Get Prepped Newsletter: July 30, 2012
MESSAGE FROM TESS
Before we begin, I want to apologize to all of you for the abrupt halt in the “52-Weeks to Preparedness” series and for not keeping in better contact about the newsletter software issues that I was experiencing. What I first believed to be a human error, ended up being a software issue. It seems that our community has grown so exponentially over the past 12 months that the software could not keep up with the amount of newsletter subscribers. I am so proud to have over 5,000 subscribers to this newsletter! I feel that we are all making such a monumental change with the knowledge we are accumulating – this will only help our communities thrive if faced with a disaster. So keep on preppin’ and now onto more of the Get Prepped! newsletter.
One day, perhaps due to a man-made or natural disaster, we may find ourselves trying to live in a non-technological world. I realize this may be hard to accept, but there are weapons and disasters so extreme that the potential to damage our grid could take months or even years to repair and get up and running again. If that were to occur, life and lifestyle that we have grown so accustomed to will be a distant memory. Our new reality will be similar to the setting in which our grandparents and great-grandparents lived. In our 48th week, we will discuss pertinent tools to invest in to assist you should a time occur when electricity and a constant flow of energy is inaccessible.
I am interested in hearing from you guys on what subjects for articles you would like me write about. Whether it be more articles pertaining to emergency food storage, survival tools, or more articles dealing with longer-term preparedness and homesteading. I would love to get some feedback so that Ready Nutrition can be a hub for preparedness and self-reliance education for the community.
Feel free to follow us on Twitter or Facebook. I love to link to great articles that I find on the web in addition to getting to know all of you in the preparedness community. It’s also a great way to get in touch with me if you have any questions.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 48 of 52: Essential Tools (List 4)
Throughout the course of this preparedness series I have suggested different lists of tools in which you should consider investing. We have touched on the basic tools you should have to be ready for emergencies, discussed top survival tools, and emphasized the importance of tools to build, repair and maintain our homes and gardens in the face of damage or breakdown. Some of you may ask why such rudimentary tools are placed at such high importance during emergencies? Well my friends, quite simply you cannot place a timeline on how long emergencies last and these tools will be a lifeline for you in a reality where electricity and fuel may not be as available as it is today. Tools will help you build, re-build and fortify your homes or property.
It is important to have a diversified collection of tools, because, after all, you never know when you will need one and how long you will dependent on them. For example, my husband purchased a socket set one day at the hardware store. In all honesty, I thought it to be a useless set that he would not get a lot of use out of. To my disbelief I realized how wrong I was and how many uses there are for the socket set. If you are changing wheels or fastening washers and nuts, then you will be using a socket wrench. I stood corrected.
We can never have enough tools in our possession. During the reconstruction phase from the earthquake in Haiti, relief workers who responded to the disaster were asked to bring their own tools in order to rebuild parts of Haiti. The article was eye opening in that those simple tools that are in every one of our tool kits were used to build emergency shelters, sanitation facilities, temporary medical centers and even churches.
The bottom line is that its better to have and not need, then to need and not have! Investing in quality tools could assist in rebuilding your homes and lives more quickly and efficiently. Take the following items into consideration, but do not limit yourselves to what is on the list. Remember that these lists should serve as suggestions and it is up to you to create a personalized preparedness supply that you and your family can rely on.
Preps to Buy:
- Welding torch and fuel
- Sledge hammer
- Bolt cutters
- Sledge Hammer
- Ratchet set
- Chainsaw (gas or electric)
- Circle drawing compass
- Tin snips
- Chisels (Cold chisel and wood chisel)
- Wire stripper
- Side cutter pliers
- Wood plane
- Stapler with assorted size staples
- Stud finder
- Fish netting
- Duct tape
- Rebar Tie Wire
- Measuring tape or ruler
- An assortment of nails, bolts, nuts, washers and screws
- Rather than purchasing two of the same tools, consider investing in spare parts for the tools such as extra blades, sharpening tools and lubricants such as WD-40 or Vaseline.
- Ensure the tools you purchase are of good quality.
- Be mindful of your dependence on the grid and find ways to offset it.
- Purchase resources that may help you learn skills like building structures, masonry, installing wells or creating shelters that may be needed in a long-term disaster. (For example, an outdoor solar shower would do wonders for morale during a long-term emergency.)
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
I’m in hog heaven up at the ranch. We are happily busy trying to fix this place up. I now have 6 months worth of items on my “To-Do” list. One issue that we have been working on this week is bringing wood closer to the house. There are many wood piles around the 4 acres, and they need to be moved. The wood is extremely dry and burns rather quickly, so if a fire sets out on the property we don’t want to give it any fuel. So the kids and I have been bringing the wood in closer to use for kindling.
I am now seeing the what a nuisance those big-eyed deer are. They just lazily eat the contents of the garden without a care in the world. The previous owners of the home had a small garden in place with some vegetables. We still had a few weeks left until they were done, but the deer have jumped up on our raised beds, trampled the plants and eaten the vegetables. I now have one tomato left. It’s time to get a deer fence put up or a shot gun loaded. That is going to be our next project.
We met our neighbors and I am rather pleased at our luck. The family next to us has small children around the same age as mine and they have all become fast friends. The new neighbors seem like they have a good outlook on life and seem very helpful in getting us acclimated from city life to country life.
I have been working all summer on the Prepper Cookbook and am about 3/4ths of the way done. Woot! The first 50 pages will be a Prepping 101 that will include some great advice and tips to help get you ready for emergencies of all types. The rest of the book will have all of my favorite emergency preparedness recipes! I believe this will be a great resource for you to add to your prepping library and look forward to hearing feedback from you. It’s due to come out in December, so stay tuned.
