The Survival Mom » Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:00:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 5 Reasons Why Normal People Shy Away From the Prepper World http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-reasons-why-normal-people-shy-away-from-the-prepper-world/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-reasons-why-normal-people-shy-away-from-the-prepper-world/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 08:00:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12198 I don’t believe I’ve ever started an article with an apology, but before I go any further, my apologies to preppers for this headline! I’ve met hundreds of you over the past few years at expos and other events, and you Read More

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Some folks don't think preppers are quite normal. Here's why...   www.TheSurvivalMom.comI don’t believe I’ve ever started an article with an apology, but before I go any further, my apologies to preppers for this headline! I’ve met hundreds of you over the past few years at expos and other events, and you are all so normal!

I hope my apology is accepted! Now on to my story.

Quite some time ago I recorded an episode of my podcast and included 6 lessons kids should learn from the Trayvon Martin case.  Lesson #6 was, “Be aware of how others perceive you,” and it included some great quotes from a black minister who works with kids of all races.

As I thought about perception, I remembered a conversation with an Oregon woman who displayed a dramatic negative reaction to the term, “bug out bag.”

“Don’t use that term!” she said. “It makes you sound like a crazy survivalist.”

Well, I’m not crazy and I don’t consider myself to be a survivalist in the traditional sense, but if we hope to draw others into the ranks of preparedness, our loved ones in particular, then maybe we should consider how others perceive us.

Here are a few reasons why I think “normal” people shy away from anything related to the prepper world.

1.  Our terminology has negative connotations

Bug out bag” begs the question, “Exactly why do you think you have to bug out? Are you on the lam?”

Bug out location” sounds a lot like a robber’s hideout or the stereotypical 500 square foot log cabin in the wilds of Idaho, home to toothless refugees from “Deliverance”.

Bug out vehicle” — getaway car, anyone?

“C-Day” — Collapse Day, as in the day the United States of America collapses.

See what I mean? And I don’t think it’s a strike against anyone outside the prepper world who hears these terms and thinks, “What the heck??” If you’re not a religious person, this is akin to being around people who talk church-speak all the time. It can be a big turn-off.

2.  Ditto for our acronyms

  • SHTF: Sh*t hits the fan.
  • TEOTWAWKI: The end of the world as we know it.
  • WROL: Without rule of law.
  • GOOD: Get out of Dodge

In the real world, who talks like this?? If your friends need an acronym dictionary to figure out what you’re talking about, they may decide the prepper world is some sort of secret society with “special” handshakes and creepy initiation ceremonies.

3.   They think we’re too negative

When conversations naturally veer toward topics related to preparedness, that’s one thing, but if your stream of emails consist of doomsday alerts from Alex Jones and the like, they will begin to steer clear of you, guaranteed. I get those types of forwarded emails from my aunt, and even I don’t like them!

4.    Negative portrayals on TV

Let’s face it. “Doomsday Preppers” didn’t exactly do any favors for the prepping world. Too many of their preppers aren’t relate-able. Many are downright weird. If this is what your circle of friends and acquaintances see as the norm for preppers, do you blame them for not wanting to join the club?

5.   Preppers scare them

Nearly every prepper website focuses on topics like pandemics, collapse of civilization, the U.S. becoming just like Somalia, FEMA body bags, guillotines…well, sometimes people just want to think about the fun they’re going to have this weekend at the bowling alley. Who wants to be around people who scare them all the time?

6.   They really don’t see the need to prepare

This one you can’t do anything about. Until a person is motivated by their own observations, they will likely not do anything. People believe their own data and will act accordingly, thus the popularity of Home Depot hours before the arrival of a hurricane! One of the very first YouTube videos I ever made was in response to folks who ask, “How can I get my family/loved ones to prepare?”

Now, in no way am I saying preppers are crazy and that we shouldn’t prepare. My point is to consider how others perceive us. If we come across as scary, obsessed, or weird, then it’s no wonder that they shy away from the prepper world when it’s possible that being prepared has been on their minds!

You can’t do anything about Doomsday Preppers or all the fear-filled websites out there, but you can demonstrate by words and actions what a rational, completely sane prepper looks like!

Resources mentioned:

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38 Principles of Self-Sufficiency http://thesurvivalmom.com/38-principles-of-self-sufficiency/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/38-principles-of-self-sufficiency/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 08:22:37 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=1258 Change the way you look at everything.  Rethink your entire lifestyle. Develop discernment about people. When you invest, invest first in the right people. Look at yourself honestly. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Seek the counsel of others you Read More

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So much wisdom here! Self-sufficiency tips.  | www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Change the way you look at everything.  Rethink your entire lifestyle.

Develop discernment about people.

When you invest, invest first in the right people.

Look at yourself honestly. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Seek the counsel of others you trust.

Find like-minded people who can be part of a mutual support group and who you can cooperate with.

Find alternate methods for doing everything.

Develop an instinct for what doesn’t feel right. No matter how good something looks or sounds on the surface, go with your gut feeling, your instinct, your intuition.

Eliminate non-essentials from your life. Eliminate all time wasters and money wasters, and things you don’t need, i.e. clothes, furniture, junk, etc. Eliminate television from your life.

Simplify your lifestyle. Learn to say no to things or activities which do not make you self-sufficient.

Develop physical, mental, and spiritual discipline.

Learn to treat everything as if it were irreplaceable.

Buy things that will last, even if they cost more.

Acquire tools that do not depend on electric power.

Learn to spend time alone with yourself in total silence. Think, reflect, reminisce and plan (or strategize) in silence.

Learn to spend time with your family without any superficial entertainment and distractions.

Learn something from every situation you are in. Everything you hear, see, touch or feel has a lesson in it.  Learn a principle from every mistake you make and from everyday life situations.

Make sure your trust is in the Lord and not your own preparedness. Pattern your preparedness according to the guidance of the Lord. Listen to what He puts in your heart. Don’t use only your reasoning power.

Learn to enjoy simple pleasures from the smallest things. Have a measure of joy and happiness that doesn’t come from creature comforts or entertainment.

Store up memories for times of isolation or separation from your loved ones.

Establish priorities for all areas of your life, including relationships and current and future needs. Set goals for areas to become proficient or self-sufficient in. Set a schedule or a timeline to reach those goals based on the money and time you have available.

