Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tips For Adding Essential Foods to Emergency Supplies on a Budget!

I can not tell you how many times I have had people say I want to prepare but I can't afford to. Well you can. And you don't need to spend a lot. In fact depending on your lifestyle you would be amazed at how much you can do for FREE. All it takes is a little thought a little effort and a little time.

So over the next little while I am going to give you a few little ideas that can help you put together a little stockpile of goods to give you a fighting chance.

So today's tip is about Restaurant and fast food extras. In today's society most of us frequent Coffee shops or fast food places on a weekly or even daily schedule. I myself go to the coffee shop almost every day. So one simple thing that I do is grab an extra sugar or some other little thing that goes with my order.

Now before you freak out and call me a thief let me explain that I am not suggesting you go in and fill your pockets. I do not take anything that I am not entitled to use. For example when you purchase a coffee you are entitled to use a few packets of sugar. I always had three in every coffee. So in the interest of my health ( to much sugar is not good for you) I have cut back to 2. But the third one comes home with me.

After a year of doing this I now have over 300 packets of sugar. Thats about 1/2 a years worth of your daly need of sugar for an adult.

Of course sugar is only one small part of it. I save everything I can get my hands on. Extra packets of mustard and catsup (ketchup) that come from fast food places. The little packs of stuff like soy sauce, hot mustard, fortune cookies etc that come from the Chinese food place. It's incredible how it piles up over time.

Ketchup Packets
Now if you are willing and don't mind the jokes and funny comments you may have to put up with I have discovered an additional little trick. Enlist your non-Prepper family and friends. I now have several people who are not preppers and think the entire thing is quite silly saving me all their extras. Yes they poke fun at me. But I don't care. Take a look at the photo of what I have gathered myself and from friends in just 2 weeks.

As you can see it's a lot of the basic things one needs to sustain life. I have salt, sugar, fat, carbohydrate and protein. This little pile would keep me alive for several days at least.

I made a list of what I save and what it's good for.

Peanut Butter & Honey packets
Packets of salt. An adult needs 4 of these little packets per day. That's assuming it's your only source of salt. If you are getting some in your other foods then you need less. Salt is essential for life. Without it we die.

Packets of sugar. Collecting a packet a day will give you 2 kilograms in about 10 months.

Restaurant candies. They have sugar. And they're great little morale boosters in an extreme survival situation

Catsup (Ketchup). It has salt, sugar and carbohydrates. It is also a good source of Vitamin C.

Peanut Butter. It has fat, salt, iron, vitamin E, protein and some other good stuff.

Honey. Has sugar. Lasts forever if it's pure honey. A nice way to add variety to your daily diet.

Salt Packetss
Mustard. Has salt and a tiny bit of protein.

Black Pepper.  This spice is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Iron, Copper and Manganese.
Strawberry Jam. It has less good stuff in it than one would think but it's high in sugar and it sure tastes good.

Plum Sauce. Good for Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron. This food is high in Sodium which normally is a bad thing but in an emergency survival situation, guess what? We need salt to live!

Soy Sauce. Will last forever as it's mostly vinegar. A great little extra to change the boring daily rice you'll be eating!

Hot Chili Sauce. Same as Soy sauce but it may not last as long

Assorted Packets in various containers
Vinegar. Lasts forever, excellent disinfectant, good for bartering, good as a cleanser and a medical necessity. It's an all-round powerhouse.

Fortune Cookies - will never go bad unless they get wet. They're sweet and they're carbs, sort of  a pasta wannabee. And - in an extreme survival situation it might be a morale boost to have a sweet cookie that has a fortune inside. You can also play the old game of everyone reads their fortune out loud and you add the phrase "in your pants" Believe it nor, this is quite funny in normal times, imagine how funny it would be in a tough situation.

This is my favorite site for nutrional information on pretty much everything, including spices!

So start saving up the extras we all toss out. You may be glad you did. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cheap Way to Collect Soap - a Necessary Survival Item

 Image courtesy of Marin at Free Digital photos

Wouldn't it be great if we could still have running water, soaps and towels during the Apocalypse? It's not gonna happen like that but we can still find ways to keep clean.

In fact it's important to stay clean to ward off disease. Disease can kill many of those who have stored enough food and water to keep going.

If you don't consider cleanliness, you're doomed. You'll end up with lice, scabies and other contagions brought on by being dirty.

Someone gets the flu, or a cold or something worse - guess what? You want to stop the spread of those germs and the first defence is hand washing. Of course you also want to be able to wash your entire body as often as possible to avoid skin contagions.

Yes you'll probably buy soap (bars, liquid, dish etc) and store some with your food supplies but have you thought about what happens when your supply of soap runs out? Do you know how to make soap? Do you have the ingredients for making soap? Do you know what plants, if any, grow wild that can be used for soap?

4 months worth of soap bits
I don't know how to make soap and the one plant I know of that can be used as a soap substitute doesn't grow in our area. So I need another plan.

I won't pretend I have the perfect backup plan. I don't. But what I do have is almost 150 bars of hand soap which my wife buys on sale whenever she sees it.  We also have about 10 bottles of liquid soap requiring no water. Guess what? It's not enough! But it becomes a toss-up on a limited prepper budget as to whether that bag of rice is more important than several bars of hand soap.

