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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Foodie Food Storage

Sharon January 22nd, 2009

One of the questions that comes up a lot is how people who are accustomed to eating mostly high quality, fresh foods adapt to a diet of stored and preserved foods. People are concerned that this means an inevitable shift towards canned, processed and lower quality food than a fresh diet would allow for.

My own opinion is that this is actually a false dichotomy - and not a trade off I’d personally ever accept. The problem, IMHO, is not the issue of fresh foods vs. processed, but of making a real dietary shift that actually means that you are eating the best of your seasonal, preserved and fresh foods, rather than trying to reproduce your old diet. “Foodie” food storage - food storage for people who love to eat and to eat delicious, high quality meals - begins from the recognition that it is truly a way of eating, and one that changes with time and season.

Consider a summer meal - grilled chicken skewered with rosemary, sweet roasted corn with butter, new potatoes with parsley and lemon and lightly steamed green beans dressed with garlic vinagrette. Now imagine, if you can do so without becoming ill, the industrial food storage parody of that meal. Skewered canned chicken cubes, sprinkled with dry rosemary. Aged potatoes steamed and sprinkled with dry parsley. Canned green beans with garlic powder and cream style corn. I suspect all of us have had something like this in a hospital or cafeteria somewhere. This, of course, is the nightmare of all foodies ;-).

But the question must arise - why on earth would you try to duplicate a meal that is fundamentally rooted in place and time - in the garden summer? The same is true about foodie pantry eating - it begins, as all good artistries do, from its limits. Like a sonnet, it is shaped in part by what you cannot do - but the limits can be freeing as well as restrictive, opening new kinds of art that aren’t possible when everything is open.

The weak links in food storage are meat, milk and eggs. Most of the non-fossil powered methods of long term storage aren’t something you want to work with every day - salting, smoking and sausaging result in food products that are extremely tasty, but not really healthy for everyday inclusion in your diet. Powdered eggs and milk taste little like the alternatives.

But then again, it is worth remembering that the peasant cuisines that we base much of our best food upon never contained meat, milk and eggs in the quantities we have them now, never ate them all year round. That is, no one ever ate osso buco nightly, or cassoulet daily. And the cassoulet was born as a way to extend small amounts of meat with beans and other foods. That is, the perception we have of most cuisines is a false one - few societies as disconnected from agriculture have ever eaten animal products as we do - as a universal, seasonless food.

So the first reality of food storage is that we’re headed back to the peasant cusines - as they existed for ordinary people. That means fewer animal products all around - maybe none, since it is perfectly possible to produce brilliant, delicious food without it, or perhaps eaten as we once ate them, as the foods of France, Italy, Turkey, China, and other places evolved. This involves sorting through the perceptions we’ve created of those cuisines - the cookbooks are written mostly for Americans and their huge, seasonless quantities of milk, eggs and meat, and the restaurant menus emphasize these foods that were once special.

This is not a great loss, quite honestly. It isn’t just that the cheap meat available to most of us is a pale imitation of real meat, thin of flavor and not very good for you, but those peasant cuisines were good as they were - we don’t need the sugar and fatted up versions - osso bucco every night is no treat.

Fresh vegetables can continue to be part of your meals, but seasonally so - and that means for those of us in cold climates, learning to love our winter vegetables, and to appreciate the cuisines that evolved around winter vegetables - around kales and cabbages, turnips, appples and squash. This is not a loss, it is merely different.

Diets rich in staple foods - rice, potatoes, wheat and oats are ones where highly seasoned foods shine - and that’s the place for home preservation. The accent of carrot-ginger chutney against the plate of rice, dal and palak paneer, homemade cinnamon-tomato ketchup with baked sweet potato fries, the intense flavors of soy, garlic, vinegars, hot sauces, pickles, kimchi, mint, sweet fruit sauces and chutneys - these are the transformative accents that make simple superb.

One of the reasons I live the life I do is to eat well - we were never wealthy, could never afford all the good things that we most enjoyed - until we began to grow our own and raise our own we could never afford all the raspberries we cared to eat (and that’s a lot). Until I foraged I never had all the morels I could want. In fact, I’ve never understood why it was that people who consider themselves “foodies” so often think of good food as something that you can buy - the truth is that many of the best tastes are things that literally cannot be purchased in most places - parsnips dug in a February thaw, with all their staches turned to sugar, corn picked after the steaming pot of water comes to boil, bread baked in a wood burning oven. The peasant life isn’t just a practical strategy for dealing with less of everything - it is a way of getting more on your dinner plate.

