Tag Archives: Passport to Preparedness

  • Food Prep Preparedness

    With the holidays just around the corner, you’ll be preparing more of your favorite foods. Do you have the tools you need not just for the holidays, but also for your preparedness pantry?

    The crisp, fragrant fall air has us all enjoying the bounty of the harvest and looking forward to the holidays ahead. Along with the holidays come the many family recipes that we enjoy as traditions and comfort foods. Certainly, you will be taking stock of your kitchen and making sure you have the food prep tools necessary to get you through the next few months.

    As you think about updating or replacing some of your much needed food preparation tools, don’t forget to think about the items you could use for your preparedness pantry too! For example, I’m a sucker for the aroma of fresh baked bread on a cool fall day. I’ll be using my electric wheat grinder quite a bit in the next few months. As I use my electric mill, I should certainly make sure that I’ve got something available to me should the electricity be turned off. A hand grain mill would be something I should certainly consider for preparedness food preparation.

    Are you enjoying all that fresh fruit? Could you use some help peeling and slicing it? I know my cobbler would be a whole lot easier if I could use a Potato and Apple Peeler to make quick work of that bushel of crisp apples. Perhaps your family prefers a fresh cherry pie? The Cherry Stoner is a must have for you! Many of these items are not only handy to have around for the holidays, but also for your food storage as they are hand operated and do not require electricity.

    Not only should we be thinking about those big tools, but what about the small and simple things needed to keep your kitchen functioning? Nothing can halt a recipe like a faulty can opener. Think of all the rows and rows of cans you’ve got stored away, now imagine not being able to open them! I recommend storing a few extra can openers just in case. Take a moment and go through your kitchen drawers and update or replace broken or faulty measuring cups, knives, cutting boards, and other food preparation tools.

    As you prepare for your holiday happenings, don’t forget to think a little bit about your preparedness pantry and the food prep items that would be beneficial during an emergency. Take the time to be sure that you are food prep prepared!

    -Angie Sullivan

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Power Up

    By Angie Sullivan

    With a few handy emergency tools, even with the power out, you can be powered up!

    Being without power during an emergency can be not only inconvenient, but it can also prevent you from using some of your most essential tools. Many of us have flashlights and radios stored for an emergency, but what good are these items without the batteries to go with them? Storing extra batteries is a great idea, but batteries do have a shelf-life, and should be tested and rotated. Checking your batteries twice is year is often recommended. If you don’t want to be worried about dead batteries, consider a battery charger. A solar battery charger uses the power of the sun to juice up rechargeable batteries, which you can easily find in an electronic or superstore. Not only would this be much more convenient than finding and replacing all your batteries regularly, it would also be an investment that paid off in the years to come.

    In addition to the solar battery charger, many other electronics can be found solar powered. Be on the lookout for solar flashlights, radios, and other essentials. If you would like the convenience of being able to plug in your electronics, consider a power generator. The Power Dome EX is a handy generator that stores energy. You plug it in and then the energy is available when you need it. It works well on the go and can be used to power anything you need to plug in, and it even has cables to jump your car. You can also purchase a power charger, the Goal0 Nomad 7M, that uses solar power. Just set it up in the sun and it’s ready to power anything from a laptop to a lamp!

    Gas powered generators are the next available resource if you want to keep your family powered up. The Honeywell Generator with Inverter HW2000i is a handy gasoline generator. It runs on gasoline and can provide a reliable source of power for any appliances or electronics you wish up to 2000 watts.

    Take advantage of the wonderful new technology available to help you stay powered up when the power’s out!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Pet Preparedness

    By Angie Sullivan

    You consider your pets a part of the family, but have you stored the necessary preparedness items for your four footed friends

    Once you have ensured the safety and preparedness of each family member, it is time to turn your attention to the loyal family pet. Believe it or not, preparing your pets for an emergency or disaster is very similar to preparing your children. They need many of the same basics, like food, water, and shelter. As with children, your pet’s disposition may change dramatically after a disaster or during an emergency. Pets often become confused and agitated. Staying calm will help your pets stay calm. Don’t panic, but speak firmly and calmly.

    Before the disaster strikes, be sure you have a few things in order. First, be sure to stay current with your animal’s vaccinations. Take photos of each animal, being sure to include any distinguishing marks and store those photos along with any medical records or other important papers in a resealable plastic bag. Be sure your pet has a properly fitted collar, a current license and identification tags. This is important even for animals that rarely go outdoors. Have an emergency kit for each pet. Make sure you have and can easily use a carrier or cage for each animal.

    During an emergency situation, try to keep your animals with you if possible. If you must leave your pet, be sure to leave enough food and water to last several days should you not be able to return quickly. Simply filling a bathtub with a few inches of water might keep your pet hydrated until you are able to return.

