Surviving Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases

Currently we hear a lot about Ebola and the possibility of it becoming a pandemic.  Today we are used to the idea that most diseases can quickly be cured by antibiotics.  Well, my mother was an infectious disease nurse in England prior to World War 2.  This was a time with no antibiotics and many diseases that we do not even think about any more killed large numbers of people.  If a disease like Ebola were to become pandemic we would have to return to these old fashioned methods.

She says that they had patients with scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, typhus, smallpox, polio and tuberculosis all sharing the same wards.  But by strict controls and lots of disinfectant, they did not have any cases of cross infections.

I have been looking at her old medical books and found a section on nursing infectious diseases at home that I think might be applicable in a pandemic in which medical care was nonexistent or limited.

The following is the section on nursing at home.  Just to help you out carbolic or carbolic acid is now known as phenol.  Permanganate of potash is now known as potassium permanganate.  Formalin disinfectant is formaldehyde.  Chloride of lime is calcium hypochlorite. ebola

This second section shows how to handle lavatory waste.

ebola

This third section shows how to fumigate a patient’s room.  You will notice that it list seven methods but I only show three, the other four require special equipment that would not be available to us. ebola

In addition to this, I sternly suggest that you should have the food, water and other necessities so that you could remain in your homes for up to three months if needed.

Things to stock up on are

      • Disinfectants
      • Gloves
      • Surgical masks
      • Hospital gowns
      • Extra sheets and bedding
      • A bedpan
      • Goggles or eye shields
      • Tyvek suits
      • Shoe covers

Treatment just comes down to keeping the patient comfortable and hydrated and pray for them to get better.

Howard

 

An Interview with The Ready Store

The Ready StoreHow long have you been in the food business? Our company started in 2001. Our founders, Jeff and Amy Davis, had started by selling 72-hour kits and the business quickly grew as the economy was struggling and people saw the need to prepare. Currently, the company has employees who have been in the food storage industry for decades.

What is your main motivation for staying in business? We are an American company and believe in the principles of self-sufficiency and independence. For that reason, we want people to be prepared. We want people to be better prepared for any situation in their life – whether or a disaster or otherwise. Our company strives to help people be independent and self-sufficient.

What Brands of Food do you sell? We sell only the best brands – Mountain House, Saratoga Farms, EasyPrep, Yoders, OvaEasy Eggs and more. We also sell Sopako and Ameriqual MREs.

What is your favorite brand? Personally, I think it depends on what you’re buying. If you’re buying freeze-dried fruits and vegetables I like Saratoga Farms the best. If it’s a just-add-water meal, I usually prefer Mountain House. But, that’s just my personal preference.

What is the oxygen level in the brands of foods that you carry? With the way things are packaged, the oxygen level should be about 0.01% inside the food storage can.

Why doesn’t nitrogen flush work? Good question. We get this question a lot. I don’t know if I’d say that nitrogen flushing “doesn’t work” as much as it’s “not the best way.” Nitrogen flushing was used decades ago to remove oxygen from the food storage cans and prevent spoilage. Basically, the idea was to fill the can with nitrogen instead of oxygen right before it was sealed up and that would extend the shelf life of the food.

What method do the brands that you carry use to control the oxygen levels? We primarily use high-quality oxygen absorbers. But we also do quality controls to make sure that the seal on the can or Mylar bag is solid and that no oxygen can seap into the can at all. The quality of the materials that you use will also have an impact – for example, using double enameled cans instead of non-enameled.

Are there Chinese foods in the products you sell? No.

What about foods from Mexico or other countries? We will occasionally use foods from other countries but they always have to stand up to the quality stands of food grown in the United States. We never want to cut corners with cheap food that might endanger our customers.

What would you warn consumers to look for in purchasing foods? Calorie levels. There are a lot of companies out there that say there food will last you a long time but it really wont. They don’t tell you that the calorie levels of the bundle kits will only provide you a few hundred calories a day. Be sure to count your calories and know how long the food will actually provide nutrition to you and your family.

Why do you think people should buy long-term storage foods? A friend of mine was out of work for a few years during the most recent economic depression. He didn’t have to go into more debt just to feed his family, he knew he could depend on his food storage to get him through unemployment. Having a long-term supply of food is a great way to be independent and not put a strain on any one else around you.

