Showing posts with label food storage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food storage. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In July


July is the time of the year that flies by so quickly. There is never enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished. The weather is hot and very humid (at least in Iowa it is!). The garden is growing like crazy. The grass and the weeds are either having a competition to see who can grow the fastest or the grass is burnt up and the weeds still need to be mowed.

For July's prepping accomplishments, I tried to keep the list easy to do since this is a busy time of the year! Some people might find some of these things a challenge and that is good.

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in July:

1. Make a meal list using only food storage foods. I am including everything in the food storage. However, I am going to make two lists. One list will involve the refrigerator and freezer foods because, in some instances, you will still have access to those foods. If you lose power, those foods need to be eaten first. My second list will only include foods that are shelf stable. Those meals will come from canned food, commercially canned food, food buckets, freeze dried food, and whatever else doesn't involve a refrigerator/freezer. In this list, I will also make a note if the recipe needs additional liquids like water, broth, and juice so I can be sure to have plenty on hand.

2. This month I am focusing on stocking up on breakfast foods for my food storage. I want to make sure I have a good supply of oats (steel cut, rolled, and quick), cereal, granola ingredients, granola bars. oatmeal packets, powdered eggs, pancake/waffle mix, and whatever else we like to eat for breakfast. Your breakfast stock up will depend on what your family likes to eat for breakfast. I am including quick grab and go breakfast foods as well as homemade breakfasts because you do not know what you will need and if you have the means to make a from scratch breakfast.

3. Find three ways to disconnect from the grid this month. Electric bills in July can be horrible because of so many people using air conditioning. This drives up the on-peak demand usage which gives you a higher bill. Nevermind, the additional stress on the grid which can cause blackouts and brown outs. Find a few ways to disconnect from the grid. You can used propane powered items like a smoker or the grill to cook your meals. I have done enchiladas and casseroles on the grill just to keep the heat out of the house. Make your own solar oven to bake bread in. Use your solar chargers to charge your electronics. Dry your clothes outside. Do what you can to use less electricity and practice being off grid however you can.

4. Buy some extra gas cans and stockpile fuel. Buying your gas cans now will save you later when a crisis happens and everyone wants them. I would buy at least 2-3 each for gasoline and diesel. If you don't have anything that runs on diesel, you can skip that. I would fill them with unleaded gasoline if you can find it. We can still get 91 gas as opposed to 87 which contains more ethanol. Gas with ethanol goes stale quicker than unleaded gas does. You can add something like StaBil in the gas to make it last longer.

I would also stock up on propane, butane, and kerosene if you have items that use those fuels. You can buy propane cylinders in 20# and 30# that will work with majority of space heaters and grills. If you are not sure, ask your local propane serviceperson. They will be able to help you. We keep 3-4 20# propane cylinders for our grill and heaters. For kerosene and butane, buy an extra few gallons depending on what you use and your storage capabilities.

5. Time to take a good look at your vehicle. Is it ready for emergencies? Is it well-maintained? Does it need something fixed? How are the tires and brakes? Now is a good time while the weather is nice to give your car a thorough cleaning and restocking. Organize your emergency supplies so you can find what you need without tearing the car apart. Fix the broken lights and make sure all the rest of the car is in good condition.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, June 5, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in June


Summer is here! I find that prepping in the Summer is so much easier than any time of the year. While we do have to worry about storms and the "gentle" breezes that try to blow us down, we have decent weather that makes us want to be outside.

June is a good month to get things done. You can do so much outside! Your time should be more available unless you have kids in a hundred activities. Then you need to do your best to fit this in!

Five Prepping Things to Accomplish in June:

1. Fire starting skills. Most people have access to a fire pit whether it is fancy or just a hole in the ground. Otherwise, you can use a camp site, charcoal grill, or a spot in the yard you don't mind being torched. Now is a good time to work on your fire starting skills. While lighters and matches are awesome at starting fires, it is good to know how to use a striker and a flint and/or a magnesium stick. Research different ways to build a fire and start a fire. Then practice, practice, practice. This is one skill that will not let you down.

