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Get Prepped Newsletter: December 23, 2011

Ready Nutrition’s weekly newsletter focused on getting it’s readers prepared for life’s unexpected emergencies.


Merry Christmas All!

I know that I am a few days early, but I want to wish all of you the merriest of Christmases and hope all of you stay safe over the weekend.

Because Christmas is a time of miracles, and hope, in our 29th week of this series, we will discuss the idea of giving charity during an extended emergency. This is a very controversial topic amongst preppers and in all honesty, there are pros and cons to both sides. This week, we will briefly touch on the benefits and consequences of both, learn what the most likely items will be needed in a charity situation, as well as learn safe ways to provide charity without letting the entire neighborhood know.

Missed any 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. Help friends and family become more prepared for emergencies in 2012 by sending it to them. 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.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter or Facebook. I love to interact with the preparedness community, because, after all, we are all in this together!

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes,

Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 29 of 52: Charity

Within each of us is an innate need to be compassionate towards our fellow man. With December being the most celebrated month of the year, it is equally the most altruistic. We tend to give more during this time because no one likes to see suffering while they are celebrating. Further, when we give to our brothers and sisters in need, we feel generous and kind-hearted.

Preppers tend to find themselves in conflict over the subject of charity during an extended disaster. Although many want to help, there is a large concern with drawing unnecessary attention to oneself when lending a hand. In regards to the unprepared, many believe that desperation knows no boundaries. If a person were desperate enough, they may not only want the hand out you are giving them, but the “whole enchilada.” Many fear that the unprepared would make attempts to overtake your home to get to all of the supplies, or get a group together to attack your home.  A person can never be too paranoid in a situation like this.

Many believe that helping others is not only the right thing to do, but may help improve your own survival situation. Of course, if you help the wrong person out they may come back and take the rest of what you have at any means necessary to get it. But if you help the right person out, they may be there to help you out when that wrong person comes knocking for more supplies. I believe that many of us are “cut from the same cloth” so-to-speak as far as our believe systems go, and will feel compelled to help our fellow man when the right situation presents itself. Being spiritually and mentally equipped to handle those asking for charity can help you feel less conflicted.

Those that are at odds with how they could provide charity and still maintain good OPSEC  and keep a secure home at the same time can take alternative measures to ensure their safety. To put it simply if you want to help those in need, ensure that you take measures to provide charity inconspicuously and anonymously. This can be achieved by going through a third party to give out the charity to eliminate the danger involved in  face-to-face donations and blowing your operational security.  This method would also eliminate the risk of people knowing that you made a donation and risk others spreading the word around that you have extra supplies at your disposal.  A third party could be a member of a church, a charitable organization, a friend or family member.  For example, you could drop the donation off at the church door with a note asking that the donation be given to someone who could benefit the most from the charitable donation. Further, if someone comes by your property asking for help, you can direct them to the church or organization that you donated to.

Ensuring the well-being and safety of your family is the reason why you are getting prepped in the first place. In my humble opinion, before any charity occurs, ensure that your family has enough to survive before giving away precious supplies. Further, we never know how long a disaster can last, so keep this in mind before you decide to provide charity. (To gauge how much food your family needs for extended emergencies, use the food calculator at Ready Nutrition.) If you are fortunate enough to have any extra supplies consider setting the charitable items aside in a separate location from your family’s supplies. This will keep your supplies more organized. For the most part, keep the basic survival needs in mind when setting aside items for charity. Basic survival items such as food, water, baby supplies (diapers, formula), medical supplies, blankets, etc.

In all honesty, if you are not in an isolated area, it would be very difficult to ignore those in need. Survival during a long term disaster depends not only on making the right choice, but the smart choice that is right for your family. And we all know that sometimes the smart choice is the hardest one to make. I am not here to tell any of you that providing charity is right or wrong. I am simply trying to present both sides of this preparedness issue. 

Action Items:

  1.  Use the food calculator at Ready Nutrition to determine how much food you have for an extended disaster.
  2. If you are planning on storing charitable items, store them away from your family’s supplies to ensure they do not get mixed in.
  3. When purchasing charitable items, keep the basic survival needs in mind.

Preps to Buy:

  • Canned goods of soups, stews, vegetables or fruit
  • Boxes or cereal
  • Dry goods (rice, beans, oats, etc.)
  • Water
  • Jars of peanut butter
  • Protein bars
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Infant formula
  • Infant cereal
  • Baby food
  • Powdered milk
  • Protein/calorie drinks
  • Soap
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Medical supplies 
  • Pocket bibles



In the Home:

Let’s see, what have I been up too all week? One word: baking – lots and lots of baking. The kids and I have been making all kinds of decadent sweets for our family’s Christmas Eve dinner and for neighborhood Christmas gifts.

The kids have been just as rambunctious as ever. My son and husband are still trying to make a homemade gravity water filter. After the weather we have had in Houston, they had to put the project on hold for a few days.

The kids got into my survival books this week and read about foraging for wild edibles. They went on a hunt in my backyard and feasted on wild clover, dandelions and my begonia flowers. I will miss my begonias, but am happy to see the kiddos taking an active step toward surviving under stressful conditions. One of the best literature purchases I made was a deck of survival cards that have pictures and information on wild edibles. Obviously, the kids like to look at these from time to time. If you’re interested, the cards are around $8 and can be found on Amazon.

Family Preps:

One of the reasons I love the holiday season is that the grocery stores have great deals to take advantage of. Non-perishable foods such as canned goods, chocolate morsels, and other items are great to stock up on for the food storage pantry. To learn about what types of non-perishable foods to stock up on, click here. I also bought a few hot water bottles this week in case we happen to find ourselves in some cold weather.


Keeping Your Home Secure in a Technological World

The 5 Most Common Dental Emergencies

The 9 Forgotten Symbols of Christmas


When Christmastime comes around, we tend to find ourselves more at risk for house fires due to the increase of  Christmas lights (both inside and out), candles burning unattended, and space heaters that are left on overnight.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe during the Christmas weekend.

  •  Always turn off outdoor, indoor, and tree Christmas lights before you go to bed or before leaving your home.
    Always put out any candles when leaving the room and before going to sleep.
  • Keep space heaters away from the tree, presents, curtains, bedding materials, etc., or try not to use them. Remember to turn them off when not in use and before leaving your home.
  • Purchase smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors for your home. Read package labeling for proper placement and proper number of units for your home.
  • Make sure to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at regular intervals.


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: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s question addresses the plastic in storage containers:

I read on your website that HPDE is good for buckets to store
Made from Polyethylene.

I found a supplier of buckets in Europe that delivers polypropylene.
Will that do the job as well?!




I apologize for just now getting back to you on your question. As far as I know, polypropylene is food safe. In fact, many of our foods are packaged in this type of plastic. So if you do not have access to polyethylene, then go ahead and purchase these. To be on the safe side, you could purchase some 5-gallon mylar liners inexpensively and have them shipped over to you.

I did find some rather conflicting information about polypropylene. According to a few studies two chemicals were known to leach out during the heating process. Not enough is known about the two substances leaking from the plastic – quaternary ammonium biocides and oleamide – to know what hazard, if any, they might pose through exposure to consumer products made from polypropylene. To read more about the study, the link is provided below:


Try going to some bakeries or restaurants in your area and see if they want to give away any food buckets to you. For the most part, they throw the buckets away after they have used them, so you may be doing them a favor by taking the buckets off their hands.

I hope this helps.
Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World!

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on January 6th, 2012

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