I don’t see any contradiction between being a foodie and storing food - but I do think that the degree to which you extract pleasure from your food storage diet depends on your willingness to shift the foods you are preserving and storing to the center of your meals at the times that suit them. It is one more step in a seasonal diet - the experimentation with recipes that don’t involve eggs when eggs are not abundant, or which do take advantage of your abundant quinoa, your potent dried hot peppers and the very best of your local harvest, preserved in its essence to carry the warmth of the summer season into the coldest, darkest tastes of winter.

Original: http://sharonastyk.com/2009/01/22/foodie-food-storage/

Cold and Dark--An Account of an Ice Storm, by Steve S.

In January, 2008, the outlook for people in the United States appeared bleak. I told my wife that we needed to stock-up on food because I felt that the supply lines were thin and vulnerable. I began my preparations by Internet search. I found JWR's SurvivalBlog and I bought a copy of his novel. In the meantime, I started buying cases of canned goods. I bought food that we generally ate. I looked at the expiration dates of every purchase. I tried to buy what would last through 2011. Not much would, so I bought with the idea of buying more later, looking for one year at a time.

The pantry was full. I had read Jim's book, and had found many links on the SurvivalBlog that helped me know how much of what to buy to be balanced. I bought a freezer at Sam’s Club and filled that also. I noticed that food prices were increasing at an alarming rate in August. They were up 18% on same item purchases, on average. Later that figure would reach 35%. I only talked about this to a trusted few. My wife was starting to wonder about me.

Soon thereafter, a Harbor Freight store opened in Jonesboro, Arkansas, my home base. There, I purchased several more items I saw as essential. I got a two burner propane stove with a center grill feature. I bought some LED flashlights, ropes, staple guns, and other miscellaneous items. Being a hunter and former U.S. Army officer, I had a lot of camping (survival equipment) on hand. Sleeping bags were there, polypropylene long johns, butane lighters, three 20 gallon and one 100 gallon propane tanks were filled. I use them for my barbeque grill. I told my wife that we should buy a generator. She said that if I thought we should buy it, that I should. I didn’t.

I found some water barrels at a local food processing plant. I now have eight 55 gallon drums. I found 4 red 35 gallon chemical barrels that were set aside for gasoline. I had about six 5 gallon gas cans to operate my 4 wheeler, fishing boat, and sundry other small engines like lawn equipment and field water pumps.

Day to day, I am an NRA certified training counselor/instructor. Starting in November 2008, my business started to boom. I had a 300% increase in Arkansas concealed carry classes. That hasn’t stopped to this day. I have a 35 acre facility that is a former bean field, surrounded by thousands of farmland acres and two liquor stores. I have a 1,200 square foot building for classroom and office space, a 52 foot trailer for storage. My plan for survival guns was simple. All guns were to be military calibers. Handguns would be .45 and .38 calibers. Rifles would be .22 rimfire, 7.62x39, .308 and .30-06 calibers. Shotguns would be 12 gauge. Stocks of ammunition were increased starting early in 2008.

Shelter, food, security. What is left? Communications. I bought a set of 25 mile range pair of Motorola hand held communicators with recharger on sale for $38. Stores of batteries were laid in. Cell phones. Transportation was what we already had. 2001 Dodge Durango 4x4 and a 2005 Chevrolet 4x4 extended cab pick-up.

The Storm

January 28, 2009. KAIT –TV weather in Jonesboro, Arkansas is forecasting a wet winter storm cold front with frigid weather following out of the Northwest. When it began, the outside temperature was about 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing rain collected on everything in near biblical quantity.

I was awakened in the early morning of January 29th and you could hear branches starting to snap with a sound like gunshots. Outside, you could see flashes of light as one by one, the transformers on the light poles blew out. The power was off. It was time to go to work. First, open the flue and light the gas logs in the fireplace. Inside the house, the temperature had quickly fallen to about 40 degrees. I thought to crack a window for ventilation draft to reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Then I set up a propane heater and went about blocking off all rooms except the den and kitchen, which were adjoining. I used 4 mil plastic to cover two entrances to the den. The temperature quickly found about 62 degrees. We placed a carbon monoxide detector in the room to keep us from being statistics. The propane stove was set up over the electric range for cooking and a 20 pound bottle of propane was connected to it. I started thinking about how I should have bought a generator.

