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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Power Outage Survival Kit

This past week has been a very trying time for us in Southern Indiana and in Kentucky. There have been a lot of power outages and hundreds of thousands are still without power. I found the below article and wanted to share it. Always remember , that if you have to get out the kerosene heater to use it safely. Here is a link to a site that has some great tips for using a kerosene heater - Kerosene Heater Safety

As usual your power outage kit must be ready to deploy with you should the need arise therefore I have found it best to assemble my kit within a backpack of some sort. Hanging your kit on a door hook behind the kitchen door or a close by bedroom door is a smart trick and assures that it is readily available in the dark should it be needed.

Items which I always consider keeping in the kit would include:

1. A battery operated or hand cranked radio complete with extra batteries.

2. A Clock which operates on battery power. I have combined both the hand cranked radio and a clock in one unit I have purchased however sometimes the clock loses its time when the battery is weak so I highly advise keeping a battery clock handy.

3. Now this next item is very important. Keep a non cordless telephone in your power outage bag to connect directly to the telephone line. Portable telephones will not function when you have no power available. I also maintain a cell phone however needless to say the numbers are different so I try to maintain both on hand for emergencies.

4. You can never have enough lanterns or flashlights along with their associated extra batteries. This is also a function of my cranking radio-clock but we try to maintain a flashlight or lantern in every room of our home. This will prevent accidental falls in the dark

5. Several 6 to 12 hour light sticks are useful for keeping in your black out kit also. They are a lot of fun also for the kids.

6. A digital quick response food thermometer is a useful addition to your kit. Perishable food temperatures should not reach above 40 degrees for more then a 2 hour period. Use this thermometer to periodically check the internal temperature of the food for harmful bacteria conditions.

7. We keep several candles available in the kit however we use them strictly in a dire emergency because of the fire hazard associated with them. Usually we prefer the battery flashlights and lanterns. A quick note on fire safety is to ensure that all your smoke and fire detectors have a battery backup.

8. If you or a family member happens to be on any sort of medical equipment ensure that you have an alternate means of power for it. I always have small portable power units that can easily be carried around. Should it require refrigeration maintain a small cooler with ice packs in it. The breakable ice packs are great for this. I also maintain a DC operated cooler for this purpose if needed. Keep extra medications in the event that pharmacies do not have back up power and are not working.

9. Generators can be useful however take appropriate precautions in regards to proper ventilation. I consider the preferred method to be having your generator outside and connecting it to an indoor power receptacle specifically for the generator.

10. Keep paper products available as well as a manual can opener.

11. Store up on one gallon of water per person along with a supply of paper cups. A neat little trick is to store several containers of clean water in your freezer. In case you lose power to help to keep your food cold and as it melts you can use it as drinking water.

12. You should also consider an alternate cooking source such as a BBQ grill or a small propane camping stove. I keep both available.

13. Should heat be necessary always maintain extra means of heat such as blankets, fireplace or heat source. We generally keep extra blankets readily available as well as a kerosene heater for use if the main heating system fails to operate due to the lack of electricity.

That about wraps it up. You can conclude your pack with several personal items that you and your family members consider essential. Keep in mind if you have a Bug out vehicle that is equipped with people items for emergencies you could easily move to it temporarily. Campers and motor homes are especially useful in emergency black outs.

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Urban Homestead

I got this book today in the mail and LOVE it. The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) is a great book for anyone who lives in the city , but still wants to be self-sufficient. There are many projects in this book that include how to grow a patio garden, how to cook with the sun, how to preserve food, and many more. I do not live in a "city", I am in a small town, but I still find this book to be a great addition to my survival library.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baking Bread

I spent all day Monday baking bread. I baked 3 loaves. That should last us the week. I buy bread dough in packs of five at the local low-price grocery store for $2.00 and then I bake it up as I need it. Cheaper and taste better, plus the heat from the stove warms the house up!! Nothing better than a warm house and a piece of fresh baked bread. I also buy my rolls like this. I used to bake totally from scratch , but I have gotten a bit lazy and run down from chasing a toddler around the house , so I buy these loaves of bread dough that are frozen and all I have to do is set them out in the morning to rise and then bake them. Slice them up and enjoy!!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

I Guess I am Going To Find Out How Good Our Stockpile Is!

