Saturday, October 1, 2016

Newsletter #1 - October 2016

Today While The Sun Shines
Issue #1

REMEMBER: October 29th, at the Stake Center in Medicine Hat, the Emergency Preparedness Fair. We have a lineup of great presenters, displays, and tasters. Here is a short list:
Shelter in Place by CF
Notify Me Now by City of Medicine Hat
Wills FAQ's by Darren Cahoon
Emergency Binders, 72 hour kits and Digitizing your home by Talia Zemp
Red Cross – Emergency Preparedness in the home
LDS Employment from Lethbridge
Thrive – freeze dried foods by Troy and Janae Hale
and so much more.....
with our tasters focused around everything possible to do with beans!

Quite a few years ago, I started a blog called Today While The Sun Shines. I chose this title, specifically for this words to the song that we often sing at church. Here are the words to the chorus:

Today, today, work with a will;
Today, today, your duties fulfill.
Today, today, work while you may;
Prepare for tomorrow by working today.

As I was thinking what I would title this newsletter, I had to go back to that theme, because I believe it is even more relevant now than it was ten years ago. We need to work with a will, fulfill our duties, and prepare for tomorrow, today!

A recent talk by Elder Ballard, in a large regional conference in Utah, he stated this:

"My beloved brothers and sisters, we are charged to prepare the Church for those days that will surely come if the people in the world continue to ignore and disregard God our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are clear on the consequences of turning away from God." by Elder Ballard

I say Amen to his talk. We need to prepare today, for what tomorrow will bring, for it is surely coming. We are not going to be able to escape it. We must prepare for it.

Each monthly newsletter I send from here on out will have a monthly checklists, or a weekly checklist, depending on what works for you, both contain the same information, just broken down a bit more. With all of them, I hope to give you a comprehensive yet basic look at preparedness in the home.

Where do I even begin? It is so overwhelming!

Whether you are an avid preparedness guru, or are just at the beginnings, or somewhere in between, advice is always the same, just start, or just start again, or just keep moving forward. For we all have times where we just forget, or get tired, or get sidetracked. The steps to starting, regardless where you are in your journey of preparedness, can be simple and inexpensive. They don't need to be huge or extravagant.