    If you are taking your pet with you, be sure you take an emergency kit for them as well. This kit should include food, treats, and water. Include appropriate food and water dishes along with anything necessary to prepare the food, like a can opener. Pack blankets and towels along with a brush or other hygiene items. Sanitation items like litter, or plastic bags for picking up after the animals will be essential to keep everyone healthy and happy. A few familiar toys will help distract your pet and release tension.

    Packing a small first aid kit for your animal is also a great idea. This kit might include a few days worth of medications or vitamins your pet normally takes along with a pet first aid manual. Include a card with the phone numbers and addresses of local vet offices. A small stash of tape, scissors, gauze, antibacterial soap and hydrogen peroxide can come in handy if your pet is injured.

    Whether your pet is furry, flies, or has fins, they are often considered another member of the family! By taking these small steps, you will also be able to provide for the needs of each of your treasured family pets!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Home Making

    By Angie Sullivan

    Learn how to build your own shelter and you’ll feel confident that even in the most uncomfortable of circumstances, you’ll have the knowledge to do some “home-making”!

    Shelter is a high priority when preparing for an emergency. After food and water, shelter is next on the list. Most of us don’t think about shelter because we assume that shelter will always be available for us, whether at our own homes or within our community. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes disasters leave people stranded in harsh weather or amidst destroyed buildings and they are desperately in need of shelter to protect them.

    The easiest way to know you’ll always have shelter and protection from the elements is to carry it with you. A lightweight tent or tube tent that you can keep in your car or emergency kit is ideal. Your car can also be an excellent shelter, especially in cooler weather. Be sure to leave the windows open when the temperature is over 65 degrees to avoid heat exhaustion.

    Though having a shelter on hand is recommended, there are times that you may need to create your own. There are several different types of shelters you can build. If you do not have any materials with which to construct a shelter, you need to use any cover or protection available to you, such as a cliff overhang, or a cave to shield you from wind or rain. If you are in a completely open area, sit with your back to the wind and put as much of your equipment behind you as possible to create a windbreaker for you.

    You can use any size of tree branches to give you shelter from the wind. Begin by tying a branch to the base of another branch where it forks off from the trunk. Cover with additional branches and twigs. Pine and fir trees are particularly effective because of their dense leaves, which offer more protection. Also, creating a shallow depression in the ground can give you shelter, especially if you are able to cover the top with branches, logs, or sticks. This method is better in warm, dry climates as it will not deflect rain from entering the shelter.

    Making a lean-to shelter is as simple as propping logs, branches, and other material against a mountainside, large rock, or fallen log. If you have rope on hand, you will be able to lash the materials together, and a tarp or even a poncho on top of the structure will add an extra layer of protection. This method can also be used to make a teepee shaped shelter. Begin by lashing longer branches together at the top, and then cover with denser material.

    If you are stranded in the snow, you can use the snow as the basis for your shelter. Digging out a depression and forming walls that angle in will provide a layer of insulation. Be sure to have a hole in the top to provide ventilation, especially if you will be making a fire to keep warm.

    Shelter is something many of us take for granted. Should the time come that you find yourself needing protection from the elements, you will be grateful for this knowledge. Take a few minutes from your regular homemaking to think about emergency shelters and you’ll find yourself able to do some real “home-making”!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Safe At Home

    By Angie Sullivan

    Cover all your "bases" and you’ll find you can be "safe at home"!

    Your home can be a sanctuary, a safe refuge from the storms of life. But, should the real storms or natural disasters hit, is your home truly as safe as you think? If you follow these guidelines you’re sure to hit a home run in making your home a safe and secure place for your family.

    Make sure that your family’s beds are not directly beneath a window, or anything that could fall and injure them should an earthquake strike. Secure any shelves or tall furniture to wall studs. Check those shelves for large and heavy objects that could cause significant damage should they fall. Make sure the heaviest decorative items are the closest to the ground.

    Check cabinets for loose doors and unstable shelves. Glass bottles should be kept on bottom shelves, and not in upper cabinets. Heavy appliances like refrigerators or water heaters should also be secured. Flammable materials should be kept far from heat sources. Painting or cleaning products should be stored in the garage or in a shed, and excess newspaper or cardboard should be recycled or thrown away. Roof tiles should be secured to the roof along with air conditioners and swamp coolers. Be sure to cut off any dead or diseased tree limbs in your yard.

    Now that you have checked your home and made the necessary adjustments, be sure the evacuation plan we discussed last week is accessible and add an emergency phone number list. Along with out of state contacts and other close friends and relatives, your phone list should include:


    Fire Department

    Police Department

    Family Doctor

    Poison Control

    Utility company hotline

    With your family evacuation plan in hand, stored emergency kits along with food and water, and your home checked and secured, you’ve certainly covered all of the "bases" to help you be "safe at home"!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Much of our preparedness journey has discussed having your home prepared for an emergency, but what happens if you need to leave your home in an emergency? Do you have an evacuation plan for your family?

