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Monday, May 28, 2012

HUMOR: The Ten Stages of Food Storage


For those of you who have been prepping for awhile these may sound somewhat familiar!  

Stage One: Something or someone has scared-your-eyes-open to the fact that the world is not what it used to be and trouble of various kinds are brewing.  You freak out, go to the grocery store to buy a case of  mac and cheese and  25 cans of beenie weenies.  You stay up late and read every post on the  International Preppers Network about zombies, EMPs, nuclear attacks and financial disaster and go to bed thinking the end of the world is tomorrow and wondering if the mac and cheese and beenie weenies will last until then.

Stage two:  Tomorrow comes and it's not the end of the world so you start to think about how much you hate mac and cheese and beenie weenies.  You freak out and go to the store to buy  25kg bags of beans and rice because you read last night that beans and rice are what you need to eat if the world is coming to an end.  You then read every post on how to cook beans and rice and buy a propane stove just-in-case

Stage three:  You are sick of tripping over the bags of beans and rice and you've eaten all the mac and cheese and beenie weenies while watching The Road on Friday night and still no disaster has occurred. You begin to wonder if there's more to food storage than this and start looking up recipes that only require canned and boxed food.  You find a chart that tells you how long canned food will stay edible and take an inventory of the neighbourhood strays just-in-case.  

Stage four: You begin to see the benefits of having some extra food on hand because some family members dropped in unexpectedly and you saw this as a great opportunity to try out your new favorite bean and rice dish on them.  You are now reading some thought provoking blog posts on the Canadian Preppers Network on taking care of yourself regardless of the emergency and have considered planting some tomatoes in pots in the back yard just-in-case. 

Stage five: Wanting to increase your storage you go crazy with grocery flyers and coupons looking for deals so you can add canned and boxed food to your food storage area.  You are feeling more confident as you see the stacks of tuna and cans of soup pile up.  You are now debating the merits of Spam and Klic and the multitude of ways it can be eaten with others on the board.

Stage six: You are beginning to calm down and see the need to organise all the "stuff" you've been buying so you go to the big box store and buy some heavy duty shelves.  After bringing the shelves home, debating with your spouse about where you can put them, putting the shelves together and organizing your food you realise how little food you really have because the shelves are mostly bare.  You take a look around the basement while you're there and see how much useless junk you have accumulated over the years.  You start purging and sell it all on Kijiji or Craigs List.  While you're selling you browse the ads for camping equipment and spend all the money you made purging buying more practical and useful stuff just-in-case.

Stage seven: You are cruising along when it suddenly occurs to you that your family needs to know about prepping because there's no way YOU can prep for them.  You call a family meeting and your parents and siblings shake their heads and sigh because you have finally proven them right - they think you are crazy.  Grandma is the only one who looks interested and pulls you aside to suggest that Grandpa (who fell sleep during your spiel) could teach you how to garden and she could teach you how to can your own food next summer. On the way home you think about how much you love your Grandparents and you stop off at the grocery store for the BOGO sale to stock up on some extra food for them - just in case.

Stage eight: You begin to wonder how you will survive the end of the world without snack foods.  You head for the nearest bulk food store and stock up on chocolate, candy and chips with plans to put it in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.  You look up mylar bags and oxygen absorbers online and order them but by the time your order arrives your family has eaten all the chocolate and candy and left you with half a bag of pretzels.  

Stage nine: You are put off by the amount of time it takes to pack your own food and you want to speed up the process so you look up Briden Solutions and put in an order for 6 months of freeze dried and dehydrated food.  It arrives in the mail and you add it to your shelves smiling at the bounty and feeling like you are finally getting somewhere.

Stage ten: You sit back and relax in your yard having planted a garden full of heirloom seeds with Grandpa.  Sipping ice tea made with dandelion leaves and other weeds you read a book on how to build a root cellar while day dreaming about your move to a country property where you can raise chickens and have a cow.

Hope that made you smile!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I used to think that the world was going to heck in a handbasket. Earthquakes, civil uprising, disasters of all kinds from all over the globe. It's sometimes no wonder that there always seems to be a self proclaimed prophet predicting the end of times. Many preppers point out how these disasters seem to be growing in number and intensity, but are they really? Being a prepper means to be aware of your surroundings. Take last night's evening news as an example. The various stories were detailed by te reporters as usual, but for the life of me I can only remember two. The first was a report on the ongoing student protests in Montreal, where I used to live. I thought to my self that this type of thing was one of the reasons for moving to the country. The other was a brief mention of a tornado warning in the Gatineau region, not all that far away in terms of a storm cell. I spent the next few hours checking various resources and getting a sense of where the storm was headed...which turned out to be in my general direction, and making a few preps just in case. I did a quick tour of the yard and secured as many items as possible and began to go over a list in my head...generator:check...oil lamps ready:check...etc. As the skies grew darker, the hatches were battened down and we hoped for the best, but were as ready as we could be for the worst.
It only occured to me this morning that I had absolutely no idea what other news had been broadcast...it was a blank. This makes me wonder if things really are getting worse, or were thet really that bad all along and I just wasn't aware. Being "awake" as it is known can be a scary thing. We suddenly pay more attention to the everyday dangers of being alive. Local and foreign disasters ring louder in our heads and can easily instill fear and paranoia. Not to worry, just use these fears to be as ready as you can be and take life as it comes, comforted in knowing that you are more ready to face these dangers armed with supplies, skills, and careful confidence.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Emergency Preparedness Week - Day 5

After a few days of mentioning emergencies or disasters, you are probably now thinking of or have even bought some water and non perishable food to keep tucked away in your kit. If you're a step beyond that then you have already gotten a crank powered flashlight or radio, or combo unit. Now, is there anything you can do to really be ready? Actually, there is so much to remember, that it can get down right confusing. The Emergency Preparedness Pocket Guide is full of tips for all sorts of scenarios.

