The Survival Mom » Preparedness 101 http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 27 May 2015 18:17:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Conserving Resources in a Survival Situation http://thesurvivalmom.com/%ef%bb%bfconserving-survival-resources/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/%ef%bb%bfconserving-survival-resources/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 13:50:13 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22988 Whether we’re talking about being lost in the woods or recovering from a tornado that hit your neighborhood, you’ll most likely be dealing with very limited resources in those scenarios and, as a result, you need to be smart about how you use them. Conserving survival resources takes some planning and learning multiple, alternative skills. Gear, supplies, tools, […]

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conserving survival resourcesWhether we’re talking about being lost in the woods or recovering from a tornado that hit your neighborhood, you’ll most likely be dealing with very limited resources in those scenarios and, as a result, you need to be smart about how you use them. Conserving survival resources takes some planning and learning multiple, alternative skills.

Gear, supplies, tools, food, water, and even physical energy should all be conserved.

Let’s take a look at a wilderness survival situation as an example. Being a prepper, you (hopefully) have a small kit with you any time you hit the trail. The kit, of course, contains a variety of different ready-to-light tinders, such as WetFire Cubes or tinder tabs. The smart move, though, when you go to make your fire is to use natural sources of tinder if they can be easily found. Cattail fluff, seed pods, and dry grass should be used first, before tapping into your store-bought tinders. Using these types of tinder conserves your commercial tinder for when you might really need it. While hopefully it will only be a single night out in the field, one never knows what the future might hold.

Another resource to conserve are your tools. You’ll probably have to process firewood, but rather than use your knife to chop through long pieces, wedge the wood between two trees and break it using a levering action. Or, don’t worry about breaking it all and just feed it into the fire a little at a time as it burns down. Every time you use your knife, axe, or hatchet, you are going to dull the edge, even if just a little bit. Limit your uses of the blade to when you truly need to cut something.

Your survival kit, or Bug Out Bag, probably contains items useful for constructing an emergency shelter, but before you haul those out, look for naturally occurring options for emergency shelter, such as a downed tree that forms a natural lean-to. The less work you need to do and the fewer supplies you use, the better off you’ll be. Obviously, common sense plays a role in survival. Don’t bed down in a cave unless you’re certain you’re the only thing in it.

Energy is resource, too, of course. When it comes to food gathering, you should never expend more energy than you will receive from the food you obtain. For example, it makes very little sense to burn calories by going on a lengthy track, stalk, and hunt if you aren’t certain to harvest the animal. A far better option is to concentrate on acquiring food through more passive means, such as fishing and trapping, as well as harvesting wild edibles.

If you’re truly lost, staying put is a much better option than rambling around for hours on end. Searchers will have more luck if you’re not a moving target, plus you won’t get tired and make stupid mistakes.

Get into the habit of conserving your resources on a regular basis. Doing so now will make it second nature to you when it truly counts.

conserving survival resources

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When am I done prepping? http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-be-prepper/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-be-prepper/#respond Tue, 12 May 2015 15:01:26 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22986 When am I done prepping? When can I relax and say, “I’ve done all I can do. I’m fully prepared,”? This is a question that pops up from time to time. The simple and easiest answer is, well, you’re never done! Now, before I lose a bunch of you because of that answer, give me a […]

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how to be a prepper

When am I done prepping? When can I relax and say, “I’ve done all I can do. I’m fully prepared,”?

This is a question that pops up from time to time. The simple and easiest answer is, well, you’re never done! Now, before I lose a bunch of you because of that answer, give me a minute to explain.

In our society, we tend to be rather focused on finish lines. We want to set a concrete, observable goal, reach that goal, and move on. This has been the focus in the business world for ages, of course.
Measurable goals are the key to success. Same goes for sports. Who wants to watch a game that may
never have a clearly defined winner?

How to be a prepper and when am I finished prepping?

Because of this goal-oriented, ingrained, we struggle with the thought of engaging in an activity that has no real end. This is why I try to stress to folks that prepping isn’t a hobby but a lifestyle. As you become more and more involved with disaster and emergency planning, it will overflow into many areas of your life, perhaps even without you realizing it. You’ll find you make decisions on what to buy and where to shop differently. Instead of looking for an amazing deal on Dolce and Gabbana skirt, you’re hunting down the best price on a food dehydrator. Vacations aren’t always centered on fine food and dancing but getting outside and seeing Mother Nature in all her splendor, learning some fun wilderness and camping skills, and even checking out possible evacuation routes.

All of that isn’t meant to say that you can’t set and achieve prepping goals. Far from it, actually. When
someone is just starting out, I often suggest they set a food storage goal of one week. That’s very doable for many people and not only helps to get them prepared but reaching that goal gives a sense of
accomplishment. At that point, extend the goal to two weeks, then a month. Keep moving forward in
incremental steps. That’s what prepping is all about.

At the same time, though, you’re going to be rotating through your food storage, always using the oldest
items first and then replacing them with new. While food storage involves setting concrete goals, it is a
constant process. See what I mean about never being truly done prepping?

Skills need to be learned, then practiced regularly to maintain proficiency. Some of them will be used
daily, such as scratch cooking, while others only intermittently. But, as with your food storage, supplies
and gear utilized in the practice of some of these skills will need to be replaced as they are used up.

Many types of gear set aside for emergencies will need to be maintained regularly. Bug out bags need to
be unpacked, inspected, and repacked at least a few times a year if not more often. Gardens need to be
planted, weeded, watered, and eventually harvested. Learning how to be a prepper and then continuing in that lifestyle keeps you busy and always learning.

A new lifestyle brings with it a new perspective on life. Don’t worry about meeting a concrete goal. Just
try to do one thing each and every day that moves you forward. If you can do that, you’re headed in the
right direction, even if you can’t see a finish line.

