Tag Archives: family

  • Stocking a Safe Room: Crucial Supplies to Have on Hand

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    As you stock your safe room make sure to keep these crucial supplies on hand

    A “safe room” is a room in your house that has been built or modified to withstand an all-out assault by home invaders, whether burglars, terrorists, stalkers, or would-be kidnappers. Some are constructed to withstand high winds from hurricanes or tornadoes, or to protect against chemical or biological agents or radiation. Your safe room need not be a small, specialized hidey-hole in a secret space behind a bookcase, though some are designed that way. Your bedroom, home office, or any convenient room with a door can be made into a safe room by reinforcing your doors and windows, adding a few security enhancements, and stocking up on some necessary items.

    What are those necessary items? The things you choose to stock in your safe room depend upon the situations you are trying to protect yourself against and how long you expect to be there.

    Some basics include:

    • A phone—either a dedicated landline or a cell phone. Don’t plan to grab the cordless phone from your nightstand; it can easily be jammed or disabled. If you keep a dedicated cell phone in your safe room, remember to charge it regularly.
    • Drinking water (and cartons of juice drinks, especially if children will be there)
    • Food such as storable food bars, chocolate bars, MREs, small cans of freeze dried fruits and vegetables.
    • A portable toilet, toilet paper, and moistened wipes
    • Diapers, food, and clothing for baby if needed
    • A first-aid kit
    • Blankets and pillows for comfort
    • A change of clothing and underwear
    • A light source that isn’t dependent on your home’s electricity
    • N95 masks
    • At least several doses of all regularly needed prescriptions or OTC meds
    • A battery-operated or hand-cranked radio
    • Duct tape
    • A ladder (if second story)
    • Defensive weapons if you choose to have them

    Additional items to consider, depending on the size and purpose of your room, could include:

    • Reflective blankets for additional warmth
    • A battery-powered fan for cooling and circulation (you’ll want lots of extra batteries)
    • Books or an e-reader such as a Kindle or Nook, loaded with material for whatever ages you have in your family (and a way to charge electronics)
    • Electronic or board games
    • Bowl, water, and food for pets if they’re likely to be with you. Folded newspaper or a small litter box
    • A bolted-down safe for valuables—cash, passports (thieves love to get hold of these, they sell very well on the streets), jewelry, etc.
    • Potassium Iodide tablets in case of a radiation threat
    • An alternative way of contacting authorities quickly, such as a safety medallion like those often used by the elderly

    Some schoolrooms have safe rooms at one end, built to accommodate and protect the students and teacher in case of an intruder. They are often stocked with drinking water, food bars, and portable toilet facilities (often behind a privacy screen). Offices could also install reinforced safe rooms for workers—perhaps several, depending upon the size of the building and the number of employees.

    A few tips for creating a safe room from an existing room include the following:

    • Replace hollow-core doors with solid doors that have strong locks.
    • Install a one-sided dead bolt lock at a different level than the regular lock.
    • Hang the door so that the hinges are on the room side rather than the outside, where they could potentially be removed.
    • Either install bullet-proof glass in your windows or reinforce your existing glass with shatterproof laminate.
    • Hang heavy, lined curtains so that the potential intruder can’t see through them.
    • Install a security system—whatever you can afford—from inexpensive door and window “squealers” that screech if they are moved to a complete system with alarms and connection to the security company.
    • Make sure your safe room has a vent that can be opened or closed for fresh air.
    • Owners of some large homes with several levels and multiple entries invest in a home-monitoring unit with closed-circuit TV that can be patched into a set in the safe room so that the residents can observe what’s happening in and around the house.

    Suggestions to consider if you’re creating a safe room in new construction:

    • The safe room door should be solid, open inward, and be secured with a good lock.
    • You don’t need to have a secret room installed (though some do), but it’s best if your safe room blends in with the rest of the house without standing out and calling attention to itself.
    • You can pre-wire your safe room for an alarm panel, lights, and power. Have a direct-dial phone in addition to your cell.
    • Install either chicken wire or steel sheeting under the drywall for extra protection.

    If, in spite of all your best efforts, someone is trying to shoot into your safe room, position yourself against the window wall if he’s outside the window. It’s much safer there than across the room where bullets might spray you. If he’s in the house and shooting through the door, position yourself against the door wall at the farthest point from the door.

    Make certain that all the people in your home, schoolroom, or office know how to access the safe room, and hold training exercises to see how quickly they can assemble there. Teach children that the safe room is not to be used as a playhouse or a place to lock themselves away from parents or teachers!

    Do you have other ideas for items that would be important to include in a safe room?

