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  • Super Typhoon Haima Blasts the Philippines, Next Stop China

    fixing-a-house-after-haima-via-yahoo-news Super Typhoon Haima Filipinos cleaning up after Super Typhoon Haima - via Yahoo News

    Super Typhoon Haima (or Lawin, as it is known locally) tore through the Philippines on Wednesday with sustained winds of up to 140 miles per hour. Haima was upgraded to super typhoon status just before it reached the northern part of the main island of Luzon. Over 10 million people were in Haima’s path, yet only seven people were killed. In comparison, Super typhoon Haiyan in 2013 killed more than 7,350 people. Haima is the second typhoon to hit the Philippines in a week, and the seventh Category 5 storm of 2016.

    The Philippines is now reeling from Haima’s effects, including flooding, mudslides, and power outages. The Philippines sees an average of 20 typhoons a year, but Haima certainly left its mark on the locals.

    “This is the strongest typhoon I have ever seen,” said one 60-year-old villager.

    Typhoon Haima is now on its way across the South China Sea towards South East China. Typhoon Sarika, which hit the Philippines a week ago, also dumped more than 10 inches of rain in parts of China as it passed. Already saturated with water, China expects more damage and flooding from Haima.

    haima-track-through-sunday-via-accuweather Super Typhoon Haima Typoon Haima's predicted path - via AccuWeather

    Typhoon Haima looks to weaken to a Category 2 storm by the time it reaches landfall on China’s shores on Friday, making it much less intense than the super typhoon it was as it blew through the Philippines. Still, severe flooding is expected, and “roads and bridges could become destroyed, isolating some communities,” according to AccuWeather.

    Haima shouldn’t post too much of a threat to Hong Kong, but will bring high risk further East. As far as Haima’s typhoon status is concerned, things should be winding down by the end of Sunday. The Pacific typhoon season goes through December, however most of the tropical cyclones occur between May and October, so things should start winding down for those affected in the Pacific.


    Hurricane_Blog_Banner Super Typhoon Haima

  • Typhoon Haima Makes Landfall in the Philippines

    typhoon-haima-via-noaa Typhoon Haima Typhoon Haima - Image via NOAA

    Typhoon Haima may have just recently lost its status as a super typhoon, but wind speeds are still careening at 140 mph and has just made landfall in the northern Philippines. Haima, one of the most powerful storm since Haiyan in 2013, Haima looks to add more destruction and flooding to the already soaked Philippines thanks to the recent Typhoon Sarika. Sarika made landfall just a few days previously.

    Fortunately, according to forecasters, Haima looks to be heading to less populated areas in Northern Luzon. That, and those up in the North deal with many typhoons each year, so they know what to expect.

    haima-track-via-accuweather Typhoon Haima Typhoon Haima's predicted track - via AccuWeather

    According to The Weather Network, a storm surge of up to 10 feet is expected, as well as more than a foot of rain over northern Luzon. It is expected to remain a violent storm as it nears China, and may also impact Hong Kong. The image to the right is Typhoon Haima’s predicted path through Sunday. While it will continue to dwindle in strength as it crosses the South China Sea, even a category 1 storm can be devastating.

    The Philippines is hammered by an average of 20 tropical storms each year. Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 killed more than 6,000 people. Because northern Luzon is less sparsely populated, it is hoped that casualties will be much lower, and damages less sever. However, being such a strong storm, there is still expected to be heavy damages.

    The Philippines Red Cross is already waiting to help those in need, along with other emergency agencies. There is not much news at the present as to how the storm is progressing as it makes landfall, but we will keep tabs on the situation as the storm progresses.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Typhoon Haima

  • Mountain House Review (Part 1): 3 Meals from the Classic Assortment Bucket

    I’m not a chef. I’m more of a short-order cook. In my family of seven, six have dietary restriction. Food allergies include milk products, tree nuts, wheat, corn, eggs, and soy, in varying degrees of severity. I also have an autistic son who, until last year, ate fewer than 10 foods, and a special needs daughter with weak musculature who struggles with hard-to-chew foods.

