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Get Prepped Newsletter: September 30, 2011

We are in the 22nd week of our 52-week series getting you prepared for disasters. This week is all about tools!


Happy Friday! We are in the 22nd week of our 52-week series getting you prepared for disasters. This week is all about tools! Keeping essential tools in your preparedness supplies will help you operate in a non-technological environment. Because let’s face it, disasters typically cause the grid to go down for an extended period of time. Therefore, we must learn to depend on our hands and our tools for our survival. We will also cover tool maintenance, conditioning and important tool safety protocols in this edition.

Even though we are almost halfway through with our preparedness series, it is never too late to start. So send a message to your friends or family linking them to our food storage calculator on Ready Nutrition. Here, they can 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 have missed a few weeks, we want you to have all the preparedness and self-reliance information at your finger tips, so check out all of the older issues of the Get Prepped Newsletter online at Ready Nutrition.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter or see what we are doing on Facebook. I love to interact with the preparedness community, because, after all, we are all in this together! Don’t forget to share the prepared love and invite your friends and family to read Ready Nutrition and help build our community.

Thank you for taking the time to better prepare yourselves for life’s unexpected disasters, and especially for being a part of this amazing community.


Tess Pennington


Week 22 of 52: Hardware Tools (List 2)

As we are moving into preparing for longer-term disasters, we have to think about what our life will be like during an extended disaster. Generally speaking, those that go through disasters typically are without power for a given amount of time. So the cooking, laundry, sanitation and a host of other daily activities will have to be done without the convenience of electricity. We will also need tools to build, repair and maintain our homes and gardens in the face of damage or breakdown. Keeping traditional tools on hand can help in this department.

Tools would make great bartering items and are one of the top ten items needed to create a survival homestead. During times of grid-down disasters, tools can be used to help chop firewood, build a shelter and provide a host of other important duties. The tools you invest in should be of the “traditional sense”, and of good quality. A word of advice is that if you buy cheap tools, you will get what you paid for. In the end, you will end up paying more for another tool because the cheap tool was not well constructed. If you have a good eye for quality tools, look at yard sales in your area, or you can find good tools at your hardware stores or local home and garden centers. Some preppers who are looking for Amish crafted tools can look at websites such as Lehman’s, or Cottage Craftworks to find what they need.

There are a lot of tools that will be needed for a survival retreat and we will continue to add to our existing tool supply. Right now, we are focusing on starting simple and building our skills, and confidence. Click here to view the basic tool kit one would need for their retreat. Many of you will already have some of these tools in your tool kit, so take this time to purchase some extra blades or parts for your tool set. Keep the prepper’s rule of multiples in mind when making these tool investments: “Two is one, and one is none.” Instead of purchasing two tools, consider investing in spare parts for the tools such as extra blades, sharpening tools and lubricants such as WD-40 or Vaseline to keep these solid investment items up to par.

We will all have to make certain sacrifices during a grid-down scenario. The best way to understand what those sacrifices will be is to give them up periodically. Take a weekend or even one day and practice a grid-down situation to experience what your life would be like during those times. This exercise will help you understand how dependent you may be to certain conveniences and being without them can help you find ways around them. Further, get acquainted with your tool investment and practice using, cleaning and sharpening these tools.

The following tools can add convenience to your life, but are not the only tools you should have on hand. In the coming weeks, we will revisit this topic and add to our already existing tool supplies. Click here to learn more about the basic retreat tool set.

Preps To Buy:

  • Work gloves for all members of the family
  • Protective eye wear for all members of the family
  • Paracord Rope
  • Hammers (a claw hammer for hitting nails, and a ball peen hammer used for striking metal)
  • Saws (Hand saws and hack saws with extra blades)
  • Screwdrivers (4-in-1 screwdrivers, Phillips, Robertsen)
  • Wrench sets (Allen wrenches, pipe wrenches, combination wrenches)
  • Adjustable wrench set
  • Ax with a sharpening device
  • Wedge to help in cutting firewood
  • Pliers (an assortment of sizes)
  • Socket set
  • Vise grips
  • Squares (roofing squares and framing squares)
  • Levels (short square and a 4-foot level)
  • Bit and brace
  • Measuring tape

Action Items:

1. If you are not handy with tools, purchase a how-to guide and begin practicing this essential skill. Remember, you only have to be 10% smarter than the tool to get it to work.

2. Simulate a grid-down scenario in your home and practice what life will be like without the modern conveniences we are dependent on today.


In Our Home:

I had a lot of leftover fruit and veggies from a platter we served over the weekend. So, I made an incredible green salsa with the leftover veggie platter and froze the fruit to make for smoothies.

I have learned to accept a certain amount of clutter in my house, especially with three kids. But, we all have a breaking point, and I have reached mine. I have been so busy lately that I didn’t notice the piles accumulating around my home. So, this weekend I am making a point to straighten things up, de-clutter, let the fresh air in and give my house a good cleaning. Needless to say, I will have a very busy weekend on my hands.

Family Preps:

As we all know, an important rule of prepping is that you never want to go broke getting ready for emergencies. My family and I had some extraneous expenses this month and decided to hold off on buying any bulk prep items until we paid down some of the debt we accumulated this month. I did find a great deal on boxed matches at my grocery store and picked up 5 boxes. I went home and vacuum sealed these to ensure that moisture could not get in. I also added some canned juice to our short-term preparedness items to be rotated into our food pantry when the time is right. Those of you who want to learn better ways to save a buck or two,click here.

In the Garden:

Although we are still knee deep in a drought here in Texas, I haven’t given up on my garden. My corn is growing so tall and the green beans that are at the base of the corn are starting to put fruit out. I have two more beds that I am planning to grow vegetables out of, but have to wait until the weather cools off a little.


Bugging Out With the Jones’

50 Simple Tools Used to Rebuild Haiti


In a grid-down situation, injuries will be more prevalent, and as a result so will simple infections. Open injuries that become infected is one of leading concerns for those who are preparing to survive in an off-the-grid emergency. In a long-term emergency where hospitals are not as readily available, we will be left to rely on ourselves. The cost of an injury can be high especially if you do not have medicines available. Follow these five safety suggestions when using hand tools:

  • Wear personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, appropriate shoes, gloves, etc.
  • Ensure that the tool fits well in your hand and can be used in a comfortable position.
  • Make sure that the tool fits the job you need it to and reduces the force you need to apply.
  • Use the tool the way it was intended.
  • When using a safety knife or utility knife, cut away from the body.
  • Keep tool cutting edges sharp so the tool will move smoothly without binding or skipping. Dull tools can be more hazardous than sharp tools.


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 being fuel efficient while cooking:

I’ve seen dried beans listed as a survival food. However, when I think about cooking dried beans I envision cooking them for hours ….. which would use up a lot of fuel. Is there a quick method for cooking dried beans?


I agree about the concern with losing precious fuel while cooking. If you have a pressure cooker, then you can use it for cooking beans and that will cut down on the cook time. Also, the simplest solution is to soak the beans (overnight or for at least 6 hours) in water, then it cuts the cook time down and fuel use. Soaking beans allows the dried beans to absorb water, which begins to dissolve the starches that cause intestinal discomfort. While beans are soaking they are also double to tripling in their size. Soak most beans in three times their volume of cold water for six hours before cooking.

  • If soaked too long, they may ferment, which affects their flavor and makes them difficult to digest.
  • To help in the digestion of beans, always discard the water in which they were soaked.

I hope this helps and thanks for your question.

Kindest Regards,


This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on September 30th, 2011

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