Just getting started prepping?  Here are some resources for you:

And, this video created by The Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford, “How To Be a Prepper”:

 

how to be a prepper

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2 Types of Emergency Evacuations: Urgent & Planned http://thesurvivalmom.com/2-types-of-emergency-evacuation-plans/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/2-types-of-emergency-evacuation-plans/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 07:00:04 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=23068 Reasons to evacuate generally fall into 2 camps: Urgent Evacuations and Planned Evacuations. You should be ready for these 2 types of emergency evacuations. Before you begin packing that emergency kit, you need to first consider why you might need to evacuate. If you have specific scenarios in mind, and then one of them suddenly becomes […]

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emergency evacuation plansReasons to evacuate generally fall into 2 camps: Urgent Evacuations and Planned Evacuations. You should be ready for these 2 types of emergency evacuations.

Before you begin packing that emergency kit, you need to first consider why you might need to evacuate. If you have specific scenarios in mind, and then one of them suddenly becomes a reality, there’s a good chance that your brain won’t lapse into normalcy bias, causing you to waste precious minutes or hours.

Planning for the Urgent Evacuation

An Urgent Evacuation is one in which you have zero time to think; you can only react. If you’ve considered this scenario, have planned for it, and have a routine that you’ve rehearsed, your brain will most likely revert to those memories and your actions will become automatic.

The smell of smoke and realization that your home is on fire is not the time to inform the kids how to get out of the house, run around scooping up family heirlooms, cash, and vital documents, and then yell at everyone to meet you in the front yard! Fire spreads too quickly to allow for any of that.

Instead, planning for this particular Urgent Evacuation is simple. Take time to stash valuables in a fireproof safe, train the kids and other family members to get out of the house ASAP, and have a pre-planned meeting place. Make sure that each room has an exit point that can be accessed by everyone, even if that means keeping a step stool or a sturdy chair in the room. My daughter’s bedroom has one window whose bottom ledge is a good 4 1/2 feet from the floor. In her case, she’ll need to stand on something to get out.

What other Urgent Evacuations might you need to plan for? Tornado warning? Natural gas leak? Wildfires or a chemical spill? All of these events will require you to get out of the house as quickly as you can. A few others are:

  • Avalanche
  • Earthquake
  • Explosion nearby
  • Landslide
  • Floods
  • Nuclear event
  • Riots
  • Terrorist attack
  • Tornadoes
  • Tsunami

Here are a few tips to help you plan and prepare for Urgent Evacuations:

1. Have a packed supply bag for your pets, complete with food, bedding, and food/water bowls. If your pet will be transported in a crate, place all supplies in the crate. Everything will be in one place when you need it.

2. Create a “Last Minute Bag” with things like prescription medications, cash, small valuables. Here’s a complete list to help you with this task.

3. Store emergency kits in an easy to access location, such as by the backdoor. They can also be stored in the trunk of your car, along with a case or water.

4. Be in the habit of having your vehicle ready with at least half tank of gas and emergency supplies.

5. Have some sort of signal for the family members, so they know it’s “Get serious!’ time. Kids, in particular, have a way of tuning out their parents, so establish a code that sends the message of, “Urgent! This is not a drill!”

6. Practice this evacuation drill and keep track of how much time it takes to get everyone out of the house. Emphasize that getting people out is far more important than any belonging, or even a pet.

7. Have written lists of what must be grabbed. Prioritize so that no one is searching for something that isn’t strictly necessary.

With Urgent Evacuations, the longer you wait, the more likely you are to endanger yourself and your loved ones. It also increase the chance that you’ll run into major traffic issues as panicked people also try to get away from harm.

The Planned Evacuation

Not every emergency is one that requires great haste. In many cases, you have several hours or day in which to make your plans and put final pieces in place. A Planned Evacuation requires a different mindset — one that emphasizes checking and double-checking and keeping a constant eye on developing news.

The Planned Evacuation is one of prepare and wait-and-see.

For example, a hurricane is a scary natural disaster that can bring with it an enormous amount of damage, but thanks to modern meteorology, we can track these storms. We know, with a fair degree or accuracy, when and where they will make landfall.

These scenarios allow us to time think, review our plans, and get to safety, beating the crowds as well as the expected disaster. Examples of these are:

  • Earthquake — If your home isn’t too damaged, you may want to plan to evacuate, just in case.
  • Epidemic or pandemic
  • Rising floodwaters
  • “Storm of the Century” — Blizzard or otherwise, you may want to get out to avoid the worst.
  • Volcanic eruption — Usually these give some warning before erupting.
  • Wildfires in the area

Along with the tips for Urgent Evacuations, here are a few to help you plan for a more leisurely escape:

1. Make a date on your calendar to review and refresh all emergency kits every 6 months.

2. Have at least 2 different ways to get information, in case of a power outage or if telephone/cell phone lines aren’t working. A shortwave radio and ham radio are both good choices.

3. If you have a smartphone, install phone apps that provide alerts for inclement weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Red Cross makes several, and they are all excellent.

4. If you have larger animals, contact at least 2 locations that could provide temporary shelter as part of your emergency evacuation plans.

5. Give careful consideration how your home can best be protected while you’re gone. You have time to board up windows, drain pipes, etc.

6. Get phone numbers from neighbors, so you can keep in touch and update each other with news. This will be especially important if you do evacuate and want to know how your home and neighborhood are faring.

7. During the school year, contact your child’s teacher and ask for a list of their assignments for the coming week or two.

8. Make sure your vehicle is filled with gas and is ready to go. Pack it with any supplies or gear that you won’t be needing, just in case you decide to leave.

Prep for one, prep for both

The good news about both these types of emergency evacuation plans is that preparation for one is preparation for both. The major difference between the two, other than the actual event, is your mindset. You must be the one to make the call to get out now or wait to see how things unfold. Ultimately, it will be your call. It’s better to err on the side of a quick evacuation if there’s a chance the event could escalate. By then, you might be trapped and unable to get out.

Know which events are most likely in your area and begin planning and preparing.

emergency evacuation plans

 

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May Skill of the Month: Refine Your Evacuation Plans http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-make-evacuation-plans/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-make-evacuation-plans/#respond Fri, 01 May 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22761 I’ll never forget the night we had to evacuate our home in mere moments. Some very strong chemicals had been used in a home renovation project and threatened to overwhelm us. My husband became dangerously lightheaded, our kids were quite young, and we knew we had to get out of the house ASAP. At that […]

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Make evacuation plans

I’ll never forget the night we had to evacuate our home in mere moments. Some very strong chemicals had been used in a home renovation project and threatened to overwhelm us. My husband became dangerously lightheaded, our kids were quite young, and we knew we had to get out of the house ASAP.