     

    Sources:

    Emergency Essentials Food Storage Products 

    http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/saferoom.htm

    http://www.fema.gov/safe-rooms

    www.crimedoctor.com/panic_room_1.htm

    www.jbventuresabq.com

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: panic room, safe room, emergency preparedness, Survival, family, Emergency plan, preparedness

  • How to Teach Preparedness to Toddlers

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    How to teach preparedness to toddlers

    After a year of teaching 3-4 year olds as a Sunday school teacher, I’ve learned it’s hard to get toddlers to sit down and focus for even just 5 minutes! This makes the task of teaching emergency preparedness skills . . . Um, how should I say it . . . DIFFICULT.

    So should toddlers be taught about emergency preparedness? Can it even be done?

    Teaching toddlers emergency preparedness skills is not a lost cause. It can be done, but strategically through repetition and play.

    Repetition and Strategic Play

    According to the MetLife Foundation’s pamphlet, “The Power of Play,” toddlers need movement, action, and repetition to understand the world around them. Repetition “helps children know what to expect [and] gives them a sense of security and control over their world. It also helps them master new skills and boosts their self-confidence.”

    Since toddlers rely on routine to understand the world around them, teaching emergency skills through repetition may be the key to helping toddlers not only to prepare, but to feel more confident when an emergency hits.

    How do I Teach My Toddler Using Repetition and Strategic Play?

    Build Your Own Emergency Kit Activity

    Get a backpack for your 3 or4-year-old. Tell them “this is your emergency backpack” (have them repeat the phrase ‘emergency backpack’). Let them know the backpack is special and should be used only when an adult tells them to use it.

    1. Use FEMA’s disaster preparedness coloring book pgs.4-6 to discuss with your child what an “emergency” or natural disaster is.  Explain it in a way they can understand and not feel overwhelmed about. (See coloring page below)

    FEMA Disaster Preparedness Coloring page

    2. After going through the coloring page, tell your child that they need their special backpack when there’s an emergency.

     3. Have a pile of items (maybe 2-3 for now, you can put more in the next time you play) to put into the emergency kit. Pull one item out at a time. Ask the child to identify or guess what the item is and what they would use the item for. If they don’t know, help them.  Let them put it in the backpack.

    CAUTION: Many of the items will be similar to what they already use daily so it’s important to specify that these are special pull-ups or a special sippy cup that they only use when an adult tells them to get the emergency backpack. Repeat this point and ask/tell them the appropriate time to use each item.

     

    4. Talk with your child about things they’d want to have in an emergency to help them feel happy. You’ll want to include some of their favorite snacks and a blanket or toy in the emergency kit.

    CAUTION: You may not want to put toys or blankets your child is attached to into the bag at the moment but take note of these things so you can bring them or get duplicates to put in later.

     

    5. After you put all the items in the backpack, explain to your child that “we need to put this backpack in a place where we can grab it quickly for an emergency.” Help your child select a place to store the bag, close to the front door.  Make sure they understand to only get this special backpack out when they are told by an adult.

    6. Show the toddler you have a special backpack as well, stored in the same place, or if it isn’t, go move the backpack to the same place. Show them some of the items in your kit.

     

    This is an activity that you’ll want to do often. You can do it when it’s time to replace items or you can do it once every three months, reiterating the same ideas and principles about preparedness. Review the items that are already in the bag, put them back in, and add other things as needed.

     

    Check out the Insight Article, “Special Considerations for Emergency Kits” to help you decide what to include in your toddler’s kit.

    And while you’re at it, check out our other articles about prepping for kids and teens:

    Prepare Teens for Real-Life Disasters  Using Young Adult Fiction

    Survival Skills for Kids: Outdoor Survival Games

     

    Have you tried to teach your toddler about preparedness? What did you do? What suggestions do you have for other parents or caregivers?  Let us know in the comments.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness, family, preparedness, skills

  • Savannah Calls 9-1-1

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    Teaching children how and when to call 9-1-1 just might save your life

    You may remember our guest post from earlier this year about teaching young children how and when to call 9-1-1 (“Who They Gonna Call”). In the original article, found on babysittingjobs.com, the authors emphasize making sure your little people know their critical information (name, age, address) and what kind of circumstances really warrant an emergency call. It’s a helpful article and worth another look.

    A great example of these principles at work has gone viral. The video below shows the conversation between 5-year-old Savannah and a 9-1-1 dispatcher, after her father’s chest pains make it too difficult for him to speak.