What size serving do the foods you carry have? The fruits and vegetables are usually a half cup serving while the just-add-water meals are about 1 cup prepared.

Why should people buy from you? We try and be very open with our customers – providing as much information as possible including nutritional value, calorie counts, serving size, etc. We want our customers to know what they’re getting. We believe we’re the best food storage company out there because we provide the highest-selection of food storage items, the lowest prices and the easiest, fastest shipping in the industry.

the ready store

 

The Importance of Organizing Prepping Supplies

Organizing Prepping Supplies

Some days this is how I feel

Organizing prepping supplies is not always one of my strong points.  Sometimes I think having too much stuff can be as bad as not having enough.  In my own case, I could probably bug out ok, but I could do it better if I was more organized.

Part of my trouble is that I am running out of room.  I am always getting those deals that are just too good to pass up.  Now I do like to keep things out of sight.  So when I get that small item that arrives in today’s mail, I open the package and examine it.  Now it may belong with the extra water purification gear, but I am short of time so I stick it in a closet or cupboard.  It is now lost to the world.

Then there is the problem of storing food at lower temperatures.  Where I live it gets well over 90 degrees in the summer, so knowingly the garage and outbuildings are to hot, so it has to come in the house.  It is a never-ending problem.  And everytime my wife tells me to clean up my stuff (clutter) I suddenly realize I have something to do or a errand to run.  Well my wife has put down her foot and it is time to organize everything.

Organizing Prepping Supplies

This is my goal

So where do I start?  First, we are going to de-clutter everything.  I am looking around at the things we really don’t need.  Are those piles of old magazines in the corner really worth keeping?

Look for wasted space in your home.  We often forget about the higher cabinets, the ones we don’t normally look in.  Usually these are full of junk, clean them out and you have extra space for items that require controlled temperatures like food or medicines.

We also tend to pass up or ignore the spaces that are already filled.  The ones we pass everyday such as cabinets, shelves, closets or even attics and basements.  Many times you realize that what is in those storage compartments could be tossed out or put elsewhere.  Even if you just cleaned that out a week, month or a year ago, what you thought was important then may not be worth the extra storage space now.

Look in the backs of your linen closets and clothes closets.  These are spaces in which stuff gets abandoned, you can get rid of that old sports gear you have had stored since high school that you are always going to use sometime in the future.

What about your garage?  It is normally not a good place to store food, but you have a lot of gear that is not heat sensitive.  Again start out by de-cluttering, be a bit on the ruthless side.

For the people that have a hard time parting with their possessions and have an abundance of a particular item or items in the same category it is wise to get a storage bin and store and label them.  It will save space and time for you in the future. On a side note; you could never have too much emergency supplies.  Even if it something you know you could lighten the load with, just think of it as currency.  You could always use to trade if the circumstances demanded it.

Now what about the items you decide that you need to get rid of, have a garage sale, donate them to a worthwhile charity or give them to friends or family.

While you are putting your preps away, take a few minutes to make lists of what you have and where you put it.  This can save you a lot of time when you need something that you put away months or years ago. Especially if you have to bug out.

There are many things that I prefer to do other than organizing my prepping supplies, but the time has come that I have to do it.  I know that once it is done I will feel better and my supplies will be more accessible,  usable and out of sight.

Howard

Nixtamalizing Corn to Prevent Pellagra

Nixtamalizing cornFirst let me explain that most corn you buy in today’s market has not been nixtamalized. Nixtamalization refers to a process for the treatment of corn, in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually lime water.  This is done to liberate the B-vitamin niacin, the lack of which was the underlying cause of the condition known as pellagra. Pellagra and How to Treat Corn to Prevent It.  As long as you are not using corn for a staple food using it untreated is fine.  Most of the corn meal that you purchase has not been treated.  Nixtamalizing corn is mainly done to hominy or masa, the flour that is used to make tortillas.

Where they run into the problems from pellagra was when it was eaten in large amounts at almost every meal.  This was quite common in the poorer parts of the south during the late 1800s and early 1900s.  The ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures were heavily dependent on corn in their diet and avoided nutritional problems by the use of lime and wood ash.

