Monday, September 21, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: September Week 4

Your fourth preparedness challenge for September is to work on preparedness in a rational way. Some of you have felt an urgency to do something and found your way to my Facebook or Instagram page, or my website. That urgent feeling could be a spiritual prompting, or you've seen the many disasters going on around us in the world and you are scared to death. Whatever it is propelling you, act rationally. 


I feel the best way to gather food storage and preparedness supplies is gradually and within your budget. I believe with all my heart that you CAN do that gathering each month while you grocery shop or Costco shop or WinCo shop or Walmart shop or Amazon shop. But you'll probably have to give up some habit of yours to financially afford to do it.

I like to call this your preparedness adventure because it takes away that doomsday, end-of-the-world mentality. I don't and won't follow any "groups" out there. Especially those trying to guess when the Savior will come. I'm just been trying to do the basics that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages. And learn some new skills along the way.

“We encourage members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise, and do not go to extremes. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.” (All Is Safely Gathered In.)

And when new guidelines come out from my church, I'll adapt to those changes. I'm grateful the leaders of my church have made this doable. Of course, the way we gather is our choice and mine is to focus on something different each month so I don't get overwhelmed. And once mastered, I focus on something else the next month. To me that's rational.

Along the way I'm keeping my shelves full of the normal canned and packaged foods our family eats. I also keep a well-stocked freezer, but I know that a long-term power outage could spoil that food, so I have pantry food on my shelves and some long-term foods like wheat and rice as well in my basement.

One of my heroes is President Gordon B. Hinckley (born 1910). He urged my generation in 2007 to change our food storage gathering approach by focusing on emergency water, a 3-month supply of food and emergency funds. And then to gather long-term foods. He knew this was a doable approach. As a prophet of God, he could see the recessions of the 80's, 90's and Covid-19 or whatever the Lord wanted him to see.

President Russell M. Nelson (born 1924) sees our future as well. They both lived during the Great Depression, through wars and rumors of wars. President Nelson is teaching us to "hear Him" which means to hear the Savior. As we do, the Spirit will help us know the approach we can take with our preparedness efforts. Are you taking time to pause for promptings? I hope so.

So, your challenge this week is to work on preparedness in a rational way. I know you CAN do it! Thanks for hanging out with me.

Best wishes to you and stay healthy,

Valerie Albrechtsen

The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on FacebookInstagram and PinterestAnd check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies a month at a time.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: September Week 3

For our third preparedness challenge in September, we will add sturdy shoes, shirts, and pants to our 72-hour kitsAll of these may not fit in a backpack, so put them in another bag or tote near your kit. Find clothes at a thrift store to save money. Children's ages and sizes change so update their kits. I've been thinking about the many fires and disasters going in our nation and the importance of being prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. We need to be able to grab and go and not hunt for items during an evacuation. Just like you, I have work to do. 




1. ADD STURDY SHOES, SHIRT, AND ANTS TO YOUR 72-HOUR KIT
Sturdy Shoes
  • Why sturdy? Consider the disasters that could happen in your area. Earthquake, fire, flood, tornado, etc. Disasters leave glass and debris behind. You can't carry all of your children to protect them.
  • If you keep your kit in your coat closet, shoes should be kept there. If you store your kit under your bed, keep shoes there.
  • Choose something that will work in any season. Boots are a good choice, but running shoes are fine too.
Shirts
  • Perhaps 2 short-sleeved and 2 long-sleeved shirts. Consider your climate.
  • Fabric matters. Cotton is always good.
Pants
  • Perhaps 2 pairs of denim or canvas pants. One pair could have a zipper at the knee so it can become shorts.

Like a firefighter, always have extra clothing ready. I hope you find clothes that work for you and your family this week.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on FacebookInstagram and PinterestAnd check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies a month at a time.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: September Week 2

Our focus this month includes emergency power, so during September week 2 decide if you want to purchase a generator and some batteries. Many people can't afford a generator so consider it an early Christmas present for your family. TV or generator? The choice is yours. Study-it-out-in-your-mind because they cost anywhere from $400 to $6000. Disasters cause power outages that interrupt our lives. Electricity powers the A/C, your stove, your computer and so much more. Be prepared.



1. BUY A GENERATOR AND FUEL
  • Here's a Consumer Reports article to study before you buy a generator. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/generators/buying-guide/index.htm
  • Just like cases of bottled water, generators disappear from stores before and after a disaster. 
  • Dual fuel portable generators run on either gas or propane. If your gas cans become empty, and gas station pumps run on electricity, where will you find more gas? Propane is a great option.
  • Electricians can attach a more powerful generator to your home that goes on automatically, but it is pricey.
  • It's a good idea to lock your generator if you run it at night. Generators are loud and have been known to disappear. 
  • Different states will have different models.
  • Costco and Sam's Club sell several portable generators. (Pics are from last year.)








2. BUY HEAVY-DUTY EXTENSION CORDS
  • You'll need long heavy-duty extension cords to plug your refrigerator into.
  • "Always operate a generator a minimum of 20 feet from your home, with the exhaust directed away from any windows, doors, air conditioners or other structures." Consumer Reports
  • Decide where to place your generator outside. Measure the distance to your refrigerator. Our distance was 75 feet. Shocking!
3. BUY EXTRA BATTERIES
  • During an emergency you may need batteries for a flashlight, lantern, medical equipment and more. Don't count on your cell phone flashlight lasting very long.
  • Costco and Sam's Club have reasonably priced batteries. Shop when they go on sale.
Power up this week!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on FacebookInstagram and PinterestAnd check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies a month at a time.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: September Week 1

This week we'll gather fruit, nuts and seeds for our first September preparedness challenge. Most of us prefer fresh fruit, but if you couldn't buy any at the store, could you substitute canned or dried? We are fortunate that nuts and seeds are becoming more and more economical. Storing a variety of fruit you dry or can yourself is economical too. Being prepared for the day you may go without fresh foods is very important.