    When instructing kids on 9-1-1 protocols, be sure they know to stay as calm as Savannah does. She speaks clearly, listens well, answers questions, and repeats the dispatcher’s questions to her dad verbatim—more than many of us might manage in a frightening situation! She also does a fantastic job of following directions, even when she first wants to do something else (the whole pajama issue is priceless!). It’s pretty standard for dispatchers to tell the caller to unlock a door for the EMTs and then stay close to the person in trouble, but if other circumstances necessitate more specific actions, kids need to listen calmly and do exactly what the dispatcher tells them to do.

    One of the best ways Savannah helps the professionals is by offering specific information readily. Not only can she give the dispatcher her name and age, but she describes the problem accurately and even gives him a heads-up about the family dog. A useful role-play might involve a parent acting out an emergency (heart attack, fainting, fall and injury) and having the child describe exactly what they see. Model a call, giving details of the victim’s situation (not breathing, not moving, can’t talk), then have kids take turns observing an accident and making pretend calls.

     

    If you need more ideas and resources for family 9-1-1 training, check out the links below.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness, 9-1-1, family, preparedness, skills

  • Stacey's Double Apple Crisp

    At our house, Christmas celebrations revolve around traditional treats that different family members have been perfecting for decades. My mom’s pie crust is legendary. My dad’s truffles, fudge, toffee, and peanut brittle are requested annually. In recent years, we’ve added my husband’s mouth-watering peppermint-chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies and a friend’s grandmother’s recipe for old English boiled cranberry pudding We do manage a dinner in there somewhere, but if I’m honest, our holiday is basically a sweet fest.

    My job is baking. The breads, the cookies, the cobblers all fall to me, which suits me just fine (me, who couldn’t find my way around a candy thermometer if my life depended on it!). The only problem is that from mid-November onward, I end up having to make semi-weekly pilgrimages to the grocery store just to stay stocked up on eggs, butter, and brown sugar—not to mention the fresh fruit and cream that I only ever need in miniscule portions and which spoil after five minutes in my fridge. But this year, I found a secret weapon!

    Are you ready?

    I don’t think you’re ready.

    Okay, fine. It’s egg powder. Seriously, I have a pumpkin bread recipe that calls for six eggs. Do you know how fast I go through those huge cartons? But already this month I’ve made pumpkin bread, sugar cookies, and two batches of gingerbread, and I haven’t even made a dent in my can of egg powder. I love it! And it makes me think I should be raiding my food storage for other basics, and maybe even the not-so-basics.

    In that spirit, I want to share with you one of my favorite seasonal treats. I found this fantastic apple crisp recipe years ago and have been tinkering with it every winter until it’s become, quite simply, the best thing ever. And it can be made almost entirely out of food storage items! Good to know you could still have luxuries like apple crisp, even in the midst of a crisis. Bon appétit!

     A Dish Of Apple Crisp made from Food Storage

    Stacey’s Double Apple Crisp

    1 ½ cups Provident Pantry White Flour

    2 cups Provident Pantry Regular Rolled Oats

    2-3 tsp MyChoice Premium Cinnamon

    1 tsp ground nutmeg

    1 tsp ground cloves

    1 ½ cups packed Provident Pantry Brown Sugar 

    1 ½ cups (3 sticks, or 24 tbsp) reconstituted Provident Pantry Butter Powder

    6-8 cups reconstituted Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Cinnamon Apple Slices

     

    1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

    2.      Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly (this works best with fingers!)

    3.      Put half the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and pat down.

    4.      Cover crumb mixture with reconstituted apple slices, then sprinkle apples with remaining crumb mixture.

    5.      Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve hot. Top with ice cream.

    Um…I might need to go make this right now.

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: christmas, Dessert, family, recipe, holidays, food storage

  • Natural Disasters and Gender: An Unexpected Factor

    Natural Disasters and Gender: An Unexpected Factor

    In 1970, the Bhola Cyclone hit Bangladesh, killing close to 300,000 people. Of every 15 victims, 14 were women. Since then, researchers have been looking into the cultural factors that affect genders differently in an emergency situation. In third world countries (historically hardest hit by natural disasters) for instance, social taboos might make it difficult for women to evacuate unescorted.

    While we may live in a community free from the same restrictions, other factors are less foreign, in the article, “Improving Women’s Odds in Disasters,” the World Bank reports that “most women in Bangladesh were home-based, and responsible for children and elders . . . They died in cyclones because they did not hear warnings, or because they had to fend for others as well as themselves.”

