Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shelter in Place

Family Preparedness Tips for Staying at Home during a major storm:

If you decide to stay in your home during a hurricane or if local officials recommend sheltering-in-place for other emergencies, be sure to have enough supplies on hand and do the following:

•Review your family disaster plan, and your pet plan.
•Have a disaster supply kit handy.
•Have enough food and water for at least three days, preferably seven, for each person in your household.
•Stock extra supplies such as batteries for flashlights and radios.
•Listen to local radio and television for instructions.
•Stay alert to weather advisories, and know the difference between a weather Watch and a weather Warning.
•If a hurricane is approaching, board up windows and secure lawn furniture, mowers, hanging plants, trash cans and other loose items in the yard.
Check on your neighbors, particularly the elderly or disabled.
•If a storm hits, gather your family in a safe room. (An interior room with no windows).
•After a storm, watch out for downed power lines.
•If the power is out, do not use candles or open flames as a light source unlessyou KNOW there is no gas leak
•Only use the telephone for important calls so lines will be available for emergency calls.
•Following any disaster, listen to local officials for the all clear.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eastern Seaboard Rocked by 5.9 Earthquake

Bracing for a hurricane we were all surprised when the Eastern seaboard was rocked by a 5.9 earthquake  1:53 pm today.  Felt farther than Toronto and through downtown Altlana GA We were all rocked in North Carolina from the statelines to the coastline.  Stay tuned for more aftershocks and additional information. Largest earthquake on the East Coast since May 31 1897

Felt in DC, NYC, NC, OH, MI, GA, IL , SC

Earthquakes in the last 24 hours:

Scale ~ UTC Time ~ Location

2.8 ~ 18:46:00 ~ VIRGINIA

5.9  ~17:51:04  ~ VIRGINIA

2.8 ~ 15:54:25 ~ ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII

3.7 ~ 15:34:25 ~ KENAI PENINSULA, ALASKA

3.9 ~ 14:11:13 ~ COLORADO

2.6 ~ 12:03:56 ~ COLORADO

3.2 ~ 11:34:56 ~ NORTHERN ALASKA

3.2 ~ 09:37:58 ~  COLORADO

2.5 ~ 09:32:22 ~ COLORADO

2.5 ~ 09:07:35 ~  BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO

3.8 ~ 07:17:59 ~ COLORADO

3.2 ~ 07:01:35 ~ COLORADO

3.5 ~ 06:56:59 ~ COLORADO

5.3 ~ 05:46:19 ~ COLORADO

2.9 ~ 03:11:00 ~ SOUTHERN ALASKA

5.0 ~ 02:48:52 ~ COLORADO


Friday, August 12, 2011

Sustainability ~ What's that?

If the whole world goes sideways ~ are you good?
You're prepared.  You have a kit, a plan, a design?
You have achieved: One Week -  One Month - One Season - One Year's worth of preps

Now what? What's your next goal? How about SUSTAINABILITY? If something is sustainable ~ it is capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the surrounding environment: such as sustainable agriculture or a sustainable lifestyle.

Can you carry on? If the lights go out forever, or for over a year and your family uses up its preps then what will your family do?  What is your long term plan for your worst case scenario?
What would you do for food? water? other recurring needs/wants after you exhausted your preps?

What skills do you have?
Can you grow food?
Do you have seeds?
Do you know how to save seeds from what you grow?
Can you forage for herbs and food? (I'd get a good book with pictures)
Can you collect water, if so, can you render it safe?
Where would you collect water and in what?
Water sure is heavy how would you move full containers?
Cooking? Power? Heat?

Okay, take a deep breath. Here's the good news. If you've prepped for a year ~ it will be easy to scale into sustainability from there. We have expanded our preps to include 3 yrs on some items, 5 years on others and the skill sets to be sustainable. You have got to be able feed yourself, and your family as well as have the ability to defend yourselves.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Year Plan

So far this week we've discussed planning and goal setting for One Week, One Month, One Season, and now we're up to ONE YEAR.
You've thought about what it would take to feed you family. You're getting your water together, You're evaluating what you already have on hand, what you need to buy to have a week's worth of food.  You've thought about a month...a season, now let's plan for the entire year.

