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Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • Vinegar: Your Secret Weapon

    iStock_000011559112XSmall_cleaning bucket with vinegar

    Vinegar does way more than just make you pucker. Besides being a versatile ingredient in food preservation and a tasty flavor addition, here are 10 things we bet you didn’t know you could do with vinegar. (And why it’s the secret weapon in your food storage pantry!)

    Kills weeds: Spray it on leaves and roots.

    Disinfectant: Do not mix vinegar and bleach! That mix creates a harmful gas.

    Degreaser, de-gunker, and rust resolverBut don’t use it on marble counters, stoneware, or waxed surfaces.

    Laundry aid: Cuts the amount of soap you need and softens fabric.

    Odor neutralizer: Great in a garbage disposal or on cutting boards.

    Keeps eggs from cracking while boiling

    Hair rinse: Gets rid of product build up.

    Stain remover: Works on clothes (collar and underarm stains), hands, blood stains. 

    First aid: Vinegar is a natural antiseptic and works on abrasions, diarrhea, fungal infections, some jellyfish stings, and sunburn.

    Insecticide: Spray anywhere you've seen ants, put it in a jar with small holes in the lid to attract fruit flies, 

    Looks like a little vinegar in your food storage pantry can turn into a big survival help.

    Happy prepping!
    ~ Steph

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: vinegar, food storage

  • Enhance Your Long-Term Food Storage

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    Salad Dressing

    Do you have a three-month, short-term supply of perishable items in your food storage? Like most preppers, you probably know how important it is to have a long-term, shelf-stable supply of food storage. Have you thought about including food items that won’t store as long, but add high value?

    I bet you have a few SuperPails of grains in your long-term food storage. You’re probably planning on grinding the wheat into flour and baking with it. That’s a good plan. Now, consider how many ways you can use a SuperPail of wheat or oat groats if you keep some oil, vinegar, and spices on hand. You could make one of these tasty salads, or this easy and delicious breakfast.

    When thinking about food storage, many people just stock up on the bare minimum for survival. But having familiar and nutritious food on hand is important to your health and emotional well-being in a crisis. Consider keeping extra packages or bottles of the condiments and add-ins that you normally use while you cook. When you have to dig into your food storage, you’ll still be able to make your favorite meals because you’ll have your favorite ingredients on hand (instead of going to the store with the crowds and settling for whatever’s left on the shelves).

    Here are some of my favorites that I keep in my food storage pantry. I use them often, so I rotate them frequently enough that they don’t go bad.

    • Oils (canola, vegetable, olive, sesame seed, cooking spray)
    • Vinegars (balsamic, apple cider, red wine)
    • Herbs and Spices
    • Nuts
    • Dried fruits (raisins, apricots, figs, dates)
    • Chocolate (chocolate chips, chocolate bars, chocolate candies)
    • Spreads (Nutella, peanut butter, almond butter)
    • Sauces (barbeque, chili, tabasco, cocktail, teriyaki …this list could go on forever…)
    • Condiments (honey, bacon bits, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup)

    These items were never meant to be stored long-term. But keeping them in your food storage plan—and making sure to rotate them—will increase what you can do with your food storage if the times comes that you need to rely on it exclusively. These everyday items can take your food storage from back-up plan to luxury.

    ~ Steph

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: long-term, recipes, food storage

  • Holy Supercell Batman!

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    Wow. WOW. Have you seen this video?

    A supercell near Booker, Texas from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.

    I only wish he’d captured more!

    These images from Sean R. Heavey, a photographer in Montana, are also astounding. They're scary and beautiful at the same time.

    Supercell Sean Heavey

    You should know that the images have been altered; they’re compiled from several different images that he took. Still, they're worth looking at.

    Man, nature is impressive.

    ~ Steph

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: supercell, nature, photography, video

  • We've Got a New Email Address!

    iStock_000015792320Small

    We have a new newsletter email: sales@beprepared.com

    Don’t miss out on product highlights, sales, giveaways, order confirmations, and order promotions from us!! Please add our new address to your contact list today.