Since we like to figure out how to add to our survival stores without going broke, my wife and I save all those little nubs of soap. You know the ones that get to be about the size of a quarter or smaller and so you toss them out? Well, we started saving ours last year. Wish we'd thought of it sooner!

Everyone in our survival community (certain family members) is saving their soap ends. You will be amazed at how quickly it grows. And we'll be darn glad to have it when our full-size bars of soap run out!

So don't overlook budget ways to gather supplies you will need if there is a long-term emergency. Start saving those soap bits now! My wife puts them in a soap dish until they dry out then she tosses them into a ziplock bag. We have 8 ziplock sandwich bags full now. Doesn't sound like a lot but that's from only 2 of us in the household.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Prepping Tip: Buy Foods on Sale and in Bulk

Kraft Dinner Emergency Food
Score! The Canadian Superstore had a super sale on Kraft Dinner (the original). Half price. So I stocked up for my family emergency survival needs. 

This is how you stock up on foods for long-term storage for your family. Buy on sale and buy in bulk. 

One box of Kraft Dinner cooks up to 3 cups of final product for lunch, dinner or a snack.

Can't afford to stock survival emergency foods for a year? Aim for one month. One flat of Kraft Dinner cost $21.30 and is 35 boxes.

Guess what? 35 boxes of Kraft Dinner at 1/2 cup per person per day feeds a family of 6 for just over a month (at one box daily)

Guess what? 35 boxes of Kraft Dinner at 1 cup per person daily fees two adults for 7 1/2 weeks.  Wow, almost two months of survival!

You are a family of two adults and two children? Okay for 4 people you will get at least 4 weeks and you can have 1 full cup of Kraft Dinner daily.

Everyone can do this. Aim for 30 days of food. Watch for sales. Be sure the foods you are buying have a good shelf life. Store them carefully when you get them home. Protect from humidity and extreme temperatures.  

We dumped ours out of the boxes (to save storage room and to add oxygen absorbers to prolong shelf life) and poured all the pasta into one of our big pails, then added the appropriate number of cheese packages. My wife wrote out instructions for how much pasta for each envelope of cheese and wrote it on the outside of the pail in magic marker. She also put how many boxes of Kraft Dinner were in each pail so we would have some idea of how long each pail will last our group. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More Than the Basics: Additional Foods to add to Your Emergency Storage

I've been working on our plan to buy and store enough basic foods for my family for 3 months. Our goal this year is to concentrate on the 7 basic foods I talked about in a couple of other blog posts.

But we also need other supplies to supplement our basic stockpile. Extra supplies include long-term foods that help give variety to meals and add nutritional value.

If I just had my 7 basic foods PLUS dried soup mixes or powdered broth, I could make oatmeal with milk and honey for breakfast, a tortilla and soup for lunch, and tortillas, rice and beans for supper. That's pretty decent in terms of helping to fill someone up but let's look at nutritional value.

1 cup cooked oatmeal, 2 tortillas, 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of pinto beans and 1 cup of  beef vegetable soup made from water and dried soup mix provides one adult with the following % of my daily needs for these nutrients:

Fats 55%
Salt 95%
Fiber 83%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 59%
Iron 133%

It's pretty obvious that I need more of Vitamins A and C as well as Calcium. I can live without the fats but I'll start losing weight pretty fast. And more fiber would certainly help.

The question now is to find out what foods will give us those missing vitamins AND have a long storage life. Foods that are high in Vitamin C that my family likes are raspberries (1 cup = 54%) and potatoes (1 large - 37%). The problem is they don't provide enough and I'd have to lay in a stock of dried raspberries or potato powder and those are expensive.

Lentil Sprouts Ready to Eat
But I have a solution. Sprouts. Sprouts are an amazing powerhouse of nutrition. They also give high yield of edibles compared to the small amount of raw seeds you start with. As an example, 1 cup of sprouted kidney beans provides 119% of your daily Vitamin C needs! So start sprouting right now. You want to be sure you know how to do it in case of an emergency. I'll talk more about how we grow our sprouts in future blog posts.

There is one caveat - kidney bean sprouts are toxic if eaten raw, so must be cooked. To be safe, cook all bean sprouts (mung, lentils, navy etc) before eating. Just toss them into stews or soups or stir fry them to remove the toxins. Soaking beans overnight prior to sprouting will also help neutralize the toxins present in them but better safe than sorry, especially if you are in a crisis (emergency) survival situation where little or no medical help is available.

You can eat most other sprouts such as alfalfa raw. Think about what a great "salad" you can toss together during a crisis - 3 or 4 varieties of sprouts and some homegrown herbs such as parsley make a tasty (and nutritional) addition to an emergency survival meal. Or stuff them into your tortilla with a few beans. Yum!

Vitamin A Foods

1 cup of dehydrated carrots provides 1013% of daily Vitamin A needs. Wow. So that means to have 100% all you need is 1/10th of a cup. Now dehydrated carrots are expensive but what a magical food!

This will blow your mind - did you know that you can get 44% of your daily Vitamin A needs from 1 Tablespoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper?  So why not stock up on one or both of these spices? There's another magical spice you might want to have on hand - paprika - it gives 71% of your daily Vitamin A needs in 1 Tablespoon.


