Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two good websites to buy long storage food

I often stop by the store Emergency Essentials in Salt Lake. They also have a website I would recommend signing up for their mailings. They also have good rates for shipping items to you if you live out of the area.

I also have recently found another website called They have a program where you enter in your family size and how much food storage you want. Then it calculates all the items you would need. You can setup with them so you are charged each month whatever amount you want and they will ship you the food items you can afford each month to slowly build up your storage.

Most of their items last a very long time if stored properly. The disadvantage is you pay more for food that can store for 30 years! We are working on a blended plan. We are trying to have the majority of our food storage items what we will use regularly and buy freeze dried items for some of our food items that don't store long at all. For example we like to have freeze dried meats stored because we don't have any other way to store that type of item, eggs, sour cream, butter, cheese, and some complete meals are some of the items we have as freeze dried.

We are learning how to use these in everyday meals so we are familiar with them and how to make them into good tasting meals!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Visual of a year's supply of Food Storage

I received this email from a friend. I thought you might like to read it also:

The prophet has asked us to obtain a 3 month supply of foods that we normally eat.

After we have done that, he has asked us to get food to sustain life for 1 year.

Here is a visual sent to me of what he is asking for sustaining life for one person per year.

Are you at a point that you can now do this and follow his counsel?

- Exactly What Does a Basic 1 Year Food Storage for 1 Person Look Like?
These are the MINIMUM Basic Amounts of Food Needed for Survival for ONE PERSON for ONE YEAR:

(click on the photo so see a larger image)

BARE-MINIMUM LDS Church Food storage requirements for
1 adult male for 1 year Appx. 2,300 calories per day. (only 695lbs total)

Some people try to rationalize that we "really" don't need to store everything that we have been asked to store. The regular excuses of no money, no room, no time, don't know how to use wheat, or don't eat wheat, etc. Some have heard "that is so much to store", that "our family would never use 400 pounds of grains per person in an entire year". Also, "we don't use that much salt or oil", therefore they don't feel they need to store it."

As what felt like my last feeble attempt to try to help, the thought came to actually create a display to show 1) what does that one year basic survival food for one person look like (the amounts the First Presidency has recommended), and 2) how much does that really work out to be per day?

This display has been amazingly successful in [another] Stake.

We purposely bought food that they could get at a grocery store, rather than overwhelming them with seeing tons of dry-pack cans or buckets. We broke out each item and gave them the prices of what this would cost locally. We even gave them the price of a shelve to store it on.

When I measured out the amounts to show what you would get per day, per person it was impressive. We took all those ingredients and by adding yeast (which we know is not on the basic list – but hopefully we have stored), we were able to make one loaf of bread and 1/3 cup of beans. That would be your food for the entire day.

Don't FORGET water!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wonderful book

I found a great book. It is Rich Dad's Advisors: Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver: Protect Your Financial Future
I highly-highly recommend it! I have listened to the audio book version three times in the past two weeks and am now reading the book since the audio book is abridged, I wanted to get the complete story. It has some very important and timely advice in today's crazy economic times. It also teaches about the history of money and why the dollar is in so much trouble.

Since I am not the best writer, here is a little blurb I found on the book:

Throughout the ages, many things have been used as currency: livestock, grains, spices, shells, beads, and now paper. But only two things have been money: gold and silver. When paper currency becomes too abundant, and thus loses value, man always turns back to the precious metals. During these events there is always an enormous wealth transfer, and it is within your power to transfer that wealth either away from you or toward you.

Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver Tells Readers

  • The essential history of economic cycles that make gold and silver the ultimate monetary standard
  • How the U.S. government is driving inflation by diluting our money supply and weakening our purchasing power
  • Why precious metals are one of the most profitable, easiest, and fastest investments you can make
  • Where, when and how to invest your money and realize maximum returns, no matter what the state of the economy
  • Essential advice on avoiding the middleman and taking control of your financial destiny by making your investments directly

Cat Food Can Cooking

I came across a very small and economical stove. My main purpose for this stove will be hiking and camping purposes but it could apply nicely for a bug out bag if you wanted a simple way to boil water or cook food on the go.