    When I find a food that most family members like and can eat, it’s lovely.  It’s even better when it cooks in less than 30 minutes. And it’s a massive bonus when my kids can make it themselves. Meal pouches from the Mountain House® Classic Assortment (12 pouches) (SKU: FC B395) meet all three qualifications. We tried three of the six types of meals. I enthusiastically recommend all three.


    Lasagna with Meat Sauce

    mh-lasagna-pouch Mountain House ReviewMy kids first requested the Lasagna with Meat Sauce. We used two packages. Each package said it served 2.5 people. When we used it as a main dish, we found it served more. Six of us ate, and we had leftovers. Our side dish was Emergency Essentials® Freeze-Dried Sweet Corn with Butter and Salt (SKU: FN C101)

    “It tasted superb,” my 9-year-old said.

    I don’t have much experience with freeze-dried food, so I followed the package directions exactly. (We didn’t always do so; more on that later.) After I added two cups of boiling water to the pouch and stirred, I expected everything to mush together in a (flavorful) blob. It didn’t. The texture was reminiscent of skillet lasagna, and the ingredients were distinct.

    My 3-year-old, nicknamed “the little carnivore,” ate the meat and left the noodles. My special needs daughter ate the noodles and left the meat. Both requested multiple helpings.

    The meat sauce was thick with a cheesy, mildly spicy flavor. (If you like a strong flavor, you might want to add spices.)

    “I think it should have less sauce, because it got all over me,” my 9-year-old joked.

    It contains dairy and wheat products.


    Granola with Milk and Blueberries

    mh-granola-with-milk-and-blueberries-pouch Mountain House ReviewThe package says the Granola with Milk and Blueberries serves two. It depends on the two. My 9-year-old, who made it herself, ate the whole pouch.  And she doesn’t normally like fruit.

    The directions call for ½ cup of cold water. When my daughter made it, she said it was “too liquid-y.” The pouch says you can add less water for thicker granola. The second time we made it, we started with 1/3 cup of water and added a bit more as needed.

    The granola contains milk, soy, wheat and coconut.

    I also tried the granola pouch as a streusel topping for blueberry muffins, adapting a Betty Crocker recipe. It enhanced the muffins by adding a bit of crunch and cinnamon flavor.


    Streusel-topped Blueberry Muffins


    Streusel Topping

    One packet (two servings) Mountain House Granola with Milk and Blueberries, prepared.



    ¾ cup milk

    ¼ cup vegetable oil

    1 egg

    2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

    ½ cup granulated sugar

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 cup fresh, canned (drained) or frozen blueberries



    Heat oven to 400°F. Line 12 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups, or spray bottoms of cups with cooking spray.

    In large bowl, beat milk, oil and egg with fork or wire whisk until blended. Add 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt all at once; stir just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon streusel.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If muffins were baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. If muffins were baked in sprayed pan, leave in pan about 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cooled.


    Beef Stew

    mh-beef-stew-pouch Mountain House ReviewI was at the doctor and my 13-year-old was babysitting. My doctor appointment ran late, so my 9-year old decided to make dinner. She went to the Mountain House bucket, opened a package of Beef Stew and added 2 cups of water. Unfortunately, she didn’t read the directions to boil the water first. She put the mixture in a saucepan, and we heated it over the stove. It still came out great.

    At first glance, there didn’t seem to be that much beef in the stew. However, the beef flavor came through in every bite. It was thick enough that we served it with toast.

    Even though it tasted really good, it was not the most appetizing-looking food on the planet. So imagine my surprise when my picky, autistic, 5-year-old ate two full helpings and asked for more. This one’s a keeper.

    It contains soy and wheat.


    Other notes: The Mountain House packets contain my favorite “Best if used by” label: July 2046. Here’s one food storage item you won’t have to rotate.

    Make sure you store water as well as food. Ready.gov recommends storing a gallon per person per day for three days.

    I will review the other three meals in the Mountain House Classic Meal Assortment® in my next post.



    Editor’s note: While the food in the Mountain House® Classic Assortment comes in pouches, these meals are also available in #10 cans.


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