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Thursday, May 14, 2009

$5.00 Dollar a week food storage plan

April 26, 2009 - "$5.00 dollar a week food storage plan" - In view of Americas recent food situations and the sky rocketing prices I have again included a link to the article entitled "$5.00 dollar a week food storage plan". Since the food prices are on the rise I would extend this to $10 per week. This article was put out by the Mormon's in support of their food storage program. It provides some excellent guidelines in this respect. I encourage everyone to get started ASAP.

Original: http://delawarepreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/500-dollar-week-food-storage-plan.html

Homemade Deodorant

Can it be so easy to make a product at home that is like what you buy at the store? Will the homemade product work? Is it hard to make? Is it really cost effective to make at home? The questions I have written go through my mind every time I research making something at home. In addition I have been researching making things that have limited preservatives or chemicals as I am unsure exactly what side effects they may cause me. I have been amazed at what things are in items that we use on a daily basis, and although I am neither a doctor nor scientist, wonder if the rise in cancer is the result of chemical overload.

I make my own toothpaste, hairspray, shampoo (not sold on its ease so still working on) hair gel, facial cleanser, soap, and as of today deodorant! Yes, I made my own deodorant today. I will confess that not wishing to smell has been the reason I have delayed making deodorant. I ran out of deodorant the other day, so I decided to get over my worries and just make it-pass or fail.

Wow, making deodorant has to be one of the easiest items I have ever made. The process took around 8 minutes, and 4 minutes was spent washing out my old deodorant container.

Empty deodorant container

The ingredients:
1/4cup corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda
1-2 TBSP coconut oil

Mix the dry ingredients first and slowly add the coconut oil mixing with your hands. The coconut oil is the bonding agent and you do not need too much to make the deodorant the same consistency as store bought. Then fill the empty deodorant container.

Here is the finished product! It has no smell and works wonderfully.
The total cost to make this:
coconut oil= around 10 cents
baking soda= around 5 cents
corn starch= around 10 cents
empty deodorant container=free
total= 25 cents! Amazing

And for the record the baking soda is the odor fighter, the corn starch keeping dry, coconut oil bonding agent-3 ingredients safe and simple.
(c)Double Nickel Farm

I wrote this post for my farm blog. You see for me prepping and living simple are the same thing. I am preparing on relying on my brain to make things for my family, if and when I can no longer go to the store anymore. Once I discovered the volume of chemicals and garbage in so many products, I threw myself into this full force. You see even if the world changes and our economy tanks I am still me and wish to maintain some normalcy. In any crisis, comfort items do make all the difference. Having clean clothes, being able to wash up are stabilizers for many of us. If you prep long term it becomes a lifestyle and then making every day items become a snap!

Original: http://newmexicopreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/homemade-deodorant.html

Freezing excess Cabbage the right way

By Joseph Parish

Occasionally good deals come along and it becomes desirable to grab up a lot of a certain vegetable. This was the case with cabbage. However, lets face it no matter how much you like cabbage enough is enough. Jus the same when you are afforded the opportunity to find cabbage for ten cents per pound you want to store up as much as you can. Unfortunately if left alone the cabbage would go bad in a short period of time.

In this article I would like to inform you of the way to successfully freeze your excess cabbage. Frozen cabbage can be used as only as a cooking vegetable only. It will work wonderfully in any type of cooked dish ranging from stews to cabbage casseroles. It is exceptionally virtuous when fried. It tends to taste like it just came out of your garden. It usually tastes good when you cook it and it doesn't really take that long to cook. You would not want to use frozen cabbage for slaw, however for use in soups or stews it is a perfect compliment.

When selecting your heads of cabbage choose the most solid heads you can which appear to be the freshly. Check for fresh leaves and ensure that the cabbage has a vivid color. The heads should be firmly attached at the stem and not in any way beginning to separate. Only in this manner will you be assured of a fresh head of cabbage. Trim off the outer leaves of the cabbage head and then cut it into medium shreds or into thin wedges. You could separate the head into leaves if you so desire. It is all according to your intended use and personal desires.

At this point there are two chains of thought. The first chain suggests that you water blanch the heads or cabbage leaves for a period of 2 minutes. Cool them promptly afterwards and then drain them well. Finally package them up for the freezer. Be certain to leave ½ inches of headroom when packaging them. Seal your containers properly and freeze them immediately.

