The Survival Mom » Instant Survival Tips http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:02:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 10 Condiments That Make Life Better http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-condiments-make-life-better/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-condiments-make-life-better/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16780 So something really, truly bad happens. The grid has been down for a month or a deadly pandemic has us sequestered in our homes. Or you’re simply out of work for months and the savings are gone. You are living Read More

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So something really, truly bad happens. The grid has been down for a month or a deadly pandemic has us sequestered in our homes. Or you’re simply out of work for months and the savings are gone.

You are living on your food storage.

Hey, it’s all good! You’ve got staples like grains,beans and rice. You’ve got a wide range of canned, freeze dried, dehydrated and home-canned foods. There’s a well stocked root cellar. You’ve even got waxed cheese and waterglassed eggs.

Guess what else you’ve got?

Scared people. And you’re one of them. One of the reasons for prepping is to provide a sense of continuity (not normalcy – things aren’t currently normal: river…Egypt…). Continuity is a tether to how things were and holds the hope of a return to that state or something like it.

No matter how well you’ve prepped, sooner or later you’re going to be eating a lot more basic staples than you’re used to. So imagine this: you’ve grilled up some bean-based veggie burgers or you’ve mixed up some mashed potato flakes and…then what?

Let’s lay aside spices, sauces and ingredients like honey for another day and confine ourselves to ready-made condiments. And really, even if things are perfectly normal, these are still great to have in the house.

The 10 Condiments that will save your sanity

1) Ketchup

Why? Because it’s ketchup, that’s why! Ketchup is the duct tape of the kitchen. Unrivaled for versatility on the table, it’s also indispensable on the stove and in the oven. It can make almost anything edible.

BTW,there’s more to ketchup than just tomatoes. Ketchups made from blackberries, lobster shells, onions, and more used to be produced at home and commercially. There are parts of England where mushroom ketchup is still commonplace. If you’d like to try your hand at these heritage flavors, you’ll have to resort to out-of-print cookbooks like an old Joy of Cooking. Or there’s this.

2) Mayonnaise

Sure, you’ll be making a lot of tuna and chicken salad with all that canned meat. But there’s also creamy salad dressing, pasta salad and the basis for tartar sauce. Mayo is an ingredient in a wide range of recipes.

This brings us back to Continuity. Try telling a 6 year old who’s life has already been upended that there’ll be no birthday cake this year. There are a lot of food storage chocolate cake recipes out there. Most taste odd or have  weird ingredients/procedures. Burrowing holes? Puréed beans?  No.

My mother used to make a good and simple one, but this recipe is even better. Top it with powdered sugar or soft-whip some canned cream.

3) Soy / Worcestershire Sauce

There’s a lot of overlap between them because they both have high Umami. That’s a Japanese concept that boils down to a savory, meaty flavor where (typically) no meat is present. It’s caused by naturally occurring amino acids called glutamates, which are the source of concentrated laboratory MSG.

Ketchup has a lot too, but soy sauce and Worcestershire don’t have the high sugar and fruitiness, so it’s a very different flavor profile. Either one is a great way to perk up sad stew.

WARNING: Glutamate-rich foods like salami, mushrooms, red wine,aged cheese and walnuts are often migraine triggers.

4)Mustard

Mustard has a staggering number of other uses besides the “barbie,” especially in pan sauces and casseroles. You can’t make civilized baked beans without it. Sneak a touch into Alfredo sauce, turkey tetrazzini, and mac ‘n cheese. There’s also plain old honey mustard on almost anything. Combine with onions, rosemary and peach or apricot jam for an epic meat glaze!

5) Jam

You’re gonna make some bread with all that wheat,right? Also use on pilot bread or crackers, and in innumerable recipes, like the technique above. It can be stirred into plain muffin or coffee cake mix to make any flavor you choose, or thin it down and substitute for pancake syrup. Try sweetening herb tea with it and save the honey and sugar for other things.

6) Salsa

Tortillas have an impressive shelf life. Fry some up and crack open a jar of salsa as a treat when nerves get frayed. It can also be tossed with rice or pasta for a quick one-skillet meal or added to soups and casseroles. If you bottle it at home you must use a pressure canner!

7) BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce makes the list in part because it covereth a multitude of sins. It also covereth game meats your family isn’t used to yet.

