Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thiings to think about

We are going to talk long range.  What if we have some type of emergency that lasts for say 3-6 months or longer.  Believe it or not there are lots of things that can happen in this day and age we just don't think about.  Chinese parts being sold for power grids that are cheap and not designed to last long but are used way over the suggested replacement time, civil disruptions, terrorism etc.  I never used to think about those things but once 9-11 and Katrina happened my thinking changed from believing something would never happen on American soil and that the government would be on the quick to help after a major incident involving earthquake, weather, etc. .  I want to have the comfort of knowing that I am preparing for anything for my family.  I need to know my family will eat and be safe no matter what happens.
This is a picture taken during Katrina, residents were not prepared in any way.  Waiting for the government to help might not happen.

 And guess what? If nothing happens and I have done all this preparing, so what ?  Who has been hurt by it?  At the very least we have extras to help someone else through rough time or a job loss. I feel strongly that I am doing what God wants me to do. 
This picture was taken during the Great Depression, but it could have been taken yesterday at one of the many food banks now straining to provide people with daily food.

Ok so you know you need to have a food inventory and you need to decide how much you will need per person for whatever time you think you should prepare for and the number of people you should prepare for.  But what other kinds of things should be on your list?  The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a site with suggestions for a two week emergency plan you can view at: . 

The LDS (Latter Day Saints or commonly known as Mormons) have long practiced food storage as it is part of their doctrine.  They have tons of knowledge on this subject and you can benifit from that too.  They have a "food calculator" that is easy to use by putting in the number of adults and children you want to prepare for and it will automatically tell you everything you need for your family.  Of course you have to realize that this calculator is designed to include all aspects of food preparation from seasoning to grain.  They consider what  you need to make a loaf of bread and include that in the calculations.  It is very detailed and I would suggest you use it as a guide and modify it.  Remember however, if you can't get to a store how will you have bread or any prepared foods for that matter.  (perhaps you should include a few old fashioned cookbooks ?)

What about medication?  Do you or does someone in your family take medications daily?  Medications that without them there would be a problem with their health?  Diabetics, heart patients, asthmatics, high blood pressure, cancer.  Many people with those problems and no medication for even short term will not survive.  Plain and simple, if you have diabetes or say your child has diabetes and you have only enough insulin to get thru for a couple of weeks or a month, what will you do when that runs out?  Let's say you have it for a 6 month period, if there is no power and you don't have a generator or the gas to run one for 6 months how will you keep that insulin cold?  You cannot count on the government or the stores or even the Dr's to have it and give it to you when you are in need.  Help may not come for a long time (Katrina) and when it does supplies may be so limited that you might end up on the short end of the triage stick. 

These people are lined up for medical help.  Do you have what you need to get by? Have you considered what might happen with no blood pressure meds or insulin?  Have you considered holistic or natural alternatives?
There are many online pharmacies that you can use to get a supply of meds.  Many people use pharmacies in Canada or Mexico to order their medications, just remember to use them before the expiration dates and rotate your stock, reordering when needed.  Some people are worried about using medications from other countries but remember this, a good number and percentage of the medications we use right now from this country are made or the ingredients are made in India or China.  They are put together here or in Canada but they originated in other countries where it is cheaper for the pharmaceutical company to obtain.  Many people are learning about holistic healing and herbal medicine to help with these issues.  There are some things like antibiotics that are available for pets without prescription.  I am not a Dr and I won't advise anyone on those ideas but a good website to learn about this process is this Dr is a real Dr with real life medical expertise.  He has a very good blog. 

Vitamins are another item that it would be a good idea to have on hand.  A bottle of vitamins
 could save your or your child from simple things we don't worry about now days, scurvy, malnutrition etc.  It could also make a good item to include in a give away bucket.  The "Dollar Store" is a great place to get those items, just watch for the expiration dates and be sure to rotate your inventory so the oldest stuff gets used first.

What about antibiotics?  Did you know that not too many years ago if someone did something as minor as cut their hand it could kill them?  There were no antibiotics to prevent infection.  When people crossed the prairies in covered wagons there was a terrible survival rate, many died from something as simple as that.  If there isn't a way to keep clean with hot soapy water and a way to keep injuries clean as well then you are in store for an infection.  Many people have thought to have plenty of water on hand but in a long term crisis washing things like clothing and bodies will be on the bottom with the water saved for drinking.  Check out the Survival Doctor's blog on antibiotics to use in emergency.

There are so many things to think about when it come to medicine.  I think a list would be a good way to start, write down all your prescriptions, all your OTC meds and then think of all the things you needed in the past year, for instance band aids, ace bandages, ointments, aspirin, peroxide etc.  Then make your trip to the dollar store and be sure you check those expiration dates.  Buy only the ones that go out the farthest. 

You really do have to think of everything and how it relates to everything else.  A good book to read about people who didn't plan and prepare is one called "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen.  It's about a community of people who never expected something to happen in America that could bring out the best and the worse in people.  The things to think about in this book is that it brings to mind the events and circumstances we often don't think about and how they can impact an entire community and even beyond.   There are lots of books about people who were super prepared and people who went to extremes in preparedness and how they did it but not many about someone who didn't.  It's quite a lesson in why you should prepare. 

Will you be writing this on the street in front of your house after an emergency situation?

The thing about preparedness is that it is all up to you to decide how prepared you need to be, how long you feel is enough and how many people you think you should be prepared for.  When do you say no to your neighbors?  When do you say no to feeding neighborhood children at the risk of your own or your children's health.  Many people have prepared "give away buckets" that have some dried food, energy bars, soap, dollar store vitamins, a fire making kit and a couple of plastic cups and a small pot for heating water in.  It's totally up to you what you choose to do for others.  Remember however, if you have food and items to give away some folks will suspect you have much, much more hidden away and it might make you a target. 

I personally would help my neighbors but I would have to weigh out the circumstances before helping anyone else.  It would be tragic of course but my own family comes first.  If I decided to help someone with a give away bucket I personally would add a small New Testament Bible, a small first aid kit with instructions, a sewing kit and map, toothbrush and paste in addition to the food items. Most of these items are available at your local dollar store.   I would give them some advice about not staying where they are not familiar with the surroundings.  If your going to help someone keep in mind spiritual and mental health are often what will keep a person alive just as food and water.

You might want to check out an article on about things that are important in planning for the immediate or long term future.  It is an excellent article and may help you with prioritizing. 

I am not going to give any information or suggestions on personal protection or weapons or self defense.  I feel those topics are not what I am about here.  If you feel the need for weapons, you can talk to just about anyone in a sporting goods shop about type, availability etc.  I will only urge you to learn all you can and then practice if you choose a weapon.  Learn from those who know and practice often.

I have given you plenty of things to think about for now.  Think about it, pray about it and if it's in your heart, DO IT.

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