Examine the concept of civil disobedience from Bible times throughout history. At what point should the people of Egypt have said no to killing the male babies in Moses’ day? At what point should the people of colonial America have said no to King George? At what point should the people of Germany have said no to Hitler? At what point do we say no to the despots of our day when they take over our money, property, guns, our children and our freedom? Decide what is your choke point.  When do you move toward civil disobedience?  For many throughout history it was when evil leaders handed down edicts that were directly contrary to God’s Word or commands. Don’t set your choke point too early or too quickly, too late or never. Think through and calculate a strategy. Then never look back.

Learn to ask the right questions in every situation.

Bring orderliness into your life. If you live in disorder, it will pull you down and break your focus. Think focus vs. distraction.  Eliminate the distractions from your life.

Self-sufficiency or survival principles are learned on a day-to-day basis and must be practical.

Always have more than one way to escape, more than one way to do something. Have a plan B and a plan C.

Every day life, and especially life during a crisis, requires up-front systems and back-up systems if the first line of defense, or the up-front system, fails.

Real education only takes place when change occurs in our attitudes, actions, and way of life.

Wisdom is making practical applications of what you know. It is not enough to know everything you need to know. It will only serve you and others if practical application is made of that knowledge.

Fix in your own mind the truth about your capabilities. In a crisis situation, this will keep you from being too cocky and will provide you with confidence.

Decide ahead of time, before a crisis arrives, how you will react in a given situation so that you are not swayed by the circumstances, the situation or your emotions.

Beware of being spread too thin in your life. Decide on the few things in life that you must do and then do them well. Think focus versus distraction. Make sure that unimportant, non-essential distractions don’t keep you from achieving your important objectives.

Learn to quit wasting things. Be a good steward of all that God provides.

Buy an extra of everything you use regularly and set that extra one aside for the time when such items may be difficult or impossible to obtain.

In every situation, train yourself to look for what doesn’t fit, what’s out of place, and what doesn’t look right.

Teach your children, and learn this yourself, that you are not obligated to give information to a stranger. You don’t have to answer questions that are none of their business, not even to government officials.

Sell or give away things you don’t use or need. Consider giving away or selling half of your stuff, the non-essentials. Simplify and streamline your life, lifestyle, and possessions.

Find someone who lived through the Great Depression and learn from them. Find out how they became self-sufficient, how they made do with very little, and how they found joy and contentment in the midst of hard times.

Resources mentioned:

This list originally appeared on Don McIlvaney’s website, McIlvaney Intelligence Advisor.

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Free Webinar! Keep your home sparkling with DIY Cleaners! http://thesurvivalmom.com/diy-household-cleaning-products/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/diy-household-cleaning-products/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21815 You’ve probably read about and seen various recipes for DIY household cleaning products. They’re on Pinterest, Facebook, and in books. Maybe you’ve tried a few and have wondered how effective and safe they really are. Coming up this Thursday, February 26, Read More

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DIY household cleaning products -- Free webinar!  www.TheSurvivalMom.com

You’ve probably read about and seen various recipes for DIY household cleaning products. They’re on Pinterest, Facebook, and in books. Maybe you’ve tried a few and have wondered how effective and safe they really are.

Coming up this Thursday, February 26, is a FREE webinar with home-DIY expert, Lisa Barthuly. Lisa is a writer for The Survival Mom blog and is the author of A Simply Homemade Clean.

You’ll be able to watch Lisa in action as she talks about the cleaners she makes, and she might even mix up a batch or two to demonstrate. She has a free printable for all participants that includes some of her favorite DIY household cleaners recipes.

Mark this event on your calendar, set an alarm clock so you don’t miss it, and be there on Thursday, February 26, at 11:30 a.m. CENTRAL TIME!

That’s 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Mountain, and 9:30 a.m. Pacific! Space is limited in our webinar room, so plan on being there a couple of minutes early to get your spot.

If you can’t make it, take heart! I’ll be recording it for you and will post the recording link here on the blog, in my newsletter, and on my Facebook page.

I know you will enjoy getting to know Lisa Barthuly and learning from her.

Link for the webinar:  http://connectpro19068335.adobeconnect.com/thesurvivalmom/

And be sure to download our free mini-guide with loads of great DIY recipes and links to even more!

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Strategic Relocation: ur doin it rong http://thesurvivalmom.com/strategic-relocation-ur-doin-rong/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/strategic-relocation-ur-doin-rong/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12914 One of the most popular tenets in the survival/prepper world is the requirement to relocate to an extremely rural location, or, if you must, to a town no larger than population 800, per survival blogger James Rawles. I have no beef Read More

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Strategic relocation is smart but I did it the hard way. | www.TheSurvivalMom.comOne of the most popular tenets in the survival/prepper world is the requirement to relocate to an extremely rural location, or, if you must, to a town no larger than population 800, per survival blogger James Rawles.

I have no beef with this except that many survival/prepper experts and their followers exert pressure on those of us not living in Prepper Nirvana, aka Idaho, as though this “strategic relocation”, the title of a book authored by Joel Skousen, is the cornerstone of any and all expectation of survival.

A couple of years ago I even got a handful of emails that urged me, “Lisa, I beg of you. Get your family out of the big city.”

Eventually we did decide to leave Phoenix, and here’s what I have to say about strategically relocating: it’s been the single most difficult challenge our family has ever faced. Any expert or even a well-meaning amateur has no idea what they’re talking about when they urge anyone and everyone to just up and leave. Leave a steady  job. Leave loved ones. Leave a community that you’ve been a part of for many years.

“Leave, and leave now!” they say.

As long as you make your way to Idaho, or maybe Montana, then all will be well.

I agree with these experts that in some SHFT scenarios some cities will become hell on earth and having urban survival skills will be of little use, but others may provide more survival options and be far more hospitable to long-term survival than you might think. But that’s a topic for another post.

Let me take you step-by-step through our family’s relocation process and my advice to you, the prospective relocate-ee.

1.  Before relocating, we first had to make the decision that relocating is a better choice than staying put.

This requires some hefty consideration and long discussions with your spouse. If you have a steady, well-paying job and are surrounded by a community of family and friends in an area that you know well, maybe that’s where you should stay.

Consider this: what, exactly, are you running from? What do you seriously think is going to happen? There are so many bogey men in the prepper/survival world from chemtrails to the Illuminati that too many people overlook the security they already have and focus on potential events that, truly, may never occur. A few that come to mind:

If there is an economic collapse, are you really better off in a town of 800 people out in the middle of Wyoming? Might not your current location afford a better cushion of support and supplies as well as the most potential to find a job, any job?

