Tag Archives: baby steps

  • Even if you won’t be affected by this weekend’s nor’easter Nemo, it’s a good idea to build up your knowledge about winter storms.
    This Baby Steps post will help you know where to go to get reliable information on weather patterns, storm updates, and how to prepare.
    Baby Steps 1: Subscribe to our Twitter feed @bepreapred_com. 
    We try to keep our followers updated by retweeting feeds from FEMA, The Weather Channel, NOAA, CNN, and other storm-watch centers. If you don’t have a smartphone you can still get updates on your computer, or other mobile device, as long as you have access to the internet. Click here to get started.
    Baby Step 2: Find out what FEMA region you’re in. Visit FEMA’s website www.fema.gov.
    The FEMA website is full of reliable information. There’s so much information that it’s a little overwhelming at first. You might find it a bit difficult to navigate, but don’t give up. To find out what FEMA region you’re in click here and scroll down to your state. Click on the map of your region and you’ll be taken to specific information about FEMA in your area.
    Baby Step 3: Bookmark these sites for updates
    Here are the websites we use for up-to-date information about predicted and current storms.

    Baby Step 4: Read these informative pieces from our archive

    Baby Step 5: Contact us with any questions you have.

    We’re here to help so do not hesitate to get in touch with us! We’d love to answer your questions, swap ideas, point you to products, and help you prepare in anyway we can. Here’s how to get a hold of us:

    For our readers in Nemo’s path, be safe this weekend! 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Winter, baby steps, FEMA, NOAA, Weather

  • It’s February and before we kick off this month of falling in love here are three super simple, super small baby steps for you to breeze through this weekend.
    1. Learn the difference between dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods.
       Dehydrated= most of food’s water is removed naturally or via heat
       Freeze-Dried = food is flash frozen, placed in a vacuum chamber and sublimated

       (Sublimation= ice is changed directly from a solid to a gas and removed)
       What's the difference? Dehydration is the best way to get rid of moisture for grains, legumes,

       baking mixes, and some fruits and vegetables (like carrots). Freeze-drying retains much of 

       the foods' appearance, flavor, nutritional value, and it stores longer.   
       Read up on the difference in our 15 Tips for Food Storage Shopping.
       Bonus points for someone who tries either a dehydrated or freeze-dried food for the first time!   

       Click here for recipes suggestions then tell us about your experience in the comments below.


    2. Add one month’s worth of these non-perishable items to your supply:

    Toilet paper

    Personal toiletries like diapers, baby wipes, adult 

    briefs, sanitary napkins, tampons 

    ReadyBath Wipes (These are pre-moistened 

                antibacterial washcloths for bathing.) 

    3. Learn how to shut off the gas and water to your home.

    DON’T actually turn off the gas though, ‘cause no one wants to wake up to a cold shower. Plus in your area you might have to pay the gas company to come turn it back on. (Might be good practice for using some of your other prepper gear though...)

    Click here for instruction from The Family Handyman
    Make sure you have these tools and hang them where they’ll be used.
                    Bung wrench

                    Emergency Gas Shut Off Wrench

    Easy, right?
    Which one are you going to do? 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps, 15 Tips, bung wrench, dehydrated, freeze-dried foods, gas, water

  • Thanks for your responses to our first February giveaway. You guys are troopers! We read about you pushing your van in the rain, running out of gas in the mountains, and a boulder stopping your 300 foot drop. (See our Facebook Page Jan 11, 2013 and our blog post.) Here’s one that stuck with me.

    “During the winter of 1998 I was living in Northern Virginia and owned a historic VW bus. One evening after leaving work at 10 pm, I was driving too fast on iced over roads and slid off the road in a rural area. The bus traveled down a snowy hill and smashed into several trees. I broke the tibia bone in my leg and lost conscience for several hours after hitting my head on the solid metal driver’s door. I awoke around 3 am and tried to walk away from the accident, but couldn't because of my leg. I decided my best option was to stay put and had two blankets in the van to try and stay warm. The only food I had was some left over fast food from the previous day that were destined for the trash. It was half a burger, a handful of fries and three packets of ketchup. I ate everything. A driver passing by at 8 am saw the van and stopped to investigate. If he hadn't, I don't think I would have been found for another day or more. I realized that I wasn't prepared enough for that situation. I share what happened to me with all my friends and family in order to prepare them as well.”

    YIKES!! We’re glad you survived! Your story really got me thinking. What I would I have done? Thanks to your stories I’m convinced to spend this weekend prepping. I’m getting an emergency car kit for sure. No more procrastination.

    Baby Step 1: Buying an emergency car kit. But while I’m waiting for my order to arrive, what can I put together? What do I need in order to survive in my car? In addition to the standard car maintenance items of course.

