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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Threats to Your Survival

Advances in technology have led to the development of clothing, equipment, and gear that can greatly increase your chances for survival in almost any situation. In recent years, the amount of information and the different types of equipment available has been growing at a very rapid pace. For those who are interested in increasing their survival skills there is an unlimited abundance of information available and someone willing to sell you the necessary equipment to assist you in those efforts. What they can’t sell you is the experience and proper state of mind to survive that emergency or crisis.

Most everyone knows that experience is the best teacher. In most survival situations, emergencies or disasters it is quite often the one area that is lacking with many people. Not everyone has lived through the devastating effects of a natural or man-made disaster and your reaction in a survival situation depends in large part upon your knowledge, skills and state of mind. The proper gear can also play a needed part in the drama of survival but it will not guarantee your survival. Good gear should be an essential part of your survival and preparedness efforts but relying upon it too heavily to solve potential problems could end up being the worst thing you could do.

In almost any situation, it is always important to keep in mind that it can happen to you. When it happens to someone else, it’s news but when it happens to you it can become a tragedy if you aren’t prepared. It is those persons who are both mentally and physically prepared that are going to be more likely to survive. When dealing with any emergency situation or disaster you must be able to make rational decisions, improvise using what tools are available at the time and above all remain calm when faced with adverse conditions that are threatening your survival.

Lack of mental preparedness can become a life-threatening situation. Anxiety, fear, and confusion will become immediate threats to your survival and you must work to keep the proper state of mind. These emotions can dull your mind and may cause you to miss important things that could affect your survival. You will rarely be able to anticipate most emergency situations and being able to make rational decisions without letting panic, fear or anxiety take control of your actions will greatly increase your chances for survival. Your ability to think logically and clearly will be essential.

A lack of physical preparedness can also be deadly. When in a state of panic, injuries that could have been easily treated may be ignored to the point where they become life-threatening events. Always deal with injuries immediately, even simple cuts or wounds can become infected or become more serious if left untreated.

Another consideration to remember is that proper shelter will be absolutely necessary. A matter of a few degrees in the change of your core body temperature will become life-threatening. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold will take an immediate toll on your body. Don’t allow yourself to rest or stop moving unless you have adequate shelter. Realize that fatigue is a natural defense mechanism of your body and is the way it protects itself when suffering from a large amount of stress.

Dehydration will be the next serious threat to your survival. While hunger can be quite uncomfortable, it is seldom fatal in most survival situations. Dehydration is an immediate threat and cannot be ignored. You must be able to take the necessary steps to keep your body properly hydrated in any crisis or disaster.

Your chances for survival will always be greater with a proper state of mental and physical preparedness.

Staying above the water line!


The Holidays and Prepping

Some might say the holidays are just a corporate scheme to get people out spending money on stuff they don't need, nor do the recipients of their gifts need. This might hold somewhat true but that doesn't mean you should give up on the holiday spirit all together. You can incorporate prepping into your holiday shopping and the holidays provide a great way for you to subtly get your family members and friends prepping.

The first thing you want make sure you don't do is buy anyone a gift card. Retailers make billions every year on unredeemed gift cards. They're easy to loose, throw away, or forget about. That money you spend on them will go to waste. Not to mention the risk of buying someone a gift card to a store that's going to go out of business after the first of the year.

Instead of buying your loved ones things that they already have two of, get them something that will help them get prepared. Little things like flashlights, batteries, canned goods, MRE's, or anything else that is related to preparedness. Get creative; one thing you can do is make out a good list for a general 72 hour kit, purchase some of the items for it and give that as a gift along with the list. The idea is that the person you gave it to would finish the kit and have themselves a good emergency kit.

If you have trouble getting the idea of getting prepared through to your loved ones this is a great way to break the ice and plant the seeds in their minds. Books on gardening, preparedness, and bush craft survival are also great gifts and can get people's minds on the right track to getting prepared. What better way to show your friends and family that you love them by getting them things that could ensure their survival and possibly save their lives.

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Making Cheese from Powdered Milk

My friend, Lori Dunford, is a pro at utilizing food storage and making delicious, gourmet food out of it. Once again, she has blown me away with her latest conquest: making cheese out of powdered milk! And by the way, this is not so-so cheese. It's actually mouth-wateringly delicious cheese! She has been kind enough to share her recipes with this blog so I hope you enjoy them!

Quick Soft Pressed Cheese

2 cups boiling water

1-1/2 cups dry milk powder

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

3-4 Tbsps lemon juice

Cheese coloring tablets (optional)

Blend water, milk and oil, allowing foam to settle slightly. If colored cheese is desired, add 1/2 tablet cheese coloring (or cake decorating paste color) while blending. Pour into hot saucepan coated with a nonstick spray and heat to at least 160 degrees. Add lemon juice and continue to stir until mix curdles.

Pour into a cheesecloth lined colander. Rinse curds with warm water, then salt to taste. Place cheese in cloth between two plates or spoon into a cheese press. Apply weight and let sit for 1/2 hour or longer, depending on how firm you want the cheese to be. Remove from plates or cheese press,rinse, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Use within one month or freeze. This cheese can be sliced, grated, or crumbled. For Smoky Cheese, add 1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke flavoring and 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt after rinsing curds.

Soft Cottage Cheese

2 c hot water

1 1/2 c dry milk powder

3 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice or white vinegar

Blend water and dry milk and pour into saucepan (foam and all). Sprinkle lemon juice or vinegar slowly around edges and gently stir over medium heat just until milk begins to curdle. separating into curds and whey. Remove from heat and let rest one minute. Pour into strainer or colander, rinse with hot, then cold water. Press out water with back of spoon. Makes about 1- 1/2 cup curds. If desired, moisten rinsed curds with a little buttermilk before serving and add salt to taste. Refrigerate if not used immediately. Whey from fresh milk powder can be used in place of water in breads and soups.

Protein Shake
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (see recipe above)
1 c frozen fruit
3 T ground flax seed
1 c water
4 ice cubes
Sweeten to taste
2 T chopped nuts

Put everything in the blender except chopped nuts and blend. Stir in chopped nuts and enjoy.

Cheese Ball using Cottage Cheese (see recipe above)
4 c well drained cottage cheese (the longer you drain, the drier it becomes)
2 c grated cheese (I used quite sharp cheese)
1 c real bacon bits
2 T onion powder
2 T dried parsley
2 T garlic
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 c chopped pecans
Makes 2 cheese balls
Mix ingredients well, divide in half, roll in pecans if desired. Wrap securely in plastic wrap and let chill for several hours before using.

You can find more of Lori Dunford's powdered milk recipes here: http://preparednessmatters.blogspot.com/2009/05/cooking-with-basic-food-storage_22.html