Also, are you making this decision based on fear and what other people are telling you to do? Please understand that NO ONE ELSE IS LIVING YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

I remember back when my family was on “Doomsday Preppers“, the pilot episode, and their survival expert turned out to be someone who lived in a big city, far from our hometown of Phoenix. He criticized our evacuation plans based on his own template rather than our set of circumstances. We didn’t need an expert to tell us that there were only 3 highways that lead out of Phoenix and that those highways lead into hundreds of miles of desert. We knew far better than he the risks of heading out of town on a busy weekend, much less on a Walking Dead kind of day.

So if you’re feeling judged by the well-meaning folks on survival forums and the like, just smile, nod, and make choices that are in your family’s best interest and not so you can join some sort of elite, virtual survival club.

Ultimately, our decision to move was based on very mundane things, like wanting our kids to experience a different lifestyle, wanting to be surrounded by green stuff and big trees after a lifetime in the desert, and wanting a career change for my husband.

You may want to read this article I wrote a while back for my newsletter. It’s probably the least popular article I’ve ever written based on the number of hate emails I received, “6 Reasons a Rural Retreat May Not be the Safe Refuge You Might Think.

2.  The next step is to decide where to go.

Once we made the decision to move, or relocate, we started looking and planning family vacations that were, in reality, recon missions. We checked out north central California. We fell in love with parts of Oregon and Utah. I had my heart set on Park City until I discovered that the median home there costs around 700K and quickly set my sights elsewhere.


Strategic relocation: It's a whole lot harder than you might think! Here's my story...
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Making this decision is huge. Where your family lives will affect every part of your life for the rest of your lives. If your new location doesn’t provide the employment you need, for example, your life savings will disappear in a matter of months and you’ll be facing a future without that cushion. Your kids will grow up in this new area and that’s where they will likely find their future spouses. You may very well end up establishing a flourishing branch of your family tree, complete with grand kids, in this new location.

If there was ever a decision to be made that involved 90% of your brain and just 10% of your heart, this is it.

As we traveled and did our research, we began eliminating entire states.

Nevada? Nah. Same desert/lack of water issues as Arizona.

New Mexico? Ditto.

Montana? My husband, the island boy, would have had a very difficult time dealing with heavy duty winters. That also elminated Wyoming and the northern half of Idaho. The wife of a friend complained about the long, gray winter season in her part of Oregon.

Tennessee? It’s supposed to be an awesome state but we had no contacts there and no real reason to pursue it as our family’s next home.

It took us 2 years and about 15,000 miles to visit most all of these locations and nothing really fit. My husband and I honestly thought we would drive through a town, look at each other, and say, “This is it!” That never happened.

For us, it was really divine intervention and a well-placed resume that brought us to Texas. Bottom line, we’re here because of my husband’s job. In a way, we didn’t pick Texas. Texas picked us.

If you’re serious about relocating for whatever reasons, you will probably have to go through a similar process of research, elimination, and evaluation.  Be prepared for this step to take some time, and do not underestimate the importance of having a secure job lined up at Point B, wherever that might be, which brings me to Step 3.

3.  How will you earn a living in this new location?

This is possibly the most important question to consider. In fact, you should probably give this some thought even before you start checking out new locations. We did.

Unless you have a secure and steady income from sources other than a job and a hefty savings account, you will need to earn a living in your new location. That may require working in a city and dealing with a long commute twice a day. For sure, it will require getting to know a new area very well and finding out what job/career opportunities exist.

Don’t plan on making the move and then figuring out how to earn money unless, again, you have that monthly income and a large pile of money in the bank. By the way, if you are many months or years away from making this move, following Dave Ramsey’s money advice, starting now, can help you get to a financial position in which a strategic location has fewer drawbacks.

As well as income as a factor, consider the health, physical condition and ages of each family member. Health issues may be a determining factor — something you may not have thought of and another reason to have that job nailed down before the big move. That isolated homestead may be alluring, but if there’s a good chance you’ll be making frequent visits to see a doctor or go to the hospital, you’ll probably want to find something closer to civilization.

Definitely consider renting once you get to your dream location, just to make sure that exact spot is going to work for you.

4.  Once you’re past Questions 1-3, the really hard work begins

Yeah, that statement discouraged me, too. It also surprised me.

My husband had a great job lined up, we even knew where we needed to live in order to make his commute bearable, but then came the issue of getting our house ready to sell. If you own a house, you can either sell it or rent it.

We wanted to sell and I spent a lot of time marketing our home as a For Sale By Owner. Long, long story short, our house sold in early September. That sale fell through, which was devastating to me since my husband had moved out of state for his job.

I was a single mom for over 4 months.

One funny note, or at least it’s kind of funny now, is that I wanted our house to be in 100% pristine condition for showings and that meant dealing with 2 elderly dogs, 4 cats, 3 litter boxes, and cleaning up poop in the backyard. Prior to a potential buyer showing up at the front door, we staged a cattle drive of sorts to get our 4 cats into their individual crates, lug the crates to the Tahoe, load our 2 elderly, deaf dogs, and then, as sort of the cherry on the sundae, grab all 3 litter boxes and load them up as well.

I spent a lot of time driving aimlessly around my part of town with our vehicle filled with meowing cats, confused dogs, my 2 kids, and litter boxes.

The house finally sold for real in mid-October. Our closing date was the day before Thanksgiving, which was also my son’s birthday. Naturally he expected a lavish event, and I set up a party at a  nearby pizza/video game restaurant.

We had to put our beloved Basenji, Delcie, to sleep that same day. I still haven’t had time to grieve, everything happened in such a rush.

Moving forward, we left Phoenix the day after  Thanksgiving, and if you haven’t chauffeured 4 cats and a nearly senile dog 1300 miles, then you just haven’t lived. Once we arrived in Texas, we didn’t have a place to stay, so we landed in a pet-friendly hotel for 2 weeks. Thank God for disposable litter boxes and understanding hotel maids.

That was interesting, to say the least.


If there was ever a decision to be made that involved 90% of your brain and just 10% of your heart, this is it.
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A wonderful family invited us to stay with them and that’s where we spent the next 5 weeks.

“Accept and adapt.”

I’m glad I adopted that as one of my life slogans a couple of years ago! It kept me sane and optimistic while living in one bedroom with 5 animals. Six counting my husband.