    If you are already signed up on our email list, you should have received a product email from this new address today. If it hasn’t arrived in your inbox, check your spam folder to see if it got sent there by mistake then be sure that you add our new email address to your contacts.

    If you’re not signed up for our email newsletter, click here then choose the tan “Newsletter Sign Up” box at the top of the page.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Preparedness Pantry, Emergency Essentials, Emergency Essentials email list

  • Heads up in DE, MD, NJ, and PA

    What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? It’s sunny and clear in Utah, but here’s a heads up if you live on the east coast in any of the Mid-Atlantic States: It’s gonna be rainy today!

    June 13 2013 Mt Holly NWS forecast

    According to a brief from the Philidelphia/Mt. Holly office of the National Weather Service (NWS), there is potential for widespread flash flooding and river flooding. There is also the possibility of “tornados, strong damaging winds, and large hail” which may cause trees to uproot and increase the likelihood of damage to power lines.

    Hopefully, like yesterday’s expected derecho, the weather will be less severe than predicted. It’s never a bad idea to plan for the worst, so take this information and get ready. You might not be able to get one in time for this week’s storms, but having a radio on hand, and tuned to the NOAA Weather Radio station for your area, is an easy way to get weather updates – especially watches and warnings.

    This brief a great example of the information you can get from NOAA’s National Weather Service. They work hard to stay ahead of the weather to give you as much warning as possible. Get familiar with the NWS website and sign up for alerts. You’ll be glad you did!

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Current Events, Weather, National Weather Service

  • Today's Possible Derecho

    June Blizzard Derecho

     

    If you live in the Midwest you want to be especially watchful today.

    Large hail, strong winds, lighting, and possible tornadoes may cause widespread power outages. That would mean your access to water, air conditioning, and electricity could be reduced, or possibly eliminated if the storms get strong enough.

    Here’s an article from ABC news that sums up today’s storm situation and a succinct video that shows maps of the potentially affected areas.

    Stock up on important survival items like water storage containers, alternative lighting, and food that doesn’t need to be cooked (include links). Consider how you will keep cool if your AC is out.

    For those of you travelling this week, make sure you keep checking the weather. If you’re flying, expect flight delays or cancellations. If you’re driving, keep an emergency kit in your car, make sure to have alternate routes mapped out (check out baby step #4), and know where accommodations are so that you can find shelter if you need it.

    We suggest following NOAA and FEMA’s Twitter feeds for your region. We’ll also keep you posted via our Emergency Essentials Twitter feed as we receive information we’ll tweet storm watches and warnings from 8 am -5 pm MST. If you don’t use Twitter, or if we’re not Tweeting, check out these websites:

    Good luck this storm season!  

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • 3 Things You Need to Know About Water Barrels

    |14 COMMENT(S)

    WS- Water Barrel Trio copy
    *pictured above 55 gallon, 30 gallon, and 15 gallon tanks

    Water storage containers vary in their size, color, shape, versatility and quality. We have specifically chosen our 15, 30, 55, and 160 gallon water barrels based on several criteria. These criteria include the following:

    Size. It is recommended by preparedness experts to have at least 14 gallons of water stored per person. This provides one gallon of water a day for two weeks. Our 15 Gallon Water Barrel provides one person with this minimum amount. Our 30 Gallon Water Barrel provides this minimum amount for two; 55 Gallon Water Barrel the minimum for four people; and our 160 gallon tank stores the minimum amount for about eleven people.

    Color. Most people would think that blue would indicate water and it generally does. You may want to mark your barrel indicating “Water” so in case of a fire or similar natural disaster, emergency personnel know that water is being stored in it and not a flammable material. Gasoline and other fuel should only be stored in red containers. The blue barrel’s dark color also restricts light and helps prevent algae growth.

    Quality. Our water barrels are high quality, offering ultimate reliability and integrity. These barrels are manufactured with prime resin and FDA-approved, high-molecular-weight, high-density polyethylene. They are BPA free and the 160 gallon Water Reserve is UV coated to prevent light penetration.