If you've read earlier posts I have discussed how to calculate how much food you need to prep for depending on your family size.  For picky eaters, remember we're storing what we actually eat so you'll already have those picky eaters (even if that's you) already planned for.  Store only what y'all will eat and eat what you store to keep your food inventory rotating.

You need to make sure you have an honest year worth of food on hand. That's 365 dinners, 365 lunches, 365 breakfasts, 365 snacks for each and every person in your family. WOW that sounds like alot. Because at first  blush that's daunting. If you'll review my postings in July you'll see the math on how to calculate storage by how many different entrees you actually eat/cook. What do I mean when I say an HONEST Year's  supply? Well funny thing about those emergency meals in bucket they are rationing one cup of cooked food per person per day when they calculate the servings.  When you do your own math, for food you really eat in portions your family really eats, you insure your family won't go hungry. You also need to be sure to have EVERYTHING it takes to make those meals on hand from the allspice to the Ziplocs! Remember you are the expert on your family. 

If the whole world goes sideways, and you are relying on your inventory stress is going to set in.  Please remember to stock multivitamins it will help balance your nutrition and manage stress.  Sleep is going to be important as well as compassion and patience  stock up on this too :) Keep calm and carry on.

I have had many folks ask me how much do we stock ~ what are our goals.
Well we have a large family. I will say this ~ our goals are longer than a year.
We have tiered goals 1, 3, and 5 year goals it depends on the item.

You can do this.
Do something today that makes you more prepared than yesterday.

~ You're not alone in this journey ~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Month & One Season Plan

Yesterday we discussed One Day & One Week Prepping ~ Today we discuss One Month & One Season at a time.

Once you have a solid week of water and food supplies, and you've figured out the finer details of power and cooking we need to expand these to 30 days, or rather one full month of water. breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for your entire family. 

One Season at a time...  There are some items you'd only use in a particular season, heaters etc...whatever season we're in plan for this season and the next.   now let's add in another consideration... clothing and SHOES I don't mean the cute stuff either.  I mean, gotta get stuff done clothes.  Solid footwear, may need to walk a mile or more shoes.  As adults, our sizes don't change as rapid as children, but keeping your feet dry and warm and blister free is important!   

You need to think about your kids.  Do you have the next size up of shoes? Clothes for the this season, and how about next year this same season? I find thrift stores and consignment sales are great for this.  You'll want the basics for each child: here's a rough guide if you are future buying but keep in mind, rompers and sundresses work well too! it all depends on the age of your child.

5-7 pairs of jeans (long pants)
5-7 long sleeve shirts
7 short sleeve shirts
7 pairs of shorts
1 bathing suit
14+ pairs of socks
14+ pairs of undies
1 pair boots (snow wear/ rain wear)
1 pair of tennis shoes
1 pair of sandals
3 pairs of pj's summer
3 pairs of pj's winter
1 winter coat
1 jacket/midweight coat

Remember diapers, wipes, formula, creams etc...  little ones have lots of considerations!

Hopefully you can do hand-me downs, but maybe not.
It's easier as they get older they don't grow as fast!

Tomorrow: Rounding out ~ One Year Plan

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Week ~ Plan

You need to know what your goals are. What are your goals? If you’re just starting out reading multiple sources, doing your homework you have heard lots of things. For goodness sake it’s enough to drive you nuts. 72 hour kits ,Bug Out Bags, Water storage. Some of those sources are para-military, scare your britches off sky is falling end of the worlders…dooms-dayers. What’s a wife and mother to do? It makes good sense to be prepared for an emergency. SO you look around and lots of folks say get a 72 hour kit, be prepared fro 72 hours.   What’s magic about 72 hours? I’ll tell you. It takes 72 hours for FEMA or the Red Cross to mobilize in a major catastrophe. At least that’s the average. You’re a smart person. What’s an average? Well sometimes FEMA and the Red Cross will be there sooner than 72 hours. Sometimes its longer. 

