Friday, February 26, 2010

Episode 3: 72 hour kit - Compare Walmart off the shelf first aid kits

Welcome to another episode of the Be Prepared Channel. This episode we are back on the topic of the 72 hour kit we mentioned previously. With your 72 hour kit one of the first things that comes to mind is a good first aid kit. So in this episode we are going to discuss a couple of off the shelf first aid kits available at Wallyworld. We also go over some of the headlines in the news that are of interest to the prepper. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Please feel free to provide your feedback. We are learn together in this prepper adventure!

Johnson and Johnson - All Purpose First Aid Kit
170 Items

9 Cleansing wipes
2 Neosporin packets
1 Instant Burn Cooling patch
1 Cortaid anti-itch cream
2 2 1/4" x 3" bandaid
20 butterfly closures 1-3/4" x 3/8"
8 Gauze Pads 2" x 2"
1 Oval eye pad 1.6" x 2.6"
1 First Aid tape 1/2" x 5yd
3 Sport Strip bandaid 5/8" x 2-1/4"
2 Tylenol caplets
4 Motrin
2 Imodium AD
1 omniglow night stick
1 Red Cross Contact Magnet
1 Coach Brand Instant Cold pack
1 Survival Wrap
1 finger splint
2 Health care gloves
1 tweezers
1 First aid guide
Comes in ready organized tray and plastic shell

Ozark Trail - Outdoor First Aid Kit:
201 pieces

50 bandages .75x3"
30 bandages .375"x1.5"
6 butterfly closures
3 knuckle bandages
1 adhesive tape .5"x2yds
10 cotton tip applicators
4 finger splints
1 first aid guide
21 alcohol wipes
3 iodine wipes
3 sting relief wipes
21 towelettes
1 lip ointment
1 brightstick
1 emergency whistle
1 water pouch
8 electrolyte tablets
8 non-asprint tablets
8 antacid tablets
4 sterile gauze 2"x2"
4 sterile gauze 4"x4"
1 trauma pad 5"x9"
2 gloves
1 instant cold compress
1 scissors
1 tweezer
4 splinter removers
2 antibiotic ointment packets

Recommended items from
2 pairs gloves
Sterile dressings - various sizes
Cleaning agent
Antibiotic ointment
Burn ointment - various sizes
Eye wash solution
Prescription medications
prescribed medical supplies
cell phone with charger
petroleum jelly
non-asprin pain reliever
Anti diarrhea medicine

Episode 3 - Walmart off the shelf first aid kits
In the news:
New home sales drop 11% in January
Bernanke sees low rates
Utah Democrats blast states rights bills
Petition to Senate: Audit the Federal Reserve
FDIC's problem banks list: Where will it end?
Hit the brakes Ben!
Buy farmland and gold

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Common Preppers Coffee Dilemma - Episode 2

Welcome to episode 2 of the Be Prepared Channel Podcast. Today we talk about The Common Preppers Coffee Dilemma. When you make the shift to the prepper lifestyle it is not just about buying toys and guns and great stuff like that. It is about making practical changes to everyday life. Today we talk about common methods for making coffee that can be done when the power is out and you have some basic preps like a fireplace, wood stove, camp stove... IE the ability to make a fire.

The Methods:
French Press
Camp Boiler

Some pictures of what these look like:


French Press:

Camp Boiler:

Episode 2 - The Common Preppers Coffee Dilemma:

Calling 911 does not always work:

In the News:
Why Oil is heading much higher
Hurtling down the road to surfdom
NJ Getting some tough love?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Be Prepared Channel Podcast - Episode 1

Show Notes:
- Get a Kit
- Make a Plan
- Be Informed

Citizen Corps
CERT Program

The Mental Checklist:
Biological Threat
Chemical Threat
Extreme Heat
Influenza Pandemic
Landslide and Debris Flow (Mudslide)
Nuclear Threat
Radiation Threat
Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

Watch "After Armageddon":

Segment 1 of 9:

Segment 2 of 9:

Segment 3 of 9:

Segment 4 of 9:

Segment 5 of 9:

Segment 6 of 9:

Segment 7 of 9:

Segment 8 of 9:

Segment 9 of 9:

In the News....
China selling US Treasuries
China revaluing the yuan
US Food Stamp program creates new jobs... In INDIA
Faber: Debt Interest will lead to default, then war
Collapse of the Euro inevitable

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Excalibur - Scratch and Dent sale?