Printable Preparedness Challenge: September Week 1


1. GATHER SHORT-TERM FRUIT, NUTS AND SEEDS
Fruit
  • Most canned fruit has an 18 -24 month shelf life.
  • Ideas: peaches, pears, pineapple, mandarin oranges, applesauce, raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, and dried mangoes and coconut.
  • If you rely heavily on frozen fruit, it's a smart to buy a generator for power outages.
  • Shop Utah case lot sales for canned fruit in September and March, and February.
Nuts and Seeds
  • Gather a variety based on family needs. Be careful how you store them because the oil in them can go rancid over time. Keep nuts in your refrigerator or freezer. 
  • Store opened peanut butter in the pantry for 3 months, then the refrigerator after this time.
  • Organic almond butter should be refrigerated. Check the label to be sure.
  • Ideas: almond and peanut butter, almonds, walnuts and cashew, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Nuts go on sale in November, but peanut butter goes on sale in August and September.
2. GATHER LONG-TERM FRUIT
  • Long-term means the fruit has a 20 to 30-year shelf life.
  • Freeze-dried fruits are pricey. Dehydrated fruits are less expensive.
  • Dehydrated Apple Slices may be purchased at the LDS Home Storage Center. They have a 30-year shelf life and cost $10.25 for 1 lb. A year's supply of apple slices per person is 8 LDS#10 cans 
  • If you snack on dried apple slices, drink extra water.
  • Re-hydrate apple slices with an equal amount of water.
EnJOY gathering a few new food storage items and some of your old-time favorites.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on FacebookInstagram and PinterestAnd check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies a little at a time each month.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: August Week 3

Our third preparedness challenge this month is to gather canning jars and food storage supplies. Also add emergency shelter activities to our 72-hour kits. Whether you're a canner or not, it's a great idea to add glass canning jars, storage containers or plastic storage bags to your home supplies.

Put some items in your 72-hour kit to keep your hands and mind busy while you're waiting at a hotel or emergency shelter after an emergency. You'll be happy you did. What if your grandkids were with you? Are you prepared to entertain them?




1. GATHER CANNING JARS AND FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS
  • Mason jars come in a variety of sizes from tiny to giant. 
  • Store yeast, vital wheat gluten, wheat flour, oat flour, almond flour, nuts, etc. in jars or storage containers in your refrigerator or freezer. Many of these items lose their nutritional value on your shelf. Nuts can go rancid if they are not refrigerated.
  • Use the canning jar boxes to prevent bottle breakage on storage shelves.
  • Don't forget some rings and lids.
  • Plastic storage containers and baggies work well too.
  • Buy at Walmart, Amazon, dollar stores, grocery stores and thrift stores.
  • Great ideas for storing in jars can be found at kitchn.com.
Kitchn.com
Food Storage Organizer
These 12 oz. jelly jars are the perfect size for some of my baking supplies.

Food Storage Organizer
Here's my oatmeal breakfast station. Pretty cool, huh? The oats, dry milk and apples are from the LDS Home Storage Centers. I broke up the apple slices into smaller pieces. How's that for using your food storage!


Food Storage Organizer

These pint-sized wide mouth Ball jars are the perfect size for oatmeal station toppings.

Food Storage Organizer
I love my Brother P-touch, PTD210 label maker too! It helps with all of my organization needs.


2. ADD 72-HOUR KIT SHELTER ACTIVITIES
  • Find something at home to add to your kit. 
  • A few suggestions: small notepad and pen, deck of cards, Pass the Pig, Sudoku, coloring book, fidget, Hacky Sack, a bouncy ball, small stuffed animal, etc. 
  • Pin, print and add a list of games that require no equipment.
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 a little at a time each month.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: August Week 2

Our second preparedness challenge for August is to gather canned or dried vegetables. This may include a 3-month supply of short-term shelf vegetables for your pantry or long-term dehydrated vegetables. Gather what you can afford and have space for. Next week you'll gather storage containers.



1. GATHER SHORT-TERM VEGETABLES

  • These items have less than a 20-30 year shelf life.
  • Store a variety of vegetables for more nutrition. 
  • Ideas include corn, green beans, diced chiles, potatoes, mushrooms and carrots.
  • Dehydrate or can your own vegetables and herbs. 
  • Pin new vegetable recipes.
  • Throughout the year as resupply.
  • Fresh or frozen are okay, but learn to incorporate canned vegetables.
  • Heads up. Several Utah stores will have case lot sales late August and September, early October.
2. GATHER LONG-TERM VEGETABLES

Dehydrated Carrot Dices
  • LDS Home Storage Center: 8.1 lb. can, $8.50. Best price on the market.
  • 10-year shelf life. (I count this as long-term.)
  • Excellent source of vitamin A.
  • Add to soups, stews and a slow cooking roast.
  • Rehydrate in double the amount of liquid overnight in the refrigerator
  • TIP: transfer carrots into pint-sized jars for kitchen use or to share.
Potato Flakes
  • LDS Home Storage Center: 1.8 lb. can, $6.50.
  • 30-year shelf life.
  • Good source of vitamins.
  • Once opened, use within 1-2 years.
  • TIP: Write the date you opened the can on it.
  • Make mashed potatoes, thicken gravies, sauces, and soups. Add to bread and roll recipes.
Good luck gathering vegetables this month.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer
www.foodstorageorganizer.com

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 a little at a time each month.