At that time, I didn’t have any type of emergency kits packed and it hadn’t occurred to me to make evacuation plans.

On a second occasion, I had literally 5 minutes to get out. At that time, and I’ll never forget it, I was wearing old, faded yoga pants, a black t-shirt covered with cat hair, and was barefoot. My kids were as ill-prepared as I to leave our house and we all laughed at our appearances, but this time, I had a pair of shoes in the car, along with a well-stocked vehicle emergency kit, a very detailed road atlas, and cash in my purse. We were prepared to evacuate quickly and, just as importantly, ready to be away from home for hours or even days.

Make evacuation plans today!

A good evacuation plan consists of 6 parts:

1. Tracking up to date, accurate information

2. Pre-packed emergency kits

3. Multiple, planned routes

4. Transportation, equipped with emergency supplies

5. Rehearsals

6. A mindset quick to adapt to new information, accept it, and react appropriately

The problem with evacuations is that most of them happen suddenly and without any warning. In a moment, your house is on fire or the ground is shaking or tornado sirens are blaring. You have, literally, moments to respond and your response, whatever it is, could make the difference between life and death for you and your family.

That’s how important it is to have your evacuation ducks in a row.

To get you started, here are a few articles from this blog as well as others I’ve found online that are particularly helpful. Be watching later this month to learn the difference between Urgent and Planned evacuations, the best map resource you can buy, and checklists for your emergency kits.

Use these checklists to help make evacuation plans

My book, Survival Mom, contains an entire chapter to help you get ready for evacuations. Click here to learn more.

make evacuation plans

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Normalcy Bias: It’s All in Your Head http://thesurvivalmom.com/normalcy-bias/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/normalcy-bias/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:30:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=5811 Human bodies don’t normally fly through the air, and I didn’t expect a real life lesson in normalcy bias, but last year that’s exactly what I witnessed while waiting for a red light to turn green. I was sitting in my Tahoe at an intersection not far from home when I heard the loud rumble […]

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normalcy biasHuman bodies don’t normally fly through the air, and I didn’t expect a real life lesson in normalcy bias, but last year that’s exactly what I witnessed while waiting for a red light to turn green.

I was sitting in my Tahoe at an intersection not far from home when I heard the loud rumble of a truck engine. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when a green pick-up veered around me, raced into the intersection and plowed into a white sedan. While my mind was registering this violent accident, I saw a scarecrow fly through the air. I took a few deep breaths, tried to remember the details of how the accident happened and waited to give my eyewitness account to the police who appeared on the scene within minutes.

My mind re-played the scene, always with that scarecrow flying out of the truck and into the adjacent field. It wasn’t until a half hour later, when I saw EMTs trying to revive a young man did I realize that what I had actually seen was his body at the moment it was ejected from the front seat. Even now, when I remember the accident, I don’t see a human. Instead, the image of a scarecrow is imprinted in my brain because humans don’t fly through the air!

Normalcy Bias defined

This is an example of Normalcy Bias, a survival mechanism our brains are equipped with that can place us in grave danger when we’re faced with something traumatic. Simply put, it causes our brains to insist that all is okay. Everything will return to normal. For most of us who have never faced true peril, Normalcy Bias tells us that nothing bad will ever happen. “This is America!,” some people insist when I tell them about the possibility of a deeper Depression or hyperinflation. Incredibly, the most obvious warning signs are ignored.

This explains why so many Jews continued living in Germany, even after they were forced to wear identifying yellow stars and discriminatory laws were passed against Jewish people. Life had been so good for so long that, surely, things would get better. Jews who could have easily afforded to move out of the country stayed, and perished.

Oncoming hurricanes and similar disasters elicit similar reactions. We simply expect life to go on as it always has, and our brains are wired to accept that and nothing else. A driver attempts to cross a flooded river. Thousands of New Orleans residents faced with Hurricane Katrina refuse to leave the city, and city officials don’t even make an attempt to evacuate them. One survivor from 9/11 tells of going blind as she saw dozens of human bodies hitting the ground outside the Twin Towers. Our brains can accommodate billions of bits of information each day, but apparently, there are some things too terrible to comprehend.

Those of us who believe in preparedness, whether beginners or veterans, know the frustration of trying to convince loved ones that the future is not at all secure, but the Normalcy Bias isn’t something we can debate. It’s not based on logic or rational thought. It’s the brain, doing its best to help its human owner deal with terrifying events and possibilities, as well as with escalating situations whose logical, final outcomes can’t be accepted.

Here’s another example from the TSA

If you had told me that American citizens would meekly line up to walk through powerful x-ray machines that would strip them bare before low-level TSA employees, I would have said, “Never!” If you had told me that, as an option, they would stand with arms raised while their crotches were groped and would allow their pre-schoolers to be similarly molested, I would have laughed. Yet, that is exactly what happened, and not only do Americans meekly put up with this but they defend it.

The water is heating up and most of the frogs are oblivious.

“Life will get back to normal.”

“There’s nothing wrong with this!”

Each week brings another repressive ruling, and still, most American citizens insist there is no reason for concern.  New legislators will make everything right again. This is just temporary.

Whatever comes next will, again, be excused and accepted. Darn that Normalcy Bias!

Eleven Tips for Banishing Normalcy Bias

Here’s the bottom line. As Survival Moms, we don’t have the luxury of looking at a catastrophe before us and saying over and over again, “I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe this.” If our kids can’t rely on us when all hell is breaking loose, then who can they depend on? Law enforcement and first responders are quickly overwhelmed, and your family is hardly at the top of their list. Normalcy Bias can place those we love most in grave danger.

I think a conversation about overcoming Normalcy Bias will be important and valuable in the Comment section following this article, but here are eleven ways we can begin to condition our minds to accept the unacceptable.