    Single Blue Angled_ccs

    *160 gallon tank

    As a reminder, it is recommended not to store your filled water barrel directly on cement. It is wise to use an insulating barrier, such as wood, between the barrel and cement to prevent accidental absorption of concrete fumes or trapped stagnant odors. It is recommended to rotate the water annually (using a drinking water safe hose).

    Purchasing a quality water barrel is a wise investment. When choosing water storage containers remember that not all barrels are built the same.

    Posted In: Insight, Water Storage

  • Special Offer!! Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit

    2013YetiCombowithFREEsolarPanel

    From June 9th through July 7th, when you purchase a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Kit you will receive an extra Boulder 30 Solar Panel (a $240 value) for free!! This extra solar panel means that you can charge your Yeti from the sun even faster, allowing you to power your devices in less time and with less waiting. You can also power devices for your daily use while cutting down on your electricity bill.

    This special offer includes all of the benefits from the regular Yeti 1250 solar generator kit. Each generator kit includes:

    • 1- Yeti 1250 Solar Generator
    • 3 Boulder 30 Solar Panels (the third panel is free! For a limited time)
    • 1 Fabric Carrying Case for Panels
    • 1 Roll Cart

    The Yeti 1250 Solar Powered Generator stores 1250 watt hours of power to run multiple devices. It can charge your smartphone up to 100+ times and can run 12 v lights for up to 400+ hours of use. The Yeti is also great for powering laptops and tvs and can even run a refrigerator (note: these averages are based on the most popular brands of these devices).

    In addition to charging from the sun, the Yeti 1250 can also charge from the wall in 18 hours so it will be ready when you need it. The Yeti kit also includes a roll cart to use for your everyday/recreational use.

    The Yeti 1250 provides a silent and indoor-safe source of power— you don’t need gas to run this generator! There are no fumes emitted or fuels to store, protecting you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. This also means there are no dangerous moving parts, making it safer to have the Yeti near kids or pets.

    Take advantage of this offer from June 9th to July 7th. Buy a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 kit and get a third Boulder Solar Panel for free! Check out our Goal Zero Product page to see other great products that let you create and store energy from the sun.

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Emergency Shelter

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    When preparing for an emergency, it is recommended to set priorities. After food and water, shelter may be the next top priority in survival. A shelter will not only provide you with protection from the elements and possibly animals, but will provide you with warmth. The easiest way to be sure you will always have shelter is to carry it with you wherever you go. A light tent or tube tent that you can keep in your bag or pack is ideal.

    Emergency Shelter

     

    If you are in your car when you become stranded, stay there because the car is a great shelter, as long as it is not too hot outside. Be sure to leave windows open when it is above 65 degrees F so you won’t get heat exhaustion. While it may not always be practical to carry your shelter with you at all times, it may save you the trouble of having to build or find yourself shelter in the event you cannot return back to your home or another building.

    Building Your Own Shelter

    If you are in a situation where you need to build a shelter, there are several different types of shelters that you can build. If you have no materials with which to construct a shelter, you should make use of any cover or protection that is available, such as a cliff overhang, a cave, a gradient, and so forth that will help shield you from wind or rain. If you are in a completely open area, sit with your back to the wind and pile any sort of equipment behind you as a windbreaker.

    You can make use of any size of tree branches or even broken branches to give you some shelter from the wind. Make sure the branches are not so badly broken that they could cause bodily harm by falling. You can also make a shelter by tying a fallen branch to the base of another branch where it forks off from the trunk. Pine and fir trees make the best shelters of this sort because their leaves are the densest.

    Emergency Shelter: Branch and Pine Shelter

    A shallow depression in the ground can give you some shelter, especially if you cover the top with branches, logs, or sticks. If it is raining, however, you may find yourself in a pool of water if you do not deflect the rain from entering your shelter.