Your relocation, if you’re brave enough to tackle this project after reading my tale, will consist of making the decision for the right reasons, finding a specific location, securing a job or having the means to live without one, and then going through the actual moving process, from packing up, selling the old house, and moving into your next home.

Is there a right way to strategically locate?

At the end of the day, the only way to know if your strategic relocation has been a success is how you and your family fare once the move has been made. I’m not judging our new location in Texas based on the frustrations that came with selling our house or having to eat at a different restaurant three times a day!

We’ll know if our decision was sound and whether it was the right one for our family months and even years from now. Did we move to a location that will be more survival-friendly in a worse case scenario? We won’t know that until something dire happens. Will our kids thrive in this new location, making friends, and becoming part of a supportive community? So far, so good.

Relocating is a popular theme on survival forums and websites and is very often promoted by people who have never relocated themselves! I believe our family’s experience is more typical than not, especially if you are somewhat cautious in your life-changing decisions.

Have you thought of relocating specifically for reasons associated with survival and preparedness?

Resources mentioned in this article

Disposable litter boxes

How to Do More With Less During Tough Times by Michael J. Sparks

How to Sell a House Fast in a Slow Real Estate Market by William Bronchick

The Modern Survival Manual by Fernando Aguirre

The Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Peeking at Peak Oil by Kjell Aleklett

Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen

The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joe and Amy Alton

Urban Emergency Survival Plan by Jim Cobb

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Bases Covered for Baby Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:00:45 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20930 If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of Read More

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baby

If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of joy. Here are a few other preps you may not have thought of yet for baby preparedness.

Medical Preparedness

Whether you are snowed in or in the middle of a hurricane evacuation, the last thing you want to do is worry about your baby’s health. The second to last thing you want to do is try to pick up things your child needs during such a time. That’s why medical preparedness is a must when you have a baby.

Immunization

I know, as I write this, the flu shot has only been 23% effective this year, but at the same time, measles has been spiraling out of a well known theme park. While there are some immunizations I would want more information on, there are others that, in my opinion, have proven they are worth getting.

This has become a highly controversial and emotional issue and each family will have to do their own research and make the decision to vaccinate or not.

If you do choose to vaccinate, keep track of which immunizations are given and when. Keep those records, or copies of them, for future reference.

Dosing Information For Infant Medication

You may be stocking up on over the counter medications. You even may have stocked up on infant medications. If you read the back of these bottles or boxes, you may discover that they don’t provide the proper dosage for your young child. For children under two, most OTC medicine simply instruct you to “consult in your pediatrician.” This advice also applies to herbal medicines and remedies.

If your child takes prescription medications (including occasional use items like epi pens and asthma inhalers), check with your insurance to see if they will cover a longer supply than your child normally takes. Some companies cover three months worth of medication at a time.

Analog Medical Equipment

Have at least one non-digital thermometer, in case you run out of batteries. You don’t even have to resort to storing a mercury thermometer anymore. Inexpensive non-mercury oral thermometers and single-use disposable thermometers are widely available.

One note about the single-use (tempa-dot) thermometers based on Amazon comments: Don’t order the single-use mail order when it is hot outside. If they are exposed to temps over 98 degrees in transit, they may essentially be already “used” before you even get them.

You may also want to get a pediatric size blood pressure cuff, a humidifier, and a nasal aspirator, if you don’t already have them. While the humidifier linked here will not create nearly as humid an environment as the regular electric humidifiers you can pick up almost anywhere, it should help keep a smaller area (like the baby’s room) from getting super dry.

Boiling water to create steam is a simple way to quickly create some humidity. Sitting in a bathroom with a steaming hot shower is a fairly standard recommendation when little ones need a very humid environment.

Over the counter medications

Babies need a few over the counter medications on hand that adults don’t. Make sure you have your cream of choice of diaper rash cream, or simply learn to make your own and keep the ingredients on hand. You may also need teething tablets (or, again, make your own) and a remedy for tummy gas, such as probiotics.

Baby Nutrition

Even if you are breastfeeding, you need a contingency plan for your child’s nutrition. You never know if you will be separated from your baby due to weather or travel delays for longer than your pumped supply lasts. You don’t know if your milk production will decrease at a very inconvenient time or if, at some point, you might need to take a medication that isn’t nursing friendly. You need to be prepared.

Baby Vitamins

If you are worried that you little one won’t get all the vitamins they need, you can always store an infant liquid vitamin for them.  Each dosage can be added to a bottle, mixed in with food to mask the taste (when they are a little bigger), or given by itself.

Baby Formula

The wonder of formula is that any caregiver that can make a bottle can feed your child. It’s important that any sitter and older children know where you keep your stash of formula, or stored breast milk, in case you are out when its mealtime. Remember to store extra water for formula reconstitution, not to mention mama’s extra need for hydration.

Baby Food Making Equipment

If your little one is old enough to eat pureed food, you may want to consider storing a manual food processor instead of baby food. You can grind oatmeal into a fine enough ingredient to use for a baby. You can also grind fruit and vegetables suitable for your new eater. And you can use the food processor to make salsa and other tasty treats for the bigger family members!

You could keep a case of commercial baby food in your storage, but if you find your baby food storage runs out sooner than you planned, a food processor and canister of oatmeal is a nice back up. Freeze dried vegetables and fruit are excellent as baby foods when rehydrated and processed until smooth.

Other Equipment

Now that you are prepared both medically and nutritionally for your child’s needs, there are a couple more items that you may be of use to you.

A Body Carrier

I have to be honest: I don’t like lugging around a baby car seat carrier when there isn’t an emergency. I don’t want to think how much less fun it would be in the middle of one!

The are bulky, heavy and their handle are only ideal for twisting my wrists into unnatural shapes. A baby carrier – a wrap, or a more “modern” style – works much better for me. I can carry my child hands free! I don’t need to worry about where to place the car seat or keeping a hold of my older child, and it is so much lighter and easier to clean than the car seat carrier.

Baby Diapers

Disposable diapers take up a great deal of storage space. Instead, you could invest in cloth diapers and a hand cranked washing machine or Scrubba. Keep a bucket around to soak soiled diapers. When you wash them, pour the soaking water in the toilet.

Cloth diapers are also good for new parents with tight budgets. You may decide to use disposable diapers instead – no judgment here! But I find it comforting to know that if our budget just can’t support disposables one month, or we can’t get out to buy more for some reason, we still have our child covered…literally.

Finally….

