Monday, September 30, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - October Week 1

A new month is upon us with many opportunities to become better prepared for emergencies. This month we'll gather items to keep us warm as well as oils and fats. Some people don't like the word fat, but you must store some in your food storage because your body needs this nutrient. And you need fats to cook and bake with. Our first preparedness challenge is to take an inventory of our oils and fats and gather a 3-month supply of them.

1. Inventory Oils and Fats

  • Look in your pantry and list the items you typically us as nut butters, cooking oils, chocolate chips (yep!), butter (freeze it) shortening, coconut oil and mayonnaise. Throw away old items that are past their shelf life. (see chart below)
  • Write down your ultimate goal for each item. Perhaps you only want a 3-month supply of chocolate chips, but a year's supply of cooking oil. It's totally up to you. Did you know that 2 gallons of oil is the suggested year's supply amount for one adult? You can always start with less than that and build up your supply over time.
  • Here is a link to a handout with food storage amounts from BYU: Approach to Longer-Term Food Storage.

2. Buy a 3-Month Supply of Oils and Fats

  • Look at the inventory list you made and decide what you can afford to purchase this week or throughout the month. During the fall, many of these items go on sale at grocery stores, so it's a great time of year to purchase them. If you live in Utah, take advantage of the case lot sales going on this week.

EnJOY gathering food storage this week. It's a wonderful time of year!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Sunday, September 29, 2019

LDS Food Storage Specials: October

Here are the October specials at the U.S. LDS Home Storage Centers. Each month four food storage items are sold at about 10% off the regular price.

Most of the food storage items at these centers are sealed for long-term storage and some for short-term storage. A great way to save and stock up!

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and those of other faiths, may purchase these items. Store locations may be FOUND HERE.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - September Week 3

The Preparedness Challenge for September Week 3 will be easy; add sturdy shoes, shirts and pants to your 72-hour kit. The most important thing is to have your clothes stored near or in your kit. You want to be able to grab and go, and not have to hunt for them during an evacuation. Just like you, I have some work to do.

1. Add Sturdy Shoes, Shirt and Pants to Your 72-Hour Kit
Sturdy Shoes
  • A pair of sturdy shoes should be kept by your 72-hour kit so you don't have to search for them. If you keep your kit in your coat closet, shoes should be kept there. Or if you store your kit under your bed, keep shoes there. You may already have a pair. Just keep them close to your kit.
  • Why sturdy? Consider the disasters that could happen in your area. Earthquake, fire, flood, tornado...flip flops won't do. Many disasters leave glass and debris behind.
  • Choose something that will work in any season. Boots are a good choice.
  • 2 short-sleeved and 2 long-sleeved. Think of your climate. Fabric matters and your comfort. Cotton is always good.
  • 2 pairs of denim or canvas pants. One pair could have a zipper at the knee so it can become shorts.
All of these items may not fit in your backpack, so put them in a bag or tote near your kit. To save money, find something at a thrift store. Add these clothes to your planner and gather them this week or month.

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

Valerie Albrechtsen

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Grab and Go Evacuation List in 10 Steps

It's always better to plan ahead before an evacuation when your mind is clear, rather than during an actual life-threatening evacuation when you’re having an adrenaline attack. If someone knocked on your door and said you had a few minutes to evacuate, would you be ready? During a mandatory evacuation your greatest concern is the lives of your family. Planning ahead is essential. Here are 10 ideas of how to plan what you will take and the order you would take them.

Every time I do this activity, I realize I'm not as prepared as I want to be and it makes me a bit crazy. Honestly, I've never evacuated, so this activity is something I had to imagine, and it always gets my heart racing.
How to Prioritize an Evacuation List
  1. Create a list of the most important items you would take with you if you had to evacuate.
  2. Divide the big list into 3 smaller lists; what you would take if you had 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes to evacuate. See back of this handout.
  3. Arrange your items in the order you would grab them in your house to save you the most time. Perhaps start upstairs, and work your way down. If you don't have an upstairs, then choose a room you would go to first.  
  4. Keep emergency items such as a lantern in a central location such as a hall closet so they are easy to grab and go. 
  5. Have a habit of keeping things in their specified locations, otherwise you'll run around and waste precious time.
  6. During an evacuation, grab the list and a laundry basket and fill it as you gather items.
  7. If you have more than 5 minutes, grab items from the 5 minute AND 15 minute list. If you have 30 minutes, grab items from all of your lists.
  8. Practice the evacuation with your family before a real evacuation is necessary. Also designate a meeting place outside your home at a nearby church or school.
  9. Teach teens that if you are not home, it is safer for them to get out of the house instead of grabbing items on your list. 
  10. Make several copies of the list and hang it inside various cabinets in your home where family will see it but the world won't. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - September Week 2