By morning, we felt isolated in our home. Very few vehicles were moving. The world outside looked like a war zone with ice-laden limbs and the things they crushed. With no electricity, the phones didn’t work. We ate breakfast normally. The whole world became our refrigerator. No cable TV so we cranked up the radio and began to listen to the results. Reports of some break-ins started coming in as people abandoned all electric homes for the designated shelters in town. Outlying areas quickly ran out of gasoline and propane. Stores emptied out their goods and shelves became bare. Generators and flashlights were nonexistent. Batteries and power supplies followed suit. Many businesses were unable to sell anything as their computers were down and lights and heat were out. Sadly, no one has a backup plan for how to sell anything without electricity. Gas cans were a faint memory. I checked on our neighbors to make sure they were coping, and to exchange cell phone numbers. The telephone system actually works without outside electricity if the type of phone you use doesn’t need 110 volts from the grid. We had one emergency phone for that reason, and it was operational. I wondered how many people knew about that?

The day passed relatively uneventfully. We had everything we needed to exist in a minor disaster. Some people didn’t. A few died for their lack of preparedness.
After the passing of the first day of “survival,” tree limb removal became the priority, while everyone fought what southerners call severe cold. It was the 30th of January. The temperature was unrelenting with nighttime lows of 9 degrees and daytime highs of 20. I was able to venture out for things that would be nice to have, like a generator. You see, with a generator, our gas furnace would work. All you need it for is the electric blower. It was the only hole in the preparations. I went in to the local Lowe’s, after checking a couple of other stores. In the back of the store there was a line of about 13 people. I asked why they were there. There was a truck inbound with 75 generators. I got in line. Twenty minutes later I was in the electric department buying the necessary wire nuts and power cords needed to hook my [newly-purchased] generator to the power panel in my house.

When I got home, the first thing I did was to disconnect the house from the grid by turning off the main breaker, outside the house. You must do this before attempting to connect a generator to your power panel. Failure to do so could kill workmen repairing downed power lines and connecting transformers. To get things operational quickly, I used the cord provided with the generator, which used four grounded plug outlets. To operate the [selected] areas to connect, I bought 10 gauge wire. We turned off all appliances and I pulled out the circuit breaker for the selected rooms. I disconnected the wire from the circuit breaker and wired it directly to each wire with a male plug on the other end to mate with the wire from the generator. I did this for the heater circuit, the den wall circuit, the kitchen wall circuit, and the master bedroom wall circuit. The heater kicked on.

I offer one final note about using a generator. The operation book has a chart in it showing the watts used by each type of appliance. You must calculate the [load] amount used by your appliances. It has to add up to less than your generators running wattage rating.

We were on a main highway in town, and we had our electricity hooked to the grid after spending only a few nights without. Many in town were without electricity for three weeks. In outlying areas, some are still not connected. The line crews working to restore power were fantastic. Limbs still line the highways and yards a month after the event began.

Lessons Learned
It was nice to be confident in the preparations that we had made. It was also easy to see the holes in the plan. I now have the generator that I knew I would need when the grid goes down. After the fact, I also bought the connections necessary to hook up the generator just by turning off the main breaker, plugging the generator to an installed wall socket, and cranking it up. Cell phones go down after only a few days without a charge. I bought a portable power battery for that purpose. If we had been out of power long term, the generator would have had to have been used on a part time basis, at night. That means that daytime operations would have been using only one or two rooms, again. When power goes down, the best fallback is natural gas, if you have it. I am in the process of planning where to install additional natural gas stubs for appliances that can be added. The natural gas hot water heater was a blessing. It was on from the start. The warmest place in the house was the utility room where the water heater is located. Remember to have books and games for those evening hours when you would have been watching television. Make sure all of your gasoline cans stay filled and stabilized. Make sure all of your propane bottles stay charged. Make sure you have plenty of batteries for radios and flashlights. Make sure you have enough essential medicines. Roger’s Rangers rules #1 rule is "Don’t fergit nuthin!"

I may have missed a few issues, but I want to talk about future plans. I am going to install photovoltaic panels to run an emergency LED lighting system. This would be a small solar panel, probably 45-60 watts [and a deep cycle battery], as a precursor to getting a more comprehensive system. LED lights use very little electricity and they are very long lasting. More technology will be added as it becomes available. Reducing reliance on the grid is the ultimate goal.

