Aug 31, 2010

Gardening (on going)

I’ve begun a small herb garden with my kids. I got some of those cardboard starter cups and had my kids put in the seeds. When I get the kids, I have them doing the watering so that they can learn that what they are doing has consequences and makes a difference. After only a week everything was sprouting, and by two weeks I felt the need to get some larger pots to transplant everything. I got 6in pots from WalMart for $2.50 each. We already had some mulch but from past experience I know dirt would have done just as well. I cut up the cardboard cartons into individual containers and put each herb into its own pot. Also, my mother ate a persimmon, so I took the seed and plopped it into another pot and started watering it just to see what happens. Well, now I’ve got an 8in tall growth!

Growing is easy! Just water daily. In this heat I’ve been watering twice daily and that’s all I do. Now when everything is ready to harvest I will post more here or if I get bug problems I’ll let you know what I do, and what the results are.

Growing your own food has to be one of your top priorities. Mostly because it takes time to mature to harvest, but also it reduces your expenses as the more you grow, the less you buy.

Aug 27, 2010

Water Storage (on going)

Water Storage is much easier than food storage in that you only have one item that you are dealing with, but there are some concerns to be looked at. First what are you going to put the water in? Cases of water bottles, 2, 3 and 5 gallon store bought sealed bottles, 55 gallon drums, and hundreds to thousand gallon storage tanks. You decide on your need and ability. I’ve been advised to not reuse empty milk jugs as the plastic is too thin to survive for any length of time.

I personally carry a 5 gallon jerry can in my trunk that I change out every few years, plus several 24oz bottles in the passenger seat. I plan on getting a couple of 55 gallon drums which can be had for as little as $5 each if you know where to look. Plus I have 2 sealed, three gallon bottles in a storage site in town. I probably need to get more as soon as I can afford them.

Now, water for the most part can just sit there and be happy, but there are a couple of things you have to do to make sure it stays safe.

One- treat the water with bleach chlorine or some other disinfecting agent before storing.

Two- Have a filtration method available in case something gets into your storage.

Three- If you are still not sure, boil it.

Four- Don’t store the majority of your water supplies near your food supplies or near any type of sanitization concern i.e.; out houses, where you clean carcasses, water courses like rivers.

Food Storage (on going)

Again, many theories exist as well as hundreds of techniques. For collecting food, I recommend the Plus One method. That is, when you buy your groceries buy one (or more if you can afford it) additional can of something you are getting anyway. I am attempting large storage with 5 gallon buckets, but I won’t know if it works for about 20 years. Get back to me then, and I’ll let you know how it works.

But seriously, you are supposed to use what you store and use it from the oldest stored first.

What this means is you buy 4 cans of peas this month. Write the date on the cans and store. Next month you buy 4 more. Write that date on the cans and store them behind the first four. So as you use the peas you will use the oldest first and on to the next oldest and so on.

Depending on where you live, storing a well-organized pantry can be difficult. You may just not have enough space. If you do, there are some survival companies out there who sell metal racks that are perfect for this kind of storage. If not you may have to get creative. I’ve heard of bed lifts that will raise the frame of your bed a few inches so that you could store huge quantities there.

Do not store in your garage or anyplace that takes a huge amount of heat in the summer. This will destroy the life span of your food supply.

Actually when it comes to anything perishable or delicate the same rules apply: Store in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight and out of direct contact with the floor.

Lessons Learned - camping with little girls

Friday night I slept outside with the girls. My five year old wanted to go camping and came up with this around 5pm. I wasn’t about to get together our camping gear and rush out to a campground before sundown, so I came up with the idea of sleeping in the back yard. Unfortunately the backyard measures only about 12ft by 8ft not counting plants and lawn furniture and all of that solid concrete. So, no tent. It was OK as the weather was still warm (to start) so we slept under the stars. At first it was fun staring up at the stars looking for meteorites and airplanes. Eventually the kids passed out and I went to sleep myself.

Awww, you say? Well let me describe the sleeping arrangements; The kids had Colman inflatable mattresses to sleep on, and cheap Disney sleeping bags to sleep in. I had my sleeping bag that I decided to use as a sleeping pad and a blanket I brought out from the house. Oh, we all had pillows as well.

Mistake 1- I needed better padding under me. Concrete is hard.
Mistake 2- We all needed more blankets. It got cold, somewhere in the 50’s. My kids didn’t complain, but by 5 am I could tell that they weren’t any more comfortable than I was, so I called it a night and brought them back inside.

