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Saturday, April 25, 2015

What to do with food storage when moving

Here is an email I received:
Hi Amy,

I hear you're the guru of food storage.  We're having movers for the first time and there's a possibility we'll have them store our stuff for the month of July.  I'm sure they won't put it in a climate controlled area, so I'm worried about the heat' s impact on our food storage shelf life.  It's all the basic cannery stuff, maybe a couple cans of freeze dried fruits and veg, sugar, but mostly beans and quite a bit of wheat.  I do rotate some of it, but dry beans are a pain and I just don't anticipate getting through all of them before we're closer to 15-20 years in the can.  This was a wedding present from my parents, gleaned from their storage, so it was already 5 or so years old and in 7 years I've used about a year's worth of the original cans of wheat, rice, etc, but I've hardly touched the beans.

I just feel like there's potentially a big difference between a couple days in a UHaul when we moved to NC versus a month who knows where, so I'm wondering if I should try to sell it for less than the cannery charges and then add some savings and buy new when we get settled in our new state.  That would also let me improve the ratio of our storage to align better with what we actually use, though of course we'll still store a good amount of beans for protein completion.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!

 Dear friend:
I really don't have a good answer for you.  It is true that a month in a hot storage unit in July is going to damage your storage.  You will have to decide if you want to sell it.  I assume that people who buy it are going to want a super good deal or no one is going to bother buying it.  You might have to give it away.

 You will have to weigh these questions:  Is it worth it to you to pay to move it across the country with it already going down in nutritional value?  Can you stand to sell it for very little (or give it away)?  Do you want to buy all new, or do you have the money to buy all new?  If you get rid of it, would you procrastinate buying new, and therefore not have any food storage for awhile?  Would it be better to keep this already-paid-for food, even if it has lower nutritional value, instead of having none?  It all depends on how soon you think a personal disaster or national disaster is going to happen. 
That is all the advice I can think of.  Best wishes with your decision.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ice Storm Forecasted for Tonight

Have you heard?  A big ice storm is possibly going to hit us tonight!  The latest news I saw said that ice would accumulate 1/4" to 1/2", and that is MORE THAN ENOUGH to bring down trees on top of power lines.  Be extremely cautious and start getting ready right now for being without power for a few days.

I'm the new Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the GL Ward. I had that calling for 4 years in the MV Ward too, and kept a blog all that time, so there is a lot of information on here. We have lived in N.C. since 1987, so we have lived through several of these ice storms before.)
You only have a few hours left, so please collect many of these supplies before the electricity possibly goes out for a few days:

Make sure you have lots of foods that don't have to be cooked, or are easily prepared on an outside grill.
Does your baby have enough formula, diapers, etc. in case you can't get to the store for a week?

Charge your cell phones, cameras, laptops, and ipods.  Put gas in your cars, in case the gas stations are without power.  Get out your flashlights and lanterns and heavy sleeping bags or blankets.
Practice lighting your gas log or fireplace.
Run your dishwasher, you don't want dirty dishes sitting in there while the power is out. Make sure you do all your laundry. 

You probably won't have any power for a few days, so you will also need a source of heat. Contact your friends with woodburning fireplaces or gas log fireplaces, see if you and your children can stay with them if necessary.

Don't worry about the food in your fridge and freezer, it won't thaw out with the temperature so low.

Did you know that if you have no heat, you can set up a tent in your living room and sleep in sleeping bags, and the temperature inside the tent will be much higher than in the rest of the house? If you have a gas log or fire place, make plans for how you will isolate that room from the rest of the house, to keep the heat contained. Maybe you can shut some doors. Or if you have an open floor plan, can you nail some blankets around the stairwell so the heat won't go up the stairs?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thirty Seconds to Evacuate- what do you take?

This week, an acquaintance of mine sent this email out:

"Last night, our downstairs neighbors' dryer caught on fire and we needed to evacuate.  It all turned out okay for most of us, only the neighbors with the fire had damage.  But the thought I had was - it always happens to someone else until it happens to you.  

So here's your exercise - you now have 30 seconds to evacuate, what are you going to grab...ready go...

The neighbors with the fire had the bucket they tried putting the fire out with.  No coats or jackets.  They called the fire department and knocked on the doors on our side of the building.  Very altruistic.  

Their next door neighbor grabbed her dog.  I can't remember if she had a jacket on or not.  She said she wished she had grabbed her car keys.  

The other upstairs neighbor - they had on their pj's and sweaters.  I don't think they grabbed their dog because I didn't see it out there.  

Thanks to the church teaching emergency preparedness, I had - kids, coats, shoes, keys, wallet, cell phone, my glasses, two of the four 72-hour kits (the ones with money), and my bike trailer (it kept the kids contained while outside, plus it was by the 72-hour kits, plus I love it).  

I'm really glad I had at least practiced mentally at some point.  I probably could have cut off several seconds if I had physically practiced (I did my fair share of scrambling).  Things I wished I would have grabbed - external hard drive, the other two 72-hour kits, and an emergency binder containing all our important information (SS cards, birth certificates, insurance docs, etc.), but it doesn't exist yet (I bought the binder and page protectors last week but haven't put it together yet).  

Other things I learned - it is hard to come off an adrenaline rush like that easily.  I'm still shaky today and nothing bad even happened (to us).  Putting something for comfort in the 72-hour kits means a lot more to me now.  Also, the fire department got here quickly (they are a couple blocks away), but it still takes awhile for them to set up, get the water hose connected and in position.  I'm sure it was a matter of seconds, but seconds are sooooo slow when you're desperate for things to get moving.  And last, Brett wasn't here, so the kids and I needed to be more prepared to do it by ourselves.

Anyway, we're fine and I feel weird sharing, but I really felt like I needed to share to encourage you to make sure you are prepared.  We know what we're doing for family night this week.  =) "

I hope you all think about emergencies like this and have a plan in mind.  As for me, I'm probably in big trouble because my important stuff is all over the place.

And here is what another one of my friends said:

"I was just going to add that at night I always sleep with my purse, phone and a pair of shoes by the bed. If there is a snow or storm warning I tuck a bra, my contacts and phone charger in my purse, too. I also make sure there is nothing blocking the stairs or doors in the event we have to get out in a hurry in the dark.

Let’s just hope we don’t have to put our plans into action.."