Welcome to another instalment of the Be Prepared Channel. Today I am doing something a little different. I know we have not addressed dehydrators yet on the blog and I promise we will be doing some episodes showing a couple of dehydrators, comparing them, and we will do a mini review of these. We will also give you a step by step tutorial on how to use these and give you the benefits of dehydrating. In this episode I am going to show you a deal we ran across on the Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator with thermostat and timer. Since you occasionally run across a deal like this and are not sure if it is a good deal or not I thought it might be helpful for others to see what I received for my money.

I was listening to The Survival Podcast a couple of weeks ago and and the guest on the show was Tammy from What a wonderful lady, and she has some fantastic tutorials on how to use a dehydrator and how to prepare meals with dehydrated food. Here is the episode info if you would like to hear the show:
I have been looking at the Excalibur after watching a bunch of episodes of Tammy from I already have some Nesco American Harvest dehydrators which are a good deal for the money, but the Excalibur looked very good and the thermostat and timer is a huge bonus. After listening to The Survival Podcast I went searching to see if I could find a deal on one of these. I have looked previously and never have caught a deal on one. Well that day was my lucky day. I happened to notice an eBay listing for the Excalibur 9 tray model and it was listed by the Excalibur company as a scratch and blemish sale. This is for the 3926T model. Here is the URL on eBay for this deal:

Now it is always a little risky on these kinds of deals. You don't know if it is really Excalibur that is selling these or a cheap Chinese knockoff, or just what kind of blemishes we are talking about, but I decided to take a chance. If you have been in the market for one of these you know the price is a good deal. But is it a good deal?

The Excalibur 3926T:
This product retails for $299.95, they sell it for $249.95 on their site. If you look around to find one used or deeply discounted you just won't find them. This is a top quality product that comes with a 10 year warranty. This blemish model I ordered comes with the same brand new 10 year warranty. The 3926T showed up today and so I thought I would take some pictures and give you my impressions so far.

The box:
The grand opening:

Removal from the box:
Removal from the bag, facing the left side of the dehydrator if you were looking from the front door of the unit:
Facing the right side of the unit if you were facing it from the front door of the dehydrator:
Facing the rear of the unit:
Facing the front of the unit:
What comes with the unit(dehydrator guide, and registration/warranty card):
Inside the unit(there are 9 trays with a mesh liner that goes on each tray:
Now to highlight the blemishes, pictures have a hard time picking up the things I noted with this unit, but I will describe them below:

This first picture is of the front door, right next to the Excalibur logo to the right of it is a spot that is slightly lighter than the rest of the unit. It actually isn't that easy to see. I tried to put a lot of light on this and get in close so you can see it. This is the blemish I guess for the unit.
This next photo shows the top near the controls. There is are some slightly darker spots there which are very hard to see with the eye, and frankly the camera just isn't able to pick them up. Here is a picture in the hopes that maybe you can see what I am referring to. These spots have a slightly different feel from the rest of the surface and are really very difficult to see. So I am probably just looking for stuff to point out! LOL

So that is the extent of the scratch, dent, blemishes on this unit. The worst of it being a slightly off color spot on the door which is not easy to see. So the question is this... Are these spots enough to make me return it? Nope! It looks pretty good, and considering the discount they are giving for these I would say it is quite a deal.