Aug 21, 2010

Get Debt Free

I can’t emphasize this enough. If I weren’t already debt free, then my lack of job and the cost of divorce would have me buried completely under.

Everything I ever heard, says do it this way:
Take your smallest debt, pay as much as you can over the minimum payment until it is paid off.
Then, take that same amount and apply it to the next largest debt.
And so on.
Period.
That’s it. Simple huh? Now, depending on how deeply you are in debt, it will take some time to be completely debt free, probably years. But start now, and when you are finished you can look back and say “why didn’t I do this sooner”? If you don’t do it, and something catastrophic happens, how do you expect to pay for your car, house, medical bills etc.?

A sub set of getting Debt Free is; Have multiple streams of revenue. There are many paths you can take, and not all may be for you. Decide for yourself what works best for your situation and review for time to time if your current path is working.

Some options for multiple revenue streams:
Stock and bonds
Investing in precious metals (Actually possessing this metal is the only method I would recommend)
Start an on-line business (E-bay/Craigslist)
Buy real-estate for rentals

Start your own home business or two. When I lived in an apartment in Sunnyvale, I started my own dog walking business. I would take my dog Elvis (And if you know me for any length of time you know Elvis. If I went somewhere he could go, he went with me. Walking him at a local park, I would talk to other dog owners from the apartment complex and many would complain about having to come home during lunch to walk their dog. So I began offering Elvis and I as dog walkers. We would go to our clients apartments and I would put there leashes on and walk the dogs for an hour a day. At the height, Elvis and I were going out three times a day and making about $300 a month. Not a lot but it was something I was doing for myself. All I had to do was post a couple of notes in the laundry rooms, and talk to dog owners in the park that I was talking to anyway.

Now, I’m trying to get back to Freelance Graphic Design, and Survival/Preparation consulting.Now, I’m trying to get back to Freelance Graphic Design, and Survival/Preparation consulting. But preferably you want to set up something that will generate income without your input or at least a minimal overview by you.

Aug 19, 2010

Evacuation Planning-or-When to Run

Evacuation plan
Set up conditions on when to activate your evacuation plan. You must have some “set in stone” benchmarks on when to Get Out of Dodge, as well as use of common sense. Below are some examples of disasters that can occur, some likely, some not so. I’ll let you decide which is which. I’ve included some of the signs (or benchmarks) of potential coming events and whether warnings from reliable agencies are available or not.

In most events, I would advise remaining in place. Unless your home is made unlivable, or about to become unlivable, it is the last option to become a refugee. Refugees are at the mercy and whims of anyone one in power. Whether it be Government or gangs, someone will hold power and unless that is you, you will have to do as they say, and get what mercy they give. This is why I recommend one Bug Out Location, Please keep in mind; A BOL does not have to be a spot in the woods with you going ”Rambo”. Families in another state are a perfectly reasonable first choice, provided that you have adequately stocked their location so that you do not become a burden to your family. And at least one fallback location if your BOL is not usable for some reason.

Examples:
Earthquake

No warning given. Your home is no longer livable, power grid, gas and water down. Societal infrastructure collapse. Roads not usable and emergency services overwhelmed. Might be time to go.

On the other hand, if everything above were still in play, except, your home was still intact, you would have to consider carefully whether or not to evacuate. If you could hold in place for a week or a month would you be better or worse than if you bailed out immediately after the quake?

Inclement Weather (Snow storm, hurricane, tornado)
Warnings are available from weathers services, usually between 2 minutes for tornadoes to 7 days for coastal hurricanes. Evacuation orders are often given 24-48 hours prior to hurricane touchdowns. Ordinarily California doesn’t suffer these problems, but I remember a tornado touching down in Santa Clara a few years ago, and every April/May we get very powerful winds that can rip the roof off of buildings and knock trees into power lines or homes.

Riots
Sometimes you get warnings from news services, sometimes they are spontaneous events. Also riots may occur in conjunction with other events compounding the originating problems.

Economic Collapse
Again, review the Weimar Republic of Germany. A number of indicators are available if you can interpret them correctly. Evacuation may become necessary if you can no longer afford rent or make your house payment. The housing collapse is a prime example of this. I myself lost my home twice. Once because we couldn’t afford it any longer and a second time when my Ex-wife kicked me out, and changed the locks on the doors. Neither one was pleasant, and both cause incredible stress, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. In the second case I lost almost all of my preps and having to start over doing so without a job to support it. I’m sure I will have more to say on this later.