    The circumstances of these women are in some ways similar to what we may experience in the U.S. during an emergency. In a crisis, many women and men may put aside their own safety to lend a helping hand to a spouse, the elderly, children, neighbors, friends, and other loved ones. However, it is also important that in addition to helping others, we learn to help ourselves as well. Or in another circumstance, fathers or mothers who work to provide for their families and may not be home when an emergency strikes, thus it is important that all family members know how to be prepared. Our own preparedness education will allow us to not only help our loved ones, but will enable us to do so without jeopardizing our own health or safety.

    This is why for the last 40 years, Bangladesh has labored to involve women more in their emergency planning so that they can help themselves as well as others during an emergency. This increased effort has caused the gender gap in disaster casualties to dramatically decrease. One of the major lessons we can take away from emergency planning in Bangladesh is that no matter what our social, cultural, professional, or domestic circumstances may be, whole families (men, women, children, and the elderly) need to be educated about preparedness.

    Learn more about Bangladesh’s efforts to educate citizens about emergency preparedness in the World Bank.org article, “Improving Women’s Odds in Disasters.” Then check out the following articles and resources to get started on your own family’s emergency plan.

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: natural disaster, emergency preparedness, Survival, family, Emergency plan

  • Emotional Aftershocks: Handling Feelings after a Disaster

    Traumatic events can cause emotional aftershocks

    Experiencing Emotional Aftershocks

    Just like aftershocks can follow an earthquake, traumatic stress reactions are like emotional “aftershocks” that we may experience following a personal, community, or national disaster. Symptoms may begin immediately, but could appear weeks, months, or (occasionally) years later. Most begin within three months of the triggering event.

    The sufferings of military men and women who come home from war with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have taught us a lot about human response to intense stress and trauma. These folks often experience flashbacks, anxiety, depression, emotional numbing, trouble sleeping, hallucinations, exaggerated responses to loud noises, and much more. We see similar responses in victims of traumatic events like natural disasters, house fires, terrorist attacks, car accidents, and witnessing criminal acts, and because of increased understanding of PTSD, we can more easily recognize and address it.

    Understanding the Roots of Emotional Aftershocks

    The severity of our reaction to trauma is influenced by several factors:

    • The intensity and length of the traumatic event
    • Other stressful factors we’re already dealing with
    • The length of time since the event happened (usually the intensity of our reaction and feelings will decrease over time)
    • Long-term results of the event, such as the loss of loved ones or pets, long-term or permanent disabilities, the loss of housing and personal belongings, lasting psychological damage, etc.
    • Whether we have prior experience with the specific type of event (or something similar). This prior experience can be positive (and actually help us with our reaction) or it can be negative, making a difficult situation worse. For example, a person who is accustomed to frequent earthquakes may not be quite as terrified as a “first-timer” (positive). On the other hand, a person who has already been through a house fire may be even more terrified of a second event (negative).

    In order to overcome any negative responses we have to traumatic situations, we first have to recognize the response and be able to associate it with the traumatic event. After a traumatizing event (or before a predicted event), watch for the following stress responses in yourself and others.

    Traumatic Stress Responses:

    • Fear and anxiety may mount before a predicted or anticipated event as information becomes available through the media or authorities.
    • During the event, feelings such as panic, uncertainty, fight-or-flight response, and terror for the lives and safety of self and others may predominate.
    • Some people are amazingly able to stay calm and hold themselves together during the crisis, only to fall apart afterwards.
    • The severity of the situation may only hit home after the event, when the person begins to realize the extent of their loss—of loved ones or property—or faces the extreme frustration that occurs when they cannot find out what happened to either.
    • Later responses may appear in the forms of nightmares, flashbacks, hallucinations, generalized anxiety, restlessness, irritability, anger, sadness, periods of unexpected crying, self-destructive behavior (such as drinking too much), memory problems, difficulty maintaining close personal relationships, and fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone. Anger is frequently a secondary emotion, following closely on the heels of fear or frustration. People often experience guilt at having survived an event that took the lives of many around them.
    • Physical symptoms such as digestive disturbances, dizziness, exhaustion, pounding heart, trouble sleeping, or headaches are common.

    Coping with Your Own Emotional Aftershocks 

    • Get extra rest and relaxation, especially if you can’t sleep well 
    • Listen to relaxing music
    • Get some form of exercise
    • If you've experienced loss, attend or take part in funerals and memorials and allow yourself to grieve
    • Establish as normal a schedule as possible as soon as you can
    • Talk to friends about your feelings, as well as to counselors and/or religious leaders
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs (except medications prescribed by a doctor)
    • Don’t fight against recurring nightmares and flashbacks—these are one way our minds deal with trauma. The episodes should gradually decrease and become less painful. If, however, you find them increasing in intensity or length, or causing you to feel a lack of motivation, consult a professional.
    • If those around you are saying you need to get help, pay attention to them! There’s no virtue in being miserable or reluctant to accept help in these situations. Often we think we should be strong enough to “just deal” with what we've gone through, not realizing how deeply rooted and lasting the damage is.