Keep copies of all your immunization, allergy, and prescription records (in short, your basic medical file) together, in one easily accessible spot. In an emergency/disaster, you don’t want to find yourselves or your baby getting extra shots because you don’t have proof you are up to date and you have ended up in an emergency shelter that requires it. You also don’t want to end up either in trouble for having prescription medication someone doesn’t believe you need (or believes that you stole from someone else) or being unable to get something you do need because you don’t have proof you need it.

If your baby (or any other family member) has any truly serious health problems, make sure you have all the medical files – including films, labs, etc. – to ensure docs who have never seen you and who can’t access your regular files can help you. Keeping digital files on a thumb drive isn’t a bad idea, especially if you have a lot of files.

Resources mentioned in this article:

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A Handy Pin Collection for Making the Switch from Store-Bought to Homemade http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-handy-pin-collection-for-making-the-switch-from-store-bought-to-homemade/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-handy-pin-collection-for-making-the-switch-from-store-bought-to-homemade/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:30:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21651 You may have noticed my emphasis lately on the use of Pinterest. I was very slow in joining the Pinterest party but now find it to be incredibly useful as a search engine. I’ve put together over 200 Pinterest DIY Read More

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You may have noticed my emphasis lately on the use of Pinterest. I was very slow in joining the Pinterest party but now find it to be incredibly useful as a search engine. I’ve put together over 200 Pinterest DIY pins on my “Switch From Store-Bought to Homemade” board but wanted to share these as well, since they are from bloggers that I personally know.

Enjoy these pins, and if you like them, re-pin and follow the pinners! (Click directly on the pin to go to that pin’s location on Pinterest. Click again to go to the article.)

Oh! And if you haven’t  yet downloaded my free mini-guide for this skill of the month, here’s the link. Feel free to share with friends.

And have fun! This month’s skill is a super-fun hobby, trying to find new things to make homemade with the help of Pinterest DIY pins!

All natural toilet bowl cleaner

Homemade deodorant recipe

Homemade deodorant recipe from Christian Homekeeper

homemade enchilada sauce

DIY Natural Tub & SHower cleaner

Homemade peppermint mouthwash recip

DIY all purpose cleaner

Homemade cloth diaper detergent

 

 

homemade spice mixes

Homemade spice mixes from Christian Homekeeper

Homemade oven cleaner

homemade lotion bars

 

dryer balls

DIY eczema cream

 

homemade  yogurt recipe

DIY sanitizing spray

 

If you try any of these, let me know! Have fun!

 

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Take Heart in the Face of Adversity: Hawthorn health benefits http://thesurvivalmom.com/hawthorn-health-benefits/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/hawthorn-health-benefits/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 08:00:07 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21415 Hawthorn, a small, thorny shrub or tree in the rose family, is a valuable herb to have around the homestead or in the herbal supplies pantry. Hawthorn health benefits have been known for many, many years. Several different types of hawthorn Read More

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Hawthorn, the herb, has many health benefits. | www.TheSurvivalMom.comHawthorn, a small, thorny shrub or tree in the rose family, is a valuable herb to have around the homestead or in the herbal supplies pantry. Hawthorn health benefits have been known for many, many years. Several different types of hawthorn can be used interchangeably, but the most common varieties of the Crataegus spp. in use are C. monogyna, C. oxycantha, and C. laevigata.

Hawthorn is a very versatile herb. In addition to the fresh  berries’ use as a food source, the dried berries, leaves, and flowers find a place in the prepared herbalist’s tool box as extracts, teas, and capsules.

Hawthorn health benefits

There are two reasons that I personally keep hawthorn in my herbal preps kit. Both reasons have to do with hawthorn’s influence on the circulatory system. Hawthorn is traditionally recognized for its importance in re-establishing a healthy balance between strength of the heartbeat and blood pressure. In the late 1800s/early 1900s, this was used to benefit people who developed heart conditions, but it is equally applicable for use after or in conjunction with appropriate medical care for trauma, shock, or loss of blood.

Hawthorn has also developed an excellent reputation as a nervine, an herb that supports the nervous systems and healthy range of the emotional state. Thus, its second place in my herbal preps kit — as a beneficial herb for the emotional fall-out of a sudden emergency or unexpected event like an accident or loss of a loved one. Because of its affinity for the circulation, hawthorn can be supportive when we are feeling discouraged and need to “take heart” after an unsettling event.

Hawthorn as a Tonic/ Restorative

Hawthorn is one of the best herbs for heart health. It gently builds the health of the heart muscle, and is one of the premier cardiac tonics- helping to strengthen,  tonify and restore balance.


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Traditionally, hawthorn was used for any heart related imbalance, whether that was high blood pressure, or low blood pressure, or even  high cholesterol, heart failure, or angina. Because it benefits the overall circulation, hawthorn is a good herb to turn to when we have chronically cold hands and feet, or when there are age related heart problems in the elderly. It can even be used when recovering from an injury, to make sure there is good circulation to support the healing process.

Hawthorn and Emotional Support

Besides being useful when we feel the need to  “take heart,” hawthorn is beneficial when we find ourselves in restless, irritable moods,  possibly with trouble focusing. It’s safe for children, and can be used alone or in combination with other nervine herbs and appropriate support to help settle and calm kids who are struggling with hyperactivity. It can be a very comforting herb for those people struggling with long term illness and the feelings of hopelessness that can arise from a long convalescence.

Hawthorn: Other Historical Uses

Hawthorn has another very interesting use, as a digestive aid! Problems with bloating, especially when  food seems to “sit” in the stomach and leads to discomfort after eating, are the traditional domain of hawthorn. If diarrhea occurs alongside bloating, hawthorn may be an appropriate herb to offer some comfort.

Safety and Serving Size

If you buy a prepackaged hawthorn supplement, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. If you are using bulk or homemade preparations, the following guidelines can be used:

  • Extract: 15-30 drops (roughly ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon if a dropper isn’t available) may be used 1-3x per day.
  • Tea (sometimes called an infusion): 1 or two teaspoons of the dried leaves, flowers, and/or berries per 8 oz of water. one or two cups may be enjoyed daily. Drinking large amounts of tea from the berries can give some people diarrhea, but it’s not a problem for most people at normal amounts.

With such a versatile range of health benefits, hawthorn is definitely one of the top herbs to include in herbal preparedness supplies. It is generally considered to be a very safe botanical, and can be used by almost anyone- including children. However, make sure to check with your doctor if you take medications or have pre-existing health conditions.