Hubby just got laid off! So i guess now we will find out how good our stockpile and every thing else that I have been trying to learn and do is going to work for us. I hope he is not out of work for very long. He already called about a new truck driving job so who knows. But since he will be out for a while I will be using our stockpile.
This is kind of good in a way. Just another way to learn what I need to stockpile and what needs to be learned and such. I am depressed because he will be out of work and we will have no money coming in, but I am going to be using this as a learning experience. (I am looking for me a J.O.B. too now)

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Variety is The Spice of Life

I have noticed that my stockpile does not have a lot of variety. I have a ton of flour, sugar, honey, salt, dry milk, rice, etc staples like that, but I noticed that we do not have a lot of different things. I mean , really, how long before the kids start complaining and we all get sick of plain rice! We all get tired of eating the same thing over and over. Appetite Fatigue!
Store up food that your family enjoys eating. Store a variety of beans, grains, spices, canned foods, flavorings, broths, soup mixes, dried fruits, nuts, tuna, and more.
One of the best things that you can do is to buy a great food storage cook book. I have several that I have bought and love. I have gotten so many good ideas and tips from them. Store up ingredients for all of your favorite meals.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Easy & Almost Free Heat!!

I am doing this tonight. Try it out in the morning. I have 3 windows that face south and get direct sunlight all day long!

Easy FREE Home Heat! - The top video clips of the week are here

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Make Your Own Waterproof Matches

If you are in a situation where your survival depends on fire or you needing to light something and you are in a cold or damp atmosphere, these waterproof matches might save your life. Fire can warm you, purify water, cook food, and more.

You need a box of matches. Not safety matches. You must use boxed matches. A tealight candle. A piece of aluminum foil.
Lay out the foil flat on a surface where it is safe to lay out and no fire hazards are around.
Light the tealight and let it burn until there is a pretty good size pool of melted wax.
Now the fun part -- Dip the match into the melted wax until the whole match has wax on it. This will make it entirely waterproof. If you just do half of the match dampness and water can seep in from the unwaxed end.
Blow on this until the wax is hardened and then repeat dipping it into the wax so that you have 2 layers of wax on it.
Do as many matches as you want.
To light them you scrape off the wax and light!!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seed Ordering

I know it is the middle of winter and some of you might not want to hear about gardening, but it is about time for all of us to be getting our seeds ordered or bought for spring. I plan on getting a few veggies and herbs for myself and am getting some seed catalogs sent to me. I need to be planning on where I am going to put my garden at our new place.
Here are a few places that have great seeds and I plan on using.

Native Seeds

Amishland Seeds

Seed Savers Exchange


Now that you are getting your free seed catalogs you will need to get to planning.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coffee Can Ice Cream

I know that it is winter, but for some reason when it gets really cold I want ice cream!
Who knew crafting a batch of homemade ice cream could be so much fun? Grab the kids, two coffee cans, ingredients for the ice cream and roll away!

What you'll need:
2 clean metal cans, both with lids (make one can larger than the second)
Use the ice cream recipe already given in Ice Cream in a Bag or:
1 cup of very cold milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs chocolate syrup

How to make it:
Place the ice cream mixture in the smaller coffee can (make sure it's clean) and seal with the lid on tightly.
Place the smaller can in the larger can. Pour the ice and salt around the smaller can making sure it is more or less in the center.
Seal the larger can with its lid tightly and roll it around for about a half hour. This process works great if you have kids. Let them sit on the floor and roll the can between them. When it's done you'll have a nice container to keep the ice cream in!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

I Have A Toothache!

What do you do if you get a toothache? There are a lot of ways to cure a toothache with just stuff from your kitchen cabinet or stockpile.

Tea Bags - Press a dampened tea bag against your toothache or sore gums. This will relieve your toothache or stop your gums from bleeding. The tannic acid in the tea numbs it and clots blood.

Swish a mouthful of Listerine to temporarily relieve a toothache. Swish it right around the cavity, lost filling, or broken tooth. It is an analgesic.

Add a quarter of a teaspoon of pepper to one cup of boiling water , stir , cover, and simmer on low heat for about seven minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for about 15 minutes. Strain this through a coffee filter and while it is still hot , take small sips and swish it through your mouth , concentrating on the affected area. Repeat as often as needed.

Another easy way to relieve a toothache is to take vanilla and soak a cotton ball with it and place it against the sore tooth or spot. The high alcohol content in it will dull the pain.

Salt is another great way to ease the pain of a toothache. Just add it to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it.

I hope that none of up gets a toothache when times are bad, but if we do at least we will be able to relieve it a bit!!

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Use Cloth!

