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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Prepper: Preparing for the Worst The Golden Rule of Food Storage

Prepper: Preparing for the Worst The Golden Rule of Food Storage
This blog covers the latest from the prepper/survivalist world...

Preparing for the Worst is Half the Victory

All your survival food stores need to be stored in some sort of container that is easy to transport. Containers for food storage need to be strong, sturdy thick plastic and heavy-duty enough to withstand the rigors of the weight of the food and movement in the event of a bug-out. Use ones that have a sealed snap lid, that are water proof and have strong heavy-duty handles for carrying. Never use cardboard boxes, they don’t last long and if they get wet, oh well.


There are several things you can do today to ensure that you are personally prepared for the difficult times ahead. Some people may think you are crazy, but there are things you can do covertly, even in that context. Most importantly, you must plan now and be ready to implement that plan.



Originally published : thenewsurvivalist.com
After you have established your short-term stash, which should get your family through emergencies lasting from a week to several weeks, you may decide that you would like to store larger quantities of food in preparation for longer emergencies. In this section I will discuss a long-term food storage technique.
The following foods if stored properly have an indefinite shelf-life:
Whole Wheat Berries
White Sugar
Salt
Pure Sorghum Molasses
Pure Honey
Certain other foods, if stored properly, can keep for 5 to 10 years or even longer. All stored foods should be dated so they can be rotated out when the time comes to replace them.
Other cereals, such as oats
Dried Beans
Dried Corn
Rice
Couscous
Whole Spices
Before I discuss the best way to store these foods, lets take a brief moment to review the major reasons why stored foods spoil. Food is spoiled primarily by the growth of microorganisms. In order to grow and reproduce, most microorganism require two things, water and oxygen. When foods are canned they are preserved by killing all the microorganism in the food and the storage container by sterilization, and by keeping the container completely impervious to the entry of additional microorganisms. When foods are preserved by dehydration nearly all of the water is removed. The microorganisms that are in the food are not killed but without water they can not grow and reproduce. When foods are frozen the live microorganisms remain in the food, but the extremely low temperature stops their metabolism so they do not grow and reproduce. (Your refrigerator does not stop the growth of microorganisms, but their metabolism is slowed enough to prevent the food from spoiling before it can be consumed.) Pure honey and molasses are special because they naturally contain ingredients that prevent the growth of microorganisms.

RELATED : The Best Canning Methods For Meat, Fish And Seafood For Your Survival Pantry

The best way that I have found to store whole dried foods, like whole wheat berries and dried beans, is to seal them in completely airtight mylar bags made specially for the purpose of long-term food storage. Other plastic bags will work but the mylar bags work the best. First you must start with foods that contain very little moisture, or you must remove the moisture by placing the food in a low temperature oven for complete drying. The oxygen is removed from the bag and the mylar bag is sealed completely airtight with a hot iron. Mylar bags are strong but they are not puncture proof. They must therefore be enclosed in a strong, preferably airtight, container such as a 5 or 6 gallon plastic bucket with an airtight lid, such as the ones that you can purchase at hardware stores.
There are two good ways for removing the oxygen from the airtight mylar bags. The easiest way is to throw in a couple of oxygen absorbing packets just before you seal the bag. These can usually be purchased from the same supplier who supplied your mylar bags. The other way to remove the oxygen is to use carbon dioxide to replace the oxygen in the bags.
The easiest way to employ carbon dioxide is to use dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide gas. Dry ice can be purchased from the same ice dealers that sell blocks of regular ice. You will find them in your Yellow Pages. Dry ice is extremely cold and must be handled carefully. If it touches your skin it can cause a “burn.” It must therefore be handled with gloves. Fill your storage container to within about a half inch (1 cm) of the top. Put a piece of dry ice on top of the food and put the lid on but do not seal the lid yet. As the gas evaporates (or sublimates) it will cause pressure to build in the container which could rupture it. You have to wait for the dry ice to evaporate completely, turning completely into carbon dioxide gas, and then you seal the container. As it sublimates it will drive the air out of the container. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and so it will remain in the container if you do not disturb it too much. One to two ounces (50 g) of dry ice is all that is needed for each 5 to 6 gallon (20 l) bucket of food.

A Word About Gluten and Wheat Intolerance

If you store wheat berries, learn now how to sprout them to make wheat grass! Sprouted wheat berries and wheat grass are much better for you, and are much more easily digested, than the other ways that you will consume your wheat berries, even better than grinding them to make bread. Wheat berries contain gluten, which is a difficult protein to digest. Many individuals develop an intolerance to gluten and must avoid it entirely. Often, the more wheat you eat, the more intolerant your body grows to it. So even if you don’t have a lot of trouble eating products that contain gluten now, you can develop the problem in the future, especially if wheat ever becomes a major food source, like after a collapse when you break out your wheat storage. Caution should be used when considering wheat berries and wheat products, because many people have sub-clinical (below the surface) problems with wheat, including hidden wheat allergies. But with a storage life of practically forever (when stored properly), wheat berries are of course an excellent food to put up for long-term emergency storage. Sprouting your wheat berries will go a long way in adding additional nutrition and variety to your wheat berries, and will help prevent wheat or gluten intolerances that will surely occur if people are ever forced to rely on stored wheat as a primary source of food.