Final Words
You can war game and "what if" emergency situations as much as you like. It is good to exercise your plan. The problem is that real situations have a way of waking you up to the holes in your plans. Do not wait to begin planning for the next disaster. People in tornado and earthquake zones know about being ready for these things, but Mother Nature will have a surprise for you no matter where you are. Prepare for the worst and pray to God that it doesn’t happen.

Original: http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/03/cold_and_darkan_account_of_an.html

Recipe: Ramen Noodle Salad

Are you stocking up on Ramen noodles? They are cheap and very easy to prepare -- especially in this salad! Here's a salad you can make with your pantry's givings with a little help from your garden:

Ingredients - Salad:
1 head of lettuce (or 4 cups greens)
6-8 green onions/bunching onions
1 6-ounce can mandarin oranges
1/2 cup dried celery dices (rehydrated)
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (toasted)
1 3-ounce package of Ramen noodles, uncooked & crumbled

Ingredients - Dressing:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or avocado or walnut or olive oil)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
seasoning packet from noodles *
sugar/salt/pepper to taste

Chop green onions. Tear lettuce into bite sizes, then wash and spin dry greens. In a large bowl that can be covered, mix together the greens and green onions with the mandarin oranges and rehydrated celery dices. Cover and refrigerate. Blend together dressing (seasoning to taste). Just before serving, add to the salad the dressing, almonds and noodles.

* I use only half of the seasoning packet because it's very high in sodium (bad for my blood pressure).

Copyright (c) 2009 VP Lawrence-Williams

Original: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/03/recipe-ramen-noodle-salad.html

Inventory Check: Eye Wash Cup

What the heck's an eye wash cup, you ask? Well, if you have ever gotten something in your eye and had to go to the emergency room or even (years ago!) your doctor, you know.

It's a little "cup" like to the right (there are many). It is shaped to seal around your eye and wash out whatever is there that isn't supposed to be. You can use a special eye wash or salt-water mixture or even just CLEAN water, put your eye to the cup so that it's sealed. Lean back and blink a few times to let the water wash out your eye.

This is a necessary item in your first aid kit. Be sure to include several, and different varieties.

Original: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/03/inventory-check-eye-wash-cup.html

Attracting bees to your backyard

If you garden, it's very important that you attract bees and other polinators to your garden. If your plants do not get polinated, you will have flowers but no fruits or vegetables. While it's very pretty, it doesn't stock the shelves.

One way to attract bees to your backyard is to plant the types of plants they like. Here are a few examples of plants that bees really like and are good sources of pollen and nectar.

1. Basil
2. Rosemary
3. Marjoram
4. Globe thistle
5. English lavendar
6. Zinnias
7. Wallflowers
8. Lupine
9. Black eyed susan
10. Asters
11. Sunflowers
12. Blueberry
13. Lilac
14. Bee balm

Bees particularly seem to like purple, blue or yellow flowers. Bees also need to have a source of water. You can use a shallow birdbath for this if you like. They also need a place to live so if you have a fallen tree or large branch, consider leaving it there. A compost pile can also serve this purpose but I'm not sure you'd want a bee hive in your compost pile.

Don't use pesticides in your gardens if you hope to attract bees. You'll kill off the good bugs as well as the bad bugs. Plant a variety of different flowers in clumps instead of single flowers here and there. Bees like sunny spots with some protection from wind. Try to have some plants flowering in each season.

Original: http://vermontpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/03/attracting-bees-to-your-backyard.html

Five Laws of Firearms Safety

“Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” - Mae West
Today's blog message was first published on CodeNameInsight as The Four Commandments of Firearms Safety Explained.

There is no excuse for the "accidental" discharge of a firearm (which mostly has
fatal results). Every time there is a news report of someone involved in an
accidental shooting, you can be sure that they broke one (or more) of the Four
Commandments of Firearms Safety.
  1. "Treat all firearms as though they are loaded. "
    Whenever you touch a firearm and don't plan to shoot immediately, your first task must be to clear the weapon and make sure it is not loaded. Never trust someone else's word that the gun is safe.
  2. Never point the muzzle "at something you are not willing to destroy."
    It only takes a faction of a second for a gun to accidentally "target" someone while being moved about and in that unfortunate moment it fires and kills. AWAYS know and pay attention to where the gun is pointing.
  3. "Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on the target and you are ready to fire. "
    "When I see a shooter with their finger on the trigger when they are carrying
    the weapon, picking up their weapon, or holding their weapon, I know this is a
    sign of a very inexperienced shooter." - CodeNameInsight
  4. KNOW your target
    Never shoot at a sudden movement or a shape in the dark. The thing that moved might be your hunting partner instead of the dear. The dark shape could be your neighbor instead of a burglar. Don't shoot unless you are certain you have identified the target.
  5. Know what is next to and behind your target
    If you miss your target, where will the bullet go? Bullets don't just stop because you missed. What unintended target will be hit if you miss? If you hit your target but the bullet goes completely through, what will it hit next?