The post Take Heart in the Face of Adversity: Hawthorn health benefits by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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Skill of the Month Progress Check! http://thesurvivalmom.com/skill-of-the-month-progress-check/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/skill-of-the-month-progress-check/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 16:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21621 I love our February Skill of the Month: Switch from Store-Bought to Homemade. It has challenged me to track down new recipes for things I have never tried before. Yesterday I tried brushing my teeth with bentonite clay. Look for Read More

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Switch from store bought to homemade for a multitude of products you use every day. It's healthier and smarter! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comI love our February Skill of the Month: Switch from Store-Bought to Homemade. It has challenged me to track down new recipes for things I have never tried before.

Yesterday I tried brushing my teeth with bentonite clay. Look for my article on the subject of DIY dental care coming up. I’ve tried various health-drink mixes with turmeric and cayenne, started using borax powder to clean the toilets and a ball of aluminum foil to replace dryer sheets.

Sometimes, switching from store-bought to homemade has great results and sometimes it doesn’t. The internet is full of Pinterest fails.

If you need ideas, my Pinterest board is full of them. Here are some projects I’m going to try next:

Here’s my FREE mini-guide for you!

To give you a boost this month and through the rest of the year, here’s a free copy of my brand new mini guide, “Switch From Store-Bought to Homemade.” It’s full of my own recipes, stories of things I’ve tried that worked (and failed), and links to other resources and products. If it’s helpful, be sure to share it with your friends. It will soon be available on Amazon as an ebook, but won’t be free!

Download link: Survival Mom’s Mini-Guide


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I’d like to hear what you have tried this month. What new homemade product did you make?

 

 

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Prepping with Type 1 Diabetes http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-type-1-diabetes/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-type-1-diabetes/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:52:56 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21417 Type 1 diabetes — also called Juvenile Diabetes — shook our prepping plans to their foundations. While I was stockpiling food, learning to make cheese, and writing the occasional post for the Survival Mom, my 9 year-old daughter’s body was Read More

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Many preppers have health challenges. Here are tips for those with Type 1 diabetes. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comType 1 diabetes — also called Juvenile Diabetes — shook our prepping plans to their foundations. While I was stockpiling food, learning to make cheese, and writing the occasional post for the Survival Mom, my 9 year-old daughter’s body was attacking itself and she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Just a short time later I found myself trying to find answers for prepping with Type 1 Diabetes.

A T1D diagnosis is a life sentence of finger pokes and insulin administration. And because it’s genetic, we now know our other children are at risk.

What’s a survival mom to do? I didn’t even wait for the shock to wear off before I took to the internet seeking advice from the preparedness community…and was extremely disappointed with the meager information available. (I’ve included the links to those I found even a little bit helpful to save you time.) Even expert Mormon preppers who have so much information and resources had little to offer.

NOTE: This post is specific to Type 1 Diabetes, NOT Type 2. Please keep the differences in mind when you post comments and suggestions. Finding ways to prepare for a serious disease like this is scary. Suggestions that simple adjustments, like changing the food we have stored, as if we wouldn’t have already done that if it would resolve the issue, are more hurtful than helpful.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, attorney, engineer, moralist, spiritual adviser, survivalist, or millionaire. Use the attached links and their information at your own risk. I’ve simply put together what’s on the net and what I’ve personally experienced. The rest is up to you.

Some Background

For clarity’s sake, please understand that T1D is very different from Type 2 Diabetes. The bodies of Type 2 patients still make insulin, but their bodies have trouble using it to get carbohydrate energy from the blood into the cells for use. Diet, exercise, and some drugs can help them do that.

NONE OF THAT HELPS TYPE 1 PATIENTS.

The body of a Type 1 patient makes no insulin, the vehicle that unlocks cells so that energy can enter and be metabolized. The immune system has attacked the pancreas and shut down the good guys that make insulin. No diet, exercise, or drugs on the market will turn those cells on again. And that was my initial frustration.

Lots of good-hearted folks had tips for keeping blood sugar down, but those suggestions will lead to starvation and/or death for a kid who can’t get energy from any type of food. Remember Atkins and low-carb diets? It’s the same idea. When the body can’t get energy from carbohydrates, it burns the body’s fat reserves. When that’s depleted, the body uses muscle for energy. A kid who eats bowls and bowls of pasta but can’t use any of its energy will still burn fat and muscles until there’s nothing left. Having supplies and insulin at all times is essential to survival.

Getting Started: Short-term Emergency Preparedness

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2013 advised diabetics to keep a filled medical bag after Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012. Doctors were concerned that, gasp!, some of their diabetic patients weren’t prepared to go a couple of weeks without visiting a regular pharmacy! One woman didn’t have a regular pharmacy for 5 months following Sandy.

Put together a supply bag 

A bag that holds basic supplies for the diabetic is a smart first-step. The JDRF checklist might be helpful in packing that first bag. After some experimentation, I keep a tiny first aid box filled with pen needles in our everyday carry bag. And while you’re in the travel aisle, grab a tiny pill holder with a screw-on lid for sharps disposal. Mine can hold 3 used pen needles, enough to dose for each meal without worrying where to put used needles.

Carry snacks for emergencies

We keep a high-sugar snack for emergencies, as well as no-carb snacks that can curb hunger in the everyday carry bag. A case of water bottles in the trunk makes sense, too, as diabetics need to drink continuously. We keep even more snacks in a lunch bag in the car, along with 5 more days’ of supplies in case we wind up stranded somewhere.

Stocking up on Insulin and supplies

The problem with stocking up on diabetic supplies  is that they are expensive and insurance companies make it difficult to buy more than is needed for a short period of time. As with most prescriptions, many insurance companies will only pay for 1-3 months of refills at a time, and will only allow refills once supplies dwindle to a few days’ worth of reserves. That’s cutting it way too close for this prepared mama. If you’re new to diabetes or to prepping and have been worried about this, take heart. I’ve done some of the legwork for you.

If you are getting prescriptions one month at a time at a local pharmacy, you may be able to get a few extra days of supplies every month by going on the first day you can get a refill. That will leave you with  about six days of supplies at home. Over time, that can add up. However, many insurance companies are now requiring patients with “chronic conditions” to order their supplies through the mail after the first three months. Mail ordered supplies are sent automatically and make it virtually impossible to stock up in this way.

TIP: Read these tips for diabetics from Survival Mom readers.

