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  • Is Prepping on the Decline?

    Stock Market statistics Decline

    There was a time when being prepared for emergencies was a national past time. The Great Depression all but forced people to live within (and less than) their means, and save everything they could. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, even more people saw the benefits of preparing and began building up supplies. Then there was the stock market crash of 2008, forcing countless Americans to live off what they had. Some had stored up enough with which to subsist until a new job or other means could be found. Many others struggled.

    Then the world was supposed to end in 2012 as predicted by the Mayans. Before the predicted date arrived, more and more people began stockpiling food, water, and gear…just in case. The world still stands, but that didn’t stop countless others from investing even more in emergency prep in the months before the 2015 blood moon tetrad.

    Preppers kept on prepping since then. That is, right up until election day. According to some sources, prepping is on a decline as people let their guard down with Donald Trump about to become president. They trust him to boost the economy, to produce jobs, and make everything awesome. Whether that will happen or not has yet to be seen (fingers crossed). But even if he does make everything awesome, that doesn’t mean we’re done prepping.

    Natural disasters don’t really care how good our economy is. Massive earthquakes, super tornadoes, category 5 hurricanes, and the biggest, baddest snowstorms can be debilitating. Even smaller disasters can leave you without power, water, and other comforts for an extended period of time.

    Family Dinner Decline

    Stocking up for the unexpected is more than just preparing for the stock market to crash (although also important). True, the Dow Jones has never been higher, and the market is looking good. So money might not be as big an issue as it has been in the past. But what about water storage, just in case your water get shut off? Broken water mains and other issues can do that without warning. Will your food storage be enough to see you through a hurricane if you can’t make it to the store? Or what about a way to warm yourself (and your family) when your power goes out during a blizzard? Or will you have sufficient food in your storage to get you by following a job loss until you can get yourself back on your feet? The list goes on.

    There are so many reasons why being prepared is a good idea. Don’t leave your safety and well-being up to fate. Just like any good ship, make sure you have a life boat. Nobody goes out expecting their ship to sink (Titanic, anyone?), but if your good fortunes do spring a leak, make your you have a lifeboat handy.

     

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  • Keep Your Nutrition Stored for the Long Term

    It’s a brand new year, and time for the customary list of New Year’s resolutions. Raise your hand if you have “lose weight” as a New Year’s resolution … again? (I won’t mention how many years it’s been on my list.)

    Last week, U.S. News and World Report ranked 38 popular diet plans. All of the best plans had one thing in common: an emphasis on fruit and vegetables.

    veggies nutrition

    “People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body,” says choosemyplate.gov, a U.S. Department of Agriculture site to promote healthy, nutrition-rich eating.

    Let’s call it how it is: fresh food is almost always better for you. However, what if you’re in a survival situation where fresh food is hard to come by? Or, what if you want the convenience of pre-packaged foods without all the additives? Freeze-dried foods and canned foods can help fill those needs.

    For example, let’s take this recipe, from the Mayo Clinic, for the DASH diet and the Mayo Clinic diet. The DASH diet was ranked the best by U.S. News and World Report experts. The Mayo Clinic diet was ranked fourth. By the way, I’m not promoting any diet plan. How can I promote something I can’t stay on?

    Here’s the original recipe:

     

    shepherdspie3col nutritionShepherd's Pie

    By Mayo Clinic Staff

    Serves 6

    Ingredients

    2 medium russet potatoes, cut into nickel-sized cubes

    1 teaspoon olive oil

    1/2 cup chopped onions

    1/2 cup chopped carrots

    1 pound lean ground beef

    1/2 pound ground turkey breast

    1 tablespoon tomato paste

    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    2 cups chicken stock

    1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

    1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

    1 cup skim milk

    1 tablespoon butter

    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    Directions

    Heat the oven to 400 F. Place the potatoes in a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.

    While the potatoes are cooking, heat oil over medium heat. Sautee the onions and carrots until tender. Add the beef and turkey. Break apart the meat and stir frequently. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the stock and cook for 10 minutes; stir in the peas and corn. Cook the mixture down until most of the stock is absorbed; place the mixture in a casserole dish.