  1. Be willing to go through the painful process of acknowledging the uncertainty of our future. I compare it with the Kubler-Ross grief process:
    • Denial (Normalcy Bias rearing its ugly head!),
    • Anger — at politicians, circumstances, family members),
    • Bargaining (“If I can just buy enough precious metals, we’ll be okay.”),
    • Depression (Our children aren’t facing the same, sunny future that we did, America is changing before our eyes)
    • Acceptance (I can’t do everything, but I can be proactive and do what I can.)
  2. Face facts, don’t hide from them. Confront financial difficulties, acknowledge your limits. Only when you face reality can you prepare for it.
  3. Trust your instincts. Headlines change on a dime. Take in a much bigger picture than a single, optimistic headline or the words of a politician seeking re-election. Trust your own five senses and what your gut is telling you.
  4. Start where you are with what you have.
  5. Fight feeling overwhelmed with lists and organization. Focus on what  you will do today, this week, this month. Little by little it will all come together.
  6. Reach out to others. Start your own Survival Mom meet-up group. Spend time on preparedness and survival forums, as long as they don’t feed your fears. If there was ever a time for people to come together, this is it.
  7. It’s better to over-prepare than to be under-prepared. Normalcy Bias assures us that everything will be okay. A few extra bottles of water is all you really need. Those ten cans of tuna will be plenty! Go ahead and stock up more than you think you’ll need to. Make plans for scenarios that may be a bit far out but still within the realm of possibility.
  8. Make plans. Have an evacuation plan, and prepare for it. Have a hunker-down plan, and prepare for it. Decide ahead of time how you will face the most likely crises and communicate those plans with those who need-to-know. Write down your plans! Panic and stress have a way of erasing the logical parts of our brains!
  9. Be ready to act quickly and decisively. It’s better to take action too soon than too late.
  10. Take time off.  Forget you ever  heard of the word, ‘preparedness’. Go shopping and blow a few bucks on something completely unnecessary. Go out to lunch. Play with the kids. Spend an hour on the phone gossiping with your best friend. Give yourself a mental break! Your family needs you to be strong.  You need to take care of yourself, body, soul, and spirit.
  11. Get physically fit. There is a huge connection between physical and mental fitness. Start with some sort of exercise and start today.

Normalcy Bias, although deeply ingrained in the human brain, doesn’t have to control our futures or place us in harm’s way. The first step in being prepared is becoming educated. Knowing about this bias, what it can do, and how it can be controlled will help you become a Survival Mom in every sense of the word!

normalcy bias

This article was slightly updated on April 28, 2015.

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How Many Off-Grid Cooking Methods Do You Have? http://thesurvivalmom.com/off-grid-cooking-methods/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/off-grid-cooking-methods/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:10:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22416 When you buy, or otherwise acquire, preparedness supplies, do you practice with them or are you a prep hoarder? I think I’ve been guilty of both, especially with off-grid cooking methods. Maybe you know what I mean. Preppers are notorious for wanting every new survival gadget that comes out. We’ve got no less than 10 […]

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off grid cooking methods

When you buy, or otherwise acquire, preparedness supplies, do you practice with them or are you a prep hoarder? I think I’ve been guilty of both, especially with off-grid cooking methods.

Maybe you know what I mean. Preppers are notorious for wanting every new survival gadget that comes out. We’ve got no less than 10 ways to cook that aren’t tied to the power grid, yet when another new off-grid cooker comes out, we simply must have it to add to the stash in the storage room.

And there they sit, safe for when we need them, gathering dust and maybe spiders,

Do you ever try them out when they come in the mail or do we add them, still in the package, to the ‘cooking shelf’ in our bug-out trailer?

I can say that I have used each of my off-grid cooking methods several times. Some had a learning curve that I’ve mastered and with others, I’m still climbing that curve. Some are easier to clean and store than others.  Fuels differ, conditions they can be used in differ, set-up,  clean-up and storage instructions are not the same, but we need to learn how they work.

In a major crisis, when emotions are high and everything and everyone is confused is not the time to try and figure out how to put that HERC stove together!

My family’s off-grid cooking methods

For my family, my list of methods looks like this:

First of all, how many different cooking methods do you have for when the power goes out? You really do need at least 2 of them, making sure those 2 do not rely on the same type of fuel. Are you familiar with how to use all of the different methods you have? Are your children? What if you, THE MASTER OF ALL THINGS PREP in your home are not around or are injured or ill? Who is going to do the cooking then?

Spring and Summer are a GREAT time to get out the different tools/toys you have for cooking meals off-grid and practice, practice, practice.

Pick one night per week and make it an adventure. Have a cook-out in the back yard.  Learn all about that method and gather some recipes to try it out.

I know of a woman who wanted to learn how to use her Dutch oven, so she committed to cooking something in it every day for a YEAR.  She blogged about the experience and shared what she learned online.  I dare say that she is now a Dutch oven expert.  I think she’s also super tired of using her Dutch oven because she hasn’t updated her blog in a while, but her adventure is documented for the world to learn from.  You can read about it and get some great new dutch oven recipe ideas for yourself, be warned though, you might not surface for days.  Toni’s Dutch Oven adventure. 

Do you have any/all of the methods I listed? I’d love to hear about your favorite off-grid cooking methods.

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3 Things To Make With Wheat Besides Bread http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-things-make-wheat-besides-bread/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-things-make-wheat-besides-bread/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 15:41:21 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22468 Lots of us like to store wheat. It has a long shelf life, it’s nutritious, and you can use it to make that beloved staple of Western Civilization: bread. In fact, in Medieval Europe, all other foods – meat and vegetables – were considered, “stuff you eat with bread.” However, the ovens the Medieval Europeans […]

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Things to make with wheat, besides bread.Lots of us like to store wheat. It has a long shelf life, it’s nutritious, and you can use it to make that beloved staple of Western Civilization: bread. In fact, in Medieval Europe, all other foods – meat and vegetables – were considered, “stuff you eat with bread.” However, the ovens the Medieval Europeans used to make this bread were huge, required enormous amounts of fuel, and took most the day to heat up.

We are certainly spoiled with our nice little electric ovens that come up to temperature in less than twenty minutes, but without modern conveniences, how would you bake that bread? Most of us don’t have Medieval bread ovens out in the backyard. And even if you did, what would you use for fuel? It would be a shame to let all that wheat go to waste.