2. Freeze dried foods. Freeze dried foods are a great addition to any food storage. If you are unsure about them, many companies have small cans for you to experiment with. I personally think freeze dried fruits are pretty tasty right out of the can. I believe in a diversive food storage and pantry. Freeze dried foods do have a shelf life, but can last a lot longer than some canned foods. You will not be disappointed in having these in your food storage.

3. Get your eyes checked. One of the things that would be absolutely devastating to any prepper is the loss of your vision. Getting our eyes checked is not very high on anyone's list, but I would rather be looking through a good pair of eye glasses than wondering if that was an animal or small child coming at me while holding a gun. I have put this off for a few years too, but this is a definite must on my list this month. I know some of us are vain enough to not want to wear glasses, but your eye doctor might have some other options for you like contacts or corrective laser surgery.

4. Purchase and/or gather your personal safety equipment. We have talked about first aid in the past, but a critical component of first aid is preventing injuries in the first place. Having safety glasses, dust masks, gloves, hearing protection, arm protectors, and more will protect you from a serious injury. In a crisis situation, being protected from injuries can mean the difference between life and death. If you already have this equipment, please put in a clear tote by the tools you need to use it with so you remember to use it!


5. Get your death plan figured out and in place. You might think this is a morbid thing to do, but you need to have a plan for deaths in a crisis situation. Will you bury them in the yard, attempt cremation, or what? If you have a prepping group, what are the final wishes of the members of your group? Will you make coffins or bury in body bags/old sheets and plastic? Does your people want to prolong life if they know they are dying? What kind of end of life care will you provide? This is a lot of mind searching things to think about, but this information is vital to have on hand, printed out, and put in an important place.


Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, May 1, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In May


When May comes around every year, I get excited. I like warmer weather. Nicer weather motivates me to get more done. I can usually start planting my garden in May because the ground has warmed up enough to not kill the plants or seeds. I can clean up the yard, give the house a good cleaning, open the windows for a good airing out, and generally be excited to get projects done.

While this list does not have a lot to do with being outside (except for planting new things!), you always need to work on your prepping plans, your skills, and your food storage. I even encourage you to gather more information. Have fun and let me know what you got accomplished in May.

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in May:

1. Plant edible perennials in your garden or create a separate place for them. By planting perennials, you have created a continuous food source for yourself and your family. Most edible perennials require little care once they are established. Blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, and asparagus are all good examples of perennials that can yield you a lot of food to eat and preserve.

2. Take stock of your seasonings and spices in your pantry and food storage. How is your salt supply? What seasonings and spices do you use the most? How is your stockpile of them? At our house, we simply cannot overstock on garlic salt. We use it more than regular salt. This would be a good month to take inventory of seasonings and spices. You can add more of what you need and use. I suggest adding a 3-4 containers of salt, 2-3 containers of black pepper, and several containers of the seasonings/spices you normally use.

3. Add to your reference library. Back in January, I suggested reading some good books on prepping. I also believe that you should have a good reference library in your own home. You might not have access to the local library or the internet when you need information on how to make something or fix something. I would suggest books on first-aid/medical, canning, gardening, off-grid living, reference manuals, how-to-fix manuals, and anything else you think you might need information for to live day to day and solve problems. Thrift stores and garage sales are good places to pick up books cheaply.

4. Learn how to mend clothing and other fabric items by hand. A needle, thread, and scissors are all you generally need to sew a button back on, fix a ripped seam, or close up a small hole. This is not just a frugality thing. In a case of SHTF, you will need clothes to last longer than usual. Mending a small problem by hand now will save the item from a bigger repair. If you already know how to do this, expand your skills to neatly patching clothes and learning how to darn a sock.

5. Have a plan in place to deal with sanitation in the case of a disaster or crisis. In case of a SHTF, sanitation will be a huge issue. Some of that issue may depend on whether you have electricity or not. If you are able to flush toilets, great! Otherwise, you need to have a plan in place to deal with bodily waste like a makeshift toilet or an outhouse. You will also need a plan in place if you have no garbage service due to a SHTF. What will you do with the garbage from your home? You can burn it, bury it, compost it, and/or reuse it if possible. Some of this will depend on where you live as to what you can do, but you still need to have a plan in place.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, March 13, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in March


March is a fun time of the year! You never know what kind of weather you will have, if Spring will actually come in March, and if Winter will ever end. Below, I have a few things you can do this month to keep the winter doldrums at bay and make the time go quicker!

