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Friday, December 3, 2010

Mistakes of Food Storage

a Meal, Ready-to-eat (MRE), vegitarian menu
I know most of you have seen this but it's such good info I am reposting it. Keep up your prepping!!!

7 Mistakes of Food Storage

By Vicki Tate

If you are going to store food, make sure that the food you store is adequate for the need you and your family anticipate. This may not be as easy as to achieve as many people think, because the facts are that most people make serious errors when storing food—errors that will come back to haunt them when the food they’ve stored is the only thing that stands between them and their empty, dissatisfied, bellies. There are seven common mistakes people make when storing food. They are:

1. Variety
Most people don’t have enough variety in their storage. 95% of the people I’ve worked with have only stored four basic items: wheat, milk, honey, and salt. Statistics show most of us won’t survive on such a diet for several reasons.

a) Many people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they are eating it meal after meal.

b) Wheat is too harsh for young children. They can tolerate it in small amounts but not as their main staple.

c) We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer to not eat, then to sample that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggested and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particularly ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans, as this will add color, texture, and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion. Also, include a good supply of the spices you like to cook with. These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited. One of the best suggestions I can give you is buy a good food storage cookbook, go through it, and see what your family would really eat. Notice the ingredients as you do it. This will help you more than anything else to know what items to store.

2. Extended staples
Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods as well as home canned and “store bought” canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can’t cook even the most basic recipes without these items.

3. Vitamins
Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others might be added as your budget permits.

4. Quick and easy and “psychological foods”
Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. “No cook” foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation, MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), such as many preparedness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. “Psychological foods” are the goodies—Jello, pudding, candy, etc.—you should add to your storage. These may sound frivolous, but through the years I've talked with many people who have lived entirely on their storage for extended periods of time. Nearly all of them say these were the most helpful items in their storage to “normalize” their situations and make it more bearable. These are especially important if you have children.

5. Balance
Time and time again I’ve seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item and so on. Don’t do that. It’s important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you’ll fare much better having a one month supply of a variety of items than a year’s supply of two or three items.

6. Containers
Always store your bulk foods in food storage containers. I have seen literally tons and tons of food thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became highly susceptible to moisture, insects, and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies. Never use trash can liners as these are treated with pesticides. Don’t stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A better container is the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods.

7. Use your storage
In all the years I’ve worked with preparedness one of the biggest problems I’ve seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It’s vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to have to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating these foods. A stressful period is not a good time to totally change your diet. Get a good food storage cookbook and learn to use these foods! It’s better to find out the mistakes you’ll make now while there’s still time to make corrections. It’s easy to take basic food storage and add the essentials that make it tasty, and it needs to be done. As I did the research for my cookbook, Cooking with Home Storage, I wanted to include recipes that gave help to families no matter what they had stored. As I put the material together it was fascinating to discover what the pioneers ate compared to the types of things we store. If you have stored only the basics, there’s very little you can do with it. By adding even just a few things, it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it. As I studied how the pioneers lived and ate, my whole feeling for food storage changed. I realized our storage is what most of the world has always lived on. If it’s put together the right way we are returning to good basic food with a few goodies thrown in.

(Vicki Tate is the author of the popular book, Cooking With Home Storage, available through Backwoods Home Magazine. Vicki also lectures on preparedness subjects. You can reach her by calling (435) 835-8283.)

January/February 1999 Backwoods Home Magazine
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Surviving with Limited Technology

