The Survival Mom » Preparedness 101 http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:59:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Step-by-Step with The Survival Mom: Lesson 2, Define your disaster & Set priorities http://thesurvivalmom.com/step-step-survival-mom-lesson-2-define-diaster-set-priorities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=step-step-survival-mom-lesson-2-define-diaster-set-priorities http://thesurvivalmom.com/step-step-survival-mom-lesson-2-define-diaster-set-priorities/#comments Wed, 02 Oct 2013 21:26:47 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12507 Click HERE to download the complete lesson and study sheet. As a mom, it’s sometimes hard to set priorities. Is it more important to get dinner ready, put the laundry in the dryer before it molds, stop the kids from Read More

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Click HERE to download the complete lesson and study sheet.

The_Survival_Mom_1As a mom, it’s sometimes hard to set priorities. Is it more important to get dinner ready, put the laundry in the dryer before it molds, stop the kids from fighting, or listen to my husband telling me about his day?

Not even Calgon can take me away from days like this!

I get the same feeling at times when I start thinking about preparedness. There are emergency kits to pack and maintain, food to store (and make sure it’s in a cool, dark, dry place), security issues to worry about, and so much more.

It’s a good thing that Survival Moms are more than capable and can leap over screaming toddlers in a single bound.

Today’s lesson is all about defining what we should be prepared for and then setting priorities. These 2 steps, along with taking action, will ease any panic and make Calgon baths a luxury, not a necessity!

Define your disaster

When we first begin thinking of planning for a disaster, we may feel reassured since these aren’t events that happen every day. Depending on where you live, you might even feel insulated against hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes. Those things happen to other people, right?

Well, in today’s world, there are other concerns to prepare for, events that touch us all, no matter where we live. In the words of our own government, there are “man-made disasters” that include terrorist attacks, power grid failures, environmental disasters, wildfires, nuclear events, wars, riots…

Still feeling insulated?

Add to that pretty impressive list of man-made disasters are a variety of personal crises, everything from a cancer scare to divorce, and it becomes even more necessary to define exactly what to prepare for.

In fact, random preparedness, going in all directions at once, can actually do more harm than good because it may provide a sense of security without any actual, real security!

To get started defining the first disasters you should prepare for, read pp. 6-13 in your textbook (Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios).

You’ll be listing the disasters that are most likely to affect you on the chart in the downloadable study sheet. This activity will provide a visual of your own reality and might even be a comfort to you when you realize how many things you don’t have to worry about!

Before completing this lesson’s study sheet, be thinking about:

  • The top natural disasters that might affect you, depending on where you live and spend most of your time.
  • The top man-made disasters that are most likely to occur in your area
  • The top extreme weather events to prepare for
  • The most likely personal disasters/crises that would affect you and your loved ones

Peace of mind

Years ago when I ran a home-based business, it seemed as though I always had a dark cloud hanging over me with all the many things I had to do or had forgotten to do. The cloud contained my guilt, my failures, worries about all kinds of things and I never felt free to enjoy life.

I hated that cloud.

If you’ve felt like a black cloud has been hovering over your head filled with fears for the future, scary headlines from the news, and all of the prepper things you’ve been meaning to do, the step of simply defining what you need to really prepare for will make that cloud a little smaller and give you more peace.

As part of this lesson’s assignments, you’ll be identifying only the top 4 disasters that are most likely and imminent in your particular circumstances.

Four big, scary events may still seem daunting, but what if you reviewed the list and selected just one for your primary focus? You may not have the time or resources to prepare for a job loss, tornado, EMP, and a winter blizzard all at once, but certainly you can prepare for one of these!

Remember, this curriculum is called “Step-by-Step…” not “Your family is going to DIE because you didn’t prepare!!”

Of the 4 events you have identified, only one will be your Top Priority Emergency. This will be your first, primary focus.

Dark storm cloud, gone. Poof!

Setting priorities

Once you’ve determined your Top Priority Emergency, you’ll need to tackle it in a smart way.

All too many new preppers immediately rush to buy an expensive water purifier or a truckload of “survival” food. Before you go crazy with that Visa card, let’s establish the most important areas, regardless of the event:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Security
  • Special needs unique to your family

(Shelter, security, and special needs will be included in Lesson 3.)

Water

Water storage sounded so silly to me at first until I heard about an outbreak of meningitis in a town not far from me. Two young children died from the bacteria in their drinking water. I was so grateful for the 50 large water bottles I had stored under various beds throughout the house!

For details on how to store water and different ways to purify it, read pp. 21-28 and complete the Family Preparedness Plan worksheet on p. 34, if you haven’t already done so.

By the way, if a job loss or reduction in hours is a major concern, you may want to pay a bit extra on your water bill each month, just in case. The City will come out to turn off your water if a bill remains unpaid, but a nice credit on your account can help avoid that.

Food

I spent 2 chapters and almost 70 pages in my book devoted just to food storage. If you want to get the full dose of this information, read Chapters 4 and 5.

Otherwise, I want you to start your emergency food storage by focusing on foods that are shelf stable, meaning they can be stored at room temperature, and can be prepared and eaten without any cooking, if necessary.

No one ever died from eating cold ravioli. That I know of.

A list of these Handy, No-Cook Foods can be found on p. 71 or at this link.

Organize your emergency food by meals (breakfast foods all together in one bin, lunch foods all together, and so on) or in containers with enough food for each day. Example: a small bin contains all the food for one day, breakfast (oatmeal energy bars, fruit cups), lunch (cans of juice, cracker/cheese packets, jerky, and cookies), and dinner (canned beef stew, pilot bread, pudding cups, and vodka).

This lesson’s assignment is to collect at least 2 weeks worth of these foods. Write out a daily menu for 14 days using the foods you have stored and still need to buy. You’ll find a form for your daily menu in this lesson’s study sheet.

Store this emergency food in a location that is easily accessed but won’t be so available that the kids will be sneaking into it whenever they’re hungry for a snack! The food should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. Yes, storage conditions are important and can greatly increase, or decrease, the shelf life of your food.

Read pp. 100-108 for more details about proper storage conditions.

A word about organizing supplies

I don’t know about you, but in a severe crisis, the first thing to go is my brain. When the adrenaline is pumping through our veins and we’re faced with something sudden and scary, we very often find it hard to make rational decisions and might easily forget where certain things or stored or even our home address.

Even if you are organizationally challenged, take some extra time to categorize and label emergency supplies.

For your containers of stored food include a list of what they contain and a menu. Don’t assume that you’ll be thinking clearly when the tornado siren sounds.

Organizing now means even more peace of mind later.

Moving forward

After you’ve completed this lesson and its activities, you will have identified your Top Emergency Priority, along with 3 other likely emergencies, and will have stored enough water and food to last you and your family for at least 2 weeks.

