Monday, July 6, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: July Week 1

The first preparedness challenge for July includes tasks that will help us prepare for fires. Earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters can cause fires as well as man made causes, so this week gathering fire safety and rescue equipment.

Printable Preparedness Challenge: July Week 1


A. Buy a fire escape ladder if you have or live on the 2nd floor.
B. Buy or test your fire extinguisher.
  • ABC fire extinguishers can be tested and refilled. Look for a service in your area.
  • This video shows firefighters going door to door helping people test their fire extinguishers and find the correct place to store them. Sorry, it shouldn't be under your kitchen sink.
C. Buy or test your smoke alarms. 
  • When you push the test button, does it still work?
  • Do you need a newer model? Yes, they do get old.
D. Buy or test your carbon monoxide detector.
  • Every home should have one. Check to know where to place it. You can replace one of your smoke detectors for a combo smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector.
All items may be purchased at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco and other hardware stores.


Let firefighters or other first responders do the rescuing whenever possible, but if you must come to the rescue, a few of the supplies below may help. If you aren't strong enough or trained to rescue someone, wouldn't it be nice to hand someone else the equipment you have on hand? Keep these items stored in a well-marked tote where you can easily find them. Put the work gloves on top.
  • Pry bar - can pull nails, pry, lift or scrape. One idea is the Wonder Bar or Super Bar. About $12.
  • Outdoor climbing rope - can help you tie off an object or assist in a rescue. About $20.
  • Headlamp - can keep your hands free to help you see in the dark. About $10.
  • Work gloves - to protect your hands from sharp objects. About $10.
  • Emergency Auto Safety Hammer - use to break out or into a car or window. About $5. Amazon VicTsing
    As you ponder what you can do to keep your family safe, answers will come.

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Wednesday, June 24, 2020

    Preparedness Challenge: June Week 4

    During week four of our June preparedness challenges, we’ll gather short-term and long-term food storage beverages. We're encouraged as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to store food that could help us when we struggle financially or have nothing else to eat. Here are a few beverage ideas.

    Printable Preparedness Challenge: June Week 4

    1. Gather Fortified and Electrolyte Beverages
    For short-term or everyday food storage, I gather shelf-stable juices like apple juice and electrolyte beverages such as Gatorade. If we ever have a serious illness or pandemic, we want something to replenish lost nutrients. So find something you regularly drink and keep it in stock.

    2. Gather Nonfat-Dry Milk
    The LDS Church sells Nonfat Dry Milk at Home Storage Centers or online. Use it for cooking or drinking.
    • Provides calcium and protein.
    • Pouch $4.50 at Home Storage Centers.
    • 28 oz. (1.8 lb.) resealable pouch makes 29 servings.
    • Buy individual pouches or a case box of 12.
    • GREAT taste! It's been reformulated so it's not the same milk that came in those big cans.
    • Keep it with your cooking supplies so you WILL use it.
    • 1 cup of water + 3 T of LDS Nonfat Dry Milk = 1 Cup milk
    • 20-year shelf life unopened if stored in a cool, dry place and about a 3-month shelf life opened.
    • A long-term food, but it's very economical for everyday use.
    • A 3-month supply = 7 pouches.
    • A 12-month supply = 28 pouches (49 lbs.).
    Some people say, “I never use my food storage. Why should I store it?" Perhaps the blessings have already come. Food storage is the best home insurance. Be committed and enjoy the blessings!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Monday, June 15, 2020

    Preparedness Challenge: June Week 3

    For week three of our June preparedness challenges we'll gather a cooler, ice packs and appliance thermometers for your refrigerator or freezer. These items can be used during the summer for regular use, but they are perfect for extended power outages as well. Does your medication need refrigeration? Keep a lunch kit with a cold pack frozen at all times just in case.

    After a power outage, a refrigerator can only keep certain foods safe for up to 4 hours. You could transfer some of your refrigerator items into your freezer, then keep the door closed. A freezer can keep food cold up to 24 hours if half full and 48 hours if very full. Beyond this time your food is no longer safe to eat. 

    1. Buy a Cooler and Ice Packs
    • If you need to purchase a new cooler, make sure it is a good one that will keep items frozen for an extended amount of time.
    • Place ice packs in the bottom, then food, then more ice packs on top. 
    • If you can get an ice block from the store, it can keep a cooler chilled for several days.
    • Frozen water bottles can be inexpensive ice blocks too so you could keep some of those in your freezer. Make sure they are not completely full to allow for expansion when frozen. 
    • Store your cooler in a specific location where family members or even teens can easily find it if they need to pack food in it following a power outage.
    • Download and print this 2-page pdf list of which foods to keep or which to discard at Put it in your emergency binder or hang it inside a kitchen cupboard.
    2. Buy an Appliance Thermometer
    • Put a fridge/freezer appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to know at a glance the temperature inside for everyday use.
    • It's recommended that our refrigerator be kept at 40 degrees or below and our freezer at 0 degrees.
    • Keep the doors to these appliances closed during a power outage.
    Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge. You CAN do it!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.
    And check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies each month.