Most states require a prescription to purchase insulin, making stockpiling trickier for Americans. It may be possible to buy insulin from other countries, and you may have wondered about the legality of buying insulin from Canada if you are an American. Since there is recent legislation on the table to make it legal for US citizens, this is good information to keep in mind if it does become legal in the future.

Another way to add to your stash of insulin may work if your loved one uses a pump but is very active. With a doctor’s approval, they might consider switching to a pen for at least part of the year. Some high school wrestlers with T1D are on a pump most of the year but switch to insulin injection pens during wrestling season for safety. Because there’s some overlap in refills, they will end up with a few extra pens tucked away as backup. Switching to pens for the summer might make sense if your self-conscious preteen is swimming, boating, canoeing, and cruising the pool. It might even be necessary if their pump can’t be immersed and they will be around water for longer than they can go without it.

How much insulin should you store? From my experience with food storage, I recommend you use the same guidelines as you would for food. If your canned tomatoes keep for a year, store a year’s worth and rotate. Refrigerated insulin will keep for up to two years, or 30 days once opened and kept at room temperature.


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While it is prudent to follow the “store what you use and use what you store” philosophy, pump users might want to skip down to the “Grid-down” section before putting all their insulin “eggs” in the “pump supplies” basket. Either way, request that all your prescription supplies automatically refill as soon as your insurance company will allow. If you can choose a couple of days a week to reduce carb intake and thus reduce insulin use, autofill can eventually get you a little bit of cushion.

Stocking up on Testing Supplies

Stocking up on diabetes testing supplies is easy, compared to stockpiling insulin.

It is simple to buy diabetes test strips, pen needles, etc. from Canada at a fraction of the cost. Price check all your options to get the lowest combined price, and be sure to take shipping into consideration. Remember to check eBay and Amazon as well. We found both to be only slightly less expensive than the pharmacy, but you can luck into great deals on eBay.

Diabetic specialty websites like Glucomart carry hit-or-miss supplies and run daily updates. You have to check back pretty often, or use your email address to request notification when the products you need are in stock.

Testing on-the-go is much easier with alcohol swabs. I pick up a 2-pack (400 total) for less than $4 every time I go to the store. Even in bulk, I can’t find them cheaper than at Walmart. At home, we use a giant bottle of alcohol and cotton balls, available at dollar stores everywhere.

While I personally haven’t tried it, you may also be able to find unopened testing supplies at an estate sale, just as you might find other non-prescription medical supplies such bed pans, surgical gloves, or dressings. In estate sales, you might even find a new or lightly-used testing machine to go along with the supplies.

With second-hand supplies in particular (estate sales and eBay), be certain to check the expiration date, and (obviously) that they are compatible with your machine. They may be cheap because they are close to their expiration date. Use those right away and save the ones with later expiration dates.

Stocking up on Other Essentials

Vitamins

Immune support is crucial for T1D patients. In fact, contracting a common cold or flu virus is often what pushes an overactive immune system into overdrive and coincides with T1D onset. Endocrine changes due to illness wreak havoc on blood glucose levels. Avoid sickness and support immunity whenever possible.

Vitamin D is also shown to assist with glucose control. It’s equally important for our other children to get vitamin D, as a deficiency is linked to increased risk of developing the disease for those with family history.

Low-carb alternatives

In an emergency, you may want to reduce carbohydrate intake to make insulin stockpiles last longer. Our medical team says kids need a MINIMUM of 130 carbs per day for growth and development. Basing insulin stockpiles on current needs should give you some wiggle room.

Maybe now is the time to learn to cook with almond flour or develop a taste for coconut milk. (Both are shelf-stable, by the way!) We already had a HUGE stockpile of beans, rice, noodles, and other starchy foods that could be a nightmare for glucose control. Energy rich, but nutrient sparse.

We still have and use those foods, but we’re replacing some of them with alternatives that make sugar control a little easier. Brown rice has a shorter shelf life, but more nutrients and the complex carbs are much slower to enter the blood. Similarly, a packet of Splenda or Stevia might make lots of ho-hum dishes more palatable, the way sugar does for the rest of us.

As a replacement for milk, Peak powdered milk  has 8 carbs per cup, versus 12 for regular powdered milk and fresh 2% milk. LC milk powder has only 1 carb per cup, but it requires mixing with water and heavy cream. Canned coconut cream doesn’t work, as the consistency is too solid. Table cream yields a better result.

Rationing diabetic supplies

Lancets

I’ve read comments from diabetics who still change a lancet after every finger prick, and from those who guesstimate it gets changed every couple of months. I was not able to find a link to specific guidelines, but the American Association of Diabetes Educators acknowledges that reusable lancets for a single patient are perfectly safe. The recommendation at the time of your initial diagnosis may have changed. Our medical team insisted a once-a-day change had been studied and was proven safe, provided the skin is cleansed with alcohol before each finger prick (as of December of 2014).

Pen needles or syringes

This scares the heck out of me. The Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that it would be okay to reuse syringes or pen needles without complications. I don’t think I’d do it in normal times, but in dire circumstances it’s nice to know about the AMA’s approval. The article specifically talks about 3-4 uses per needle, which would equal a once-a-day change.

Off-Grid Considerations

Loss of electricity could prevent recharging your meter. Any number of solar phone chargers with USB plugs can be used as a backup option. Plus, you’ll have it to charge your phone!

When stockpiling, strongly consider the possibility that electronic equipment may fail due to a natural or man-made EMP event. Pump users should consider stocking insulin pens for backup, as an EMP could fry the pump’s circuitry. Pens are not vulnerable to EMP. We purchased an identical meter (half price on eBay!) and stashed it, unopened, in a Faraday cage as a backup.

If monitors are inoperable despite all these preparations, another backup option exists, urine test strips for glucose. They are less accurate than blood glucose meters since it takes much more sugar to register on a urine strip. These were used in the U.S. through the 1970s and 1980s, we just don’t have much of a market for them here anymore.

However, patients in third world countries without electricity use them, so they could be a viable alternative in a grid-down emergency. We plan to periodically compare the urine test results to the meter reading just to see how they compare.

Refrigerating insulin is key to prolonging its shelf life. Consider a solar refrigerator, or build a solar panel strong enough to run a small, dorm-room-size refrigerator.

The Frio Insulin Cooling Case is a water activated product designed to keep insulin cool during travel that has been getting some attention on the web. I haven’t tried it yet, but may post an update. With exposure to air, the bag keeps insulin room temperature, which is much better than hot, but it doesn’t even come close to refrigeration temperature.