In Lesson 3, we’ll focus on making your home disaster-proof, security steps you can put into place, and any special needs considerations.

Click HERE to download the Lesson 2 Study Guide and worksheet.

 

© 2013 – 2014, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Survival Mom to Survival Mom! Tips to help you prep,Part 1 http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-to-survival-mom-tips-to-help-you-preppart-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-mom-to-survival-mom-tips-to-help-you-preppart-1 http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-to-survival-mom-tips-to-help-you-preppart-1/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 10:43:12 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12105 This month we had more readers than ever enter the Survival Mom of the Month, and they all had great tips for prepping. I wanted to thank them personally and include some of their tips here, so we can all Read More

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image by akk_rus

image by akk_rus

This month we had more readers than ever enter the Survival Mom of the Month, and they all had great tips for prepping. I wanted to thank them personally and include some of their tips here, so we can all learn from each other.

From TS:

  • Many folks who comment have been prepping for years. If you have a relative who lived through the Great Depression, ask about their life and times, it will really open your eyes.
  • I convinced my youngest to join scouting as a way for everyone to learn basic survival skills. I freely admit I was clueless in this area and needed help but couldn’t afford to spend $$$ on survival schools or take time off from work. However after joining scouting, we did plan our family vacations around badges and involved the whole family in the learning process. My son earned more arrow points for accoplishments than we could fit on his small uniform. This lead to my older daughter and son joining a Co-Ed venture scout organization. Where else could they learned how to scuba dive and shoot a .22 in one day?

From Cara:

  • Having a basement was a top priority when purchasing a home for my family. Both shelter and storage for inventory are resolved with this decision.
  • Begin a food inventory and track your families food patterns. Having the right food during a crisis will be comforting and create stability during uncertain times.

From Judy:

  • We have created a nucleus group of 4 families (My husband & myself; our daughter #1 & her family–husband, 2 children; our daughter #2–herself & her 11 yo daughter; and a close family friend & her husband). Each of us possess a skill set that will be invaluable in any of these events.
  • We have family meetings to review what we have learned individually & to plan for the month to come.

From Angie:

  • Start small. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Work on a weeks’ worth of food and water and build from there.]

From Liz:

  • We have watched online sales to stock up on long-term storage foods (Freeze-Dry Guy, GoFoods, Shelf Reliance). There are some fantastic promos, but you have to keep a sharp eye and price compare. Plus, we get a wide variety of foods, including some smaller pouches that are easy to pack and are great for family camping.
  • For birthdays in our family, each celebrant gets to choose a way to increase our preparedness or a camp-friendly item. It may be taking a class on how to build a solar panel (including supplies to build it!) or a campfire cooking rack.
  • Start with items you’d use for a weekend campout at a local park, then think of camping necessities if you had to camp in the back woods for a week. Finally, supplement with camping items that can be easily carried (e.g., personal water filter vs. Big Berkey). I like to think of prepping as multiple levels of camp readiness. The idea of being ready for a campout is more fun than telling your family and friends you’re prepping for a calamity.

From Kim:

  • We’ve stocked up on repair supplies, like plumbing parts and stocked up on firewood, batteries, etc. in case of power outages. Also, tractor chains to pull trees from roads, fuel for chainsaws to clear.
  • Give every family member a responsibility. Have a common meeting place. Give everyone the number for a family member out of the area to call in case of emergency, they can let everyone else know you’re ok or how to help.

From Louise:

  • Start with emergency kits and teaching your children how to use them, and how to utilize a family emergency plan. Make a “what my family needs to know” binder. Then start storing extra food stuff that you cook regularly, and start storing water. Eventually you will begin learning to cook items from ‘scratch’, because it is so much more economical and practical in case of a long term household income loss such as a job loss.
  • We practice bugging out in minivan and on foot, teaching my children how to cook with food storage and to forage for food while on bug-out walks, teaching my children first aid, teaching my children how to fix mechanical things (small engine repair, replace the brakes on our vehicles, change oil, etc,.) teaching my children how to use the contents of the their bug-out bags (build fire, setup shelter, purify water, etc,.), teaching my children about quarantining themselves from people who may be sick, and how to properly use a plunger. A LOT of teaching my children things, in case I’m not with them….practice, practice, practice.

From Jamie:

  • I am most concerned about natural disasters and food shortages/rapid price increases. It just seems natural to me to be concerned about a blizzard or about peanut butter prices tripling because both of those examples have already happened. So why not do the best that you can to be prepared?
  • I tracked how long it took us to use a pack of toilet paper and then used that information to stock up on a year’s supply when toilet paper was on sale. I always keep track of the sales and stock up.
  • At first I just started doing a little bit here and there, but then I came up with a master plan. This summer we are re-roofing and insulating the house and installing a container garden on the porch. Next summer we are going to install a wood burning stove (we live in northern Michigan) and plant blackberries/blueberries/grapes. Then the summer after that we will probably be installing a grey water system for the garden/lawn/plants and/or building a greenhouse.
  • Don’t stay up late at night worrying. Start now. Do what you can. And don’t get so caught up in the details and to-dos that you forget why you are preparing in the first place. Remember to relax and spend time with your family!

From Shannon:

  • Over the last few years I have educated myself more than anything, to prepare for a disaster of any type. I invest in myself and my family. We have been transitioning to become fully self-sustaining. We have skills that are necessary in today and tomorrow’s unknown.
  • The smartest prep I ever started was filling 2liter bottles and storing them in the freezer. We have had many power outages and those bottles have saved us in more than one way! Best piece of advice…have someone you can trust to discuss.

From Carol:

  • We’re using our second floor for most prepping supplies in case of flooding. Also looking into storing underground, with large concrete cased waterproof area for earthquake or flood situation.
  • I try to cover all my bases each time I purchase something or gain a new skill. Not focusing in on just one area for prepping is important. Food, water, clothing, shelter, “money”, electricity, all are important and should be given priority each week/month or however you purchase for prepping.
  • Make sure you have a way to protect yourself, your family and what you have so carefully obtained for your survival. It doesn’t have to be guns, but guns are the most versatile deterrent. Knives, pepper or bear spray, bats/sticks are all good as well. Even paint ball guns, air pistols and bows and arrows will work. A closed mouth attitude is also good, as you don’t want everyone within range of your voice to know what you have and where you live.
  • Apple cider vinegar is useful for food, personal care like hair rinse, antibacterial and disinfecting properties and it has many medicinal uses, so with the purchase of this one item I have many needs covered. Coconut oil is the same: it has medicinal uses, food uses, it can even be used as fuel or lighting. White vinegar is great for many cleaning and disinfecting uses.