In Aztec and Mayan cultures they still use slacked or hydrated lime, or cal in Spanish, to make limewater.  This form of lime is made from limestone (calcium carbonate) that is put into a limekiln and baked at 1520° F.  The result is quicklime (calcium oxide), which is then exposed to water, or slacked, to form calcium hydroxide or cal. You can buy cal at a Mexican store.  Slacked lime is ground into a dry powder.  Archeologists have unearthed limekilns in the settlements of both the Olmec and the Maya, early Central American civilizations.  They also used the lime for mortar and plaster.

Here is a recipe for Nixtamalizing Corn 

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds clean, dried flour-corn kernels (about 1 quart)
  • 1/4 cup pickling lime (food-grade calcium hydroxide)
  • 3 quarts water

Directions

  • In a large, stainless steel (nonreactive) pot, dissolve the lime or cal in the 3 quarts of water.
  • Immediately wash off any lime that gets on your hands.
  • Add clean corn and discard any floating kernels.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.  Allow the water to boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.  If you are making the dough for tortillas, allow it to boil for 2 minutes. If you are making tamale dough simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow the corn to soak.  For tortilla dough, allow it to soak, covered, overnight.  For tamale dough, allow it to soak for an hour.
  • Pour the corn into a colander in the sink.  Under cold water, rub the kernels with your hands to rub away the softened hulls.
  • Rinse thoroughly and drain well.
  • To finish making masa you must now grind the corn.  The inexpensive Corona mill is made specifically for grinding corn to make masa.  Here is a link to a Corona Style Mill.   Just grind the wet corn on the finest setting so it comes out smooth like dough.  You can let this dry into masa flour or use wet.

Although I have never tried it, I understand that in areas where limestone was not available the Native Americans used wood ash in place of the lime.  The Navajos for example mixed Juniper wood ash with their corn, it is my understanding that they used it in two different ways, one making a water and using it like lime water and the second involved mixing it directly in the corn.

There seems to be no set recipe, it was done differently in different parts of the country, but it all seemed to have worked.  In the next few days, I will put up instruction on making hominy which is another method of Nixtamalizing Corn.

Howard

A Review of the Adventure Medical Field Trauma Kit

Adventure Medical Field Trauma KitIf you want a kit that is going to allow you to treat a gunshot wound in the field from start to finish, this is not the kit for you.  However, if you want a good compact, lightweight first aid kit that can handle heavy bleeding and other injures then the Adventure Medical Field Trauma Kit is a good choice for you.  It is designed to treat small injuries or to stabilize larger injuries until you can get to decent medical care. I often hear from untrained people who want a medical kit that can do everything and it needs to fit into their back pack along with the rest of their gear.  This is a unrealistic expectation.  For instance, I had someone tell me that the kit should contain sutures.  The person who said this had never sutured anyone or had received any training other that from a book.  I personally believe that this person would be better off using butterfly bandages.  The incorrect use of sutures can get you into more trouble and result in infections. Adventure Medical Field Trauma KitThe Adventure Medical field Trauma Kit is small enough measuring 7″ x 4.5″ x 6″to fit in your pack or go bag, and is not too expensive.  While it lists for $48.00, you can find it on the Internet for about $10 cheaper.  This kit contains a copy of the Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine by Eric A Weiss M.D.  This is a good little book that provides you with a lot of good emergency medical information. The kit contains a 25g QuikClot and enough dressings to stop bleeding on most major wounds.

Adventure Medical Field Trauma Kit contents

Bandage Materials

  • 4 – Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1″ x 3″
  • 3 – Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
  • 2 – Bandage, Butterfly Closure
  • 1 – Bandage, Elastic, Self Adhering, 2″
  • 2 – Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2″ x 2″, Pkg./2
  • 2 – Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 4″ x 4″, Pkg./2
  • 1 – Dressing, Non-Adherent, Sterile, 3″ x 4″

Bleeding

  • 2 – Gloves, Nitrile (Pair), Hand Wipe
  • 1 – QuikClot Sport 25g
  • 2 – Trauma Pad, 5″ x 9″

Blister / Burn

  • 11 – Moleskin, Pre-Cut & Shaped (11 pieces)

Instrument

  • 3 – Safety Pins
  • 1 – Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps

Medical Information

  • 1 – Comp. Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine

Medication

  • 1 – After Bite Wipe
  • 2 – Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
  • 1 – Aspirin (325 mg), Pkg./2
  • 2 – Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2

Wound Care

  • 8 – Antiseptic Wipe
  • 1 – Dressing, Petrolatum, 3″ x 3″
  • 1 – Tape, 1/2″ x 10 Yards
  • 2 – Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use

If you are a well-trained medical professional this may not be the kit for you or you may choose to supplement it with additional supplies.  But for most of us this is a great kit to take backpacking or to carry in your car.  I carry one in my get home bag. Howard

Pellagra and How to Treat Corn to Prevent It.