I grew up in suburban Rhode Island but was once in a rural conversation where hunters were discussing the pros and cons of various game meats. The subject of squirrel was broached. I remarked, “I’ve never had squirrel.” Someone at whose house I’d eaten many times wryly informed me:  “Oh yes you have…”

8)Something Hot

Tabasco, sriracha , whatever your family likes. Even if you don’t use any, store a couple bottles for barter or the inevitable guests you’ll be taking in. It can also be used medicinally in soup to clear a badly stuffy head.

9) Gravy ( or the stuff and knowledge to make it)

Okay, not exactly a condiment, but for our discussion it functions like one. Think of all that rice, pasta , potatoes, canned/ freeze dried meats, and game. All just crying out for gravy.

Sure, you can make it from ingredients, but it’ll help to have some ready to roll, and it’s shockingly cheap around the holidays. It’s also another cheap thing that becomes a valuable barter item.

10) That Thing You Love

The condiment your family can’t live without, whatever it may be. If your family can’t go a week without Thai peanut sauce or Branston Pickle, you’d better store some – especially if That Thing is laborious to make or contains lots of arcane ingredients!

What’s Left Out?

I’ve left off things that aren’t used as often (plum sauce) or are easily and quickly made from common ingredients (tartar sauce and teriyaki). As for salad dressing, see my article here.

Hey, where’s the peanut butter?

(Warning: Heresy Alert!) I have several problems with PB.

  1. Classic PB is full of hydrogenated oil. Don’t be fooled by ” interesterified” oil, it’s even worse than just sounding like a made-up word from Calvin and Hobbs. It also contains a ton of sugar and varying amounts of salt. “Natural” PB has to be stirred and is often hard and rips up the bread or breaks the crackers.doit
  2. People use far more of it per serving than they think they do.
  3. Even if it’s all-natural and you only use a tablespoon, it’s a tremendous amount of fat for the protein you get.

In my search for the right wrap-up to this post , I let my family read it. When it was suggested to me that my beef with PB just might be sour grapes because I’ve become allergic and can’t have it anymore, my brother channeled Darth Vader: ” Search your feelings, Beth. You know it to be true…”

( Defiant huff…)  Fine. Be that way.

11) Peanut Butter

Being a pastry chef, I think of PB more as a baking ingredient than actual food; it’s baking and confectionary applications are almost endless. Then there are the obvious uses on bread, crackers, apples, jicama, celery. The “Fam” suggested the aforementioned Thai peanut sauce, fried PB sandwiches, curry, and more…

…if you’re into that sort of thing.

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16 Uses for Plastic Sheeting (aka Visqueen) http://thesurvivalmom.com/16-uses-plastic-sheeting-aka-visqueen/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/16-uses-plastic-sheeting-aka-visqueen/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:00:25 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16803 Keeping up with the recent theme of exploring common objects and finding preparedness uses for them, this month’s article looks at some prepper uses for plastic sheeting, sometimes called Visqueen. While the uses for plastic sheeting is seemingly endless, we’re Read More

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeeping up with the recent theme of exploring common objects and finding preparedness uses for them, this month’s article looks at some prepper uses for plastic sheeting, sometimes called Visqueen. While the uses for plastic sheeting is seemingly endless, we’re going to focus on those that serve us in our preparedness plans.

Plastic sheeting is a polyethylene film, available in clear and black, and in various thicknesses. It’s available just about anywhere selling hardware, in both black and clear, and in several thicknesses.

Some fabric stores sell plastic sheeting as well, but generally only in the thicker mills. They may have colors and even patterns available, if you want to get fancy, but sell different sizes than discussed here. (The width is narrower since it is on a roll in the upholstery section; the length is whatever you request, as with any fabric.)

Thickness is usually rated in mils, which equals one-thousandth of an inch, or 0.001 inch. Three to six mils is fairly common, though this may vary at your local stores. In general, you can consider 4 mil and below as “thin” and 6 mil and above as “thick,” though that is relatively speaking.

Sizing

However, because this sheeting is available in many combinations of colors, widths, lengths and thicknesses, knowing what you may want to do with it can help determine what size to get. Less cutting means less potential for waste, and easier for reuse.

If you don’t know what you want to do with the plastic sheeting yet, but would like some of it on hand for those times when you suddenly need it, consider getting the following:

  • 1 Roll thick, Clear (6 mil), 10 ft. x 25 ft.
  • 1 Roll thin, Clear (3.5 mil), 10 ft. x 25 ft.
  • 1 Roll thick, Black (6 mil), 10 ft. x 25 ft.
  • 1 Roll thin, Black (3.5 mil), 10 ft. x 25 ft.

