High Tech Survival Tools

Friday, April 27, 2012
Here's a little news video from Yahoo! News on some high-tech survival tools.  I especially like the idea of the HTI Hydro Pack - gonna have to research that one a little more!

Food Storage Find: Organic Heirloom Seeds at Costco

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I am not a gardener. Never have been. But I'm trying.

I did okay for most of the summer last year with my two small tomato plants on my deck. The cucumbers, well, they didn't fair so well. But that wasn't my fault - once the first wind storm hit and broke off half of the plant, there was just no recovering.

My little planter boxes of herbs and peppers didn't do so well. I nursed them along as much as I could, but then another wind storm came up and I forgot to take them inside, and the planter boxes fell off the deck and it was lights out for the plants. [Yeah, we get a lot of strong winds here.]

Despite my lack of a green thumb, I do however understand the importance of knowing the basics of gardening and having some seeds put away in food storage in case the need ever arises to have to grow some of my own food. So I was VERY excited to find these little beauties at Costco this last weekend!

It is a packet of organic heirloom seeds - most of the basics of what you would want to put in a starter garden. It contains seeds for:

- beets
- carrots
- cucumbers
- lettuce mix
- onions
- peppers
- squash
- swiss chard
- tomatoes [beefsteak, roma and cherry]
- sweet basil
- cilantro
- peas

I don't think they are vacuum-packed, but the package is hermetically sealed, so I think that if kept in a cool, dry, dark place they might have a pretty decent shelf life. And there was an instant rebate, making the package 19.99 if I remember correctly.

So now I have some seeds to keep with my food storage, and since they are heirloom, I can grow the plants, harvest the seeds and use them again the next year, and so on.

I'm very tempted to go back and get another one and use the seeds in a "real" garden this year!

From someone who has been there...

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Recently I ran across a blog post from a woman who, along with her family, went through the disasters in Japan last year.  It was so very insightful to hear about her experiences, what it was really like in the aftermath, and also to read about the things she would change about her emergency preparations.  Fabulous information!  I am so glad that she and her family were safe, and that she has been willing to share her experience so that others of us can learn from it.

Here is her post, at her blog Acte Gratuite.

I will be using her suggestions to make some modifications to items in our kits, or to add things to our emergency supplies that I don't already have. 

Step 7: Communicate and Recover

Saturday, April 21, 2012
After immediate needs and threats are addressed, then the clean-up and recovery begin. 

Here is the Communicate and Recover focus sheet with info and instructions.

Additional instructions from Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.

VIDEO: Checking your gas water heater and gas meter

Friday, April 20, 2012
Instructions from Questar Gas on securing and checking your gas water heater and your gas meter before and after a potential earthquake (from a KSL news story).

A new addition to the 72-hour kits!

Since there has been a new addition to our family, I now need a new addition to our 72-hour kits - for baby!

But seeing as how baby grows so fast and her needs for diapers, milk/formula, clothes, toys, etc. are constantly changing, I'm going to make a separate bag for the "baby kit" so that I can more easily remember to rotate/change items as baby grows.

Stay tuned - I will have pictures and a list soon. I almost have everything I need, now I've just got to finalize it and put it all together.

Step 6: Check It Out

After an earthquake, you need to check for injuries and damage.  If possible, get some first-aid training in advance so that you are prepared to help in an emergency.  Even better, take a CERT class and volunteer with your city's emergency response team! 

Remember, after an earthquake or other natural disaster, check yourself, your family and your home FIRST.  Make sure you and your family and home are safe, and then you can volunteer to help neighbors and your community response teams.

Here is the Check It Out focus sheet.

Step 5: Drop, Cover and HOLD ON!

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Learn what to do in an earthquake, whether you are inside, outside, at home, work or school.  Knowing what to do can save lives!

Here is the Drop, Cover and Hold On focus sheet.

Step 4: Is Your Place Safe?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Your home may not be a structural safe as you think.  Identify your building's weaknesses and do what you can to fix them.

