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Get Prepped Newsletter: May 18, 2012

Get Prepped is Ready Nutrition’s weekly newsletter discussing ways you can get better prepared for life’s unexpected emergencies. This week we are talking about long-term food and water needs and ways to create back ups for your back ups.


Greetings and Salutations,

By now, most of you that have utilized the 52-Weeks to Preparedness suggestions can feel more secure about going through a disaster. With 7 weeks left, there is still a lot of information to cover! So, I hope that you will continue to stay with me and continue reading about how you can get prepped.

At this point in our preparedness endeavors, we need to begin preparing our backups to our backups. What if a disaster lasts longer than expected? What would you do if lasts for years? We have to anticipate this and prepare for it. I want all of you to be ready for whatever may come your way. This week we will be discussing different examples of long-term food and water sources and the preparedness measures that can go along with it.

Next week, the subject on long-term food and water will be revisited, but with an emphasis on why having a survival cache is the ultimate in back up plans. We will also touch on what items would be best to include in a cache and ways to waterproof containers that will be buried.

For those of you around the Colorado area, a Self Reliance Expo will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 18th and 19th. There will be some great preparedness and self-reliant vendors there, as well as educational workshops.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give a fellow prepper? Your preparedness story or advice could make a profound difference for someone just beginning to prepare or move into their next stage of preparedness. Why not take a moment and leave your story.

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!


Tess Pennington


Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 45 of 52: Long-Term Food and Water Needs

Let’s assume for a moment that a devastating disaster occurred and you have realized that the life you formerly knew has ended. You are now in a fight for survival. Luckily, unlike many of those around you, you have provisions in place and have planned accordingly for a long-term emergency. But, the longstanding disaster is now threatening to exceed your food supply. What do you eat after your food supply is depleted or, if it is ruined by insects and rodents?

Like any preparedness plan we must plan for the unexpected by finding foods and supplies that can withstand the test of time. It is my hope that by now your preparedness supplies are diverse and large enough to cover both short-term and long-term emergencies.

From the start, my goal with this series was for you to be prepared enough to survive the above scenario. In order for you to get through this relatively unscathed, you must prepare for the worst.

Listed below are some examples of long-term food sources. If you are planning for emergencies such as EMPs, nuclear attacks, economic collapse, grid-down scenarios, apocalyptic epidemics, etc., then I would strongly encourage you to invest in the following prep items.

  • Lifetime Foods – Foods that can last for up to 10 years or longer will be a solid investment for your future, as well as  your best bet at surviving a long-term disaster. Foods such as wheat, sugar, salt, white rice and corn are some food items that can last a lifetime. To learn about more of these forever foods, click here. Ensure that these foods are stored properly and away from your food’s worst enemies.
  • Freeze-Dried Food Freeze dried food can last for 20 years. There are a variety of freeze dried ingredients and cuisines to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The best part of investing in this long-term food source, is different cans of freeze-dried ingredients can be mixed together to create new entrees. The best way to get your moneys worth is to purchase the #10 cans. Due to the preservation measures, they can be pricey, but when you work out the math per serving, it is quite reasonable. Many preppers have stocked up on this as their initial food source for a disaster. Because of the long expiration date, I prefer to keep the freeze-dried foods on standby in the event that I run out of my other foodstuffs. Please keep in mind that due to the sodium in the freeze-dried foods, it tends to back up the intestines. Therefore, if you choose to stock up on these essential long-term foods, I would advise for you to also stock up on stool softeners.
  • Seeds – As previously indicated in the newsletter for week 43, non-GMO or heirloom quality seeds are the best types of seeds to store and grow during long-term emergencies as these seeds produce seeds you can save for future harvests.  However, some believe that having some packets of GMO seeds to rely on would be beneficial during times of long-term crises as they have been formulated to survive droughts, have larger yields and be disease resistant. Having dependable seeds and dependable fertilizers and soil amendments in times of a crisis is another example of having back up for your backups.  Further, if stored properly, these seeds can last much longer than their expected expiration dates. Consider growing vegetables that have high yields and high amounts of nutrition and vitamins, as well as finding varieties that possess medicinal properties. For other considerations for a survival garden, click here.
  • Water Catchment Systems – Those that do not have access to their own water sources run the risk of being completely dependent on municipal water supplies. Having knowledge about how to harvest water through means of rainwater catchment systems is a great place to begin this path towards self-reliance. Some suggested low cost options are: collapsible water containers or 5-gallon buckets, rain harvesting containers or barrels, rainwater downspouts routed to water tanks by PVC pipes. If outside water catchment systems are being used, learn more about which catchment system is best for your home. Here is a great YouTube video on creating a rain harvesting system from scratch. This website has multiple water conservation projects that you can adapt to your lifestyle.
  • Water Filtration Units – In an extended emergency, possessing knowledge on how to properly clean water will be essential in keeping sanitation related illnesses at bay. Water filtration systems with extra filters and parts, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or re-hydration powders, anti-diarrhea medicines are essential in having clean drinking water. Here is a YouTube video on how to make a gravity fed water system similar to the Berkey Water System for the low price of $50. There will be a high risk of water-borne viruses, so anti-diarrhea medications will also be valuable to stock.