 

pellagraRecently, I came across some people storing large amounts of corn without fully understanding the vitamin deficiencies that can result in pellagra.  They have some 55-gallon barrels in their storage and are planning on using corn as a main staple.  This was based on their understanding that it was commonly used in the South and by many of the Native Americans as a staple in their diet.  As a result, I have decided to reprint a post I put up several years ago on this subject.

Treating Corn to Prevent Pellagra

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned corn and pellagra.  Pellagra was a vitamin deficiency disease caused by a lack of niacin.  It became an epidemic in the south during the great depression. Corn was a main staple eaten by many of the poor.

When corn was first introduced into non-Native American farming, it was generally welcomed with enthusiasm for its productivity.  However, a widespread problem of malnutrition soon arose wherever corn became the main staple.  This was a mystery since these types of malnutrition were not normally seen among the Native Americans to whom corn was the principal staple food.

It was eventually discovered that the Native Americans learned long ago to add alkali—in the form of wood ashes among North Americans and lime (calcium carbonate) among South and Central Americans—to corn meal.  This liberates the B-vitamin niacin, the lack of which was the underlying cause of the condition known as pellagra.  This is known as Nixtamalization and corrects the niacin deficiency.

Pellagra seldom occurs among people who eat corn pellagra. The soaking of the corn used to make the tortillas increases the availability of the niacin.  Masa Harina which is sold in many Mexican stores is corn meal treated with lime.  The lime that corn for tortillas are soaked in is “Calcium Hydroxide” or “Pickling Lime”…not lime juice.  Hominy is another process that treats corn with lye (alkali) and liberates the niacin.

Besides the lack of niacin, pellagra was also characterized by protein deficiency, the result of a lack of two key amino acids in corn, lysine and tryptophan.  The Native Americans had learned to balance their consumption of corn with beans and other protein sources, such as meat and fish, in order to acquire the complete range of amino acids for normal protein synthesis.

Corn, despite its limitations, is still an excellent storage food.  The best variety to store is yellow flint or dent corn.  They are low in moisture if properly dried.  They make good polenta meal and flour.  Popcorn should not be ground in most mills due to its extreme hardness.  Several mills such as The Family Grain Mill and the Back T Basic Mill recommend that their mills not be used for popcorn.

This is a good example of why you would want a good variety in your food storage.  I will try to publish recipes for making tortillas and hominy the old-fashioned way in the next few days.

Howard

 

LED Flashlights, and AA and AAA Rechargeable Batteries.

LED flashlightsI like flashlights, having worked in both fire and law enforcement I have had many occasions in which have I needed to depend on one.  In the old days, the majority of us carried D cell Maglights.  I still have a few around and they are still reliable.  Maglights were big and heavy which was both good and bad.  Bad when you had to carry it, but great when you had to hit someone with it.  However, technology has improved and the LED flashlights are a better choice for my purposes.

I always have at least one flashlight in my everyday carry and often two.  With the advent of LED bulbs, the new flashlights are so small and easy to carry.  I probably own 30 flashlights. Because of my fascination with them; people are always giving them to me.  I play with everyone I get and have formed some opinions on them.

LED flashlight

Hybrid flashlight

First, I have not found a wind up or shake flashlight that is any good.  Don’t waste your money on them.  Now solar is another thing entirely.  About five years ago, I found a hybrid solar flashlight that works well.  I have had several of them sitting on window ledges around the house.  The sun keeps them charged and they are as bright today as when I bought them.  Here is a link to a review I did on them in 2011 Hybrid solar flashlight review

My everyday carry LED flashlight is either a Fenix LD 10 or a Fenix E01.  The LD 10 uses AA batteries and the E01 AAA batteries.  The only reservations I have about these flashlights and many other LED flashlights is that some have circuitry that could be affected by EMP.  The cheaper ones may survive better than the fancy ones.