    Monday, June 8, 2020

    Preparedness Challenge: June Week 2

    Our second preparedness challenge in June is to put underwear, socks, a rain poncho and a flashlight into our grab and go 72-hour kit. That shouldn't be too difficult. But for some reason most of us think we can still fit in the undies we put in our kit five years ago. Ahem. Of all the items you put in your kit, you definitely want clean underwear that fits. We see people evacuating their homes through rain and flood waters all the time in the news. So plan for it.

    1. Underwear and Socks
    After a disaster when your clothes have gotten wet or dirty, something clean is a true blessing. 
    • Inspect your 72-hour kit and make sure these items still fit you. Buy new ones if necessary.
    • If you have growing children you probably need to trade out these items every year.
    • Gather one or two extra of each item.
    • Put them in a plastic zipper bag to keep them dry and mark the date you added them to the kit on the bag. 
    • Put a reminder on your calendar to update them next year. 
    • If you have an infant, keep a change of clothing in your diaper bag at all times as this bag will probably become your grab-and-go 72-hour kit.
    BYU Bookstore $2.50
    2. Rain Poncho and Flashlight
    There's nothing worse than getting wet during a disaster. We had our own little disaster a few days ago when it rained so hard that our rain gutters weren't doing their job and water came in a window in the kitchen. We gathered towels and then ran outside in the rain to adjust the rain gutters. I was grateful for my rain jacket and rain boots.
    • Add a flashlight or headlamp and an inexpensive rain poncho to the kit of each family member. 
    • Find these items at dollar stores, Walmart or even your favorite college stores.
    Stay dry and keep the gathering simple. You've got this!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.
    And check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies each month.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020

    Preparedness Challenge: June Week 1

    The first preparedness challenge in June is to buy and fill your emergency water container(s). Clean drinking water is essential for all of us. So, be wise and store H2O for your family. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are encouraged to store drinking water. Never ration water when someone asks for it. Dehydration sets in very quickly especially for infants and children. Do you have enough water for everyone in your family? If not, then this is something you can begin working on this month.

    1. Buy a Water Storage Container
    Your goal is to store a 2-week supply of water or 14 gallons per person so figure out how many containers you will need. If you can't store that many containers, store as many as you can.
    • You can clean and reuse thick soda bottles or use 5 or 15-gallon containers, or a 55-gallon barrel.
    • If you purchase a large barrel, get a pump to pump the water out.
    • We add AquaMira water treatment drops to our barrels to extend the shelf life otherwise, refill your containers every year.

    • Don't store water in milk containers because they leak over time. 
    • We store water in a variety of containers: a few cases of purchased bottled water, 5-gallon containers and barrels. The choice is yours.
    • Look for containers at Walmart, Amazon, camping stores or industrial container companies.
    2. Fill a Water Storage Container
    • Read and print the CDC document Making Water Safe in an Emergency
    • Follow the steps to prepare your containers and fill them.
    • Put a copy in My Disaster Plan binder found in the January week 2 challenge.
    • Store your container(s) in a closet or under a bathroom sink. It's not ideal to store containers in a hot garage because bacteria can form in your filled containers, but I have two barrels in my garage. :)
    • Don't store containers directly on cement in case chemicals come up from the cement.
    • Put 2x4's underneath barrels or if you have smaller containers put them on a shelf.
    Do the BEST that you can. When you're done, do a happy dance. :)

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.
    And check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies each month.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    Preparedness Challenge: May Week 4

    Our fourth preparedness challenge for May is to gather a supply of disposable eating supplies like paper plates, cups, bowls, utensils and more. You probably shop for some already. These items would be extremely useful after a disaster when water or power may be shut off, or if you must camp on your own property. I keep disposable picnic items on hand for large family gatherings, so we accomplish an everyday task with a disaster task at the same time.


    1.  Gather Disposable Picnic Supplies
    These items go on sale during the summer in May, June and July which is awesome! Watch for sales at Costco and Sam's Club and pharmacies like Walgreens for special deals. Here are a few ideas:
    • paper plates
    • cups, paper or plastic (Styrofoam for hot beverages)
    • bowls paper or foam
    • plastic utensils
    • heavyweight foil
    • paper towels
    • napkins
    • disposable tablecloths
    The key is to not let these items disappear completely from your kitchen shelves before you buy some more. We saw with corona virus how paper towels unexpectedly disappeared. Just keep yourself in stock and you'll be ready for the unexpected.

    Have fun gathering!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Follow me on Facebook here and Instagram here and Pinterest here.
    And check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide here. This guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies each month.