For many of us, our core beliefs are to provide for our family and keep them safe. But, according to societal mores we should only provide safety up to a certain extent. It is a societal taboo to think in terms of worst case scenarios. But sometimes, we must break through societal codes to do what is best for our family. In the case of preparedness, thinking in worst case scenarios may help you better prepare. Unexpected events will happen during SHTF scenarios, and it will be up to you to be ready for them.

Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]

  • Foods for long-term storage such as wheat, rice, sugar, salt, honey, and corn. To learn more, click here.
  • Freeze-dried foods
  • Stool softeners
  • Seeds, both GMO and Non-GMO
  • Fertilizers (enough for 3 seasons)
  • Water catchment system items
  • Anti-diarrhea medicines
  • Re-hydration powders or drinks
  • Filtration units such as the Berkey Water Filter

Action Items:

  1. Ensure that you have enough food supplies to last for a long-term emergency. Refer to the Ready Nutrition Food Calculator to make sure.
  2. Research ways that you can conserve water or harvest water on your property.
  3. Look for natural water sources, and underground reservoirs to turn to for an emergency water supply.
  4. Practice necessary skills that will help you thrive during long-term emergencies. Skills such as gardening, food preservation, and water harvesting.


In the Home:

Our official move out date is at the end of next month. So, packing and cleaning has kicked into high gear! One great aspect of packing up is getting rid of the clutter. We have already made multiple donations of toys and outgrown clothing. I am also taking much pleasure in my new “You Drop It, I Box It” policy being enforced in the house. My kids are horrible about leaving their toys on the floor. Although the kids are not happy with this new policy, it is an effective way to get them to clean up after themselves.

Family Preps:

As many of you know, moving can be quite expensive. Therefore, every extra penny this month is going towards the moving vans, extra boxes, etc. I am also continuing to use our short-term food supply so that it can be replenished after we move.

In the Garden:

I have some sad news. I am going to have to find homes from my potted fruit trees, fruit vines, and herbs. Apparently, it is against the law to import plants into the state we are moving. Some family members are going be very lucky!



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It’s a fact of modern wilderness life: Any back country water source, no matter how high or remote, is susceptible to contamination due to unsanitary practices of the creatures that visit it — from birds and bears to possums and humans. Many experienced wilderness travelers recognize the need to play it safe with back country water and thus treat every drop before they drink.

Here are some tips for selecting safe drinking water:

  • Avoid filtering water in area where animal activity is obvious. Are you near signs of beaver impact? An area where the deer and the antelope have played? A meadow dotted with cow patties? Find another place to draw water.
  • The same principle applies to human impact. Is a heavily used campsite nearby? Are you near a trail crossing? A mine? If so, go further upstream for water.
  • Try to select water from still, clear water sources. Many microorganisms, particularly giardia, tend to sink in still water due to the weight of their shells; turbulence keeps them suspended.
  • If your only water option is melting snow or ice, choose ice. Ice supplies greater water content, but keep in mind many bacteria are impervious to freezing. Thus while boiling can kill pathogens in water, freezing cannot. Clean snow, though, is still a good source for water. Beware of pinkish “watermelon snow,” however. This is a toxic algae that filtering will not remove. If you see it, look elsewhere for ice or clean snow.




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 importance of a generator:

Hello Tess,

I keep going back and forth about getting a generator. There are sound arguments for both sides. In your opinion do you feel that buying a generator is a valid investment for your preps?




I will admit from personal experience that during bouts of short-term power disruptions I have gone through, a generator is a great convenience to have. But paying obscene fuel prices to power the generators makes me question the need.

To answer your question, I think it really boils down to personal preference. In my opinion, if you have someone that has medical or health issues and is dependent on electricity to power breathing machines, etc., then investing in a generator would be seen as a necessity.

Those that are prepping for long-term emergencies or are taking steps to living a more self-reliant lifestyle may not see the practicality in having a generator because they want to conserve their fuel sources and not waste it on running a generator. Also, they have more than likely stocked up on manual or off-grid devices to compensate. There is also the concern about drawing unwanted attention from a well-lit home or from the noise  generators put off when they are on. On the other hand, there are solar powered and humless generators on the market that can eliminate the noise issue.

If you are planning on investing in a generator, make sure that you have spare parts in case the motor or cords break. Also, having a manual or knowing how to fix it would also be a good skill to have.

I’m sorry that I can’t provide a concrete answer on whether you should invest in a generator, but there are a lot of factors to consider. I do hope that I have given you some points to think about before you make your decision.

Best of luck,





This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on May 18th, 2012