In our everyday lives we have become very dependent upon technology. Many times that technology is based primarily on providing instantly for our needs. We flip a switch when we need light, turn a knob or press a button to cook our food or turn a key to start the motor for our means of transportation. We instantly have solved our problem and need look no further for a solution. The problem is solved and we move on the next item on our agenda. Surviving without technology will be a lot harder than most people can imagine.
We often seek ways to limit our dependence on technology by substituting even more technology and not less. A prime example of this is solar power. This is a great way to limit your dependence on the grid and give you a little more freedom and independence but it is still replacing one form of technology with another. If you don’t think so, try building a solar cell or a battery from scratch. You can probably make a hoe but you would probably have a difficult time making a tiller. Providing of course you could find the fuel to power it. No matter what form it takes, technology is woven into the very fabric of our society and our existence. The level or limits of the technology available will simply make our lives easier or a whole lot harder than we can imagine.
It’s easier to cook our food, travel from one place to another quickly and easily or communicate with others no matter where they are located. Technology makes our lives much simpler and easier but it is in the absence of technology where we will have the real problem. The materials and skills needed to replicate much of our technology are well beyond those of the average person.
In the true absence of technology, our lives will become much harder. Your options for obtaining the minimum needs for your survival will become severely limited and be dependent upon your skills and abilities. At some level, we will always require a certain amount of technology to survive. With limited technology, your survival will depend upon the level of technology that you can live with and how much you can live without.
Remember, it’s a lot easier to make a candle than it is to build a flashlight.
Staying above the water line!

Surviving a Disaster in the Urban Jungle

Riots, hurricanes, earthquakes, even severe power outages have all occurred in different cities across the country and have all left their mark upon citizens who dealt with the aftermath.  Many urban inhabitants do not realize how quickly “the system” can deteriorate.  Along those same lines, after  a disaster, the usual civil nature of  those occupying a city devolves into an unorganized mess of chaos.
For instance, many remember the L.A. riots that occurred in 1992 because of civilian frustration at the local government level.  When the civilians were angered about the verdict of a trial of officers, within two hours there were riots, looting, fires and chaos that broke out. Over 50 murders occurred during the L.A. Riots.
These breakdowns of the system eventually lead to waves of crime.  Typically those that are creating the chaos are ill equipped and unprepared to survive in such surroundings.  Desperation will be a reason to legitimize aggressive force to steal, loot or kill if need be.  The assistance of government agencies could be delayed as they are dealing with the influx of crime and other city related  matters.  Depending on the circumstance, citizens may realize they are on their own and left to fend for themselves.  And those that choose to bug out or stay in place may have a major survival situation on their hands.
The most important asset to have in a situation such as this is to have the capable skills and know-how of getting out of harms way.   The best advice in surviving the aftermath of a urban disaster would be to stay away from the crowd, keep your head down and immediately seek safety.
If a person must stay in place, having the following disaster items and equipment will make the situation more bearable:
  • Have a emergency plan in place.
  • Stock up on a basic short term food and water supply.  Having a stockpile of food will eliminate the need to go out and brave the crowds.  In addition having alternative cooking sources would be beneficial in that electricity could be cut off (i.e. fuel camping stoves, hot plates, compressed trioxane, etc).  In the event of food shortages that are expected, the skills and equipment to cook without alerting others is a life saving skill to have.
  • Buy emergency items now – This is basically any item that would be of benefit in a survival situation (tent, bug out bags, flashlights, candles, lanterns, etc.)
  • Keep your fuel in your vehicles filled up in case you decide to flee.
  • Prepare to protect your family with different security layers.  Any type of self defense would be beneficial in a situation such as this.  In addition, the family owns firearms, then making sure they are clean and loaded may help ward off unwelcome guests.
Once all resources have been depleted in the city, the remaining occupants will flee the city and survival will become even more arduous.  Evacuating the urban areas to safety will be a journey in itself.  Here are some tips to staying safe if bugging out of an urban area:
  • Know your evacuation route and plan before you leave.  Having a clear and concise plan will keep you as organized and efficient as possible.  In addition, plan for an alternate route.  Let’s be honest, in an emergency situation nothing ever goes as planned.  Have maps, GPS or compass to assist in guiding you to safety.  Try and stay off the major roads as much as possible.  This is where many crimes will take place. 
  • Have a planned shelter to go to.  Whether it be a family member’s home, a friend or an out of town relative, make plans beforehand.
  • Efficiently pack a 72 hour kit  and if you are evacuating in a vehicle, prepare a vehicle 72 hour kit. 
  • Have extra fuel stored and ready to go.  Try to anticipate reasons that you would need to stop the car and prepare for them.  Stopping the car makes you vulnerable to the outside and groups that may be around.
  • Expect the unexpected and mentally prepare.  Survival is 90% psychology.  Mentally preparing oneself, as well as staying flexible to the situation will help a person stay focused on surviving.
Surviving the urban jungle is not for the weak hearted.  The reality of the situation is whether you bug out or bug in, there are risks.  Those that are looting, stealing and being destructive will more than likely travel in large gangs and be heavily armed.  Therefore, setting up a perimeter and combining forces with others would be advantageous on your part to fight this horde off.  Morals, ethics, religion all are forgotten when a person cannot have basic needs met.  Preparing oneself for the possibility of a urban survival situation will increase your survival chances exponentially.