If your in the market for a premium quality dehydrator this could be the unit to buy. I don't know how often they have these sales so I don't know that I would wait to snag one of these. My dehydrator had obviously been opened previously. It does not look like it had ever been plugged in or used. And overall it looks like new. Other than the nit picky things I pointed out it looks like a very good buy on the Excalibur.

Thanks for reading... See you next time!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Food Storage - Vacuum Sealing in Canning Jars

Welcome to another episode of the Be Prepared Channel. It has been a few days since my last post. I have been working on some projects related to the blog that I hope you will enjoy over the coming weeks. Today we are going to show you a simple technique on how to store food using a Foodsaver vacuum sealer using canning jars.

Canning Jars? Vaccuum sealing? Have you lost your mind? Yep, yep, maybe....

Why canning jars?
1. Rodent and infestation proof.
2. Versatile, they can be used for dry pack vacuum sealing like we demonstrate here, or they can be used for traditional wet bath canning or pressure canning.
3. They can be reused over and over as long as you take care of them.

Vacuum Sealer(Foodsaver):
We will be using the Foodsaver V2040 for this sealing demo. This unit was chosen for 2 main attributes. It has the canister sealing port on the top of the unit where you can plug in the vacuum hose for sealing jars. The second attribute is that it is the cheapest model Foodsaver I could find that had the canister port. You can however you any Foodsaver model out there with the canister port. And I guess the 3rd reason for choosing the Foodsaver is that I have had experience with it and it seems to work. Plus there are lots of accessories for the Foodsaver such as plasticware containers, and canisters that can also be sealed with it. The V2040 comes with the hose needed to seal canisters, some sample bags, and a sample roll of bag material for sealing items in the traditional Foodsaver plastic bags. Note: I have no affiliations with any products, companies, etc. This is just my own personal experience and what I have to do the job with.

Foodsaver Optional Accessories:
You will need the Large Mouth Jar Sealer if your using large mouth jars(which I highly recommend), or you can purchase the regular mouth jar sealer if you have regular mouth jars. It does not matter if they are Kerr, Mason, Ball or some other brand. It appears that the dimensions appear to be similar so the sealer top should work. This sealer top costs between 9-12 bucks depending on where you buy yours. This is the only optional item you will needed for your Foodsaver.

Other items needed:
Canning funnel, canning jars(choose your size based on the number of people you will be storing food for, the common sizes are 1/2 gallon, quarts, pints), lids and rings for your canning jars. You can also get some oxygen absorber packs. You can find these at Honeyville Grain or Emergency Essentials, and a variety of other places on line. You would want 2 100 cc packs per jar if you use them. I have had good luck both with and without the oxygen absorbers and so the process I show you here does not include the absorbers, but keep in mind that these can be helpful and can add some peace of mind if your concerned about your food storage. Something to seal up: Beans, lentils, peas, wheat, rice, dehydrated fruit, dehydrated vegetables, pasta, and dried spices.

Some examples of things that you can easily seal. I picked up the following items at Walmart and are inexpensive. You will be surprised how much food you can buy for not a lot of money.

Another item good to store is rice. Below is an image of one of the many types of rices out there. I have read it is not good to store brown rice even though it is my preference due to oils and spoiling. I however do not now for sure that you cannot store brown rice. So for now I am buying varieties of white rice. Below is a bag of Basmati that I purchased. Again you can buy a lot of food for not a lot of money.

Let's begin:
Now let's show you how this works. Below is the box and the picture of the V2040. The small box on top is the large mouth jar sealer.

The item on top of the Foodsaver is the large mouth jar sealer. It is an accessory that does not come with the vacuum sealer and must be purchased separately.

Below are the accessories you get with the unit, the hose, and a cord and hose holder you attach to the back of the Foodsaver:

Sample roll of vacuum bags that come with this package:
Sample bags that come with the vacuum sealer:

Comes with a quick start guide:A reference guide, and an accessories brochure:
And lastly a registration card:

Now for the process:
Wash and dry your canning jars, and get your supplies out like I have shown above.

