Monthly Archives: July 2008

$10 Dollars Will Do It

I started the $10.00 Will Do It club back in 2002 when I was given a church calling to help my neighbors build their food storage and get their families better prepared. I wanted to show people how easy it was to build their food storage one or two items at a time and that they didn’t have to go into the poor house in order to get prepared.

I am passing along the information to you that I shared with them but I am not going to update the prices on the products. Food prices have increased since 2002 and depending on where you live geographically, the prices may fluctuate a bit from region to region.

This information is meant as a vehicle to show you how easy it can be to start building your food storage with a fairly small amount of money — $10.00 a week or every two weeks, whichever you can afford.

The most important part is that you get started, no matter what amount of money you set aside each month. Just make sure that you aactivelly work towards getting your food storage built up. After you get started, you will find that it will get easier and easier — so get started and go buy a case of something!

Ready or Not #3: Under Bed Kit

CRASH! BANG! SNAP! It’s an earthquake IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, but that’s okay because you have discussed with your family what to do when an earthquake happens. You have a family plan, which is a good thing. Everybody grabs their 72-hour kits and runs out of the house and meets up at……., hey wait a minute, how are they running anywhere? How did your kids find their shoes in the dark, they can’t even find them in time to catch the bus every morning. What? They don’t need shoes to get out of the house – just run? But what about the glass and the fallen furniture and whatever else happens during an earthquake? Ouch!

My mantra is: BE PREPARED (I’m a scout mom.) Today I am going to ask you to do something that is very simple so that you will be prepared (this is even more simple than filling your water jugs, which of course you all did – two gallons of water, per person, per day, for a two week period.) I am going to ask you to assemble a kit, not a 72-hour kit, that is something that we will talk about at later time; I am going to ask you to assemble an “Under the Bed or in the Night Stand” kit. I know, weird name, but I don’t know what else to call it. You only need 5 items for this kit and you probably already have them: #1) plastic grocery bag, old pillow case or large shoe box, #2) pair of slip on shoes – close-toed, like tennis shoes or boat shoes, #3) heavy duty leather gloves (not cloth garden gloves – you need something a little sturdier), #4) a whistle on a string, and #5) a flashlight – that works WITH working batteries. Put items two through five in the container (item #1) and place it under your bed (if it won’t collapse) or in your nightstand. You will want to keep this kit in a place that you can find in the dark, grab and use immediately.

Some of you with small children will argue that they will play with the kit and lose the items, but with my children we just incorporated using the kit with our emergency plan. Once your children understand how important those items are in keeping them safe, they will leave it alone – eventually, especially if you have emergency kit spot checks and reward them with a treat for having everything in place, maybe some freeze dried food – hah, just kidding!

Another concern that you might have is that your children will grow out of their shoes, and you are right – they will, but you can buy boat shoes or inexpensive tennis shoes for only $1.00 to $5.00. The shoes don’t need to be the latest and greatest with a brand name attached; all they need to do is to protect your children’s feet. Don’t use sandals! I know that it is tempting because kids can wear them longer, but they don’t offer the protection to the toes and if they have to climb over stuff their footing won’t be sure. Make sure you and your family has shoes that protect their feet – top and bottom (just think of the last time you stubbed your bare toes.)

My biggest concern is not the children losing items from the kit, but rather the adults “borrowing” a flashlight or maybe some gloves. I’m not going to tell you that CAN’T use them, but I am going to suggest that you buy extra items – like flashlights, so that you don’t have to borrow anything from your kit. IF you do borrow something from your kit, please take it right back so that you aren’t left unprepared. It will haunt you if you don’t.

Now, when an earthquake or other disaster happens in the middle of the night, you will have at your fingertips: shoes to protect your feet from glass and other sharp items, gloves to protect your hands, a flashlight to see your way out and a whistle to let everyone know where you are – either outside and safe (thank goodness) or still inside and need help (can you hear my WHISTLE?).

