Friday, November 1, 2013

#2 of the emergency series: The emergency plan for the healthy prepping family.

The easiest step in preparedness is to agree on a plan . Particularly where to meet if your immediate family gets separated (or even want to stay close to extended family living nearby) in the case of an evacuation with no lines of communication working.

This is an Evacuation/ Meeting plan I have heard is a good idea. In this order:
A) Meet at or right outside your house in a safe, agreed on location.
B) If someone is in town and if those at home felt the house and near by area was not safe they should leave a scarf on the tree outside the house, signaling to the missing family members that it is unsafe and the secondary meeting spot will be used.
C) Have a secondary meeting spot a ways away from the first. 
D) Should you be unable to contact your family, have an “Out-of-Town” contact that every family member knows to call. Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be your contact. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Be aware that cell phones are often overloaded during and immediately after an emergency, so it is important to know “land line” phone numbers as well. Note: If telephones are not working, try e-mail. Sometimes e-mail gets through when calls cannot. Another good way to do this is utilizing the Red Cross's safe and well website. After you have registered with them, concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.

The next easiest step is your lifestyle choices that will prepare you for practically everything, with no huge effort or investments of money for emergencies that may never happen.

 A natural and healthy way of eating and living will simplify things immensely! If you use and have these things built, planted or roaming in your yard, you will be ready for nearly anything.

  • Seeds to plant, sprout, or just soak and eat. They all have a very long shelf life if stored well. (Also look for heritage, non GMO seeds for the garden which set seeds that you can replant. Several prepper sites have cheap heritage seed "vaults" designed for long term planting.)
  • Make yogurt, kefir or buttermilk on a regular basis. Adding milk kefir grains to dried coconut milk makes it as good as raw milk!
  • Use pickling as a way of preserving fresh produce without refrigeration. Keep the brine to seed new batches. Vinegar, whey or kombucha mothers can be used to pickle.
  • Keep a sourdough starter alive to keep your grains digesting well, and to leaven bread easily and sustain-ably.
  • Buy a solar cooker or keep handy instructions for making  a simple one and supplies to do it.
  • Have chickens. Chickens will lay for two years after which time the chicken can be cooked. But you also need to learn how to butcher and pluck them.
    (Also, eggs that are unwashed of their coating can go without refrigeration so long as they are intact.)
  • Make a DIY bucket fly larvae harvester for protein for your chickens.
  • Buy foraging and gardening books in paper or e-books to be used with a Kindle.
  • Ideally, have an orchard and perennial herb and vegetable garden. The latter set up using permaculture, which takes care of itself basically.
  • If you can, do a regular annual garden as well.
  • Build or buy a top bar hive or two, and get bees to produce your own honey and help pollinate your garden.
  • Let worms eat your garbage. Make a 3 tiered worm bin (3 bin bottoms with holes drilled in the top two, a spigot put on the bottom and a lid on the top) and get worms to put in it to eat your kitchen scraps. You can use the excess worms for both chicken protein and to help the composting process for the garden. This also makes worm compost tea for the hydroponics bin below.
  • Make a bin hydroponics system with water and floating styrofoam with holes to fit holey pots in. You can feed the plants in this system with worm compost tea/water and a bit of hydrogen peroxide. This works great in a greenhouse set up!
  • In a pinch, you can learn to supplement canned or dried foods with foraged local weeds and homegrown grown herbs or perennial vegetables. (Common weeds can be eaten and cooked like spinach- learn those around you. A weed salad can make freeze-dried meals much more desirable. Dandelion greens, sedum, portulaca, the entire kudzu plant, violet leaves (not too many), violet flowers, dandelion leaves and flowers, yam leaves, stinging nettles (cooked), Japanese knotweed shoots, gallinsoga leaves, cattail roots and shoots or pollen, grape leaves, shiso and many other weeds are edible. Many others like raspberry leaf, sassafras roots or alfalfa also make nutritious teas.
  • Own a good manual grain grinder and flaker attachment too, like: Family Grain Mill
  • Own a Vitamix, with it you can make your own nut butters, almond milk, make and cook soups, grind grains, etc.
  • Learn to cook with whole foods.
  • Buy a fire proof safe for your important records.
  • Learn to fish and hunt.
  • Learn natural remedies for your ills, to be independent of pharmaceuticals.
  • Learn first aid and CPR as well as warning signs in an emergency childbirth.
  • Keep a first aid kit all in one place.
  • Keep your toiletries all in one place. Have a little bag for say, make up, a nail kit, a brush and a few hair things, pads, deodorant, toothbrush and paste. This is great for any trips too.

Stock up on and use regularly and keep extra in a pantry or garage:
  • Beans lentils and split peas. Stored in glass gallon jars.
  • Quality oils. A liquid like olive and grapeseed oil have a long shelf life. As well as a solid like coconut or palm oil are great. Which double as butter in a pinch.
  • Sweeteners like raw honey, dehydrated honey crystals, Succanat, molasses and/or maple syrup. . .although Maple syrup only stores for 1 year.
  • Dehydrated veggies, in well sealed individual packs or gallon glass jars (Before storing, the easiest way to kill or prevent any bugs is by adding 1/4 cups of tasteless diotomaceous earth to 1 gallons jars, and roll to distribute evenly.) 
  • Dehydrated mushrooms- Ditto above-
  • Dehydrated fruit chunks or fruit leather. -Ditto above-
  • Glass jars of preferably organic spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, pickles, olives, jams, nut butters, salad dressings, sauces or anything else you have found that you like in glass jars, or that you have canned yourself. (Plastic containers are not as good health wise, or for keeping the food as fresh, or safe from mice, and with canned food we have aluminum and BPA's to worry about.)
  • Dehydrated and canned meats and fish.
  • Dried coconut milk as a healthy alternative to powdered cows milk.
  • Cocoa powder- free trade if you can afford it and or carob powder if you want to avoid the caffeine.
  • Whole spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla beans. . . they store well.
  • Healthy vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes like the Celifiber brand ones.
  • Organic squeezable fruit pouches are very tasty and nice to have on hand, but don't last long at my house, nor are they suppose to store for more than a year.
  • Buckets of grains (Lots of them, like: oat groats, wheat, corn, barley, quinoa, rye, spelt, rice-get no American rice, as there is an Arsenic scare right now in anything but organic, which is best anyhow-) in buckets with screw on lids. (Before storing, best to kill any bugs by adding 1 1/4 cups of diotomaceous earth to 5 gallons of grain, and roll to distribute evenly. You can also freeze them.) Also, make sure you are regularly using a sourdough starter, for yeast, to make them actually digestible, a lot more nutritious, while not spiking your blood sugar. See more about why that is needed here.
  • White flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, and/ or well sealed coconut flour.
  • Quinoa noodles, (gluten free and full of protein) or if you don't care about a little unhealthy splurge here and there, regular noodles.
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • For radiation keep fermented miso and dry seaweed snacks around as well as anti-radioactive iodine.
There is no need to consider any of this emergency stuff, as it is just practical. . .for actual emergencies, you will need to set aside some more specialty stuff. I will discuss that next in # 3 of the emergency series: Emergency bins for a healthy and safe family.

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