MESSAGE FROM TESS
I hope all of you had a delicious Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones. I apologize for my recent hiatus. To be perfectly honest, I needed a break. So let’s just say I took advantage of some much needed vacation time. Sadly, it wasn’t on Maui, but I have recharged. Now, I am ready to get back to helping you get prepped.
Over the last 26 weeks, we have accumulated an assortment of preparedness products to carry you through an extended short-term disaster. As our focus on preparedness shifts from short-term to long-term, we will concentrate on storing long-term preparedness items, learn essential skill sets and how to organize those preparedness items. One preparedness aspect that we have not spent a lot of time on is the importance of having light during emergencies. In this week’s “Prep of the Week,” we will discuss different means of illuminating your home in a “lights out” scenario.
If you have missed a few issues of the 52-weeks to preparedness series, we’ve got you covered! You can view the 52-weeks to preparedness series online at Ready Nutrition. These issues could help friends and family be more prepared for emergencies in 2012. So don’t forget to send them the issues. They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator on Ready Nutrition to create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes,
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 27 of 52: Emergency Light Sources
Many do not anticipate the amount of light sources needed for an emergency, let alone for a long-term emergency. In a previous newsletter, it was suggested to stock up on flashlights and matches for a short-term disaster to get by in an emergency where the electricity has been turned off. Practicing energy conservation measures during that time can also help prolong your light sources. However, if you find yourself in an emergency where the lights go out permanently, being able to sustain yourself for a longer-term scenario requires a more permanent means of producing light.
Some are turned off by the idea of attracting unwelcome attention to themselves by having light in the home during a longer-term emergency. Further, powering up a loud generator to turn the lights on may also draw attention to the homestead. That being said, if you are concerned with this issue, take special precautions ahead of time. Black out curtains can easily solve this issue. Plan to have a means of emergency light for not only getting around in the dark, but for essential rooms that will need to be illuminated. Rooms used for food preparation and even for medical/triage reasons will need to have lots of light to help treat any serious medical issues that occurs, especially at night.
Developing your survival skills and investing in preparedness supplies and know-how can help put you ahead in the survival game. Here are a few suggestions of emergency light sources to invest in for a longer-term disaster:
Candles – It is recommended to have candles for an emergency, however, many get confused as to what type of candles and wax are best in this type of situation. Keep in mind that candles are candles, so save yourself some money and look for the cheaper varieties. The Catholic style devotional candles range between $3-$5 and may be even cheaper at Dollar stores. A case of these type of candles can be purchased at the Dollar Tree for $12. Keep in mind that candles do emit carbon monoxide, so ensure that candles are placed in a well ventilated room. The light the candles emit may also be considered dim compared to other light sources you can find, therefore more may be needed to light a room effectively.
Solar lighting – Solar lights would be an efficient alternative to having light. Solar garden lighting can also be used as an alternative means to producing light. Solar garden lights can be purchased for as low as $1 at the Dollar stores and can be used as a torch (the solar panel/LED top can be unscrewed to be used as a night light), or could be altered to provide overhead lighting. In the morning, take it out to a sunny area to recharge. Get creative! Flash lanterns would also be a great product to look into, if this is the means of light you prefer.
Purchasing solar panels to use to light and power the home is an expensive investment that could pay itself off especially in al long-term scenario. These panels would be an amazing purchase for those interested in going off-grid. Keep in mind that solar cells are very fragile, and because of the fragility of solar equipment, it would be wise to invest in replacement parts for any solar materials purchased. Remember: two is one, one is none.
Fuel powered light sources – Gas powered lamps and overhead lighting are also available for those interested in a more off-grid solution. Bear in mind that additional fuel will need to be stored in order to provide light. Hurricane lanterns can be purchased at outdoor stores, but can also be found at garage sales, or donation centers such as the Salvation Army for a fraction of the cost. Remember to invest in extra parts and fuel for these types of light sources.
Rendered animal fats – If you find yourself with no means of producing light, tallow can be made from rendered animal fats. Note the smell tallow emits may not be what you expect, but it will do the job it is intended to do (Rendered animal fats can also be a means of producing alternative fuel for certain engines). Further, re-using fats from foods can also be used as a stand in for your normal fuel. For a more in depth review of bush craft lighting, click here.
Light from water – That’s right, you can light your home using a clear soda bottle and clean water. The light it emits is comparable to a 50 watt light bulb. You can see the amazing video here.
Night vision goggles – Investing in a pair of night vision goggles would be good not only for perimeter security, but also helpful in other situations where you do not want to draw any attention to yourself. The price of night vision tools vary from $250-$500. Night vision scopes are also available for rifles and could be an advantage for hunting. In online reviews, it was mentioned that some service members who used the night vision binoculars have said they prefer the monocular version. Because of the mass manufacturing of this product ensure that where you buy is from a reputable dealer.
Generally speaking, the American lifestyle is largely dependent upon the power grid. When the grid goes down, our population’s Achilles’ heal will be exposed. With our inability to function in a realm without power coupled with the extreme stressful nature of disasters and emergencies, it can be a large antagonizer for chaos and unwelcome encounters with the unprepared.
The following list is meant to be a comprehensive list of suggestions you should have in your preparedness supplies. My personal feelings are the more supplies, the better. And let’s not forget that the following items would make good bartering items. Find which items would benefit your family the most and invest in those.