    Helping with the Emotional Aftershocks of Others

    • Listen carefully, even if people repeat themselves and dwell on the same topics. Allow them to share their thoughts and feelings; avoid dismissing what they say, but rather hear them out and be there for them.
    • Spend time with them. You may need to seek them out, especially if they withdraw and “just want to be left alone.” On the other hand, do allow them some private time to grieve their losses. Don’t immediately try to cheer them up with what is normally a “fun” activity. After they've had time to grieve, however, a little normalcy may be just what they need.
    • Offer assistance if you see a need, even if they haven’t asked for help. Many people have a difficult time asking for help with everyday tasks, which can feel overwhelming when a person is traumatized. Child-care, housekeeping or home repairs, yard work, and help with transportation or shopping are good places to start.
    • Help them avoid alcohol and drugs (except medications prescribed by a doctor)
    • Recognize that people grieve in their own way and within their own timeframe. Never say, “Oh, for heaven’s sake! Aren’t you over that yet? Let it go.” They will when they can.
    • If the person exhibits anger or has emotional outbursts, try not to take it personally. He or she may very well have a reservoir of anger with no way to direct it at the cause of their pain.
    • If you see any signs or threats of suicidal or homicidal behavior, get the person professional help right away.

    Looking to the future

    • Make an updated family or personal emergency plan.
    • Replenish or establish a disaster supply kit for yourself and family members.
    • Act on the things you wish you had done before the traumatic event you experienced—build a shelter, fortify your home, obtain food and water storage, learn survival skills, get fire and carbon monoxide monitors, etc.

    Some things we experience in our lives can cause psychological pain as severe as the pain of traumatic physical injuries—and in many disaster situations, both types of pain are present. We need to give and accept help in these times, and support one another through our difficulties. Though in the wake of disasters there are some people who loot and take advantage of weakness, we see more in the ways of families, neighbors, and communities rallying to help each other through tough times, a heartwarming and encouraging reflection on the state of humanity. Helping ease the pain of emotional aftershocks is a vital part of the aid we can give—and receive.

    See also our Insight Article, “Preserving Sanity in a Disaster Situation”

    For immediate emotional help, call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990.

     

    Sources:

    www.fema.gov/coping-with-disaster

    www.webmd.com

    www.weather.com/safety/homesafety/emotional-health-20120601

    www.newsroom.redcross.org/2012/07/symptoms-and-support-after-disaster

    www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/disaster-distress-hotline

    www.mayoclinic.com/health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

    Posted In: Insight, Planning, Skills Tagged With: Emotional Aftershocks, PTSD, emergency preparedness, Survival, family, Emergency plan, skills

  • How to Winterize your Home

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    Winterize your house before the storms hit

    The minute winter is over and the temperature creeps up above 40 degrees, I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. Spring cleaning? Bring it on. Paint touch-ups? Love it. Garden prep? Couldn’t start soon enough. But somehow I’m never as enthusiastic about my preparations for winter. Maybe it’s because I’m too wrapped up in Jingle Bells to think about the important, practical things (like my house making it through the stormy season). So this year, I’m mending my ways. Amid all my plans for caroling and drinking eggnog, I hereby commit to winterize my home. You all heard me, right? Somebody’s got to hold me to it…

    If you’re in a similar situation, there are plenty of places to look for good tips and checklists. I’ve listed some of the best at the end of the post, but most of the advice shakes down into these three basic categories:

    1. Energy efficiency

    In most parts of the country, winter is the season of skyrocketing utility bills, as we pay to heat our rooms, our water, and our toes. Reduce costs by checking the basics first: open heat vents, make sure your insulation is up to snuff, and check doors and windows for heat leaks—a little caulking or a weather strip is far cheaper than the fuel it takes to raise your home’s temperature those few, critical degrees! Another clever trick I found is to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans, if you have them, pushing the heated air downward and keeping the room warmer.

    2. Seasonal use items

    Winter means putting certain things away and pulling out others that haven’t seen the light of day in nine months. Make sure the former are stored properly and the latter are in good repair for winter use. For example, drain lawnmowers and weed-eaters of gasoline to keep the engines from gumming up in the cold. Remove window-unit air conditioners, or winterize central AC units by draining water pipes and covering the unit with plastic.

    Before the weather turns really nasty, have the chimney cleaned and/or the furnace serviced. Stock up on your supply of firewood or pellets, if you use a traditional fireplace or wood stove. And make sure snow shovels, ice scrapers, and snow blowers are all functional and accessible.

