Julie and Jodi have made a great questionnaire which would be good for every married couple to fill out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Emergency Preparedness while I was out of town

I feel so bad that I haven't been participating in the 7-Day Challenge, but the fact is that I was out of town on business and couldn't.

Now I'm back home and hope to participate in the next 4 days.

To make up for the fact that I didn't do the challenge on Friday or today, I will tell you what emergency preparedness steps we took when we went out of town.

We drove to a town in South Carolina, over 200 miles away.  We had food and several bottles of water in the car.  We took parts of our 72 hour kit in the trunk, including a little camp stove and matches.  We had coats and a blanket, just in case we got stranded somewhere and the temperature went down more than we expected.

In our hotel, the first thing we did was find the stairs, we counted the doorways from our room in case we had to evacuate the building in the dark or in smoke.

We brought flashlights and put them by the bed.

And we brought some cash with us, in case anything happened (power outages, etc.) that made it impossible to use our credit cards.

I am always thinking of worst case scenarios, and although I didn't cover everything, at least I had the means of providing myself food, water, warmth, and light in case any of those things went away.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yikes! The 7 Day Challenge Started Today! No Sewer

The challenge today on  is Very DIFFICULT!  We are supposed to figure out how to dispose of human waste without a toilet/sewage capabilities.  Read  to learn more about it.

I hate to admit it, but I don't think I am going to do the challenge today  (I did all 7 days in 2010, and really learned a lot.)

I do have a few of the items done for today's challenge.  I have a year's supply of toilet paper. I own some empty buckets I could use. I own lots and lots of heavy black trash bags.   I own an "emergency toilet" which is like a folding chair/potty seat with a plastic bag underneath.  But I don't want to use it today!

I believe I would have to dig holes in my yard to bury the bags, and I'm afraid of hitting some gas line or cable. ( I have purchased a post-hole digger for this exact purpose).   I guess what I will do is call the city to come and mark my yard so I will know where my utilities are, so in the future I will know where it is safe to dig.

I don't own the lime powder to sprinkle on the poo to decrease the odor (they say you can also use Borax or bleach),  or the SuperSorb chemical that turns urine into a gel.

Because I am not actually practicing how to dispose of human waste,  it makes me quite worried about dealing with this scenario if it ever happens.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Get signed up for the Seven Day Challenge

One of our ward Provident Living challenges for the month is "Sign up for the Seven Day Challenge" on Food Storage Made

I have my suspicions that they are going to start the challenge tomorrow, so if you want to participate (or even get the emails and just observe) you better sign up today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Blueberries--Yummy!

We went to a "empty nesters" Family Home Evening meeting last night, where they had asked me to teach a lesson on food storage.  As part of the refreshments, Phyllis B. had prepared several items using Provident Pantry freeze dried blueberries (a cobbler, muffins, and cake).  They were DELICIOUS!  So I am going to buy a couple of cans the next time I order from Emergency Essentials (

Monday, September 12, 2011

No, I'm not to this point yet.

This is a 44 minute show by National Geographic. "Doomsday Preppers".  Getting food storage and emergency supplies is becoming more common in America, not just among Mormons.  

But these people are a little too over-the-top for me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Matching outfits for a disaster- Why?

This was written by Carolyn Nicolaysen of Totally

Purchase a uniform for your family. Should you become separated from family members a uniform will make reuniting much easier. 

Purchase hats at a dollar store and let the kids go crazy splatter painting them.  

OR Purchase inexpensive solid color t shirts, preferably a bright color, and stencil, splatter paint or use markers and design away. 

OR Purchase bright colored bandannas or a bright and distinctive fabric and make your own bandannas. 

Whatever you decide every family member should have exactly the same items in their Emergency kits. 

It will be much easier for people to remember seeing your family member if you are wearing something distinctive and can tell first responders or the public that your child or your spouse was wearing exactly the same thing as you are. 

This also means your child can tell those trying to help them find you that you are wearing what they are. This also makes it easier to "claim" your child once they are found. 

The crazier and more unique the design the more people will take notice and remember.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flooding, Power Outages, Wildfires, Hurricanes

It is amazing to see all the disasters going on around the world, and in the United States.

I want you to carefully think about each scenario.

What if you were faced with a wildfire approaching your home?

What if your community was surrounded by rising rivers and you couldn't get out because the roads were impassable?

What if your power was out and you had no idea when it would come back on?

What if Hurricane Maria or Nate comes straight at us?

Think about the supplies you would need, and ACQUIRE THEM.  I'm sure none of the people in any of those scenarios today knew two weeks ago that this would happen to them.

Someday one of these things will happen in our area.  You can't help yourself or anyone else unless you have the supplies and the skills. Get them now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Think of the worst case scenario

Okay, lets really think of what would happen if everything went to heck all at once.  There are lots of websites that think that way.  Here is a list I got from one of those types of websites.  I am just passing it along.

100 Things That Will Disappear First

1. Generators: Solar are best. Gas ones need fuel & maintenance, are noisy, a target of thieves, etc.

2. Water Filters /Purifiers 

3. Portable Toilets /showers 

4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 -12 months to become dried, ready for home use. 

5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!) 

6. Coleman Fuel. It is impossible to stockpile too much. 

7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots. 

8. Hand operated can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks. 

9. Honey /Syrups and white or brown sugar 

10. Rice - Beans - Wheat 

11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns and must be boiled etc.) 

12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly) 

13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Smaller HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY  Food grade required if for drinking. BLUE is good for long term storage since it prevents algae.

14. Mini heater head (Propane) Catalytic heater (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.) 

15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric) 

16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.) Get various hoses and adapters!

17. Survival Guide Book. 

18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.) 