Below are a few ways to get your family started on the road to preparedness, which will soon become a way of life if you continue to do:
  • Take a deep breath, allow your knees to hit the floor, (the starting position), and ask for help. Then get up and start doing something. It is easier for the Lord to help you when you are moving forward. Let me tell you a short story. I have always been one who believes in being prepared. It has been a way of life for me since I was a little girl. One day, about ten or so years ago, I had been to the Temple in Cardston, after which I stopped at the book store and picked up a book about dehydrating. I was keenly feeling it. I need to kick my preparedness efforts into high gear again, but I just didn't know how I was going to accomplish it, as we didn't have the financial resources to buy a lot of stuff. BUT, I had a willing heart! On the way home, I said a small prayer, mostly to myself and told Heavenly Father if He would put food in front of me, I would do all I could, to preserve it, and make use of it for my family. Seriously, not two minutes after I said that prayer my cell phone rang with a dear friend telling me she had more apples than she needed, and would I come and pick them. The calls continued almost daily. To this day, the resources He places in front of me have never stopped. However, I must note..... I do the work, I often do the research to find sources, and I must add in again, I AM WILLING TO DO THE WORK, no matter how exhausting it might be, I work today, to prepare for tomorrow, always. It is just a way of life. If opportunities come about, I work.
  • Stop with the wailing and gnashing of teeth, yes we all do it to some degree. We find every excuse possible to not do what we are supposed to be doing. He can't open the windows of Heaven and pour out blessings on us, if we are excusing away those blessings. I hear them all of the time, so I am here today, and tomorrow, to help you take away those excuses. Work today, to prepare for tomorrow, because when the world chooses wickedness, WE need to be prepared, for “swiftly cometh the judgments of God.” If you have an extra room in your house full of junk, wahoo for you! Get rid of the junk and turn it into a useful storage room. If you have an empty closet, space under a bed, a heated garage, cupboards up high full of useless stuff, well you get my meaning, then you have space. If you don't have the financial means, then see where you can cut back and make it a priority in your home. We all have cell phones, large tv bills, eating out habits, etc etc, all which can be juggled to find the means. It is a matter of priorities. If you want it, make it a matter of prayer and figure out how to do it. I promise you I have heard all the excuses, and there isn't one that I can't help you overcome in some way. YOU CAN DO IT! Just decide.
  • The empty pop bottles that are kicking around your house.... see them all? You know the ones that some day you are going to take in for that ten cent return? Wash them out and fill them with water. Find an empty spot in your closet, or under a bed, or in the laundry room, or behind a tv, or up in the top corner of a cupboard that nobody can reach and has been filled with stuff that never gets used. We all have spaces like that, so make those dead, empty spaces useful. Pop bottles will last for years filled with water. Just go do it, and forget about them. There, now you have started! It is a simple step, so just do it. If you don't have empty pop bottles, every other week, buy a case of bottled water and stash it. Go to Costco and pick up one of their 3L blue jugs of water and stash it. If you do that every other week, you will soon see your water supply building. And considering an average person goes through about 80 gallons of water per day with all of their washing, drinking, cooking, etc, that 14 gallons you should have stored for emergencies, isn't going to last very long.
  • Next, from now on when you go shopping, instead of buying one can of corn, one can of tomato soup, or one box of something, buy two and tuck one away on your food storage shelf. If you will do this as often as money permits, you will soon see your storage start to grow. You will also begin to change your mindset to thinking more to shopping sales, and thinking ahead. Be a prayerful shopper and see what a difference that makes. Your job is to ask, listen, then go and do. I recall keenly when I started shopping the sales. I only had a small amount of money, but I remember pasta coming on sale for like .50 cents a bag, (unheard of any more), and I bought 50 bags of it. Yes, I am that person. That meant I didn't get a few other things on my list that particular time, but I didn't have to buy pasta until it came on sale again. I would watch the sales, and buy in large quantities, and eventually got to where I only had to buy certain things when they came on sale. I find the cheapest places to buy things in bulk, and I buy them in bulk. Get creative in your containers, ask people to save you large glass jars, plastic ones, or buckets. Ice cream stores always give away buckets. There are ways to make it happen if you start to look for them.
That is how you begin. We will talk more on emergencies and how to prepare for them in future issues, but for now, I hope you just begin with what you can, these simple steps that anyone can do. I promise you will be blessed because you are being obedient.

October To Do List
  • Each week set aside $2 for every person in your home. This is just for having emergency cash on hand. I have a large jar with the lid glued on, which all of my change and everyone else's change often goes in this jar. Each week I add to it, at least $2 for each person in my family.
  • 14 gallons of water per person. Put it somewhere. Be creative. I know you can do it.
  • This month, focus on gathering some extra cleaning supplies. Things like a gallon of bleach, an extra bottle of dish soap, an extra bottle or box of laundry soap, some latex gloves, an extra box of trash bags (sturdy ones). An extra bottle of all purpose cleaner like Mr. Clean or something. 12 cleaning cloths (reusable ones), any other cleaning supplies you regularly use, buy one extra of each and set them aside on your food storage shelves. Now you are one step closer and your shelves are looking good!
  • Test smoke alarms, test fire extinguisher, test carbon mono alarm, have a mock fire drill with your family. If you have water storage that may need rotating, do it now to keep it fresh for the winter months. I usually would rotate mine every April and October, if I do it, which I don't always. I have used water that has been store in bottles for a few years and it is totally fine. Just remember never store these bottles on a cement floor. I will get into that more in another newsletter, but just know not to do it. Any toxins from the cement will leach into the plastic and then into the water. Not good.

