July 17, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 2

This week for the second July Preparedness Challenge, let's gather some short-term and long-term rice, and canned meats into our food storage. Check out a few ideas below.


  • Has a short-term shelf life
  • According to StillTasty.com, brown rice has a 3-6 month pantry shelf life, 6 - 12 month refrigerator shelf-life and a 12 - 18 month freezer shelf life. 
  • High oil content of brown rice causes it to spoil more quickly than white rice. 
  • Transfer brown rice to a covered airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag.
White, Basmati and Jasmine rice are great food items to store in your long-term food storage.
  • "Store in a cool dry area; after opening the package, place the uncooked white rice in a sealed airtight container or place original package in a resealable heavy-duty freezer bag." StillTasty
  • White rice has an indefinite shelf life if protected from contamination. 
  • Discard if it develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects or other contaminants appear.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sells white rice in large 5.4 lb. cans for $5.00. Cans have a 30 year shelf life (if stored properly). Order online or pick up at an LDS Home Storage Center.
  • A year's supply is about 12 of these cans. See "An Approach to Longer-Term Food Storage."


Canned chicken, roast beef, tuna, corned beef hash, Vienna sausages and Spam are readily available. Here are some stocking and use tips:
  • Quick and easy to use. A great backup for a last minute meal.
  • Typically has about a 2-year shelf life. 
  • A 12 oz can of roast beef can be used in place of 1 lb. of ground beef in many recipes. A 12 oz can of chicken can be used in enchiladas, salads and chicken sandwiches.
  • Can your own meat in jars with a meat pressure canner for added savings.
Good luck gathering rice and meat this week. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

July 5, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 1

Over the years I've written posts about fire safety during the month of October because that’s National Fire Safety month. But after visiting the aftermath of Paradise, California last year, I decided to move fire safety into our July prep. It's never too early to prepare for fires. Earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters cause fires too. So, this week we’ll be gathering fire safety and rescue equipment.

1. Buy or Test Fire Safety Equipment

A. Buy a fire escape ladder if you have or live on the 2nd floor.
B. Buy or test your fire extinguisher.
  • 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. https://youtu.be/wKC3PnbdMwQ
C. Buy or test your smoke alarms. Do you have a newer model? Yes, they do get old.
D. Buy or test your carbon monoxide detector.

All items may be purchased at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco and other hardware store.


2. Buy or Gather Rescue Supplies

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. And 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. About $5. Amazon VicTsing. This may be a Christmas gift for my family.
    As you ponder what you can do to keep your family safe, answers will come.

    Best wishes on working on this week's preparedness challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen

    June 29, 2019

    LDS Home Storage Center Price Specials July and August

    Here are the LDS Home Storage Center price specials for July and August which are about 10% off the regular price. 💖😁 Another great way to gather food storage.

    This is the first time I've seen 25 lb. bags of Hard Red Wheat on sale. 👈


    Even though you can no longer can foods yourself at the Home Storage Centers, you may still buy mylar foil bags there ($.80 ea.) and oxygen absorber packets (100 ct. for $9.55). You might enjoy putting food storage in smaller 11"x13" pouches.

    HOW TO USE POUCHES? Go here to churchofjesuschrist.org.


    LDS Church members and non-church members may shop at LDS Home Storage Centers. Find a location at this link.

    Here's an article at LDSLiving called "Wheat, the Remarkable Grain" with answers to question about different types of wheat.

    Enjoy some new adventures in food storage!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 26, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 4

    During week four of our June Preparedness Challenges, we’ll be gathering short-term and long-term food storage beverages.These goals are similar to the weekly Preparedness Challenge - January Week 2, but I'm feeling we need a refresher. Last week for power outages we found our coolers (I had to look in three places!), gathered our ice packs (now on the top shelf in my big freezer) and bought a refrigerator/freezer thermometer (found mine on Amazon).