1. Take your empty jar, place your funnel in the top.
Note: I am using 1/2 gallon size jars here.

2. Begin filling the jars:
Until you have your ingredients appearing in the mouth of the funnel like so:
Now shake your jar and let the ingredients you put in to settle in the jar, and repeat adding more to the jar. You will typically do this shaking routine 2 or 3 times before it won't settle anymore. It should look something like this:
Note: If you have the oxygen absorber packs now is the time you would put them in the jar.

3. Remove your funnel and place a jar lid(round metal lid with a gasket like material on the back) on top of the jar(do not put the ring on it at this time):

4. Take your Foodsaver jar sealer and place it over the top of the jar. Press down until it is fully seated on the top of the jar like so:
5. Attach the hose to the port on your Foodsaver, and to the hole in the top of the jar sealer lid like so:
6. Now you press the button on the front of your Foodsaver that says canister. This will cause the vacuum sealer to run and make a fair amount of noise. It takes approximately 20-30 seconds per jar for it to seal. The Foodsaver automatically stops when the jar is sealed.

7. Remove the jar sealer, and now you can put the jar ring on the jar:
8. You have now sealed your first jar! It is easy, actually kind of fun, and not expensive to do once you have your Foodsaver and jars. The actual food is pretty affordable, and many things will keep up to 30 years stored like this.

You will want to develop a storage plan next and date your items as you put them up for storage. Store what you eat, eat what you store, and rotate it. So it does take a fair amount of work to get your storage plan in place.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Getting Started - Some things to get...

So in this episode we are going to get down to some nitty gritty. We are going to do a demonstration on how to buy, and vacuum seal up some items for your storage. I know if you read my last post on and are looking at those lists you may have your hands full with shopping lists. Not to worry we will be circling back and doing some more on the various items in the list.

Today we are going to give you the list of things that you will need to start storing some of your own food items. So as we demonstrate this we will need you to have the following so you can participate in the fun:

Shopping List:
- Food saver vacuum sealer with canister sealing ability
- Canister vacuum sealer top, preferably the wide mouth top
- Canning jars, preferably the wide mouth top, rings and lids
- Various beans, lentils, pasta, dehydrated fruit that you like to eat(all items need to be dry)
- A canning jar funnel
- A sharpie marker, a pen or pencil, and a notepad to begin building your inventory.
- Optional, oxygen absorbers

Now for the Foodsaver. I own a couple of these and the key to the Foodsaver is to get one that has the canister port on the unit. The most recent model I purchased is the V2040. It was the cheapest one I could find and it has the canister port on it. Here is a picture of the unit:

So this doesn't have to be a fancy unit. I believe I paid $75 shipped to my door. This unit comes with the hose needed for the canister sealer top, but did not include the large mouth jar sealer. You will need to buy that seperately.

Jar Sealer:
It is called a Wide Mouth Jar sealer. You can find them on Amazon and a number of other places. I couldn't seem to locate these at my local Walmart with the other canning items, or over where the Foodsaver items are, but you might check your local Walmart to see if they have these. Here is the picture of the jar sealer:

Now you need some canning jars. Depending on how many people you are going to have will determine to some degree the size of these jars and the amount of food you will want to store. I find with a family of 4 that dry pack items can be put in the largest jars I can find. I ended up ordering 1/2 gallon Ball canning jars to get the largest size I could find, but I have also been buying the regular quarts and pints size jars to meet the variety of needs that I have for canning. So for this exercise find yourself some jars with lids and rings. We can talk about the number of jars and details a little later. Right now we just want you to see how easy this process is so that you will know you can do this on your own.

Now onto the important stuff. The food. You will want to get a selection of beans, lentils, rice, pasta, and other dry items that you will want to store and will eat. I simply went over to the section in Walmart where they have beans, lentils, and rice and picked some up for the purposes of this demonstration. They come in 16 oz bags, and are very affordable. You can get between 3.5-4 lbs of beans or lentils into a jar depending on the item and how much it will settle when shaken down during the filling process.