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in March:

1. Buy plastic and plywood for your windows in your house. We recently had a hailstorm near us that caused a lot of damage. Many homeowners had broken windows from golf ball sized hail. Having a some plastic to put over your windows will keep your home protected from the elements until someone can come and fix it. Also keeping a roll of black plastic will be handy in case you need to black out your windows for any reason. Plywood is another good way of covering up your windows if they break or have the potential to break in a bad storm.

2. Make your evacuation plans. While winter is still here for another month or two, the fun Spring and Summer weather is coming. Tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and other wonderful weather will be here before we know it! Now is the time to make an evacuation plans or review your current plans. Now is the time to ask yourself these questions:



  • Where will you go? 
  • How will you get there? 
  • What alternate routes can you take? 
  • Where is everyone going to meet? 
  • Which vehicle(s) will you be taking? 
  • What will you take with you?

Put a copy of this somewhere safe or in your bug out bag. Make sure everyone in your household knows the plan. The most important part? Practice, practice, practice this plan!

3. Add foods to your food storage that do not require cooking. Sometimes, in times of crisis, having food that you can just grab and eat is wonderful. You might not always have time to cook or the resources to cook food. Some good ideas to have in your food storage:



  • Meal replacement bars
  • Protein bars
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam or jelly
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Applesauce
  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Packets of chicken or ham salad and crackers
  • Packets of cheese or peanut butter and crackers
  • Cereal bars

4. Sharpen your tools. If you are a gardener, now is a good time to sharpen your shovels, hoes, trowels, and other tools. If you have knives, now is a good time to sharpen them whether they are for the kitchen, personal carry, shop, or outdoor use. Keeping your tools sharp can make a job go faster and prevent injury from dull tools. And no one likes a dull tool.

5. Daylight Savings Time means check your batteries time. Daylight Savings Time is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you do not have these, now is a good time to get them installed. March is also a good time to check your fire extinguishers to make sure the pin hasn't been pulled and nothing has gotten rusty. You should also take the time this month to make sure the kids and the adults know what to do if there is a fire: how to get out the house, use the fire ladder, where to meet outside the house, and how to call for help.

What do you have planned for March?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In February


February can be the most boring month of the year. You are still cooped up in the house. The snow and ice are still making their appearance. Valentine's Day is still a holiday. You know blah, blah, blah.

In other words, February is a prime month for cabin fever!

As usual, though, I am here for you! I have five prepping things to do in February that will definitely help your preps as well as give you a piece of mind. I did concentrate on the letter "F" for things to do. All these things are easy things to do, should be done with your family, and can easily be accomplished this month. 

1. First Aid. How is your First Aid Kit? How are your First Aid supplies? I discovered one day last month that I was out of several types of Band-Aids. I found out when I sliced open the top of my finger. Not a great time to find out, by the way. I made due with what I had, but definitely put those things on my next shopping list. 

2. Clean Out and Organize One Area of Food Storage. Some of you are super highly organized and have your food storage organized to perfection. Then there is the rest of us. However, we all still need to look at our food storage. Is there one area of your food storage that needs to be eaten up a little? Or beefed up a lot? Do you have more expired canned goods that you thought you did? Have you even touched what you canned last summer? 

Now is a good time to address these areas. Too much of one thing can be incorporated into the meal plan. Expired goods should be too. I know I mentioned doing this in January, but February is also a good month to do this. 

3. Finding and Identifying Sources of Water Near You. This is good project to do now because you can access topographic maps of your land or township online for free. You can identify sources of water near you in case you need it. No water near you? Now is also a good time to plan a rain catchment system for your home and/or buildings. Also you might want to plan a way to get water to you if needed and ways to store that water. 

4. Find a Hidden Storage Space in Your Home For Your Preps. We all have empty spaces that can be used for storing preps. Some of you are tight on room and I understand that. However, look at putting totes under the bed, cleaning out a closet that might be full of stuff you will never use again, an empty cabinet, behind the couch, and even using a dresser. We all have places and spaces we can store more prepping stuff and perhaps a bit more discreetly.