We need 41% more of our daily calcium needs.  How can we do that? Well, we could stock up on Calcium Pills but they are expensive and gradually lose potency over time. So let's look at foods rich in Calcium. 1 cup of cooked rhubarb gives us 35% so if you have rhubarb in your garden (as I do) you've got a great source of extra calcium when it's in season.

Dehydrated carrots are helpful and if you're eating them to get their high Vitamin A, guess what - you've just given yourself an extra 16% of your daily calcium and iron needs too! They sure pack a nutrition punch in every cup. 

I'm going to talk about menus and recipes and dried soup mixes in another blog post so stay tuned. I'm also going to show you my successful sprouting of Alfalfa and share how I save and store my seeds.

Monday, October 12, 2015

7 Tips on What To Do in a Pandemic

I have done a number of Blog Posts about the possibility of a flu pandemic but perhaps its time to talk about what you can do to protect your self if the worst happens. To protect yourself you must have an understanding of how the flu spreads.

What is a Pandemic?

Influenza or the flu as most of us call it can be spread several ways. One is when an infected person sneezes mucus directly into the eyes, nose or mouth of another person. Another is the airborne route when someone inhales the droplets that contain the virus produced by an infected person coughing, sneezing or spitting. And of course the good old dirty hands that our Mothers warned us about is one of the best ways to spread the flu through hand-to-eye, hand-to-nose, or hand-to-mouth transmission, either from contaminated surfaces or from direct personal contact such as a hand-shake.

So lets say you wake up one morning and you turn on the news only to find that health authorities are saying they have an outbreak or possibly a pandemic starting to spread around the world. What can you do? Well the first and most obvious precaution is to simply isolate yourself and your family from others as best as possible. Hopefully you have your supplies stored and ready so you don't have to run to WalMart and face all the possibly sick people. However if you do have to go out for supplies you can take precautions to mitigate the risk. 

What Should You Do to Protect Yourself?

Obviously a full military biological warfare outfit would be great but if you are the kind of person who has no supplies at home you probably don't have a biological warfare outfit in your closet. However you can at least dress in a way that will help lower the risk of catching the bug. 

1. Cover your mouth and nose and eyes. A surgical mask or even a workshop dust mask will help stop the larger droplets from infecting you. Even something like a scarf or other cloth can lower the risk but it needs to be tight to your face. Swim goggles can provide good eye protection as they are tight fitting but any kind of large glasses are better than nothing.

2. Gloves are extremely important. Surgical gloves may be best but rubber kitchen gloves are not bad. Again anything is better than nothing so even work gloves or driving gloves can help.

3. Dispose of or decontaminate your clothing. It wont do you any good if you bring the bug home on your clothing so take it off outside and don't take it in. Burn it or wash it with disinfectant. You could boil it if you have the time. And don't forget that good old sunlight will often kill the bugs so just hanging out in the hot sun for a few days will help.

4. Decontaminate yourself. Get a shower with lots of soap and hot water if you can but even a cold shower is better than no shower. In fact you may want to shower outside first if you can. If you have a pool or hot tub take a dip in that. All the chemicals in the water will help.

5. Isolate yourself from the other members of your family if you can. If its possible you should avoid contact as much as possible. Consider living in the garage or the tool shed for a week or two. If you cant do that then try to isolate your self in an extra room like the spare bedroom.

6. Don't let your new supplies contaminate you. Wipe them off with disinfectant before any one handles them with bare hands. If you cant wipe them of remember that the bugs cant live on the surface of them for long. So every day the supplies sit out in the open the safer they get to touch. Two or three days will kill most viruses on most surfaces but twenty days is best. If you must touch them use gloves and wash your hands after.

7. Isolate your family from each other. You cant tell if any one in your house may be sick so its best if you can to have as little contact with each other as possible. I know this could be hard or even impossible in a survival situation but do the best you can. Avoid hugging, kissing and hand holding. Disinfect doorhandles and any other commonly touched surfaces as much as possible. Don't share eating or drinking utensils. In other words run your house like a hospital. It wont be fun but it could save your life.

Remember that people can have the flu and be spreading it to others and yet not look sick themselves. People who contract influenza are most infective between the second and third days after infection. Children are much more infectious than adults and shed virus from just before they develop symptoms until two weeks after infection.

Contact with outsiders should be avoided. But one cant always avoid this so if you are forced to have contact then you must decontaminate and isolate yourself from your family after. Remember the virus could be spreading in the air so stay as far away from outsiders as you can. No one knows how far a virus can spread in the air outside but most experts agree that if you stay 100 feet away from others when outside your chances of being infected are low.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Survival Food Groups Choices: The Basics

Survival Food Groups Choices: The Basics
We've talked about the 7 basic survival food groups my family uses to plan and store emergency food for a crisis. I've also mentioned spices and dried soup mixes as an extra to provide more variety. But do you know what food choices there are within each group?


Rice, oats, wheat, pasta, cornmeal, flour


Dried beans, split peas, lentils, dry soup mix


Vegetable & Olive Oil, Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Shortening


Sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, flavored gelatin, powdered fruit drinks


Powdered milk, canned milk - evaporated and condensed

Remember that different foods have different shelf lives. So for example I only buy vegetable oil, not olive oil, because vegetable oil lasts longer than olive oil.