Meteor Impact
Unless we live in a movie, no warnings are generally available. The impact zone is the only affected area. Anything larger is world shaking if not world ending, so, not much point in talking about it.

Solar Storm
Warnings are generally available from NASA, but to date only one instance of any trouble has occurred historically.

Geomagnetic storm and Aurora

The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a Coronal Mass Ejection on March 9, 1989.[1] 3.5 Days later, at 2:44 am on March 13, 1989, a severe geomagnetic storm struck Earth.[2][3] The storm began on Earth with extremely intense auroras at the poles. The aurora could be seen as far south as Texas.[4] As this occurred during the cold war, many worried that a nuclear first-strike might be in progress.[4] Others considered the intense auroras to be associated with the Space Shuttle mission STS-29, which had been launched on March 13 at 9:57:00 AM. The burst caused short-wave radio interference, including the jamming of radio signals from Radio Free Europe into Russia. It was thought that the signals had been jammed by the Soviet government.
As midnight came and went, invisible electromagnetic forces were staging their own pitched battle in a vast arena bounded by the sky above and the rocky subterranean reaches of the Earth. A river of charged particles and electrons in the ionosphere flowed from west to east, inducing powerful electrical currents in the ground that surged into many natural nooks and crannies.[4]
Some satellites in polar orbits lost control for several hours. GOES weather satellite communications were interrupted causing weather images to be lost. NASA's TDRS-1 communication satellite recorded over 250 anomalies caused by the increased particles flowing into its sensitive electronics.[4] The Space Shuttle Discovery was having its own mysterious problems. A sensor on one of the tanks supplying hydrogen to a fuel cell was showing unusually high pressure readings on March 13. The problem went away just as mysteriously after the solar storm subsided.

Quebec Blackout
The variations in the earth's magnetic field also tripped circuit breakers on Hydro-Qu├ębec's power grid. The utility's very long transmission lines and the fact that most of Quebec sits on a large rock shield prevented current flowing through the earth, finding a less resistant path along the 735 kV power lines[5].
The James Bay network went offline in less than 90 seconds, giving Quebec its second massive blackout in 11 months.[6] The power failure lasted 9 hours and forced the company to implement various mitigation strategies, including raising the trip level, installing series compensation on ultra high voltage lines and upgrading various monitoring and operational procedures. Other utilities in North America, the UK, Northern Europe and elsewhere implemented programs to reduce the risks associated with geomagnetically induced currents.[5]

Aftermath
In August 1989, another storm affected microchips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market.[7]

Since 1995, geomagnetic storms and solar flares have been monitored from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) joint-NASA-European Space Agency satellite..

WWIII (Go Wolverines) and Terrorist Attack
I wasn’t in NY during 9/11 and no one I know was either, but lots of people were in the air that day, and when they grounded all aircraft, all those passengers had, was what they packed. Forgot about them, didn’t you? If someone was going to a destination they were probably better off as they were fresher, had more cash on hand, their packed clothes were probably clean, etc. If they were coming back from somewhere, unless they were a survivalist/prepper, you can be sure most were in a world of hurt.

There is no warning of an impending attack, or loose rumors from DHS about "chatter". Bad guys are just suddenly there doing bad things.

Training part 6 Automotive Repair

I don’t know about you, but I own a 97 Toyota and there is no way I can do most repairs on my own. I used to have a 73 Camaro and about the only things I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do were Carburetor repair and Transmission work. But now days with everything being computer controlled, I simply have no idea what I’m doing. Even still I can still change tires, spark plugs, and change fluids as needed. My care wouldn’t start a few days ago, and with my experience working on my Camaro many years ago, I recognized that the battery was dying for some reason, so I managed to get a Jump Start form someone and my car cranked right up. If I didn’t know anything about cars, I would have been forced to call for a tow and been stranded very far from home.

Aug 18, 2010

Sorry it's been a while

Sorry Everyone, the computer went down, and I haven't been able to get on line for any length of time, plus I was writing everything in a beta version of MS Word, apparently I downloaded that during a golden window of opportunity. Now MS has the full software out for sale, so I can't seem to find the free beta version any longer. :-(

Anyway, give me a day or two, and I will begin posting more information along the lines of training and planning.

Aug 13, 2010

Are there any Question?

So far I see very few comments, and those from friends. Love you guys!

So I am asking: Are there any questions about anything survival/Preparedness related? Anything at all? Beuler? Beuler? But seriously, if there is something you want to know about post it here and I'll discuss you concerns, and anything I don't know I'll make up...Uh...Look up! Yeah Look up!