RELATED : Are you ready for a major war? Expect economic collapse. Expect martial law. Expect a breakdown of society and mass food shortages. How to Prepare for War

 Preparing

After a local emergency, if we are lucky things could be back to normal within a few days. But other disasters could drag on for many weeks or even months. There is no way of predicting how long a national or global emergency could last. If you are ever involved in a prolonged emergency, your food stash, no matter how large, could eventually run out. If a prolonged disaster is on your list of concerns you should think about ways to replenish your stores by growing some of your own food. Even if you are not able to meet all of your family’s needs, your stash will certainly last longer if you are able to supplement it.
Two skills that every survivalist should learn are vegetable gardening and fruit growing. Both involve trial and error so don’t wait until an emergency occurs to start learning these important survival skills.
Shown above left is a ginger plant growing in a 12 inch (30 cm) pot. (When the green leaves turn brown and die off the ginger root is ready for harvesting.) Even people who live in a high-rise apartment can grow a few vegetables, fruits or herbs in pots or containers. No matter how small, your property is capable of producing some homegrown foods. If you have a small back yard you can grow quite a bit, especially if you plan your garden carefully.

Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank

Preparing
Planting a tree? Why not make it a fruit tree? The dwarf varieties also make excellent ornamental trees.
I have a very small front yard, but it was large enough to plant two dwarf fruit trees—an apricot and an Asian pear. Dwarf trees reach a maximum height of only 15 to 20 feet (4 to 6 m), but they produce about the same amount of fruit as full-sized trees that would require a much larger space. Semi-dwarfs are also available that grow to heights somewhere between a dwarf and a full-sized tree. It is also easier to harvest your fruit from a dwarf or semi-dwarf because you don’t need a tall ladder
It would be hard to find an ornamental tree that could exceed the beauty of a dwarf apricot tree. My apricot tree produces a bounty of fruit each year—far more than my family can consume, even though we preserve much of our fruit by canning and dehydration. Apricot trees are among my favorites not only because of their delicious fruit, but also because they produce beautiful and fragrant flowers in the early Spring. The photograph above shows a honey bee pollinating the blossoms of my apricot tree. A bee hive will provide plenty of delicious honey—a natural sweetener and healthful sugar alternative—and as an added bonus the industrious little workers will insure that all the blooms of your fruits and vegetables are pollinated, which will maximize production.
This beautiful dwarf Asian pear tree in my front yard (above) also produces a bounty of delicious and healthful fruit. Growing many different types of fruit not only provides variety, but the work of harvesting and preserving is spread out since each ripens at a different time.


Even though my property is in a suburb of a major city, and is only average in size, I also manage to grow a peach tree, two apple trees, two cherry trees, another pear tree and a paw paw tree in my back yard. This is in addition to a long row of 10 blackberry vines, another of 10 grape vines, and a nice-sized vegetable garden.
It is amazing how much of your own food you can grow, even on a small property. If you live on a larger lot you can of course grow much more, maybe even corn, wheat and other grains. Nut trees are also excellent if you have the space and are willing to fight the squirrels for your nuts.

Vegetable Gardening

Fruit trees are incredibly easy. For most varieties all you have to do is plant them, prune them once a year, and then collect your bounty of fruit. Vegetable gardening involves a little more work because the ground has to be broken and the garden has to be tilled, planted, hoed, etc. But the small amount of effort is well worth it.
The simplest method for short-term food storage is your garden. Certain root vegetables, like carrots, turnips, parsnips and horseradish, may be left in the ground through the winter. After the ground begins to freeze, cover them with mulch, such as dry leaves or straw, to protect them from hard freezes. They can then be dug up as needed in the kitchen. Other cold-hardy crops, such as lettuce, cabbage, beets and cauliflower, may also be left in the garden, protected by a heavy mulch, for several weeks after the growing season.

Save Your Seeds

Store-bought seeds will remain viable for at least 2 to 3 years, although their germination rate will decrease through time. Store your extra store-bought seeds by keeping them cool and dry in airtight containers such as mason jars or plastic bags. Refrigerating or freezing your seeds is not recommended. You should also save your own seeds from your garden. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly in the sun before storing them.