It took FIVE LONG DAYS for FEMA to get to the Super Dome after Katrina.

Seventy-two hours. Every wonder why they quote that in hours? It’s simple ~ because hours sounds sooner than saying days. Say that a couple of times. DAYS. Three whole long days is just an average. Averages are in the middle right? So that means emergency services could be pretty quick or take seven days. Seven DAYS??? Wait a minute but everyone has these 72 hour kits so that must mean emergency services have to reach us by then! Yeah well I don’t know about you but my Momma didn’t raise a dumb girl, since three days is an average my first concern as well as yours should be getting prepared for an emergency that could last seven days, whether it’s weather or otherwise.

Let’s make us some easy to remember goals:

One Plan

One Week
One Month
One Year

Alrighty then let’s start real easy: ONE DAY

Ok huge thunderstorm and power is out for one full day and one full night. You need the following:
Water: Do you have a gallon of fresh drinkable water for each person in your home?
Power/Lights: Where are the:
Oil Lamps
LED Lamps

Do you have a generator? If so where is it? Can you start it or do you need your husband to do it? You need to learn how to do it yourself. What do you connect to the generator? Your freezer/fridges? One light or two? Which power cords do you use? Where are they kept? Where’s the gas kept and could you fill the generator if you had to?

Food ~ the whole city is without power. So no you can’t run go out to get a meal. So for ONE day you need Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, 2 snacks, then Breakfast and Lunch again for everyone in your home. Could you do that? What about ready to feed formula or

Sanitation ~ ( Let’s assume the worst but hope for the best) Let’s assume no running water for 1 full day. DO you have paper plates, bowels, plastic forks and spoons to go one full day so you can forget about washing dishes for one day? Disposable Baby bottles? Toilet Paper? Paper Towels? What if you had the flu and the power was out for a whole day do you have an extra can of disinfectant? Wipes? Garbage bags?

Entertainment ~ No TV, Internet, Video Games for an entire 24 hours. For some families that’s like asking them to go without air… What are you going to do with the kids for 24 hours? What about yourself? Board games, a deck of cards, Yahtzee, UNO, Pictionary, ISpy go a long way when the powers out.

Safety ~ Whatever makes you feel safe. Lock the doors. Stay vigilant ~ don’t be a victim. I am not going to discuss specific home security choices. That’s not the focus of my site. Be sure you are comfortable with taking care of yourself, your children, your family. I might suggest a big dog,  What? You don't think being able to protect yourself is important?
Then let me direct you here: NPR  

Seasonal Concerns: Can you stay warm for 24 hours without power? Warm bedding? Extra Socks?

If mother nature caught up with you today do you have feminine paper products? Are you low on diapers? Word of caution: Never be slap out of anything especially critical items. With my luck that’s the day every store would be closed because they’re without power!

ONE WEEK Plan:   Ready for some good news? Once you’ve prepared for ONE FULL DAY without power ~ expanding that to ONE WEEK is so much easier! It’s just about quantities. Seven days of food, and water ~ and developing a routine for everything else. You’re kids will love this too because you can skip baths for a week and do “touch up” personal care with wipes. Yippeee!

Monday, August 8, 2011

One Goal

Today you focus on one goal.
Your world goes sideways now what? (Insert your plan here)

We have only one goal today.  Write a plan. One Plan.
We are answering all the pesky what ifs....

What if a hurricane/major storm hit?
What if an earthquake hit?
What if the power was out for a week, month, year?
What if there was a riot?
What if terrorists (or anything else) disabled our infrastructure?
What if there was a pandemic?
What if the grocery stores had no food?
What if  inflation rose to the point you couldn't afford gas? bread?
What if there was a zombie apocalypse? The CDC has a point, if you can survive a zombie apocalypse you can survive anything!

Today's goal ~ think about it what would you need or want to have to keep you and your family safe, secure, fed?