I have already wrote on this blog about the benefits of using cloth diapers, but did not mention another important item that is needed -- CLOTH WIPES!! I started out making just a few for my son, but then I got to thinking that I better make as many as I can so the whole family can use them IF we need too. You never know if you might run out of toilet paper and cannot get anymore!

They are very easy to make. I have made them from old t-shirts, receiving blankets, flannel sheets and shirts, and more. You just need to cut out squares that are about 7 inches X 7 inches and place them right sides together and around the edge , making sure to leave a place to turn it out at , stitch up the hole and top stitch. Very easy to make and totally worth it!!

You can find some more info on using and making cloth items at my other blog Sewing Cloth Diapers & Other Stuff ~ Sewing, Crafts, Making Money,& Living Green

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stockpiling is Great, But..........

You also need to make sure that you have a renewable food source. You have got to locate one for your family because you never know how long you will be needing to survive. What if it over a year or two?? Your one year stockpile would dwindle away and you would be left with nothing.
Where we live I think that it would be fine. We live in town , but on the edge and have deer that go through our yard daily. When we first looked at this house before we moved in one ran through the backyard and I looked at my husband and said, "That might be supper one of these days!!". So, you never know what might happen and you need to be prepared for whatever might happen!
Be able to grow your own garden and always have seeds on hand for all kinds of vegetables. Even ones that you might like eat so you can trade with neighbors! Get a few chickens for eggs.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Treadle Sewing Machine

This is something that would come in handy!! I would love to find one. Imagine being able to sew when there is no power! That would be so awesome. I would be able to mend clothing, sew new clothing, sew stuff for neighbors, etc. That would be a great bartering tool also. Tell your neighbor who has something that you need that you will sew and mend stuff for them for trade. Huh - Great idea. People will always need stuff sewn. This would be a great investment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Help Birds Survive This Winter!

I think one great way to prepare for survival is to help others that need it.
So why not have your kids make this bird feeder for your bird neighbors.

What your kids will need:

1 Bagel
Peanut butter
Ribbon for hanging

Spread the peanut butter on the bagel and roll it into the birdseed until it is fully covered.
Tie a ribbon around it and hang it from a tree -- Try to hang it in a tree that you can see from your window.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bagged Omelet

I found this recipe in a camping book , it is an easy recipe that can be cooked with camping gear!

What you need:
Any of the following --- diced ham, cheese, bacon(bacon bits), onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc
Zipper style freezer bag
Crack the eggs into the bag and add the desired amount of milk. Add your other ingredients that you have chosen. Make sure to seal the bag tightly. Place the bag into a pot of boiling water and cook for a few minutes or until done to your liking. Put the egg mixture (bagged Omelet) into pita bread and enjoy!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cola Can & Oil Emergency Lamp

In the winter time it seems like we have more power outages. Hopefully , we are all prepared with food, flashlights, water, etc , but what if this power outage is a long one? So what do you do when this happens and you need light?
You can make this simple oil lamp for long term outages. The parts needed for this can be found in most every home.
An empty aluminum cola can, an old cotton sock, and about a tablespoon of cooking oil are all you need.
First stab an empty cola can in the middle and cut around the circumference until you cut the can completely in half. Make sure to se a pair of gloves to hold the cut can, because the metal is very sharp. Use the bottom half of the cola can, and cut half inch deep slits spaced each half inch along the circumference of the can. Fold over to make a safe rim along the edge. Now take the top half of the can and work the pull tab off the top by pulling up and side to side. You can throw the top half of the can in the recycle bin, because you do not need it. Next cut a one inch by 3/8" slip of material from the old sock. Roll the material into a thick rope and feed it into the pull tab attachment hole. Pull through about half an inch so it sticks up while the pull tab rests upside down. Now pour a cap full of cooking oil into the bottom of the can. Place the upside down pull tab with the wick in the middle of the can and drape the cotton wick so it pulls the oil from the edge of the can. The length of the wick pulled through the tab hole will determine the height of the flame. A good quarter inch of wick will give a good flame with virtually no smoke. Now you can light the wick and it should last about three to four hours with each tablespoon or so of corn oil.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another One For The Kiddies

Kool-Aid Fingerpaint
2 cups flour
2 pack unsweetened kool-aid
1/2 cup salt
3 cups boiling water
3 tbs. oil

Mix wet ingredients into dry. The kids love the color change. Then paint away. Non Toxic ingredients make this a fun and safe way for kids to not be bored.
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