The main advantage is that it's extremely light and small. Here is a link to the plans. Click on the link in the article, "read them now" for the full instructions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Family Emergency Plan

In the case of some type of disaster we have an emergency plan for our family. It goes something like this:

A three ring binder stored where we all know how to get at it easily. In it we keep family contact information and a plan of action in a disaster.

Some of this information is also in our "Go Bags" or portable 72 hour kits.

Family Emergency Plan

Meeting Places
1 Lamp Post on corner
2 Ward House
3 Elem. School
4 High School
5 Grandma H.
6 Grandma E.
7 Logan (Grandpa B.)
8 Idaho (Scott & Alli)
9 Georgia (Grandma B.)

Check home for damage
1. Use flashlights -- do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
2. Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
3. Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off
the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
4. Shut off any other damaged utilities.
5. Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately.
6. Call your family contact -- do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening
7. Check your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
8. Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off (fill tub and sinks).
9. Stay away from downed power-lines.

Listen to your radio
Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes
Take your disaster supply kit
Lock your home
Post a note on the door telling others when you left and where you are going
Out of State Contact is ___________________________ (sometimes in a disaster local phone lines will be down but long distance may work. Have all family members use an out of state contact where you can call and relay messages to each other.)

We also have a section of contact info for family members especially for our two year old's back pack. In his we have a lot of information that would help someone get him in contact with family in case we became separated. We also have more detail of contact phone numbers and addresses but I thought they would not appreciate me posting all their phone numbers and addresses on the internet!

Insurance Information: "This is where we list all our insurance information, policy #'s, phone #'s, etc."

Then we have a section with instructions on how to turn off utilities at our house. I took pictures and used the "paint" program that is on most computers to make the circles and put the instructions together in excel. Below are some screen prints from excel showing you what I did. Once it was all in excel it was easy to print out and put in our 3 ring binder.

Here are some pictures of the page. Just imagine all of these pictures on one page together:

Last but not least, be sure you have a wrench set aside for turning off utilities. Make sure everyone knows how to use it and where it is always kept.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


What to do about water for home storage? Most of the articles I have read recommend one or two gallons per person per day with a maximum of about 2 weeks worth. Remember you are not only storing water for drinking but for cooking and washing.

Family of 5

5 family members times 2 gallons = 10 gallons per day.
10 gallons times 14 days = 140 gallons.

OK, so how would you store 140 gallons? First of all how much space would that take up?

The most common barrel sizes are shown here:

A good deal on a 55 gallon barrel around here is about $55. Some times you can get them for less but they don't last long. I heard Walmart had them for around $35 dollars a week or so ago. The smaller sizes are usually not much cheaper than the cost of a 55 Gallon barrel, so if you have enough space I would get the larger one.

Three 55 Gallon barrels would work for our example. These water barrels are made to hold water but you will still want to re-fill them at least once a year to keep them from taking on a plastic taste. Another thing you will want to do is raise them up off the ground if you are going to store them in a basement on concrete. Basically anything the barrels touch or vapors that are in the air where they are stored will eventually get pulled through the plastic and into the water. Don't store them in a room with chemicals, paint, etc.

I store ours raised up on small blocks of wood to keep them off the concrete floor. To make sure I remember to change the water, I make it a habit to do it during the Fall conference weekend. Another thing to think about is how you will get the water out. I like these pumps:

They are usually around $15 each. Be sure to test it though, I have heard that people have bought some that don't work and it would be bad to discover that when you needed to use it.

You might also want a bung wrench:

These will make it easier to open the barrel and should also be around $15.
Storing more water than this could get impractical very fast. Considering that one gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds our three 55 gallon barrels would weigh around 1,370 pounds!

Having a way to purify water is also a good idea but if you are filling these with house tap water it will already be treated. I will go over filtering and purifying another time.

With an average sedan you should be able to fit it into the back seat lying down. When I bought mine I had a Ford Taurus and was able to fit one in the back seat. It was a tight fit but it did work.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More 72 Hour Kit Ideas

For the following week's family home evening we continued making our 72 hour kits. For water I decided to go with the Mainstay4 oz. water in foil pouches. I bought a box of 60 from Emergency Essentials. It cost $15 for the box. These are nice because they stay good for a few years which is good for someone like me. If I had water stored in plastic bottles or a camel back type container I would forget to change out the water as regularly as I should. These are also nice because it is easy to stick them anywhere in your back pack that you have extra space. They are also easy to divide up and share between family members.