Here is the Is Your Place Safe focus sheet with info and instructions.

Gossner Shelf-Stable Whipping Cream - Question & Answer

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
For the reader in West Jordan who wants to know whether the Gossner's whipping cream is still good if it has thickened in the carton:

Here's what I found on their site, "All Gossner Shelf Stable Dairy Products may be stored in the refrigerator if you choose to do so; however, Gossner's Shelf Stable Whipping Cream must be stored at room temperature if the storage period is more than three weeks. The cold temperatures over a prolonged period of time (several weeks) may cause the Whipping cream to thicken and have to be spooned from the carton."

Since I keep my containers downstairs in the basement, it gets cold, especially in winter, so most of the packages I open have the cream already thick. I haven't had any problems with it, except it can just be a pain to have to scoop out instead of pour out.

If you're still within the expiration date, or even within 6 months after that (they told me at the chalet chop that it should still be good for 6 months past the expiration date), even if it is thickened, you should be fine.

We did our earthquake drill - did you?

My kids had a great time practicing the earthquake drill this morning! After the drill, they went upstairs and played "earthquake" for an hour - lets hope some of the practice sinks in so they'll know what to do if they ever have to go through it for real.

VIDEO: Build an earthquake emergency kit

Ideas from the Utah Division of Emergency Management for putting together emergency supplies.

It's ShakeOut Time!

Utahns - don't forget to Drop and Cover at 10:15 this morning!!!

Step 3: Make Disaster Kits

I've posted on this one plenty of times before - make sure you have at least a basic disaster kit ready to go for your home/family!

You can do it for free and in as little as 15 minutes - I promise! Here's how...The (Free) 15-Minute 72-Hour Kit (and handout)

Remember folks, ANY preparation you do is better than NO preparation at all! Even if all you have is a can of Diet Coke and a roll of toilet paper in a plastic grocery sack, it's better than nothing, and it just might save your life!

Once you've got a basic kit together, then work on adding to it - here are some posts with additional ideas and info on what I'm working on with our family's kits.

Here's the Make A Disaster Kit focus sheet with info and instructions.

And here are additional links with info or item lists for making disaster/72-hour/grab-and-go/bug-out kits:
Personal and household supplies kits
Recommended supplies list from Ready.gov
Basic disaster supplies kit from Ready.gov

Here are some ideas on additional options when you are ready to expand your kits:
Adult Kit Food: Menu sample 1
Adult Kit Food: Menu sample 2
Child Kit Food: Menu sample 1
Hygiene kit
First-aid supplies

Step 2: Make a Plan

Monday, April 16, 2012

Plan ahead so that you can be prepared.  Know where your emergency supplies are.  Know what your communication plan will be.  Know where your escape routes are. 

Here is the Make a Plan focus sheet with info and instructions.

Also check out Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan.

And here is a Family Emergency Plan sheet that you can print out, fill out and distribute to family members, including wallet cards with critical contact and identification information, from Ready.gov.

Step 1: Secure It Now!

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them.  Focus first on things that are heavy enough to topple in an earthquake and cause damage to you or others, things like:  book cases, dressers, water heaters, large televisions, appliances, etc.

It is a good idea to secure these types of items even if you DON'T live in earthquake country - they would be potential hazards in tornadoes or hurricanes, and are definitely potential threats to young children (there are so many deaths each year from children climbing on dressers/bookcases and toppling them over or pulling over televisions onto themselves).

Here is the Secure It Now focus sheet from the Emergency Survival Program.  It contains information and instructions to help you secure potential hazards in your home.

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

Know what you need to do in order to PREPARE for, SURVIVE and RECOVER from an earthquake, in seven steps.

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety sponsored by earthquakecountry.info

Drop, Cover and Hold On!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Do you know what to do in an earthquake? How to protect yourself?

Follow three basic steps: 1) Drop, 2) Cover, and 3) Hold On!