Fortunately, bread is not the only thing wheat is good for. If you have a grill, or at least a cast iron frying pan, a manual wheat grinder, and just a few extra ingredients, you can make a wide variety of meals. I’m not even going to mention cracked wheat cereal, which brings to mind thin, sad faces and Little Orphan Annie. I mean meals that you would actually want to eat, like pancakes and biscuits.

Even without a modern oven or range, you can place a frying pan over your outdoor grill or over a campfire. This method is perfect for making things like pancakes and tortillas, and can also be used for other quick breads like biscuits (you will have to flip them).

Knowing alternative ways to cook, and having the tools to do so, is important for short-term power losses and even a long-term failure of the power grid.

Pancakes

Any pancake recipe can be converted into a whole wheat pancake recipe simply by substituting whole wheat flour for white flour. For very best results, use buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use reconstituted powdered milk and add a tablespoon of plain yogurt. Here is my children’s favorite recipe:


2 Eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/5 cup milk or buttermilk

2 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp brown sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients, cook as you would any other pancake recipe. Makes 6-8 pancakes, depending on size.

Tortillas

We eat a lot of tortillas at our house in the form of fajitas, enchiladas, soft tacos, burritos, et cetera. I went through a lot of tortilla recipes trying to find one I like, and this one is pretty fool-proof. I usually double it for my family of five:

2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients and mix by hand until it forms a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour a little at a time until the desired texture is reached. Let the dough rest for about twenty minutes, then divide into six portions. Roll out each ball and cook about a minute on each side. Makes 6 tortillas.

Biscuits

This recipe is adapted from a recipe book that used to belong to my great grandmother.

2 cup whole wheat flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 Tbsp shortening (the amount can be decreased to 2 Tbsp, but I prefer the flakier texture that comes with more fat)

3/4 cup buttermilk

Mix the dry ingredients together, cut in the shortening. When adding the buttermilk, do not overmix. Instead of rolling out the dough, save time and form the dough into a log, then cut the log into biscuit-shaped slices. Allow 4-5 minutes per side on medium heat, taking care not to let them burn. For best results, cover the pan. Makes 12 biscuits.

 

You’ll notice that none of these three recipes require more than two cups of flour . That is because I assume that if you don’t have your electric stove, you probably don’t have your electric wheat grinder, either. Have you ever tried to grind six cups of flour at once with an ordinary hand-powered grain mill? It’s incredibly tedious. You’ll be having flashbacks from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter for days. Two cups at a time, however, is entirely doable. You’ll be able to finish in less than a half hour.

I hope you will be inspired to test out these recipes. I was skeptical about the idea of skillet biscuits on the grill, but was pleasantly surprised by how they turned out. What are some other non-bread ways you have used wheat in your home?

Helpful resources for you

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Is your food storage plan missing these six essential pieces? http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-plan-missing-six-essential-pieces/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-plan-missing-six-essential-pieces/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 11:35:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22452 Ask any “food storage expert” what they recommend in a basic food storage plan and they will likely recommend the same types of things: wheat, rice, dry milk, salt, beans, sugar / honey, oil, pasta etc. The Survival Mom recommends many of these important items on her list of top 10 foods for stocking up. […]

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food storage planAsk any “food storage expert” what they recommend in a basic food storage plan and they will likely recommend the same types of things: wheat, rice, dry milk, salt, beans, sugar / honey, oil, pasta etc. The Survival Mom recommends many of these important items on her list of top 10 foods for stocking up.

But with all their similarities, sometimes these lists include an item here or there that I hadn’t thought of before…something useful that I suddenly see as essential to my food storage plan. I thought I’d share a few of these with you today. Some you may have, or plan to have eventually. Others may be new to you. Or, you may have something to add to the list!

Don’t forget the vinegar!

Vinegar has many many uses: just look at all the uses for it you can find on pinterest!

Some of my favorites include prolonging the life of flowers in a vase, keeping ants away, getting rust off of things, sterilizing laundry (instead of bleach), removing perspiration stains and more.

The uses in the kitchen are just as varied: use it to make fluffier rice, use it to make buttermilk, wash fresh vegetables and fruits (especially berries) in it to make them last 2-3 times as long, use it to tenderize meat, make salad dressing or pickle anything.  I also use it to get rid of onion or garlic smell on my fingers..

Vinegar is truly versatile!


In addition, vinegar is inexpensive, readily available and stores very well.

Are seeds a part of your food storage plan?

The ability to grow your own food is essential for true self-reliance. Storing heirloom seeds is simply smart. You will need to rotate them every couple years or so, but seed packets are inexpensive so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Vitamins

Often, many “basic” food storage plans lack variety. They include items that provide a lot of calories, are inexpensive and easy to store for a long time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean they provide a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins.

This is often true even if you buy a pre-made food storage package. Often, they are heavy on nutrient-weak calories such as sugar and drink mixes. There are many reasons I don’t recommend pre-made food storage packages, but this is one. People invest in these packages thinking they are getting a certain number of calories. I feel it is a bit deceiving when a heavy number of those calories are nutrient-less.

However, not everyone can afford to go out and buy nutrient dense freeze dried fruits and veggies as part of their food storage plan: especially right at first. They may be able to invest in some canned produce, but even these are lacking in nutrients compared to their fresh counterparts.

A diet full of calories, but not balanced nutrients will not be likely to give you the energy and mental acuity you will likely need in a disaster situation.

While fresh is always best, storing vitamins can help combat this issue until you reach a point when you can invest in more nutrient dense foods.

Nuts can be stored, long-term

Nuts are a great protein and fat source, are less expensive than freeze dried meats, and tastier and healthier than TVP. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and are available in a large variety.

But nuts have one issue: they are tough to store long term because of the oil in them. Jane from Mom with a Prep solved this problem with one amazing post: Awww Nuts! A Guide to nuts and their long term storage benefits.

Spice / Herbs / Bouillon

A diet full of items recommended in many food storage plans: rice, pasta, bread, milk and beans would become pretty boring very quickly without some flavor!

Spice it up a little! Bouillon can be used to make soups and flavor rice. Spices can add an incredible variety to basic staples. If you are adventurous, you can dry your own or if that is too overwhelming simply buy a few extra of the spices and herbs you use most often now so that you can easily rotate through them.

