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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.

Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you need.

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that members of a household may need in the event of a disaster.

* Basic Disaster Supplies
* Kit locations
* Maintenance

Link of the Day

Great survival resource with topics covering a wide variety of subjects.
(Also a valued contributor to the Daily Survival Blog)


Storing, Then Opening Your Food

Storing Then Opening Your Food

After your food is preserved, it's always a good idea to label what's in your buckets. You don't want a bunch of buckets with no clue what's inside or when they were packed. You should date each container so you can rotate foods in and out of your food storage. As a minimum, you should at least place the date and the food on the label.

You should store your food as cool and dry as possible. A cool basement is ideal. But several people have built underground storage rooms for this purpose. Your preserved food should last a long time in cool conditions. Please see our Storage Life of Dried Foods for more information on this.

Many people are concerned about how long their food will stay fresh after they open their buckets or cans that have been preserved. They feel they should have some extra absorbers around so they can re-preserve their food. The truth is this just isn't a big deal unless you are planning on keeping this newly opened food around for several years. When my family opens up a can or bucket that has been preserved in this way, we throw away the absorbers, take out whatever food we need and install the plastic lid. Then we throw the can or bucket in the pantry. As long as you use it up within a year, just about any kind of dry food will remain in good condition as long as it is kept dry and out of the heat.

Preparedness for Freezing Weather

By Joseph Parish

Well we have finally reached the month of January and we all realize that sooner or later we are going to receive some very frigid weather. When these winter months approach us we have to be prepared or suffer at the hands of old Mr. Winter. I have included a few tips in this article on getting ready for the upcoming winter season.

We all understand that with the approach of winter comes a greater risk of power failure and as such we should maintain an extra supply of batteries for our flashlights or radios. Food which would not require refrigeration or cooking could really be a life saver when we are without power.

Keep adequate supplies of winter clothing handy as the lose of power would also mean the lose of any capabilities for washing and drying clothing. A few extra blankets can add some comfort on those cold evenings.

I keep a kerosene heater readily available with several gallons of fuel at my disposal. The kerosene heater would not be sufficient to heat every room in my home however it would heat an enclosed room. You could place sheets at entry ways into other rooms and in no time at all your blocked room will be cozy and warm. I also have a fireplace however most people do not have this item for use in their home or apartment. Make sure that you use all the proper precautions when using kerosene heaters and fireplaces.

During these power outages it is very important that you ensure that additional damages do not occur to your home. You will need to prevent the water pipes from freezing by wrapping them in an insulation material. If you think that you may have an extremely cold evening you may wish to turn your faucet on slightly to provide a small drip. I realize that this wastes an important resource however the end would justify the means. It will keep your pipes from freezing.

If all else fails you can shut off the water supply and drain your water pipes. Make sure that you turn of the water heater also. A little common sense can go a long way towards survival in extreme winter weather.

Copyright 2009 Joseph Parish

"Terrorism—Preparing for the Unexpected"

Here is a PDF file created by the American Red Cross. Devastating acts, such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. Taking preparatory action can reassure you and your children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events. Click here

What survival concept does each letter in the word SURVIVAL stand for?

S - Size up the situation
U - Use all your senses
R - Remember where you are
V - Vanquish fear and panic
I - Improvise
V - Value living
A - Act like the natives
L - Live by your wits, but for now learn basic skills

EMF and faraday cages

By Joseph Parish

Over the last several months my friend Wayne and I have had several discussions centered upon defeating the effects of EMF from a nuclear blast. As we all are aware these EMF signals are suppose to affect anything that has electronics in it from small radios to your automobile.

It really does not matter if you have your radio plugged into the electrical outlet it would still be "Zapped” by the EMF. The EMF from nuclear blasts travels through the air and would destroy many of the static sensitive devices which are in the radio circuit boards. The same is true of your car. Most of the modern automobiles have an assortment of electronic components in them from the ignition systems to the fuel system. Theory has it that none of these modern vehicles will work after a nuclear blast.

In the military when I was in the electronics field we would have a specific room where we would repair certain pieces of equipment. This room would prevent any signals from escaping as well as entering the immediate confines. We referred to the room as a “screen room” but in reality it was nothing more then a large faraday cage. For those who are not familiar with faraday cages they are metal enclosures which capture the EMF signals and route them to a ground connection rather then through the electronic components.

I figure that since we are concerned about specific pieces of equipment functioning after an EMF situation then perhaps we should also consider the possibility of using a faraday cage. We could use it to protect our lanterns and radios and any other electronic equipment which would fit within the confines of the designated space. Lanterns by there very nature may make it without the protection of the cage however the electronic equipment would require some sort of faraday cage in order to survive.

If you happen to be outside of the blast zone then you may not necessarily be affected by the EMF. Many of the current AM radios have what is known as a ferrite core which serves as their antenna. These cores would also pick up any of the induced EMF surges and route them into the electronic circuitry of the radios. These signals may very well be strong enough to actually blow the components in the radio itself even if it were not actually turned on.