5. Figure Out What You Are Planting in the Garden. Have you started getting gardening and seed catalogs? Now is good time to plan what to plant! What worked for you last year? What didn't you eat? What should you have planted last year? All these questions will help you plan for this year.

And...depending on your zone, you may be able to start seeds inside! Yeah!

If you are an apartment, condo, or duplex dweller, a garden may not be possible. However, if you can have some containers outside your door or on your patio, you can still have fresh vegetables! Knowing how to grow food is so important and I would encourage you to find a way to do so no matter your circumstance.

I hope you can accomplish these things in February! Let me know how you did! 

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In January


January can be a slow month in the prepping world. The weather is usually less than ideal to be outside. The desire to work on the New Year's resolutions is strong and you need to take advantage of that! Did you make any prepping goals for the year?

I didn't, but I have a list of things that I want to accomplish. I thought I would share a monthly list of prepping things you can do in January to get the year kicked off right.

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In January:

1. Start working out. You want to be inside anyway so it is time to get moving. Join a gym, get out those exercise videos, find an exercise video on YouTube, and/or find a workout you enjoy. You can also go outside and get a brisk walk in. Just get moving! Prepping does involve your physical health and now is the time to take care of it!

If you are afraid you can't stick with an exercise plan, set up an alarm in your phone to remind you. Also remember, it takes 21 days of practice to make a habit stick. Nothing is different for keeping in shape.

2. Since winter is a good time for soups and casseroles, now is a good time to clean out the food storage. Find the out of date and soon to expire foods in your food storage. You can set them in a basket or on a special shelf so you remember to get them used up! Make these foods apart of your menu plan in January and February if need be.

3. Make out a list of projects you want to accomplish this year and set up a timeline for getting them done. I have a lot of indoor projects to do and I set up a plan to get 1-2 of them done a month. I already started with getting an indoor bedroom painted and stripping the floor. In prepping, keeping your home in good shape is very important especially if you want to bug in instead of bug out.

4. Start a home emergency cash fund. Having a stash of cash at home is very important in case debit/credit cards don't work. It also comes in handy if you need to pay someone at the door. I recommend having a variety of denominations in dollars and a jar of change.

5. Read some good prepping books. I like to curl up with a good book and now is good time to learn more about prepping. Whether you are looking to learn more about food storage, water needs, or survival living, now is good time to glean some knowledge.  I recommend these books:


It is a very simple list and I think you can get it done! Let me know what you did and what you got accomplished!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Thursday, September 8, 2016

It's National Preparedness Month! What You Should Do To Celebrate!


National Preparedness Month is a very important month in any prepper's year! Many of the preparedness supply companies run great sales. Many of the prepping sites offer a lot of great advice. FEMA and Red Cross even get in on the action. 

National Preparedness Month is a great time to remind the non-preppers to get a few emergency supplies. You can show them the information that the Red Cross even recommends having 3-14 days worth of supplies on hand. FEMA has on their website that this week is Preparing Family and Friends by making emergency plans. Sometimes non-preppers need evidence that other agencies recommend being prepared. 

You should take inventory of your own preparedness supplies. Is everything still working? Do batteries need to be replaced? Is the food still good or expired? Is your 72 hour kit still relevant or does it need updating? I wrote earlier this year about a checklist for the long-term prepper. It would be a good list for you to go over your preps with! 

Are you talking to your neighbors, family, and friends about prepping? This month is a great time to get started! You might be able to get a good group of trusted people together in case of an emergency or disaster. You might find out your neighbor is just as much of a prepper as you are! You might be able to open someone else's eyes about getting ready their own SHTF situation. Now is the time to address these things.

In the past, I have participated with other bloggers in the 30 Days of Preparedness Round-Up to celebrate National Preparedness Month. Their articles are still very relevant today and are a great read! 