Canned goods only last about 3 years then you must use them and buy new. So I don't buy many canned goods, but that's a personal choice. I'm far too lazy to rotate my food supplies! But I do keep 2 weeks worth of canned goods on hand because when a catastrophe happens, we are going to be busy doing other things depending on what the disaster is and the time of year it happens.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

You Need More Than FOOD in an Emergency Situation!

Human beings by nature tend to be short sighted. We often think only of today or perhaps tomorrow. We have a hard time thinking a year or perhaps longer down the road. But long term planing is very important for any of us who believe that the ZA (Zombie Apocalypse) could last for more than a few days or weeks.

Stockpiling food is a prime example of short sighted thinking. While I agree it is incredibly important to have as much food on hand as you possibly can. You also need to think about what you are going to do when that stockpile inevitably runs out. What do you need to have in order to start producing your own food. Do you have seeds for planting? Do you have the tools you need? Do you have the skills you need? Do you know how to hunt? Do you know how to fish? And yes you can stockpile skills and knowledge. You may not hunt of fish or farm but you can learn about these things and stockpile it in your head for a rainy day. You can also get books and print things of value off the Internet and add them to your survival library.

MEDICAL SUPPLIES are another incredibly important thing to stock up on. You will not be able to run to the store and get a bottle of peroxide during the Zombie Apocalypse. AMMUNITION  for your guns. FUEL like gasoline, diesel, propane. MATCHES. CLEANING SUPPLIES like bleach and ammonia. The list of things that would be great to have is endless so each of us has to come up with our own ideas of what is important.

Remember also that you may be able to trade extra things you have for supplies you need. So if you have the opportunity to get more of something than you think you need don't pass it up. I found .22cal ammo on sale for $10 per box of 550 rounds. I now have way more than I need but I know lots of people won't. It could be worth more than gold to someone who has run out.

So yes food comes first. But food is only the beginning.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Don't Make Excuses to Not Prepare for Emergency Situations

People often tell me they can't stockpile food for emergencies because a) they can't afford to or b) they have no room in their house/apartment.

Well I'm here to tell you how wrong you are!


Let's talk about money and budgeting for emergency survival preparedness:

Even if you can't budget $50.00 a month, maybe you can set aside $25.00 to purchase basic survival foods such as a bag of rice

Try buying one extra item each time you grocery shop. Buy one can of tuna (on sale of course) one week. Buy a box of cereal another. These are your Zombie Apocalpyse Supplies! Set them aside. Label them "ZA" or "Survival" or whatever you want to call them. Do whatever you need to do to start stockpiling food supplies for emergencies

In another example of how it really is not that expensive to stockpile food I found 8kg bags of rice at the store for less than $5 bucks a bag. And as rice has an extremely long shelf life it is a fantastic way to stockpile for a disaster.

An 8kg bag of rice will feed you for a week so you dont need to spend a lot to provide for a long time.

Buy bruised fruit on sale (my wife got 20 bananas for $1.00 a few weeks ago) and then dehydrate it and store it.

I'm pretty sure that you can give up one or two cups of coffee each week to buy some food for survival and emergency crisis situations.


My wife's amazing at finding spaces where she can store our emergency survival foods. Here's some of her ideas:

* Under the bed. Guess what - you can store a lot of bottles of water or cans of food under a bed

In closets. Use the floor for boxes of food, then put your shoes on top. Move your purses off the shelf and put food there

Inside empty containers. My wife collects antique tins. One day she realized that all the tins she had on display are empty. They're already taking up space so all she did was start storing candies, soap and other little items in them. You will need to have a sheet in your Survival Emergency Plans binder that shows where every food item is stored

* Under the sink(s) You don't need all the junk that we all keep under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Clean it out and store small food items that will not be harmed by moisture. We store soap, extra toilet paper, shampoos, dental supplies such as floss and toothpaste, as well as canned goods under our sinks. You can also store water there.

Re-organize the Spare bedroom. You should consider turning your spare guest room into a ZA (Zombie Apocalypse) room. Why waste the space on a few guests a few times a year? Turn it into a storage room for emergency supplies. We started by stacking wine pails full of pasta, rice, corn, wheat etc between the guest bed and the wall. We quickly ran out of room so we added cheap plastic shelving in the same room. These hold small items like canned goods, sugar, honey, oil and so on.

We were still too limited space-wise so we got rid of the guest bed. Now we have a choice. We can eliminate the guest bed completely and visitors will have to get a motel/hotel room OR we can have pails of food/water with a mattress on top.

We could also go with empty rain barrels full of food or water instead of wine pails, then put a mattress on top. We'd fix it up so it looks good and put a long bed skirt over the pails so it doesn't look junky.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

15 Reasons You Should Stockpile Honey

Honey is another great staple to store for survival and emergency planning. There are 15 uses for honey:

1. Skin moisturizer
2. Antiseptic
3. Acne Removal
4. Energy Booster
5. Immune System Booster
6. Enhances Vitamin A
7. Improves Blood Flow
8. Helps Sore Throats
9. Colon Damage Prevention
10. Parasite Remover
11. Burn Remedy
12. Antibacterial Solution
13. Relaxant
14. Helps prevent Cancer and Heart Disease
15. Treat Diabetic Ulcers

Read more details on 15 Uses for Honey and find out how to use it for each of the 15 suggestions above. Mix it with other ingredients, drink it, lather it on your skin -- find out how to use it in this article.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Easy Ways to Save & Store Water for Emergency Survival

This is a 3.78L (almost 4 quarts) jug that used to contain orange juice. Every time I finish one, I wash it well and fill it with tap water. Then I add it to my water storage for emergencies.