    It’s not a pleasant thought, but it is definitely something we’ve seen in the news much more in the last few years: Emergency Evacuations. Many different types of disasters require home evacuations. Hurricanes, tsunamis, chemical spills, gas leaks, and house fires are a few examples of these types of disasters. Having a plan in place before something happens will help your family cope and adjust in a stressful situation. This plan will help you take advantage of every second you have, and will guide your actions to be most efficient and safe.

    Begin with a simple fire escape plan. Make sure your entire family knows the plan, and knows escape routes out of your home should there be a fire. Be sure to have a safe place designated away from your home where all members of the family can meet. If you feel that you could use more help in creating this plan, there are many different sources to turn to for help. Emergency Essentials' Family Emergency Preparedness Plan DVD will help guide you as you put your plan together.

    Here are a few hints to get you going:

    Make a map of your home, including all exits, doors, windows that will qualify as an emergency exit. Make sure each room has a primary exit (usually the door or hallway) and a secondary exit like a window. Label where each family member sleeps. Make sure you label the main shutoff valves for gas, electricity, and water. Mark your safe meeting place outside your home, where everyone can be accounted for.

    Take an evening and practice your evacuation plan. Make sure your family is clear on how to evacuate safely and what they are responsible to do. If your home has second story bedrooms, you may want to consider a fire escape ladder for a safe exit from those windows.

    If you are required to evacuate your home for other reasons, you’ll be grateful to have your emergency kits placed near one of the main exits so they are easy to get to. Assign someone the task of grabbing the kits should you need to leave your home in a hurry. Be sure you know where and how to turn off the utilities. This will be an easier task with a gas wrench in hand. You might also want to consider leaving a pair of shoes, gloves, and a flashlight close to each person’s bedside.

    Designate an out-of-town and out-of-state contact person for your family to call in case you get separated. These numbers should be posted close at hand, and preferably memorized! You can even contact Emergency Essentials for a free magnet to post on your fridge with your emergency contact numbers, or visit: beprepared.com/evacuation for a free PDF version of our evacuation plan.

    If you develop an evacuation plan for your individual family, you will feel confidant knowing that are ready should you need to leave your home during a disaster. Because everyone knows that when the going gets tough, you might have to get going!

    -Angie Sullivan

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Taste Test

    Don’t forget to store the cooking essentials you’ll need to help your food storage recipes pass the taste test!


    Many of us create our daily recipes without considering all the little products that make the recipe look and taste its best. We don’t think about these items until we unexpectedly run out of them. I bet each of us can remember a time when we realized mid-recipe that we were out of baking powder, butter, or sugar. What starts as a simple recipe can end in a cooking catastrophe!


    Imagine how many recipes you will be unable to make if you fail to store some baking powder and baking soda. Many of the quick breads your family enjoys would literally fall flat without these staples! Also, don’t forget the salt. I don’t have to convince anyone that without salt, most recipes are just plain…plain!


    Have you considered the different kinds of sugar you might want to store? Not only should you have the classic white sugar, but maybe a selection of powdered sugar, brown sugar, and even honey would help make your food storage pantry more versatile, and quite frankly, much tastier!


    When you stock your pantry, don’t forget the fat! You can store dehydrated butter, margarine, and even dehydrated shortening. Certainly you will be limited in your recipe repertoire without a good supply of these essentials.


    Cornstarch is another item you might have forgotten to put in your food storage pantry. You also might want to consider soup base, gravy mixes, and chicken and beef broth to help add flavor and give you a good base for many delicious recipes.


    As many of us have experienced, having these recipe staples is the difference between a tasty dish and one that just doesn’t pass the taste test!

    -Angie Sullivan

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Mixing It Marvelous

    By Angie Sullivan

    Turn those gallons of stored water in to a variety of delicious beverages! With these products, you can mix it marvelous!

    If you are like me, you have gallons of water stored for your family. But, if your family is like mine, you’ll realize quickly that they won’t want to drink just plain water all of the time. Well, now they won’t have to because there are so many different powdered drink mixes available to help transform your water storage into a myriad of beverage possibilities!

    We’ve already spent some time discussing powdered milk, as we realize that milk is such an important part of our diet and essential for many recipes. Milk is a wonderful nutrient rich beverage, and a mainstay of many family’s diets. But, if your family is lactose intolerant, there are also some mixes just for you. These Creamy Select™ Drink Mixes come in three delicious flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and banana. All are dairy based, yet lactose free!

    If you are interested in more than milk, you will find that there are several delicious, fortified drink mixes available. Each serving packs a full day of Vitamin C! Imagine mixing up a pitcher of crisp flavored apple drink. Or maybe you’re envisioning a morning with a tall class of orange drink mix? There is also sweet and smooth peach drink mix to tickle those taste buds!