19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula, ointments/aspirin, etc. 

20. Washboards, janitor's Mop Bucket w/wringer (to wring out Laundry) 

21. Cook stoves (Propane, Coleman, Kerosene) 

22. Vitamins 

23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item) 

24. Feminine Hygiene/Hair care/Skin products. 

25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms) 

26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil) 

27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)

28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal) 

29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many). 

30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels 

31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months) 

32. Garden Seeds (non-hybrid) (A MUST) 

33. Clothes pins /line hangers (A MUST) 

34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit 

35. Tuna Fish (in oil) 

36. Fire Extinguishers (or large box of Baking Soda in every room) 

37. First aid kits 

38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates) RECHARGABLES & solar rechargers

39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies 

40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food) 

41. Flour, yeast & salt 

42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first 

43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators 

44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.) 

45. Work boots, belts, Levis & durable shirts, ANY durable clothing 

46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns 

47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times) 

48. Garbage cans - Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting -if with wheels) 

49. Personal Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush /paste, Mouthwash /floss, nail clippers, etc 

50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient) 

51. Fishing supplies / tools (hooks & lines) 

52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams

53. Duct Tape 

54. Tarps /stakes /twine /nails /spikes 

55. Candles 

56. Laundry Detergent (liquid) 

57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags 

58. Garden tools & supplies 

59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies 

60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc. 

61. Bleach (plain. NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) 

62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax) 

63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel 

64. Bicycles and spare parts: Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc

65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats 

66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered) 

67. Board Games, Cards, Dice 

68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer 

69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets 

70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks) 

7l. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water) 

72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc. 

73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave) 

74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels) 

75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy /soup base

76. Reading glasses 

77. Chocolate /Cocoa /Tang /Punch (water enhancers) 

78. " Survival-in-a-Can" 

79. Woolen clothing, scarves /ear-muffs /mittens 

80. Boy Scout Handbook & also Leaders Catalog 

81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO) 

82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix /jerky 

83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts 

84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras) 

85. Lumber (all types) 

86. Wagons &  carts (for transport to and from) 

87. Cots & Inflatable mattresses 

88. Gloves: Work /warming /gardening, etc. 

89. Lantern Hangers 

90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts 

91. (Obviously, from a non-LDS website)  Teas 

92. Coffee 

93. Cigarettes 

94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,) 

95. Paraffin wax 

96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc. 

97. Chewing gum/candies 

98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing) 

99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs 

100. Goats /chickens 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Else Do You Need?

You cannot make a lot of foods with just wheat, milk, sugar, beans, oil, and salt.  You can make steamed beans, cereal, and unleavened bread.  That isn't very much.
If you add baking powder, you can make muffins and biscuits.  If you add eggs, you can make pancakes, waffles, and cakes.  If you add yeast, you can make bread, scones, and flapjacks.  If you add tomatoes and spices, you can make lots of different bean dishes.

So, it would be wise to look through your recipes and make a list of all the "Other" ingredients you need to round out your food storage.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Emberlit Camp Stove

This website has a 23 minute video which shows how this camp stove works.

I've never been a camper or a scouter.  So I appreciated this guy's video.

 I thought it was interesting to learn how he starts a fire, and how he feeds the wood into the little stove, how he boils an omelette by putting the ingredients inside a ziploc bag and placing the bag in boiling water.

And he cooked the omelette and bacon using only a small handful of sticks.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A reminder to sign up for Baby Steps

I haven't mentioned this in awhile, so I thought I needed to say it again. has a great series of checklists that they will email you, one every other week for a whole year.  It is free, and is such a great reminder of things you need to accomplish to get your family prepared for emergencies and food shortages.

Go to this page to sign up:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sept. 2011 Provident Living challenges

Do one of these by the October Relief Society meeting and get a prize!
1)Buy enough peanut butter and jelly to make sandwiches for your family for three months. 
 You need to determine how many sandwiches your family would eat each week, and how much peanut butter and jelly you use for each sandwich.  I gave some pointers for calculating that on my blog yesterday (Aug. 31, 2011).
2) Sign up for the Seven Day Challenge on 
I signed up to participate last September, and had many great learning experiences as I had to change a tire, go without city water, go without electricity, and other mock disasters.
There are no consequences if you sign up and then don’t participate.  But I want you to sign up so that you can see all the comments on Facebook as about 2000 people try to live through their assigned hardships.
From their website: 

“The Seven Day Challenge is our way of celebrating National Emergency Preparedness Month in September. The Challenge is a week long series of mock emergencies with daily limitations and tasks to help assess your level of preparedness. On a surprise day in September, participants are notified that the Challenge has begun. Most of the learning and fun occurs as we share our experiences through comments, surveys, and Facebook. 

Seven Day Challenge pages from previous years can help you prepare for the next challenge. We encourage you to check them out, and start preparing now! ARE YOU READY?
2010 7 DAY CHALLENGE Overview
2009 7 DAY CHALLENGE Overview

3) Think of two items you were lacking for hurricane preparedness, and buy them this month.
We usually only have two challenges per month, but I felt we needed a third this time.
Consider Hurricane Irene as a practice run.  What if it had hit us hard?  Using the news stories of the devastation in New Jersey and Vermont as suggestions, consider what supplies you need to have in your home.
These could be items such as:
One week's worth of easy to prepare food
One week’s worth of diapers, formula, feminine hygiene, toilet paper
One week’s worth of paper plates, paper cups, plastic silverware
Bottled Water- a minimum of 1 gallon per person per day.  (But you need much more than that!)
More flashlights
A campstove or fuel for cooking
A lantern
An inverter to plug into your car, to power a TV or laptop.