LED flashlight

A Fenix E01 attached to my key ring.

Today I would recommend that any LED flashlights that you purchase use either AA or AAA batteries.  These batteries are small, lightweight and are available in a rechargeable format.  The Sanyo Eneloop are very good batteries, holding their charge for years and can be recharged up to a 1000 times.  They are my favorite battery.  A review of the Eneloop NiMH Batteries

Solar chargers like the  ones by Goal Zero and Powerfilm are lightweight small and can recharge 1000’s of batteries. Here is a link to further information on them A Good Portable Solar Charger, the New Goal Zero Nomad 7 and A Nice Little Solar Charger.

LED flashlight

Goal Zero Nomad 7 and the Guide 10 battery pack..

Another advantage of using AA batteries is that today you can buy AA powered GPS, flashlights, FM Radios, Handi talkies, lanterns, sensor lights and many other things that use them.

Cheap AA and AAA LED flashlights are available almost everywhere, anybody can afford to purchase several.  In my experience, they all seem to work fairly well even the cheap Chinese ones.

Howard

Taking Care of the Elderly for Preppers

care of the elderlyRecently, my life was thrown into disarray by the loss of my mother and now we have to take care of my father.  With all of this going on, we have learned quite a bit of what is required to take care of the elderly and now we are going to try to pass some of this knowledge on to you.

My mother was 92 and lived a good life.  She was able to die at home with the help of friends and family.  My father still lives in the same home, again with the help of friends and family.

Congestive heart failure and old age was the cause on my mother’s death, although she also suffered some affects from a stroke she had 15 years ago.  There is a whole list of things that you should stock to help keep someone as comfortable as possible during their last days.

    • Commodes
    • Adult diapers
    • Walkers and possibly a wheelchair
    • Canes
    • Any special medications or medical apparatus.
    • If they need oxygen and you have a concentrator, can you power it?
    • You need to keep a list of medical conditions, prescriptions and other important information.
    • Extra sheets and blankets
    • Pads and medications for bedsores.
    • We used the Cleanlife Shampoo and body wash that requires no rinsing. See a post on these products No Rinse Shampoo and Body Washes 
    • Pain killers, at least over the counter

Fema estimated that the majority of those over 70 years of age and those who are functionally disabled or medically dependent will die within the first thirty-days of a full-scale national disaster.

To help make their last days more comfortable, talk to them, spent time with them, if they are coherent get them to talk about their past.

As you can see from the Fema studies most of you who are taking care of functionally disabled or medically dependent will be faced with the death of a loved one shortly after a major national disaster.  The above items will help you keep your patient comfortable during their last days.

After they pass, you will have to clean and dress the body for burial.  In our case my wife and one of our granddaughters prepared my mother’s body for burial.  Treat the body with respect, but be prepared to dispose of the body rapidly, depending on the weather the body can start to decompose rapidly.  A body bag or sheet plastic may be a useful item to have.

I know that this is a gruesome subject, but it is something that we will all have to face at some point in our lives.  In our case, our faith in a living God helps.  But you each have to find your own way to deal with this; it is not a subject from which you can hide  We will write more later on caring for bedsores and how to handle hygiene problems.

The time that you spend taking care of the elderly will have great meaning to you after they pass, you will know you have done the best.

 

Howard

An Interview with Kelley from Ready Reserve Foods.

Ready Reserve FoodsHere is an interview with Kelley from Ready Reserve Foods.

Howard

How long have you been in the food business?

Kelley – Since 1972, 42 years.  We are the oldest continually operating company in the entire industry.

What is your main motivation for staying in business?

Kelley - The need and want to create a prepared society has never been more important, and we create the best products to do that.

Do you have a military background?

Kelley - No

What Brands of Food do you sell?

Kelley - We manufacture and sell the Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. product line.

What is your favorite brand?

Kelley - Not to be biased, but our favorite brand is Ready Reserve Foods, Inc.  We use the products on a daily basis, know the quality, and have been able to actually prove and test our preservation methods.

What is the oxygen level in the brands of foods that you carry?