Food Storage

Self-Reliance

72-Hour Kits or Bug Out Bags

Preparedness




Day 1 - Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama 
Day 2 - The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 3 - I'm Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama
Day 4 - Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home
Day 5 - Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 6 - The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 7 - It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 8 - It's a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness
Day 9 - Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival
Day 10 - Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz
Day 11 - The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness
Day 12 - The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness
Day 13 - Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy
Day 14 - How We Choose The Right Gear - (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness
Day 15 - Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 16 - Food and Water for a 72 Hour "Go Bag" from Homestead Dreamer
Day 17 - 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris
Day 18 - Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper
Day 19 - Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 20 - Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer
Day 21 - Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm
Day 22 - Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 23 - KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper
Day 24 - Mommy, I have to go Potty! from Mom With a Prep
Day 25 - Fire Starting 101: The Why and How of Lighting a Fire for Survival from Food Storage & Survival
Day 26 - How to Filter and Purify Water from Prepared Housewives
Day 27 - How To Make A Shelter from Trayer Wilderness
Day 28 - Put Your Preps to the Test with 24 Hours Unplugged from The Organic Prepper
Day 29 - What Is Char and Why You Should Have It To Start A Fire from Trayer Wilderness
Day 30 - How To Utilize Bushcraft Skills and Forage From The Wild from Trayer Wilderness


I hope this helps you to get more prepared during National Preparedness Month and all year round! Celebrate by getting your family and friends ready for anything that may happen! 

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Update From The Homestead - April 18


Hello! We are having some very lovely temperatures here! The wind seems to want to blow too, but it feels so good to be outside soaking up the sun.

We got a fair amount of yard work done. The branches are piled up in three piles around the house and will be loaded into a trailer. Some of it will be burned and some of it will become mulch for the garden. The kids did most of that work as well as picking up trash around the yard.

I have my raspberries dug up and will get the replanted as soon as I get a new spot ready. I am excited to have them out of my garden and ready to get a new, bigger patch going. We all love fresh raspberries!

I also found out yesterday that my garden will be tilled in two weeks. I am excited about that too. I want to get my own tiller, but I am shopping around for a decent used one. I bought my seed potatoes, onion sets, and shallot sets yesterday too. I might buy more seed potatoes, but I am waiting to see.

We, mostly Rob, got the garage cleaned out and organized. We still have some more cleaning and organizing to do, but the garden tools and shovels are all hanging up! I have dreamed of that for quite a while! Rob also tore out some shelves that were rotting and falling apart. He also did a lot of sweeping and dusting. The garage was pretty dirty!

Paige went to prom! She is only a freshman, but her date was a junior. Here is the pretty girl in all her finery:



She wore a dress that her older sister, Jordan, wore to her junior prom. This dress was in pretty decent condition, but I had to use my sewing and ironing skills. I fixed and sown back on the beads and larger rhinestones that came loose. The skirt had a couple minor tears that I sewed back up. We spent $26 to get her hair done and grandma bought her a new pair of heels to wear. Jordan applied her make-up and Paige wore jewerly that she already had. A fairly frugal prom!

The chickens are still alive. We have been free ranging them again and so far no hawk. We did find out it was illegal to shoot them. I am looking into other ways to discourage them from eating my chickens!

Other than that, we have been going to track meets, cleaning, and generally keeping up with life. The cats will go to the vet tomorrow and that should be more fun than it sounds. One of the cats is deathly afraid to even leave the house so this is always a fun trip.

I wanted to let you all know about a new site for starting and adding to your current food storage. Preppers Market carries healthy emergency food storage with none of the nasty stuff you don't want! It tastes delicious and offers a great variety for you and yours. It would make a great gift to help jumpstart someone's food storage or add to their existing food storage. Check it out!

Preppers Market LB pasta

What is going on around your homestead?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I Have Been Prepping For Five Years, Now What? A Review Checklist for the Long-Term Prepper


Many of us have been prepping for quite a while. We started by getting some more food, a few cases of water, and some gear. Then prepping took over our lives and we now have a lot of prepping things and a good size food and water storage. 

I have been prepping for longer than five years, but I know that I have areas of my prepping I need to revisit. I bet you do too. As I have been decluttering and reorganizing, I have noticed things getting a little out of date, maybe a little dusty, maybe a little rusty, and some of it definitely being unused. I know our emergency plans are out of date and we have a lot of revisions to make. 

Sound familiar?