Today: One Plan

Tomorrow: One Week
Wednesday:  One Month
Thursday: One Year
Friday: Sustainability

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vac Sealer : Friday Review

I use two different Vac Sealers.  I have a Deni which is a good all around vacuum sealer.  And when we do alot of vac sealing we'll use both at the same time.  But MY FAVORITE is the  FoodSaver® Vac 550 this is an older model and you can find it on Amazon in the used market.  The number one difference with the Foodsaver is the accessory hose option.  I can now vac seal canning jars, food saver canisters, soda bottles (does not replace canning)

Product Description

Keep your food fresh and flavorful! FoodSaver Vac 550. SAVE BIG BUCKS buy one used or go up to the current model! Maintain the same freshness at home that you get with professionally vacuum-packaged items you purchase at the grocery store. Air gets in most other food storage containers and plastic bags even when they are sealed tightly. And, oxygen is one of the main reasons that food goes bad. It starts a chemical change, robbing food of its nutritional value, texture, color, flavor and overall quality. The FoodSaver Vac 550 removes air and then seals containers so that air cannot reenter. To start you off, the FoodSaver gives you 2 BONUS FoodSaver rolls! These FoodSaver rolls are made from a patented 3-ply plastic with special channels that remove the air. When you use sheets from the rolls with the Vac 550, the outer layer of nylon seals freshness in, while locking air and moisture out. These FoodSaver rolls and bags go straight from the freezer and refrigerator to the microwave or boiling water. They're also reusable, washable (even dishwasher-safe) and recyclable.
A must have accessory is the FoodSaver  Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer

as well as the FoodSaver Regular-Mouth Jar Sealer
Product Details 

Accessory Hose by FoodSaver

Product Details

Any vacuum sealer can seal a bag, but using the accessory hose and the jar sealers ~ think of the possibilities.  Cake mixes, Powdered milk, home made mixes...soup mixes.  ANYTHING you dehydrate that's too delicate to vac seal in a bag. In my humble opinion if you have to add just one tool to your prepper's kitchen ~ it would be a Foodsaver vac sealer (any model) all of the items pictured above were purchased  under $65 from Amazon! Remember one is none ~ two is one.  Get a spare accessory hose JUST IN CASE.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DO you Stay or Go?

Preppers use terms you may not be familiar with.

Shelter in Place ~ this means in an emergency you are staying put most folks consider this staying HOME
But, what if you aren't home and you need to get home to your family? Well in that case you would need a  "BOB", or "GOOD" bag/kit
BOB ~ Bug Out Bag
GOOD ~ Get Out Of Dodge
GHB ~ Get Home Bag
Car Kit ~ Kit that lives in the car (I guess that one is obvious huh?)

You need a plan.  If everyone's home and something happens great ~ the family is all together.  What if Dad (or Mom) is at work and has to get home?  DoO you have comfortable shoes to walk across town? Do you have what you need at work or in the car to get you home to your family?  You need a plan and your family needs to know what your plans are. Each family member needs to know what to do "just in case:.  Youur Shelter in Place Kit will be different than your Get Home Bag, because your ultimate goals are different.

Being  Prepared 72-96 Hours is Step 1

In emergency preparedness, a 72 hour kit is widely considered the first step in becoming prepared. Sitting in a closet or some other area close to the front door, it can be grabbed in a moment’s notice, should you have to depart your home with little or no warning. Every family needs one for the unexpected.  There’s a reason behind the length of time the kit’s contents should last. It generally takes the disaster relief agencies at least 3-4 days to move in and set up before offering assistance. Generally speaking, you’re on your own during this time. Depending on how bad the situation is, it could even be longer.

Whether you buy a kit or put one together yourself from scratch, it’s important for your family’s welfare to have one. In any type of disaster things will be bad. Not having the necessities to sustain your life and the lives of your family members could turn an otherwise manageable problem into a real disaster you could never recover from. Prepare now for life’s small and large surprises.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least three days. You can not count on relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, more likely days some cases ~ weeks. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
• Water—one gallon (to two) per person, per day
     3¬day supply for evacuation,
     2¬week supply for home
• Food—non¬perishable, easy¬ to ¬prepare/no prep needed items
     3¬day supply for evacuation,
     2 ¬week supply for home
• 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, inverter or solar charger

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
• Cash or traveler's checks and change
• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
• 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

Get a kit/Assemble your own Kit

• Keep supplies in an easy¬to¬carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Benefits of Involving Children

• Involving children is the first step in helping them know what to do in an emergency.
• Children can help. Ask them to think of items that they would like to include in a disaster supplies kit, such as books or games or nonperishable food items, and to help the household remember to keep the kits updated. Children could make calendars and mark the dates for checking emergency supplies, rotating the emergency food and water or replacing it every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Children can enjoy preparing plans and disaster kits for pets and other animals.

Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist for Pets

• Food and water for at least three days for each pet, food and water bowls and a manual can opener
• Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
• Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container, a first aid kit and a pet first aid book
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth and other special items
• Pet toys and the pet's bed, if you can easily take it, to reduce stress
• Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.

Additional Supplies for Sheltering-in-Place
In the unlikely event that chemical or radiological hazards cause officials to advise people in a specific area to "shelter-in-place" in a sealed room, households should have in the room they have selected for this purpose:
• A roll of duct tape and scissors
• Plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit shelter-in-place room openings

Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for up to five hours. Local officials are unlikely to recommend the public shelter in a sealed room for more than two-three hours because the effectiveness of such sheltering diminishes with time as the contaminated outside air gradually seeps into the shelter.

NOTE: Always keep a shut-off valve wrench near the gas and water shut-off valves in your home.

~ You are not  alone in your journey ~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Take a PREPPER's Pop Quiz

Yesterday we discussed that prepping takes work. Some folks have been prepping for a while, some are just starting out.  Even if you THINK you are just starting out you may be surprised by the things you already have on hand.  So lets take a Preppers test.  You downloaded one yesterday its on page 16 of the LDS Preparedness Manual ~ let's take a look here:

Preparedness Pop Quiz

1. Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home? YES - NO
2. Does your family know what to do before, during,
     and after an earthquake or other emergeny YES - NO
3. Do you have heavy objects hanging over beds that can fall
     during an earthquake? YES - NO
4. Do you have access to an operational fl ashlight in every
     occupied bedroom? YES - NO   (use of candles is not recommended
     unless you are sure there is no leaking gas) YES - NO
5. Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet
     against broken glass? YES - NO
6. If a water line was ruptured during an earthquake, do you know
    how to shut off the  main water line to your house? YES - NO
7. Can this water valve be turned off by hand without the use of a tool?
     Do you have a tool if one is needed? YES - NO
8. Do you know where the main gas shut-off valve to your house is
     located? YES - NO
9. If you smell gas, would you be able to shut off this valve? YES - NO
10. Gas valves usually cannot be turned off by hand.
      Is there a tool near your valve? YES - NO
11. Would you be able to safely restart your furnace when
      gas is safely available? YES - NO
12. Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper places? YES - NO
13. In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher? YES - NO
      Do you know how to use it ? YES - NO
14. Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important insurance
      and other papers stored outside your home? YES - NO
15. Do you have a functional emergency radio to receive
      emergency information? YES - NO
16. If your family had to evacuate your home,
      have you identified a meeting place? YES - NO


17. Would you have sufficient food? YES - NO
18. Would you have the means to cook without gas/electricity? YES - NO
19. Would you have sufficient water drinking, cooking,
      & sanitary needs? YES - NO
20. Do you have access to a 72 hour evacuation kit? YES - NO
21. Would you be able to carry or transport these kits? YES - NO
22. Have you established an out-of-state contact? YES - NO
23. Do you have a fi rst aid kit in your home and in each car? YES - NO
24. Do you have work gloves and tools for minor rescue/clean up? YES - NO
25. Do you have emergency cash on hand? YES - NO
      (During emergencies banks and ATMs are closed)
26. Without electricity and gas do you have a way to heat
      at least part of your house? YES - NO
27. If you need medications, do you have a 30 day supply on hand? YES-NO
28. Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is
       an extended water shortage? YES - NO
29. Do you have a supply of food, clothing, and fuel where appropriate:
       6 months?  YES - NO     For a year? YES - NO

Many of the above items can be addressed with little to no money.
Start there. We've already discussed water, we'll revisit food tomorrow.