Aug 9, 2010

Probable Events

Probable events
People often ask me, “What are you preparing for”? Well, I’m not like most Survivalist/Preppers. I’m not looking for the apocalypse, ready to run out into the woods with a gun and a knife ready to play Rambo. Fun fantasy, but in reality 99% of everyone who runs out to do just that is going to end up dead. I look at day to day survival as challenge enough most days. I worry about finding a job, raising my kids, having a roof over our heads, etc. This is where I become a “prepper”. I need to know that everyone is safe, secure and healthy, so I look for ways to ensure that. Being out of debt, stocking up of food, being energy independent, all of these things are what I do to prepare. Day-to-day I try to have plans and equipment in place in case of emergency, much like everyone has auto insurance(If you have a car) I have “survival insurance”. Below I have some possible events that could happen that should be prepared for.

Job loss
Speaks for its self. I lost plenty of jobs in my lifetime, but in this economy and with children depending on me, the pressure is incredible. Having some stockpiles of food is helpful. Also having cash available would have been nice to get through a couple of months until a new job came along, but that has been used up and still no work. If you’re currently employed, I would advise you to save as much as you can, while paying off any debts.

Riot
Were you in or near Oakland? LA? Ever been down town when a major sports team wins a big contest? And I can only imagine what’s going to happen this November.


Earthquake

IF you live in California, you know earthquakes. I’m new to the Central Valley, and people have told me that there aren’t any fault lines here, but there are still small quakes from time to time. You must still be prepared. 1 you may be traveling to the Bay Area or LA. 2 A major quake may occur else ware causing your friends or family to become refugees that you may need to help support.

Economic collapse
Finances are not my forte, but watching the news has my skin crawling. Nothing the president and congress is doing, is doing us any good. In fact much of it is hinting at a Weimar Republic like move toward hyper inflation.

Wikipedia
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or "out of control", a condition in which prices increase rapidly as a currency loses its value.[1] Definitions used by the media vary from a cumulative inflation rate over three years approaching 100% to "inflation exceeding 50% a month." [2] In informal usage the term is often applied to much lower rates. As a rule of thumb, normal inflation is reported per year, but hyperinflation is often reported for much shorter intervals, often per month.

The definition used by most economists is "an inflationary cycle without any tendency toward equilibrium." A vicious circle is created in which more and more inflation is created with each iteration of the cycle. Although there is a great deal of debate about the root causes of hyperinflation, it becomes visible when there is an unchecked increase in the money supply (or drastic debasement of coinage) usually accompanied by a widespread unwillingness to hold the money for more than the time needed to trade it for something tangible to avoid further loss. Hyperinflation is often associated with wars (or their aftermath), economic depressions, and political or social upheavals.

By late 1923, the Weimar Republic of Germany was issuing two-trillion Mark banknotes and postage stamps with a face value of fifty billion Mark. The highest value banknote issued by the Weimar government's Reichsbank had a face value of 100 trillion Mark (100,000,000,000,000; 100 billion on the long scale). At the height of the inflation one U.S. dollar was worth 4 trillion German marks.

And just before you say it can’t happen here;

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress authorized the printing of paper currency called continental currency. The easily counterfeited notes depreciated rapidly, giving rise to the expression "not worth a continental."

Between January 1861 and April 1865, the Lerner Commodity Price Index of leading cities in the eastern Confederacy states increased from 100 to over 9000.[24] As the U.S. Civil War dragged on the Confederate States of America dollar had less and less value, until it was almost worthless by the last few months of the war.

Training part 5 Communications

Communications
Email yourself you entire contact list and important info such as bank accounts, insurance policy numbers, passwords and addresses to all of your on-line accounts, resume, etc. Just tuck them into a sub-folder somewhere under an innocuous name. Also keep a copy of this stuff on a USB drive that you carry on you at all times. I’m sure with all the smart phones out there you have (like me) most of this stuff in it, but there is an old saying that I first heard on Survivalblog.com “2 is 1, and 1 is none”. Which means if you drop your phone and it breaks you are SOL. I’ve lost 2 different phones in the last year, and had to manually replace all of my contacts because for some reason they do not backup easily.