 

 

 

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Survival Mom Tutorial: 3 Layers of Food Storage, Part 2 VIDEO http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-tutorial-3-layers-of-food-storage-part-2-video/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-mom-tutorial-3-layers-of-food-storage-part-2-video http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-tutorial-3-layers-of-food-storage-part-2-video/#comments Sun, 07 Jul 2013 15:48:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12079 The second layer of food storage is made up of individual ingredients, often purchased in bulk. By far, this layer is the most versatile and has the longest shelf life. With a wide array of grains, seasonings, vegetables, fruits, and Read More

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image by ChalonHandmade

image by ChalonHandmade

The second layer of food storage is made up of individual ingredients, often purchased in bulk. By far, this layer is the most versatile and has the longest shelf life. With a wide array of grains, seasonings, vegetables, fruits, and different forms of protein, you can create hundreds of satisfying and nutritious recipes.

In this video I provide several do’s and don’ts for storing ingredients, tips for getting started, basic information about buying wheat, and suggestions for where you can buy larger quantities.

 

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Survival Mom Tutorial: 3 Layers of Food Storage, Part 1 (VIDEO) http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-tutorial-3-layers-of-food-storage-part-1-video/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-mom-tutorial-3-layers-of-food-storage-part-1-video http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-tutorial-3-layers-of-food-storage-part-1-video/#comments Sat, 29 Jun 2013 10:29:04 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12035 If you’ve started a food storage pantry, good for you! When I first started, my first few shelves became overloaded with grocery store foods, including a lot of prepared, convenience foods, such as canned ravioli and boxes of cereal. Over Read More

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image by Jesse Michael Nix

image by Jesse Michael Nix

If you’ve started a food storage pantry, good for you! When I first started, my first few shelves became overloaded with grocery store foods, including a lot of prepared, convenience foods, such as canned ravioli and boxes of cereal.

Over time, I realized there was a better way to stock my shelves, and although grocery store foods remain in my pantry, I now have a better balanced pantry because it contains 3 different layers, each important in its own way:

  1. Grocery store food
  2. Ingredients and bulk foods
  3. Just-add-water freeze dried entrees

In this video I briefly explain these 3 layers and then discuss smart strategies for incorporating grocery store  foods in your long-term storage pantry.

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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20+ Foods that must be re-packaged for long-term storage and how to repackage them http://thesurvivalmom.com/20-foods-that-must-be-re-packaged-for-long-term-storage-and-how-to-repackage-them/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=20-foods-that-must-be-re-packaged-for-long-term-storage-and-how-to-repackage-them http://thesurvivalmom.com/20-foods-that-must-be-re-packaged-for-long-term-storage-and-how-to-repackage-them/#comments Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:21:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11969 As a follow-up to my blog post about which foods you shouldn’t plan on storing long-term, here’s a list of foods typically found at grocery stores that can be stored but must be repackaged. Keep in mind, that by repackaging Read More

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image by Elana's Pantry

image by Elana’s Pantry

As a follow-up to my blog post about which foods you shouldn’t plan on storing long-term, here’s a list of foods typically found at grocery stores that can be stored but must be repackaged.

Keep in mind, that by repackaging these foods you will also be protecting them from oxygen, pests, and humidity, three of the five enemies of food storage. (The other 2 are heat and light.)

  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Any type of cookie or cracker
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread crumbs
  • Cornmeal
  • Candy
  • Pancake mix (Sometimes these are packaged directly inside the cardboard box without any type of inner plastic bag.)
  • Pasta, rice, and potato convenience mixes, such as Rice-a-Roni, Pasta-Roni, instant potatoes, scalloped potato mixes, etc. (These may either have microscopic insect eggs inside the package already and/or be invaded by insects and rodents from the outside.)
  • Tea bags (Repackage for best flavor and longest possible shelf life.)
  • Dried, instant milk (If not already in a sealed can.)
  • Spices and herbs packaged in plastic bags
  • Shortening
  • Chocolate chips, baking chips of any flavor
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar
  • Any type of mix to make bread, cornbread, pizza dough, etc.
  • Most anything else that is packaged in flimsy plastic bags and/or cardboard. This type of packaging is not intended for long-term storage, but that doesn’t mean the food inside can’t have a longer shelf life if repackaged correctly.

Repackaging instructions

Most everything on this list will do very well packaged by any of these procedures:

1.  A vacuum packing machine, such as the Food Saver. These can be found on eBay and Craigslist at very affordable prices. Walmart, Target, and Cabela’s carry them as well.

Pour the food into one of the plastic bags suitable for your machine and follow the machine’s instructions for vacuum sealing the bag. Use a Sharpie to mark the date sealed on the outside as well as the name of the food. (“Golden raisins, June 21, 2013″)

If a food can be easily crushed, such as cookies or crackers, place them in a large canning jar and seal it with your machine and a jar lid attachment. This is very convenient and gives long term results. If you want to store shortening, pack it into a canning jar, place the lid on top, cover with the jar sealer and seal it.

This video shows how to seal foods in canning jars.

Some foods with sharp edges, such as pasta, can wear through the plastic storage bag. To avoid this you can seal the food and then place it in a second sealing bag and seal a second time or place it first in a zip-loc bag (do not seal) and then into the food storage bag. The machine will suck the air out of both bags, sealing them shut at the same time.

2.  Use oxygen absorbers. Pour your food into a canning jar, mylar bag (available on Amazon) or a food-safe bucket of an appropriate size. Just before sealing with the lid, drop in oxygen absorbers according to this chart:

100 cc absorber            32-ounce canning jar

300 cc                             #10 can

300 cc                              1 gallon container

1500 cc                            5 gallon container

For more detailed  instructions, read this.

I also use empty and sanitized 2-liter soda bottles for things like rice and oats and add a 100 cc absorber just before capping the bottle.

Keep  mind that as you open the package of absorbers, they start absorbing oxygen. You’ll know this is happening because they get hot. Quickly place the required number of absorbers in each container with the food and then store the remaining absorbers in a canning jar. (The lid of a canning jar gives a much tighter seal than other jars.)

3.  Dry pack canning. This is simpler than water bath or pressure canning and since you’ll be canning dry foods only, it’s just a matter of filling canning jars, heating them in a low-temperature oven (200 degrees), and then sealing with a jar lid and ring. The heat kills vermin eggs and the tight lid will keep out any extra oxygen. However, adding an oxygen absorber will help food from oxidizing over time, thus extending the shelf life.

By the way, if you place filled canning jars and vacuum sealed bags in a plastic bin or bucket and then cover with a lid, you’ll be protecting the food from light as well as oxygen, pests, and humidity.

Taking these extra steps is worth it because of the money you’re spending on food and the fact that you’re storing this for long-term. When you actually really need to start using it, you want it to taste fresh and be as nutritious as possible.