~ You are not alone in your journey ~

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Being Prepared takes work

It really does take work to be prepared.  Alot of work.  Well here's the good news... you obviously are willing to do the work because you're here.

There is a ton of great info out here on the web.  There are awesome reference books, websites, blogs.  You can make yourself nauseous trying to learn it all.  I have heard from people all over the world about wanting more information especially in our current state of economic distress.  First you need to know your personal WHY.

Why do you feel the need to be prepared? Why is this important to you to your family?  How does this match with your personal statement of faith?  The easy answer ~ the one no one ever questions is that it just makes since to have things on hand.  To be prepared in case something unexpected happens..  Maybe its illness, job loss, weather related, or maybe its economic, or even terrorists.  Not so long ago if you had said terrorists folks would look at you funny but after September 11th 2001 even that is an acceptable mainstream answer.  Add in Pandemic... and few other things,  suddenly people are having "WHAT IF..."  panic attacks. That's not going to help you or your family if you go spiraling off the deep-end in a panic.  SO lets take a deep breath and do the work.  Lets discover our "why" so we can move on to our  "HOW" together.

First, The Prepper and myself agree there are FIVE types of books everyone needs to read. 
1. The Holy Bible ( I study from NIV)
2. A solid gardening book  (Depending on your gardening comfort level)
3. A tactical manual (How to safe guard your family and inventory)
4. Medical Field Guide (You need a medical HOW TO)
5. The LDS Prep Manual (see below)

Here is a very complete reference guide: LDS Preparedness 2011 Manual  While our personal doctrine of faith differs from LDS (and perhaps yours as well) that does NOT discount this manual as a VERY solid reference material

 ~ You are NOT alone in your journey ~

Gather the suggested reading material.
Also print just the first 5 pages of the LDS manual. ~ keep in mind there are parts of this manual that contain statements made for the Mormans, supporting the belief structure of the LDS. We will not discuss these as they differ from our personal statement of faith

Statement of Faith:  As Associated Reformed Presbyterians We are Christians.~ We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as being verbally inspired by God and completely inerrant in the original writings and of supreme and final authority in faith and life.We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into Heaven.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Water Water Everywhere...

When potable (drinkable) water is properly stored, it should have an indefinite shelf life
  • It’s still a good idea to use and replace the stored water every 6 – 12 months. 
    • Rotating water this way provides you with an opportunity to experiment and check the amount of stored water against what you require.
    • It also serves as an additional precaution against bacteria or viruses growing in containers which may not have been thoroughly or properly cleaned and sanitized.
  • If you have freezer space, storing some water in the freezer is a good idea.
    • If you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen until the power is restored.
    • Make sure you leave 2 to 3 inches of space in containers because water expands as it freezes.
How much water should be stored?
The rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days. You will see government sites bouncing between this and 2 gallon recommendation.  Start with a 3 day supply, Then build to a 14 day supply, Next goal 30 days. How much more you stock is a personal choice. The Prepper and I, well we have 10 folks we’re prepping for and frankly bare minimum we would reccomend you to store is 2 gals per day per person. Factor in pets and livestock, its easier for us to round up to 3 gals per person per day this insures my pets are covered too, and if need be we have some water to barter.
Water for barter is good.
You can't barter what you don't have!

  • Use only food-grade containers. Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic buckets or drums work well.
  • Food-grade plastic or glass containers are suitable for storing water.
  • Canning Jars that you are storing to use later, put to good use fill them with water!
  • One-, three- and five-gallon water containers can be purchased from most outdoor or hardware stores.
  • Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.
  • Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.
  • 55 gal drums, designed specifically for water storage can be difficult to transport, if the need arises, but are of a tremendous value in an emergency .
  • When looking for additional food grade containers, the bottom will be stamped with HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and coded with the recycle symbol and a “2″ inside. HDPE containers are FDA-approved for food. Containers without these designations ARE NOT OK because of possible chemical interactions between the water and the plastic.
  • Clearly mark all water bottles ~ “Drinkable Water”
  • Never use containers that previously held chemicals.