These four rolls will give you a good assortment of plastic sheeting and they should be available at a store near you.

Looking at the rolls of plastic sheeting in the store, the packages may look nearly identical, so pay close attention to the description on the actual packaging. One important aspect to consider is width. Common sizes are 10 ft. x 25 ft. and 20 ft. x 25 ft., though it is available in many other sizes. It is easy to cut, so err on the side of bigger if you’re not sure what size you will need.

It’s important to keep the width in mind when you go to use the plastic sheeting, as you won’t unfold it until you have cut it to the desired length. When rolled, it’s only about 16 inches high, but unfolds to the width listed on the package. This makes for an easy to carry roll, but forces you to know how much you need before you make any cuts.

It’s not listed as food grade, but during a survival scenario it’s about staying alive and improving conditions. Worrying about whether the plastic sheeting is rated as food grade when your family is dying of thirst is foolhardy. Remember, we’re talking about expedient uses, not long-term applications.

While the uses are near infinite, here are some for expedient purposes with regards to preparedness.

Shelter, Tarp and Ground Sheet

Plastic sheeting is not a great substitute for a tarp or ground sheet, but can serve in that role. A couple of rolls of sheeting can make a quick expedient shelter for a large number of people or equipment. Not as good as an actual tent or tarps, but much better than having nothing for protection against the elements of wind and precipitation.

One issue is securing them in place, as they have no grommets or stake loops. If you pack tarp clips with your plastic sheeting, most of these will work well for providing tie-down locations. Rocks usually work well for keeping ground sheets in place.

Warnings:

  • You can easily pound a stake through the sheeting, but this may lead to tearing, which is why setting rocks on them is better.
  • Make sure to test your tarp clips with the thickness of sheeting you have to confirm it provides a secure hold.

Covering Large Containers, Wood

Likewise, you can use this sheeting to cover your expedient water (or other) supplies to help keep them free from debris. As when using as a tarp, you need to find a way to secure the sheeting so that it doesn’t blow away with the first wind. Similarly, you can use in place of a tarp to keep wood that is being seasoned dry.

Waterproofing Large Containers

If you have a kiddie pool or other large container that has a leak, you can line it with plastic sheeting and make it waterproof again. This container can then be used for water storage, fish pool, or any number of uses. For this use, thicker sheeting will be more resistant to punctures. If you have two containers that are leaking and nest together, you can sandwich the sheeting in between them. This stops the leak while better managing the flimsiness of the plastic sheet.

Rain Collection

Though it may seem like we already covered this above, collecting rain is something different. The best way to collect rain is with a large surface area. This allows you to collect as much as possible. While rainwater collected from rooftops is good for the garden, with all the bird feces and other contaminates present in roof runoff, it’s not too good for drinking. At least, not without a lot of processing to make it safe to drink.

Suspending plastic sheeting horizontally, with one corner lower than the others, will allow you to collect rainwater efficiently. The hard part (hopefully) will be having enough container space to store all the water you’re collecting.

Winterizing Windows And Doors, Closing Off Rooms

This common, everyday use can also be important during a survival scenario such as a winter storm power outage or even a furnace breaking down. If you’re relying on an alternative heating source, perhaps a kerosene heater or small fireplace, you’ll want to make that room as small as possible and block drafts from doors and windows.

With the open floor plans of today’s newer homes, closing off a room may not be as easy as closing a door. You can, however, make the room smaller by hanging plastic sheeting. While not thermally efficient (meaning insulative), it does limit the air flow, which keeps the warmer air in the room and not escaping to the rest of the house.

Expedient Repairs on Home

In addition to creating expedient shelter, it can also be used to make temporary repairs on your home. Roofs and windows broken from storm damage let the rainwater in, adding to the overall damage. Quickly tacking up some plastic sheeting can limit the total damage to your home.

Floor Liner for Indoor Pet Relief Station

Even if you have a kiddie pool for this purpose, you should store some plastic sheeting, just in case. Not all animals will take to using the pool. For those, lining the floor with plastic and spreading on top newspapers or other material can go a long way to avoid the unpleasantness of indoor “doggie dootie.”

Expedient Shower Curtain

Privacy is important to us, particularly when we’re naked in the shower. Your whiz-bang expedient shower will make more of an impression if it also includes an expedient shower curtain. Clear thick plastic sheeting is usually cloudy enough to occlude seeing through it, but there’s always black for those that demand complete opaqueness.