Get your guide online at:
http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/
or use the 1-800 number found on the site to order printed versions.
Remember to get enough to pass around to the whole family, and have one for your emergency kits as well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Emergency Preparedness Week - Day 4

A big part of being prepared is knowing what to be prepared for. Let's face it, there's little use preparing for a tornado when you live in earthquake territory. Knowing the risks local to your area is the number one step to being ready to "weather the storm", bad pun intended. Of course, job loss, bank failures, and other economic disasters are of great concern, but the natural and man made disasters that could befall you are equally important. If you live near a railroad or airport, you may want to consider having the grab n go kit ready in case of a derailment or air accident. Living near a river would dictate that you be ready for flooding. It takes a bit of common sense to look at your surroundings and evaluate the risks, but there is also a fantastic tool to help.

The Canadian Disaster Database will show you what has happened in your area in the past as well as outline casualties and financial effects of the disaster. Visit the database here...

http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/em/cdd/index-eng.aspx

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Emergeny Preparedness Week - Day 3

So, as you have seen so far, getting yourself and your family ready to be self reliant for the first 3 days after an emergency really isn't that difficult, but it does take some thought. For today's tip, I would suggest planning an escape route from our neighborhood. Keep in mind that several factors could block one or more roads out of your area such as downed trees from a storm or dammaged or blocked bridges from flooding. Have more than one route to safety and outline them on a map. Keep your map in a waterproof plastic pouch in our emergency kit. Practice the routes on weekends and learn where detours can be made. Keep in mind that everyone else may be trying to get out of danger at the same time, so secondary roads are ideal. Remember to keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half full, and if possible, keep some extra fuel on hand at home to top off the tank before heading out in an evacuation.

Here is a handy link on how to handle flooding...

http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/flds-wtd/index-eng.aspx

Monday, May 7, 2012

Emergency Preparedness Week - Day 2

One handy invention I have found to be extremely helpful for emergency situations is the crank powered flashlight/radio combination. These can be found for under $20.00 at your local hardware store and eliminate the worry about dead or leaking batteries. They usually come with LED bulbs that last a lifetime and use little power. The radio is a great source of information on the AM band and the entertainment of the FM band can help break the monotony of a powerless society.

Today's emergency preparedness situation is power outages. We can all handle the 2 or 3 hour power failure, but disasters almost always cause extended outages lasting days or weeks. Here are a few helpful links...

http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/pwrtgs-wtd/index-eng.aspx

http://www.ehow.com/how_2096556_use-generator-during-power-outage.html

Know the risks - Have a plan - Make a kit

Sunday, May 6, 2012

EP Week Canada 2012 - Introduction

Welcome to Canada's Emergency Preparedness Week. This week the federal government in collaboration with the provincial governments promote emergency preparedness. This program will not be the survivalist/self reliant type of thing many of us work towards, but it's a great starting point for beginners. The government itself advocates being self sufficient for 3 days after a disaster, or other emergency situation. This, in theory, will give them time to organize and render aid to the area. There are many different scenarios to be prepared for, but the basics outlined here will give you a great starting point for many of them.

So here we go, the basics are familiar to many of us, but worth review...

1 - Have a plan. Decide on a meeting place where your family can meet in case of a disaster. Make sure that it is familiar and accessible to everyone. Have a place to go to in case of evacuation (bug out). This could be a friend or relative. I would suggest one destination in a nearby town and another in a neighboring province. In any case, you should be able to get there on a single tank of gas...and ALWAYS keep your car's gas tank at least half full.

2 - Make a kit. Have 3 days worth of water and non perishable food that is easy to prepare ready to go. Keep a backpack with emergency supplies such as a flashlight and spare batteries, spare seasonal clothing, phone numbers for loved ones and change for the pay phone. This is no where near a complete list. For a better idea of how to assemble an emergency kit see here.

3 - Know the risks. Educate yourself on the many possible scenarios for your area such as flooding, tornadoes, etc. A great resource is the Canadian Disaster Database. You can search by province, disaster type, etc. It will give you an idea of what HAS happened, and how it affected the local area.

These 3 steps can greatly increase your ability to survive many disaster scenarios, but is by no means a complete or comprehensive plan. They will, however give you a base to work from. Keep up to date by subscribing to this blog and feel free to join the forum here.

I will post daily links to different disaster scenarios and how to prepare for them for the remainder of the week.

Today's Scenario - Earthquakes

Some links -

http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rthqks-wtd/index-eng.aspx

http://www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/prepare_now/prepare.html

http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/hazard-alea/simphaz-eng.php

Happy Prepping.