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Monthly Archives: August 2012

  • Lessons from the India Blackout

    Image Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSBRE86U0C520120731#a=1

    India experienced one of the biggest power outages in history from July 31 to August 2 leaving over 700 million people without electricity for several hours. An outage of this scale seems unimaginable in the U.S., but only one month before India’s blackout, storms knocked out power for over 3 million customers in the Eastern and Midwest U.S.[i] We’ve all experienced power outages of a few minutes or hours, but what about a few days? Are you prepared? Despite the scale of the India blackout, those with alternative energy sources were virtually unaffected. As one news story informs us, “Five of India’s biggest electricity users generate 96 percent of their requirement.”[ii] These companies collectively spent billions of dollars building their own private power stations. [iii]Even though the average person lacks the funds to build a full scale power plant for his or her personal use, having a backup portable generator is in reach for most of us.

    One village in India was unaffected by the blackout because they were completely off-grid. Meerwada is a remote village that received electricity for the first time last year, generated by a solar power station.[iv]  With the price of solar panels dropping each year, having some solar power is a real possibility for many of us. Solar powered generators like the [GoalZero™ Yeti 1250 Solar Generator] store enough power to run larger appliances like refrigerators and freezers and don’t use fuel. Goal Zero™ also makes smaller [solarpowered battery charging devices] that can power smaller devices and charge rechargeable batteries and cell phones. Large or small, some type of solar backup power could prove invaluable in a power outage.



    [iii] Ibid.


  • U.S. Forest Service Maps Current Wildfires

    Image source: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/index.php

    Right now, Northern California and Idaho are the areas of the U.S. hardest hit by wildfires. How do I know this? Did I hear it on the news? Not exactly. I went to activefiremaps.fs.fed.usand looked at the Active Fire Map. This useful map is run by the USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC). Using satellite technology, this map plots the locations of major fires in the U.S. and Canada.

    If you’re like me, you want to know your family members are safe, wherever they may be. Not long ago, my brother-in-law who lives in Utah went mountain climbing in Colorado. The day of his climb we heard news of wildfires in Colorado. Of course, we were all worried about him, but didn’t know the exact location of the fire. Thankfully, the fire was far from his location. If we’d known about the Active Fire Map we would’ve avoided a lot of worry. With so many wildfires in the U.S. the Active Fire Map is a useful tool. Learn about wildfire safety at BePrepared.com.

  • Preparedness Skills: Dehydrating Recipes

    After reading through Dawn's tips in Dehydrating Basics, are you ready to get started?

    In addition to drying plain fruits and veggies, or making plain fruit leathers, check out these dehydrating recipes Dawn loves. Let them inspire you to make dehydrated foods that are perfectly suited to your taste.


    Creamy Fruit Leather

    6 Cups Fruit – Apples, Strawberries or Peaches (You can use any fruit you like or even a combination)
    1 Cup Yogurt – Choose a flavor that complements your fruit

    Puree in blender of food processor until smooth.  Spread on fruit leather trays and dehydrate until leathery.  You want them to be pliable but not too sticky.

    Teriyaki Beef Jerky

    4 Lbs. London Broil
    Marinade -
    2 Cups Teriyaki Sauce
    ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
    1 Tbs Liquid Smoke
    1 Tbs Onion Powder
    1 tsp Garlic Powder

    Mix marinade ingredients together in a measuring cup and set aside.  Slice the London broil, crosswise to the grain to desired thickness and place in a large container.  Pour the marinade over the meat and toss to coat.  Cover and place it in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

    The next day drain the marinade off of the meat.  Before placing the meat on the mesh liners in the trays of your dehydrator quickly place them on top of some paper towels to remove the excess moisture.  This will help prevent dripping.  Dry at 150 degrees until the meat has dried out.  If you like it to still be a little soft just remember that it won’t store as long and may need to be put into the refrigerator.

    Tomato Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce “Roll Ups”

    This recipe might need a little explanation.  I take either tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce and spread it on my fruit leather trays.  Dry it just like a fruit roll.  It is finished when it is still pliable but not sticky.  I use these for camping and back packing.  I roll them up and put them in zip top bags.  They are very light and take up very little room in my gear.  I just add hot water and they re-hydrate perfectly.  This way we can enjoy spaghetti on our outings without adding extra weight or having to carry out an empty can or glass jar.  It’s super convenient!

    Salt and Vinegar Chips

    2 Large Baking potatoes
    Vinegar Powder

    Scrub potatoes, you can peel them if you like and slice thinly.  Place sliced potatoes into a large bowl of cold water with ¼ cup lemon juice.  Let soak for 5 minutes.  Drain potatoes and pat dry.  Place sliced potatoes onto mesh liners on trays and sprinkle with vinegar powder and salt.  Dry at 140 degrees until crunchy.  Times vary based on the thickness of your slices.  These are much healthier than the fried version and very yummy.


    Happy dehydrating!

    Want to make dehydrated foods, but don't have any recipes? Check out our chicken jerky, tomato sauce leather, and unstuffed peppers recipes for tips and steps for making your own dehydrated treats.

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