Bottom Line

These five simple rules, if followed at ALL times, can reduce the number of "accidental" firearm deaths to almost nil.

Original: http://perpetualpreparedness.blogspot.com/2009/03/five-laws-of-firearms-safety.html

self defense

If you think you'll ever be threatened by phsical violence (and odds are many of us will) and you've never hit another person you probably should. I don't mean that you should punch the next person that walks by or that you should take up inflicting physical violence as a hobby but I believe everyone should know how to defend himself or herself. And part of that process means getting comfortable with your body and with the other weapons that might make up your self defense startegy.

I suggest learning how to use your body to defend yourself in the same manner I suggest that people who own a gun should learn how to handle it. The human body can be used as a very effective weapon of self defense. You don't need to master any particular form of martial arts to be able to defend yourself but just as with a gun you do need to learn techniques and practice them to increase the likelihood that you'll be able to defend yourself safely and effectively if attacked.

It seems that whenever I talk to other people about defending themselves with their own body specific situations tend to come. "Well what if someone surprises you in a dark alley or a small band of thieves with knives breaks into your home in the middle of the night?" I think I can keep from getting overly mystic and still suggest that learning the art of self defense is a journey, not simply information you can download from the Web. In my opinion everyone should take self defense classes but you're not going to learn how to successfully defend yourself from that band of knife-wielding thieves during week one. It's a process.

Most introductory self defense classes will start by teaching you ways you can begin to use your body to defend yourself as well as weapons you can carry to handle situations you are not yet able to deal with using only your body. For instances, it's fairly easy to learn how to break another person's nose. A properly thrown punch will do the trick even if the attacker is a big man and the person being attacked is a small woman. The great things about a broken nose (or even a bloodied nose) from a self defense standpoint is that it floods the face with blood and tears. Even an enraged attacker (and the big man with a broken nose is going to be angry) won't be unable to see well enough afterwards, let alone operate through the intial pain to be able to chase down the small woman who threw the punch.

*HOWEVER*, the very important question to everyone, including all of the small women who are reading this post is, can you successfully throw that punch? This is where self defense training is useful, not just as a way to learn how to throw that punch (and what to do if you fail to land it on target or with sufficient force) but also what weapon might be appropriate to carry if you are not in fact certain you could throw that punch.

This is especially important to people who have disabilities or for other reasons are not able to physically defend themselves. Learning how to defend yourself isn't just about learning the proper technique or weapon to handle particular situations but rather it's like outfitting a toolbox with all the tools necessary to reliably handle any task that might come up. ANd it will be specifc to eahc person and their individual needs.

The great thing about this approach is that once you stock your self defense toolbox with a particular tool, you will be able to pull it out at any time in the future and use it. At the risk of taking the metaphor to far it is possible to lose tools, to forget a significant part of a particular self defense strategy but if you properly learn to throw a punch or handle pepperspray it's likely to be an experience there for you to call on if the need arises in the future.

Some tools, like screwdrivers are a useful when taking on any number of tasks. Learning how to throw a punch and how it feels to land it or learning how to responsibly carry and use pepper spray are nice screwdrivers to have in your toolbox. Other more specialized tools like learning how to handle nunchucks are useful but in fewer situations and the consequnces of using them improperly could mean greater bodily harm to yourself or others. If you throw a punch incorrectly (the thumb stays outside the fingers when making a fist) you could break your own hand. If you don't properly carry or know how to use your pepper spray you could wind up disabling yourself. This nessecity of training is especially true of guns where improper storage or handling ould likely lead to death. It's best to start with simple techniques and with startegies that you can safely control and work your way up to more rigurous forms of training and weapons that can do greater harm.