Now here is one idea that I would like to present for consideration. Suppose that you take a metal can of some sort that is a bit larger then your radio that you wish to protect. On this can connect a bonded ground strap and secure that to a good earth ground. In this way the metal can should by all respects absorb the EMF signal and properly channel it to the ground connection in place of going through the radio. In theory this would be the same as having a copper cage created with wire mesh and having a ground strap connected to it.

The particular type of EMP which more then likely would be employed to damage America would likely be the HAEMP burst or the High Altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse. The enemy could very well employ about 4 to 6 high altitude bursts in their efforts to produce enough EWMF to effect our equipment. This would be enough to deactivate most of our power grids as well as the large number of our communications systems which would include landline phones and cell phones.

Lastly, I would like to enlarge this idea to include a garage or steel building. Why could we not create a series of ground connections attached to a metal type building which is large enough to house a vehicle in it. This would perhaps afford enough protection to save our bug out vehicle for our needed departure should the time come. I look forward to hearing from those people who have their own opinions concerning my theories.

Copyright @2009 Joseph Parish

Seven Major Mistakes in Food Storage

Printed in the Nov/Dec 1995 Issue of The Preparedness Journal
By Vicki Tate

A month or two ago I met a cute little gal who was talking to me about her newly begun food storage. "You know," she began, "I've dreaded doing my storage for years, it seems so blah, but the way national events are going my husband and I decided we couldn't put it off anymore. And do you know, it really hasn't been so hard. We just bought 20 bags of wheat, my husband found a place to get 60 pound cans of honey, and now all we have to do is get a couple of cases of powdered milk. Could you tell me where to get the milk?"
After I suggested several distributors, I asked, "Do you know how to cook with your wheat?
"Oh," she laughed, "if we ever need it I'll learn how. My kids only like white bread and I don't have a wheat grinder."
She had just made every major mistake in storing food (other than not storing anything at all). But she's not alone, through 14 years of helping people prepare, I found most people's storage starts looking just like hers. So what's wrong with this storage plan? There are seven serious problems that may occur trying to live on these basics:

  • Variety - Most people don't have enough variety in their storage. Ninety five percent of the people I've worked with have only stored the four basic items we mentioned earlier: wheat, milk, honey, and salt. Statistics show most of us won't survive on such a diet for several reasons.
    a. Many people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they are eating it meal after meal.b. Wheat is too harsh for young children. They can tolerate it in small amounts but not as their main staple.c. We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer to not eat, than to sample that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggested and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particular ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans. This will add variety of color, texture and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion.
    Also, include a good supply of the spices you like to cook with. These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited. One of the best suggestions I can give you is buy a good food storage cookbook, go through it, and see what your family would really eat. Notice the ingredients as you do it. This will help you more than anything else to know what items to store.
  • Extended Staples - Few people get beyond storing the four basic items but it's extremely important that you do so. Never put "all your eggs in one basket." Store dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods as well as home canned and "store bought" canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast and powdered eggs. You can't cook even the most basic recipes without these items. Because of limited space I won't list all the items that should be included in a well-balanced storage program. They are included in the "The New Cookin With Home Storage" cookbook, as well as information on how much to store, and where to purchase it.
  • Vitamins - Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others might be added as your budget permits.
  • Quick and Easy and "Psychological Foods" - Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. "No cook" foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation, MRE's (Meal Ready to Eat), such as many preparedness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. "Psychological Foods" are the 'goodies' - Jello, pudding, candy, etc. - you should add to your storage.

    These may sound frivolous, but through the years I've talked with many people who have lived entirely on their storage for extended periods of time. Nearly all of them say these were the most helpful items in their storage to "normalize" their situations and make it more bearable. These are especially important if you have children.
  • Balance - Time and time again I've seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item and so on. Don't do that. It's important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and your have to live on your present storage, you'll fare much better having one month supply of a variety of items than a year's supply of two or three items.
  • Containers - Always store your bulk foods in food storage containers. I have seen literally tons and tons of food thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became highly susceptible to moisture, insects, and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies. Never use trash can liners as these are treated with pesticides. Don't stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A better container is the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods.
  • Use Your Storage - In all the years I've worked with preparedness, one of the biggest problems I've seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It's vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to have to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating these foods.

    A stressful period is not a good time to totally change your diet. Get a good food storage cookbook and learn to use these foods!

It's easy to solve the food storage problems once you know what they are. The lady I talked about at the beginning of the article left realizing what she had stored was a good beginning but not enough as she said, "It's better to find out the mistakes I've made now while there's still time to make corrections. This makes a lot more sense."

If you're one who needs to make some adjustments, that is OK. Look at these suggestions and add the things you're needing. It's easy to take a basic storage and add the essential items to make it livable, but it needs to be done. As I did the research for my cookbook, I wanted to include recipes that gave help to families no matter what they stored. As I put the material together it was fascinating for me to learn what the pioneers ate are the type of things we store. If you have stored only the basics, there's very, very little you can do with it. By adding even just a few things it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it. As I studied how the pioneers lived and ate, my whole feeling for food storage changed. I realized our "storage" is what most of the world has always lived on. If it's put together the right way we will be returning to good basic foods with a few goodies thrown in.

Vicki Tate is the author of the popular book, "Cooking With Home Storage." She has also lectured for many years on preparedness subjects.