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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10 Essential Skills Necessary For Survival http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-essential-skills-necessary-for-survival/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-essential-skills-necessary-for-survival http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-essential-skills-necessary-for-survival/#comments Tue, 12 Feb 2013 18:18:26 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=3266 Guest post by Tess from Ready Nutrition! It’s a classic and I wanted to bring it back to life from the archives! Although it is important to be prepared for disaster situations, many are not adequately trained to handle the Read More

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Guest post by Tess from Ready Nutrition! It’s a classic and I wanted to bring it back to life from the archives!

Although it is important to be prepared for disaster situations, many are not adequately trained to handle the disaster situations in which they find themselves in. Having the proper skills and training will provide an individual with a well diversified knowledge base on how to survive during and after a disaster.

Medical Training

In a survival situation, medical training is going to be a big one.  Due to the increase use of saws, axes and knives, there will be more medical emergencies involving deep lacerated cuts.

image by Bruce Turner

image by Bruce Turner

Knowing how to properly clean wounds, stitch wounds, as well as knowing how to treat infected wounds will be extremely important.  Additionally, there will be an increase in burns from being in closer contact to fires.  Burns can get infected very quickly, and knowing how to decipher the degree of the burn is and how to treat it will be a concern amongst survivalists and preppers.  Typically, there are online courses offered for basic CPR/First Aid, however, those basic skills will not give a person the fundamental training they need.  Finding a local Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class that is offered for paramedics and first responders to accidents will be a better knowledge source and better equip a person to handle emergency medical situations.

Disaster Training

Disaster training is typically offered by FEMA, the American Red Cross and other disaster organizations.  A person who is equipped with knowledge on how to plan for a disaster, how to properly prepare for a disaster, and how to mental handle the after effects of a disaster will be able to better adapt to the situation more quickly compared to those that are not.  The American Red Cross offers extensive courses in disaster safety and training as well as basic First Aid/CPR courses.  There are also online courses offered through FEMA.

Gardening Skills

In a long term survival situation, seeds will mean the difference between life and death.  The only problem is, many have lost the necessary skill of gardening because there is a grocery store on every corner of the streets these days.  It’s time to get your hands dirty and get back in touch with nature.  Learning necessary gardening skills such as companion plants, crop rotations, beneficial insects, natural ways to replenish soil, and knowledge on proper gardening tools will be beneficial.  Another relevant knowledge source is understanding the medicinal value of plants and herbs.  It is amazing how many uses there are for plants besides spicing up our cooked entrees.  Researching natural medicines is another major need in a survival situation, especially if the person has a pre-existing condition.

Firearm Certification and Training

There are dozens of firearm courses offered through the National Rifle Association.  In a situation where a person needs to defend themselves, 99% of them would want a gun.  I’m sure the Survival Mom would agree how beneficial these courses can be as a female and for teaching children.  And, the more a person practices, the better their aim gets.  This is one survival skill that a person should be as proficient as possible.  Also, knowing gun safety and being able to educate others is essential when a firearm is around.

Canning and Food Preparation

Knowing how to can and preserve foods to eat during the long winter months is essential.  Just think of all the delicious jarred goods a person can store up for when their food supply dwindles in the winter.  The canning jars can be a bit of an investment. However, this author has found people selling their canned jars on www.craigslist.com, garage sales and even at second hand stores.  Canning jars would also make an excellent bartering item.

Amateur Radio Classes

Having a radio is encouraged by many disaster relief organizations.  And having knowledge on how to work and maneuver a HAMM radio will provide a person with an emergency communication source during a time when most communication is down.  The National Association of Amateur Radio provides information based on a person’s location and course information on their website.

Sewing Classes

Typically if there is a fabric store, there are sewing classes and sewing events that are offered at the store.  Everyone has heard of how their great grandmothers would sew quilts out of material from tethered or worn clothing.  Not many of us have this skill anymore.  Sewing classes will not only teach a necessary skill, but it will also get the survival mindset in place: make something new out of what you have available.

 Outdoor Survival Skills Courses

Most preppers and survivalists are planning to “re-connect” with nature.  Learning the necessary outdoor skills will provide a person with fundamental knowledge on how to better survive.  The Boy Scouts offer adult classes as well as some community colleges.  Get creative and search around the internet.  There are some survival courses offered online (some offer free survival courses) that a person can learn from the comfort of their home.  There are also wilderness courses offered at a variety of facilities such as local colleges, the YMCA, community park and recreation facilities, etc.  Additionally, finding books, and e-books on survival skills is another way to find information on this topic.

Candle/Soap making Conventions

Soap and candle making are a lost art form in my opinion.  Having a background knowledge of these skills would also be a great bartering skill.  There are classes a person can take that are usually offered at homes as well as some conventions in certain areas.  Searching on the internet would be a great start for finding these classes.

Hunting Skills

As many are planning to hunt wild game for a food source, they will need skills on how to gut the carcass, skin the fur and properly cut the meat.  The “hunter-in-training” will also have to have a proficient knowledge on the different types of hunting tools used to prepare animal carcasses (and these tools come in different sizes based on the animal).  The National Hunting Association is a portal that can take a person to their local area hunting association in order to get more information for their specific area.  Also, this website offers the hunting guides for all of the states within the USA.

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Home Protection: Security Basics http://thesurvivalmom.com/home-protection-security-basics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=home-protection-security-basics http://thesurvivalmom.com/home-protection-security-basics/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:00:32 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11156 Guest post by Thomas Bryant, a licensed Fire Protection and Security professional, who blogs at Cube 2 Farm Whether you are an urban prepper or are perfecting a homestead, upgrading the locks on your home and making sure they are installed Read More

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Guest post by Thomas Bryant, a licensed Fire Protection and Security professional, who blogs at Cube 2 Farm

Whether you are an urban prepper or are perfecting a homestead, upgrading the locks on your home and making sure they are installed properly is one of the most overlooked, least expensive, and most effective ways to harden your security.

Broken glassI believe the best way to keep the bad guys from getting your stuff is to keep them out in the first place. This is the job of a good commercial quality lock and NOT your average home alarm system. Alarm systems only let you now when someone got in – they will not keep them out.  (Unless you are taking about perimeter defense systems-which I am not.)

Not all locks are created equal.  The lock on your doorknob or leverset is not strong enough to withstand breaking and entering. Neither are the small screws holding the hinges to the door frame.

You need an ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt on every exterior door, the door from your attached garage leading into your home, and on every door leading to your stores. Period.

  • ANSI Grade 1: Highest Rating for Commercial and Residential Locks
  • ANSI Grade 2: Highest Rating for Residential Only Locks
  • ANSI Grade 3: Lowest rating and only meets minimum grading requirements

Unfortunately, most common residential locks are only ANSI Grade 3 and can be quickly and easily defeated by intruders.  The ANSI grade can be found on the package of higher quality locks. I recommend and install Schlage ANSI Grade 1 Deadbolt Locks.