An adult needs between 3 to 5 L of water daily to survive. This jug has enough water to keep me alive for one day.

This is one of the best ways to make sure you have enough water in an emergency.

Below you can see enough water to keep one adult alive for 5 days (5 jugs).

Yes they take up room, but they can go on shelves in a closet, on the floor of a closet, in a basement room, or if you don't have snow and freezing temperatures, you can store them in a garage or barn or even on your porch.

I'm experimenting this winter with filling some 3/4 full (to allow for expansion) and putting them in my barn.

Last winter I tried using the disposable containers you can buy for water coolers but they cracked. I think I might try the tougher non-disposable ones this year.

We have other stores of water too. My wife keeps 4 of the water cooler jugs filled and in a closet. We also have several trays of bottle water and try to never let them get below two extras in the house at all times.

But the orange juice containers are so handy we have about 35 filled and stored now, plus about 2 dozen empty ones strung on a bungie cord in the barn. We can quickly fill those if we have warning of a disaster possibility. And we're adding more every week each time we finish a jug of juice.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The robots are coming. Part 2

Robots and Prepping

I am not talking about the Terminator Robots rising up and exterminating humanity. That's a long way off and probably not hard to prevent. What I am talking about is the fundamental changes that robots will bring to the way our society functions. For thousands of years humans have had a very simple yet effective way of doing things. We trade for goods and services. I do something for you and you give me something in return. Its a simple and effective system. But robots could bring it all crashing down around us.

It is perhaps a sad fact but most humans are employed doing what can only be described as drudgery. Sure lots of people are brain surgeons or rocket scientists but they are the exception not the rule. Most of us spend our days toiling at jobs that really don't require a great deal of brain power. And it is just such jobs that the robots are going to take from us first.

Lets take a look at just a few of the jobs that are going to disappear in the next 10 to 30 years.

Taxi Driver - 300,000
Truck Driver - 3.5 Million
Infantry Soldier - 500,000
Bus Driver - 500,000
Factory Line Worker - 10 Million
Fast Food Workers - 3.5 Million
Grocery Store Workers - 1.3 Million
Bank Tellers - 600,000

Add in all the other jobs that Robots can do like cutting your grass and washing your floor and you may have 50 Million jobs lost in North America in the next 50 years. Some experts believe within 100 years we could have nearly 100% unemployment. How we deal with this change will be a huge challenge. If we handle it right it could be a golden moment for Humanity. We will be free of drudgery and danger in the workplace. We will be free to be artists and philosophers. Or if we mess up the transition it could bring massive unemployment, starvation and death. Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Prepping: A Tip For Storing Water

Remember Hurricane Sandy and Frankenstorm?  I hope you were all prepared with a minimum 72 hours of food and water and that your car was gassed and ready to go.

Tip for Storing Water - Freeze it!
White Orange Juice Containers of Water
Here's a little tip for those who don't have much room to store food, water and other supplies. Fill some jugs HALF-FULL with water  (I use a 2 L pop bottle and 4 L empty orange juice containers) Put those jugs of water in your freezer, filling up all the empty space. Use 500 ml empty water bottles if you can't fit a big jug or bottle in.

When the water is frozen, put them in your refrigerator. Put MORE in the freezer and when those are frozen, leave them there.

If your power goes out the jugs and bottles of water will help keep your food cold and thus be available to eat. If you run out of water you can defrost the frozen jugs and bottles and bingo, there's fresh clean water for drinking.

And if you happen to have empty space in your freezer, keep some jugs or bottles of water in there all the time, don't wait for a storm warning. This will not only provide you with instant water and a method of keeping food cold, it also saves energy because a full freezer doesn't have to work as hard.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Three Category 4 Hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean. This is a bad sign.

Disaster Prepping
This is a first time in recorded history event
In what many are saying is yet another sign of climate change an extremely rare weather event occurred Saturday when three Category 4 hurricanes were ongoing simultaneously in the Pacific Ocean.
This is the first recorded occurrence of three Category 4 hurricanes in the Pacific at the same time. Experts are saying the Pacific storms can be attributed, in part, to unusually warm ocean water. 

Are you ready for climate change?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Prepping on a Budget - Buy Food on Sale

Emergency Food.
When you see stuff on sale. Its a great idea to stock up.

I was at the store the other day and I found a great deal on crackers. Things like crackers will last for decades if you keep them cool and dry. They may go a tad stale but you can still eat them. So if the price is right I say grab them. You may be glad you did.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Storing Dry Foods for Emergencies

Storing Dry Foods for Emergencies
Empty Wine Pails make great storage containers. We fill ours with pasta, rice, Kraft Dinner, Corn, wheat, sugar, salt and other dry foods.