Here is a list of things you need to check if you have been prepping awhile. While we should be checking our preps every six months to one year, time does get away from us and we get busy with other things. Now is as good time as any to get your preps in line for, you know, just in case!

Preps to Check:

Check Water



Check long-term food stores 

  • Freeze-dried foods need to be checked to make sure the seals are good and no containers are bulging 
  • Food stored in mylar bags needs to be checked and possibly opened to make sure there is no spoilage or bugs
  • Food buckets need to be checked for a good seal and no holes or breaks
  • Canned foods need to be checked over to either be eaten or thrown and again no bulges in the cans
  • Is the food still things you would eat or not? 
  • Is there any obvious holes in your food storage your need to fill?


Check supplies 

  • Does everything still work? 
  • Do batteries need to be replaced? 
  • Do I have a good stock of batteries?
  • Does the oil, gas, or propane need to be replaced?
  • Have you started or used this prep lately to make sure it works?
  • Is everything in good condition?
  • What needs to be repaired or replaced?


Check caches and supplies hidden at other places

  • Are they still there? 
  • How is everything holding up in the caches? 
  • Time to rotate the food in the caches?
  • Check clothing if stored for kids and replace
  • Hiding spot still good?
  • Cache container still have good camouflage? 


Check security

  • Ammo and guns still in good condition?
  • Knives sharpened and in good condition?
  • Other methods of defending yourself still in good condition?
  • Does everybody still know their role in the home security or does your plan need revision?
  • Is all your window and door locks in good condition?
  • Is your home still invader-proof? Walk around the house to make sure.


Check home emergency supplies

  • How are the fire extinguishers? Still in date and still functioning?
  • Rope ladders from upstairs rooms still in good condition?
  • How are your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Still working well or need to be replaced?
  • Generators still run well? 
  • Still have an adequate amount of gas, propane, and/or diesel on hand? Container still in good condition?
  • Do you still have a good amount of bedding and supplies for those that might show up in an emergency or disaster?


Check your bug-out bags and 72-hour kit


  • Is the clothing and shoes still size appropriate for who is using it?
  • Is the food still good? Do you still have an adequate amount?
  • Does everything function correctly and is still appropriate for the person carrying it?
  • Does the batteries need to be replaced in anything?
  • Is there adequate amount of supplies for the people in your family? 

Check your first-aid kit and supplies

  • What needs to be replaced?
  • Do the bandages look old and/or might not stick anymore?
  • Have your family's needs changed? Do you need baby stuff or not anymore?
  • Is the over-the-counter medicines still in good standing or need to be replaced?
  • Is everything still well-organized or need to be again?
  • What do you need to add to your first-aid supplies?


Other Questions you should be asking yourself

  • Is your evacuation plans still good?
  • Does your emergency family plan need to be revised?
  • Are your kids older or do you have kids now?
  • Do you need plans for your kids in college or on their own?
  • Do you need to have plans for your parents and older family members?
  • Is your emergency information updated?
  • Is your phone list still current?
  • Do you need to update your personal information in your family emergency binder?
  • Do you have an updated list of all medications your family is taking?
  • Do you have current health histories on everybody?
  • Is your vehicle emergency kit current? Does anything need to be replaced?
  • Is your Every Day Carry current and still useful?
  • How is your emergency cash fund? Does it need to be replenished or increased?

There is so much to think about and do when you are prepping. Checking your preps can sometimes get lost in the busyness of prepping and living life. While I am sure I missed some things that need to be checked, this basic list can get you started on making sure you are covered in an emergency or disaster.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Update From The Homestead - March 14


This has been another busy week on the homestead. Every week seems busy, but some weeks just wear you out. However, this last week wasn't too bad. 

We have been doing a lot of little things. Cleaning out the garage and getting the doors to work right has been fun. I had to go to Menards Saturday morning and I got two new springs which should make all three garage doors operational now. Rob is also adding buttons to the outside of the doors to make getting in and out of the garage easier.

I got two new tires put on the Escape. I wasn't very happy about doing that since I had just put four tires on a year ago. However, lack of knowledge on tire rotation, a tie rod going out in November, and not having a good alignment done after that caused undue tire wear on my vehicle. 