In the 72 hour kit list it talks about a sleeping bag or blanket. A small and light sleeping bag isn't cheap. So the idea of getting one for everyone in the family wouldn't work. We will use a fleece blanket and pillow. These were blankets and pillows we bought at Smiths Grocery back in the summer. I am sure it would be easy to find something like this. Here is a picture of what looks like the same thing.

I found these at

I think we paid around $10 dollars for ours at Smiths. They are light and fold up quite small.

I thought that we should also supplement this with emergency blankets. I had some of the cheap foil ones around that I would take camping. I decided to see what they are really like. It wasn't that easy to unroll and it made a lot of "krinkle" noises as you worked with it. It would be quite annoying to have to listen to it every time you moved during a night. When I wrapped it around me I could feel it reflecting back my body heat. None of these are actually "warm" like a sleeping bag but they would keep you alive and it would definitely be better than nothing. Also they are extremely small and light.

Another nice thing about these is that they are cheap. You can get these at most sporting goods stores. Anywhere you get backpacking supplies. They cost only a couple of dollars and around $5 if you get a sleeping bag version that would work more effectively if you were caught outside and there was any wind blowing. Because they are reflective they can also be used as a signaling device as well as a way to make shade if it is hot and the sun is out.

I decided to spend a few more dollars and buy a slightly better one. They are the Heatsheets brand. They cost more but are not as noisy, "krinkle-krinkle". They also have one side that is the reflective material with bright orange on the other. I bought them at REI.
I got a 2 person blanket for me, a 1 person blanket for my two year old and an emergency bivvy for my wife.
Weight is important if you have to leave your home. If we have some sort of disaster and we can stay at home we will be pretty well off for a short time but if we had to evacuate we would be in trouble. That is why we are making these 72 hour kits portable and as light as possible.

I work 40 miles from my home. I have read quite a bit about Northern Utah and what will most likely happen in the event of an earthquake (which the statistics show is about due). If the experts are correct I will most likely be walking home, so I have a similar kit in a backpack that I keep in the trunk of my car. I also adjust the level of clothing I keep in my trunk based on the season. Maybe I will review what I use in it some time soon.

In the selection of a radio I highly suggest the following radio:

GP 4L Survival Radio.
I bought mine from
a couple of years ago and like it so much that it never makes it in one of these 72 hour kits because it is the radio we use during the week to listen to some talk radio shows we like.

Survival Radio (with built in small LED light as shown above) - $22.95

Here is a little blurb about the radio I got off the website listed above:

"The GP-4 radio was originally designed for the US government. The State Department is still buying them by the tens of thousands, as they want all overseas personnel and dependents to be able to receive the latest news anywhere in the world. Only a tiny radio would likely by carried at all times, and the outstanding reception on AM, FM and SW would enable them to know what was happening and head for safety in the event of another embassy terrorist "event" like the two a few years ago in Africa.

Smaller than a pack of cigarettes, the tiny Survival radio is absolutely perfect to have handy to keep informed of the latest emergency news - on AM, FM, or two short wave bands! Digital dialing lets you select - and find again - any station.

Powered by two AA batteries which last for over 150 hours (over 300 hours with the supplied ear buds), this tiny radio had incredible reception. This tiny pocket radio can keep you informed of events even if you have to listen on short wave!

One of the most exciting things about this radio to me is the speaker quality. I'm old and have bad hearing from too many years of shooting, but the speaker on the Survival Radio is tuned specifically to enhance the 3,000 to 7,000 hz range - human speech! You can clearly hear what is being said, even on short wave, better than with radios ten times bigger - and that much more costly!"

(text above was taken from

I also bought the Pocket Portable Antenna for Survival Radio - $10.95

This antenna clips onto the radio antenna and extends 16 feet. It is ideal for listening to the short wave frequencies. Ideally I should just buy another one for one of our 72 hour kits but for now I used one I bought at Smith and Edwards a year ago for only $5. It looks similar to this one:
It is larger than the GP-4L but it is still quite light. The one I have also has a flashlight on the bottom.