Simplified Monthly October Check list:

  • set aside $2 / person / week for emergency cash on hand
  • store 14 gallons of water per person in your household
  • Food storage: canned meats – chicken, tuna, salmon, beef, etc., vegetable oil, coconut oil, shortening, peanut butter, chocolate chips, cocoa for baking
  • Home storage items: 5 gallon bucket with lid, household cleaners, bleach, dish soap, laundry detergent, Mr. Clean, latex gloves, work gloves, cloth rags and cleaning cloths, garbage bags, clothes pins, scouring pads, sponges, air fresheners, n95 masks, other cleaning supplies
  • Preparedness goals: test smoke alarms, test fire extinguishers, test carbon monoxide alarms, have mock fire and evac drill, rotate water storage if needed
  • Equipment goals: smoke alarms, other alarms and detectors, home escape ladders, things needed to escape rooms if fires etc.
  • Inventory: oils and fats, snacks, freezer, and toiletries

Weekly Check List for October:

Week 1
  • $2 per person tuck away for emergency cash on hand
  • figure out how much water per week you will need to get 14 gallons per person
  • canned meats, beef, chicken, tuna, salmon
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid, bleach, dish soap, laundry soap
  • test smoke alarms
  • purchase smoke alarms if needed
  • Inventory oils and fats

Week 2
  • $2 per person cash on hand
  • divide amount of water needed into three and get that much stored
  • vegetable oil, coconut oil, shortening / lard
  • household cleaners, latex gloves, work gloves, cleaning cloths re-usable
  • test fire extinguishers
  • purchase fire extinguisher
  • inventory snacks

Week 3
  • $2 per person cash on hand
  • add another amount of water needed to work up to your 14 gallons per person
  • peanut butter
  • garbage bags, clothes pins,
  • test carbon monoxide alarms, or purchase one if needed
  • inventory your freezer goods and organize if needed

Week 4
  • $2 per person cash on hand
  • finish getting together your 14 gallons of water per person
  • chocolate chips and cocoa for baking
  • scouring pads, sponges, air fresheners, n95 masks and other cleaning supplies
  • have a mock fire drill and mock evacuation drill
  • purchase home escape ladder or other tools needed to make evac smoother, like something to break windows, or whatever it might be
  • inventory toiletries

I am not going to tell you how much of any one particular thing you should purchase. It will be different for every household and family. Think through what your family uses regularly and purchase and store accordingly. Watch for sales, and if a good sale comes about, even if it isn't on the list, purchase it. Each circumstance is different, just plan and work accordingly.

Home Made Tortillas
2 cups flour – could be white, whole wheat, or add in powdered dried vegetables, bean flour, flax, or other ground grains. Black beans give a nice blackish blue color, powdered tomatoes a nice red, and powdered spinach a green. Adding in herbs and spices give nice freckled colors. Be creative with what you have on hand and experiment.
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup warm water
additional flour
Rub flour, salt and oil together with your fingers until completely incorporated and fine crumbs form. Pour water into dry ingredients and work it in with a fork. Dough will be in large clumps. Sprinkle flour and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 12 – 15 small balls about 2 inches in diameter. Set balls on a plate and cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes or so. Roll out until thin, rolling from the center to the outside. It may be helpful to toll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Bake on very hot, un-greased griddle or fry pan until freckled, about 20 seconds on each side. Serve warm.

Price comparison is about 1/10 of the price of purchasing these in the grocery store. Significant savings, much more healthy, and one step closer to being self reliant.

Buckets of Sprouts!!!
Opportunity to prepare in January, a five gallon bucket of grains and seeds for sprouting. We will be doing a bulk purchase and assembly of these. I am working on a price and a list of what will be in it for sure, and by next newsletter I will have this ready for certain, but for now here is what it might look like.

A five gallon bucket of sprouting grains and seeds for approximately $50. It might include: alfalfa seeds, wheat kernels, rye grain, green lentils, green peas, adzuki beans, mung beans, fenugreek seeds, broccoli seeds.

I am working on this, but will let you know more details on when, where, and what exactly will be in it and how much it will be. Just plan for it in January's budge if you are interested. And let me know if you have a source for something specific or would like something specific in it. It will be an opportunity for us all to come together to create them and take them home.