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Friday, November 4, 2011

10 Ways To Be Prepared

Original Article

While living your day-to-day life, in the event of an emergency or disaster, you should be prepared to stop… and adapt…

1. Identify Your Risk

What are the hazards where you live and work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live or work in a flood plain, near a major earthquake fault or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike at any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?

2. Create A Family Disaster Plan

Know where to meet if you have to evacuate. Designate a meeting place outside your home where family members can go. Know who you’ve identified as the out-of-state friend to be your “family contact” for everyone to check-in with. Keep a touch-tone phone (and phone cord) that does not require plugging into an electric outlet (after a disaster, cell phones and wireless phones may not be working). Take care of your family pets too. Store food and water for them in your disaster supply kit.
3. Practice Your Disaster Plan

Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home – like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster — whether to stay put indoors, or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routes.
4. Build A Disaster Survival Kit For Home And Car

If you are stranded in your car or have to be self sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you. Your home disaster supply kit should have at least the following items and be kept in containers that can be easily carried or moved such as backpacks, plastic totes or wheeled trash cans.

Carry a smaller kit in your car:

• Have at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable and canned food, and water for all family members. Replace water every six months. Don’t forget to restock food items.

• First Aid Kit.

• Battery-powered flashlight and portable radio with extra batteries. Replace batteries on a regular basis.

• Change of clothing and footwear, and one blanket or sleeping bag for each family member.

• Extra set of car keys, and a credit card and cash.

• Extra medications.

• Sanitation supplies (such as soap, cleaning supplies, shampoo, toilet tissue, etc.)

• An extra set of prescription glasses.

• Keep important family documents in a waterproof container.
5. Prepare Your Children

Talk to your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Practice your family disaster plan every six months. Empower your children to help write the family plan, build the disaster supply, and lead the drills. The more informed and involved children are in disaster planning, the more prepared they will be.
6. Don’t Forget Those With Special Needs

Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten. Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medications, or other medical supplies that seniors or persons with disabilities may need.
7. Learn CPR And First Aid

Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR.
8. Eliminate Hazards In Your Home And Workplace

You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earth-quake. Strap down large objects, secure cabinet doors, anchor tall furniture, and secure overhead objects such as ceiling fans and pictures. If you live in a high fire danger area, also take the necessary steps to protect your home against wildfires. Find out how you can make your home fire safe.
9. Stay Aware, And Understand The Risks

Stay abreast of the dangers and risks as they pertain to current events and the goings on in your local (and wider) area. Don’t be caught off-guard.
10. Get Involved, Volunteer, Bear Responsibility

Donate blood, join a local Community Emergency Response Team. Educate your neighbor(s). Volunteer. Perhaps join your local American Red Cross. Get involved and bear responsibility.
(Some information sourced from the California Emergency Management Agency)

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Squirrel Extraordinaire : A Delicious Recipe

Original Article

Recipe for eating a squirrel
As you may have guessed by now, Laura and I are proponents of trying new things, especially when it comes to potential food sources. Should things go awry and the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) happens, we’d like to know what plants and animals may become a viable source of nutrition for us. Recently, we’ve shared our experiences with maypops, persimmons, dandelions, and even a snake.

Our latest adventure maybe considered common fare by many. To others, we may as well have eaten the most disgusting of rodents. Regardless of your ideas about squirrel, I can tell you that I was very pleasantly surprised.

Harvesting Squirrels

We have a number of nut-bearing trees on our property, including several mature pecan trees and black walnut trees. We are also fortunate to have red oaks and white oaks scattered throughout our property.Several persimmon trees also grace the landscape.
These kind of trees attract many animals such as deer and squirrel. In fact, some years we are nearly overrun with the furry animals and diligently fight for our share of the trees’ produce.
So, about a week ago, my oldest son and I decided to harvest a few squirrels. We like to hunt. We are not trophy hunters; we only hunt what we are going to eat.
It didn’t take long and we’d bagged three gray squirrels. We cleaned them, put in the a brine solution overnight, and I slow cooked them the following day in a crockpot. At the risk of sound immodest, they were far more than edible; they were actually very, very good. We were all surprised.

Squirrel Extraordinaire

I’ve shared the recipe below should have the opportunity to try it. It’s not special; there are no secret ingredients. But when put together, it made for a very good meal. We’ll definitely have it again.

Squirrel Extraordinaire

  • 3 squirrels, quartered
  • 5 medium potatoes cut into bite-sized chucks
  • 1 onion cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 cups of baby carrots
  • 5 stalks of celery sliced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 4 teaspoons of Better Than Bullion Chicken
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Water
Place potatoes, onion, celery, and baby carrots into a crockpot. Add squirrel pieces on top of the vegetables. Add Better Than Bullion Chicken, mixing with warm water as directed on the label. Add enough water to mostly cover the contents and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add Montreal Steak Seasoning. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Add flour and cook covered for another hour. Serve with rice.
The final meal is very, very tender and the meat easily falls off of the bones.
Note: Squirrels have many small bones so you’ll need to take care when eating the meal. You could probably reduce the number of small bones by not including the rib cage when cooking.
What about you? Have you tried squirrel or another non-traditional meat source? 

Related Posts

Free Preparedness Training

Original Article

If you don't know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?

-Basil S. Walsh

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

-Proverbs 29:18
I recently got an e-mail from a person asking about Preparedness training.

Where to begin? There are so many different things to consider and it all depends on what you are Preparing for.

The FEMA site covering preparation for natural disasters is at http://www.ready.gov/

See also http://allreadystl.com/types-of-emergencies/ for a list of emergency prep documents by disaster type.

The LDS church has an excellent introduction to the basics at http://www.providentliving.org/

If you're worried about TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) see http://www.survivalblog.com/ which covers surviving on your own - raising your own food, caring for medical needs, protecting yourself, etc.

You can receive free training by volunteering for the American Red Cross or a local CERT team:

http://www.redcross.org/  (drill down to Preparing & Training, then Preparedness Fast Facts).


FEMA offers free online training which are required for emergency workers, in particular IS100 and IS700:


To learn more about 72-hour kits see my blog, 72-hour Kits, with links to resources.

Bottom Line

There is no shortage of information online. The hard part is knowing where to begin. Both the Red Cross and FEMA endorse:

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.
Which translates to

  • make or buy 72-hour kits for your home, office and car. (see 72-hour Kits and Pet Go-Kits )
  • make family plans for how you will respond to house fire and other emergencies. Where to evacuate to, whom to call, etc. (see Family Communication Plan)
  • follow blogs like mine and check out the resources above. (see also FEMA tip of the week