    Uh oh. The standards. Do I even have those?

    Baby step 2: Make sure I have basic car maintenance items. These include a tire pressure gauge, a jack, a lug wrench, a spare tire, and jumper cables. (Note to self: buy a spare tire this weekend!) If you don’t have the tools included in the Auto Tool Kit then consider buying the kit. Winterize your car too – stop at your mechanic’s or a lube shop if you need help.

    Third Baby step: Figure out which “extras” I already have at home. Extra backpack to hold everything – check. Extra blanket – check. Extra gloves – check. Extra hat – check. Extra sleeping bag? A tarp or mat (to kneel on when changing the tire)? Flashlight, food...

    … What food have I got at home that I can put together tonight? Some dried fruit, nuts – but those won’t last me long-term. Some granola bars? Those have a lot of sugar for quick energy boosts, but not enough calories to sustain me. I really need one of these high-calorie food bars. They don’t take up a lot of room and they’re sturdy enough to withstand extreme temperatures. It’s no steak dinner, but it’ll keep me alive if I’m stuck in my car for a couple of days.

    And what do I do about water? If I keep water in the car it’ll freeze. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to keep liquid in my car without it freezing? Should I keep a filter or purifier and try to use snow instead?

    Fourth baby step: Get a map and find alternative routes for my normal drive. If you’re going into the city this weekend, or traveling around your state, take a little time to explore a road you wouldn’t normally take. Even if I’m not stranded, knowing alternate routes will be a big help when freeway traffic is at a stand-still.

    From Google Maps Jan. 24, 2013

    If you’ve already done these baby steps, well done! You’re obviously ready to baby step on a more advanced level. Read through Craig’s story again. What would you do if you were stranded and had no means of communication? (i.e., you don’t have a phone, you can’t get service, or it’s dead.) How would you signal for help? Do you have a bright-colored flag or banner? Do you have some kind of whistle or other attention getter (flares, flashlight)?

    What about first aid? Small first aid kits don’t cover broken bones; what do you keep in your car that could help? Could you use a long ice scraper as a splint? Do you have something to secure it with? What will you do for using the toilet if you can’t move?

    Staying warm and dry is a big deal, especially when injured. Craig had extra blankets, what do you have in your car?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Car Preparedness, baby steps, emergency kit

  • What are your plans for this weekend? I’m getting over a week-long bug, so I’m planning to take it easy this weekend. I still want to do some prepping baby steps, though.

    1. Create a bedside kit.

    This is a small thing you can do to prepare for an emergency that could happen in the middle of the night. Include the following items (and other items you think you’ll need based on your location):

    • Shoes - to keep your feet safe and clear of broken glass or other dangerous items
    • Light stick or flashlight - to help you find your way out in the dark
    • Jacket – to keep warm if it’s cold outside and you can’t return inside immediately
    • A snack – because a snack is always a good idea (especially for keeping kids distracted and to help mitigate grumpiness brought on by low blood sugar)

    2. Make a meal using your emergency cooking equipment.

    If you’ve got emergency cooking equipment, be sure you know how to use it. Cook an entire meal this weekend using only your emergency cooking supplies. Make note of the items you wish you had available, and add those to your emergency storage shopping list.

    3. Add a week’s worth of food to your storage supply (or one day, one month… etc.)

    Add some items to your food storage. If you can’t afford an entire week’s worth of food storage items, add enough for a day or two, and do that each time you go shopping. If you’re consistent, you’ll have a good supply of food before you know it.

    I’m putting a bedside kit together this weekend—I’ve got an extra tote bag lying around somewhere that should fit all those items in it, and I’ve got an old pair of sneakers that look about ready to retire; those will give me a good start to my kit. Now all I need is a light stick and my favorite snack…

    --Urban Girl

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps

  • Friends, I can’t believe it’s been so long! My summer just flew by—did yours? Well, the Preparedness Baby Steps are coming back every week, so let’s get back into the swing of things, shall we?

    This weekend let’s get some of the very basic Preparedness Baby Steps checked off our lists:

    1. Make an emergency and evacuation plan.

    A good emergency plan will cover all potential scenarios, like a flood, fire, earthquake, or other potential emergencies in your region.

    Be sure to include the following items in your emergency plan:

    • How each person will get out of the house, if needed
    • Where to meet if you must leave the house
    • Contact information for reaching the designated out-of-area contact person

    Click here to download or print a free example fire escape plan and a customizable emergency & evacuation plan.

    2. Have an emergency plan drill.

    Whether you’re creating your plan for the first time or you’ve had one for a while, have an emergency drill with your housemates or family this weekend. It should only take a few minutes.