Training to be able to defend yourself with your own body also has other great benefits. Tai Chi is a martial art practiced primarily for helath benefits. It's wonderful exercise along with the endorphin release that accompnaies any physical activity. It and other forms of physical self defense training will also help you develop balance, flexibility, strength and reflexes. These are useful in situations in which you need to defend yourself but they are also useful in everyday life.

I also don't want to disqualify weapoins including guns as effective means of self defense. They can be properly used not only as tools of self defense but also for fun (target paractice, shooting skeet) or as a way to hunt for food. Guns are like any human tool, only as useful and as dangerous as the hands in which they're held. I suggest everyone concerned with their own self defense start by tarining those hands and learning the skills of fighting back with your body. It's training you hope never to need but cold prove priceless if violence threatens yo uint he future.

Actionable Items:

1. Sign up for a basic self defense class that bills itself as a broad education in what's available.

2. Use this opportunity to explore a self defense system you've always been interested in like Boxing, Kickboxing, Tai Kwan Do, Kung Fu, Goju Ryu, Karate, Judo, Jujutsu, or Aikido.

3. Take up training with a particular weapon like pepperspray, the bow, nunchucks, knives, or a gun.

4. Get a friend, spouse or partner to take a class and train with you. Practice safely on each other.

5. Remember that physical violence is dangerous and that when faced with a confrntattion you almost always you have other options. Talking, walking or running out of a dangerous situation are all thought of as cowardly in our culture but they are actually very intellegent choices.

Original: http://poweringdown.blogspot.com/2009/03/self-defense.html

Free Online Bushcraft Books

There is an on-line edition available of a classic bushcraft text which is no longer available in print. “The 10 Bushcraft Books” by Richard Graves is an excellent source of bushcraft information. All of these ten books are available in HTML format for free download or printing. The PDF version is currently no longer available. Richard Harry Graves, the author, was born in 1898 in Waterford County, Ireland. Richard Graves died in 1971 in Sydney, Australia. He authored numerous books and is a former Commanding Officer of the Australian Jungle Survival & Rescue Detachment.

Here are the links to “The Ten Bushcraft Books” by Richard H. Graves

Book 1. - Ropes & Cords

Book 2. - Huts & Thatching

Book 3. - Campcraft

Book 4. - Food & Water

Book 5. - Firemaking

Book 6. - Knots & Lashings

Book 7. - Tracks & Lures

Book 8. - Snares & Traps

Book 9. - Travel & Gear

Book 10. - Time & Direction

My good friend Mungo has also provided some additional downloads for bushcraft books here:

PDF downloads to a few more bushcraft related texts.

Most of the bushcraft skills discussed in these books require only a sharp cutting implement, such as a knife, axe or machete. Learning bushcraft techniques will help you develop adaptability and the ability to improvise. This will lead to a greater degree of self confidence as your skills increase.

Got bushcraft?

Staying above the water line!


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2009/03/free-online-bushcraft-books.html

SHTF: Coupons and the Garden Rush

Coupons and grocery shopping are to survivalists what taxes are to politicians; one has a hard time existing without the other.

As people who are preparing, we take advantage of any money saving means to buy extra and lots of staples for the pantry. When we shop, we always have a list, always use a cart (that's a buggy for you people in foreign lands like England, Belgium and Michigan)and follow the mantra "one is none and two is one".

So, using coupons at the grocery store saves us lots of dough. With many of us downsized or furloughed from the job, men and women who formerly spent more time in the to go line at the local restaurant are now finding themselves looking for deals in the grocery store.

Here are some hints for you first time bargain shoppers.

- Sign up for the grocery cost saver card whatever it may be. When shopping, there are two prices displayed on an item, regular purchase price and a lower "members only" purchase price. You don't get the lower price unless you have a shoppers card.
For the paranoid: Yes, the store will track your purchases. I know this because they send me plain, but good, store coupons, on things I buy regularly. Further, when my receipt prints at my grocers, I receive another receipt based upon what I bought.
If this bothers you, fill out your shoppers card with bogus information. The store does not care and won't check your ID.

- Sale flyers arrive at home on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

These flyers from the grocers are to be viewed before you go to the grocery store not while in them.
Set down at the table. For each store, note what is on sale at the grocers and what you actually eat. Note how much you have in the house and if the product is worth purchasing or storing for later.
This is the start of your grocery list.

- Coupons come in the Sunday paper.

