Friday, August 29, 2014

Personal Preparedness To Do List Week #1

We all have to have a starting point.....even when we have been prepping for years.  Sometimes it is just good to gather your thoughts, refocus, and move ahead from where you are.  I have been really thinking on how I can do this.  I have done the 52 weeks to Preparedness for Two - a couple of times, and this time I want to change it up just a little bit.  Perhaps even simplify it somewhat.

I love to do lists.  I live by my lists and my calendar.  If it isn't written down, chances are pretty high that I won't get it done, not because I don't want to, but because my life is so busy that I won't likely remember.  If you are at all like me, or just want a simplified version of how you can move forward and get prepared, then here is the solution.

I am going through all of my old 52 weeks to preparedness, and my book Personal Preparedness Portfolio, and am creating lists.  I will post one list each week, usually somewhere between Friday and Sunday, so you can work on it for the coming week.  That way I can also watch the flyers to see what is on sale for the coming week, and perhaps incorporate that into the list as well.  You can simply print off the list, pin it to your fridge or calendar, and accomplish something little towards your Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Program each week.

Simple enough!  I hope that in the end, you will find you have accomplished a ton of prepping, without even realizing that it has become a part of your everyday routine and life.

Good Luck!!

For the first week here, it is time to do some inventorying and planning.  You can find a food storage calculator here, and you can find the free download workbook here, that goes along with my written book that you can order here for a small price.  It is well worth the price, I feel.  Download the workbook and see if you don't think it would be nice to have the hard copy of the real book as well.  Thanks for supporting me
in this little adventure of my being an author!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What is an expert?

What do we consider an expert in the field of prepping?  You know it is funny sometimes, how many people will call me and ask me the most random questions that have to do with preparedness or food storage.  I certainly don't mind, as it kind of makes me feel like I am an expert in that field. Do I know everything there is to know?  Nope, but I try, and if I don't know an answer, I know where to go to look it up and find out that answer.

I have written a book, which I think is pretty good.  This book walks a person through their preparedness
Personal Preparedness Portfolio
categories step by step and offers suggestions and helps to get you prepared for each different area of preparedness that you could need in your home.  It also teaches some self reliance principles of food storage and finding the skills necessary to not have to rely on people if something happens, but to be able to rely on yourself.  All in all it teaches emergency preparedness, short term self reliance (3 months), and long term self reliance - one year.  I have added checklists for many things, and turned it into a workbook of sorts.  I put years worth of studying and learning into this book, so I guess that makes me an expert in this area.  You can click on the picture and it will take  you to my Amazon page if you are interested in ordering it.

Not only have I written this book, but I have taught many, many classes on this subject, so there has been many many hours of research that has gone into teaching classes.  That also makes me the expert.

Even though these things can make someone an expert in their field, there are always people who know more, do more, and have more knowledge.  I personally don't consider myself an expert in any particular area.  I still do research almost daily in the area of preparedness and food storage.  I still rely on knowledge from others to keep me informed on various happenings in the world.  I still often come across something that I don't know the answer to, and then I go to the computer to figure it out.

I think that is the key right there.  Find the answer and solve the problem.  I think that is what makes someone expert in any field.  If you know where to look up the answers, and really take time to learn the answers, then you are on your way to being an expert in that area.  If you can teach a class on the subject, then you will  be considered an expert in the area.  And definitely, if you can write a book sharing your knowledge, you will be considered an expert in the area, as the time that goes into writing a book is huge.

All of my books so far!
If you want to be an expert in any particular area, regardless of what it is, write down a list of questions that are most important to that area.  The questions should cover any problem or question that someone might want to know about in that subject.  Then go ahead to find the answers to solve the problems.  Write about them - perhaps on a blog, or a book, or even just keep your own notebook.  Teach them to someone - that's where keeping a blog would come in handy, since on your blog you can share what you are learning.  Teaching really is the best way to learn yourself.  Lastly, be willing to teach a class, answer questions, make a video, or write a book.  People will then consider you an expert in your field.  It will come naturally as you learn more information.

I am still learning.  I don't believe it ever ends.  I have several areas of knowledge in my life that I would love to be an expert in, but it takes a lot of work and time.  I love working with herbs.  I would love to be an expert that people could count on when it comes to herbal medicine or herbal therapies.  I still have a long way to go because the field is so extensive.  I am loving the journey, and I believe that is what is most important, LOVE what you are doing.  The knowledge will come if you don't quit!