You will also need to install a Door Reinforcer and a Strike Plate. The door Reinforcer is a piece of steel that wraps around your door at the deadbolt location. This prevents breaking and splitting of the door.

The strike plate is critical piece of hardware installed on the doorjamb. Without a properly installed quality strike plate, your door can be kicked in – even with an ANSI 1 deadbolt. The bolt can be kicked through the wooden doorjamb and trim.

Pro Tip: Use a Lock Installation Jig for doors with no existing deadbolt.

Once you have installed your new deadbolts it is now time to install the strike plate. The strike plate should also be ANSI Grade 1. The Schlage deadbolt comes with the strike plate and 3” screws.


The strike plate must be secured into the doorjamb with at least 3” long screws. The screws should go through the doorjamb and into the structural studs in the wall. The screws must be strong enough to withstand kicking and battering. DO NOT USE black drywall type screws – they will snap in half!

Pro Tip: Use a drill to bore a pilot hole in the wood to prevent the jamb and studs from splitting.

It is imperative that you reinforce the hinge side of your doors with long screws just as you did with the strike plate. On the door side of the hinges, remove and replace one screw at a time. Use a pilot bit to prevent the jamb and studs from splitting and install the long screws. Again, the screws must be long enough to go through the jamb and into the structural studs. You will be alarmed to find the screws you just removed are only 1 ½” long. These tiny screws are holding your door in place and will be torn out of the jamb with only one or two good kicks.

Pro Tip: Use the proper sized Philips screw tip when installing the longer screws. A bit that is too small will bounce out of the slots and strip out the screw head before you get the screw seated and will be nearly impossible to remove.

Check out “how to videos” on YouTube like this one on how to secure and reinforce a door.

For around $100 per door you have hardened the security of your home and purchased real piece of mind. No lock is completely burglar proof. But, by hardening your doors, you are making it harder to break and enter, the would-be intruder needs to make more noise and spend more time to break in to your home – two things he doesn’t want to do.

TommyPortraitTommy is a licensed security and fire safety professional with 20 years experience designing, installing, and maintaining life safety and security systems. He is licensed in multiple states and has obtained the highest certification level from NICET.  Tommy is passionate about teaching others about how to be safe and secure at work and at home.  He specializes in perimeter protection, video surveillance, intrusion detection and fire protection technologies.

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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February Survival Mom of the Month: MilkweedMama! http://thesurvivalmom.com/february-survival-mom-of-the-month-milkweedmama/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=february-survival-mom-of-the-month-milkweedmama http://thesurvivalmom.com/february-survival-mom-of-the-month-milkweedmama/#comments Sat, 09 Feb 2013 14:07:23 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11119 The winner of the Survival Mom of the Month (February) is Faith, aka MilkweedMama.  Faith has an inspiring story to share as well as some fantastic advice!  Faith wins a copy of Survival Mom, a $25 Amazon gift card, the DVD Read More

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The winner of the Survival Mom of the Month (February) is Faith, aka MilkweedMama.  Faith has an inspiring story to share as well as some fantastic advice!  Faith wins a copy of Survival Mom, a $25 Amazon gift card, the DVD set of, “Grow Your Own Groceries,” and a PurifiCup Portable Water Purifier.  Congratulations, Faith!

Be sure to nominate yourself or another Survival Mom for our next Survival Mom of the Month, and don’t worry if you have fewer resources, less stocked up, etc. We’re looking for women who are being proactive and will share what they’ve done.

What possible emergencies are you preparing for?

Haiti Relief 2010

Image Credit to Samaritan’s Purse

As a young child I moved to Florida from Portland, Oregon and encountered hurricanes for the first time. I also encountered evacuating for the first time.

Although I believe I was born with “prepper” tendencies Florida life certainly caused that prepper seed to sprout! My first memory of evacuating was during the 1964 hurricane season when 12 tropical cyclones, 6 of which developed into category 3 hurricanes, caused havoc in the U.S. Three of these hurricanes slammed into Florida and two were noteworthy enough to have their names retired forever. During one of these particularly fierce storms my parents reluctantly decided to evacuate for higher ground with a neighboring family. Thinking back, the only thing I remember my parents packing was booze and a cocktail shaker for their “hurricane party.”

When we arrived at the vacant house that we were using as higher ground we had no electricity, no running water and no furniture. Even at my age I had thought to pack pillows, blankets, food, and a lawn chair for my 82 year old grandmother to lie on which turned out to be a good thing as the hard wood floors didn’t offer much in the way of comfort.  Although I don’t remember much else, I do remember my parents being utterly amazed regarding what I had thought to pack in the back of our station wagon. And I remember being utterly amazed as a young child at what my parents had not thought to pack after spending a miserable night and day in our “shelter”!

Fast forward to several stints as a volunteer Registered Nurse in the remote regions of Haiti and my prepper fate was solidified. I left the Haiti experiences more determined than ever to be prepared. I also left more thankful than ever to live in a country where we have the resources to be able to prepare whether we think we do or not.

When you live and work in a third world country you have a tendency to focus on the basics of survival rather than the cause that generates the necessity for survival preparation. I rarely focus on hurricanes, nuclear blast, or pandemic scenarios. I consider myself more of a generic prepper focusing on the basics. Enough food. Enough clean water. Shelter. Medical care.

Recommended Prepper Resources:

I have to say YouTube and the internet in general has been my favorite tools. Any question I have is answered right at my finger tips. I taught myself how to can by watching YouTube. I taught myself how to raise chickens reading various blogs on Google. I do a lot of researching and I spend a lot of time researching a vast number of subjects. If I find something I find particularly useful (like how to can butter that lasts for two years) I copy the article and put it in my homemade prepper notebook.  The notebook contains everything from how to make a solar oven (I have one!) to how to make saline nose drops. I started this in case we have power outages for lengthy periods of time and my beloved internet is not available for quick references.

Fiction:

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank made a huge impact on me when it was required reading back in the old high school days. It is still one of my favorite books.

Nonfiction:

When in Haiti I picked up a copy of “Where There Is No Doctor.” A must have for everyone in the medical profession.  (Editor’s Note: Free copies are available for download at Hesperian Books.)

I have a copy of The Physicians Desk Reference that I picked up at a thrift store. As a nurse it’s imperative that I am able to calculate correct medications doses in times of extreme emergencies if the medications are available.

The Complete Book Of Home Preserving is the home canners Bible. I love mine purchased used on Ebay

TV:

I am drawn to shows like the Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival and National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers. I am always fascinated by peoples focus in certain areas and their skill sets. Jericho was an awesome albeit short lived tv series, as well, that cut to the quick regarding what is important and what is not important during a survival situation.

