April 17, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2

Making a sanitation cleanup kit and studying emergency toilets is the focus of Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2. As we've observed many disasters over the years, it's apparent that keeping your home well-stocked with sanitation supplies is imperative. Germs and bacteria can kill us.



However, that does not mean you have to go overboard. As we pray for inspiration, the thought comes to be vigilant, but not excessive. We see too much "end of the world" prepping these days, and that is NOT how members of the LDS Church approach preparedness. So, with wisdom and prayer, consider what sanitation supplies you want to gather this week or this month.

1. Make a Sanitation Cleanup Kit
When the LDS Church asks volunteers to go to an area for clean up, they typically send supplies in a cleaning kit to assist in the cleanup, and to protect workers from bacteria and germs. 



Everyday disasters also occur in our lives such as the dreaded overflowing toilet or the flooded basement. Consider what items generally work for you and be grateful you have them for a major disaster when running to the store is NOT an option.

You probably have many of these items already and could keep them grouped together on a shelf so you don't have to run all over your home in search of them. Or keep them in a bucket.

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Rubber gloves (2 pairs)
  • Trash bags (25)
  • Cleaning rags (2)
  • Dust masks (not N95)
  • Bar of soap
  • Liquid dish soap
  • General-purpose cleaner
  • Liquid bleach 64 oz.
  • Powdered cleanser 14 oz.
  • Large sponge
  • Safety goggles
  • Long-handled scrub brush
  • Scrub brushes, iron-shaped (2)
  • Scrub sponges (2)
  • Spray bottle (1 quart)
*Information from the LDS Emergency Response Supply Order Form

2. Study Emergency Toilets
In many parts of the world, a flushing toilet is never an option. Here in the U.S. we've been very blessed. However, we should be prepared for times when we can't use the toilet. Knowledge is key. 

This article gives a quick overview of how to make your own portable toilet.

Food Storage Moms You Need to Make Your Own Portable Emergency Toilet

Food Storage Moms

I hope you understand that sanitation is super important. 

Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2 printable

April Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

April 9, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - April Week 1

This month our Preparedness Challenge focuses on gathering pasta and tomato products for food storage, and sanitation supplies for our home supplies and grab and go 72-hour kits. This week we'll gather a 3-month supply of pasta and tomato items. 



We enjoyed an amazing weekend of the LDS General Conference, and with that spiritual boost we can accomplish anything.



Having a category of items to gather keeps it on your mind when you grocery shop throughout the month. I've found this to be the easiest way to gather food storage and emergency supplies.

With the recent flooding in the Midwest, I've decided to add more beef items to my freezer this month too while prices are still low.

1. Decide How Much Pasta and Tomato Products To Store in a 3-month Supply

Look in your pantry and make a list of any tomato or pasta products you already have. These are probably the ones you usually use because most people have extra. 

Do you have enough? Or would having a few more cans be better? 


It may help to think of recipes you cook: spaghetti, sloppy joes, taco soup, pizza, tomato basil soup, Ziti bake, etc. 


Here are some storage tips. Most shelf pasta has a 3-year shelf life, but according to Eat By Date "Dried pasta will last for 1-2 years beyond a 'best by' date." Store in a cool, dry place. Keep package tightly closed.

Canned or jarred tomato products have a a shorter shelf-life than most canned food. They are acidic and have an 18-24 month shelf-life according to StillTasty.com. Discard all tomato products "from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented."


2. Gather a 3-Month Supply of Pasta and Tomato Products

These are your every day pantry foods, NOT long-term food storage. Here is a sample of items you may want to gather:
• tomato puree
• diced tomatoes
• whole tomatoes
• tomato sauce
• tomato paste
• salsa
• tomato soup
• spaghetti sauce
• spaghetti, angel hair pasta, etc.

Heads up! Check your Smith's Kroger ad. American Beauty pasta goes on sale starting Wednesday for $0.49 a package. My favorite sale of the year!!




I hope this gives you an idea of what to gather this month. These products are a huge part of my food storage, and may be a part of yours as well.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Preparedness Challenge - April  2019: Week 1 Printable

April Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

March 27, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 4


This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we’ll gather first aid supplies into our grab and go 72-hour kits. Thankfully this won’t take you long to accomplish.


Everyone imagines evacuating in their cars. I imagine going on foot as roads may be too congested with vehicles. From home I imagine going to the LDS church close by, or our larger LDS stake center. Some of you would walk to a school or other community center.

If you had to evacuate quickly, and some family members had minor injuries, you may not have time to use your regular first aid supplies. So, put some useful items in your kit.

Good thing you have some water bottles in your pack from Preparedness Challenge January Week 1, so you can cleanse a wound.

Here are a few ideas for about $6.00 for the dollar store.

1. Gather First Aid Items Into Your Grab and Go Kit
  • $1.00 Bandana. Could be used as a large bandage, head wrap, hand protection, foot wrap, etc.  Find at a dollar store typically in a 2-pk.
  • $1.00 Travel first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes and tweezers. Make your own from items you already have at home and perhaps purchase alcohol prep pads at a dollar store.
  • $1.00 Mini Sewing kit. Needle, thread, thimble, safety pins, etc. Find at a dollar store.
  • $1.00 Elastic bandages. Great for supporting a sprained ankle. Find at a dollar store.
  • $1.00 Feminine pads. Besides feminine use, these can also be used ad a wound compression bandage. Find at a dollar store or use some from your own supply.
  • $1.00 Duct tape. Wrap a few yards on a stick or popsicle stick. In an emergency, use it to hold a compression bandage in place. Hopefully you have some around the house.

