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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some thoughts on Storage Space

By Joseph Parish

As survivalists we never seem to have adequate space for stock up with the important supplies that may be required to assure our survival whenever an emergency condition occurs. A modest amount of thought on most of our parts can undoubtedly disclose some very exciting hiding places. That is exactly what this article is all about.

Our room furnishings represent an excellent manner in which to hide those cases of extra food or critical survival supplies. Typically you can unearth some very out of the ordinary designs in the Mission style furniture which affords a modest amount of storage space. In addition, you can always discover a way to put extra items in one of the storage seating units where the seat lifts up to provide a bit of useable space inside. These may not appeal to most people for their usual living room seating but work excellent for dining areas and could easily be made in the home workshop.

I was recently made aware that there are now companies which offer self assembled living room furniture. I have personally investigated this myself and find them completely fascinating. The units are well made and you assemble them in your home. You put together the wooden structure and then place the material and cushioned sections on for the final assembly. These coaches and chairs also boast a certain amount of storage contained inside of the units.

In the event that you are considering replacing your current bed you may want to build one yourself that has storage directly under it. If you are not handy with a hammer and saw then there are some excellent companies that can sell you similar beds at attractive prices. In many cases those beds can become a complete bedroom suite in a one piece unit. With the proper storage built under it the bed you can replace your conventional dresser or chest of drawers with the bed itself.

Another possibility is to employ a bed that folds up in the daytime when not needed. This was popular in the 60’s and in some situations can still be found today. Those beds would often fold into a wall making the room useable for something other then sleeping during the day. Many modern New York apartments use a system whereas the bed is raised up to the ceiling during the day and lowered at night. The system uses a series of pulleys and cables to accomplish this. During the evening when it is time to retire the bed can be lowered and many times rests upon a coffee table below it for stability.

Popular with the younger generation are the loft beds where you have extra useable space below it. These types of sleeping arrangements are fashionable in many of today’s college dorms and have the desk below the bed. You can readily build these units yourself.

Sleeper sofa’s is another possibility in that you can easily eliminate a bed completely with these convertible couches.

When it comes to your kitchen you can create some extra space and shelves by not mounting your kitchen cabinets directly up to the ceiling. Leave then a bit lower in order to create a shelve space. You can use this space to house your rarely used pots and pans and other less needed items. In this way they will be out of the way but still available in the event that you need to use them.

If your home is on the small size you may wish to consider an old trick that was used by the early Quakers. They would mount pegs on the wall and when their dining room chairs were not needed they would be placed on the pegs. In this way the chairs were completely out of the way. This is still in use today in some areas of the country.

Space around the perimeter of a room can best be used for housing your survival books and accessed by a small step stool. These simple shelves can be placed above the doors or windows and travel around the edges of your room.

When it comes to space and creating storage all you really have to do is let your imagination run wild and make it happen. Our homes can offer us a lot of space if we choose and pick the surroundings well

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Homemade Canned Pork and Beans

Yield: 14 pints

    Dry Ingredients


  • 6.5 cups of white navy beans

  • 2 pounds of hot dogs cut into slices

  • 1 pound of good polish sausage cut into slices

  • 2 large onion, chopped

  • 1 pounds salt pork, cut into thick (about 1/2) inch slices and around 2 inches across

    Sauce Ingredients


  • 8 .5 cups water

  • 1 12-ounce can tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 2 teaspoon paprika

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (the kind that is good on pizza)

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 teaspoon salt

  • 1.5 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar NOTE: To be added to the sauce just prior to putting jars together


Allow beans to soak overnight. Drain water off and rinse a few times. Bring beans to a boil and boil another 2 minutes. Let cool for around three or four hours to partially cook. Drain and rinse again.

Place beans in large bowl. Add chopped onions, hot dogs, and kielbasa and mix well.

Mix all ingredients for sauce together and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, place once piece of salt pork on bottom of pint jar. Fill with to about 1 inch of the top of the canning jar with bean mixture and place another piece of salt pork on top.

After you get all the beans arranged, put the balsamic vinegar into the sauce.

Arrange all your jars of beans on counter and then fill with hot sauce.

Seal with two piece lids and arrange in pressure canner.

Process at 11 pounds pressure for 75 minutes. Allow canner to cool on it's own.

When pressure is completely down, pull jars and allow jars to cool, adjust lids again.


Original: http://mightaswellliebackandenjoyit.blogspot.com/2009/07/homemade-canned-pork-and-beans.html

Nutritious Food to Carry

As a prepper, you either have packed or are getting ready to pack up a backpack with your stove and fuel and matches and food. Here's just a little reminder of some light items to carry:

  • Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods: See this posting: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/02/basics-about-freeze-dried-and.html. Some to keep with you are: vegetable flakes, onion flakes, garlic cloves, mixes like for pancakes, etc.