    With the cold weather just around the corner, you might be interested in a warm mug of hot chocolate. The Gourmet Creamy Hot Chocolate mix is smooth, delicious and made with real cocoa. There is even Gourmet Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate available which adds a holiday twist to a winter favorite. Aren’t you ready for a mug right now?

    Obviously these mixes are a wonderful idea for any time, but there are a few reasons why they are a great idea for food storage. First, it adds variety to your food storage. Like I mentioned before, my family would get pretty sick of drinking just plain water every day! Also, if you need to use your emergency stored water, you might find it to taste a little flat or stale. Mix it up in a Mixer Pitcher with one of these delicious powders and your family will be more than content with the results! Also, you might need to treat your water with purification tablets to insure it’s purity during an emergency. These may require some extra flavor to mask the aftertaste. Last of all, these mixes also add extra calories and nutrients to your family’s diet. So don’t hesitate to add a few of these items to your food storage pantry and enjoy mixing it marvelous!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • Just Beat It

    By Angie Sullivan

    The fragile egg doesn’t need to be left off your preparedness list! If you choose to store dehydrated or freeze dried egg products, then you can still beat it!

    If you have never learned about dehydrated or freeze dried eggs, then you are in for a surprise. As far as ease and versatility, they can’t be “beat”! But, first of all, you must familiarize yourself with the different types of canned egg products:

    Whole Eggs are just that, 100% whole eggs solids. These are perfect for baking and can be used in any recipe requiring eggs. You can still whip up your famous pancake mix, cake mix, or cookie dough recipe using whole dehydrated eggs. It’s as simple as adding 2 tablespoons of dried eggs to equal one fresh egg. Then, when you add the wet ingredients, just add the equal amounts water to reconstitute. It’s just that easy!

    Scrambled Egg Mix is a combination of three dehydrated ingredients: eggs, non-fat milk, and vegetable oil. You simply add water and scramble. Imagine adding some freeze dried mushrooms, onions, and peppers to create a tasty and nutritious omelet. Bet you didn’t imagine eating that in an emergency!

    You can also purchase Dehydrated Egg Whites, which can be used just like regular egg whites once reconstituted. Yes, your favorite lemon meringue pie can be accomplished with dried egg products! I’ve got your wheels turning now-don’t I?

    Freeze-Dried Eggs have already been cooked, so they are simple as can be; you just add hot water and voila! Could it get any easier than that? Don’t hesitate to use these for family camping trips and maybe even those crazy hectic mornings!

    You can keep making all those wonderful recipes that call for fresh eggs by simply substituting dried eggs products. With the array of products available, you are sure to find just the right eggs for your family’s needs. So, consider opening up a can of freeze dried or dehydrated eggs, you’ll find they are easy, versatile, tasty, and just plain hard to” beat”! (Or should we say, easy to beat?!)

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

  • I Think I Can

    By Angie Sullivan

    Want to enjoy that summer bounty long after the season ends? You CAN!

    Last week we discussed using a food dehydrator to help you store some of the bounty of harvest time. This week, our preparedness journey will take us to the land of canning. I know, many of you are going to stop reading right here. Perhaps you believe that canning is only for your mother’s generation, or that it is way too hard to accomplish. Well, if you have the right tools, canning can be fun and provide you with some delicious food storage from your own kitchen!

    There are a few guidelines you need to know. There are different types of home canning. These include Hot Water Bath, Steam Canning, and Pressure Canning. Hot Water Bath and Steam Canning are wonderful methods for foods that are high in acid, mainly fruit. Both Hot Water Bath and Steam Canning are not recommended for vegetables or meat. Pressure Canning which is the safest method, is to be used for vegetables and meats, as they require a much higher temperature to be safely preserved.

    If you own your own trees, or if you have access to a source of low priced fruits, then home canning can be a cost effective form of preserving with a few hints and recommendations. The initial investment in cans and a canner may seem prohibitive, but you will be able to reuse the canner, cans, and rims for years to come if properly sanitized. The lids must be purchased new with each round of canning as the seal will be bad once the lid is opened.

    You have a few different choices when it comes to preparing your produce. You can slice, dice, or puree your fruit. If you’d like to puree your fruit, you might want to consider a food strainer or a food processor to help make your job a little easier. You can choose whether to seal the food in water or in sugar syrup. You can even choose whether to pack in light, medium, or heavy syrup. Each fruit requires different times. Your canner will come with a list of preparation instructions and boil times for the produce you are using. Be sure you follow the instructions included with your canner to insure you get the proper seal for your produce.

    With the right tools, a little time and effort, you can reap the huge benefits of canning and feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment as you gaze at a shelf full of produce you prepared. Not to mention that fact that you no longer will be saying “I think I CAN” for you can replace that with a new mantra: “I KNOW I CAN!”

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparedness

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