    1. Gather Fortified and Electrolyte Beverages
    We're encouraged by the LDS Church to store foods that would help us if we had nothing else to eat. A fortified drink mix (or vitamins) is part of that plan. Here are a few items available at the LDS Home Storage Centers right now! Locations can be found at this link.

    Image for Fruit Drink Mix from LDS US Store

    LDS Berry Drink Mix
    • Provides 100% vitamin C as well as 10% of other vitamins.
    • On sale now for $4.00 (regularly $4.50)! Sale ends July 31. Not sold online
    • 2.5 lb. resealable pouch or 41 servings.
    • Buy individual pouches or a case box of 12.
    • Contains sugar but not overly sweet. You could substitute vitamins for this drink mix. 
    • 3-year shelf life.
    • Also, store an electrolyte beverage as well. If a serious illness or pandemic ever happens, you need something to help replenish lost nutrients.
    2. Gather Nonfat-Dry Milk

    Image for Nonfat Dry Milk from LDS US Store

    LDS Nonfat Dry Milk

    • Provides calcium and protein.
    • On sale now for $3.50 (regularly $4.00)! Sale ends July 31. 
    • 28 oz. (1.8 lb.) resealable pouch and 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.
    • I1 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?" Well, perhaps the blessings have already come to your family. Food storage is the best home insurance. Be committed and enjoy the blessings of food storage!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 20, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 3

    For week three of our June Preparedness Challenges, we'll gather a cooler, ice packs and appliance thermometers in case of a power outage which can happen any time of the year. So plan ahead.

    After a power outage, a refrigerator can only keep your food safe for up to 4 hours. What would you want to save? Dairy? Meat?

    You could transfer some 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. Does your medication need refrigeration? Keep a lunch kit with a cold pack frozen at all times just in case.

    1. Have a Cooler and Ice Packs
    Another alternative to transferring items to the freezer is to put perishable items in a cooler with ice packs. Place ice packs in the bottom, then food, then more ice packs on top. You could drive to the store for ice, but I’d avoid it in a disaster. Frozen water bottles can be inexpensive ice blocks. Make sure they are not completely full to allow for expansion when frozen. Store your cooler in a specific location where family members can find it if they need to pack it during a power outage.

    2. Buy a Few Appliance Thermometers
    Keep a fridge/freezer appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to know with a quick glance the temperature in there. It’s recommended that our refrigerators be kept at 40 degrees or below and the freezer should be at 0 degrees. It’s so important to keep the doors to these appliances closed during a power outage.

    Good thing we have non-perishable foods in our pantry, because that's what we should eat first in a long-term power outage. For more power outage safety tips, see FoodSafety.gov and FDA.gov.

    Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge. You CAN do it!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 13, 2019

    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 kits. That shouldn't be too difficult. But these simple items are so very important.

    Gather into your Grab and Go Kit:

    1. Underwear and Socks
    Of all the items you put in your kit, you’ll probably want clean underwear. After a disaster when your clothes have gotten wet or dirty, something clean is a true blessing. Many of us with growing children should inspect or trade out underwear and socks in kits each year so we have the correct size. At least one extra of each. Put these items in a plastic zipper bag to keep them dry and mark the date you added them to the kit on the bag. Add a reminder on your calendar to update them next year. You've got this!

    If you have an infant, keep a change of clothing in your diaper bag at all times as it will probably become your grab-and-go 72-hour kit.

    2. Rain Poncho and Flashlight
    There is nothing worse than getting wet during a disaster. All over the news we see people evacuating through rain and flood waters. Find an inexpensive rain poncho for each member of your family and put them in their kits. You'll find them at dollar stores, Walmart or even your favorite colleges stores.

    BYU Bookstore

    Also get a flashlight or headlamp for each kit. I just ordered the EverBrite 18-pack Mini LED Flashlight Set from Amazon for less than $17 and will pass the extra flashlights out to my kids and grandkids for Christmas.


    EverBrite 18-pack Mini LED Flashlight Set

    Keep the gathering simple. Best wishes on accomplishing this week's challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer


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