    You can use a large log or fallen tree trunk to make a shelter. Simply dig a shallow depression at the base of the trunk to give you more area. Then, lean logs, twigs, and branches up against the log to make a roof.

    wilderness-survival-shelters-3

    Photo Courtesy of Wilderness College

    If you can find saplings, you can make a more permanent shelter. Just find two rows of saplings and clear the ground between them of any undergrowth, large rocks, etc. Then lash the two rows of saplings together at the top, bending them inward to form a canopy. You can make a roof by lashing together pine boughs and lashing them over the bent saplings. It would be ideal if you had a tarp with you to drape over the saplings and secure with rocks or logs at the base to keep it from blowing off.

    Emergency Shelter: Lean-to

    If you are partly prepared with a poncho, groundsheet, tarp, plastic sheeting, canvas, or a large plastic garbage bag, you can quickly and easily make a shelter, especially if you also happen to have rope. The only other things you need are rocks, branches, and dry grass. You can build a shelter next to a large rock, cliff, or a barrier of trees by using the object as one side of the shelter wall. Push a branch on either side of the object into the ground and string the rope between them. Drape the handy material that you have with you over the rope. Using more rope, tie the corners to four stakes and pound the stakes into the ground, forming the material into a tent.

    Emergency Shelter: Tarp Shelter

    Photo courtesy of Off the Grid News

    If you have no rope or twine, but you do have a piece of material, you can still make a good shelter. Instead of hanging a tarp over twine tied to two sticks, you can hang the tarp over a long stick suspended between the sticks. Use sticks as tent spikes or rocks to hold down the sides.

    You can also make a teepee if you have long, straight sticks, twine, and a piece of material. Use three or more angled support sticks tied where they cross to make a cone. Then cover it with material, birch bark panels, or fir branches. Leave an opening at the top for ventilation. Suspending your material at its center from a sturdy tree branch can make a simpler teepee. Peg the bottom edge with stick tent stakes.

    wilderness-survival-shelters-tee-pee

    Photo courtesy of Wilderness College

    If you are in an area that has a lot of snow, you can dig out a shelter beneath the boughs of an evergreen tree. You can also dig a trench in the snow and make a roof by resting large slabs made of snow against each other at right angles. A snow cave can be dug in a drift of firm snow. After you smooth out the inside walls, make three floor levels: the highest for a fire, the next for your sleeping quarters, and the lowest to trap the cold and for storage. The lowest level is nearest to the door. Make sure you drive a hole through the roof for ventilation and to let the smoke out if you light a small fire inside your shelter. With all shelters, you should never sleep directly on cold ground. Instead, make yourself a bed out of grasses, leaves, small twigs, or whatever is handy to maintain your body heat.

    Emergency Shelter: Snow Cave

    Photo Courtesy of National Snow and Ice Data Center

    These are pretty simple shelters, but first look for a shelter that is already there, such as a cave or hollow. Just be aware of any wildlife. The very best way to be assured of a shelter is to be prepared with one. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

    For more information on survival see the SAS Essential Survival Guide. This book is written by Barry Davies and published by Lewis International Inc, 2001.

    Sources

    http://survival.outdoorlife.com/blogs/survivalist/2012/02/survival-skills-how-build-lean-shelter

    http://www.wildernesscollege.com/wilderness-survival-shelters.html

    http://www.offthegridnews.com/2013/07/29/bug-out-ready-wilderness-shelters/

    https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/science/characteristics.html

    Posted In: Insight, Shelter and Temperature Control

  • Variety is Essential in Preventing Menu Fatigue

    Most of us are accustomed to having a wide variety of food choices available to us. Consider the dishes you ate at home in the last week. Then think of the types of food available in your local restaurants. More than any time in history, we can partake of the cuisines of many nations—Mexican, Italian, German, Chinese, Indian, Thai, and more—and our grocery stores often carry exotic produce that we may not even recognize. We take variety in our diet for granted, but if you were suddenly forced to depend upon your stored emergency food for sustenance, how much variety would you have?

    iStock_000009355399XSmall

    The first thing to remember is this: While variety in your diet is important to us in our daily lives, in an emergency situation the critical factor in staying alive and strong is our calorie intake and the level of nutrients in our food. So focus your first storage efforts on meeting those basic needs, and once you’ve done that, you can easily add variety to your storage with some additional items.