Canning Jar Funnel:
This is a very helpful item and I highly recommend getting something like this to make the job of filling jars much easier and much less messy. They are inexpensive and worth the investment. You can get them in plastic or stainless steel. For dry pack items like this the plastic is fine, but for wet items I will use the stainless steel.

Optional: Oxygen Absorbers
Now to some this might be controversial, but I have had good results both ways with and without the oxygen absorbers. It is just peace of mind if you have them. For the purposes of this demonstration I won't have the oxygen absorbers, but please keep them in mind. You can find these at Honeyville Grain online. It is a great place to buy items already dehydrated, canned and packed if your looking to purchase items and their shipping cost cannot be beat. So check them out. The 100cc oxygen absorbers are what you need and I would toss a couple of them in each jar. Below is an image of the various sizes of absorbers that are available:

Ok, so now you have your shopping list of things to have. In the next episode we will actually demonstrate how to seal your jars, and label them for storage. Thanks for reading!

In the news...
The Jobless recovery continues... Or does it? How is it a recovery if there are not jobs???
EU Countries debt shakes the financial markets
Government installs express lanes to bankruptcy for the government.... It is Nov yet so we can fire these MORONS????
East coast braces for a massive snow storm... Are you prepared?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting Started - Be Prepared, or should we say Ready?

As we just completed our series on the the Rules of 3. If you missed the Rules of 3 please check out our previous posts for more details but here are the bullet points:

Rules of 3 for Survival:

You can live:
3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter
3 days without water
3 weeks without food

We touched on these areas and mentioned you need to start some place in building your preparations. Well it isn't just the tin foil hat crowd that thinks you need to be prepared. Would you believe that even the government is advertising for you to get ready???? Yep, it is true. See below for one of the ads that are running on the air:

The great thing about this ad is that it is making people more aware. The web site outlines how to get started. The downside is that what they recommend is really just the starting point for making your preparations. They are focusing on the 72 hour kit as the minimum kit. This basic kit should last you and your family at least 72 hours. This should cover your water, food, medical supplies, and other essentials. Please use this as a starting point and is by no means the goal for most people to have 3 days worth of essential supplies. Look at most large events and you will see they typically can go into weeks and months so this preparation plan is just the place to start. I hope that people don't assume that if they have this in place they are done and don't have to do anything else. I would like to see them do a follow-up advertisement that encourages further development of not only their kits, but also training that is available. FEMA and your local authorities in many areas are offering training certification as well and we will take some time to cover that more in depth in another episode.

So let's look at the site and look at their recommendations. You might start to see a pattern here if you have been reading our posts here on :-)


Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Now this list is a great place to start. Things they touched on that we have not covered here are the things that are in plain view and that we don't give much thought. Personal hygiene items, bath tissue, feminine supplies, baby supplies, and pet supplies are often overlooked.

These are good, but don't forget the bath tissue, and sewage treatment requirements if the grid and utilities are down. Don't forget to get some batteries, and consider rechargables and a solar battery charging kit.

Here is another great video explaining basic supplies, planning, and being informed.

Now many of the things that are set forth in this list you may already have around your home. Now is the time to begin to set those things aside. Maybe you have a large plastic tote around or you can purchase one that you can put your 72 hour kit in. This way you know where everything is. You will want to consider having flash lights or some sort of easy access emergency lighting available throughout your home so that in the event of an emergency you know where to find these things without stumbling around in the dark wondering where something is.

Don't forget your energy needs during a time of crisis. You will want a way to boil water, and to prepare meals. So you should consider these items as well in your kit.

Over the next few episodes we will take some pictures of our kit and kit items for our basic 72 hour kit so that you can see what we have, and of course we would love to hear your comments and ideas on things that you might have done as well. This will be a fun way to start your preparation plan and to Be Prepared!