Speaking of phones, did you know that in a disaster the phone system will be completely blocked up and virtually unusable? I remember in the Loma Prieta quake in ’89, I was in Georgia, and could not call home for three days because the phone lines were clogged up. Now days there are alternatives:
1 Text messaging uses a different bandwidth (I think) and you can text when the speaking portion of the phone won’t work.
2 If your smartphone is capable, Email and Facebook are excellent forms of communication so that everyone can either know you are safe, or where to send rescue personnel if you’re in trouble.
Please make sure that you have printouts of all of your contacts as well. If you should break your phone and not have computer access, you will need to have a paper backup.

On top of this, you should consider getting some form of power backup. Solar panels, power inverters, crank powered chargers etc. All work to one degree or another. You definitely need to have some sort of backup in case of blackout if your phone is your lifeline.

Part of Communications and Home prep is to put everything down in an easy to read binder. I’m going to be developing one soon in Excel for all of you, that should have checklists, contacts, maps (You’ll be able to paste your own in from Google Maps or MapQuest) evacuation plans, and anything else I can think of that need to be in there. Suggestions are welcomed, and I will continually update it as I learn better ways to do things.
Select two meeting places for your family or friend group. One near your home in case of fire and a second place outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
Keep important papers, photos and records in a water and fireproof container. I have a removable drive with everything from my Ex’s computer including all of my kid’s pictures which I would be devastated to loose.

My friends at Stanislaus Preparedness Group are advocates of HAM radio communication. I agree with them, and plan on taking the necessary classes as soon as I can.

Aug 7, 2010

Training part 4 Construction

Construction
Just knowing how something goes together to hold up in a high wind and keep the rain out could be the difference in living at home or evacuating and becoming a refugee. Home Depot, Lowes, and many other Big Box stores often offer classes in different do-it-yourself projects that are usually free. Also, if you ever get work done on your home, or a friend is getting work done, stand around and ask questions. Most construction people I know are happy to tell you what they are doing and why.

Something I learned recently is that the Big Box stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc) have really low grade lumber. It’s often warped and has large numbers of knots, which makes it difficult to work with. So if you are going to get 2x4s and such, just be sure to look over each piece carefully to ensure that they are uniformly straight and clean.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m the last person to go to when it comes to electrical wiring. I’ve managed to shock myself every single time I’ve tried to do something with electricity. Fortunately for me, I have a brother that is an electrician, but this is no excuse for me to not learn more. There may come a time when he or I are out of the area when disaster strikes, and it will be up to me to solve my own problems.

Training part 3 Food (Part 2)

Food Storage
There are many, many ways to store food. You can grow and can your own. Buy from farmers market like sources. Dehydrate. Buy dehydrated or freeze dried foods. Buy “plus 1” at the grocery store. (that means: Buy one more can of X than you actually need) I don’t want to make recommendations here, because my choices may not fit your needs.

But what I would like to talk about is storage of what you do have. Much like what you will hear about storage of anything: Keep in a cool, dry, place, out of direct sunlight. Depending on method, food has a shelf life of between 2 years and 30 years. This is always calculated using optimal conditions. IE: Keep in a cool, dry, place, out of direct sunlight.

In the Central Valley, summer heat could conceivably re-cook food in a can if left in direct sunlight day after day. Storing food in your garage is not much of an improvement unless your garage is air conditioned. When I had an apartment I would stock pile canned food and water behind my futon in the living room, and no one knew it was there or if they did see it, I would just say it was stockpile in case of Earthquake. This was true. Gina may be able to shed light on visibility of my stores, as she had been to my place on a number of occasions. I have heard of(But not used) extenders for beds that raise them off the ground, this would allow large storage space underneath. Closets are also a popular choice. Something that just occurred to me; If you live in a house, what about that crawl space underneath? Admitably, you could lose everything placed there if an earthquake takes out your home, but I think that risk exists anywhere you put your food in your house. My question is, does it stay cool under there? I know it stays dry.

Does anyone else have any ideas that they have used for storing large volumes of stuff?

Aug 4, 2010

Training part 3 Food (Part 1)

Canning
My mother knows how to can (Funny thought; why is it called “canning” when you use glass “jars”?) As soon as I can get the money together for the basic supplies, I’m going to begin canning, which will go well with Cooking and Gardening. I know it’s a fairly simple process, but like many things in life, as simple as it is, if you don’t know what you are doing you could end up wasting a lot of supplies and time, and in this case quite possibly poisoning yourself and your family if you do it wrong. If you have knowledge or advice, please post something so that I and everyone reading this blog can learn from your experience.