Cookbooks

How many of you have the majority of your family’s favorite recipes stored electronically (on your computer or online somewhere)? What would you do if you couldn’t access those electronics? Do you have recipes specific to the food you have stored?

Make sure you have recipes for the food you have stored in a non-digital format so that you can access and use them anytime you need to. The more recipes you gather, the more variety you will have in your meals. Old cookbooks can be especially valuable for many reasons!

 

That’s it! Which of these items were new to you? What would you add to the list?

Food Storage Plan missing essentials2

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Getting Started With Cooking Off the Grid — Solar Ovens http://thesurvivalmom.com/getting-started-with-cooking-off-the-grid-solar-ovens/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/getting-started-with-cooking-off-the-grid-solar-ovens/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:20:33 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22110 How long can you go without craving a hot, homemade meal, eating only cold rations and snacks?  If you’ve ever been without power for more than just a couple of days, eating cold ravioli or tuna out of the can gets really old, really fast. Most survival minded people realize, better than most, that it […]

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Cooking off the grid with solar oven.How long can you go without craving a hot, homemade meal, eating only cold rations and snacks?  If you’ve ever been without power for more than just a couple of days, eating cold ravioli or tuna out of the can gets really old, really fast. Most survival minded people realize, better than most, that it doesn’t take much to disrupt the flow of electricity we depend upon for cooking. A natural disaster or freak weather event can turn the most modern home into a survivalist camp within a few hours. Electricity can also be interrupted by man-made crises, such as civil unrest, terrorism, or an EMP, making that hot meal a rare treat.

A popular slogan among survivalists and preppers is, “Always have a back-up to your back-up.”  When it comes to cooking, what is your back-up to your back-up? Do you have more than one way of cooking a hot meal when the power is down?

One simple addition to your emergency preparedness is a solar oven. It’s a great way to get started cooking off the grid.

As long as the sun is shining and the sky is relatively clear, a solar oven can serve up a delicious pot of rice and beans and brownies for dessert without requiring any fuel. In fact, its dependence on the sun as its only source of fuel, is the reason every home should have a solar cooker. Solar cooking is an unbeatable back-up for making sure there’s a hot meal on the table three times a day.

There is something new under the sun

Solar cooking and using the sun to preserve food has been around for hundreds of years, but only in modern times has the use of solar cookers become widespread both in the survival community and among communities around the world with unreliable electrical power. Its advantages are obvious.

  • There is no need to store additional fuel.
  • Sunshine is free, unlike propane, butane, gas, and other fuels.
  • It’s possible to store several months’ worth of food, but storing all the fuel you might need isn’t as easy.
  • Once paid for, there are no other expenses involved and maintenance is simple.
  • There are no dangerous fumes or safety issues to worry about.
  • A solar cooker can be used for every type of cooking, except frying.
  • Food never burns in a solar cooker.
  • During hot, summer months, the use of a solar cooker helps keep the kitchen, and the cook!, cool.
  • Over time and with frequent use, the use of a solar oven will save money on the electric bill.

A solar cooker for every home

A solar cooker is a must-have as a back-up method for cooking food. It is the single most self-reliant way to cook food and heat water, and has the additional advantage of being a DIY project if there’s a handyman (or woman) in the family.

Commercially produced solar cookers, such as the All-American Sun Oven, are perfect for the prepper who is too busy for even one more DIY project. Depending on the brand you choose, these stoves have consistent quality construction, are designed to reach temperatures for the quickest possible cooking results, and have features for enhanced usability, such as interior thermometers, large reflecting panels, and a weather resistant design.

However, some of these ovens carry a price tag of $300 or more and can be large and bulky. In a Get-Out-Of-Dodge scenario, there might not be room for my Sun Oven in the back of our Tahoe, and if I ever had to cook for more than my family of four, it might be too small. That’s one of the limitations of a store-bought solar cooker. You’re stuck with a standard size that may be too small, and your budget may not allow for a second cooker.

On the other hand, a DIY solar cooker can be customized to your specific needs. One friend used a large ice chest on wheels for her solar oven. She could wheel it to any location in the backyard and she chose a size that could accommodate as many as four baking dishes. Another ingenious DIY plan that can be found on the internet uses a 5 gallon bucket and a reflective sunshade. Total cost?  Not much more than five bucks, if that. The advantage of many DIY solar cookers is that they can be dismantled for convenient transport, and all of them require materials that are already in most garages. Plans for homemade solar cookers can be found on dozens of websites and demonstration videos abound on YouTube.

The DIY solar cooker comes with a few disadvantages. If the design doesn’t maximize the amount of sunlight available, you may end up with nothing more than a hot silver box sitting out in your yard. I recommend testing and tweaking any DIY design until it consistently reaches 350 degrees or more. Reliable temperatures will help you plan mealtimes and insure that foods reach temperatures that will deter any bacterial growth. Another issue with the DIY cooker is its durability. If a slight breeze knocks over your cooker and pot of beans, you’ll know you need to fine-tune the design for added stability.

Getting started with solar cooking

Regardless of which solar cooker you settle on, some foods are easiest for getting started.  Be sure to keep a log of foods you cook, time of day you begin cooking, and the length of cooking time required. This log will be a huge help to you as you branch out and begin cooking a wider variety of foods.

  • Hard boiled eggs. Place eggs on a dark colored towel or inside a dark pot inside your cooker.  After 20 minutes, check one egg for doneness. Solar cooked hard boiled eggs will be softer than those cooked in a pot of boiling water.
  • Rice is either cooked or it’s not. It’s probably the easiest food to experiment with when you’re new to solar cooking. Combine rice and water in a covered pot. Check for doneness after 25 minutes. A package of Rice-a-Roni works just as well for your experimentation.
  • Yes, brownies! Mix up a batch of your favorite store-bought or homemade recipe, pour it into a dark, greased pan and place it in your solar cooker. Use the baking times recommended by your recipe, test for doneness, and leave in for additional minutes if required. I’ve found that solar-baked brownies are usually finished in the same amount of time as oven-baked.
  • I’m almost embarrassed to suggest heating water in your solar cooker, but having a way to pasteurize water could be very important. Check the temperature of water after 30 minutes.  At 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius) all germs, viruses, and parasites are killed. This information, along with your solar cooker, could be one more way to insure safe drinking water in an emergency and provide sterilized water for medical and first aid purposes.