I was right wasn’t I, this kit is easy to put together AND you already have everything (if you don’t I’m sure that you will remedy that today, tomorrow at the latest.) I think I’ll go check my batteries.

Ready or Not #1: Introduction

This is very exciting – bringing my newspaper column to our new web site! The emphasis of my column, and our web site, will be preparedness and food storage. ARE YOU STILL THERE? I really hope so. I know that the fastest way to lose somebody’s attention is to say the words: preparedness, grain, food storage, or even worse (whisper) suggesting you actually eat from your food storage.Connie, Nina and I are going to boldly go where many have gone before – alone, but we intend to take you with us on our journey of preparedness. If at first it is kicking and screaming, that’s ok, we’ve raised children. What we are hoping for is that you really won’t notice that you have changed your thought process until after you have adopted a new way of looking at food storage and preparedness. We are hoping to show you that with a few small changes, a bunch of new ideas (that are easy and very reasonable) you won’t want to go back to your old ways. In making these small changes you will wake up some day and really like being prepared, it will be kind of like the day that your child discovers that he/she/it DOES like broccoli (the most perfect vegetable on the face of the earth – I’m a mom, I know these things, now quit complaining and eat!) Something that may have seemed distasteful at first is now welcomed and enjoyed.

The three of us look at food storage a little differently than most people. We don’t think that the world is coming to an end and we don’t want to live off the grid. What we do want is to be a part of our community, but we also want to be able to take care of our families – especially during difficult times. We believe that for the majority of people the crisis that they will go through will be closer to home: loss of jobs, a downturn in the economy, too much debt, poor health and a variety of other problems. Yes, there will be community wide disasters too, you hear about them daily in the news, but being prepared for either situation will do nothing less than give you the confidence and ability to face any problem head on and overcome challenges. We don’t want you to be afraid of the future – we want you to prepare for it and enjoy the journey and the process of getting there – and staying there.

In my house I don’t really store my food; I just have lots and lots and lots of what I like to eat. That way I can shop in my basement like it is a store and just replenish my shelves when they get low, just like a store (maybe I always secretly wanted to be a grocer, I don’t remember). All I know is that I don’t like to shop, but I do like to eat and I like to eat good stuff. I also like to cook big meals (yeah right – with a hint of sarcasm); actually I like to cook quick and easy, yummy and nutritious meals, so those are the types of things that I will be sharing with you.

Now, if you are still with me, on to the next scary word – PREPAREDNESS (agghhhh). I love insurance (please don’t call – I have enough), I will never be without a first aid kit – anywhere, and if you need a safety pin or a toothpick (a clean one); I’m the person that you come to – me, Mrs. Preparedness. Ever since I was a child I hated to be unprepared, I got nervous at the thought of the dog eating my homework (which of course was ALWAYS done; oh, another “yeah, right” moment), being anywhere without a dime for the phone, that was a long time ago, or not having the right implement to help somebody in distress. I have two umbrellas in my car, so that I can share, but I want to take you beyond that, I want to really make a difference by helping you make a difference.

Being prepared, in all aspects of your life, for a disaster, personal, community or national is the best way to maintain peace of mind. It doesn’t mean that the disaster won’t come, but it will make it more manageable. One of my favorite sayings is: Knowledge is Power. I’m going to provide you with knowledge to empower you during a crisis, of any kind, large or small.

In my next article I am going to talk about water. I love water; eight glasses of water? Pshaw, child’s play. Ok, I hear the moaning right now, “but I can’t drink water, I can only drink gallons of _______________ (insert favorite beverage here – e.g. Pepsi™/Coke™, coffee, Kool-Aid™, whatever has sugar or caffeine in it) every day”. That’s all good and dandy, but you will NOT die if you don’t have a Diet Coke™ (quit arguing with me – you won’t, really!), but if you don’t have water you can die. So, to prepare you for next week just remember: Two gallons, per person, per day, for a two week period. Remember that, and I’ll fill the rest of it in next week.