While getting the tires put on, I bought two live traps for the barn. We have a few opossums living in there that need to be relocated or just dealt with. I am not sure which option we are choosing, but they do not belong in the barn and they are way too close to the chickens. The opossums must go. 

The sump pump has not been fixed yet. The sump pump drains into a tile in the yard and the water is really running right now. To change the sump pump, the check valve, and PVC in the basement would be a really wet and miserable experience right now. We can wait until the ground dries up a bit. We still have the old sump pump in the basement and Rob keeps a close eye on it to make sure it is running correctly.

We had some beautiful weather last week and part of Saturday. Rob got some yard work done and he identified some areas around the outside of the house that we will have to build up or landscape so the water will run away from the house. We have gutters where we can, but some of the roof is not conducive to having gutters hung. He also fixed the gutters and downspouts so they work well again. Some of the downspouts had an unfortunate meeting with a very fast lawnmower driver!

I started cleaning up the basement. The basement has been very unorganized for awhile. I cleaned off a set of shelves that we are getting rid of to put newer, sturdier shelves in that place. I cleaned under the stairs and moved a bunch of totes into that space. I also started cleaning up and organizing my food storage better. I should have bought more of these storage baskets because the size is perfect for what I am doing.  I hopefully will get that project done very soon. 

The rhubarb has started to poke through the ground. I am thrilled about that! I love rhubarb (learn to grow it here)! No asparagus yet which is okay with me. I think I might get some radishes and possibly some spinach or lettuce started in the ground soon on the edge of the garden. I am really looking forward to some fresh vegetables!

I am still keeping up on the food storage and prepping. My goal was to increase our water storage which I am working on. One of my other goals was to get our food storage up to a year or more and I have been adding to what we have already. I have a continuous food storage which means we eat from, rotate, and continuously add to the food storage at all times. This time of year I really add to our food storage using part of my tax refund. 

What have you been doing around your homestead?

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tax Refund Prepping: Time To Do A MAJOR Food Stock-Up


What should you do with that good-sized tax refund you get every year? You can blow it on meaningless toys or a trip somewhere. You can save it for a rainy day. However, those things won't keep you alive though when a financial crisis or job loss happens. 

You need to invest your refund into your preps, mainly food storage. 

My tax refund is a welcome gift every year. I don't ask for a refund and make sure I pay just enough taxes to not pay in. However, with the child tax credit and earned income credit, I get back a goodly sum every year. The first thing I do is pay off any outstanding debts I may have. 

The next thing  I do with my tax refund is to do a major food stock-up. I place orders online for pantry staples and freeze dried food. I go to Aldi's and do a major trip(s) because I can buy food there by the flat. I also really take advantage of the loss leaders at my local grocery stores for some great deals. 

I do not try to go broke when doing this stocking up. That is foolish. I shop the deals, use coupons for things I will actually buy, use store cards and coupons, and use online or phone apps like Ibotta and SavingStar. Just because you feel temporarily rich doesn't mean you should just throw your money away. Saving money and possibly earning money back is still important. 

You do not have to do this stocking up in one trip or one day. Take your time, plan according to your needs, and shop wisely. You also do not want to attract too much unwanted attention by leaving the store with 3-4 fully loaded carts. Then your friends and neighbors will be banging on your door for food when they get desperate!

What should you buy when you are stocking up? Walk into your pantry and look at what you have. Think about what you normally buy. Don't buy a lot of applesauce if your family doesn't like it. Buy what you use now, just in much greater quantity. 

If starting or building a food storage causes you to panic, I give some great tips in these articles:

Top 10 Items You Need For Your Food Storage

Nourishing Foods For Your Food Storage

What Meats Will Meet Your Needs?

Could You Please Pass The Legumes?

What Place Do Grains Have In Your Food Storage?

What Do You Plan To Put On Your Food?

Spicing Up Your Food Storage and Pantry

How much food should you buy to store? I would start with one month of food and work your way up to a year or longer. You don't know when a crisis could happen and you will be unable to get groceries. Having enough food on hand to get through these times is crucial. 

Do yourself  and your family a favor? Invest your refund into your food storage.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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