Like any new skill, the only way to learn how to cook with a solar oven is to just do it. For most dishes, allow at least an extra 30 minutes to your cooking time.

Ten Top Tips for Solar Cooking

  1. Solar cooking isn’t an exact science. It requires a bit of trial and at least a few errors to determine the correct cooking time for any food.
  2. Always use dark pots and pans with any solar cooker. If you must use a light colored or shiny baking dish, cover it with a dark colored hand towel.
  3. Thin metal baking dishes work best in a solar cooker. They will heat up more quickly and lessen the amount of cooking time needed.
  4. A thermometer is a must-have for a solar cooker.
  5. Allow your solar cooker to pre-heat for 15-20 minutes. Pre-heating will shorten the cooking time a bit.  Just be aware that the interior of your cooker will be hot, so be sure to use pot-holders.
  6. Always use a baking dish with a lid for all your solar cooking. The lid retains important heat and moisture. There’s no need for a lid if you’re baking. Pies, brownies, cookies, cakes, and bread won’t require a lid.
  7. If you’re cooking meat, make sure the interior of the oven reaches at least 180 degrees. Again, a thermometer is a must to insure food safety and predictable cooking times.
  8. Use the ‘slow-cooker’ method when you’ll be gone all day. Place the solar oven so that it faces directly south. Pop in your baking dish, close the lid, and by dinner time, you’ll have a hot, delicious meal waiting for you.
  9. Moisture will likely collect inside the cooker during the cooking process. Wipe the inside dry before storing it.
  10. Turn your solar cooker into a food dehydrator by propping open the oven door by a half inch or so. This allows moisture to escape while the interior of the cooker retains heat.

If you’re new to solar cooking, prepare to be amazed.  There’s nothing quite like placing a baking dish in a box out in the sun and coming back later to a fully cooked and delicious meal.  A prolonged power outage doesn’t mean the end to hot, nutritious meals when you have a solar cooker as a back-up.

Coming next: Getting Started With Cooking Off the Grid — Multi-fuel stoves

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Your SHTF Dental Plan: Supplies to stock up on, skills to learn http://thesurvivalmom.com/shtf-dental-plan-supplies-to-stock-up-on-skills-to-learn/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/shtf-dental-plan-supplies-to-stock-up-on-skills-to-learn/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21594 I didn’t get my first cavity until I was 27 years old. Honest. My teeth were in absolute perfect condition for almost 3 decades. I didn’t even need to wear braces. Survival dental health wasn’t even on my radar. So, I took dental health for granted. I forgot to floss, at times drank too much […]

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Survival dental health. Supplies and skills for dental emergencies.

I didn’t get my first cavity until I was 27 years old. Honest. My teeth were in absolute perfect condition for almost 3 decades. I didn’t even need to wear braces. Survival dental health wasn’t even on my radar.

So, I took dental health for granted. I forgot to floss, at times drank too much soda, and sure enough, moving into my 30’s, cavities began popping up here and there and my dentist warned me about tooth decay and gum disease and their affect on my overall health.

Those same warnings are given to millions of people every year by earnest dentists and dental hygienists, but not everyone heeds them.

In a worst case scenario, visits to the dentist may become a luxury no longer available, or at least, not available to the majority of people. Even now there are millions of families who can no longer afford teeth cleanings, braces, and other expensive forms of dental care.

It makes sense, then, to learn as many alternative ways as possible to take good care of your teeth and gums and begin stocking up on the supplies you’ll need. In no way does this advice replace visits to the dentist. Please don’t use it as an excuse to avoid unpleasant dental work! Rather, I want to give you some ideas for taking extra good care of your teeth and gums in a worst case scenario and give you a list of supplies so you can begin stocking up for your own SHTF Dental Plan!

Toothpaste options for your survival dental health

It’s pretty easy to stock up on large amounts of toothpaste and toothbrushes using coupons. But if you’d like other options, here are a couple of recipes for homemade toothpaste and a tooth powder using ingredients that can easily be stocked up and stored long-term.

For these recipes, you’ll need Bentonite clay. I’ve been using the Earth’s Living brand, which originates in Death Valley. It’s a very fine powder that hasn’t been irradiated and contains calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals. It can be stored indefinitely, which makes it a terrific product for stocking up! Just buying one jar of Bentonite clay every couple of months will give you a sizable stockpile pretty quickly.

You’ll also want to stock up on essential oils, such as peppermint, spearmint, or cinnamon, baking soda, and calcium powder. If you don’t want fluoride in your store-bought toothpaste or have other concerns with their ingredients, stock up instead on ingredients to make homemade toothpaste or tooth powder. These ingredients can last for years, if not indefinitely.

Remineralizing Tooth Powder 

Homemade Clay Toothpaste

Want something even easier than this? Make a paste of baking soda and water, or hydrogen peroxide, for getting your teeth clean. Dentists warn that using baking soda over a long period of time can weaken tooth enamel, so you may want to use this with other toothpaste recipes.

My favorite alternative toothbrush

Several years ago I spent some time with Marjorie Wildcraft. She had just finished filming a DVD with herbal expert, Doug Simons, called “Alternatives to Dentists.” During our conversation, she urged me to try brushing my teeth with a willow twig.

“You’ll love the way your teeth feel and it actually makes them stronger,” she claimed.

So, on a family camping trip through Colorado, I tracked down a willow tree, snipped a small twig, and began using it to clean my teeth. I loved being able to scrub each tooth, front and back and into the gum line. My teeth felt very smooth and clean, similar to that after-the-dentist feeling. The twig doesn’t have to be from a willow tree, by the way.

If you’re skeptical of the willow twig toothbrush and don’t have a toothbrush handy, soft strips of cloth can be used to rub against teeth to get them clean.

Dentists and dental hygienists alike strongly recommend using the softest toothbrushes, not a firm toothbrush, which can damage teeth and gums. If you’re stocking up on toothbrushes, always get the softest brushes possible.