  • Quick prep foods: cereal plakes, lentils, ramen noodles, etc.

  • Other: teas, coffee, boullion cubes, instant soup, dried mushrooms, peanut butter, gorp, butter powder, cheese powder, and chocolate

Be sure to keep various spices: we repack them into small pharmacy prescription pill bottles with child-proof tops. Good to keep: onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

Keep a supply of one-a-day vitamin capsules too.

= = = =

Now... on to the "heavy" food - healthy meals to carry if you have a (mule) car or canoe! These are really too heavy to carry in your backpack.

  • a hearty breakfast is very important: granola, porridge mix, pancake mix with syrup

  • fresh fruit and veggies - wait to eat the produce that lasts longer (cabbage, onions, potatoes, carrots, apples) until AFTER the quick-to-spoil items are gone.

  • foods you pack yourself, like soup mix, stew mix, beans, pasta, etc. These are easy to make and actually pretty light if using freeze-dried or dehydrated ingredients.

  • s'more ingredients: marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers... yum!

  • canned ham, tortillas, canned refried beans and green chilis, canned chicken, etc.

  • nutritional yeast sprinkled on popped popcorn or salads or chili

PLUS... if you have room for a cooler, you can include fresh meat (eat in a day or two) like hot dogs, ground beef, chicken, cheese, sour cream, butter, milk, etc.

Be sure to pack a couple of power bars too! You might even consider a baggie of instant lemonade mix or hot cocoa.

Remember your utensils like potato peeler, paring knife, fillet knife (in case you catch fish to eat!), flatware (knife, fork, spoon), etc.

Original: http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/06/nutritious-food-to-carry.html

Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke

I was working outside yesterday (mowing lawn, moving things around, planting, etc. - prep for selling the house) when I overheated. Yes, I was drinking water, wearing a hat, and sat down when I got too hot. But it didn't help. I had heat exhaustion, and if I hadn't come inside when I did (at 9:30 a.m.), it would have progressed to heat stroke within moments.

I had luckily purchased some gatorade powder/mix for any influenza outbreaks in our household, so with the help of my 12 year old, mixed that with water and drank that most of the day. I also took a cool-to-cold shower and rested on the bed.

I'm still a bit shaky but this goes to show that we need to be careful whether in normal every-day circumstances, or prepping for a particular situation.

Be careful yourselves. Here's some info from: http://www.umm.edu/non_trauma/dehyrat.htm

What is dehydration?

Dehydration can be a serious heat-related disease, as well as being a dangerous side-effect of diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Children and persons over the age of 60 are particularly susceptible to dehydration.

What causes dehydration?

Under normal conditions, we all lose body water daily through sweat, tears, urine and stool. In a healthy person, this water is replaced by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

When a person becomes so sick with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting or if an individual is overexposed to the sun, dehydration occurs. This is caused when the body loses water content and essential body salts such as sodium, potassium, calcium bicarbonate and phosphate.

Occasionally, dehydration can be caused by drugs, such as diuretics, which deplete body fluids and electrolytes. Whatever the cause, dehydration should be treated as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?

The following are the most common symptoms of dehydration, although each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
  • thirst

  • less-frequent urination

  • dry skin

  • fatigue

  • light-headedness

  • dizziness

  • confusion

  • dry mouth and mucous membranes

  • increased heart rate and breathing
In children, additional symptoms may include:
  • dry mouth and tongue

  • no tears when crying

  • no wet diapers for more than 3 hours

  • sunken abdomen, eyes or cheeks

  • high fever

  • listlessness

  • irritability

  • skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Treatment for dehydration:

If caught early, dehydration can often be treated at home under a physician's guidance. In children, directions for giving food and fluids will differ according to the cause of the dehydration, so it is important to consult your pediatrician.

In cases of mild dehydration, simple rehydration is recommended by drinking fluids. Many sports drinks on the market effectively restore body fluids, electrolytes, and salt balance.

For moderate dehydration, intravenous fluids may be required, although if caught early enough, simple rehydration may be effective. Cases of serious dehydration should be treated as a medical emergency, and hospitalization, along with intravenous fluids, is necessary. Immediate action should be taken.

How can dehydration be prevented?

Take precautionary measures to avoid the harmful effects of dehydration, including:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun.

  • Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing.

  • Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day.

  • Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.

  • For infants and young children, solutions like Pedialyte will help maintain electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life-threatening emergency. It is the result of long, extreme exposure to the sun, in which a person does not sweat enough to lower body temperature. The elderly, infants, persons who work outdoors and those on certain types of medications are most susceptible to heat stroke. It is a condition that develops rapidly and requires immediate medical treatment.