Cooking
What can I say; Learn to cook without it coming from a box or can. Learn to cook over an open fire or if you have a small propane camping stove, learn how to do more than boiling water with it. If you stock food in volume (rice, beans, wheat, etc) don’t learn to eat it. Eat it as a part of your normal diet. You do not want to change your family’s diet in the middle of a disaster when everything is already up in the air; keeping anything you can as sable as before goes a long way to keeping everyone’s spirits up.

I know Cast Iron is big in camping, but it does take a certain amount of maintenance to keep from rusting. I’ve never had one break, but cast iron is more fragile than forged metal. If you use your regular day to day pots and pans, just watch out for plastic handles leaning too far into the fire. And if they are non-stick surfaces, please be careful to not scrape to the coating off when cleaning.

Boiling water can literally be the difference between life and death. I am currently watching a news report about flooding in Pakistan and the fact that diseases and just now beginning. You must boil uncertain water to kill pathogens or you and your family will be facing sever sickness including diarrhea nausea, vomiting and death. I have heard that water needs to boil from between 0 minutes to 5 minutes. I don’t know the truth of this but I would tend to err on the side of caution. Please keep in mind that at higher elevations boiling doesn’t work the same.

I remember being in Denver at a friend’s house. He was boiling water in a pan for something, and for several minutes you could stick your hand in the water perfectly safely, as the temperature had not risen yet. And that is the important factor: The temperature of the water. 212deg. F at sea level is what it takes to boil water and the temperature is what is necessary to kill the ickies in the water.

www.whatscookingamerica.net


High Altitudes:

Water will boil at high altitudes, but it isn't as hot as boiling water at sea level. This is because the air pressure is lower at high elevations. Boiling occurs when the water is hot enough to have the same pressure as the surrounding air, so that it can form bubbles. At high altitudes, air pressure is lower than at sea level, so the water doesn't have to get so hot to get to boiling. Because the temperature of the boiling water is lower at high elevations than at sea level, it takes longer to bring water to a boil at higher altitudes than at sea level.

Most cookbooks consider 3,000 feet above sea level to be high altitude, although at 2,000 feet above sea level, the boiling temperature of water is 208 °F instead of 212 °F.

Adding a little salt to the water will cause the water to boil at a slightly higher temperature which can be helpful while cooking especially at high altitudes.

EPA
1. Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
2. If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
3. If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
4. If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

FEMA

1. Allow people to drink according to their needs. Many people need even more than the average of one-half gallon, per day. The individual amount needed depends on age, physical activity, physical condition, and time of year.
2. Never ration water unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow. Under no circumstances should a person drink less than one quart (four cups) of water each day. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
3. Drink water that you know is not contaminated first. If necessary, suspicious water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or water from streams or ponds, can be used after it has been treated. If water treatment is not possible, put off drinking suspicious water as long as possible, but do not become dehydrated.
4. Do not drink carbonated beverages instead of drinking water. Carbonated beverages do not meet drinking-water requirements. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water.
5. Turn off the main water valves. You will need to protect the water sources already in your home from contamination if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials advise you of a problem. To close the incoming water source, locate the incoming valve and turn it to the closed position. Be sure you and other family members know how to perform this important procedure.
5a. To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home.
5b. To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on the hot water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, a professional will be needed to turn it back on.


Included with this is learning how to start a fire. In my 24hr bag, I have flint and steel, a magnifying glass, tinder and a Bic lighter (oh and a P38 can opener). All of this fit in the palm of my hand. IF you can’t start a fire in winter, you-are-dead! I’m not (Unless you ask) going to describe all of the different ways to start a fire, there are 353,000 YouTube videos available for your perusal.


Gardening

I don’t expect anyone to suddenly become farmer-bob, but having a few plants and trees around you that supplies fresh fruit, veggies, and roots and tubers (love that word). Like everything else in life, all good things in moderation. I like growing things from seeds, it lets me know that I did all the work, plus it’s cheap to get seeds when you’re eating the fruit anyway. Mostly in my opinion, gardening isn’t much more than watering regularly, pruning back the excess and harvesting before the birds and bugs get to everything. Below is a sample of some of the edibles I have grown in my life.

Asian Pear
Fiji Apple
Potato
Carrot
Corn
Garlic
Peppers (would get a harvest every couple of months)
Spice Garden Collection (this and that, and yes I cook with it)
Banana (never got fruit)

Some things that I would like to grow:
Mixed Fruit/Fruit cocktail
Strwberry
Blueberry
Blackberry (I’ve been warned that this is one you have to be extremely careful of as it grows out of control)
Cranberry
Lettuce
Wheat
Barley
Oats
Banana
Jerusalem artichokes