Livestock

To help meet your protein needs you might also want to keep some type of livestock. There are many animals to consider, depending on space and local zoning laws. Goats will provide milk as well as meat. Chickens will provide eggs and meat. For city dwellers the most practical animals to keep are pigeons and rabbits. Pigeons are too messy for me so I greatly prefer rabbits.Preparing
Rabbit meat is delicious and healthy. Rabbits are extremely prolific and will eat just about any plant materials. Don’t throw your corn husks into the compost! They are a favorite food for rabbits! Rabbits do not take up much space. They are quiet and easy to hide from your neighbors. We have a small one-car garage where we keep six rabbit hutches along with my garden tiller, lawn mower, a stash of twelve 20 lb propane tanks and a few bails of hay—And we still have room for our car as well!
Florida Whites are the best breed to keep for survival food when there are space limitations to consider. It is a compact breed that has been developed especially for meat production. They are a medium-sized breed, but they produce the greatest amount of meat per pound of feed consumed. And the meat is excellent! They also require much smaller hutches than the larger breeds and so they take up less space. They are perfect for city survivors.
I built these six hutches (above), each measuring 2x2x3 feet, for my Florida Whites using the instructions found in my favorite rabbit book, Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits by Bob Bennett. To get the most from my limited space the hutches are hung from the joists in the ceiling of my garage. Worm bins underneath the rabbit hutches help keep odors and flies to a minimum. Worms love rabbit manure and are happy to speed up the decomposition process producing rich soil for the garden.
Rabbit manure is the best fertilizer available for your garden and is highly prized by growers everywhere. It can go directly from beneath your rabbit hutches to your garden without any danger of burning your plants. Even if I didn’t eat meat I think I would keep rabbits just for this “black gold” for my garden.
These Florida Whites are “sharing” a plantain leaf. The best food for your rabbits is the pellets that you purchase at hardware and feed stores. These should form the bulk of their diets, but you can supplement with hay, “weeds” (that have not been sprayed with herbicides), and vegetable waste from your kitchen. Rabbits enjoy the parts of the vegetables that you would normally throw in the compost, including corn husks, carrot tops, cores, skins, etc. They absolutely love blackberry leaves, grape leaves, plantains and dandelions. Comfrey is an excellent food and a medicine as well and is easy to grow in your garden. Blackberry leaves are also good medicine for your rabbits, particularly good for diarrhea (which is probably due to overfeeding your rabbits—the most common mistake that rabbit owners make.) It is a good idea to keep a few bails of hay (not straw) on hand for supplemental food, nesting material, and for emergency food for your emergency food.

Common Methods of Food Preservation

Before we take a look at the various methods of food preservation, it will be helpful to discuss the factors that cause food deterioration and spoilage. Chief among these are microorganisms, which consist of bacteria, yeasts and fungi (molds.) Microorganisms, or “microbes,” require the presence of water to grow and multiply. Most microbes, including molds, also require the presence of oxygen. Some anaerobic microorganisms, including botulinum—the causative agent of botulism, an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning—can thrive in the complete absence of oxygen. Enzymes, which occur naturally in plants, will cause foods to deteriorate in time resulting in the loss of nutritional value, flavor and palatability. Enzymes also require the presence or water or moisture. Exposure to light will cause the destruction of some vitamins, and the rate of all chemical and biological reactions, including the actions of enzymes and the growth of microbes, will increase as the temperature increases. So all preserved foods will keep better and longer when protected from light and stored at cooler temperatures.

Here’s a way to quickly and systematically build up a one-week (or longer) supply of emergency food:

Each time you buy groceries, for one or two of the nonperishable items on your shopping list, buy twice as many as you need. Instead of buying one bottle of ketchup, for example, buy two. Put the extra bottle in your pantry. When you are running low of ketchup, rather than using the extra bottle, put ketchup on your grocery list as you normally would and buy another bottle. Just don’t forget to rotate the older bottle of ketchup out of the pantry, using it first and putting the new bottle on the shelf behind it. If you will do this each time you buy groceries, for just one or two of the items on your list, in no time you will have accumulated a one-week stash of emergency survival food. If there is ever an emergency, and the grocery store shelves are empty, or if you can’t get to the store for a week, your family will not go hungry. When it comes to emergency preparedness you will already be way ahead of most people. You will also have taken the first step toward establishing your survival food stash. After your one-week storage goal is complete, you can work at increasing it to a two-week supply, or a one-month supply, or whatever your goal is for your home food stash. And while you are at it, you can use the same procedure to stock up on nonfood items like soap, toilet paper, personal items, etc.


The TOP 11 Gifts For the Skeptical Prepper

Written By Mike Harris

With the Holidays fast approaching I know how frustrating it can be trying to get loved ones the perfect gifts that is not only practical but will benefit them in ways a flashy pretty piece of jewelry or a cool video game can’t. Having first hand experience with getting high dollar prepping items for non-preppers who not only don’t appreciate them but also shake their head in disdain is a feeling all to familiar to me. So here I have compiled a list of 11 gift ideas under $50 that can put that loved one in a better predicament of preparedness without them even knowing it. This list is non-excusive that will make for great gift ideas for both guys and gals of all ages!

  1. Portable Power pack
Portable Power packs come in all shapes, sizes, colors and capacities. I have found these not only extremely well received by non-preppers but unprecedented by most in the overall preparedness value it brings. The typical IPhone battery is about 2,000 mah of power. With power packs ranging from 2,000 mah to the 50,000 “All Powers” external power pack. The user can charge their portable electronics many times over. Not only are their uses for small electronics great but also they provide so much diversity in regards to their many colors, sizes and applications. Giving your loved ones the ability to meet all their small electronic needs is a huge prepping multiplier! We all know inclimate weather, terrorism, earthquakes, accidents, and overall disaster will happen it’s never been a matter of if but when. According to Current statistics there are over 260 million cell phone users in the United States of America! With this knowledge in mind equip your loved ones with the ability to send that text message, write that tweet, updated that Facebook status, hash tag their ideas, post that controversial idea, record that memorable moment. But most importantly give them the life saving power they need to get in contact with Emergency services and loved ones in the event something goes wrong! You will be happier and can rest assured knowing you have set them up for success.

  1. Foldable solar panel
Small foldable solar panels are not only “hipster and progressive” in many aspects but provide a wealth of preparedness capabilities unparalleled in many respects. Not only do these solar panels provide an unlimited amount of electricity when the sun is out but are very easy to store and user friendly to use. Requiring virtually no maintenance upkeep, they can be that lifeline you can depend on when everything around you is falling apart. They can be used and implemented anywhere at anytime as long as there is light. Even under bad forecast they can provide you the life saving power you or someone you know may need in the event of a disaster.  Now couple this with an external power pack (Apple Product Power Pack) and now you have an unlimited power source that can keep you off grid indefinitely! You will be hard pressed to find something that brings more independence and stress free living then being able to personally provide for all your small electronic power needs free from the power grid!



  1. Solar flash light/ Lantern
Light more often then not is something that is taken for granted by the average person. Fortunately most of us live in a world where we can flip and switch and magically we have light. While this is ideal it’s not always the case when disaster strikes. Solar Lighting not only gives the user the ability to have light where they may otherwise not have it but also allows them to have lighting abilities indefinitely because they are not susceptible to depleted disposable batteries, or oil sources like what we see with traditional flashlights and oil lanterns. Natural sunlight light can be taken advantage of during the day and can be used at night. Also like the already mentioned items many of them have the ability to be also used as an external power pack giving them more then one use. We don’t realize the importance of light until the light goes out and we hear that boom in the middle of the night! Remember two is one, one is none. To see the capabilities these light devices have check out my product review.

  1. Cutting Tools
When you say cutting tools you are referring to a broad diverse spectrum of “sharp objects”. This was done purposely every one is different and requires different types of cutting tools. What I would give a college sorority girl that drives a Toyota corolla and has no preparedness inclination versus an avid hunter that drives a lifted 4×4 truck and stays off the beaten path for days at a time is going to be different in style and ergonomics; but the methodology and application will be very similar. Examples for a self-defense situation I would be more inclined to give a college sorority girl a “Honeycomb Hairbrush concealed stiletto dagger” or a “Cat personal safety key chain”. They are complete concealable very fashionable that can go with any purse or outfit. These items will provide a quick control for an unprecedented attack while serving primarily as an everyday use item. While for my avid hunter, Military, or EMS person I might give a “SOG Fast-hawk Hatchet” that can be used as a self defense tool, extrication device, wood cutting tool etc. As you can see cutting tools have a wide range of styles and uses that can serve a diverse array of preparedness needs without coming across as such.

  1. Portable water filter

Portable water filters are one of those small cheap out of sight out of mind water applications that quite frankly will at a minimum sustain life! These make a perfect gift for all people regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. I can say from personal experience being well traveling around the world these have been a game changer. Being in other countries where the tap water was considered unsafe due to viruses and bacteria I never had to worry about where I got my drinking water. Especially with products like the “Sawyer mini Water Filter” that will easily screw onto any commercial water bottle I was able to fill up my bottle (from any local water source) attach the filter and keep moving without any fear of contracting any water borne illnesses. Most commercial portable water filters on the market today will remove over 99% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli and remove over 99% of all protozoa elements such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The “Sawyer Mini Water Filter” Claims it can filter up to 100,000 gallons and weighs only 2 ounces. According to science the average adult human body is 50-65% water. On average the every day American family uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day. While this is taking other water usages into calculation one can still see the importance of water especially when considering that in a disaster the average person will be expending more calories and using more water. No matter where you are whether that be in a local park, traveling in another country, or in the safety of ones home drinking clean potable water is an absolute necessity and water is unequivocally the giver of life! Make having clean and potable water a necessity!

  1. Waterproof speakers with external charging capabilities
The waterproof speakers with external charging capabilities are what gets the person from the sidelines into the action in regards to preparedness. This is a gateway preparedness gift. Regardless if you are an NCAA Cheerleader, Surfer, camper, Military Service member, or the everyday person the ability to access to and have all their music and electronic needs met is an extremely good selling point. According to a Nielsen’s Music 360 2014 study, 93% of the U.S. population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week jamming out to their favorite tunes. The waterproof speakers encourage the user to take their lives off the beaten path, to push beyond the realms of their typical everyday habits. The external charging capabilities give the user an added layer of support and comfort being outside in those environments. Now add a foldable solar panel and the possibilities for adventures off the beaten path are endless. It’s much easier to engage someone in a “what if” scenario or talk about preparedness if your already off the beaten path, outside the “safety confines” of the power grid simultaneously creating your own endless energy while listening to their favorite music. I’m just saying!


  1. Seed Bank/Plant
Seeds and plants are one of the only prep “gifts” that will give back in dividends that will exceed the initial cost. Being able to take a handful of seeds or a plant and create an endless life-sustaining ecosystem is truly beyond words. Permaculture does more then just provides a means by which to feed ones self. Permaculture in many respects is one of the most rewarding pursuits we can do as human beings. Giving us the ability to create and take care of life, being independent of the corporate bureaucracy of Big Ag, and allows one to create their own sustainable paradigm. The lessons gained from the successes and losses of growing.  Not to mention the invaluable skill set that has been slowly taken out of our modern day society. Living in a day and age where we have become so dependent on a system that could careless the consequences of their actions and practices should worry us all. So stay one step ahead of chaos get someone you care about a small seed variety pack, or a tomato plant. If you really like them get them a moringa tree!


  1. Multi-Tool
Multi-Tools are invaluable to anyone, they provide hundreds of functions and are more compact then wallet or small makeup case. Yet it provides the essentials to most day-to-day maintenance. Whether we are talking about opening a bottle or performing a plumbing task using pliers and a cutting tool. The Multi-Tool is a silent hero; it can be carried as an EDC or left in the glove box of a vehicle until needed. It’s a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. You won’t necessarily build a house with it but it can get you out of pretty much any tight situation you might find yourself in. To top it off, in modern day 2016 Multi-Tools are no longer big bulky steel bricks carried in the same old leather or webbing straps. They come in all styles, colors, and designs. They even have bracelet Multi-Tools


  1. Hand-Crank Emergency Power Source
I’ll let you choose what features are important to you but having a power source independent of another source but your will is absolute by its own definition!  We don’t get to choose when disaster will strike, or how it strikes, or what is affected. What we can do is decide for ourselves how prepared we will be. Having the ability to provide an indefinite amount of light, power, and communication etc. day and night is what preparedness is all about. How many times have we looked down at our cell phone and realized we at minimum battery life now, now throw a wrench in your charging plan. That’s where these device swoop in to save the day. Many Hand-Crank Emergency Power Sources charge at the same rate as plugging it into a wall outlet. So in a few minutes you can bring a phone back from the dead regardless of the time, emergency, or situation you find yourself in!


  1. Emergency Car Kit
Do you know a loved one with a vehicle? Do they have an Emergency Kit in their vehicle? If they don’t they are wrong and so are you! In the United States alone, approximately 7 tire punctures occur every second, resulting in 220 million flat tires per year. Approximately 50% of Americans don’t know how to change a tire. I could talk to you for days on this subject but at the end of the day one must ask him or her self some simple questions. In an emergency situation will you depend on technology (AAA), the kindness of a stranger, or empower your self and loved ones to be self-sufficient?  I can’t tell you how many people I have helped that have found themselves broke down on the side of the road. It breaks my heart because I know somewhere down the line they were failed! Don’t fail your self or your loved ones. Give them and yourself the tools for success and most importantly train them to do the basics!


  1. Candles/Fire-Starter
Last but certainly not least we have candles and fire starters. I put these two in the same category because they go together very interchangeably. For the record U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $3.2 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories (Source: Mintel, 2015). Candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. households, and are seen as an acceptable gift by both mean and women. Not to mention Candles come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes and uses. We see this from votive to floating candles to those that are used in religious and ritual like settings.
Regardless of why or how you use candles the ability to hold a flame is paramount in a disaster situation! So if holding a flame is paramount starting a flame is essential. Now I’m not advocating going out and getting everyone a Ferrocerium rod bush craft kit with char cloth all included. Nor am I saying go out and get your 19 year old college sorority daughter a pack of cheap plastic Bic lighters either. The great thing about fire starters now-a-days is that they come in all styles and colors. You have the Colibri Scepter lighter that looks like a tube of lipstick for the ladies to the custom Harley Davidson zippo for the seasoned veteran biker. In my humble opinion I would say that candles and fire starters are not only the easiest, and least expensive gifts to give but will arguable be, the first thing one reaches for in the event of a disaster. The ability to have a lite candle not only helps our physical needs in regards to light and heat. But the psychological ones are just as important if not more. The flame’s soft illumination reaches the soul; it can deliver hope and instill a calming relief.  This coupled the aromatherapy of a scented candle can literally make all the difference in a disaster setting!

This completes my Top 11 gifts for your non-prepper friends and family. While the old slogan “it’s the thought that counts” may resonate with a lot of people it’s important to realize that your feelings and thoughts won’t be the deciding factor in who lives and who dies. Their ability to react logically and swiftly with the right tools will be the deciding factor. While you may not be able to control ones actions you can equip them with the right tools and get the brain working in the preparedness mindset without them even realizing it and that is the purpose of this article.
I can tell you from personal experience when I realized this reality. I was there when the May 3rd Tornado hit the Midwest in 1999. Not only do I remember the destruction that it left in its wake in my small Cleveland County, Oklahoma town. I remember my mother reaching under the bathroom sink to grab three candles so she could provide just a little light to her 3 confused and frightened boys. I remember her lighting these candles she had received as a gift. I don’t remember who gave them to her, but I can tell you I will never forget the smell of that first apple cider candle she lite, nor will I forget the impact of what a simple candle can do for a small frightened family in a ravaged home. I don’t personally think that individual who gave us those candles envisioned the scenario that they would be used for. Nor do I believe they knew the impact that such a small gift would have on someone’s life. But what I can say unequivocally was that small flame ignited hope, determination, and most importantly a quenching desire to seek knowledge on all that is preparedness and to teach others everything I can. So wherever you may be, wherever life might I have taken you I want to say from the bottom of my heart; Thank You.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article, I hope to bring you more content in the future.

Preparing for an EMP event 

 

15 Freezer Safety Tips for a Power Outage

The power is out! What do I do with all that food I just bought from Costco!? Here are freezer safety tips for a power outage!
 

While many will say that you should never use the freezer, I actually suggest using the freezer as part of your long-term food storage plan. I think using the tools that we have can help extend our food reserves for many different kinds of emergencies and better prepare our family with good wholesome foods when the price is good to help save money.

However, in doing so, you must have a backup plan as to how you will handle the eventual power outage that comes with severe storms, freak accidents and the occasional door left open by your child who snuck an ice cream cone when you weren’t looking.
We’re going to take this in 3 phases of Freezer Safety – Before, During and After.




FREEZER SAFETY TIPS – BEFORE THE OUTAGE

Preparing your freezer for the power outage doesn’t have to be scary or hard. A few steps can save you a lot of heart ache later.

Set your freezer to 0° F

Knowing that there will be a problem is key here – set your freezer to a colder level will give you a longer period after to keep your food safe. You can return it to your normal setting once the emergency has passed.

Stock your freezer with ice

Fill empty 2 liter soda bottles or water jugs or even good zip top bags (I would double bag the freezer bags) with water and set into dead spaces in your freezer. Not only will this help keep your freezer working efficiently all the time, it gives you a buffer when the power goes out. You’ve got a ready made cooler. Plus, it’s another hidden source of drinkable water in the case of an emergency.

Install a freezer alarm

A Freezer Alarm will let you set a minimum and maximum temperature for your freezer, which will trigger the audible alarm if the temperature passes those limits.
This alarm will also be helpful for you to see the freezer temperature once the power comes back on. Because it runs on a battery, it will keep a continual record of what the current temperature in the freezer is, which can help you determine what you do later.

Keep Meats in the Bottom

Because the cold air tends to pool at the bottom of the freezer, keeping meats in the coldest part of the freezer is always the safest way to store them.
Tip: I already know you aren’t storing your meats in the packaging that comes from the store, right? Make sure to double bag, vacuum seal or wrap your meats in protective wrap before freezing. This not only helps extend the quality of the meat, it will help juices and condensation from the meats from getting on other foods.

Eat the Ice Cream First

Yep. I said it. Eat the Ice Cream First. If you know that a power outage is imminent, it’s smart to pull out your highly perishable foods and go ahead and eat them. No point in letting them go to waste.

FREEZER SAFETY TIPS – DURING THE OUTAGE

Don’t Open the Freezer

As much as you’ll want to, do not open your freezer. Because cold air sinks, the minute you open the freezer door, the cold air will escape (with an upright freezer). If you have a full freezer, it may not be a big deal if the power outage is short, but it puts your food at a disadvantage of being ‘blanketed’ by warm air without any way to cool it off.
A fully stocked chest freezer should stay cold enough for about 48-72 hours (24 hours if half full, so remember to fill up dead space with water!), an upright freezer up to 48 hours unopened. They are not as well insulated and the cold air pools on the bottom.

Cover the Freezer with Blankets

This is an especially good tip for chest freezers. Cover the freezer with a few blankets to help insulate it even further.

Stock Up Your Coolers

If you can, get as much ice as possible from local stores. Go home and fill up the bathtub, the washing machine (top loading), coolers and the sink with ice. You can use them as ways to keep food cold. This is particularly a good idea for refrigerated items since they won’t be able to keep their cool as long as frozen ones, but it can be a way to extend the life of some foods while you await the return of power.

Add Ice to the freezer

If you know the power is going to be out for awhile, you can extend the life of your freezer by adding ice. Block ice is best if you can get it because it will last longer, but will not insulate the way smaller ice pieces will, which will thaw faster.
Dry ice is another way to keep the freezer cold if you have access to it. Keep it on the top shelf of an upright, or on a pan in a chest freezer, and it will help keep your food frozen.
Just remember..the minute you open the freezer door, you’ve allowed the warm air to enter, so only do this in extreme outages.


Power Outage Tip: Throw a Party!

While we do all we can to protect our precious frozen food storage, before you get to the three day point and worry that your food may not be good, here are a few tips of using up that food before it goes bad:
  1. Throw a Party! Have a neighborhood BBQ and cook all that food now!
  2. Can It! Even without regular electric power, if you have gas or even an outdoor propane station, ou can can up those fruits, vegetables and meats to save them.
  3. Preserve It! While you may not be able to run your electric dehydrator, consider studying up on air or solar dehydrating, fermenting, pickling (this would work for other vegetables), smoking and other means of non-electric preserving to keep those foods safe.

FREEZER SAFETY TIPS – AFTER THE OUTAGE

Rule of Thumb — if you still have a considerable amount of ice crystals, and the food temp is 40F or below, you’re good, and you can refreeze the food. You might have a change in quality for things like ice cream and frozen fruit, especially if they’re at the top of your freezer.
If the freezer is above 40F, don’t take a chance, throw it out. This is where the freezer thermometer (like this one) is a great idea. When you open the door, you’ll get an immediate indication of the temperature of your freezer.
Foods on top of your freezer may be effected more than those buried, so do a little checking top down for quality. Get a freezer thermometer to be able to test the temperature of the food if you can’t see visible signs of ice crystals. You can also use a digital probe thermometer to test particular foods. It will have to go into the food and puncture your wrapping, but this is a better safe than sorry issue. You can always wrap with some plastic wrap to protect the small hole.
If the probe does not go in, it’s frozen and you’re good and don’t have to worry! But anything that you can puncture through, this is a good test whether it is safe for the specific food instead of the whole freezer.
If you know the food was borderline, make sure to pull it out and eat it sooner than later because the quality may be effected more.




When in doubt, throw it out!

If you are unsure about the safety of the food you’ve pulled out of the fridge, or you’ve also experienced a flood that went into your freezer, just throw it out.
Tip: Don’t waste fruit and vegetables that you have to remove from your freezer – throw them into your compost pile!

FREEZER HACK

If you’ve come home from a trip, and notice that there’s been a power outage while you were gone, have this handy hack ready to determine just how long it may have effected your freezer!
  1. Fill a cup with water.
  2. Place it in a safe position in your freezer (towards the top in an upright since a freezer thaws from the top down) and allow to it to freeze. Be careful if you’re using glass which may shatter easily.
  3. Place a quarter on top of  of the ice, then add a small layer of water to help set the quarter when you place it back into the freezer.
  4. Once you’ve returned, check the positioning of the quarter. If it’s now at the bottom, you’ve had a complete thawing of the freezer, and you will want to throw out the food.
Insurance Tip: If you do experience a total loss of your frozen food due to a power loss, check with your homeowner insurance policy carrier to see if you can be reimbursed for your loss. There are many factors that come into play, such as acts of God or geographical coverage or human error, but it is worth checking to see if you qualify!

 

17 NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS OUR GRANDPARENTS USED INSTEAD OF PILLS


17-natural-antibiotics-our-grandparents-used-instead-of-pills


For hundreds of years, maybe even longer, our grannies and grandfathers relied on simple household items to heal. For that purpose, they picked different natural antibiotics, which they mostly found in home, gardens or meadows and woods nearby.
Much of this came out of necessity. Rather than using an antibacterial facial scrub, our Nanas massaged honey deep into their pores. By using proven old home remedies, we can treat and cure various health problems and do a lot for our health avoiding unpleasant medications side effects, too.
Some of these remedies even date back thousands of years, as far back as the tribes of Central and South America. Now, perhaps with the advent of slow-living, these products are slipping back into style. Many appreciate the remedies for their simplicity, price, or their low-impact on the earth. Rather than spend $8 on sea salt spray, you can simple mix some salt with water and spritz it into your hair. You save money as well as a package.
In honor of our ancestors, we’ve gathered some of our favorite time-honored traditions. These timeless products have earned a permanent place in our pantries.
Garlic
Raw garlic when crushed or chewed contains a compound called allicin – which has similar properties to penicillin.
This superfood member of the onion family is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, and antioxidant (mopping up free radicals that have been proven to cause cancer).
For more than seven millennia, it has been used internally and externally to treat mild illness to serious diseases.
Everything from inflammation to colds to serious infections is minimized and/or obliterated with the addition of garlic and for those who don’t enjoy the taste, there are supplements as well. Check into “aged” garlic supplements for the best results.
Garlic is not only potent, it contains a host of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that are beneficial to total body wellness. Not to mention the cost is pennies in comparison to doctor visits and prescriptions!
Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill millions of friendly bacteria your body needs, its only goal is bacteria and microorganisms. Garlic also encourages and increases the level of healthy bacteria. It is a powerful antifungal agent and destroys any antigen, pathogen, and harmful disease-causing microorganisms.
  • Garlic packs a punch with phytochemicals and healing sulfur components. These sulfur compounds even chelate toxic heavy metals (like lead & cadmium), binding with them for excretion out of the body.
  • It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even antiviral qualities.
  • It promotes the growth of healthy intestinal microflora by acting as a prebiotic (food for probiotics).
  • Garlic helps keep fats from oxidizing.
  • Garlic acts as a strong antioxidant and guards against DNA damage.
  • It protects against radiation & sunlight damage.
  • Garlic fights worms and parasites.
  • It benefits digestion, which is good for the whole body.
  • It contains many nutrients such as vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3), minerals (calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and phytochemicals (Allicin, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, diallyl-disulfide, ferulic acid, geraniol, kaempferol, linalool, oleanolic acid, p-coumaric acid, phloroglucinol, phytic acid, quercetin, rutin, s-allyl-cysteine, saponin, sinapic acid, & stigmasterol).
  •  
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Honey
Herbalists consider honey as one of the best natural antibiotics. It also contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. A 2014 study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that honey has the ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to it.
Ancient Romans used honey on the battlefield to treat wounds and prevent infection.
Civilizations all over the world continue to consider honey one of the best natural antibiotics, antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, and antiseptics known to man after thousands of years.
Its unique combination of hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols help kill bacterial cells. To get the antibiotic benefit of honey, always use raw, organic honey.
Olive leaf extract
This substance has been used for a number of centuries to battle bacterial infections and is now currently being used as well to fight MRSA infections in some European hospitals. It provides immune system support while fighting antibiotic-resistant infections. Olive leaf extract also has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it exhibits free-radical scavenging abilities.
  • You can make olive leaf extract for external use at home. Put a handful of finely chopped fresh olive leaves into a glass jar with a lid. Pour vodka over the leaves until they are completely covered. Close the lid and keep the jar in a dark place for 4 to 5 weeks. Using a cheesecloth, strain the liquid into another glass jar and your homemade olive leaf extract is ready to use.
  • Another option is to take olive leaf extract in supplement form. 250 to 500 mg capsules twice daily is the standard dosage. However, consult a doctor before taking the supplement.
Turmeric
This herb has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for many thousands of years to treat a wide range of infections. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities have been known to be highly effective in the treatment of bacterial infections. The antimicrobial activity of curcumin against helicobacter pylori showed positive results. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and 5 to 6 tablespoons of honey. Store it in an airtight jar. Have ½ teaspoon of this mixture twice daily.
  • You can also take turmeric supplements of 400 to 600 mg, twice daily. However, consult your doctor first.
Echinacea
With similar effects to garlic, it was traditionally used to treat open wounds, as well as blood poisoning, diphtheria and other bacteria-related illnesses. Echinacea is well tolerated and able to stimulate the immune system by naturally boosting infection fighters in your blood stream. Native to North America, Echinacea has been used for centuries in tribal medicine to treat pain and sickness.
Unlike garlic, this antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral solution is generally used at the first signs of illness and should not be taken for more than ten days. It is available in liquid and capsule form.
Echinacea is also used against many other infections including the urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria.