Homemade mouthwash for another alternative dental product

If, after using homemade toothpaste and a willow twig, you still feel the need for even fresher teeth, you can easily mix up a batch of homemade mouthwash. Again, great news! These recipes call for ingredients that are shelf stable and can be stored for very long periods of time. To maximize that shelf life, always store in the darkest, coolest, and driest spot in the house.

Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash

Easy peasy. Combine equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water, just enough for one swish. Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t have an indefinite shelf life and it should be stored in a very cool location, even in the refrigerator. However, this is a very easy item to store and as a mouthwash, it couldn’t get any easier than this.

Minty Essential Oil Mouthwash

Combine together a cup of water and 10-20 drops of an essential oil. Do test the flavor of the mouthwash at 10 drops before adding any more, since some oils are much stronger tasting than others. Cinnamon essential oil is a good choice because it may have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Peppermint and spearmint are also very good choices for dental health.

Salt Water Mouthwash

Not glamorous, and if anything, a salt water mouthwash is boring, but the fact is, this continues to be recommended by dentists worldwide for its effectiveness as a natural disinfectant. It can help heal sores as well. Combine 1 teaspoon salt with 1 cup water. As effective as this is, short term, it shouldn’t be used long term because the acidity could soften tooth enamel over time. Use this option only occasionally.

Colloidal silver

While colloidal silver isn’t a mouthwash exactly, its proponents claim that it is effective against periodontal disease. Whether you stock up on store-bought or make your own homemade colloidal silver, this is another option for maintaining good dental health in a worst case scenario.

Dental floss, or “It’s time for your biannual flossing lecture.”

When my trusty assistant, Bethanne, informed me that she had a dentist appointment, she ended our conversation with, “It’s time for my biannual flossing lecture.”

Her comment made me laugh because I, too, was familiar with that spiel. I’m proud to say that I floss my teeth much more often now than I used to, but probably not as often as my hygienist would like. The main purpose of using floss is to break the contact point between teeth and loosen debris. Brushing alone doesn’t usually accomplish this.

The really great news for your SHTF Dental Plan is that just about anything can be used in place of dental floss, although before resorting to this list, use coupons and grocery store sales to stock up on plenty of floss.

Per a few dental hygienists that I know, you can use these in place of floss:

  • Thread
  • Embroidery floss (use a single strand at a time)
  • Fishing line
  • Pipe cleaners — This comes in varying sizes. Get the smaller sizes to use in between your teeth.

Oil pulling for cleaner, healthier teeth and gums

When I first heard of oil pulling, I thought it was related to an obscure beauty regimen. I was a little shocked to learn that, instead, it involved swishing oil around in one’s mouth for 15-20 minutes at a time. Incredibly, I learned that this ancient process has received approval by many in the medical and dental communities.

One dentist, Jessica T. Emery of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago explains,

“Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell,” Emery says. “Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.”

Oil pulling, therefore, can help fight gingivitis, plaque, bad breath, tooth decay, and some regular users swear it has made their teeth whiter.

The process is very simple:

1. Put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.

2. Swish it around, gently, for 15-20 minutes. If you’re just getting started with this process, start with 5 minutes, and then gradually increase the time. I usually put the oil in my mouth and swish while I’m getting ready for the day.

3. Spit out the oil and brush your teeth.

As part of your SHTF Dental Plan, stock up on coconut oil, which already has anti-bacterial properties. Olive oil and sunflower oil are also good choices. One oil that I tried, designed specifically for oil pulling, is Pulling Oil by GuruNanda. I really liked the fact that it remained in a liquid form, unlike my coconut oil that is usually solid due to the cooler temps of my home and Texas climate. The GuruNanda brand contains a mixture of sesame, sunflower, coconut, and peppermint oils and was very easy to use.

Finally, an herb that may strengthen and repair teeth enamel

Once tooth enamel has been damaged or has decayed, the general consensus is that the damage is done and cannot be repaired. Many in the alternative health fields, however, beg to differ. One of those is Doug Simon, co-creator of the Alternatives to Dentists DVD I mentioned earlier. When I interviewed Doug a few years back, he claimed that ingesting dried horsetail is effective against tooth decay and can actually heal cavities.

Why might horsetail be effective against tooth decay? Horsetail is a natural source of silica and may be able to re-mineralize teeth.

I have a couple of small cavities and began taking horsetail capsules daily about 4 months ago. My next dentist appointment isn’t until early summer, but I’m hoping that these small cavities have, indeed, healed. In the past, I’ve also taken 1 teaspoon of dried, ground horsetail in a smoothie or mixed with a glass of water, and Doug recommended 1/2 teaspoon of horsetail in a glass of water for my children when they were ages 9 and 11.

A word of warning about horsetail and any other herbal remedy. In a true SHTF scenario, you might not be able to, “Ask your medical practitioner for advice before consuming…” The time to do your research into herbal remedies and other alternative medicines is right now while doctors, medical facilities, and mountains of information are available. Additionally, learn a bit about herbalism yourself.

Mountain Rose Herbs has a list of schools with herbalist training. I’ve interviewed Sam Coffman of The Human Path several times, and he offers multiple classes, both on site and online.

Some common sense tips for healthy teeth and gums

You may be sitting in the middle of a worst case scenario and have all your supplies ready to maintain strong and healthy teeth and gums. Those supplies, along with your best intentions for survival dental health, won’t get you very far if you include a large amount of sugar in your diet and spend the day sipping sweet tea or juice! Just because the world has gone sideways doesn’t mean all the normal, boring advice you’ve heard for many years is suddenly ineffective.

In fact, if there was ever a time to adhere to best dental practices, that time is now.

DO avoid foods with refined sugars.

DO floss your teeth daily and brush them twice.

DON’T neglect your teeth and gums, especially in a worst case scenario. Their care should become a priority.

DO insist that every member of the family brush, floss, and otherwise take good care of their teeth.

DO rinse mouth with water (rinse, swish, and spit) after each meal.

Printable resource for you

Click here to get a free, printable resource with all the SHTF Dental Plan supplies listed in this article.

Helpful resources mentioned in this article

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