Websites:

Craig’s List and Freecycle are my all time favorites. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on preparation so these sights are invaluable resources for free and cheap items like rain barrels and firewood. Meetup.com is a great sight and you never know what groups are available in your area. I found a great Urban Homesteading group and a permaculture group in my city.

What have you done to prepare your home and family for these possible emergencies?

I am also the mom of three adopted special needs children so my medical focus is a little out of the “norm” when it comes to preparing for disaster. Because of my kids complex medical conditions we are way beyond simply storing up band aids and Tylenol in our family!

My son has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease) so I have adequate pain medication and splinting and casting materials on hand in case of fractures which are part of our every day life. They all have asthma so in addition to their multi-dose inhalers and rescue medications I have a battery powered nebulizer which also works off a car engine. The girls have cerebral palsy and one is unable to ambulate and uses a wheel chair. I am always cognizant of the fact that I will not be able to carry all of them if we are bugging out so having the chairs ready to rock and roll and/or having a wagon or, bike handy to aid in transportation is imperative. Jogger strollers are also handy on rough terrain and I have one that a friend of mine built from discarded parts of other strollers.

I do the usual food storage and have it shelved according to expiration dates and am always looking for dates that give me the longest shelf life. I also taught myself to can last year by watching YouTube videos and take advantage of seasonal produce and utilize local farmers and markets.

This year we added four backyard chickens and are getting 4 eggs a day now. I compost their coop shavings and manure and use it in our organic garden.  We have bins of red wiggler worms to help dispose of scraps and they make wonderful compost for the garden as well. Nothing is wasted.

In the garden this year I’ve branched out and added some fruit trees that don’t take up much room such as figs, Pomegranates, Surinam Cherry and bananas. My goal is to make my backyard into an urban homestead.

Last year I added bug out back packs in the closet near our front door. One for each family member including one for the dog, cat and chickens. I copied birth certificates, social security cards, and pertinent medical records and placed them in each backpack in a plastic, water resistant bag. The originals are in a small fire proof, water proof safe which I can easily toss into the van if we have to leave quickly. Periodically, I go through them and make sure I don’t need to add or remove anything. Each child has an identification necklace and whistle to wear around their necks.

What advice to you have for new Survival Moms who want to prepare their families as well?

Start now and quit procrastinating. None of your excuses regarding having plenty of time to get started or not enough money to prepare are legitimate. Even the poorest family can afford to buy one small bag of cheap rice a month and store it away. And don’t even get me started on people who tell me they can’t afford to prepare but go to Starbucks everyday or frequent fast food drive thrus.

Do not think the government or local cities are going to be able to feed, cloth or rescue you during times of extreme disaster. We are so inclined in the USA to rely on bailouts that it is hard to get past that mentality and that is dangerous mindset. People in this country are not used to waiting in long lines or delaying gratification. Prepare to be as self sufficient as possible as soon as possible because our microwave society can blow at any moment. Start simply if you’re not a prepper by nature. Make your own laundry soap. Put up a clothes line. Purchase some canned goods. Stock up on medication. Start thinking outside of the box.

When I was evacuating during Hurricane George I thought I’d stop by a local chicken place and pick up a couple of buckets for my gracious host who was putting us up in her non-evacuation zone home. I noticed the guy in front of me peeled out and gave the employee the finger.

“Welcome to our restaurant. May I take your order?” When I ordered the chicken she replied, “I’m sorry. We are out of chicken.” Everything I rattled off they were already out of so I asked her what she did have?

“Soda.”

It only takes a couple of hours for a grocery store or fast food place to empty out. Even during times of “impending disaster” food disappears fast and tempers flare. Do yourself favor and avoid the trip, the lines and the irate people by being prepared.

Build community relationships. Start in your own neighborhood. When you are preparing think beyond your family to that elderly neighbor down the street or that single mom. There is strength in numbers and everyone has something to contribute. There are preppers who do not feel the necessity to share anything and would turn you away in a heart beat. I am a firm believer in the fact that we will reap what we sow. Prepare ahead of time so you do not feel compelled to sow selfishness.

Don’t think you need a tremendous amount of money to be a prepper. Utilize free stuff. Re-use. Re-purpose and re-cycle.

Get started today!

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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January Survival Mom of the Month: TexasMama! http://thesurvivalmom.com/january-survival-mom-of-the-month-texasmama/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=january-survival-mom-of-the-month-texasmama http://thesurvivalmom.com/january-survival-mom-of-the-month-texasmama/#comments Sat, 02 Feb 2013 10:30:23 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11059 Our first winner of the Survival Mom of the Month (January) is Peg, aka TexasMama. One reason her entry was selected as the winner was because of the huge amount of helpful information she included! Peg wins a copy of Read More

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Our first winner of the Survival Mom of the Month (January) is Peg, aka TexasMama. One reason her entry was selected as the winner was because of the huge amount of helpful information she included! Peg wins a copy of Survival Mom, a $25 Amazon gift card, the DVD set of, “Grow Your Own Groceries,” and a PurifiCup!

Be sure to nominate yourself or another Survival Mom for our next Survival Mom of the Month, and don’t worry if you have fewer resources, less stocked up, etc. We’re looking for women who are being proactive and will share what they’ve done.

image by clexow

image by clexow

Peg says: Our family is prepping mainly for a financial collapse – and possibly a collapse of society once the financial collapse happens.  Another possibility is an EMP blast or solar flare but we will not be prepping for that for a while because we need to get some basic survival things done.

What have you done to prepare your family for these emergencies?

One of the first things we’ve done is to build up our supply of canned and dry food from the grocery store.  For the last 15 weeks, our car has been in the shop (and we’ve only been prepping for about 10 weeks) – so most of our preps have had to be items we could have my husband bring home on the motorcycle or that we could fit in a small rental car if we rented a car one or two weekends.  This has meant we don’t have bulky items like toilet paper, paper towels, etc. stocked up yet.

We currently have probably 2-3 months of food on hand.  I’m in the process of making out a 14 day menu plan that I can use to multiply by 26 (2 weeks X 26 = 52 weeks of food for the year).  For instance, if I know we’re going to need egg noodles three times during that 14 day menu, then I know that we will need 78 packages of egg noodles to be “fully stocked’ for a year.

I bought a canner off Ebay and it arrived yesterday. I’m also buying new and used canning jars and am going to be working on canning meat that I’ll buy in bulk on sale and from another source that I’ll talk about in a minute. I am also going to be canning butter and cream cheese and possibly some other cheeses so that if the power goes out, we can still have some of these items on hand.

We have bought a Volcano oven.  I also plan to buy a solar oven and get our grill outdoors in working order and stock up on supplies for all three ovens (charcoal, propane, etc).  Right now I’m not as focused as I could be on these items because I am focused on food storage. Once April hits, I plan to change direction a bit and work on the charcoal, etc. since it will hopefully start being cheaper then.  As we enter the picnic season, I’ll stock up on paper plates, cups, etc. too.

