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Friday, June 26, 2009

More Preparations Needed!

World Net Daily reported yesterday that President Obama has given the green light for protecting the government leadership communications in the event of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on our nation.

As we have seen lately, we are now being threatened by not only Iran and North Korea but also just a few days ago, Al Qaeda made statements that it would consider using a nuclear attack on the United States. Iran and North Korea are unstable and would use any excuse to declare war on our country.

This is reminiscent of the cold war threats by Russia and Cuba many years ago.

I do not think our homeland will be hit by a land based nuke, but it could still happen also. More than likely if it happens, it will be an airborne nuke with an EMP affect that would destabilize our country because of the lack of our power grids. This would disrupt all transportation and consequently delay or stop food deliveries to our local grocers.

The only hedge against such a catastrophe will be our gardens and our food storage and bartering with our neighbors for products we do not produce or have on hand.

In such an event, many items will become worth their weight in gold. For example, without toilet paper, what do you do? Tear up books and newspapers? I hope not! We have decided to stock up on at least a three-month supply of TP, just to be safe.

While we are talkiing about long power outages, if the power should go out for an extended time, you should first eat the meats, eggs and dairy items in the refrigerator. Then start cooking up and or drying and jerking the meats and other items in your freezer. You only have a few days window without power before botulism and salmonella take over these foods.

When in doubt about the safety of the food, throw it out. This being said, I understand that in extended survival situations some people have thoroughly cooked (translated - charring) decaying meat and have not gotten sick. I do not know if I could do this or not, and I have not read any thing definitive on this method of preserving rotting meats and vegetables. If the situation catches us in the winter, we are likely able to prolong the freshness of our foods by storing them outdoors in the cold, but,...if it is spring, summer or fall, we may want to not take any chances with getting deathly ill from being poisoned with bad food.

Remember, water will be more critical than food as we will need lots of it and without a good clean source of drinkable water, we might as well pass on eating as digestion requires water to process foods through our systems properly. I am guessing that vegetables high with vitamin C will become important to prevent scurvy from living on a diet of meats. We will also want to get plenty of sunshine to replace vitamin D in our bodies during the crisis period. This is provided the air around us is not contaminated with radiation from a local nuclear blast.

If a war does come here, may God bless us and our families!

If you were to sort out the possible targets in Washington State, I would say that the major targets would likely be first our ability to defend our state especially the largest of all our military bases, and next, the five or so major cities and metropolitan areas around the state including Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver-Portland. Disruption of our transportation systems such as major freeways and both our east-west and our north-south trains would likely also be a target. Next, our water purification systems and our electrical grids such as our dams, Hansford and major power line facilities would be targets. Gasoline refineries and their distribution networks as well as our underground gas lines and utilities would also be a target. Communications are a given, in that with no way to communicate, i.e. telephone and TV and radio, confusion would bring added chaos to the situation.

Now what are the chances that all of these would be targeted and successfully stopped? I would say that we can get a grip on reality that for all of this to take place would be extremely remote.

However, since we are not all likely to move to the country or to the mountains, the majority of us will have to deal with what is dealt to us… thus the need for preparedness.

Maybe it really is time to reconsider a fully stocked bunker or shelter at home again like we did in the early 60's. Of course, the last thing we need is our enemies changing our lifestyles, but all the more reason to incorporate preparedness into our daily living, for those "just in case scenarios". I vote that the least amount of disruption we do to our families the better, however we already know, the better we are prepared, the less all of us will be afraid or scared.

Personally, I would like to err on the side of preparation. I hope you do too...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Safety Starts At Home

With all of the world events going on right now, it is easy to lose focus of what is most important and what order of things in the world take priority.

I have had a few thoughts on this subject lately as I get daily bombarded with what seems to be one catastrophe after another both in the World and here at home in the United States and more directly our homes here in Washington State.

Priority Number One - Taking care of your health must come first. Without your health, you can not be much help to your family and friends. This is not ignoring the fact that many of us do have some stage of a health issue in our life, be it our own personal health issues or a member of our family’s. But we must treat the walking wounded and do all in our power to stay healthy. Diet, and exercise and possibly continued medical treatment for issues must take precedence. If you are on medications, take them religiously. Be careful if you self medicate that you do not get too much of a good thing. Also, question your prescriptions and which might be in conflict, with your pharmacist.

Recently, I had a family member that was prescribed a medication by one name, while already being on the same medication under a different generic pharmaceutical name. Fortunately a friend of the family visited her three days after her surgery and recognized that something wasn’t quite right; investigated and had enough medical background knowledge to know to check with poison control who immediately wanted 911 called and a trip to the emergency room. This medicine conflict placed her in the hospital while her liver function and kidney functions were monitored for several days. There was concern that her kidneys might stop functioning and dialysis was being considered. After several days of flushing out her system, her health was restored and she rejoined her family at home. Had the neighbor not dropped by and questioned the situation, it could have proved fatal.

Always challenge your medications and scheduled surgeries to determine if they are correct and necessary and are not in conflict to your good health. You must look out for your health; no one else has as vested an interest in you as much as you do. Your friends may not notice something is wrong.