Giving pills to cats and dogs.

Having had to give pills to several cats and dogs in my life…I really identified with this article:
1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.

Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.

Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.

Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand.

Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.

Call spouse in from the garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws.

Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail.

Get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit.

Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans and drink one beer to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed.

Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink.

Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the cat from the top of the tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.

Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Using heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed, tie the little *&#%^'s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air.

No smitte............
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From Beginning Prepper To Fully Stocked

.45 ACP
From From Beginning Prepper, to Fully-Stocked Retreat: What to Buy, and When, by Scott in Wisconsin - SurvivalBlog.com

Here is an interesting essay to give you some guidance whether you're preparing for a weekend blizzard, a medium term disruption of services or a long term lifestyle-changing event.

Here are the highlights:

It's easy to see that the world may be heading for more trouble, and we need to prepare for hard times ahead. But it can be daunting to decide what to do, what to stock, and when to get it.
I've been working at this a while, and I've figured out a simple balance in what to buy, and when to buy it, that I think will help other Preppers move ahead with confidence.
You could call it my 100/1,000/10,000 system, and I hope it helps you get going, and get to a place where you feel more prepared for the tough times ahead.

Step One
Step one is to become a "100 level" Prepper. If you're not there, you're helpless in the event of even a minor disruption. Luckily, you can get to the 100 level fast, and inexpensively.
At the 100 level, you're prepared for a brief disaster. You have some food and water, you can keep warm, travel, and protect yourself in the very short term. It's a start. The bare minimum.
Here's what you need: 100 cans of food, 100 bottles of water, 100 lbs of fuel, 100 rounds of ammunition, 100 silver dimes, 100 dollar bills.

Step Two
Now, it's time to strive for the 1,000 level Preparation. This is the point where you and a couple loved-ones can handle a significant breakdown of civil society. 9-12 months without our accustomed infrastructure will be survivable at the 1,000 level Preparation.

Here's what you need: 1,000 pounds of food, 1,000 gallons of filtered water, 1,000 lbs of fuel, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, 1,000 silver dimes, 1,000 dollar bills.

Step Three
This is the 10,000 level preparation, and it will enable you to keep a dozen adults safe and healthy for 2+ years. How cool is that?
Why a dozen adults? If things really fall apart, you'll find friends and family at your door, asking to be taken in. You can either plan on sending them away, or you can plan on taking care of them. I suggest you plan on taking care of them.
Besides, you'll need a dozen adults to protect your retreat/home. You can't stay awake 24 hours a day guarding your stash. You can't be watching in all directions. There will be troublemakers to deal with. You need time to sleep, regroup, cook, wash, garden, play. That means you'll need help. Stock enough food for them, and they will come.
Why 2 years? Because it may take that long for things to settle out. It may take that much time for you and your friends and family to learn to grow food, and hunt and trap successfully. There's a lot to learn, and you don't want your first crop to be a matter of life & death.

Here's what you'll need: 10,000 pounds of food, 10,000 gallons of drinkable water, 10,000 pounds of fuel, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, 10,000 silver dimes, 10,000 dollar bills.
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