Please take some time to check out the site:
Get a Kit
Make a Plan
Be Informed

In the news...
Cities cutting budgets, means services we take for granted may not be there
No help in sight, homeowners walk away
The growing commercial real estate bubble, and the risks to the banking system

Fmr Fed Chairman Volker offers plan to real in risky bank behavior, Congress slams the door in his face

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rules of 3 - Food

We finally get to the last of the rules of 3. The purpose of laying out the rules of 3 is to help prioritize your preparations, and your mental preparedness for the tasks and jobs at hand if you find yourself in a survival situation. Keeping your head, and with adequate preparation you can make smart moves that can and will save your life. The last of the rules of 3 is food. It is really funny to hear everyone when they first think about any disaster, any emergency, any disruption to normal life to immediately start worrying about food. It almost always seems like the first reaction of most people. But when you look at the rules of 3 you know it is the last thing they should be worried about. This is precisely why people die. They don't understand the priority and why certain things must come first. Hopefully by posting this and reviewing it you will be familiar with these rules as they might apply to your home. Of course each scenario is completely different when talking about the rules of 3 on the road or at your place of work. The priorities are the same, but the things you have to do to accomplish them are going to be different obviously.

Rules of 3 - Food:
Food should be approached by taking it in steps. If your new to this world of preparing or prepping as you will hear it called then the first step is to keep your priorities simple.

- 72 hour kit
- Short term storage
- Long term food storage

Let's go over each of these areas briefly:
1. Focus on a 72 hr kit which will address the water and food needs of you and your family. For your 72 hr kit you might want to look at storable foods like MRE's, and pre-prepared means that are ready to eat. These keep a long time and will be there when you need them.
2. Short term storage: This goes into the area of buying and storing foods that have a good shelf life that you commonly eat every day. These would be items that are canned, dehydrated, and dry pack items. These should be every day use items and should be rotated so that your using your oldest items first. Your immediate goal once you have your 72 hr kit is to start building a 30 day supply of short term storage, then a 60 day supply, then 90 day supply. Just keep adding to it. Your target should you choose to accept the mission is to build up a 1 year supply of short term food items.
3. Long term storage: These are foods that typically have a very long shelf life if properly treated and stored. We are talking about grains, beans, rice, pasta and things that have a very long storage life. Most of these things if vacuum sealed and properly stored can last 30 years or longer. These foods are not common to many peoples diets today and will take some adjusting. The food plan here is to augment your short term storage and to build out supplies for a one year supply of these items as a general rule of thumb.

Here are some examples of long term storage and the types of storage you will see. The first is what you will hear referred to as a pail or super pail. This is a food grade bucket that has a mylar liner that has oxygen absorbers in it and is sealed and a sealed top. These are typically 5 or 6 gallon pails.

The second form of long term storage you might see will be in #10 size cans. You can buy these from a variety of places online, and you can can your own at a local Latter Day Saints cannery. We will be attempting to get an interview and tour of a local LDS cannery to show folks later on in this blog. The example I have here was purchased at an online retailer.

And a 3rd option is to seal your own long term storage items using canning jars as an example. So here is a sample of some things that I have vacuum sealed in 1/2 gallon jars.

Now you might be saying "OH MY GOODNESS!", "HOW IN THE WORLD AMI GOING TO DO THAT!?". And the answer is easy... Don't freak out. Start with your 72 hour food supply. Think about the things you could buy, and store that your family would eat in a 72 hour time frame. What is the difference between 72 hrs and one year? You just add a bunch of 72 hour time periods together! Ok, maybe not quite that simple as you will want some variety, and try to balance your meals.

So one of the first rules of food storage.... Eat what you store! Sounds simple right? Well it can be, but for many people they have to adjust what they eat so that they are using their food storage and rotating it. This is a challenge at first as many people find it hard to change thier eating habits. I personally am not fond of prepackaged foods and after seeing movies like Food Inc., The World According to Monsanto, and The Future of Food I find it very hard to buy anything prepackaged knowing what is in the food and that it isn't safe.

