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Get Prepped Newsletter: June 11, 2011

Be evacuation ready with these tips on preparing your home, your car and your family.

MESSAGE FROM TESS

Dear Reader,

When life comes at you hard and fast, how do you react? Many of us brace ourselves, hold our breath, and pray that we will get through relatively unscathed. We are all creatures of habit that require some structure in our lives, but sometimes, we are left paralyzed by the discarded pieces Disaster leaves behind.

In disaster planning, it is better to prepare for both small and large scale events. The Prepped in 52-Weeks series uses different layers of preparedness to create a foundation that you and your family can rely on when there is an unexpected disaster, and this week, we will focus on the evacuation vehicle.

I want to send out a big thanks to my readers for being a part of Ready Nutrition! Your kind words of encouragement keep me going. Don’t forget to see what we’re up to on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Why not extend an invitation to your extended family so they can also be prepared by reading Ready Nutrition.


Regards,

Tess Pennington


PREP OF THE WEEK

Week 7 of 52: Evacuation Preparedness

Before I began prepping, I knew a new mom who had the forethought to pack extra clothes, diapers and changes of shoes for her children in her car.  She knew that accidents happened and wanted to alleviate any undo stress by preparing for them in advance.  I admired that forethought and mimicked it with my own family vehicle.  But we have to think beyond the daily accidents and concentrate on the harder emergencies that we may face.

Having emergency supplies in your vehicle is an extension of your preps at home. I like to think of my evacuation vehicle as a home away from home. Because, if I had to, I want to be able to live in my car with the items I have on hand. Just like with the 72 hour bags, we have to think about meeting our basic survival needs. We want our provisions to be as light weight as possible and to last for 3 days at the minimum. The food should be lightweight and not susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations. Keep in mind that when food is susceptible to temperature fluctuations, their shelf life diminishes.



Here are some beneficial food choices:

  • dehydrated foods
  • crackers
  • canned goods
  • ramen noodles
  • Datrex bars
  • MRE’s

Some foods require water in order to prepare them, so make sure that you have a cooking source and water. Every 6 months, I rotate the food out of the evacuation vehicle and replace it with fresh provisions. 

Not only should preparedness items be added to the evacuation vehicle, but the vehicle should be well maintained. A vehicle must be at its optimum performance when it is used for an evacuation. Have a backpack stored in the vehicle in case you have to abandon it and travel on foot, which adds credence to keeping your vehicle gear light weight.  To learn some basic tips about how to maintain your vehicle for evacuations, click here.

Preps to buy for Week 7: Evacuation Vehicle:

  • 3 day supply of food
  • 3 day supply of water
  • Water purification tablets
  • Eating utensils
  • Blankets
  • Emergency shelter
  • Flashlight or light source
  • Extra batteries
  • Rain poncho
  • Work gloves
  • Knife or multi tool
  • Chains for tires
  • Small or collapsible shovel
  • Rope
  • Tent
  • Air compressor
  • Fix-a-flat
  • Extra tire
  • Waterproof matches
  • Signaling device, e.g., flare, mirror, whistle, etc.
  • Extra season-appropriate clothing, including extra socks
  • Toiletries and sanitiation items
  • First aid kit
  • Maps and navigation devices (compass)
  • Heat source, e.g., ultra light stove
  • Extra cash, i.e., to fill a gas tank
  • Extra vehicle parts, e.g., fuses, belts, fluids, etc.
  • Provisions for pets

Action Items:

1. Get a basic maintenance (tune up) on your vehicle to ensure the following:


  • Good oil level
  • Tires have the recommended pressure
  • Working brakes and headlights
  • Up-to-date inspection

2. Gather vehicle evacuation supplies and store them in a plastic container.
3. Map out multiple evacuation routes and a route to take on foot.
4. Create an evacuation plan where it only takes one tank of gas to reach your destination.


WHAT WE’RE UP TO

In our home:

This week I completed old projects that I had ignored, and I spent a few days creating a garden inspired clubhouse for my daughter’s bunk bed. I am not a wiz at sewing, so it took me twice as long to make it, and I would like to add that all the flowers on the clubhouse are strategically placed to hide my mistakes. She loved it though, and it’s a joy to hear her playing in it with her big sister.  You can view the finished project on my Facebook page.