What causes heat stroke?

Our bodies produce a tremendous amount of internal heat and we normally cool ourselves by sweating and radiating heat through the skin. However, in certain circumstances, such as extreme heat, high humidity or vigorous activity in the hot sun, this cooling system may begin to fail, allowing heat to build up to dangerous levels.

If a person becomes dehydrated and can not sweat enough to cool their body, their internal temperature may rise to dangerously high levels, causing heat stroke.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

The following are the most common symptoms of heat stroke, although each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • disorientation, agitation or confusion

  • sluggishness or fatigue

  • seizure

  • hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty

  • a high body temperature

  • loss of consciousness

  • rapid heart beat

  • hallucinations

How is heat stroke treated?

It is important for the person to be treated immediately as heat stroke can cause permanent damage or death. There are some immediate first aid measures you can take while waiting for help to arrive.

  • Get the person indoors.

  • Remove clothing and gently apply cool water to the skin followed by fanning to stimulate sweating.

  • Apply ice packs to the groin and armpits.

  • Have the person lie down in a cool area with their feet slightly elevated

  • Intravenous fluids are often necessary to compensate for fluid or electrolyte loss. Bed rest is generally advised and body temperature may fluctuate abnormally for weeks after heat stroke.

How can heat stroke be prevented?

There are precautions that can help protect you against the adverse effects of heat stroke. These include:

  • Drink plenty of fluids during outdoor activities, especially on hot days. Water and sports drinks are the drinks of choice; avoid tea, coffee, soda and alcohol as these can lead to dehydration.

  • Wear lightweight, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing in light colors.

  • Schedule vigorous activity and sports for cooler times of the day.

  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and using an umbrella.

  • Increase time spent outdoors gradually to get your body used to the heat.

  • During outdoor activities, take frequent drink breaks and mist yourself with a spray bottle to avoid becoming overheated.

  • Try to spend as much time indoors as possible on very hot and humid days.

  • If you live in a hot climate and have a chronic condition, talk to your physician about extra precautions you can take to protect yourself against heat stroke.

Original: http://colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/2009/06/dehydration-heat-exhaustion-and-heat.html

The Colony Part 1

I just stumbled across "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel as I was writing my last post. Looks like a fairly interesting series. The scenario is that a group of people will be stranded together for a period of ten weeks in an urban area in order to simulate what would happen after a major global disaster. Here's some notes:
  • The group has in interesting mix of people: scientist, martial artist, handyman, doctor, nurse, ex con, etc.

  • Prior to beginning the taping, the people were deprived of sleep, food, and water for 30 hours to simulate what would happen to people immediately after a disaster.

  • The people scavenged what they could as soon as they were set loose.

  • Secure shelter is important. These people are using an abandoned warehouse.

  • They immediately located a water source (a disgustingly dirty river in Los Angeles)

  • They filtered the water with sand and charcoal then boiled it to make it safe to drink.

  • Basic needs: fire, water, shelter, security, sanitation, food.

  • To protect their feet while their shoes and socks were drying out over the fire, they made "shoes" out of shipping envelopes and duct tape.

  • Cleanliness and sanitation are important so as not to spread disease. Toilets were flushed manually with water.

  • Beds were made out of pallets, cardboard, Styrofoam, drapes, and rags.

  • People were rotated on two hour security watches

  • A quote: "people will attempt to get supplies and resources by any way possible after a disaster." Security is a must and will be a continual effort.

  • Assume you are not alone and will have other survivors to contend with.

  • A quote: "In survival mode you may have to let go of your moral compass".

  • If you have limited resources will you share with other survivors who are strangers? This was a contentious scene for both the "inside" group and the new survivors put in the situation.

  • After the basics were taken care of, the people moved on to power. They used scavenged batteries which were "daisy chained" then converted to household AC for power.

  • One man kicked alcohol, tobacco, and coffee when he started the challenge--he wasn't a happy camper for the first few days. Somehow coffee was found on Day 4.

  • Water is budgeted to one gallon of water per person per day. The average American uses 144 gallons of water per day (!).

  • The warehouse had lots of useful materials and supplies for their various projects.

  • Storage of water in the shelter was valuable.

  • During a rain storm, they devised a system to collect water from the gutters (it's easier than traveling to the river and hauling it back to the shelter).

  • Baking soda was used for laundry soap and corrugated steel was used for a washboard in order to wash clothes.

  • Jobs were pretty much divided up along gender lines.

I will definitely watch this show next week. While I usually find a lot of technical faults in these types of "reality" shows, the random bits of information gleaned even from TV shows may prove valuable should I find myself in this type of survival situation.

Original: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com/2009/07/colony-part-1.html