As luck would have it, we found an LDS Distribution warehouse in our neck of the woods. It is a bit of drive, but we have put some money aside and are going to invest in more food.
I have purchased some gardening tools, a few raspberry plants and some strawberry plants. My husband has some preps that he wants to purchase so I have given the prep buying over to him for the time being. So far, he has purchased a chainsaw, a leaf mulcher and multiple cost efficient light bulbs to keep our electric bill down. We are making a concerted effort to acclimate ourselves to living without so much energy. Luckily, we are living in an area where we do not have to constantly run the air conditioning all year. In fact, we have not turned it on for over 2 weeks. I love this place!
In the Garden:
Well, I have some good news and some bad news about the garden. The bad news is I made my first garden mistake by purchasing the worms for the garden. I should have conditioned the soil properly and set up a irrigation system before releasing the worms into the soil. It has been hot and dry here and the soil “cakes” at the top. The water also isn’t naturally draining as well as it should, and these are indicators that the elements in the soil are not right. At this point, the worms are no where to be seen which leads me to believe that the soil was too dry and they died or have buried themselves deep within the soil. The good news is, the first mistake has been made and it wasn’t a major one. All I can do is go forward.
To correct the soil issue, I added some chicken manure compost and purchased a 20 lb. bag of green sand. Green sand is a great soil amendment that helps add nutrients to the soil and also loosens hard soils. I noticed that my soil stays waterlogged and I am assuming it is because there is a lot of clay in the soil.
We also invested $100 in some soaker hoses, a manifold to distribute the hoses to the raised beds and a timer to water the plants on a regular basis. Hopefully these changes will be what the soil needs to make it more compatible with the plants. I started some seeds for the Fall garden. Once they are large enough, I will begin transplanting them into the garden.
We decided to hold off on buying the chickens and livestock until we are finished getting the house organized, property cleaned up and the garden in order. I am trying not to overwhelm myself with a lot of projects, but it is so hard not to. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I feel like I am on a playground and get so excited about what is in store. I have decided that when the time comes to get the livestock I would like to start out with some Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpington chickens, 2 Nubian goats (they have a better milk quality), and 2-3 Dorper sheep. That’s my plan thus far, so now I have to wait for the right opportunity and the financial means to make it so.
You can see some pictures of the ranch that I posted on my Facebook page. I will try and add pictures of the ranch as often as possible to show our progress.
The Heat is On: Drought Preparedness Inside and Out
Off-Grid Canning Techniques
Feral Dog Packs: A Rising Epidemic for this Nation
Fun with Freeze Dried Food!
Six Foods That Are Surprisingly High in Toxins
Keeping Healthy in Mind When Prepping
The $5 a Week Shopping Challenge
Shopping Off the Beaten Path
Are You Packing? 5 Inexpensive Ways to Pack Your Food
STATS AND FACTS
Droughts have been a large concern for our country for the last three years. In fact, many are comparing these extreme weather conditions to the droughts that created the great Dust-Bowl of the 1930’s. Our food prices are sure to go up due to the expense it takes to keep the vegetables, fruits and livestock alive. Let’s not even bring up the increase of gas prices to get the vegetables and fruits to our local grocery stores. There are some precautions you can take inside your home and out to ensure that your bases are covered.
Although droughts are a cyclic event, we still must prepare accordingly for the repercussions of Mother Nature. Preparing and storing foods ahead of time is a great way to stay ahead of the inflation of food prices. You can do this using some of the items I have already suggested in the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series:
- Dehydrate or preserve any bulk fruits, vegetables or meats.
- Look for deals at the store on canned goods or pre-packaged foods.
- It’s always a good idea to have a two week supply of water stored (at a minimum).
- Store bulk dried corn and corn meal to stay ahead of any price inflation. Use these guidelines when storing.
LETTERS TO TESS
Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many readers have asked me what to do when they are of the age group that does not fit into the typical prepping age group. What can those of a mature age group do to prepare for short and long-term emergencies?
One of my biggest fears is that history will repeat itself if we allow it to. It is my belief that the with age comes profound wisdom. I hold the elders of our community and families in such high regard because they have so much knowledge to share and they are usually more than willing to share what they know. We have so much to learn from them, especially during these tumultuous times.
So how can we get the elderly or even those with special needs to take special precautions to be better prepared and ready for emergencies?
Emergency planning for people with special needs:
- Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community. Register with the office of emergency services or fire department for assistance, so needed help can be provided quickly in an emergency.
- Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure they know how to operate necessary equipment.
- Discuss your needs with your employer.
- If you are mobility impaired and live or work in a high-rise building, have an escape chair with a prepared bug out bag within arms reach.
- If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you evacuate the building.
- Keep extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for guide or hearing-ear dogs, or other items you might need. Also, keep a list of the type and serial numbers of medical devices you need.
- Those who are not disabled should learn who in their neighborhood or building are disabled so that they may assist them during emergencies.
- If you are a care-giver for a person with special needs, make sure you have a plan to communicate if an emergency occurs.
- If you live in a assisted-living structure, see if a vegetable garden can be constructed and the harvests can be used to store food for emergencies.
Preparing for long-term emergencies:
- Fine tune any essential skills that you can do or assist in teaching others (i.e., food preservation, game dressing, gardening, fishing skills, trapping/hunting, sewing).
- Find a group or community that needs your skill sets.
- Volunteer your skills or services at local meetups, community events or churches
- Talk with family and friends about creating a a group retreat.
- Purchase emergency supplies that will accommodate any special needs.
Best of luck,
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
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