Black Out Curtains

Speaking of complete opaqueness, black plastic sheeting is a great, cheap solution for blacking out your windows. When the power is out in the entire area, the last thing you want to is advertise you have light, whether from candles, lanterns, or solar-battery-powered lighting. The less people know about your preparedness activities, the better, and this includes during an event.

Solar Still

The article 15 Preparedness Uses for Kiddie Pools suggested using two nested pools for a large solar distiller (or a pool with an inner catch container). This is the plastic you use to create that. Either the clear or black plastic would work well for this.

Safe Room / Isolation Room

During a pandemic, you may need to create a safe room in order to protect you and your family. Additionally, if you have people show up at your house after the pandemic has taken hold in your area, you will need to isolate them until the incubation period is over.

The only way to do this effectively is with plastic sheeting. Please note, safe room operations require more than just a roll of plastic, but it’s an important component.

Making an safe or isolated room with plastic sheeting typically requires you to overlap the layers to create an entrance portal. However, there is a product that makes creating a door in plastic sheeting, or even tarps, much easier. It’s called a Tarp Zipper Door. The Homax brand is available at most hardware stores.

To use, simply apply with the adhesive backing, unzip, and cut a slit where the zipper is open. Instant door!

Greenhouse Panels

Plastic sheeting can be used to create an expedient greenhouse to increase your growing season. However, as noted on this page, you need to ensure the plants are getting enough UV light. The brand of plastic sheeting you’re using may block it

Even so, extending the growing season – by keeping the plants warmer overnight and exposing them to sunlight during the day – has definite advantages. You could even use the tarp zipper door trick from above and create roll-up sides for your expedient greenhouse.

Conclusion

With the many uses for plastic sheeting, for everyday and preparedness use, stock up on them now while they’re easily available.

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Dollar Store Beans and Rice http://thesurvivalmom.com/dollar-store-beans-rice/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/dollar-store-beans-rice/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14642 Beans and rice combine to make a “complete protein,” as most people know. Dollar store beans and rice make a great addition to food storage pantries for two reasons: 1.  They can be purchased and stored in large or small quantities, Read More

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Dollar Store beans and riceBeans and rice combine to make a “complete protein,” as most people know. Dollar store beans and rice make a great addition to food storage pantries for two reasons:

1.  They can be purchased and stored in large or small quantities, depending on the likelihood of transport

2.  They are inexpensive! Most Dollar Stores offer two cans of beans for $1. I prefer the Chili Beans, as the seasoning is great, but black and pinto beans are also available at the same price. Dollar store beans and rice are an easy way to stock up for emergencies.

These survival staples have a long shelf-life, and my favorite thing about them is the ease in which I can move them from the pantry to the car or backpack. Additionally, the beans can be heated in the can over a fire or stove, then the empty can remains as a cooking implement for later use.

On a camping trip, prepare the rice, stir in the beans, and enjoy!

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Teach Your Kids to Be Creative http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-teach-kids-creative/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-teach-kids-creative/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13008 Whether they need to keep occupied during a long power outage or survive in the woods for days, creativity is one of the most helpful resources your children can have. They may not be experts on survival, but they’ll be Read More

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Bored child AndrewWhether they need to keep occupied during a long power outage or survive in the woods for days, creativity is one of the most helpful resources your children can have. They may not be experts on survival, but they’ll be able to come up with enough ideas to keep themselves safe and comfortable at least for a few days.

Encourage them to read a wide variety of books. Give them Legos or other building sets. Next time you prune your trees, gather the branches and have your kids practice fire or shelter building. Thinking creatively also gives them a much better mindset in a survival situation. Teach your children to view survival situations as exciting (though potentially dangerous) adventures and not something to be feared.

What ways do you teach your kids to be creative? How do you view this as an important survival skill?

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Everyday Carry for Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-edc-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-edc-kids/#comments Sat, 15 Mar 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13006 Many of us have long lists of EDC items that never leave our sides, but what about our kids? Would they be ready for an emergency at school or even a friend’s house? Here are some ideas for your child’s Read More

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PicMonkey Everyday Carry for KidsMany of us have long lists of EDC items that never leave our sides, but what about our kids? Would they be ready for an emergency at school or even a friend’s house?