    3. Storm and cold prep

    Winter weather can be pretty brutal on your home and property. You can’t anticipate everything, but you can prepare. Here are some common problems and troubleshooting tips.

    Heavy rain or snow – Clean gutters and unclog downspouts. Gutters weighty with debris and water can pull away from the siding or (worse) leak into the house. Similarly, replace worn shingles on the roof before you have to fix a leak.

    Ice – Drain sprinklers and hoses, insulate outdoor faucets, and turn off the outdoor water supply to prevent frozen or cracked exterior pipes. Keep sand, salt, or ice melt on hand to keep porch steps and walkways safe in freezing temperatures.

    Wind – Check trees close to your house for rot or overhanging branches that could come off in a windstorm (or heavy snow). Cover and store patio furniture and stash pots and planters in the shed or garage.

    Most of all, don’t forget your emergency kits! Double check your supply of candles and blankets, in case of power outages, or invest in a Yeti Solar Generator to keep the basics powered in case of a blackout. Make sure you have the needed supplies to help you weather any storm.

    Don't forget to Winterize your Car too! Check out these links for handy checklists, and stay safe and warm this winter!

    http://www.realestate.com/advice/a-checklist-for-winterizing-and-weatherproofing-your-home-66175/
    http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/3899/20121015/winterizing-home-60-tip-checklist-saving-energy.htm
    http://www.bobvila.com/articles/502-winter-preparation-checklist/
    http://www.doityourself.com/stry/winter-home-checklist#b
    http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/11/09/15-ways-to-winterize-your-home/

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: house, winterize, emergency preparedness, family, preparedness, Winter, skills

  • Holiday Gift Guide: $10 to $25

    Gifts Under $25

    “Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat,” goes the old song—or maybe it should be “Christmas is coming, and the days are flying fast!”  When I was a kid, Christmas took forever to arrive, but now the days between October 25 and December 25 seem to telescope into a blur. We’re already well into November and holiday shopping is in full swing. Doing our best to help you out with yours, we offer here some fun and practical holiday gift ideas that fit into the $10 to $25 range of your budget:

     

    1. Warmth Emergency Kit--$14.92

    For those on your list who are all-weather campers, winter sports enthusiasts, or faithful football game attendees, this gift is ideal to keep them warm.  With 6 Hand and Body Warmers, 4 Adhesive Body Warmers, and 2 Hand Warmers, your gang will be toasty no matter the weather. This holiday gift is also nice for just walkin’ in the winter wonderland!

     Holiday Gifts: Warmth emergency kit

     

    1. 4-Tray Seed Sprouter -- $13.95

    Know a frustrated gardener who’s waiting impatiently for spring? Give the gift of indoor gardening all year long with our 4-Tray Seed Sprouter.  Perhaps couple it with a copy of The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore on sale during November for only $10.99 (regularly $11.95)—or a 1 lb. packet of “Savory Salad” Organic Sprouting Seeds for $6.50.

    4-Tray Seed Sprouter 

    1. Extra Large Backpack-- $19.95

    This holiday gift could be very useful to get someone started on their prepping by encouraging them to fill it with food, water, first-aid supplies, tools, and more for a bug-out bag (72-hour kit, emergency evacuation kit, etc.) Or they might want to use it for a car emergency kit, with tools and supplies for road emergencies.

      EEI Extra Large Backpack

    1. ASAP™ Silver Solution--$25.00

    Give the gift of enhanced health with this safe, bacteria-killing liquid that boosts the immune system and helps fight off sickness and disease. Silver has long been used by doctors and hospitals to prevent infection and aid healing. More effective than traditional colloidal silver, this solution is useful for both children and adults in fighting off bacterial infections of all kinds. It may be silver, but as one happy customer puts it, it’s “worth its weight in gold!”

     ASAP Silver Solution

    1. Kitchen Plus™ 2000 Hand-Powered Food Processor-- $16.95

    Practically any cook would be delighted to have this food processor in their kitchen anytime, and not only when the power is out. This handy appliance has dozens of functions, including whipping, beating, chopping, slicing, grating, citrus-juicing, and more. It’s easy to use, with rustproof, stainless steel blades and a safety handle to protect fingers. Rave reviews from customers mention the versatility of the food processor in using it to make salsa or hash browns.