So your mileage may vary but I would encourage you to give these films a look. You can find all 3 on YouTube and can see them for free. You might not look at food the same way.

It is hard or almost impossible to talk about the specifics of the things you should buy. Everyone's diet is different and what I might like you might not like. So this is why you won't see a lot of lists recommending things for food storage when talking about short term storage. Longer term storage items seem to be somewhat more universal so we will talk about these things in future episodes. We will show you some of the items in our long term food storage and even show you some ways you can store these items.

So we have talked about your emergency needs for the first 72 hrs, short term storage of food, and long term storage of food. These preparations can save your life in a prolonged situation where food delivery may be sparse or non-existent. You can live for 3 weeks without food, but what happens if the food hasn't returned to your local market by then? As we have seen with large disasters or civil unrest in places all around the world and in our own backyards that it does not take much to completely disrupt the systems we rely on everyday to provide the things we need. So take the time to investigate the various forms of food storage and start thinking about your food plan. We will get into more detail in a future episode on how to break out your food plan by calories needed, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and what your body needs. So make sure that your food plan includes variety and planning for the specific food content to maintain a balanced diet. Thanks for reading!

In the news...
It only gets worse this year for commercial real estate
In Coke we trust?
Under employment tops 20% in 3 states
Banks under attack from Washington, the impact on you

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rules of 3 - Water

We have been covering the Rules of 3 for survival. So far we have talked about how you can survive up to 3 minutes without air, and you can survive up to 3 hours without shelter. So far we have just been summarizing these rules and briefly talking about things to think about, prepare for, and touched on a few of the things that I have done. Today we are going to talk about water. The 3rd rule of the 4 rules.

Rules of 3 - Water
Once you have your shelter and you are secure your next challenge is to secure water. You can live up to 3 days without water so it is important to address this issue quickly. So we will toss around some ideas of where and how to secure water.

1. Store water
2. Capture water
3. Purchase things with water already in them
4. Economize your water consumption

On average you need about a gallon of water per day per person you will be responsible for. This is a general and basic rule of thumb that will vary greatly based on the activities you do, the time of the year, and the temperatures.

Storing water:
There are a variety of ways you can address water storage. Water containers that you can pickup at your local Walmart or other big box retailer range in size from 5-8 gallons in size. You typically will find these in the sporting goods section of the store. These containers are typically are plastic. Pay particular attention to the type of plastic to ensure that it does not contain BPA. You can check this on the bottom of the container. Look for the number in the triangle of a 7 or higher and avoid these plastics. Now for my family of 4 a 1 gallon a day, for a week we would need 28 gallons minimum to keep everyone on minimum rations. If you want to go longer without water then just multiply it out. So 2 weeks which is 14 days times 4 people is 56 gallons of water. Now a gallon a day is pretty tight rationing so obviously if you want to give yourself some cushion when calculating your water needs. So for my family of 4 we presently have 8 water containers that hold 8 gallons each. I purchased they hydroroller so that these come with handles and wheels so that they can be rolled around. You might find this helpful as water is very heavy and your wife or kids might be the ones doing the filling and moving these around. I have also purchased food grade barrels from a local Coke Bottler that used to hold corn syrup. I will be cleaning and filling these barrels for additional capacity to save water from the utilities.

Another option that I didn't touch on is having your own well. This would be the best of all worlds if you can drill or have your own well. Now some things to think about if going with a system like this. Most wells today use electric pumps to bring water to your home or on your property. If the power is out your water is out. So I would consider one of a couple alternatives. You could retrofit the well with a solar power power backup with batteries so that your well continues to function. Second option which is low tech is to install a hand pump on your well so that if the power is out you can go and pump your water by hand. If your in the process of looking for a home one of the things on my priority list would be the ability to have my own well. This circumvents problems with utilities, rates increases, and water use restrictions that may apply to those in the city.