Priority Number Two - Take care of your family by being knowledgeable of their health needs and safety. Maintain a health history and list of medications for all members of the family and have written instructions for specific needs and contacts in an emergency, including insurance coverage, doctors names and hospitals.

Priority Number Three - Stay involved with your neighbors, immediate community and schools. Getting to know your neighbors and getting them to know you and your family is very important. There are several programs already established that are available to help you in your neighborhood.

1. Neighborhood Watch – If you do not already have a neighborhood watch program, contact your local police department and get information to start one in your neighborhood. Staying active in your community and knowing your neighbors provides peace of mind and a certain amount of security and safety is established.

2. Map Your Neighborhood – This program helps blocks of neighbors to get to know each other and to find out resources that can be shared to help out each other in case of a disaster or in time of need. Contact the Washington Department of Defense, Emergency Preparedness Program at Camp Murray in Lakewood for more information.

3. CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) – Get certified in disaster training incase of the worst-case scenario. This is most excellent training and I highly recommend it for everyone in your neighborhood. Of course these numbers will never happen, but it is really good to get as many people trained as possible. Information about CERT can also be obtained from the Department of Defense at Camp Murray in Lakewood.

4. Red Cross (or equivalent) First Aid Training – One cannot have too much training in first aid. All of my family members have had years of first aid classes and have all used it at different times at car accidents, home injuries, and a few in actual life saving situations. First aid gives you confidence in yourself and a feeling of security. It isn’t being perfect or knowledgeable like a doctor might be, but a degree of self help is always a comfort.

5. Learning to Swim – If you are a noon-swimmer, stop right now and make contact with a pool and take lessons to be able to swim. It is a confidence builder and it also will save a life. In a weird twist of fate, a young man I taught how to swim in the Boy Scouts, was able to save the life of my youngest son several years later when my youngest son who had dove into Lawrence Lake off the dock and had become entangled in the mil foil water plants at the bottom of the lake. This boy recognized the danger, ran down the dock and jumped in and pulled my son to the surface and got him breathing again. This is a debt I will always owe to this young man who is now our family’s hero.

Priority Number Four – Stay abreast of the politics and government decisions being made around you and do your part by voting and making contact with your legislators when you agree and disagree. It is important that we know what is happening. We can only be prepared if we know what to prepare for. This is not a time in history for apathy. Make your voice heard.

These do not cover everything that the world may throw at us, but they will give you a great start on protecting yourself, your family and friends and neighbors, and make a great start in being prepared.

Keep Prepping


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Food storage accomplished through smart shopping, foraging, gardening & canning


This is the time of year to have your eyes open for wild edible plants and to begin storing up your favorites. Buy a good book and meet with knowledgeable friends to forage the woods and open spaces for the bounty the Good Lord brings forth every year.


Of the many edible plants you can select, berries are always the number one favorite, and many quarts of jam and jelly will be processed as the fruits ripen over the next few months. To can your own jam or jelly, requires the acquisition of a large number of canning jars now, for later use. Check for store sales of jars and lids, of pectin and sugar, along with specials on various fruits at rock bottom prices. Do not pass up the garage sales either which can be a gold mine on canning bottles and products.

Learn something new this year. Try different methods of canning your favorite foods and fruits.

If you wish to try some new interesting processing methods, try some of the pioneer methods of preserving foods. One such method called ‘pemmican’, is mainly meat and berries pounded together to make meat/berry cakes, which will last for several months without refrigeration, and can last you through the winter if you keep them stored at a constant cool temperature.

Improving Food Storage Temperatures:

Try improving your food storage area. Consider maybe increasing the size of your storage area and/or try improving the insulation factor of your food storage area. This can be done by adding ‘closed in cabinets or cupboards, or by simply insulating your garage door itself, or replacing your non-insulated garage door with an insulated garage door. Anything you do should have a goal of lowering the area storage temperature to below 70 degrees, which is the ideal highest temperature for best results in the longevity and saving of stored fruits and vegetables.

Work Your Garden:

Your garden should be well underway now as we are past the last frost. This year, try experimenting with some new species of your favorite crops, such as several varieties of corn, and squash.

My garden is already producing fruit and vegetables. Yeah! We have been harvesting salad on a regular basis. Two days ago I also sampled one of my very hot radishes and then I cooled off my tongue with a large fresh strawberry. Nothing tastes better than fresh produce.

It is fun to garden and it brings a sense of peace to your soul as you dig in the dark brown earth. God has been good to me this year. Almost everything I have planted is thriving. (Using Miracle grow did not hurt my odds either…)

Smart Shopping for Food Storage:

Continue to watch for food sales and store coupons that reduce your food bill costs. If you have been doing this all along, you may find that now, the only time you have to go shopping is for milk and to pickup items when something they are on sale.

The Comfort of Having Your Food Storage:

It is amazing the comfort it gives you to have a minimum of one year’s supply of food in your pantry and food storage. Personally we have two years of grains, dehydrated foods and freeze dried foods in our long-term supply stored up. We also have our regular pantry stuffed with enough fresh foods and water to easily last three to five months. It is packed full of things we like to eat all of the time in our regular diet.
Washington Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Washington Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.