Here is a teaser for you as well.  It is the workbook portion of the Personal Preparedness Portfolio.  If you would like the information that goes along with this, you will have to follow the link and purchase the book.  But I feel strongly enough about people getting prepared, that I want to offer this for free.  Hopefully you will make use of it to help your family.  Just click on the link above and get your free pdf workbook that goes along with the Personal Preparedness Portfolio.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pandemics and Ebola

Ebola is hitting the news big these days.  I have been following it somewhat, and have decided that there really isn't much that I can prepare for, other than prepping for a normal pandemic.  Ebola is more deadly
than the Swine Flu ever was, however, I learned just recently of a young man in his 30's who contracted Swine Flu a few months back, and within one week it had killed him, leaving behind a young mom and a couple of little children.  You just never know what it is that is going to affect you and your family.

I believe in natural forms of treatment as much as possible and use herbs on a daily basis in my home.  One thing to note about the Ebola virus, is that the herbs such as Echinacea - that enhance the immune system, won't be a good thing to help stop this virus.  Sometimes there are virus' that kick the immune system into overdrive already, which using an herb that will
boost that even more, isn't a good thing.  If you are going to use herbs for viruses, please do your research to know which ones will be the best for each situation and each virus.  Viruses are different, they are deadly if not treated right, so please understand the virus and understand your natural medicines before just going ahead and administering them. I have some serious mixed feelings on something this serious.  I believe in natural treatments, but not to the point that modern treatment is put off and a person dies.  Seriously, do the research and make wise decisions.

I don't believe in panic preparing.  I do believe in thinking rationally and deciding well ahead of time, the possible scenarios that could happen, and then prepare for them, so that if this particular scenario plays out, you will be ready to respond to it, without panic.  Thus, prepping for pandemics is a must.  

I thought I might share a bit about pandemics. This info is in a post here on this site from a couple of years ago.  I have no doubt that at some point we will have to deal with something very serious. Whether it will be the “Bird Flu”, Ebola, Swine Flu, or some other virus, or perhaps something that we haven't even heard of yet, who really knows? But I think we should all be aware and be prepared for whatever it might be. I want to share just a bit about past pandemics we have had.
1918 – Spanish Influenza – killed approximately 100 million people.
1957 – 1958 – Asian Flu – approximately 2 million deaths
1968 – 1969 and 1970 – 1972 – killed approximately 33,800 people
2009 – Swine Flu – approximately 11,00 deaths - not particular deadly, but spread incredibly fast around the world.  Could have been much worse had it been a more deadly virus.  Perhaps this was just a trial run to see who was paying attention.

A Pandemic occurs when there is a new virus or disease, where there is little or no immunity to, and then is spread easily from person to person. It is global and effects global populations. It can be mild, moderate, or very severe causing death.   Check out this site to see how they classify a pandemic and to learn more about what to prepare, and get a checklist.

Pandemics can last up to 2 years with the infection coming in several different waves, that usually last up to 8 weeks at a time. This is where it is really important for everyone to have a 3 month supply of food and supplies in your home, and be prepared to shelter in place if and when need occurs. Your food should be easy to prepare meals and foods that are familiar to your family. This is not the time to start experimenting with long term food storage. And easy to prepare, so any family member could prepare them if mom and / or dad happen to get sick.

Think of a worst case scenario such as trucks stop running because the truckers are sick, or the warehouses that stock the food for the truckers to carry to the store don't have the employees because they are sick. It wouldn't take long for the public works in your city to shut down if people are sick, and soon garbage would pile up, perhaps the water won't get treated because the only people that know what to do are sick or dead, and the maintenance on the other utilities will not be kept up since many people are too sick to maintain them. It wouldn't take very long for stores to run out of food, and even if they did have food, they might not have the people to keep it up and running.
1918 Pandemic make shift hospital
Looting would be taking place. People tend to go a bit crazy. What if the hospital was overflowing with sick patients, but the nurses and doctors are short staffed because they are sick themselves, or they just plain refuse to work because they don’t want to get sick? Perhaps your city will enforce a quarantine, nobody in and nobody out. Believe me, they likely have plans in place to enforce just such a scenario.