Water Storage -  Store water only where potential leakage would not damage your home or apartment.
  • Protect stored water from light and heat.
  • The taste of stored water can be improved by pouring it back and forth between two containers before use. This increases the oxygen level in the water which improves the taste considerably
  • Clean, sanitize, and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use.
  • Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.
  • Clearly label all water containers “drinking water” with the current date.
  • Do not store it near gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances

When and How to Treat Water for Storage

Do I Need to Treat Water?

Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers. Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) for every gallon (4 liters) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.

Once you properly clean containers, fill them with potable, or safe, drinking water.

In an emergency, if you do not have water that you know is safe, it’s possible to purify water for drinking. Start with the cleanest water you can find and treat with one of the following methods:

Boiling and chlorinating: Water can be purified by boiling. Boiling times may vary from state to state, depending on altitude. In Colorado, the water is safe to use once after it has been boiled for three to five minutes and has cooled. If you plan to store boiled water, pour it into clean, sanitized containers and let it cool to room temperature. Then add 5-7 drops, or 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water (1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons). Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place.

Filtering and chlorinating: You can filter water if you have a commercial or backpack filter that filters to 1 micron. These are available in sporting good stores and are recommended for use when back-packing. They are not recommended to clean large volumes of water. Filtering eliminates parasites such as Guardia and cryptosporidium, but it may not eliminate all bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it’s recommended that 5-7 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of chlorine bleach* be added per gallon of filtered water (1/2 teaspoon for 5 gallons). Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Wait 30 minutes before using the water, or cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place.

*Use liquid household bleach that contains 5.25 percent hypochlorite. Do not use bleaches with fresheners or scents as they may not be safe to consume. The above treatment methods use a two-step approach so less bleach is needed, yet Guardia and cryptosporidium are destroyed through boiling or eliminated by filtering. Chlorine may not be effective against these parasites. Since adding too much chlorine to water can be harmful, it’s important to be as accurate as possible when measuring.

· Distillation: Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Most water filtration devices are designed for use on micro-biologically safe water. Don’t assume they are safe to use on contaminated water. Check with the manufacturer to be sure.


Emergency Sources of Water

Hidden Water Sources in Your Home:
If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water check these sources:
ICE Makers & trays: Check your freezer ~ melted ice is safe to drink
Canned fruits and veggies have water in the cans they are packed in, use this too!
Plumbing pipes: Do you know the location of your incoming water valve?  You’ll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines
To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level.
A small amount of water will trickle out.
Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house

Hot water Heaters: A typical water heater holds 30-60 gallons of water
    • To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank.
    • Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet.
    • Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty.
    • Discard the first few gallons if they contain rust or sediment.
    • Let the water heater cool before draining it from the heater so it does not scald you.
    • Turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater to prevent the heater from operating without water.  
    • Once water has been drained into clean, sanitized containers, add 5-7 drops of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water, and stir or shake the solution to mix it.
    • Let it set 30 minutes before use.
Last resort, you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl). 

Emergency Outdoor Water Sources  If you need to find water outside your home, you can use these sources: remember to treat the water first!
  1. Rainwater
  2. Streams
  3. Rivers
  4. Ponds & lakes
  5. Natural springs
  6. Avoid water with floating material, an odor or dark color.
  7. Use saltwater only if you distill it first.
BTW: You should not ever drink flood water ~ why? there is too much risk with disease, chemicals, and Lord knows what else.

Using Swimming Pool Water: You should always view your pool as “backup” water
  • Keep the water treated; you never know when it will be needed!  
  • The maintenance of the free chlorine residual will prevent establishment of any microorganisms. 
  • The maintenance level should be kept about 3-5ppm free chlorine.
  • If other stored water stocks are not available, remove the necessary pool water and boil it or just treat with chlorine to the normal 5ppm.
  • Covering the pool at all times when not in use is a very good idea.
  • Try to keep the cover clean and wash the area you put it on when removing it from the pool.
Additional Information: