It's That Time Again!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's General Conference weekend!!!

Time to:

- replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors

- check sizes and change seasonal clothing in your 72-hr kits

- check food in your 72-hr kits and rotate as needed

And if you don't have 72-hr kits yet, it's time to take 15 minutes and get 'em done!

Utah Earthquake Preparedness - Would you know what to do?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
How prepared are you for a 7.0 magnitude earthquake along the Wasatch Fault? Organizations throughout Utah are preparing for a coordinated training exercise with this scenario on April 17-19, 2012. This video is a reality check for your family and offers tips for preparation.

I'm back!

Thanks for the patience over the last few weeks - they have been a whirlwind of activity and haven't left me much time for posting. We had a family vacation planned and just got back this weekend, and then the week before that I ended up having to work full-time, and it was one of the busiest weeks of the year for our office, which left me with little time to do anything but work and pack for the trip.

I am proud to report that we incorporated our food storage into our vacation! We planned breakfasts, lunches and snacks to take with us, and used many items from food storage (boxed shelf-stable milk, cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks, powdered eggs, water bottles, gogurts, etc.). We even made dinner twice in the hotel room - thank goodness for home-canned hamburger because it made fixing tacos a breeze! :)

From a wildfire evacuee in Texas...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Texas could really use our prayers right now. They are estimating that over 1000 homes have been lost already and more than 5000 people have been evacuated, and there isn't a clear end in sight right now...

Article from CNN - Texas wildfire evacuee

Having had a little taste of what these people are going through (we had our own wildfire evacuation last year, but on a much smaller scale), I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an evacuation plan in place BEFORE an emergency. As the evacuee in this article states, she had 5 minutes to get out, and even though she had thought about it in advance, when the time came, she froze and didn't quite know what to do. I know many of my neighbors up the hill felt exactly the same way when they were given 10 minutes to evacuate last summer.

Make a plan NOW - put a list together NOW of all the things you would need/want to grab if you had 5 minutes to evacuate and you faced losing your home. What would be most important to you? Is it easily accessible? Is it easily portable? Is there any way to protect it from fire or flood danger if it isn't portable?

Post your list inside a kitchen cabinet so it is handy. List the item, it's location, and who is responsible for getting it and getting it out of the house.

Here are some lists that others have put together to get you started:

Evaucation Grab & Go List from Prepared LDS Family

Evacuation Grab & Go List from Be Ready Utah (courtesty of Zion's Bank)

Prioritized Grab & Go List from iPrepared

You will significantly decrease the amount of items on your list if you have 72-hr kits already packed and ready to go in advance. It can make a HUGE difference in an emergency evacuation situation where time is absolutely critical.

More Earthquakes

Friday, September 2, 2011
Small earthquake in Los Angeles yesterday.
Los Angeles Times

Larger earthquake off the coast of Alaska today.
Story at CNN

American Red Cross Earthquake Safety

A note about canning ketchup...

Thursday, September 1, 2011
Canning ketchup...well, it's a bit more involved than just canning fruits or jams.

I have to tell you, honestly, this was not one of my favorites. It took FOREVER, and EVER, and EVER...I kid you not, I spent ALL day just doing ketchup.

And for all that work, I only got 9 pint jars out of it!

I'm so exhausted still that I haven't even tasted it yet. :)

I'm glad that I tried it, and now I can say I know how to do it, but it really wasn't worth the time or effort for me.

ESPECIALLY when I walked into Smith's on Wednesday and saw Hunt's Ketchup (the 100% Natural No-HFCS kind, the kind I like) on sale for 1.00 for a 24oz bottle! (Pint jars are 16oz.) And then I saw them for the same price at Target last night.

For making my own ketchup to can, I used an entire half-bushel box of tomatoes (24 lbs). It cost $12 just for the tomatoes. Then there's the vinegar and seasonings. And I only got 9 pints out of it. Right there it is already more than $1 per pint, which is smaller than the Hunt's bottle, so Hunt's ends up being cheaper. Plus it took me an ENTIRE day to make, and nearly three hours to reduce on the stove. No so with the Hunt's I can just buy from the store. ;)

I looked on the Hunt's label, and I could identify and pronounce every item on there - plus the front label says "100% Natural". That's a good sign.

So for me, after all is said and done, it's worth it to watch the sales and pick up the Hunt's, even if it's $1/bottle, rather than can my own. Does that make me evil in the home-canning world?