The second method mentioned is to boil a pot of water and place shredded cabbage into it for 2 seconds only till it goes to a bright green color. Take it out at this time and strain it immediately through cold water. Let it dry on a towel and then place it on trays so that the cabbage strips are not touching then place it in the freezer. Alternatively, in place of shredding the cabbage you may desire to freeze the whole leaves. Process them the same amount of time, promptly cool it and quickly freeze the cabbage. When it is completely frozen you may be able to break up the leaves into much smaller sections or shred them and freeze it in portion sizes. If this is the case it really doesn’t matter if the strips tend to stick together.

Some people have made claims that they have successfully frozen cabbage for many years and never once have they blanched it. They simply trim the outer leaves off of the head and cut it in half removing the core. They then cut the cabbage into medium shreds; next they pack it into freezer zip-loc bags and freeze it. The methods and procedures you decide to use should be your personal choice.

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/FreezingexcessCabbagetherightway.htm

Cheese Wax Will Save Us All

cheese-variety2Well, at least those of us who are addicted to cheese anyway.

  • Can you name at least 10 different kinds of cheese that you love?
  • Do you believe that cheese should be its own food group?
  • Are you helpless to abide by your diet unless it involves huge amounts of melted cheese?

Then this article is for you!

cheese-fruit-plateSo picture this. It’s a bona fide emergency survival situation. You are holed up on your home and living off of the emergency preparedness supplies you stored. And you’ve got one heck of a hankering for some yummy melted cheese. But you’re just not in the mood for the Velveeta, that nasty powdered stuff, or the “squirt” kind of cheese. You want a good solid bite of a yummy Monterey Jack, or Swiss, or a sharp cheddar. (I’m making myself drool even as I write this.) But hey, cheese doesn’t store for a very long time, right? Well, in this case, I’m happy to tell you that you’re wrong. And if you’re a true cheese addict, then you’ll be happy to hear that you’re wrong for once, right?

cheese-wax-goudaSo here’s the good news. You CAN have your favorite cheese on hand, even in an emergency, and even though no stores are open and you have no access to electricity. All you have to do is buy the blocks of cheese that you want now in order to have them stored for up to the next 25 years. Cheese wax prevents your cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps the moisture in. Simply use a natural boar’s hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese, let it harden, and then, VOILA – you’ve got your wish. Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years at a mild to cool temperature. Sure, it will continue to age. But it sure won’t get moldy! Be sure that you select block sizes of cheese that you and your family can easily consume within a 3 to 5 day period in order to avoid it going bad once you’ve cut into it.

A couple of tips you should know though.

  1. cheeseclothDon’t use paraffin wax. It tends to crack. Cheese wax warms at a cooler temperature and thus plies better to your cheese shapes and sizes. Cheese wax is also less crumbly and you can use less of it than paraffin.
  2. I have yet to find a cheese that I can’t wax. So long as it’s hard enough to be in a block, you can wax it.
  3. You don’t need cheesecloth, but if you desire to use it prior to your wax layers, it may be helpful getting the wax off. I haven’t had any problems without it though.
  4. It’s best to melt the cheese wax in a double boiler as opposed to direct heat.
  5. cheese-wax-double-broilers1The less you handle the cheese with your hands the better.
  6. Don’t bother with dipping the cheese. Your natural finger oils may cause cracking of the cheese wax. Use a natural boar’s hair brush instead. The reason why you want to use this kind of brush specifically is because other brushes will apply the cheese wax too thick, or with crevices, etc. This kind of brush is perfect for cheese waxing.
  7. You don’t need to use food-grade labels for your cheese, however, it’s smart to use a label on the outside of your cheese just prior to the last wax layer. That way you don’t have to worry about it falling off. Be sure to label not only the kind of cheese it is, but when it was waxed as well.
  8. cheese-wax-brushDon’t store your waxed cheese in additional containers. Just stack them on top of like cheeses and let them breathe. I like to hang them from the ceiling in a “fishing net” kind of contraption.
  9. Be sure to check for pockets or crevices that didn’t get sealed. Three thin layers of wax is a good practice. There’s no need to do more coats than that.
  10. The cheese surface should be clean and dry prior to waxing.
  11. If your 2nd and 3rd coats are applied while the prior coat is still a bit warm you will get a better adhesion.
  12. Cheese wax can be re-used several times. You can simply wash it in warm water, let it dry and then re-melt it. So when you remove cheese wax from your cheeses, you can simply reheat and reapply the wax. Simply heat the cheese wax to about 110 degrees Celsius. This will also ensure that you’re not transferring any bacteria or unnecessary moisture to your new cheese.
  13. You do not need to filter the cheese wax after you melt it. So don’t worry about that step.
  14. Your first coat will have some unevenness to it. Don’t worry. The 2nd and 3rd coat will even it out just fine.

cheese-wax-waxCheese wax can be found multiple places online or in your local health food stores. You should also have no problem finding a boar bristle brush either. It doesn’t really matter what color of cheese wax you use.