Some, like pasta, we leave in the original packaging and pack them into the pails.

Others, like corn, wheat and rice, we open and dump into the clean pails. You must clean and dry  the pails thoroughly before using of course.

Once we have about 25 pails filled, we open our oxygen absorbers and drop those inside then we seal the lid tightly.

We label all the pails with the date, what food is in each and how much is there, plus the name of the person in our community who contributed the specific food item. We do this in case plans change and a member wants to go elsewhere. We can then fairly easily give them whatever food they have contributed to the group.

Then we store the foods in various spots - some get the spare room in the basement but it has a woodstove so it gets really hot in the winter. Some foods can't be stored there. Others go out to one of our storage sheds. The outdoor sheds are only for foods that can withstand extremes of temperature.

The nice thing about the pails is how they stack. The drawback is that they are cylindrical in shape. We could stack better if they were square or rectangular. We do have rectangular pails but they are smaller so we use those for other food items such as our saved Chinese food condiment packages (Soy sauce and plum sauce) and our saved McDonald's condiment packages (vinegar, ketchup, salt and pepper)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It Can Happen Anywhere - Are YOU Prepared?

It Can Happen Anywhere - Are YOU Prepared?

A telecommunications failure in the Yukon  pushed many communications services in the territory right off the grid. It started with a power outage in Whitehorse.

When the lights came back on about four hours later, telecommunication circuits began to crumble, cutting off phone, cellular phone, Internet and other services within Whitehorse and as far away as Yellowknife, NWT, and Fort Nelson, B.C.

Because 911 service is unavailable in Whitehorse, additional officers have been put on the streets so citizens can flag them down to report problems.

Yes it's the Yukon but don't think for a moment this can't happen to you. Are you prepared?

Do you have food and water stored? Medicines? Do you have a plan - either bug-out or bug-in? Does everyone in your family know what to do in an emergency situation? Take a look at the blog topics on the right and start reading if you want to be prepared for any crisis situation

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Robots Are Coming Part 1

Prepping For The Robots
Robots will change everything
When we think of Prepping we tend to think of disasters like floods or pandemics, however another part of prepping we often overlook is what I call societal changes. Societal changes are unexpected events or developments that fundamentally change the way humans do things. A few examples from history would include the invention of writing. The use of fire. The invention of farming. The industrial revolution. The list goes on....

Now you are probably saying to yourself that the events I have listed are positive things and you would probably be right. However big changes, even positive changes, often bring great pain in the short term. I am not old enough to remember the discovery of fire but human nature being what it is you can bet the people that had fire used it to gain advantage over those who did not. Any history book will tell you of the pain the industrial revolution brought to millions who had to adjust to life in a new world.

So why the history lesson?? Many experts beleve that humanity is right on the edge of a big change. A change that will rank with the big events of human history. An event that is going to change the very nature of how we live our lives and run our civilization. The robots are coming.

Actually the Robots are already here. As I sit here writing this Blog post my robot vacuum is happily scooting around my feet as it cleans the dirt from my floor. Soon my floor washing robot will start up and do the kitchen floor.  And right now an engineer is riding his self driving car as he weaves in and out of highway traffic.

So what does it all mean? And why as a prepper should I care? Stay tuned for part 2.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Preparing For an EMP with a Homemade Faraday Cage

Preparing For an EMP with a Homemade Faraday Cage
An EMP is an electromagnetic pulse. If one occurs, it could knock out power grids for as long as one year.

That means your vehicle won't work. Your walkie talkies won't work. You get the picture.

To protect your electronic devices you need a Faraday cage.  But you can also make one. Here are some suggestions for a homemade Faraday cage

1. Buy a metal garbage can and store the devices in it. It should protect from the EMP surge.

2. Line a shopping bag or backpack with multiple layers of aluminum foil.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thousands Flee California Fires.......ARE YOU READY?

Prepping For Wild Fires
In what was perhaps one of California’s fastest-burning wildfires in decades several Northern California towns were practically destroyed. More than 180 homes burned sending panicked residents fleeing on highways lined with buildings, guardrails and cars in flames.

Wild fires are perhaps one of the hardest things to prep for but fortunately you can do a few things to mitigate the risk. Here are just a few suggestions to help you deal with this growing threat.

1. Watch the news and be informed. Many people are simply caught off guard. Knowing the fire is coming can save your life.

2. Have your Go Bag ready. You may only have seconds to run so have everything you need ready at all times.

3. Keep your car fueled up. No time to stop for gas when you are running for your life.

4. Keep your yard as clear as possible. Get rid of junk like wood and brush. Keep trees and other flammable vegetation away from your house. 

5. Try to avoid houses that are close together. Fire can jump from house to house so when choosing a house look for one with a minimum of 50ft separating it from your neighbours.

6. Less flammable housing. If you can choose a house made of cement of brick with a steel or tile roof. Many houses burn as a result of just a few hot embers floating on the wind.

7. Build a fire shelter. As a last resort if you just can not outrun the fire a fire shelter can save your life. Many designs are possible but basically a fire shelter is usually a structure separate from your dwelling that is made from a non flammable material like cement. Often they are buried or partially buried to take advantage of the insulating properties of the soil. 

And of course remember all the basic prepping survival tips like keeping your cell charged. Have the local emergency responders numbers programed into your phone. Have alternate escape routs planed for both your car and on foot. Know the location of possible shelters. 

With a little thought and effort you can do a lot to keep yourself and your family safe from wild fires. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Pandemic Perfect Storm

WHO (World Health Organization) tell it like it is 

"Emerging and re-emerging epidemic diseases pose an on-going threat to global health security." 

Here's the list of diseases they are watching and diseases that should concern us all
Emerging diseases (e.g. nodding disease)
Influenza (seasonal, pandemic)
Viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, etc.)

One pandemic would be bad. Two pandemics at the same time could be devastating.  Are you prepared? 

Photo by tiverylucky on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, September 18, 2015

Planning Meals During an Emergency Survival Situation

So you've started stockpiling food - grains, beans, water, salt and other items. But have you planned meals? It doesn't do much good to simply store foods when you don't have a plan for cooking and eating.

What if I store lots of flour but then realized that I haven't thought much about what to do with that flour. I've got beans but nothing to put with them. Or I've got a food item that I could cook with electricity but it never occurred to me to figure out how or if I could cook it during a crisis when power may be out. What if I want to make tortillas and suddenly realize I haven't got an ingredient I need.

That's why we have a meal plan. My wife has planned meals for every day of the aftermath of any catastrophic incident (flood, earthquake, viral outbreak, EMP, tornado, ice storms, economic collapse, etc)

Planning what we will eat every day for breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks allows us to buy exactly what we need to prepare those meals. Here is my wife's plan, but the quantities will vary depending how many of our community make it to our agreed-on safety place, and how much food we have managed to store there ahead of time.

The list below has quantities for one adult assuming we are rationing food, and that most of our canned goods are gone. It is our basic meal plan which we hope to supplement either with larger quantities or other nutritious foods:

Our Basic Weekly Meals
Basic Food Needs

Breakfast: 1 c. oatmeal, 1/2 tsp. honey, 1 slice irish soda bread, 1 cup of tea or coffee
Snack: 1 c. corn mush, 1/2 tsp. honey
Lunch: 1 cup soup broth with pasta and some dehydrated vegetables or fresh vegetables if available, 1 cornmeal dumpling
Snack: 1 c. corn mush, 1/2 tsp honey, 1 cup pine needle tea
Supper: 1 c. beans, 1 c. rice, 3 tortillas

This provides approximately 2300 calories per person per day. My wife is in charge of making sure we all purchase enough of each ingredient to make these foods.

Pine Needle tea will be available throughout each day in unlimited quantities as it prevents scurvy and is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

We also have planned special meals and treats. This will provide some variety in tastes and also be a small morale booster. It is important to plan and store such food items.

Basic with Kraft Dinner added 
Lots of extras added here! Canned peaches, carrots, and more
Our Special Meals:
1 night each week will be Kraft Dinner. We buy it on sale when it's 33cents per box.
1 night each month will be tuna with pasta for a tuna casserole (while our cans of tuna last)
1 night each month will be rice cooked in broth (a flavoured bouillon cube) with some of the dried vegetables my wife has been making with her dehydrator
1 night each week there will be a dessert of some kind

Friday night special: this will be a shot of liquor for each adult and chocolate milk for the children (using powdered milk)

Sunday afternoon will incorporate a short break time with one candy per person and some games or reading time.

Depending on the time of year we hope to be able to add apples from trees, rhubarb, fruit from wild bushes and vegetables from the gardens to supplement our diet.

We will also add foods found in the wild and any animals we can hunt or fish we can catch. And of course we have to have a method of cooking these foods for a large group. I'll talk more about that in another blog post.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Water Water Everywhere...

Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink? Hopefully you've planned your water storage for emergency situations. An adult requires 1 to 3 litres of water daily so for one month you need 30 to 90 litres! That's for ONE ADULT. Phew. That's a lot of water.

This past weekend I purchased several rain barrels. They hold 200 litres of water so a full one is good for my wife and I for at least one month, perhaps longer. I set one up yesterday on the deck and added a spigot so I can have a tap and a hose to drain the water out. I'll use it for watering my herbs grown in window boxes on the deck. And it will be one of three that we're going to set up around our house and outbuildings.

We have a small garden shed which only needs a bit of eaves troughing and bingo we can set up another rain barrel. We have another larger shed which can be set up easily too. That gives us 3 200-litre rain barrels, enough water to last the two of us for 3 months or more.

Rain barrels plus large containers of water stored in your basement or closet are a good way to be sure you have enough water on hand for any crisis or emergency situation. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scientists to revive 30,000-year-old giant virus. Is it dangerous?

Death From The Past
30,000 year old virus
Scientists with the French National Centre for Scientific Research have discovered a new giant virus. 

The virus was trapped in the frozen ground of Siberia for 30,000 years.

The new virus is the fourth in a series of recently discovered prehistoric viruses, which began in 2003.The first discovery was the Mimivirus, followed by two Pandoraviruses.

Though the other ancient viruses discovered in the ice have proven harmless to humans and animals, some scientists say there is a small possibility that other dangerous viruses could be uncovered as the ground melts due to climate change.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Quiz No. 2 Answer

Answer: #3.