Here are some ideas for your child’s EDC:

  • Whistle - If your child feels threatened by a stranger, a whistle will let other adults know that something isn’t right. Be sure to discuss with your child the difference between truly “threatening” and simply “unfamiliar” when it comes to strangers.
  • Small LED Flashlight – Of course a light is always important. They’ll be both prepared and comforted if the power goes out at school or at a sleepover. (This can also come in handy for late night games of flashlight tag!)
  • First Aid Kit – A few band-aids and a triangular bandage along with a small card describing basic first aid skills should be plenty.
  • Food – Something small like a pack of trail mix or a couple of granola bars. Whether your child forgot his lunch money or had to stay overnight at school due to extreme weather, a high-protein snack can be very handy.
  • Water Bottle or Pouch – Water is just as important if not more so than food. Even if they already carry a water bottle for lunch, give them a spare for emergencies. You can buy mylar water pouches on Amazon, and I really like those for packing in emergency kits.
  • Clothes – A change of socks and underwear along with a hat, gloves, and scarf could all be put in a vacuum sealed bag (using something like a Food Saver) and either left in your child’s locker or kept in his backpack.
  • Knife, Phone, and Keys – Depending on your child’s age (and whether or not they’re at school), these are all important items to carry. Use your discretion to know when they’re ready for these.

Not all of these will be easy for your child to carry everywhere, so be ready to adapt for different scenarios. Try putting everything but the knife in the backpack on school days. For playing in the neighborhood, they may just need the first three in their pockets. Consider getting a small purse for girls or a string backpack or cargo pants or shorts. What other ideas can you think of?

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: 7 Things Your Child Should Have in His Bedside Table http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-7-things-child-bedside-table/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-7-things-child-bedside-table/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 16:35:46 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12989 It’s important that your kids are familiar with the basic concepts of survival and emergency preparedness. For any emergency situation, whether it’s a middle of the night asthma attack or an unexpected evacuation, your child should have these five things Read More

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It’s important that your kids are familiar with the basic concepts of survival and emergency preparedness. For any emergency situation, whether it’s a middle of the night asthma attack or an unexpected evacuation, your child should have these five things in his bedside table (or another easy to access location) and should know how to use them.

Bedside Table

  1. Flashlight – This one’s pretty obvious, a flashlight can be used in just about any emergency scenario.
  2. Light stick – Consider adding a light stick that comes with a neck cord and teach your child to activate the light and wear it around her neck in the case of an emergency. When the power goes out, you want to be able to find each and every family member, thus the handy neck cord, and light always brings comfort.
  3. Emergency Medical Supplies – If your child has asthma, diabetes, hypoglycemia, or another medical condition which involves sudden attacks, it might be difficult for him to make it to the medicine cabinet for his emergency inhaler or find the right snack to stabilize his blood sugar. It’s much more efficient to have these things at hand.
  4. Mini First Aid Kit – This doesn’t need to be a full size first aid kit, just enough that your child would be able to grab a bandage quickly whenever necessary.
  5. List of Emergency Phone Numbers – Of course this will probably be somewhere else in your house, too, but it can be comforting for your child to have the list right with him.
  6. Small Survival Kit – This should be something that he could grab anytime he leaves the house, so he has the basic tools for most survival situations. This one is a good example, of course it might need to be adapted for younger kids.
  7. Shoes – Everyone in the family should get in the habit of keeping a pair of shoes right by the side of their bed or directly underneath where they can be easily accessed. Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, house fires, and other disasters often happen when the sun goes down and a scared kid trying to get out of the house might find himself walking on glass shards or splintered wood.

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: You CAN compost during winter’s chilly months! http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-freeze-compost-next-spring/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-freeze-compost-next-spring/#comments Wed, 02 Oct 2013 10:29:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12489 If you live in a cold climate that will keep you mostly indoors through the winter, consider storing your compostable items in your freezer. Keep them in a Zip-Loc freezer bag or another container that will be easy to open Read More

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image by morganthemoth

image by morganthemoth

If you live in a cold climate that will keep you mostly indoors through the winter, consider storing your compostable items in your freezer. Keep them in a Zip-Loc freezer bag or another container that will be easy to open and reseal as you add more stuff.

All those compostable foods will stay fresh through the winter, but when the weather warms up and you can venture out to your garden, they will compost much faster and you’ll be that much further ahead with your compost for the summer months.