Survival Mom’s note: Watch for fantastic sales on charcoal over summer holiday weekends. Very often, Lowe’s has the best prices on charcoal.

Unlike many people who might be reading your site, Survival Mom, not only are we new to prepping but if you count our grocery budget also (since we’re focusing on food storage right now) we probably have a little over $1,000 per month to put towards prepping.  I say this because as I share what we’re doing, I don’t want others to get discouraged because they can’t spend as much.  We’ve decided to stop putting money in our 401K for a few months to prep and we recently paid off our vehicle.

So here is some of what we’re doing…we have three paydays per month.  The 1st is when we receive my husband’s military retirement pay and that pays our mortgage. The first paycheck of his current job of the month is our “lower” paycheck and the second paycheck of the month (paid every two weeks) has about $300 more in it.  (We are paying off a loan that comes out of that first paycheck of the month).

Every payday we are currently buying the following things:  15-25 pounds of flour, 5-10 pounds of sugar, 5 gallons of gas to store in a container (w/ gas stabilizer), 20+ pounds of meat to can, a bag of chocolate chips (I am going to vacuum seal these in half gallon size canning jars), large package of toilet paper, $20 of over-the-counter meds for us, 15 of OTC meds to use for bartering/charity ,vitamins, batteries, $10 of candles, matches, lighters, lamp oil (about to start this once we buy some lamps), feminine pads and I’m about to start setting aside $20 for “kid’s items” from Dollar Tree – like some cute teddy bears they had or crayons and coloring books, etc.

I also buy a bag of dog food every payday whether we need it or not and extra cat food. I need to do more about water. We are currently buying a couple of cases of bottled water per payday, plus a 5 gallon water jug to store water plus a couple of gallon water jugs that have water.  Currently, lack of water is our current weakness, but I do know that and am working on making improvements.

On our smaller paydays we are/will be buying $50 or so in fish and bird antibiotics online.  On our larger paydays we will be getting ahead on our prescriptions (I’m ordering some online).  For January our bigger payday is also “stock up on underwear and socks” with 3 packages of each per person – one to be used – two to be set aside.  February we’ll buy 2 pairs of sturdy shoes from Walmart or something plus a pair of sneakers per person – to be set aside on the bigger payday.  In March we’ll do sturdy jeans – 3-4 pairs per person to set aside.  By April I hope to use the extra funds on those bigger paydays to buy things like walkie talkies and other communication equipment along with things that are more “emergency” related. I also plan to use the larger paydays to buy “water bricks” to store water and other water storage containers.

As far as “charity” or bartering, I’m deliberately stocking up at Dollar Tree (where things are $1 or less) on items like anti-diaherreal meds, painkillers, toothbrushes, etc. The packages of medicines are smaller since they are only $1 but this way I can use them to give away or barter as needed.  By the end of the year, I’d like to have about $500 worth of meds, etc. set aside for this.

I also have a real heart for the children and what their life may be like after the crash. So I’m stocking up on toys and stuff for the next 3-6 months.  Once again, this is just a small amount per payday at Dollar Tree, and once the summer hits, I plan to hit yard sales and look for jeans and sturdy shoes that I can find cheap.  I’ll also be checking out thrift stores.

I don’t really want to “barter” for children’s stuff when things happen. I want to be able to give them to children and help make their lives easier.

A couple of other things that I’ve done is to join Shelf Reliance as a representative. This will allow me to buy many of the emergency items we need and get commission from them (along with commission from our food) which will save me money in the long run.  I bought their Harvest can rotation shelf unit to help us keep track of our inventory.

I’ve also signed up with Zaycon Foods – a company which distributes case-lots of meats to their customers in various cities across the country.  I have yet to take part in one of their “events” – currently they’re doing buffalo wings, chicken tenders, salmon and cod and catfish. However, I noticed on their Facebook site that ham is coming, and I plan to set aside enough to buy two cases (about 44 pounds) of ham for canning.  I also want to buy their boneless chicken breasts and hamburger meat.

I’ve started couponing – largely from buying coupons on Ebay. I try to stick to items that we use and that have good coupons – like the 33 coupons I bought (and they were a bit pricey) for large cans of Maxwell House coffee (one of my weaknesses). The coupons cost me about $100 – BUT – the coffee is worth about $330….so it was worth it to me to spend that money. I’m sharing a picture of some of the coupons I bought…I try to pay no more than 20% of the amount of the money I’ll be saving – unless it is something we’ll REALLY use (like the coffee).

Looking back – it seems hard to believe how much my life has changed in the last few weeks.  Some of the upcoming things I will be doing (along with learning to can in January) is to work on my HAM radio license (starting in February), work on learning about essential oils and herbal medicines (starting in March), work on gardening and then canning the produce (most of the summer) and possibly work on storing up what I need to make candles and soaps, etc. in the fall. I will also be learning to shoot a gun.

I’m sending a picture of some of the books I recommend along with listing a few below.

FICTION:

299 Days: The Preparation” is a must-read in my mind. This is a fairly new series by Glen Tate – so far four books are out in the series and this is the first one. Glen’s book changed my  prepping as he helped me to calm down and to use some of the local stores like Dollar Tree, etc.

One Second After” is another must-read in my mind.  It helps you see what life can be like after an EMP attack and there are things we don’t think about – like where will get the medications, birth control pills, etc.

Lights Out” is almost as good the above two books – a bit more fighting, etc. – but it is the story of a community that bands together to take care of each other – once again – after an EMP attack.

NON-FICTION:

Beyond Collapse – a 400+ page free book that can be downloaded at:   https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6e3oH1LuRvzeGZlTHRkeHZQSkk/edit?pli=1  This was one of my first exposures to think about life “after” a collapse…about how a society rebuilds, etc. This book gave me the idea that I want to stock up not only for us – but for bartering – and for helping others.  I LOVE this book and want to buy a hardcopy of it.

LDS Preparedness Manual – another FREE resource you can download..  http://www.ldsavow.com/PrepManualGeneral.html   I HIGHLY recommend this – particularly for everything you learn about food storage. I am not LDS and there is a bit of doctrine, etc. in the beginning of the book but I found the checklists and information on stocking up food to be invaluable and have printed up many of the sheets from this book.

Where There Is No Doctor – I didn’t know you could get a free pdf of this book when I bought it online – still yet – I’m glad I got it!  http://hesperian.org/books-and-resources/  – also check out “Where There Is No Dentist”

You can see other books that I’m recommending in the picture – the titles are pretty descriptive!