Once you get the hang of this cheese waxing stuff you can progress to making your own cheese from powdered milk in any flavor you decide! Yummy!

Enjoy the recipe below!

Kristen’s Cheesy Roughin’ It Enchiladas

1 can of tomato soup

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 regular sized can of enchilada sauce

2 cups of canned chicken, drained

About 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese

cheese-enchiladas2Make your sauce by combining the soups and the enchilada sauce.

Use enough flour or corn tortillas to line a large baking dish or Dutch oven with your enchiladas (About 12 to 15 depending on how big you stuff them). Be sure to spray your dish with some cooking spray.

Lightly coat the bottom of your tortilla with the sauce. Then add about 2 tablespoons of chicken, according to your desire. Top the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of cheese. Then roll up your tortilla and place seam side down in the dish. Continue until you’ve filled the dish a single layer deep. Once you’re finished, pour the remaining sauce over the top and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the cheese is completely melted. You can add chopped black olives, black beans, rice, or even green chilies to this recipe as well.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.


24 Hours Until SHTF Plan

Nomad's Note: I stumbled across this excellent article that offers an in depth plan for when the SHTF. I posted the first 7 of a list of 20 thought proviking pointers. Make sure you visit the original to get all of the info.
  1. My first step would be to assess the threat scenario as different ones require somewhat different preps. Nuclear weapons / fallout, civil unrest, and pandemics are special cases with additional steps.

  2. My second step is to review my current inventory and update my shopping lists as needed. I do this roughly once per month. By having a list, you save time when shopping and you can prioritize based on the amount of resources. When you do this, assess your personal needs and prepping gaps - you may need to reorder your shopping priorities.

  3. Check your current account balances. Under a SHTF scenario, you can assume no access to these for either a short-term period (e.g. a Hurricane Katrina event if you live in Biloxi and bank with a local bank or a "bank holiday") or a permanent loss of access (economic collapse; nuclear war). Even if you are able to obtain access later, you cannot guarantee that the funds will have the same value - especially after a bank holiday.

  4. Stop at your bank and take the maximum amount of cash you can from your accounts. There are both daily limits per account and limits in terms of how much cash most bank branches have on hand at the bank. It does not take very many customers asking for several thousand dollars or more each to empty the bank of cash.

  5. Food is your #1 priority. I would start with Costco and grocery store runs. Even with a good food storage program, you alway burn through your supplies. Spend your money on foods that do not need refrigeration. You might want to stock extra coffee, alcohol, and canning supplies as trade goods that you also use. In addition, you should think about buying foods to can and dehydrate - you can do these later in the day or in the next several days. If you have a nuclear scenario where you need to shelter in place in your fallout shelter, buy extra food that does not need to be prepared along with paper plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels so you don't need to use stored water to clean dishes. Get several containers of regular bleech (without any scents) - even if you have bleech stored, it looses its decontamination properties in as little as three months.

  6. Your next stop should be your local gun store or the gun section of Wal-Mart or your local sporting goods store. Get more ammunition. Also, get any other gun or camping supplies you identified as a gap. If you do not have a gun, this is your last chance to get one. If you do not have an emergency shortwave radio, get one. Likewise, if you do not have FMRS/GMRS / MURS walkie-talkie radios, get some.

  7. Stock up on more batteries while at Costco or Wal-Mart.
Read More

Original Daily Survival: 24 Hours Until SHTF Plan: "http://virginiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/03/24-hours-until-shtf-plan.html"

Related Articles:
Neighbors Should help Neighbors
Ten Scenarios for Which You Should be Prepared
Americans Just Won't Prepare
10 Things to Help You Prepare for Hard Times
Mental Emergency Preparedness
Personal Survival and the Rule of Three

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SurviveTheWorst/~3/TD3dJ4toR2w/24-hours-until-shtf-plan.html

Risk Analysis and Preparation Levels

[Edit #1 2-4-2009 - Added Level 0, Color Coding, explanatory statement]
[Edit #21 2-28-2009 - Tweaks for clarity]

I'd like to start off by creating a common framework for us all to have a reference point in our discussions. I plan for this to be a framework for other articles addressing preparedness for each level.

First of all, we all need to perform our own risk analysis. Everyone's situation is different, so what is important and needed will be different.

Risk analysis is taking the likelihood of bad events happening and multiplying it by how "bad" it would be to happen and adding it up. From Wikipedia: The total risk is the sum of the products of the consequences multiplied by their probabilities.

