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Get Prepped Newsletter: May 20, 2011

Having alternate communication devices on hand during a disaster can help maintain some sort of communication, as well as help maintain a sense of self reliance during difficult times.


I hope that everyone has had a chance to pick up a few of the preparedness items I have suggested in Get Prepped.  Hurricane season starts in two weeks, and I am going to put my focus on getting those of you who may be affected by these storms prepared.  Not only do hurricanes affect the coastal regions of this country, but the heavy rain that continues inland can affect states in middle America as well.  Luckily, many of the hurricane supplies take in to account the same basic survival needs that preparedness supplies do.

With every issue of this newsletter, I want to take the time and thank all of my readers for being a part of Ready Nutrition! Remember to friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and extend an invitation to your friends and family; they need to be prepared too.


Tess Pennington


Week 4 of 52: Communications

We have all witnessed a “communications down” scenario when going through natural disasters.  One thing that all of these natural disasters have in common, besides the disruption of our daily lives, is that they are immediately followed by an almost total loss of the ability to communicate with the outside world.  Power is lost, telephone services are discontinued, and cell phone service is either non-existent or is so congested that no one can get through.  When experiencing these “communication down” situations we realize how vulnerable and dependent we are on the system that failed.

Having alternate communication devices on hand during a disaster can help maintain some sort of communication, as well as help maintain a sense of self reliance during difficult times.  Have at least one of the following alternative communication systems:

  • Wind up radios
  • Emails (if there is a power source)
  • Amateur radios
  • Family radio services offered by the FCC
  • CB radios

When making your choice, you should examine your own needs and match them with the appropriate communication system.

Here are some criteria for setting up an emergency communication system:

  • It should be easy to operate.
  • Have effective range.
  • Have a modest amount of protection against interference.
  • Be inexpensive (low initial cost, low maintenance cost and no monthly fees).
  • Be readily available.
  • Be able to operate “off the grid”.

Preps to buy for Week 4:

  • Signal flares, flashing beacon or flashing emergency light. (I bought mine at a camping store.)
  • Compass for all members of the family over the age of 6.
  • Two-way radio.
  • Battery operated or wind-up hand radio, preferably an NOAA weather radio.

Action Items:

When a hurricane threatens an area, the city suggests families back up important documents e.g., personal ID, security card, I.D. cards for the kids, proof of residence, insurance information, medical records, bank and account information, and place the documentation in a waterproof container or reasonable plastic bag.

Don’t forget to include documentation records for your pets, e.g., IDs, immunization records, and medications.  Having this information prepared and set aside will help save precious time when preparing a home for a disaster.


In our home:

The flu season is almost at an end, but it seemed to find it’s way into my home, this week I have taking care of a sick child.  To care for her, I have made homemade herbal teas and even some homemade cough syrups.  I prefer to give my children natural alternatives before medication because it gives their immune systems a chance to fight off the illness before I pump them full of over-the-counter meds.  Hopefully, she will be feeling better soon.

Family Preps:

I was lucky enough to stumble upon a sale of Johnson & Johnson medical supplies this week.  They were 50% off and if you bought 2 products, you got a free medical bag.  While performing a medical supply inventory check, I noticed that we had dwindled down on our supplies, so I needed to bulk up again.  Let’s say that I took full advantage of this discount.  I hope that my family will not need these supplies, but they will be stored away with my other preps just in case we do.

I have been trying to keep up with my urban homesteading and have been dehydrating vegetables and fruits in my spare time.  My kids love dehydrated apples to snack on.  I also made some fresh bread for the kids lunches.  Not only do I love saving money by making my own bread, but I love the aroma it gives my home while baking.

Outdoor Activities:

Last weekend, I took my children camping.  I really enjoy any chance I get to practice my survival skills and use my survival tools. While on the trip, I had to forgo my warm sleeping bag and use an emergency bivvy bag for a night.  You can read about how well the bivvy bag held up in my recent articles section of this newsletter.  Also, I was able to practice my fire making skills in order to cook s’mores for the children.  I wanted to get the fire going quickly, so I used a handmade fire starter to speed up the process.  I have to say they were highly impressed with my fire making skills.


In case you missed some of our recent articles, be sure to read these:


Did you know that May 22nd-28th is National Hurricane Awareness Week?

Those of you that live in coastal states should begin taking stock and purchasing your hurricane supplies, if you haven’t already started.  According to an article in Reuters, Colorado State University forecasters are predicting an above average season.  They add that “there is more than a 70% chance of at least one major hurricane hitting the U.S. coastline.” (Source)  With all the crazy weather we have experienced over the last two years, I would recommend playing it safe and preparing!  To read more on hurricane preparedness, click here.  Also, here is a hurricane checklist.  Ensure that you have these items on hand before a hurricane threat is imminent.


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.


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 food storage:

From Carla:

Dear Tess,

There is a donut shop here in our town, they are selling [5 gallon buckets] for $3 a piece… so I thought I could buy new lids for them, and see if I could find a way to keep the food fresh. 

Thank you so much for your time Tess.




If the buckets previously held food or are considered food grade containers, then I would jump at the opportunity to buy these at such a low cost.  A typical food grade container retails for $6.  You are getting a great deal when purchasing them at a 50% discount.

Ensure that you wash the container thoroughly and follow proper food storage guidelines.  Typically, a food grade container has a #2 by the recycle symbol or the acronymn ”HDPE” stamp on the bottom (HPDE stands for “high density polyethylene”).  Before any food is to be stored, clean the containers with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly.  When I store my food, I use a multi-barrier approach to protect the food for the long term.

Thanks again for your question.


This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on May 20th, 2011

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