Put all items in a waterproof Ziploc bag and mark FIRST AID.

If you have several young children, you could adapt the kits. Perhaps yours will have more first aid supplies than theirs, but I plan to put the items above in my 14 year-old's kits as she may need to evacuate if I'm not home.

I’m sure there are other items you thought of, but I hope this basic list gets you started with some lightweight first aid supplies for your kit. I’m excited to work on this myself.

Best wishes on becoming better prepared for emergencies,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

MARCH 2019: Week 4 printable 
March Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

March 20, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 3

This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we'll be gathering long-term dry beans, peas and legumes. I'd be the first to admit, I'm not an expert on these food items. But I know if the LDS Church leaders encourage us to gather them, they must be important. And so, I gather them.



Here is what I suggest we work on:

1. Inventory Long-Term Dry Beans, Peas or Legumes
If you have long-term dry beans or legumes stored, take an inventory of them.

2. Decide How Much You Want to Store
If you decide you want to store long-term dry beans, peas or legumes, choose an amount you can afford. on the LDS.org it states: "Where permitted, gradually build a one-year supply of food that can last for a long period of time. Focus on foods such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place."
You don't need to store a year's supply all at once. Personally, I only purchase a box of 6 at a time so my food storage doesn't expire at the same time. A general recommendation from BYU article "An Approach to Longer Term Food Storage,",is to store 12 cans per person for a year's supply. Everyone doesn't have room to store a year's supply, so decide what you can do now.


3. Purchase Long-Term Dry Beans or Legumes
The LDS Church sells long-term Black Beans 5.5 lbs., Great Northern (White) Beans 5.3 lbs. and Pinto Beans 5.2 lbs. in #10 cans for $5.50. Each has a 30-year shelf life. They store best at 75 degrees or less. You may purchase them at LDS Home Storage Centers or online at https://store.lds.org. Other food storage companies sell dry kidney beans and dry peas. Feel free to purchase where you want, but the LDS Church prices are amazing. If you would like to store dry beans, gather an amount to try before buying a large amount. What you store is your choice. Gather an amount that works for your family. If the day came when you had nothing else, you will be glad you had some beans.
Currently, the LDS Home Storage Centers have Black Beans on sale for $5.00 a can. And dry refried beans (5-year shelf life) for $5.50 per can.

As you work on a few food storage goals at a time, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen                                                       
The Food Storage Organizer  

MARCH 2019: Week 3 printable 

March Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

March 15, 2019

Preparedness Challenge March Week 1: Reader Experience

This week we are working on getting together a supply of canned beans and fish. The challenge comes in preparing a dish with either of those ingredients!

Canned Fish
A couple of weeks ago, I actually decided to branch out and make a dish with canned salmon. I had never tried canned salmon before but found a pasta dish that incorporated it. I picked up some canned salmon during my grocery trip and was really excited to try it!

When it came time to cook the dish, I opened the can and was turned off by how it looked. We never had canned salmon growing up, or really anything more than tuna, so I didn’t know what to expect. My pregnant nose couldn’t handle the fish, and I actually opted to take the fish out of the dish. Pretty sad, I know.

However, I now know that if it came down to using our food storage supply, we probably wouldn’t be too happy with canned salmon. Part of the challenge in collecting food storage is storing foods we would actually eat if we needed to. Cooking a recipe with the collected supplies is a great way to weed out ingredients that might not make the cut for your food supply.

Let’s just say, I’ll be collecting canned tuna for this challenge.

Black Bean Recipe
This week, I was able to cook a dish with black beans that we eat fairly often. These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos from Cooking Classy are one of our favorites!


Finding a recipe that doesn’t involve meat that my husband will love is a little bit tough. But we all enjoy these yummy tacos.


Good luck!

-Rebecca
daughter of The Food Storage Organizer

March 10, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 2

This week let’s work on our first aid supplies during our Preparedness Challenge. Most of us have some, but we probably haven’t gone through them in a while. Well, this is that week.



1. Clean Out & Resupply First Aid Supplies                                                        
Go through your home and gather all the first aid supplies you can find. They could be in multiple locations. Find a container of two to put those items in. Keeping them in a central location will make it easier to find. I use a tackle box. Read more about it here. Add items you need to your grocery list such as band aids, gauze pads or rolls, medical tape, first aid kit, Neosporin, first aid manual, ice packs, thermometer, ACE bandage, rubbing alcohol, etc. You don’t need to buy these items all at once but making a list will help you gather what you need over time.     
 
TIP: If you've ever had an injury, hang on to your crutches, splints, wrist guards, knee braces, etc. During a disaster, you may be the only one who has them.   
                                     
2. Clean Out & Resupply Medications                                                        
Contact your local pharmacy to find a disposal location near you. Or look at the Walgreen’s website to find out which stores have a disposal kiosk. Walgreen’s takes “prescription medications, ointments & patches; OTC medications, ointments, lotions & liquids; pet medications and Vitamins. Who knew? The closest locations near me are in Bountiful or Layton, Utah.       
                                                        
Make a list of medications you would like to resupply and add them to your grocery list. In an emergency, many people need some type of pain medication.    
    
TIP: Keep children's and adult medications in separate containers and out of reach of children. Have a chat with teens about the proper use of medications.                                                                                                                                                                     
I hope I’ve kept it simple enough for you to accomplish. Have a great week!                                                        
                                                                               
Valerie Albrechtsen                                                       
The Food Storage Organizer       

MARCH 2019: Week 2 printable 

March Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

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