August 28, 2016

September Emergency Preparedness Goals - Meat & Potatoes, Earthquake Prep

September is National Preparedness month in the United States so I focus on earthquake preparedness. My food storage focus in September is what I like to call meat and potatoes. I buy tuna in April, chicken in September, and beef in October for our food storage.


I keep canned meat in the house even though we typically eat fresh or frozen meat because it will be so useful during a disaster. And as long as we have rice and beans, we have a complete protein on hand. I keep about a 3-month supply of canned meats and I only buy meat my family will eat with our regular recipes. It's easy to through in a stew or casserole.

Shopping for meat throughout the year spreads the expense. In September, I buy canned chicken at Costco or Sam's Club for about $2.00 per can. You can also buy it at the Utah case lot sales.


My September Emergency Prep list suggests gathering chicken and a pork-type product for each person, but you can adjust the items and amounts on the list however you wish. I leave pork on the list because those of you with little kids might want Vienna sausages. I don't have any Spam eaters in my house, so I mostly buy chicken.

Canned chicken can be used in a variety of recipes such as chicken pizza, chicken stew, chicken salad sandwiches and chicken tortilla soup. It is something I use a few times a month, and I love the convenience. You know this semi-homemade food storage queen does not can her own chicken, but some of my amazing friends do with their canners. You can find some basic recipes on my Canned Chicken Recipes Pinterest Board.

Let's talk about potatoes. Those that have a short-term shelf-life typically come in boxes or cans, and the long-term flakes come in #10 sized cans. For short-term storage, I buy Honest Earth Creamy Mashed Potatoes (made by Idahoan Foods) from Costco for about $10.00. There are 14 pouches in the box with 8 servings each or .71 cents per meal or .09 cents a serving. It's great to use as a side dish for dinner when you don't have time to prepare fresh potatoes.

However there is nothing like homemade mashed potatoes. Instant potatoes DO NOT have a long shelf-life because they are made with a little butter or oil. Maybe a 3 - 6 month shelf life. Or you could store a bag of fresh potatoes, which are very inexpensive.

For long-term storage, I buy the instant potato flakes from the LDS Home Storage Center or online at store.lds.org. These LDS potatoes have a shelf-life of 30 years if stored in 75 degrees or less. Because butter is not an ingredient, they have a long shelf life. Each can is about $36.00. Here is a Pinterest Board with Potato Flakes Recipes.

For emergency preparedness, practice Drop! Cover! Hold on! with your family. Children learn quickly and repetition helps them know what to do wherever they are if the ground shakes. Learn how to practice Drop! Cover! Hold On! here.

My spiritual theme for this month is Be Hopeful. We are so blessed in this nation. As we continue to have hope and faith in God, we can accomplish miracles. Never give up hope when the world is falling apart.

"As we think about the future, we should be filled with faith and hope. Always remember that Jesus Christ—the Creator of the universe, the architect of our salvation, and the head of this Church—is in control. He will not permit His work to fail. He will be victorious over all darkness and evil. And He invites us all, members of His Church and others who are the honest in heart, to join in the battle for the souls of God’s children. Along with all else we will do in life, we must also dedicate and consecrate our heart, might, mind, and strength to His cause, walking in faith and working with conviction." ~ Elder M. Russell Ballard

Have hope and walk in faith.

Best wishes,
Valerie
BE HOPEFUL
“Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope;
for without faith there cannot be any hope.”

August 25, 2016

Fall 2016 Utah Case Lot Sales are Coming!

Fall case lot sales are coming to Utah! These grocery store sales give you a chance to stock up on food storage and emergency items for your family. Some stores let you shop as soon as they put items on the floor. Others make you wait until the sale date. And some let you buy individual items at the sales price. Amazing!



SALE DATES
  • SMITH'S: Wednesday, August 31
  • HARMONS: Thursday, September 1st
  • MACEYS: Monday, September 5th
  • WINEGAR'S: Monday, September 5th
  • REAMS: Tuesday, September 6th
  • LEE'S: Tuesday, September 20th
  • DICK'S: Monday, October 3rd
  • FRESH MARKET: Monday, October 3rd
  • BOWMANS: Wednesday, October 5th
Since I'm in the middle of a move and my daughter's wedding plans, I don't have time to compare prices. But print my 2014 case lot price comparison list. It may help you as you compare prices.

Here are some tips on how to shop at grocery case lot sales:
How to Shop at Utah Case Lot Sales

Preparedness is a blessing in my life, and it can be in yours!