Capturing water:
You can also setup rain water catchment systems to capture water off of your roof or any other large flat surface that might be exposed to the rain. One way to do this is rain barrels. With proper filtration this water can also be used for internal household use purposes for cooking, and cleaning as well. Again the amount of capacity you need will be determined by your water needs. Also keep in mind as we get to the next rule of 3 for food you might want to calculate the additional watering needs of your garden. So more water capacity may have to be taken into consideration there as well. For my family and due to our location we do not get a lot of rainfall throughout the year. So when you do get rain you need to capture all of it you can so we over sized our rain barrel catchment beyond just a couple of barrels to augment gardening. We have purchased 6 barrels for capture and would probably buy more, but we don't know where we will finally end up. So I have not deployed this rain barrel system at this time due to the modifications that I would be making to the gutter down spouts to redirect the water into the barrels. So our plan is to use all 6 barrels, but the jury is out if I will put those out at my current location this spring or not. So I will keep folks posted on how that story develops. Definately consider rain water catchment. You will have to appropriately size your system based on the number of people using it, the various uses you might have for it, and what kind of rainfall you get in your area. I will try to post some more info on the barrels I purchased and some pics at at later time. A couple other sources of water that you might not have thought about is water in your water heater and water in your toilet. As soon as you water goes out you will want to go and turn off the water heater and shut off the valves so that the water isn't siphoned off by the system. Depending on how well you have maintained your water heater with routine flushing will determine how useful this water is and if you can get to it. Sediment and calcification can build up in the bottom of your take making this water that comes out of the drain in the bottom of your water heater un-usable. So just a heads up that this is a potential source of water in an emergency and something to consider.

Purchasing things with water in them:
This one might seem a little strange but as we get into the next Rule of 3 which is food we will be talking about a food storage plan and why you will want it. One of the side effects of purchasing a short term/mid term food storage supply is that many things that are canned are canned in water. So when your purchasing these foods they typically have already been cooked and they are already in water so you don't need to add water, and in a pinch you can drink this water. So canned foods in your food storage plan may be an potential source of water.

One other method is to buy pre-packaged water. This can get expensive, but is an option. There are emergency packs that have the water in boxes and are sealed and no light gets in them. I understand this is the preferred way to keep this water for longer time frames vs the typical plastic bottles that you see everywhere with water in them.

Water Conservation:
The next thing will be key to stretching your limited water resources as far as possible. This is water conservation. Obviously no water and limited to what you have in storage means no baths, or showers. You will want to minimize washing of dishes and that sort of thing so you will want paper plates, and plastic ware so that your not washing these items. Focus on conserving in any way possible. Look around at the things we do with water today and think about how you can do without it. We honestly waste a lot of water, but it is a completely different matter to go from our daily routine to the type of conservation that allows you to get by with 1 gallon a day per person. So keep your eyes open.

One of the things that I plan to do soon is start some drills in my home practicing with some of these preparations to see just how effective we can be at utilizing our resources and how we would get along, how long things last, and to examine if there is a better way to do this. So I am sure we will be posting more about our experiments and just how well things worked.

In the news....
Rumblings that the government maybe eyeing your retirement accounts.... To protect YOU of course!
Greece's default on it's debts may force the EU to try an bail them out What are they going to do about Ireland, Spain, and the many other EU nations that are about to default????

Roubini lays it on the line: Greece is bankrupt

UK central bank says it will stop monetizing the debt.... Ghee could it have something to do with the fact that their debt to GDP is already beyond the point of no return?

Swiss say that UBS bank may be forced into crisis

Record Spending, Record Deficit, 8.5 trillion dollars in new debt over next 10 years Who in their right mind would be willing to loan us that money when we cannot pay?

Money market funds no longer safe for our money Apparently the idea is that when they don't have the money on hand they will just lock down the accounts and that fixed the liquidity issues... Ghee why didn't we think of that before! We are doing it to protect you really we are...