Generally, you insure against the big 'bads', and the very likely 'bads'. Your house isn't very likely to burn down, but if it does, you lose big, so you insure against it. You are somewhat likely to get into an accident, and the consequences can be expensive, so you buy collision insurance. You are very likely to get a flat tire someday, so you insure against it buy getting AAA coverage.

So, take some time to analyze your risk factors and special vulnerabilities, as well as any amplifications of the consequences (for instance, you may have plenty of batteries for a power outage, but if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated you're in trouble).

Location - what does your geographic location have? What does it lack? Are there local water supplies? Energy or food supplies? What particular vulnerabilities does your region have that you might have to leave in a hurry? Coasts get hurricanes, the West forest fires and earthquakes, the river valleys of the Midwest can flood for miles.

Personal situation - Single strong male? Lucky you, fill up a backpack and go. Family of four, or handicapped, or elderly family members? Not so easy. Need medications? Baby formula? Those are bad things to be without. Also, is your clueless brother, cousin, roommate, or neighbor going to tag along? Might want to take that into consideration.

Disaster likelihood - again, we need a common gauge for meaningful discussion - some are talking food and water for a probable big storm, others are worried that the black helicopters are coming or want to build concrete bunkers for an very unlikely nuclear war.

So I'm proposing the following "Disaster Scale" which lists the disaster, describes some of the major conditions, and provides a generic outline of ways to deal with each. I've tried to organize them in order of decreasing likelihood (ie: Level 0 is likely Level 5 is highly unlikely) so, higher levels include the preps for the lower (more likely) levels. IMO it's probably best to prepare a little for every level to cover the basics at first, then prepare in more depth as time and money allow, starting from Level 0 up through Level 5.

Disaster Scale - Levels 1 through 5X (X being Extreme or Extended)

Level 0 - Human Disaster - Civil / Social / Services breakdown, even with no observable natural disaster. Riots + looting (ie: 1990's L.A. Riots, 2008 Greece), short war, political starvation (ie: African aid hijacking) . Services are overwhelmed for a short term.

Level 0X - Extended Human disaster - Extended riots (ie: 1960's Greece), Civil War, genocide (ie: 1990's Rawanda, China's Great Leap Forward, Today's Darfur). Massive population displacement, likely away from food sources and medical care and other services.

Level 1 Natural - Fire Flood Tornado Drought: Temporary (2-4 weeks) disruption of normal services and/or trade
  • Need 2-4 weeks of food (rice, beans, sugar, flour), heat source (propane camping stove + fuel), water (stored or Berkey filter), Entertainment (Cards, games, RV charger-battery-DVD/Laptop)

Level 1X Persistent natural disasters 4 weeks +
  • Electricity gone, all else normal - batteries might only last a few days...need a solar charger, deep cycle battery, and an inverter. Cold climates might need a bank of batteries and a larger inverter to run an electric blanket.
  • Water gone, all else normal - can use gas or electricity to boil water, Big Berkey filter a plus
  • Natural Gas gone, all else normal - can usually use electricity for same purposes as gas.
  • Drought - water barrels

Level 2 Economic - Stock crash, recession
  • Save on costs, food: dehydration, canning, gardening; Energy: insulation, efficient bulbs
  • Invest in Yourself: training and schooling since jobs are scarce anyway
  • Precious metals: sometimes a good investment, sometimes not, if accumulated over time much less chance of getting burned.
Level 2X - Depression - little to no economic activity - All Black Market, energy very expensive
  • Get out of Debt because old debts are in inflated dollars, but earning power is reduced - sell everything not nailed down.
  • Save Money - as above, perhaps with Solar panels + deep cell battery and inverter to save on electric bills

Level 3 Political - constitutional crisis, election unrest
  • Home and personal defense (ie: sit in your house/business with a shotgun)
Level 3X - Police State
  • Exit areas of urban unrest - prepare to defend in rural isolation
  • Secure communications

Level 4 Currency - massive deflation, hyperinflation, debt default - limited to nation or region
  • Food stocks - prepare for 200-300% increase in food costs, prepare as level 2 above but for 1-2 years
  • Trade: Utilize gold, silver, and tangibles (food, ammo, booze). Get small amounts too (not all big gold coins, get silver dimes and quarters, perhaps links of a 24K chain to break apart)
  • Wealth - can own other currencies that have not collapsed, and precious metals or other commodities
Level 4X - Global currency or debt default
  • Wealth - no suitable alternate currencies exist, convert wealth to precious metals and tangibles/trade-ables.