Don't get a subscription to the paper if you can get a copy of the coupons from a friend or neighbor for free.
Clip the coupons of products you actually use or would like to store. Compare this list to the sale list you compiled earlier. Better, clip the Sunday coupons and use the sale pages the following Tuesday or Wednesday.
Note: Many stores are not accepting internet coupons any longer due to fraud. Remember that when someone wants you to sign up for "freebies" on line.

- Go to stores with double and triple coupons.
Double and triple is what you think it is - double or triple the printed savings value on the coupon. .35 off? Make it .70 o even 1.05!
Note: Most stores have limits on double and triple coupons such as .50. Others do not, so they are worth looking for.

- BOGO - Buy One Get One free
Coupon + BOGO sale generally means free + free. Keep an eye peeled for these deals.

- 10 for 10 is sometimes not a great deal

So you see a store flyer with 10 cans of Chef Boy-R-Dee for $10. What a deal right? It depends because a careful examination of other stores may show that same can goes for .88. Suddenly that deal is not so good as it would save you 1.20 to buy those same cans elsewhere.
Stores use the "many for one price" marketing technique not because it saves you money but because it moves merchandise fast.

Finally, use a grocery list and stick to it.
Too many shoppers think they can keep it in their head and save money. It won't happen. Make a list and use it religiously.

If you use a coupons, sales and a list, you can fill your pantry with lots of good food and can plan menus based upon what you have.

The Great Garden Rush.

Gardening for food is a bug everyone gets in the spring, but this year, it is more than a passing fancy.

Gardening for food may mean survival for you and your family.

First, forget all that "sustainable, community, earth, preachiness" online. Gardening for food is necessary for you and your family to save money now and guarantee a food supply later. The "community" can find their own plot of land and till it; I have mine and will trade for tools, seeds and labor under equal terms. Not so I can build a sustainable imaginary future. Bah.

I digress..

The home stores and garden centers are full of potting soil, fertilizer, seeds, seedlings, dwarf fruit trees, berry bushes and tools.

They won't be for long. In a month or so, only some measly looking tomato plants and a few oddball herbs will be left. Everyone is on board with gardening, not flowers or ornamentals, but fruit and vegetables this year.

First, plot out your yard for garden space.

Next, get to the store and start buying seedlings if the ground is ready or seeds if planting time is still a month or so away.

Then, get busy in the garden. It will take work but eating is worth it.

Remember, a garden will not magically feed a family. You will need to supplement with grains, rice, fats and oils. Buy those in bulk now.

Also, don't forget storage for fruit and vegtable after harvesting. That means drying (get a dehydrator) and canning (get those supplies now). Freezing helps too if the power is on.

Get busy in that garden before the Rush is fully underway and there is no more time!

Original: http://survivalism.blogspot.com/2009/03/shtf-coupons-and-garden-rush.html

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How to Treat Gunshot Wounds

How to Treat a Bullet Wound

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Gunshot wounds are one of the most serious forms of trauma that you can encounter. Gunshots cause three types of trauma: penetration (destruction of flesh by the projective), cavitation (damage from the bullet's shock wave in the body), and fragmentation (caused by pieces of the projectile or bone).[1] If is very difficult to predict the degree of damage done by a gunshot wound, and many of the injuries caused by a gun far exceed what you can reasonably treat. For this reason, the best option for most gunshot wounds is to get the victim to a hospital as soon as possible. Read on to learn what you can do to help stabilize a gunshot victim.


  1. Make sure you are safe.
    • If the victim was shot by accident (e.g., while hunting), make sure that everyone's firearm is secured and pointed away from any other people.
    • If the victim was shot in a crime, try to make sure that the gunman is no longer on the scene. Wear personal protective equipment if available. [2]

  2. Call for help. Call for emergency medical assistance.
  3. Do not move the victim unless you must do so to keep him safe, or to access care i.e.: in a rural or off-road setting.

General principles of first aid for bullet wounds
Steps, warnings and tips are only for your consideration. Although the specifics of treating a gunshot wound will vary somewhat depending upon the part of the body where it occurs, these steps can be applied to all gunshot wounds.[2]
  1. Act quickly. Time is your enemy in treating the victim. Victims who reach medical facilities during the "Golden Hour" have a much better likelihood of surviving.[1]
  2. Check the A, B, C, D, E's. Assess these five critical factors:[1]
    • A (Airway) - If the person is unconscious, check to make sure that his airway is not obstructed. The tongue can be a common cause of airway obstruction, and simply turning his head can solve the problem.
    • B (Breathing) - Is the victim taking regular breaths? Can you see his chest rising and falling? If the patient is not breathing, start rescue breathing immediately.