    We suggest a three-part practice:

    1.          A quick review of the plan early in the weekend, along with designating a “drill signal” so everyone knows when the drill begins
    2.          Practice the plan at an unexpected time when everyone is home         Review the plan, then make changes and updates based on everyone’s experience and feedback


    3. Learn how to use a new piece of survival gear.

    Is there a piece of survival or emergency preparedness gear you bought but don’t really know how to use? Or something you WANT to buy and learn how to use?

    Take care of that this weekend.

    Me? I’m buying the Auto Emergency Kit Combo that includes an Auto Buddy™ today, and I’m going to approach a local junkyard about going in and practicing using the window spike to break car windows (stress reliever and preparedness practice in one—bonus!). Then I’ll have an idea of how much muscle I need to break a window if I’m ever stuck in my car or it gets submerged in water.

    Come back here after the weekend and let me know how it went!

    --Urban Girl

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps

  • We’re back today with another handful of Baby Steps you can complete this weekend. Only have a few minutes to spare? Just do one. Got a little more time to devote to your prepping efforts? Do two or three. You’ll be surprised how quickly these little steps add up.

    1. Learn a new recipe using your food storage items.

    Maybe you have never cooked with food storage—this could be a good practice for you! Or if you cook with your food storage regularly, try to come up with a new combination of ingredients that will add variety to your food storage meal options.

    2. Add some simple stress-relieving items to your emergency kits.

    The addition of a few stress-relievers into an emergency kit can make a big difference in a crisis situation. A handful of hard candies can help to take the edge off during an emergency. Games to play, something to draw or color with, or some music to listen to can help a difficult or scary situation seem more normal, especially for children. (But not just children—put something in there for yourself, too!)

    3. Go hiking with your emergency kit.

    Taking a hike with your kit—or a backpack that weighs as much as your kit—will show you how far you could go if you had to evacuate on foot and carry your pack. So if you’re headed out on a hike (or even a long walk) this weekend, take that kit with you and see how it goes! You may find there are some items you need that you hadn’t thought of.

    I’m definitely going to do #2 this weekend—I’ve got a sketchbook and some pencils I can put in my emergency kit. And I’ll probably do #3, also. There’s a trail I’ve been meaning to hike for a while now, and there’s no time like the present, right?

    What about you, readers? What baby steps will you complete this weekend?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps

  • by Angie Sullivan 

    Beware of these common preparedness mistakes as you try to build up a good storage of food and water.


    As our journey continues, I just simply can't go on without warning you of some of the "pitfalls and potholes" of preparedness. They are the mistakes that many people make as they begin storing for the future. The following points are seven of the most common mistakes in food storage.

    1. Water Don't forget it! I know I've mentioned this before, but surprisingly, water is often overlooked. If you do purchase water storage kits or barrels, fill them as soon as possible. Water is crucial, yet because it is so accessible to us, we often forget it.

    2. Extended Staples Don't forget to store the additional pantry "staples" that turn basic foods into recipes. Consider storing oil, baking soda, baking powder, yeast, shortening, and powdered eggs, to name a few. Purchase a food storage cookbook and try the recipes to see what your family enjoys. Make sure you have the extended staples you need for those recipes.

    3. Vitamins Obviously you want to try your very hardest to include as many high vitamin foods as you can. Nevertheless, you will still want to store multivitamins for your family. You might consider asking your doctor what multivitamin is best for your family and each person's individual needs. It is also wise to store vitamin C tablets, as citrus and other fresh fruits with vitamin C may be hard to come by in an emergency. This is a crucial vitamin to store as it prevents scurvy, a disease of the connective tissue. One University discovered that vitamin C tablets, if stored properly, can store up to twenty years.

    4. Quick and Easy "Psychological" Foods These are foods that require little or no preparation, are familiar and taste good, and are comforting. These would be the "fun foods" of the food storage plan. Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) are a good option. They come in many different flavors, and even offer cake and cookies!

    5. Balance Buy several different items. Instead of having a year supply or large amount of one item, such as wheat, have a varied supply that you can live on for as many months as possible. Should you need to use your food storage before completing your plan, you will have the balance and variety you need to survive.

    6. Containers What a tragedy to store bags and bags of food only to have moisture, insects, or rodents ruin it! Using food grade storage containers will help you retain your food storage investment. Number 10 cans are excellent for food storage, especially when coupled with an oxygen absorber. If you choose to store in 5 gallon buckets, be sure to use a food grade liner. Do not use garbage bags as they are not safe for food.

    7. Use Your Storage The most common mistake lies in never touching your food storage. I know this sounds counterproductive, but periodically using the items you store and rotating them into your daily diet is the best way to know that you can eat what you store. You will be more familiar with the products, and more comfortable with the preparation.

    Remember to avoid these seven pitfalls and potholes, and you will be able to continue safely and happily on your journey to preparedness!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, baby steps

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