Items and services that we take for granted will become nearly or completely unavailable. There are so many if's, and what if's in this kind of a situation, and the best thing to do, is to ask yourself and your family some of these what if's. Sit down with them and take a hard look at what would really happen, and then make a plan to prepare for that worst case scenario. Preparing for the worst case scenario, is just smart planning, and then no matter what hits, you will be able to deal with it.

Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 2006 – 2009 said, “Any community (or family) that fails to prepare and expects the federal government to come to the rescue is tragically wrong.”

So really, how can we prepare for such a wide spread, crazy event? Here are a few ideas and links to follow.
1. Do your best to stay healthy and fit. This is not always a guarantee of safety, but is a good place to start.

2. Make sure to have a 3 month supply of prescription medications on hand, or any other types of medicines you think you will need. Don't count on running to the drug store to get them, because every other person in your local area will be thinking the same thing and if you aren't the first one there, well you just won't get it. Have pain relievers, cough syrup, cold and flu medicines, etc.

3. Learn how to prevent the spreading of germs. Proper hand washing, coughing, sneezing, social distancing, (avoid large groups, keep your distance – six feet – when you do have to communicate) are all things that you should be practicing right now so that in an emergency, it will just be common sense to do them. You can read more here on washing hands properly. Handwashing   Hand sanitizers are so important. Carry them with you all the time. Use them when you are out in public. Carry wipes with you and clean buggy handles, door handles, and things like that before you touch them. Sanitize your hands after touching. Here Coughs and sneezes you can find information about proper sneezing and coughing.

4. Have on hand masks, gloves, flu medicines, and anything that your family would usually use when someone has the flu. Make sure you have enough of these things on hand to last you for several weeks. For example, if you like jello, or chicken noodle soup, or gingerale, now is the time to stock up on these things. Remember lots of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, paper towels, bleach and things like that. Take into consideration personal hygiene, sanitation, clothes washing, trash, cooking, power, heating, communication, and entertainment. At the following link you can find some planning helps Personal Pandemic Planning Prepare to quarantine yourself in your home, whether you might be sick or might just not want to get sick. You may have to stay in your home for quite some time, until it passes. Here are a couple of links to follow about sheltering in place Shelter in Place and here Shelter in Place
5. Think ahead about your home, and where you would be able to put a sick person to quarantine as much as possible from other members of the family. Easy access to a bathroom, some form of entertainment like a tv in the room, and least possibility of spreading the germs. Things you might want to have in a sick room: thermometers, rubbing alcohol, humidifiers, garbage bags, disinfectant wipes, sanitizers, and anything else that might help the situation. Here is a site that tells a bit about that here isolation and quarantine

There are so many different ways to prepare for something like this. Do some research. Check with your local government websites, most of them will have information for you.

Here is a great rehydration recipe for someone who is sick and in jeopardy of dehydration.
1 tsp salt
8 tsp sugar
5 cups clean drinking water. You can add flavoring such as Kool-Aid to make it taste a bit better. Stir the mixture well until all dissolved. Give liberally to a sick patient as they can take it, to prevent dehydration.

An idea that I use to prepare for things such as pandemic, would be to place all items you might need that go together into a rubbermaid type bin and label it well. For example I have a bin called my flu bin. It has all my meds, masks, gloves, bed pads, straws for easy drinking, and things like that in it.

Here are a few links to check out which will give you much more information.
Good Home Treatment of Influenza by Grattan Woodson, MD – an excellent resource manual for every home.
Birdflu Manual

I guess my worst fear for a pandemic is one of biological warfare, where an enemy would actually let loose a virus with the intent to spread and kill as many people as possible. It is a very real threat, one that we should all consider. Then there are also the bird flu variations that seem to be mutating on a pretty regular basis. This ebola threat is pretty serious as well.  Point being - we shouldn't let our guard down. 

I know many people who believed that the Swine Flu was just so hyped up, that I am sure when another pandemic swings around, they probably won't even pay any attention to it.  I, however, will watch and pay very careful attention because I am sure that the Swine Flu was just a practice run for us all.  What did we learn?  What did we do about it?

Learn what you need to, and prepare what you should so that when, not if, the next pandemic strikes, you will be ready for it.  Don't look at the last one we had as a big hype and nothing to serious.  It was very serious, and it should have opened our eyes to just how fast our lives can be changed.  One very small virus could take down a huge portion of the world's population in a very short time.