    • C (Circulation) - Does the victim have a discernible pulse? If the victims does not have a pulse, begin CPR.

    • D (Disability) - This refers to damage to the spinal cord or neck. Check to see if the victim can move hands and feet. If not, there may be an injury to the spinal cord that can be worsened by moving him.

    • E (Exposure) - Make sure that you fully expose the patient so that you do not miss wounds to the armpit, buttocks or other difficult-to-see areas.

  3. Control bleeding. Controlling bleeding is most important thing you can do to save a gunshot victim's life.[1]
    • Applying direct pressure to most wounds is the best way to control most wounds. Use a pad over the wound and apply pressure directly to the wound. If you have nothing available, even your hand or fingers can be used to control bleeding.
    • Use pressure points in the arm (between the elbow and armpit), groin (along the bikini line), or behind the knee to control bleeding in the arm, thigh, or lower leg.
    • There is little that can be done in the field to control serious bleeding from the chest, abdomen, or pelvic region. Your best course of action with these sorts of injuries may be to get the person to an emergency room as soon as possible; however, bleeding of this sort frequently leads to death.[1]

  4. Be prepared to treat the victim for shock. Gunshot wounds frequently lead to shock, a condition caused by trauma or loss of blood that leads to reduced blood flow throughout the body. Expect that a gunshot victim will show signs of shock and treat him accordingly. However, do not elevate the legs if the gunshot wound is to the torso, as this will increase bleeding and make it more difficult for the victim to breathe.[2]
  5. Wait for help to arrive. Stay with the victim until help arrives. Avoid moving the victim unless you must.

Special instructions for regions of the body [1]
  • Head – Gunshot wounds to the head are frequently fatal. Your best option is to keep the head elevated and get the victim to a trauma center as soon as possible.
  • Face and neck – These wounds typically bleed severely. Use direct pressure to control bleeding and keep the victim upright. Be careful not to obstruct breathing while controlling bleeding. With injuries to the neck, be careful that blood flow to the carotid arteries isn't disrupted, as this can reduce blood flow to the brain.
  • Chest and back – Apply direct pressure to control bleeding; understand that it may be difficult to control chest bleeding because the ribs make it difficult to compress the structures that are bleeding. Gunshots to the chest can cause what is known as a "sucking chest wound". These happen when air travels in and out of the wound with each breath. Treat these as follows:[3]
    • Seal wound with hand or airtight material (e.g., plastic film).
    • Apply an airtight bandage on three sides of the wound (see image below). Do not close the bandage on the fourth side.
    • Lift the unsealed side of the bandage as the victim exhales to allow air to escape.

  • Abdomen – Use direct pressure to the injury site. As with the chest, controlling bleeding in these cases can be quite difficult.
  • Arm or leg – Use direct pressure to control bleeding. Arm and leg injuries from gunshots can be elevated above the heart to help control bleeding. Use pressure points in the arm, groin, or behind the knee if direct pressure does not control bleeding.
    • Never use a tourniquet except to:[4]
      • save a life when excessive bleeding can not be stopped by pressure or to
      • go to get help as when alone, then to
      • arm or leg only and above bleeding (never on any other part of the body.)!

    • Never use wire, string or similar narrow material that cause new cut or bursting injury and new bleeding injuries when tightened.


  • It is very difficult to accurately assess the severity of a gunshot wound based upon what is visible on the victim; internal damage may be severe even in circumstances where the entrance and exit wounds are small.
  • Gunshot wounds are a common cause of spinal cord injury. If the victim appears to have a spinal cord injury, do not move him unless you absolutely must. If you must move the victim, be sure to keep the head, neck and back aligned.
  • When applying bandages to stop bleeding, add new bandages over the old; do not remove bandages when they become soaked.


  • Do not put your own life at risk when treating a gunshot victim.
  • Even with the best of first aid, gunshot wounds may be fatal.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Trauma and Gunshot Wounds: What you need to know to save a life - Dr. Maurizio A. Miglietta

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 About.com - How to Treat a Gunshot Wound

  3. Survival, Evasion and Recovery - U.S. Military Field Manual FM 21-76-1 (1999)

  4. Wikipedia:Emergency_tourniquet

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Treat a Bullet Wound. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Original: http://alabamapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-treat-gunshot-wounds.html