Best wishes,
Valerie

August 9, 2016

August 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar

Sorry I'm getting my August Emergency Prep Calendar out late, but we just listed our home for sale and my daughter got engaged all in the same week! We are staying in my beloved Farmington, but moving to a rambler nearby.

My August 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar has many of the food storage items I have on my August Emergency Prep List, but it also includes 72-hour kit and non-food items you may need in an emergency.

NOTE: I noticed an error on my August calendar and fixed it. August 15 should show BUY fruits, and August 22nd BUY Vegetables.

My focus in August is Fruits, Vegetables, Shelter and Bedding, but you can read more about that on my last post here.

Printable link below


You don't have to do everything on my emergency calendars or lists. These are only suggestions to get you thinking so you will come up with a plan for your own family. Circle what you think you can accomplish this month, add those items to your grocery list each week, and then go get the job done! There is always next year for modification. Remember, you will be doing more than most people in the U.S. can ever do.

I had a great time teaching members in the LDS Lehi 9th Ward last week. They patiently waited for me to arrive when I got caught in traffic on I-15. This ward is a great example of members who are actively working on emergency prep. They have several people already CERT trained, and they had a honey order list that night. Well done Lehi 9th Ward!

Good luck working on your emergency prep. You'll feel great when you do something for your family.

Best wishes,
Valerie

Here are some useful links:

August 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar.pdf printable
August Emergency Prep Goals
3-Month Suggested Food Storage Supply

August 3, 2016

August Emergency Preparedness Goals - Fruits, Vegetables, Shelter and Bedding

My spiritual focus in August is to Be Nurturers and serve others during disasters. After my CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training, I began to see how each person can assist others after a disaster. In 3rd Nephi 8 - 17 in the Book of Mormon, some of the most tremendous disasters ever recorded occured in a three-hour period in ancient America: tempests, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds and upheavals in the land. After these experiences, Jesus Christ visited the survivors at his temple, teaches them his Gospel, heals the injured, and prays for their children. It is tender to read his love for them. We too can be his nurturing hands by helping those around us after disasters and during various trials.

In August, I focus on gathering fruits and vegetables. Many people are fortunate to harvest their own food and can it. If you have a small garden like me, you may need to buy most of your canned fruits and vegetables from the store. Even though I suggest gathering a 3-month supply on my printable list, I personally gather closer to a 6-month supply of these items because I have room to store them in my basement. I usually pick up some at the case lot grocery store sales in Utah.


It's best to buy and store what you're accustomed to eating every day in your 3-month supply, because you know you will use them. I store items I cook with such as corn for tortilla soup, green beans for chicken stew, canned chilies for shredded pork, French green beans because my husband likes them, mushrooms for beef Stroganoff, and fruits for salads. I know, we all like our fresh foods from the store. In fact we're pretty dependent on it, but there may come a time when you can't buy them and a can of green beans will taste like heaven. So, it's smart to store something on your shelf.

My emergency focus this month is to gather shelter and bedding such as a tent, a sleeping bag for each person, a large tarp, and rope or bungee cords. I know it is late in the summer to gather these, but you can find some of the best clearance sales right now. If you already own these items, pick up an different emergency item you couldn't get last month.

You'll always find water on my monthly lists since I gather a few cases year-round. Water is so essential to our existence, and disappears quickly from store shelves before or after disasters, so it's important to have some on hand. I encourage people to not keep their eggs in one basket; meaning, don't store it in one place in your home. After an earthquake, you may never reach one location, so keep water in a few locations. I store some in barrels in the basement, cases in my coat closet and pantry, and always a few bottles in my cars.

Our emergency fund has been growing little by little each month, and I have a testimony of building it. Since we starting building our financial reserve fund at the counsel of our church leaders, I've only had to use it once. But those funds have been built up again. I keep most of it in the bank, and a little at home for emergencies. I'm grateful for President Gordon B. Hinckley's counsel when he said"Begin in a small way, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective. Save a little money regularly, and you will be surprised how it accumulates."

Summer is slipping away, so I hope you find time to use my August emergency prep list. Grammy just learned how to scan it into a jpg for you, so please share it on Pinterest. Thanks a bunch!

Little by little, month-by-month you CAN build your food storage and emergency supplies and make self-reliance a natural part of your life.