 

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Chick-fil-A and your kid’s emergency kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 23:05:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12262 Today my kids and I sat down to sort through our emergency kits, looking for anything that had spilled, no longer fit, or had been ruined by the heat. At the bottom of one kit, we came across a collection Read More

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imagesToday my kids and I sat down to sort through our emergency kits, looking for anything that had spilled, no longer fit, or had been ruined by the heat.

At the bottom of one kit, we came across a collection of books from Chick-fil-A that had been in our kits for at least 2 years. Even though my daughter is now a freshman in high school and my son is junior high age, the books were still very appropriate.

I remembered all the great educational books and activities we’ve collected over the years, thanks to Chick-fil-A and wanted to mention what a great addition they are to a parent’s or child’s emergency kit. They often include pencil and paper activities, creative drawing, riddles, and puzzles. Plus, they always have an educational edge.

What’s even nicer is that when you come across one of their kids’ meal prizes that you especially like, it’s inexpensive to buy the whole set.

When you add these books and activities to your emergency kits, be sure to include pencils, colored pencils, and a sharpener for hours of fun, even when circumstances might be tough.

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: When packing your emergency bag, include these 3 OTHER bags! http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-when-packing-your-emergency-bag-include-these-3-other-bags/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-when-packing-your-emergency-bag-include-these-3-other-bags/#comments Thu, 25 Jul 2013 15:11:18 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12227 If you’re emergency kit, or Bug Out Bag, is all packed, you might consider adding one or more of these additional bags to cover emergencies you may not have thought of: 1.  A nylon drawstring backpack or smaller nylon backpack Read More

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image by ajalfaro

image by ajalfaro

If you’re emergency kit, or Bug Out Bag, is all packed, you might consider adding one or more of these additional bags to cover emergencies you may not have thought of:

1.  A nylon drawstring backpack or smaller nylon backpack

It can be very helpful to have a second, smaller backpack if your main bag gets too heavy to carry comfortably, its weight slows you down, or if you have a second person who can help carry your supplies.

These smaller, lighter packs can be tightly rolled and secured with rubber bands so they take up very little space.

For more tips about these 3 bags, listen to this episode of The Survival Mom Radio Show!

2.  A wet bag or wet sack

If you have a baby or toddler, you know how important it is to always have on hand a waterproof bag of some sort for wet clothing, dirty cloth diapers, etc.  If you find yourself trying to stay dry, these bags are a godsend for keeping important gear dry.

I have a few ZipLocs in my emergency kits as well, but a wet bag is far sturdier and more dependable.

Wet bags can be purchased in all sizes, colors, and pretty designs and are machine washable.

3.  A “key chain tote”

I discovered the usefulness of these bags several years ago on vacation when we ran into souvenir overload! These nylon totes collapse into a tiny, inner pocket which can be attached to just about anything.

These bags come in different sizes; I think the duffle bag size is the most handy.

4.  And, here’s a BONUS 4th type of bag to carry! Dog poop bags

Well, yes, if you often travel with pets you already know about these, but consider that you may need to carry out human waste. Just one of these rolls contains 20 bags and each roll takes up only a tiny bit of space.

And, they’re not just for poop. With so many bags in one roll, you’ll find many other uses for these “guaranteed not to leak” bags!  (Just tie a knot in the top of the bag to seal.)

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: A refrigerator for life and death scenarios http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-refrigerator-for-life-and-death-scenarios/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-refrigerator-for-life-and-death-scenarios/#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 09:51:41 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12054 In this blog post I shared that what I would miss most in a grid-down scenario is ice. I seriously need my iced tea everyday. Truth be told, though, I could exist without iced tea but many of you have Read More

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image by Nazareth College

image by Nazareth College

In this blog post I shared that what I would miss most in a grid-down scenario is ice. I seriously need my iced tea everyday.

Truth be told, though, I could exist without iced tea but many of you have family members who rely on medications that must be kept refrigerated —  matter of life and death.

Well, if you’ve priced solar refrigerators or those powered by other fuels, the price tags are a real wake-up call. However, I have a suggestion that is much, much lower priced AND will be far easier to operate without electrical power: the lowly dorm-sized fridge.

Powered by a generator, these tiny refrigerators use as little as 90 watts of power and could keep milk, fresh produce, and drugs such as insulin cool. A standard refrigerator requires far more power.

Yes, you’ll need a generator (check out solar generators if you can’t store a lot of gasoline/diesel or don’t want to), but if a loved one requires medication that must remain cool, this solution is low-cost and compact. You’ll find them on Craigslist as well as in home improvement stores.

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