    When potatoes are soft, drain off the water. Then return potatoes to the pot over medium heat. Add the milk, butter and salt. Using an electric mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes to a smooth consistency. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the meat mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown around the edges. Serve hot.

     

    Now, let’s say you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to chop up onions, potatoes and carrots. You’re just mashing the potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes might be the fastest substitute, because they contain milk, salt, pepper, and butter flavor. If you don’t like the additives, consider using freeze-dried potatoes, which contain salt. Other food storage-based options include rinsed canned potatoes.

    To save more time, use freeze-dried onions, and carrots, which are already cut.

    Nearly all the ingredients in this recipe can be kept on shelves in food storage. So even if you’re, say, in a tough period and need to use food storage, you still have healthy food.

    Potatoes contain potassium, and diets with a lot of potassium may help keep healthy blood pressure, according to ChooseMyPlate.gov.

    In addition to giving strong flavor, one onion has only 63 calories, and provides up to 20 percent of daily requirement of vitamin C, according to WebMD.

    One carrot provides 200 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A, according to WebMD.

    According to WebMD, a ¾ cup serving of peas has more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter, less than one gram of fat and no cholesterol.

    Now, a caveat to replacing fresh food with preserved. When you buy food for storage, check the labels. A lot of canned and dried foods have added salt and sugar. If you use something like beans canned with salt, rinse them well first.

     

    Blog Image nutrition

  • How to be Prepared for Any Apartment Emergency

    The following article is a guest post from Sam Radbil.

    Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.

     

    View of colorful apartments and condos in the city. View of colorful apartments and condos in the city.

    Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and brutal winter storms are just a few of the hazards for which people all around the U.S. have to be prepared. Even smaller disruptions, such as a water main break, can be mitigated with just a few early steps. And it’s not just homeowners. As a renter, your landlord might have had the responsibility of installing emergency lights, smoke detectors, and a standby power system, but you have your share of preparedness measures to take, too. At ABODO, we want to make sure every renter is prepared.

     

    Household Emergency Supplies

    Citywide catastrophes aside, small-scale household emergencies need preparing, too. For example, make sure you have an easily accessible flashlight with working batteries, a few candles, matches, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and a small store of potable water. The average person needs 1 gallon every three days, which is the minimum recommended to have on-hand.

    emergency-kitStore-bought and sealed water is a great, simple, and sanitary option, but you can also prepare your own by completely sanitizing water or soda bottles (not milk or fruit juice containers, because leftover sugars can lead to bacteria growth), filling with chlorine-treated water, and replacing every six months.

    These supplies will come in handy during severe weather or a kitchen mishap, but you should also have a full-scale emergency kit packed in the event of larger disasters.

     

    Disaster Supplies Kit

    Like insurance, it’s something you should always have but hope you never need. Since space is at a premium for many renters, you could consider storing your disaster supplies in the trunk of your car (if you have ready access), so they’re ready and waiting if you need to hit the road. If that’s not possible, keep the kit as available as possible — don’t let it end up in inconvenient, offsite storage.

    But what to pack? Ready.gov recommends some of the aforementioned items, such as a flashlight and first aid kit, as well as extra batteries, radio (and NOAA weather radio), a whistle, dust masks, plastic sheeting, duct tape, moist towlettes, garbage bags, plastic twist-ties, wrench/pliers, manual can opener, maps, cellphone with charger (solar, if possible), and a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for every person.

     

    Other Helpful Tips

    There is the possibility that in the event of a serious disaster, you won’t be able to charge your cellphone, or you could lose your phone. Add a little extra protection by making a list of pertinent phone numbers (emergency services, family members, etc.) and keeping it in your disaster kit.

    • Sign up for emergency alert texts, so you can respond quickly and appropriately to changing circumstances.
    • Keep a map of your building and surrounding roadways in your disaster kit, which should be provided with your lease. Some apartment complexes can be very large and winding, and in case of an emergency, your regular route might be blocked. It’s important to know all of your exit/evacuation routes.
    • Have some cash on hand as well — ATMs and card readers won’t work with no power.

     

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