Why? Because a snowshoe hare will run in a circle IF being chased. He will come back to his "home" or spot where he was hiding as long as he can't stop and hide somewhere else.

 So if one of you chases him, he'll run in a circle and come right back to where he was first seen. That's when the second person can be successful and bring back meat for supper. Snowshoe hares have very small and precise territories so it wouldn't take that rabbit long to return

Monday, September 14, 2015

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Quiz #2

It's the Zombie Apocalypse. Everyone in your group is hungry. You and a friend are out in the woods hoping to find game. You scare up a Snowshoe Rabbit and it runs off. He's running too fast to shoot with any guarantee of making the shot

Question: What should you and your buddy do? (i.e, what's the best way to get that rabbit)

1. Both of you should run after it
2. One should stay where you are, and one should run after it
3. Both should stay where you are and hope the rabbit returns

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Picking some wild grapes

Wild Grapes Survival Food
Wild Grapes
Its wild grape season in this part of Ontario so I went and picked a few to have on my cereal in the morning. Now we have not had a frost yet and they are a little better after a frost but I still enjoy them.

You can do a lot with wild grapes. Jams, jellies, grape juice, wine. You can even eat the leaves in a salad or cooked.

I have added a link to a short Periscope video of my grape picking activities.

Picking Wild Grapes

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Vinegar, The Magic Food, Medicine and Cleanser for Survival

Vinegar, the magical food item. That's what I call it. It's something you should have on hand for long-term food storage.
What can you do with vinegar? Vinegar can be used as a disinfectant. Put it on wounds, or with your laundry, or dilute it and wash floors and bedding with it.

Vinegar has medicinal properties and is useful for treating bedding in a sick room. In the 19th century vinegar was an important item for ships' surgeons to have on board. Entire ships were disinfected using vinegar and water to wash floors and bedding and clothing.

Vinegar was in use as a healing medicine and antibiotic in ancient Greece and during the Civil War.

You can also make a salad dressing with vinegar, oil and sugar.

Indigestion can be treated with a dink of vinegar and baking soda.& Yes the old "Make a volcano for science fair" trick. But if you drink a bit, it helps a burp and thus relieves the indigestion. It works better if you use apple cider vinegar.

My father used to drink a small glass of vinegar after every meal. He claimed it helped him digest his food! And my grandmother swore that a tiny glass of vinegar daily helped thin the blood. Who knows, maybe there's some truth in these old home remedies!

Friday, September 11, 2015

More Floods In Japan Show Us We Must Be Ready

Disaster Plans: Prep For Floods
Are You Ready For A Flood?
In yet the latest disaster to hit Japan rescue teams in Osaki City are struggling to help residents after a section of a levee on the Shibui River broke early Friday morning. Approximately 100 buildings in the city have been flooded, prompting calls from residents to the city government and emergency services for aid. This is just the the latest area to suffer from extreme flooding caused by a longer than usual rainy season and made worse by a tropical storm. 
Several experts and environmental groups have called this yet another example of the effects of Global Warming. Whatever the reason for this latest round of flooding its a reminder to all of us that we need to be ready for such disasters. If you live in an area that is near water (rivers, lakes, ocean) you must have a flood survival and evacuation plan. 
A Flood Survival Plan can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it but at a minimum you must have at least two parts. A shelter in place plan and an evacuation plan. Floods can happen without warning so your shelter in place plan involves getting to the highest point in or on top of the building you live in. You may only have seconds to react so you must have every thing you need set aside and ready to go. 
Your evacuation plan involves getting yourself away from the flood waters and to high ground or a high structure. Again you may only have seconds to react so you must have your plan and everything you need ready to go before the flood hits. It will be too late if you wait until the water is at your door.
Stay tuned for more on how to prepare your flood plans in another post.

Image courtesy of khunaspix at Free Digital Photos.net 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Emergency Food Supplies for a Family of Four

Emergency Food Supplies for a Family of Four
We have a lot of food stored for an emergency. We watch the grocery store flyers carefully so that we can stock up on needed food items when they are on sale. Every family should have at least 3 months of food on hand in case of a disaster or emergency situation.

Sometimes families want to start stockpiling food but they are overwhelmed by the challenge and don't know what to get and how to store it. We aren't experts but we've done a lot of research and a lot of trial and error so we have a pretty good idea of what nutritional value is in certain foods, which foods have the longest shelf life and which are best value for the money (in terms of shelf life, ability to extend the ration, variety of meals possible, and cost)

I've already given you the list of 7 basic essential foods which will keep you alive. I explained how much of each you need for one adult for one week. I know you can do the math but let's look at how much of these basic essential foods an average family of 4 needs for 3 months.

It is going to shock you. But it's doable! An important fact to remember is that any child over the age of 7 is considered a adult in terms of food storage.

I am using mostly metric measurements but you can convert for a fairly accurate measurement by using the following:

1 liter = 0.26 US gallons

1 kg = 2.2 pounds

1 US cup = 236.6 ml but you can convert using 250ml=1cup and remember that 1,000 ml or 4 cups is pretty close to 1 L














3/4 cup

36c (9L)

5 years if vegetable oil


2/3 c

32 c (8 L)













20yrs if powder