    Kitchen Plus 2000 Food Processor

    1. Marlene’s Magic Food Storage Book--$24.95

    Do you know someone who’s new to food storage, and seems a little bewildered about what to do with all those cans and pails? Give the gift of knowledge this holiday season with Marlene Peterson’s 260-page cookbook, Marlene’s Magic Food Storage Book. Full of easy to prepare recipes such as English muffins, homemade noodles, cottage cheese, tortellini shells, and much more. This book gets great reviews from customers—even those who don’t like to cook. 

    Marlene's Magic with Food Storage

    1. Nokero™ N200 Solar Powered Light--$19.99

    Give everyone the gift of light for a time of darkness with this high-efficiency, portable, solar-powered light bulb. Once fully charged with its built-in solar panel, it provides six-plus hours of rechargeable, directable, adjustable LED light in a dark room. It automatically turns off in bright light to conserve its charge.

    Nokero N200 Solar powered Light

    1. Solar Spray™ Portable Shower--$11.95

    Your gang’s been camping for a couple of days, and they’re beginning to smell as smoky and gamey as last night’s barbecued pork. Ah, for a warm shower—but alas! They’re roughing it, and no facilities are available. They’ll never face that situation again with a Reliance™ Solar Spray Portable Shower. The lightweight, leak-proof tank holds 5 gallons of water. Set it in direct sunlight for about 2.5 hours, and three people can grab a quick, warm shower.

    Solar Spray Portable Shower

    1. H-25 Strike Master™ Fire Starter--$12.95

    This is a safe, dependable fire-starter, with shavings from the handle acting as excellent tinder to catch the sparks. It’s a great back-up when you have no matches, and in fact, some people prefer it to matches. Each flint gets up to an amazing 25,000 strikes. So whether you’re camping or in an emergency, this fire starter will provide you with the necessary tools you need to stay toasty warm.   

    H-25 Strike Master Fire Starter

    1. Champion™ Lid Lifter--$14.95

    A true champion among tools, this multi-function aluminum tool opens any storage bucket, unscrews most bung nuts on water barrels, and turns off your main gas valve. When you need a tough job done, the champion has got your back.  It’s sturdier and longer lasting than plastic versions.

     Champion lid lifter

    If none of these gifts strike you as just right, take a few minutes to look through our print or online catalog for more holiday gift ideas in this price range.

    Happy shopping!

    Sharon

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: holiday gifts, holiday, emergency preparedness, Survival, family, preparedness, gifts

  • First Aid for Allergic Reactions

    iStock_000011126054XSmall_woman_sneezing

    You’re enjoying dinner in a nice restaurant. Suddenly your lips and tongue are tingling and you begin to feel dizzy and anxious. Breathing becomes labored. What’s happening to you? Chances are you’re having an allergic reaction to something in your meal.

    All allergic reactions are responses to sensitivities we may have to allergens, which are often protein substances found in foods, medications, insect and spider venom, plant material, chemicals, the air we breathe, and things we commonly touch. Allergies can be with us from birth, or suddenly develop at any age—and some are commonly outgrown as we mature. Sometimes the first exposure to an allergen produces only a mild reaction in a sensitive person, but repeated exposures result in more and more serious reactions.

    How dangerous are allergies?

    The reactions can range from mild (but miserable) to life-threatening. Most reactions occur soon after the exposure—or even immediately within the first two hours. Always pay attention to allergies and treat them or get medical attention right away. The most extreme and dangerous reaction is anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock—a sudden, severe reaction that can actually lead to death in as little as fifteen minutes if not treated.

    What are the most common allergens?

    • Food allergens: shellfish, fish, peanuts (very dangerous, especially because there is often “hidden” peanut content in many processed foods), tree nuts, tomatoes, strawberries, eggs, milk, and soy products
    • Animal dander, saliva, or urine; dust mites
    • Venom from bites and stings, especially bees, wasps, and some ants and spiders
    • Medications, oral or injected, including insulin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen
    • Plants and pollens, notably poison ivy, poison oak, grasses, molds, many springtime pollens
    • Dyes, chemicals, metals, ingredients in soaps and cosmetics

    What are the most common symptoms of allergic reactions?

    • Itchy rash or hives
    • Flushing of face or neck
    • Tingling lips or tongue
    • Swollen face, lips, eyes, or throat
    • Abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea
    • Dizziness or light-headedness
    • Sneezing, dripping nose, weeping, itchy eyes
    • A tight feeling in the chest, difficulty breathing, asthma
    • Anxiety, heart palpitations
    • Loss of consciousness

    Why are some people allergic to a substance when most others are not?

