Friday, June 23, 2017

What Are You Preparing For?

In trying to finish off the disaster preparedness series and classes I've been doing the last few months, I found this article that Vicky from the Vicky Challenge wrote for this series.  I forgot all about it due to my recent unexpected blogging break but now that I'm back to blogging I want to include it in this series before I close it out.

There are two kinds of preparedness (1) short term preparedness for things like natural disasters and (2) long term preparedness for situations where you need to think sustainability.  So, the question is, what are you preparing for …. now, over to Vicky …

I have been asked this question again, but I think this time from a serious interest aspect. To have to answer that question isn't as simple as the non preparers think. I get a lot of, "Oh your one of those nutty Dooms day, SHTF prepper people!" Not this time this person expressed a true interest, but also confusion. Many newbies feel pressure and are not really sure what they're preparing for, all they hear is the word prepare! Really you can't help someone unless you know what your main goal is and a clear plan as to getting there.

The biggest pitfall to preparing is ‘not really knowing’ what is going to happen when and the outcome of it. We have a history that is rich with lessons to learn from.  We also have a nation that has changed much by each governing hand. The air crackles these days with what looks to be an upcoming conflict that could very well effect us all and other countries as well. We can't really know at the moment if this will come to fruition, but can we at least take a step back from saying that'll never happen.

I have seen a lot of people who prepare and then stop because "nothing happened." That is very common; people will go full force into stockpiling and adding this and that and then get burned out and stop because they feel it takes over their life. That is a mistake! It is not about always being gung ho and living in fear! We have lives, we live them. We go places, we have fun, we have jobs and families. The preparing part is part of a lifestyle not a life.

Now to change topics for a bit here, if you have a 3 month supply and you are happy with that that is really good, but I always suggest at least a year's supply in the pantry of as many things you use as you can get. Many of those things are economical items or foods that are easy to stock a year's supply of in one way or another such as through couponing, sales or gardening.  Think about it and how easy that is.

Say you stock a 3 month supply and something happens and it runs out what do you do?  Before it runs out I would start rationing to make what you have last longer and making sure you’re getting the most out of the ingredients you have. If you don't have a lot of food even though a pork chop is tasty how can you stretch it? What are the foods that you have in your 3 month supply? Are they good filling foods so that you’re not hungry again in a short time?

When the food starts running out do you intend on growing a garden? They take months before you can harvest from them.

Do you know how to forage and what wild edibles you have near that you can pick. Do you know what the nutritional value is and would your family be willing to eat "weeds"? There are so many of them that have more nutritional benefits than what we grow in our gardens.

Can you catch and eat any kind of wild game? During the Depression the pigeon population was almost wiped out because that is what people were able to catch and eat in the city.

Do you have anything you could barter for food?

When the food runs out these are the options we have.

We each have to make our own decisions, but the reason I go beyond a 3 month supply is I can tell you for a fact a long term loss of income and you make a big dent in a year's supply for us a 3 month supply would have been a band aid and not the bandage that we needed.  And also paying attention to history and times of conflict, supplies were cut off, rationing occurred and black markets developed.

No preparing isn't burning yourself out on stockpiling and then stopping it is a continual process that is a part of life, taking advantage of any information we can get and using it to our benefit, being prepared, not scared of situations as they come and using what we have to make the best of them.

I think for older people it can be a bit hard because they have seen so many things and feel they have had enough worry in their life and don't care to worry anymore. If you can, help them out. The time may come where we will really need each other.



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She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Disaster Preparedness Class #16

This is the last entry for the class.  I hope the class has been beneficial to you.   After Hurricane Matthew I felt an overwhelming need to help others prepare for disaster type situations; the preparedness posts I’ve written, the Hurricane Matthew posts I’ve written, the why prepare posts I’ve written and this class have all been for the sole purpose of helping others prepare. 
Thank you to all who took the time to comment and participate in the class, I hope you feel it has been worthwhile. 

I will begin to answer the questions you've submitted in the near future.  I've gotten several so there will be more than one post! 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Use It ALL Up! ... Fruit

Here's a timely post by Vicky from the Vicky Challenge for finding a use for fruit ... all of the fruit ... not just the meat part.  There's lots to be gleaned ....  (Thank you Vicky!)

Over to Vicky ...

Today let's talk about fruit. Summer many of us find that we have an abundance of it and of course we can and freeze the extra, but we can do much more with it and add variety to the weekly menu plan, use up some of the excess we have and in some cases use up some of the items in the pantry that need used and rotated and also have some gifts and add to the medicinals. Over the years I have strived to have as little waste as possible when it comes to food, but sometimes one does get tired of the same thing over and over. And the animals getting some and composting is a given, but we can do more! For some this may not be new information, but for some it will be so let's have a look.