Family Preps:

My husband and I are taking a break for a few weeks on buying any new preparedness supplies. We did reorganize one of our food storage closets. This required us to pull everything out of the closet, organize it according to categories, and arrange it back. It takes longer than you would think, I can assure you. For more information on how to organize your food storage, click here.

Outdoor Activities:

Swimming can be a great way to increase endurance and beat the heat. In my quest for fitness, I have found that swimming is a great past time especially in this heat wave we seem to all be experiencing.


RECENT ARTICLES

In case you missed this week’s article, be sure to read this:

5 Ways to Keep Your Vehicle Evacuation Ready


STATS AND FACTS

Did you know that June is National Safety Month?

Extreme heat during long road trips can take a toll on our vehicles. Since we are discussing vehicles in this newsletter, I’m going to add 8 tips to get your vehicle ready for the summer heat.
1. Check your tires. Tires are the most overlooked part of your vehicle, but under-inflated, over-inflated, worn down, or misaligned tires can be extremely dangerous, particularly in summer weather.
2. Change the oil and the oil filter. Oil specialists suggest you change your oil every 3,000 miles to ensure the oil keeps the car’s engine and parts running smoothly.
3. Change the air filter. Air filters can get clogged with pollutants and debris and need replacing annually. Experts suggest air filters be changed every 12,000 miles. If you do a lot of driving on dirt or gravel roads, then your air filter is going to clog up much faster than an air filter in a vehicle that’s used strictly for highway driving. The only real way to know if you need to replace your air filter is take it out and give it a quick inspection.
4. Replace your windshield wiper blades. Extreme temperature fluctuations can wear out wiper blades and having well-maintained windshield wipers are ideal for bad weather.
5. Check your brakes. At the first sign of a brake related problems, it’s best to get it checked out.
6. Check the coolant. Sitting in traffic on a hot day is one of the quickest ways to overheat your car. This is because there’s no air flowing across the engine to help keep it cool. A well-tuned cooling system can take long idles in hot weather, but if you have low coolant levels or a busted fan belt, your engine temperature is going to go up—and fast.
7. Clean your battery. Summer heat can shorten the life span on your car battery. The heat speeds up the chemical reaction inside a battery, which causes the battery to overcharge. Also, heat can damage the battery by evaporating the internal battery fluid. The best way to keep a battery running smoothly is to keep it clean. Regularly detach the battery cables and wipe off the terminals and ensure the battery is strapped down tightly and all connections are secure.
8. Maintain your air conditioning. The air conditioner needs to be serviced when it cannot generate or maintain an air temperature 50°F (10°C) below the ambient outside air temperature. 

Tips were adapted from How Stuff Works


MEDIA

As busy as I have been, I have not had any new media opportunities, but I do plan on getting some more demonstration videos up for everyone on my YouTube Channel. So, stay tuned! In the meantime, click here and you can view some past media opportunities I had the pleasure of doing.


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: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s question addresses oxygen absorbers:

Tess,

  I have purchased my Mylar with the oxygen absorbers.  I did what you said about storing the food, but now my oxgyen absorber are spent.  I clipped the bag in between buckets to keep the air out.  Is there a secret to keeping the absorbers from turning blue or do we only get one time after opening the bag?  I hope this made sense. 

Thanks Deb

Answer:
 
Hi Deborah,

Your question makes complete sense. I don’t know about a secret way of preserving oxygen absorbers, but there are a few tricks I can let you in on.

In between the time that I finish packing my food into the Mylar and/or plastic container and right before I am about to seal it, I open up my sealed bag of oxygen absorbers, take out the exact number of absorbers that I need, and then immediately seal it back up with a vacuum sealer. This prolongs their shelf life.

Another method of preserving your oxygen absorbers is to place the remaining absorbers into a glass canning jar that has a metal lid with a gasket. A 1 pint jar (500 ml) will hold approximately 25 absorbers.

A good rule of thumb is to limit the amount of times you open and close the container holding the absorbers. If you leave oxygen absorbers exposed to air for 15 minutes or longer, then they will more than likely lose their effectiveness and need to be discarded.

Thanks so much,
Tess
 

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on June 11th, 2011

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