For more information, check out DropCoverHoldOn.org

Protect yourself. Spread the word. Practice it!

VIDEO: Make A Grab-and-Go Kit

Friday, April 13, 2012

Emergency kits don't make themselves... ;)

Another IKEA Find: Hand-Crank Flashlight

Thursday, April 12, 2012
Another great IKEA find - a hand-crank flashlight! No batteries needed, and you just can't beat the price - $4.99!!!

LJUSA hand-powered flashlight at IKEA

VIDEO: Preparedness Now

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

VIDEO: Communications after an Earthquake

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Communication after an Earthquake

This is a short video from KSL News about basic communication options after an earthquake or other large-scale disaster.

I thought it was great that the presenter pointed out the need to TEXT FIRST after an emergency - it requires much less bandwidth on the cell networks and you'll have a greater chance of getting your message through than if you try to place a call.

The Great Utah Shake Out

Monday, April 9, 2012

At 10:15 a.m. on April 17, 2012, thousands of Utahns will "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" in The Great Utah ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in Utah history!

Activities and drills will be held across the state and in many local communities. I know that our local elementary will be doing a "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" drill for the kids at 10:15am that morning. [I grew up in southern California and we had these drills monthly in elementary school, just like fire drills.]

Then, at 6:00pm, our local community response teams will meet at the elementary school to run through a bunch of emergency scenarios and drills designed to help us work out the logistics of helping our community after a large earthquake.

You can get more information about The Great Utah ShakeOut at www.shakeout.org/utah. You'll find lots of great info there, and you can also register to participate in the state-wide drill if you'd like! And be sure to check with your local community to see what drills and activities are planned for your specific area.

The best preparation of all...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

We can do all kinds of things to prepare ourselves physically and emotionally for what may come, but in the end, the most important preparation is what we do for ourselves spiritually - what we do to increase our testimony, strengthen our faith and come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.

IKEA Find: First-Aid Kit

I got a chance to wander around IKEA yesterday (it was oddly less-busy than usual, especially for a Saturday) and I stumbled upon some of the new items they are carrying as part of their IKEA Family program. I was very excited to see some travel items (backpacks, suitcases, toiletries bags, etc.) but was even MORE excited to find that they now carry a first-aid kit!
This is the PATRULL First-Aid Kit. It is 12.99 normal price, but if you have an IKEA Family card (free to sign up) you can get it for 9.99! It contains: 1 burn dressing, 1 wound compress, 3 sterile wound dressings, 2 elastic bandages, 1 pair disposable gloves, 1 roll of adhesive tape, 1 respiratory sheet, 13 adhesive bandages, 1 pair of scissors, 5 wipes, an adhesive pad and 4 butterfly closures. It also had enough room inside for you to add a few additional items of your own (like small packets of medications or antibiotic ointment).

It is a great size for stowing in 72-hour kits or in the trunk (or glove compartment) of your car. It is not available to order online, but if you are near an IKEA store and in need of some first-aid kits, you may want to stop in and grab some.

PATRULL First-Aid Kit at IKEA

Emergency Water Storage...

Thursday, April 5, 2012
...It's not just for catastrophic emergencies. It's also for when your water heater springs a serious leak at 8 o'clock at night and your home warranty company can't get a repairman out until the next afternoon, and you can't shut off the water to just the heater itself because the valve has been corroded with all the hard water and won't budge, and then you have to turn off the water to the whole house for 24 hours... ;)

Make Your Own Yogurt

Monday, April 2, 2012
I did two booths for our recent Preparedness Fair, and one of those was on making your own yogurt.

I apologize - I made a huge batch that morning, but failed to take any pictures. It was a hectic day to say the least, and I had only had 2 hours of sleep (total) the night before.

I will make another batch in the near future and take pictures along the way this time.

But until then, here is a link to the instructions and recipe if you're interested:

Make Your Own Yogurt handout