WEBSITES:

www.thesurvivalmom.com is the first website I check every day.
www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net – they have an awesome book/program on food storage that I bought on Black Friday and love!
www.preparedsociety.com – the forums are AWESOME – I check in here several times a day – especially the food and foraging section
http://everydayfoodstorage.net/   -  not a total favorite but has good stuff too
I used to visit www.shtfplan.com every day (I still visit it often) but I found it upset me and got me all worried. I would share links to it with my husband and my adult son and they both said that it seemed like the site was designed more to stir up people than to give useful information. It was actually my son who recommended that I visit Survival Mom every day instead because I get ideas of what I CAN do instead of getting scared of what MIGHT happen.

http://rainydayfoodstorage.blogspot.com/ – I wish there daily updates on this but I like this site a lot too

What advice to you have for new Survival Moms who want to prepare their families as well?
First of all, decide what it is you want to prepare for.  For instance, if you live in a hurricane prone area, you may not want to prep to “shelter-in” and may need to focus on bugging out. If you live where there are frequent blizzards, you may need to shelter in and not bug-out.

In our case, we are concerned about the economy and society and believe that there will be a major collapse. While we do talk at times about bugging out, we’re focusing right now on sheltering-in and being here in our community even though we don’t know people that well.  Because of this, instead of focusing as much on bug-out bags and tents and sleeping bags, etc., we’re focusing on food storage (my mom lived through the Great Depression and used to talk about what life was like), on water storage, and on some weapons to protect us.  We want to add in a generator later on and I want to do some EMP-related stuff like having walkie talkies and shortwave radios, etc. stored in safe places.  But those will come in time.  Knowing where you will be staying / bugging out to is a key thing.

Ask yourself what resources you have.  This includes financial resources but also time and skills.  What can you give up – to prepare?  For instance, I will be giving up some of my internet time to can meats in bulk quantities. We don’t go out to eat as much so we can put our money into food storage.  Perhaps you have items you can sell to bring in more money.

Create a plan. Figure out the parts of prepping that matter most to you right now. Food? Water? Shelter? Safety/weapons? First Aid?

Even if you don’t have a lot of money to prep – you can still make small choices that will help you prep – for instance – watch the sale flyers and buy your foods when they’re on sale (in larger amounts) or even start as my son has – by buying an extra case of water and putting it aside….or buying a couple extra cans of soup and setting them aside.

YOU CAN DO IT!  Yes, it will take time and energy and at times you may feel afraid. But bit by bit and piece by piece it will start to come together.

Just one thing….start today…right now.

Don’t just read about being a prepper – BECOME A PREPPER!

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Yes, storm clouds are brewing. Here’s what you need to do NOW! http://thesurvivalmom.com/yes-storm-clouds-are-brewing-heres-what-you-need-to-do-now/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=yes-storm-clouds-are-brewing-heres-what-you-need-to-do-now http://thesurvivalmom.com/yes-storm-clouds-are-brewing-heres-what-you-need-to-do-now/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2012 10:00:42 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=10245 Trust your gut, your instinct, your woman’s intuition, or whatever you want to call it. If you’re feeling a little extra uneasy about the future, take some common sense steps to prepare yourself and your family. From this point forward, Read More

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  • image by kevin dooley

    Trust your gut, your instinct, your woman’s intuition, or whatever you want to call it. If you’re feeling a little extra uneasy about the future, take some common sense steps to prepare yourself and your family.

  • From this point forward, make printed copies of articles, lists, how-to instructions, recipes, survival tips, etc. and begin a Survival Mom binder. A computer virus could erase all your bookmarked websites, a computer crash could “disappear” all your documents, a power outage could insure your computer becomes nothing more than a large paperweight. Hard copies organized by topic and kept in a 3-ring binder is your back-up .
  • Add to your stash of basic food products. This can be done easily with a quick trip to Walmart. Prices are increasing and will continue to do so. Food will never be cheaper than it is right now, so do your family a favor and, at the very least, buy the basics. M.D. Creekmore has put together this basic shopping guide of very inexpensive items. The key right now is to build up a good supply. You can add to your stash later, but get stocked up on the basics now. Here’s another food planning list for extremely tight budgets.
  • If Costco or Sam’s Club is more to your liking, I have a downloadable shopping guide here that will help steer you toward items that will come in handy in a crisis, including food.
  • Spend money sparingly. Inflation is a fact of life. There’s no indication, at all, that the prices of food, gas, energy, and other necessities will be decreasing any time soon. Buy second hand whenever possible. I’ve found that upscale consignment stores have amazing bargains on good quality, fashionable clothes and shoes. Let someone else pay top dollar! You have better things to do with your money.
  • Make a point to spend lots of time with family and friends. This is the time to build and strengthen bonds with people. Trust me. In stressful times you will be glad to have a shoulder to cry on, friends to laugh with, and family to hug. Invite another family over for potluck, a board game night, it doesn’t have to be fancy, and your house doesn’t have to look perfect. In the past week or so, my family has enjoyed spending time with two families over dinner, talking about our kids, news of the day, and yes, preparedness. It has been a relief, actually, to know there are others on the same page.
  • Spend some time focusing on feeding the spiritual you. Each of us is spirit, soul, and body, but when it comes to preparedness, it’s easy to focus on everything but our spiritual selves. Whether it’s prayer, reading the Bible, listening to uplifting music, or reflecting on inspirational quotes, we all need to feed and nurture the spirit.
  • �Start making more meals and food items from scratch. If you’re buying granola bars, find a good recipe and make them yourself! Any store-bought food can be homemade. Have you ever thought of making your own saltines or Cheez-Its? Challenge yourself to learn how to make homemade bread without a bread maker. Check out our Skill of the Month page for ideas and information.
  • Speaking of skills, strive to learn at least one new skill a month. This month my husband and I enrolled in amateur radio classes and later in October I’m taking a 2-day Wilderness FirstAid course. Keep learning something new every single month!
  • Start getting in shape. Hey, I don’t like exercising either, but I have made a point to walk several miles each week and work out on weight machines as well. I’m no spring chicken but after just a month, my muscles are stronger and my endurance has increased greatly. If you ever have to walk out of a disaster scenario or run for your life, you don’t want those extra pounds around your middle slowing you down! Remember, if you’re vulnerable, your kids are, too! A strong mama or grandma is far more capable of protecting the young ones.
  • Learn how to shoot a gun. I don’t care if you grew up in the era of, “guns are evil” or not. Don’t let some politically correct, ivory-towered “expert” convince you otherwise. The truth is, guns are simply a tool. Learn how to handle them safely, learn how to shoot with a degree of accuracy, and teach your children both gun safety and shooting skills. If you’ve never shot a gun before, start with a .22 rifle or pistol.
  • Stay focused and do something every day to become better prepared. A year or two from now if life has returned to the normal that we remember, pre-2008 or so, you will have money in the bank from your frugality, extra food in the pantry, a slew of handy and fun skills, and a large group of trusted friends. What’s the downside of that?

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