Preps To Buy:
- Long lasting candles
- Hurricane lamps
- Hanging lanterns battery powered,solar and/or gas powered
- Flashlight – hand cranked, solar, battery powered, or LED
- Solar garden lighting
- Light sticks
- Matches and water proof types
- Cigarette lighters
- Strobe light – as a signaling device
- Head lamps
- Extra glass mantels for lamps
- Extra candle wicks
- Extra propane or fuel
- Extra batteries for flashlights, lanterns and head lamps
- Solar panels
- Solar chargers
- Battery chargers
- Black out curtains
- Night vision goggles
- Understand your light dependency. Turn the electricity in your home off for 2 days to simulate a lights out scenario. Take notes along the way to find out what you really need or miss.
- Ensure that you have flashlights with extra batteries in your 72 hour bags and emergency vehicle supplies.
- Ensure that you have enough light sources to last your through an extended disaster.
- Look into some non-traditional light sources on the Internet and practice alternative ways of producing light.
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
First off, I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. My favorite part of Thanksgiving was seeing my grandfather smiling in pride over all of his great-grandchildren running around. He’s a very quiet man that never really lets you know how he feels, but there are times when his expressions get the best of him. I also enjoyed cooking with my kids. They insisted on helping me this year. My son and I made homemade pecan pralines and sweet potato casserole, and my daughters helped me make pumpkin spice cupcakes and coconut crème pie.
Over the break, we were also fortunate to visit the King Tut exhibit and also enjoyed the Renaissance Festival. I can’t tell you how much fun my kids had.
I wanted to mention a prepping mishap that happened over the weekend. We were caught off guard by a cold front that hit our area last weekend while we were on our way to the Renaissance festival. I pulled over and went into our emergency supplies in our car to get out our winter clothing only to find that I hadn’t changed the clothing out since the summer. Since cold weather hadn’t hit Houston yet, I didn’t think of changing the clothes out yet. Needless to say, we had to go to the Dollar store to get some cheap warm clothes. So, if you haven’t done so already, get your emergency supplies ready for the season!
My husband and I are thinking seriously of moving out of Houston in the next 6 months. Getting out of the city and starting our homestead has been our plan (and dream) for years, but now it seems that we are moving closer that goal. For years I have been planning out our homestead and practicing the homesteading skills I plan to use. As excited as I am, we will be moving to a more northern climate, so we will need to invest in winter attire for the family. That being said, a large chuck of our Christmas gift budget is going towards winter wear.
In the Garden:
I harvested my basil that I grew over the summer. I had so much that it covered my kitchen table. I didn’t know what to do with it all. So far, I have dehydrated a large amount to add to my homemade Italian seasonings, frozen a large bunch (FB friends, thanks for the tip), made pesto sauce that I froze in ice cube trays and made delicious tomato basil soup.
I also added the compost that I made this summer to the garden beds, added some organic fertilizer and covered it a hay from a hay bale that I found on the side of the rode. My winter garden should be healthy and insulated from any cold weather we may experience in the coming months. I have a few late summer vegetables that are still trying to put fruit, so we will see how much I get before the weather turns.
STATS AND FACTS
On average, people are left without electricity between 2-20 days in an emergency where the power grid fails. Understanding how your life will change during that time can help you learn to better prepare for it. Keep these in mind when preparing your family’s emergency supplies.
If the power grid fails for the majority of people living in ‘modern’ communities, the following problematic issues could arise :
- You couldn’t get money from a bank.
- Hospitals would likely be unable to operate at normal levels (or some, even any level – they have back-up power systems, but those usually rely on fossil fuels, which might not be available if the electrical systems that run the pumps and distribution system fail).
- Commerce as we know it would essentially cease – it would be virtually impossible to buy anything, anywhere.
- You’d have no hot water or be able to cook.
- You wouldn’t be able to tell what time it is.
- You’d have no heat.
- You couldn’t fill your car with fuel.
- Most transportation would cease.
- There would be no Internet, no DVDs, no movies.
- In a mass failure, it would be unlikely you could charge your cell phone.
- You’d be unable to refill critical prescriptions.
- You’d have no refrigeration for your food.
- Depending on where you live, you might have no running water.
- Your plumbing systems may not work.
and the list goes on..
LETTERS TO TESS
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: email@example.com
This week’s question addresses antibiotics:
Thank you so much for your newsletters. They are very informative and I am learning so much from you.
A question I have for you is this: when you mention stocking up on antibiotics, I wonder where and how we would do this as they require a prescription. I seldom have to use them but would like to have some in my stockpile. Thanks for answering our questions.
Great question! Antibiotics are a great preparedness item to have stored away. It is important to add that not all antibiotics are the same. Each type targets different types of ailments and conditions. Therefore, do some research on your own or talk with a medical professional to see which antibiotics would be best for you and your family.
Further, there are some considerations to having antibiotics:
- They are not a first line of defense.
- You could be allergic to certain types of antibiotics and could cause other medical issues.
- The antibiotics may not work due to being past their expiration, from improper storage, from the wrong dosage administered or from your body building up an immunity.
- Antibiotics can also exacerbate an issue by destroying the good bacteria in the body. Investing in some probiotics can help restore the good stuff though.
However, if you find yourself with an infection that will not go away, taking a round of antibiotics could be a life saver. You can purchase antibiotics securely online without using a prescription at websites such as these:
To learn more about the most popular antibiotics to store, which medical conditions they tend to target, and suggestions for alternatives to antibiotic, click here. I would like to add that colloidal silver is also an alternative for antibiotics. They also have a wide range of uses spanning from dental concerns to medical issues.
I hope this helps. Thanks again for your question.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.