A new week is upon us so it's time to work on another preparedness challenge. Since our focus this month includes emergency power, during September week 2 decide if you want to purchase a generator. Maybe it will be an early Christmas present for the safety of your family. This is definitely a study-it-out-in-your-mind kind of purchase because they cost anywhere from $400 to $6000. Also gather extra batteries this month.

1. Buy a Generator and Fuel
During a disaster, our power will most likely be shut off. Electricity powers many items including your wheat grinder, can opener, microwave oven, refrigerator, freezer, fans, furnace, air conditioning, electric stove top, washer, dryer, computers, television, medical equipment just to name a few. If you can't live without these for a week, maybe purchase a generator.
  • Here's a Consumer Reports article to study before you buy a generator.
  • Just like cases of bottled water, generators disappear from store shelves before a disaster. We don't always have warning when a disaster will strike.
  • 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 an option.
  • Electricians can attach a more powerful generator to your home, but it's pricey.
  • It's a good idea to lock your generator to something if you are running it at night. Generators are loud and have been known to disappear overnight. 
  • Look up Sam's Club generators online. Different states will have different models. My local Costco has these portable generators on store shelves:

2. Buy Heavy-Duty Extension Cords
Besides having extra fuel on hand, you'll need long heavy-duty extension cords to plug your refrigerator and freezer or furnace into the generator. "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

  • Where is the best area to place your generator outside so you can plug items into it? Get out a measuring tape and measure the distance. It may surprise you how far it is. Our distance was 75 feet. You may end up buying two generators: one to keep your freezer foods safe in your basement and another to take care of other needs on another level of your home.

3. Buy Extra Batteries
It's always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand. Some are specialized. Consider some of the items you use batteries for in your home. Most flashlights use them as well as medical equipment and kids' Christmas toys.  Costco has Duracell AA (40 ct.) and AAA (32 ct.) on sale now until Sept. 29th. Regularly $16.99, they're $3.00 off. Sam's Club had them on sale last week.

EnJOY finding some power this week.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Saturday, September 7, 2019

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 didn't have any, could you substitute canned or dried? We are fortunate that nuts and seeds are becoming more and more economical.

1. Gather Short-term Fruit, Nuts and Seeds
You may can or dry your own fruit or purchase it. A variety of canned or dried is economical.

  • 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 get 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 of 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
Our goal is to "gradually build a longer-term supply of foods that will sustain life." Long-term means the fruit has a 20 to 30-year shelf life. 
  • Freeze-dried fruits are pricey. Be careful not to overdo it. 
  • Dehydrated Apple Slices may be purchased at the LDS Home Storage Center. 
  • 30-year shelf life. Current price is $11.25 for 1 lb.
  • A recommended amount for a year's supply is 8 #10 cans per person.
  • If you snack on dried apple slices, drink lots of water.
  • Re-hydrate apple slices with an equal amount of water.
EnJOY gathering a few new food storage items and some of your all-time favorites.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Grocery Shopping List printable

Last night I planned today's grocery trip with my Grocery Shopping List printable. Even though I don't have to work so hard to save money, I'm doing it anyway. If we talk our country into a big 'R' (recession 🤫), I want to be well skilled at saving money.

I shopped at Smith's grocery store again today and bought more small canned foods for my food storage. Loading it up.
I looked up sales and regular prices online, added online coupons and the location of items in the store. Love that!! ❤️
Shopping took longer than expected, but when you're trying to shop once a week you have to plan carefully. 👍
$115.81 Full Price
$79.30 My Price
$36.51 My savings 🤸‍♀️ I can do better.
$4.00 4 Prego Spaghetti Sauce
$1.50 2 Annie's Mac & Cheese
$1.96 4 Koger Crushed tomatoes
$1.52 4 Kroger Beef broth
$1.52 4 Kroger Chicken broth
$1.58 2 Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
$2.79 1 Simple Truth Organic Red Kidney Beans 4 pk.
$2.00 1 Simple Truth Organic applesauce cups
$2.25 3 Kroger Spaghetti
COST: $19.12