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Cayenne peppers
Cayenne peppers are the most powerful circulation stimulators. They just send their antibiotic properties to fight the disease where it is mostly needed.
Onion
Onion is garlic’s closest relative and it has a similar but milder action. Together they create a strong fighting duo.
Raw apple cider vinegar
The far-reaching benefits of daily doses of apple cider vinegar (ACV) include antibiotic and antiseptic properties, naturally alkalizing your system, and can aid you in everything from managing your weight to lowering cholesterol and your risk of cancer.
A chemical-free astringent, ACV can be used topically to disinfect and sterilize.

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Oregano oil
Oil of oregano is considered anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.
It can be used internally and externally in the treatment of wounds, respiratory problems, digestive upset, and even the common cold.
  • For treating foot or nail infections, add a few teaspoons of oregano oil to a tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in it for a few minutes daily for a week.
  • For sinus and other upper respiratory infections, put a few drops of the oil of oregano in a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam. Do this once daily until you get rid of the infection.
Colloidal Silver
While colloidal silver is highly antibiotic in nature, I suggest only using it for external uses such as gargling, ear infections like swimmers’ ear and skin.  The reason is that ingestion of colloidal silver does damage the delicate gut microbiome by killing beneficial bacteria though not as extensively as drug based antibiotics. If you need the assistance of natural antibiotics to consume internally, choose another one on this list, not colloidal silver.
Grapefriut seed extract(GSE)
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) effective against more than 800 forms of viruses and bacteria, more than a hundred strains of fungus, and many parasites.
High in many antioxidants, GSE boosts immunity, alkalizes the body naturally, and aids in digestion by improving your beneficial gut flora.
Ginger
Ginger’s natural antibiotic property helps prevent and treat many health problems caused by bacteria. Fresh ginger has an antibiotic effect against food-borne pathogens like salmonella. It also has an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.
So, if you are going to eat something that has the potential for food borne illness such as sushi or raw oysters, always best to eat some fresh ginger (raw and pickled is most potent) too in order to make use of its natural antibiotic properties.
  • Ginger tea is a great preventive measure against bacterial infections. To make the tea, grate 1 inch of fresh ginger and boil it in about 1½ cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and lemon juice for taste and drink it.
  • Also, include dry or fresh ginger in your cooking. You can also take ginger capsules, after consulting your doctor.
Manuca Honey
What would this list of natural antibiotics be without raw honey which has been used as an infection fighter since ancient times?  Of all the raw honey on the planet, Manuka honey from New Zealand is the best when it comes to resolving infections. An enzyme found in honey releases hydrogen peroxide. This process helps your body fight infection and prevents the growth of bacteria. Soothing to the digestive system, honey removes toxins from the blood and helps your liver operate more efficiently.
A great boost to the immune system, consider combining honey with cinnamon to strengthen your white blood cells! Raw, organic honey is the best option since most pasteurization methods kills the antioxidant effects.
Cabbage
What many people don’t realize is how much vitamin C is found in cabbage. One cup provides 75% of what you need every day.
Naturally antibacterial, eating shredded raw cabbage in your salad, as a side dish in the form of slaw, or drinking fresh cabbage juice (with honey added to sweeten) is an excellent way to improve digestion, prevent disease, and even manage your weight!

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Extra virgin coconut oil
There is not enough that can be said for the benefits of coconut oil. It has naturally occurring anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and is packed with antioxidants you can’t find anywhere else in nature.
Use it to boost your immune system, balance thyroid, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and even improve brain function. Safe to use internally and externally, coconut oil is one of the most versatile and unique gifts from Mother Nature.
Goldenseal
Goldenseal’s natural antibiotic property works well for both topical and internal bacterial infections. Goldenseal contains a compound called berberine that helps kill many types of bacteria that cause many health problems.
Berberine also activates white blood cells, making them better at fighting infection and strengthening the immune system.
  • For internal use, prepare a cup of herbal tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of goldenseal powder in 1 cup of hot water. Strain and drink it while it is still warm. Drink this tea once daily.
  • For external use, prepare a mixture with 1 teaspoon of goldenseal powder and the oil of a few vitamin E capsules. Apply it to the affected area 3 times a day.
Note: Do not take this herb internally for more than a few weeks at a time.
Indian lilac or neem
Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is another natural antibiotic. In addition, due to its antibacterial nature, neem keeps different types of oral problems like cavities, plaque, gingivitis and other gum diseases at bay.
  • To prevent skin infections, use cosmetics and skin care products that have neem as one of the main ingredients.
  • Take neem tablets to help remove accumulated toxins in the body and any parasitic organisms. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.