Another option is a refrigerator that runs on 12 volt (as well as 110), apparently designed for campers and long-haul truckers. Since they can run off of car batteries, you just need to add a few extra car batteries to your preps – hardly an exotic item! If you make sure they are the kind your family cars need, you are even prepared for one more every-day disaster. If you have other ideas, I hope you’ll add a comment below.

In a grid-down scenario, Dr. Bones of “Doom and Bloom” fame gives some options for preventing ketoacidosis here.  If you’ve stockpiled enough supplies, you shouldn’t have to worry about that for a long while.

First Steps

If you’re new to prepping or T1D, I know this is really overwhelming. Take some deep breaths and then some baby steps. Figure out what your child or grandchild needs to get through a single day, calculate, and start. Just, start. Don’t worry that you are starting with “the wrong thing.” You will need it all, eventually.

A good initial goal is to have a 3-month supply of EVERYTHING, but if that is overwhelming, you can start even smaller. Get the testing supplies since they are relatively easy, or one extra week or month of insulin. Research some backup options and get those next. But start…somewhere. Anywhere! Don’t let yourself get paralyzed to the point that you do nothing.

Once you have a 3 month supply, move on to a 6-month supply. When that is done, consider how you’ll maximize your insulin without electricity. Then keep adding to your supply. And don’t forget to rotate!

Final Thoughts

I KNOW prepping for Type 1 Diabetes is expensive because I share your pain in paying for it. I know building a stockpile probably means buying supplies outright without help from your insurance company—probably while you’re still paying off that hospital bill from the initial diagnosis. Trust me, I know it’s overwhelming.

Normally I would say to do what you can as you are able to do it. But for your diabetic loved one, this is truly a life-or-death proposition. A 5-year supply of food does your loved one no good when his 4-week insulin supply runs out. So in this situation, I say do what you have to do. Tap into your savings account. Sell some of your silver stash. If I had to, I’d consider allowing myself a little credit card debt.

I can’t think of any earthly consideration more important than the welfare of my children. They rely on me, and now I have a T1D kiddo who relies on insulin, meters, lancets, and test strips for SURVIVAL. I refuse to let her down.

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10 4-H Projects That Will Teach Your Kids Vital, Practical Skills http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 08:10:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21262 Have you ever considered getting your kids involved with 4-H? You don’t have to live on a farm in order to do that, you know! As you’ll see, 4-H goes hand in hand with preparedness, survival skills, and family fun. Read More

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The 4-H Club teaches kids important skils. Here are a few. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comHave you ever considered getting your kids involved with 4-H? You don’t have to live on a farm in order to do that, you know! As you’ll see, 4-H goes hand in hand with preparedness, survival skills, and family fun. 4-H for kids is a great replacement for too much screen time, e.g. video games, computer, TV.

What seems interesting to us or important in a survivalist mode may seem a lot like hard work or cruel chores for our children. We may be fascinated with learning the skills of growing and storing our own food, raising our own livestock or reviving the lost art of sewing but everyone’s interests vary. Our kids may not be thrilled at all with those projects!

Even though the skills that are learned during homesteading and prepping activities are no doubt important, children may find it hard to focus on such things when today’s culture has taught them that all their needs can be met by shopping at any of the overwhelming amount of retail stores that pepper our nation.

TIP: How do your kids measure up on our list of urban and mental survival skills for kids?

My 9-year old son was a true patron of this technological era. He would spend all his time bouncing from one video game to the next. I had difficulty getting him outside and active. Luckily, his big sister, who is a farm girl at heart, got the family involved with a local 4-H club and introduced all of us to many new adventures. Thanks to 4-H, my son was eager to take early morning fishing trips to complete his project. Watching all that well-practiced hand-eye coordination come to life in the form of stringing a hook and baiting his line instead of the constant thumb action of a game controller was a rewarding moment as a mother. I treasure the moments that I’ve watched my children raising their chickens and rabbits, catching fish or learning to cook from scratch because I know the hard work and down to earth skills they are learning is a valuable art that they would not have accomplished without the assistance, guidance and support of the 4-H community.

4-H For Kids

One way to make learning significant survival skills fun and achievable is to enroll your kids in organized activities that encourage, instruct and reward accomplishments. There are several of these groups already established. 4-H is an organization with a general focus on working together for positive changes. The 4-H program is designed to teach skills of all kinds through yearly projects, workshops, camps, community service opportunities, and much more.

Numerous projects designed for children to complete on their own (with little parental assistance) are offered. Each project book helps children move forward in their skills by outlining tasks and procedures to complete, providing record keeping, and encourages children to seek designated professionals and other resources to learn more.

To hold children accountable and nudge them to do their best on these projects, there is a time of judging generally either before or during their local county fair. Children who score exceptionally well get to move on to the state fair for a higher level of competition and recognition. Often times, children are also given small monetary tokens for completing their projects and displaying them at the fair. Those with livestock projects can sell their animals if all guidelines are met. Buyers typically pay well beyond market price for these animals as a way to encourage children and promote the program.

Some of the wonderful 4-H projects that help build survivalist skills while having fun includes the following*.

Livestock Projects

Dairy Animals – Learn how to raise, care for, manage and keep records for dairy heifers and goats.

Poultry – Learn the proper care for raising pullets and broilers.

Market Beef, Swine, Rabbits, Sheep & Goats – Learn how to raise, care for, manage and keep records for market.

Non-Animal Projects

Clothing & Textile Science – Learn basic sewing skills, personalize clothing, make clothing from patterns and more. Projects range from first-time beginners to advanced clothing design and construction masters.

Cooking Projects – Beginner to Advanced levels. Learn about cooking, nutrition, food safety information and get creative with recipes of all kinds, including baking breads, meal planning and grilling.

Gardening & Plant Science – Learn how to grow your own vegetables and preserve your own food through canning and freezing methods.

The Natural World – Learn how to explore the outdoors by learning about plants, trees and insects that live in the woods, streams and fields. Learn trapping, fishing and beekeeping.

Shooting Sports – Learn safe use of guns and basic archery.

Mechanics – Learn about small engines, tractors and machinery operations.

Woodworking – Learn how to use various woodworking tools along with basic tools to build wood projects.

To learn more about the 4-H program and to find a club near you visit the official 4-H website.

 

Source:

About 4-H  (2015, January 18)

*Paraphrased descriptions were obtained from the Ohio State University Extension 2014 4-H Family Guide.

 

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