    An allergy is an overreaction of a person’s immune system to a particular substance that it regards as a threat. What triggers one person’s allergies might not trouble another at all. People who are especially prone to allergies are said to be “atopic.” The tendency to be atopic seems to be partially genetic, as sensitivities seem to run in families—but the environment also plays a part. Whether or not the person “likes” the offending substance or its carrier has nothing to do with his allergy. A person who loves cats or dogs may sadly still develop an allergy to them, and someone who enjoys shrimp and lobster may have to avoid them at all costs. A man who lives by farming may be forced to find another occupation if he has serious reactions to the plants or animals he must work with on the farm. Children who love “pb&j” sandwiches may be dangerously allergic to peanuts. NOTE: Parents who warn you about their children’s allergy problems are not being overprotective: they’re being prudent and careful. Pay attention!

    What should you do if you (or someone with you) has a sudden allergic reaction?

    • Try to ID the allergen if possible and remove it from the scene.
    • For a rash, bite, or sting, remove stinger if one is present, wash the site, apply a cold compress and use a hydrocortisone cream such as Benadryl. Take or administer an over-the-counter antihistamine as well, unless swallowing is hampered.

    For more severe reactions:

    • Call 911, then administer CPR if the person is not breathing or you can’t get a pulse.
    • Have the person lie flat if possible with feet elevated
    • Don’t place a pillow under the head if that tilts the head forward, as that might further constrict the airway—but a small, rolled towel under the person’s neck might make them more comfortable
    • Keep them warm; cover them with a blanket or coat
    • Know your loved ones allergies, whether they carry an Epi-pen or similar medication with them, and know how to use it in case they lose consciousness

    How are allergies identified and treated medically?

    Allergy specialists can administer tests to identify exactly what substance or substances trigger a person’s allergic reactions, and can recommend treatments. In some cases, they may be able to help the sufferer become less-sensitive to the offending substance.

     

    Sources:

    www.hlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia/article000005.htm

    www.peanutallergy.com

    www.FoodAllergyandAnaphylaxis.com

    www.allergicchild.com

    www.Mayoclinic.com/health/allergies

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: First Aid, family, preparedness, skills

  • Using Whole Egg Powder

    This week’s feature product is the Provident Pantry®Whole Egg Powder. Ideal for baking and cooking, and including in dry ingredient mixes, our Whole Egg Powder is a wonderful addition to your food storage. This product is easy to rotate and can be used in your favorite family recipes. It is packaged and preserved for long-term storage so that you can use it now or years from now.

    ccs

    We’re not the only ones who think it’s great. One of our customers left this product review of the Provident Pantry™ Whole Egg Powder on our website:

    I have used this product in baking and have made egg drop soup without any family members commenting about "something being different". In the long run, it seems to cost less and it is certainly more convenient than having to run to the store for a carton of eggs before I can make a cake or a batch of cookies. ~ Granny

    Like Granny says, cooking with whole egg powder won’t have your family commenting on “something being different” or refusing to eat! Here are a couple of recipes from the book Cookin’ with Dried Eggs, that you can make using Provident Pantry®Whole Egg Powder.

    The book includes an excellent chart on how to convert recipes that use fresh eggs into the equivalent measurements for Whole Egg Powder, so you can still cook your favorite recipes. Pick up your copy today and start cookin’!

    Hootenanny Pancakes (German Pancake)

    1 C. dried whole eggs 3 C. warm water
    3 T. dried milk                                   1 C. flour
    ½ t. salt    ½ C. margarine

    Mix water, dried eggs, dried milk, and salt in a blender until fluffy. Tap in the flour a little at a time, beat until well blended. Melt margarine in 9x13 pan at 425°F. When butter is bubbly, pour in batter and return to oven immediately. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with jam, syrup, or powdered sugar.

     

    Macaroni and Cheese Casserole                                                 

    2/3 C. macaroni 1 T. dried green pepper
    2 C. boiling water ¼ C. dried cheese
    ½ t. salt 1/3 C. dry whole egg
    2 T. dried parsley 3 T. dried milk            
    1 t. dried onion 1 C. warm water

    Cook the macaroni in the boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and combine the macaroni, green pepper, parsley, and onion. Mix together cheese, egg, milk, and warm water; blend well. Pour over the macaroni mixture. Place in a greased pan, bake at 350°F. for 50 minutes. This recipe makes 2 servings.

    If you are interested in finding more ways to cook with the Provident Pantry® Whole Egg Powder, check out our recipe for Scrambled Egg and Veggie Wraps. You can purchase a copy of Cookin’ with Dried Eggs from our website or in our stores.

    Pick up a can of our Whole Egg Powder and try out a couple of recipes. They’ll taste just the same as using eggs fresh from the carton!

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency Essentials, family, recipes, food storage

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