    To get an idea of some additional items you may want to add, prepare a sample week’s menu from just what you have on hand to see how you would fare. Can you extend that single week into two weeks without too much repetition? Menu fatigue is the result of a diet with limited variety, but it doesn’t take a gourmet chef to solve this. Adding salt, pepper and just a few other spices can make a big difference in the range of dishes you can create from food storage.

    iStock_000014299432XSmall

    Another benefit of having more variety in your storage foods is that it will provide better nutrition (more variety of essential Vitamins and minerals) and a more satisfied dinner crowd. Wheat is nutritious and makes excellent bread and cereal, but it can also be so enjoyable if you were able to occasionally make some of it into pasta, crackers, or dumplings. Oatmeal, cracked wheat or 6-grain cereal are all healthy breakfast choices alone, but by adding peaches, berries, mango chunks, or banana slices, you can enjoy a totally different flavor. If you are able to have a selection of different grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, meats and dairy products (including cheese) on hand, it will go a long way toward preventing menu fatigue. It will also give you many more ways to be creative with your menu. Including such vegetables as peppers, onions, and celery will allow you to make meat or meat-substitute dishes much more flavorful and healthful.

    iStock_000019997830XSmall_oatmeal

    Keeping a supply of your favorite spices and flavoring agents on hand also gives you the opportunity to provide interest and variety at mealtime. Start with basic black pepper and iodized salt (which will provide the necessary trace mineral iodine as well as flavor enhancement). Include both sweet and savory spices and extracts such as vanilla, almond and coconut. A bottle of smoke flavoring, for example, adds an authentic taste to barbecue sauces and ham or bacon dishes. Take time to think of your family’s favorite seasonings and plan accordingly. Many seasonings are even available packaged for long-term storage.

    Include baking soda and baking powder as well as yeast and dough enhancer for your baking needs. Obtain some needed fats—butter or margarine powder or shortening, oils, and powdered whole eggs for baking.

    Another kind of variety to consider has to do with the resources required to use the stored foods. Grains and legumes are so important to have on hand. Learn how to prepare them in ways your family will enjoy. It is wise to practice when times are good. During conditions in which you can cook and bake as usual, all of your storage food will be useful to you. But during an extended loss of power and/or gas, you’ll need to make use of alternative cooking sources. Practice using these alternative cooking sources, whether it is a camp stove, gas grill, a Volcano, etc. Also, have food on hand that is quickly and easily prepared with little or no cooking. Perhaps you may be able only to boil a little water, in which case "just add water" foods will demonstrate their worth. Some regular foods such as pasta, instant rice, and hot cereals can be cooked over a period of time in a thermos by adding hot water and letting them stand. In other situations, you will want foods that can be eaten as-is or warmed quickly, such as MREs (Meals-Ready-to-Eat). Include some canned foods that provide water as well as ready-to-eat food in times when water might be scarce. For example, the juice from canned corn, pears or fruit cocktail. It would be wise to include foods in your storage program that fit into each preparation category. Prepackaged combos are often a great option because variety is usually a big factor of consideration.

    FM-F401-18-pack-of-MRE-Pears

    So as you plan your food storage, remember these simple tips. Plan to get the basics first and then add variety to ensure that you have the things you need in an emergency. Sustaining life is the most important—and once you’ve met that need, you can add more foods to provide the same variety in your meals that you have now. The more your food storage resembles your day-to-day foods, the more at ease you and your family will be in what are otherwise stressful times. With some simple forethought and planning, your storage foods can be much more interesting and appealing than you might expect—and will better serve you to get through difficult times.

    Posted In: Food Storage, Insight

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