A few sliced and frozen bananas and a couple of cups of frozen fruit blended in the blender and frozen in a container make a great sherbet.

No ice cream maker needed ice cream is a can of sweetened condensed milk and a few cups of whipping cream whipped(before it's added)  with a little vanilla and add whatever kind of goodies you like from chunks of fruit to nuts, raisins, chocolate, etc. If you have sweetened condensed milk that needs used up this tastes good.

With some fruit puree, juice and gelatin homemade fruit snacks can be made for the kids

Ice and fresh or frozen fruit pureed in the blender and topped of with 7Up, ginger ale or club soda is refreshing in the summer

Sorbet is easy to make and popped in the freezer even without an ice cream maker

Apple peels, peach and pear peels and cores can be used to make cider vinegar or any peels can make flavored vinegars or vodkas

Citrus peels can be candied and if someone likes them they make great gifts too

Citrus peels can be dehydrated and ground into powder and then dissolved in water to make homemade vitamin C powder

Citrus peels can be grated and frozen for zest

Of course citrus peels steeped in vinegar for cleaning

A few cups of whipping cream whipped, a little sugar and vanilla and pureed fruit makes a tasty whip (one of my favorites)

Some fruit in the crockpot topped with a cake mix and some dots of butter is an easy cobbler

Sugar cookie dough can have bits of fruit added

Add bits of fruit to pancakes before making them

And although not a fruit I save potato peels in cold water and then drain them really well and coat them in a little oil and seasoning and then bake them for crispy potato skins

I hope there are some ideas here that are helpful!

Can you add anything to Vicky's list of ways to use every part of the fruit?

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disasater Preparedness Class #15

(Picture is of disaster relief boxes waiting to be distributed.)

Before I post the next topic of discussion I want to mention a couple of things.  It is common when power is being restored after a disaster for there to be power surges. Please make a note of this in your disaster notes and have a plan that will prevent your appliances/electronics from being fried should there be any. Learn what to look for that would indicate a power surge is taking place and then act accordingly.

Another thing I want to address is that your grocery store shelves will more than likely be empty or greatly reduced even after power has been turned back on making buying groceries impossible or hard to do. In addition, just because the power comes back on doesn't mean that the roads have been cleared or that they are passable.  You may have power and still be trapped in your neighborhood.   Make sure you factor these in when planning your disaster preparedness.

Okay, here's our next topic....

You were without power for 3 weeks, what did you run out of?

What did you learn about your preparedness level? In the very first day of class I asked you to rate where you thought you were preparedness wise. 

Do you remember what you put? 

Which of these did you think you were? 

Which are you now?

Level 1 - 3: Polly Put Off (I know I should but …)

Level 4 - 7: Cathy Can Do (I’ve got a plan and I’m working it!)

Level 8 - 10: Confident Connie (I got this under control!)

Are you a Polly Put Off? If so, which level, 1, 2 or 3?

Are you a Cathy Can Do? If so, which level, 4, 5, 6 or 7?

Are you a Confident Connie? If so, which level, 8, 9 or 10?

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Disaster Preparedness Q & A

I received the following comment from a reader recently ... 

Patsi... a thought I've been having: You have been presenting these disaster scenarios, and your students have been brain storming as to what they could do in each situation. Our responses reveal how much we are or are not prepared to meet each disaster. We are learning some great tips from other commenters as to ways to survive this disaster. But I think something huge is missing... I think the instructor who has survived these disasters needs to be instructing us not only as to whether we are making good decisions, but also how wrong or inadequate choices could affect an outcome. We need to hear from you, Patsi, how you coped with this disaster. What did you learn? In what way were you inadequately prepared for this disaster? What worked for you? What would you have done differently? What foods/recipes that you thought would work, didn't? What would you have had more of in your pantry? Less of? What are you doing now to prepare for another disaster? We can comment all day til the cows come home (and thanks for your input/reply to some comments), but we're just basically sharing what we THINK will work.. what we THINK we will do. I am turning to the teacher for wisdom.

While I have attempted to reply and respond to as many comments as I could ... and answer specific questions when asked, there was and is no way I could include everything in this class.  I chose to approach the class in the manner that I did thinking it would be the best way to get everyone to think about how they would or could handle each scenario.  We are all at different places in our disaster preparedness journey and what works for one might not work for another.  We need to be able to come up with a disaster plan that would work for each of our individual needs.  That was my mindset when thinking about how to approach teaching the class.  

So, here's your chance to 'pick my brain,' tell me what you want to know.  What questions do you want to ask me about the disaster?  I will do my best to answer your questions in-depth but please keep in mind, what worked for us, might not be the solution for you.

I plan to do at least one post or more if there are enough questions, so, let me hear from you.

What do you want to know?

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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