Best wishes,
Valerie


BE NURTURERS
"and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, 
and prayed unto the Father for them.” 
3 Nephi 17:21


You are free to print and share with others, but please mention my site.

Go here to see my 12 Monthly Preparedness Lists

July 10, 2016

July 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar

Here is my July 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar which has food storage and emergency items to gather. Most of the things you shop for on Monday are food items for your 3-Month Food Storage Supply, and some non-food items you may want to gather for emergencies. If you need help with amounts go to my printable July Emergency Prep Goals or my 3-month suggested food storage supply. Both printouts are listed below.



I've also listed items for you to take an inventory of on Friday or any other day you wish. As you check on your supplies often you won't have to deal with items that expire. I deal with that all of the time, so check food items regularly to prevent spoilage.

You may already have some of the items for a 72-hour kit. Just put them in a box until they are all collected and decide what type of container you may want to carry them in.

Never feel you have to buy or gather everything on the list. Just gather things your family regularly uses or may need.

Here are some useful links:

July 2016 Emergency Prep Calendar
July Emergency Prep Goals
3-Month Suggested Food Storage Supply

July 3, 2016

July Emergency Preparedness Goals - Summer Foods, Emergency Drills & Canning

During the month of July, I like to gather shelf-stable summer foods into my 3-month emergency food storage supply. You know, those foods you use at summer gatherings such as crackers, chips, gelatin, pudding, food bars, popcorn, vinegar, olives, and jam. They store well in your pantry for emergencies too. And vinegar is good for cleaning too! You don't have to go overboard on the amounts. Just focus on these foods, and then always keep a three-month supply of them on hand.



My spiritual theme this month is Be Guardians by protecting "our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" just as Captain Moroni did in the Book of Mormon. (see Alma 46). Share over social media how you feel about your freedom of religion and how grateful you are for those who defend it every day.



LONG-TERM STORAGE
This month, I also like to gather honey and add it to my long-term emergency food storage. Those honey bees have worked hard to bring us such a blessing. Honey is a wonderful natural sweetener and is useful in bread making and other cooking. I love peanut butter and honey sandwiches! How about you? Honey has an indefinite shelf life which means it's great for long-term food storage. If you live in Utah, check out my post on Where to Buy Honey in Utah.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS LIST
My July Emergency Preparedness list has all the items I focus on gathering in July, and some emergency supplies as well. I include some suggested amounts for my family, but play around with those amounts to figure out storage amounts for yours. Here is how to use my July Emergency Preparedness List:
  1. Choose things you can afford to do or have time to do each week. Keep it simple.
  2. Multiply amounts by the # of your family members, and adjust items for kids, medical needs and allergies.
  3. Watch for sales, and gather food storage a week at a time while you grocery shop to build up your supplies. Then repurchase as you use your food. But never completely empty your shelves.
  4. Gather some Long-Term Emergency Food Storage food after you complete Steps 1, 2, and 3.
  5. Do what works best for your financial circumstances.
Every step forward is a step forward. You CAN do it!

EMERGENCY EVACUATION DRILLS
During the summer months, many of us have more time to practice an emergency plan and an evacuation drill with our families. What is your family emergency plan? What will you do if you get separated because of a disaster? What will you take if you need to evacuate? Who is your out-of-state contact? Work on your plan. See helpful ideas here:

SHOP FOR EMERGENCY SURVIVAL GEAR
If you like to can your own food, gather canning supplies this month. Canning is a great method for gathering food storage using your own fruits and vegetables.

July is a great month for emergency survival gear sales AKA camping supplies. In an emergency, what will you cook on? During a power outage, where will you store your perishable food? This month I suggest getting a camp stove and fuel, and a cooler/igloo. Do you already have them? You are awesome! A few months ago my husband went on a camping trip and replaced our wimpy cooler with an awesome one. Love it when we can get two things done at once.

In August I suggest buying sleeping bags and a tent, but if you need it now and find it on sale now, go for it! One of our tents died on the last camping trip with friends. It was raining and everyone moved from two tents to one tent. Thankfully I wasn't there, but I heard it was quite squishy. So, we are looking at one from REI.

Best wishes on your continual efforts with food storage and emergency preparedness. Keep it simple. Keep it basic. Make it work for your family, and it will become a natural part of your life. You CAN do it!

Best wishes,

Valerie

BE GUARDIANS
"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—
In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—
and he fastened it upon the end of a pole." 


Go here for my 12 Emergency Preparedness Lists

*Picture above from Microsoft Word

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