Level 5 Devastation - Tornado Swarm, Volcano, Asteroid strike, Single Nuclear Exchange, Dustbowl - Some regions become uninhabitable, others may be OK
  • Transportation - make sure it's rugged, reliable, and ensure that all of your gear will actually fit in the car with passengers
  • Only real goods matter, food fuel, water
Level 5X Total Devastation - Total TEOTWAWKI - Total Nuclear War, Multiple asteroid strikes, Ice Age, Supervolcano, SuperTsunami, War of Worlds/Independence day attack of superior aliens (hey, you can't *prove* it WON'T happen),
  • Total bunker mentality - do the best you can, hunker down or run like crazy (depending on situation), prepare to kiss your a** goodbye?
  • Communication - radio - link up with others
So we have a characterization of the disaster, but that is only one half of the equation.

Let's add this together with the next proposed scale.

Social Reaction Scale - Color coded scale that reflects social reaction to the Event.

This is built upon this article found on the blog TEOTWAWKIAIFF.

This matters for preppers because, for instance, you could have a major disaster with good social support, or just a plain old riot for no other reason than a sports team won or lost, and this will affect our preparations.

White - we've cleared local space of asteroids, have full employment, health, drug, and mental treatment, don't bother locking your doors.

- Peacetime, low crime, good social services infrastructure.

- "Peacetime" - meaning covert wars spawning some terrorism, some crime, barely coping social infrastructure, mostly reasonable 911 and hospital waits.

- High crime, overwhelmed social infrastructure. Long waits for 911, hospital treatment.

- Very high crime, broken social infrastructure - 911 is a joke. Carry at all times.

- Lawlessness with rampant crime- corrupt social infrastructure, cops might help or fire warning shots at you. If someone stops or speaks to you assume a robbery or kidnap attempt (ie: Argentina, South Africa)

- shoot first ask later - the black helicopters, insane hillbillies, bloodthirsty viking invaders, virus-crazed zombies, aliens, demons, gremlins, evil animated puppets, whatever.

Disaster Scale Examples

Just some recent examples off the top of my head...I'm still working on my Disaster Historian degree so any info/input welcome.

  • 2009 KY ice storm - Level 1X - Blue - even though it sucked for the participants, order was maintained.
  • Katrina - Level 1X - Red - because it was an
    extended natural disaster, where social services and civil order broke
    down completely.
  • 2005 Tsunami - Level 5X - Yellow - Total devastation, with mild looting (possibly because most of the population was simply gone).
  • Iraq War - Level 0X - Black (from Iraqi's P.O.V.)
  • 9-11 - Level 0X - Blue - Huge local man-made disturbance, some overwhelming of local services.
  • LA riots - Level 0X - Orange - Huge local man-made disturbance, overwhelming fire services, some random violence
  • 1990's Mississippi flooding - Level 1X - Blue huge local devastation, with local help available and remote
    emergency services on the way.
  • 1990's CA wildfires/mudslides - Level 1 - Blue - huge local devastation, with local help available and remote
    emergency services on the way.
  • Mt. St. Helens -Level 5X-Blue - huge local devastation, with local help available and remote
    emergency services on the way.
  • 1970's New York financial crisis - Level 0X - Yellow - Extended man-made financial crisis led to long-term crime problem
  • East Coast Hurricanes - Level 1 Blue- Level 1X (direct hit) Green - Can be anything from inconvenient to total destruction like Hurricane Andrew.
  • Argentina 2001 Currency Default - L4X-RED - extended local currency devaluation with violence and crime and breakdown of social services - as described by the Ferfal blog.
  • Russia's 1990's Currency Devaluations - L4-YELLOW - sustained if degraded govt and social services, yellow due to some increased crime and gang kidnappings.
I hope people will help me flesh this out - input is very welcome, and that with this framework in mind, we can have more useful discussions targeting specific types of disaster preparation, and the cost/benefit ratio of each.

Since it is very likely that we will have a big weather event (look at the Kentucky ice storm - 1 million without power...how many batteries are left on the store shelves?) we should all be prepared for L1 and L1X events. Economies tend to be cyclical, so one should expect L2 events as well.

Total government, economic, or currency meltdowns are highly unlikely, but very very bad when they happen. So with limited $$$ resources one might not quit the job, sell the house and head for the hills just yet, but might make more modest preparations such as accumulating precious metals as finances allow, and keep an eye on things.

Basically, what I'm saying is buying gas masks and a bullet proof vest when you don't have enough batteries, food or blankets to last out a big storm doesn't make much sense.

I look forward to networking with all you Preppers!


Original: http://pennsylvaniapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/risk-analysis-and-preparation-levels.html