Kelley – 0%-<2%.  Our Nitrogen Preservation System creates a completely oxygen free atmosphere.  We slowly pull out the oxygen atmosphere using a vacuum chamber, which creates a negative atmosphere.  We then slowly refill the chamber with nitrogen.  Because cold nitrogen is so much heavier than air, it fills the containers from the bottom to the top, like water would, and displaces any additional oxygen out of the can and addresses any atmospheric moisture that may be present. The can is then immediately pushed out of the chamber and sealed, ready for storage.

Has your food been independently tested?

Kelley - Not by a lab, but by thousands of customers over the last 42 years.  We receive phone calls all of the time from customers who purchased foods in the 70’s or 80’s, opened up their cans, and the food was still good.  They’re amazed! We still recommend replacing the foods after a certain period of time because the natural breakdown of food can only be slowed, not stopped.

Why doesn’t nitrogen flush work?

Kelley - Nitrogen flushing is completely different than the Nitrogen Preservation System that we use.  Instead of removing the oxygen from the atmosphere and then slowly adding the nitrogen, a nitrogen flush simply “squirts” nitrogen gas quickly over the container of food creating a blanket.  This is an inefficient method for long term storage.  Think of a bucket of rocks.  If you were to take a hose and simply spray the bucket for a few seconds, most of the water would splash out and it certainly wouldn’t be enough to fill the container.

What method do the brands that you carry use to control the oxygen levels?

Kelley - We have used the Nitrogen Preservation System for 42 years.  It is a time tested and proven method of long term food storage.

Are there Chinese foods in the products you sell?

Kelley - All of our suppliers are domestic, however, a few items must come from out of the country.  Our bananas come from the Philippines, and occasionally during a national shortage, our wheat comes from Canada.

What about foods from Mexico or other countries?

Kelley - Since bananas are not grown in the Unites States, they come from the Philippines.  During a national shortage, the wheat occasionally comes from Canada.

What would you warn consumers to look for in purchasing foods?

Kelley - Avoid oxygen absorbers.  We have seen companies come and go for decades because they promise an extended shelf life using oxygen absorbers.  The truth is that an oxygen absorber is designed to work for a few years, not decades.  The oxygen absorber packet is a small package of chemicals that oxidizes in a chemical reaction when activated.  The oxidation process turns the chemicals into rust inside of the packet, which then sits there with your food.  One of the biggest problems we’ve seen is that sharper edged foods like potatoes can easily puncture the packet and spill chemicals, contaminating and destroying the food.  It also does not address atmospheric moisture that may be present in the food.  This can cause future mold.  This is one of the many reasons why they do not work for long term storage.  Also, the quality of the cans is much more important than people realize.  An aluminum or non-enameled can comes in direct contact with your food.  This can and will cause a reaction that makes the food taste like metal.  Also, if the food is not dry enough, and properly prepared, the direct contact with the metal can also rust the can, again, destroying the container and everything in it.

Why do you think people should buy long-term storage foods?

Kelley - Over the years, we have watched thousands of people purchase their emergency food storage for  one reason or another, and then use the foods for a completely different reason that they never saw coming.  Layoffs, medical emergencies, natural disasters, and many other scenarios that have caught people off guard.  In 2005, Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. was commissioned by FEMA to provide truckloads worth of non-perishable foods to the victims’ of Hurricane Katrina.  Ready Reserve Employee’s worked tirelessly for 18 hours a day, 21 days straight to get as much food and water on semi-trucks headed to New Orleans.  It took FEMA almost 4 weeks from the time of the hurricane to when they finalized what they wanted us to send.  Seven years after we shipped the foods to New Orleans, it was brought to our attention that the majority of the food that was shipped was found in a non-climate controlled storage unit which had been untouched since 2005.  The food never made it to any of the people it was intended for.  Please do not count on the government to supply or provide for your family in times of emergency.  Rely on yourself.  You and your family are the only ones you can count on.  The more people that become prepared for an emergency, the safer and less dependent we become.

What size serving do the foods you carry have?

Kelley - That varies by the type of food you are serving.  Our serving sizes vary from a Tablespoon to a full cup.  Keep in mind the difference between what you would use for salt in a meal and what you would serve for rice, a pinch versus a cup.  A common concern that we hear is the industries use of servings.  You see many “units” of food with the description of “includes 1000 servings.”  This is deceiving .  This does not mean it includes 1000 meals.  A meal typically includes 3-5 servings.  A perfectly rounded meal includes 1 serving from each food group.  So, by definition, a unit that includes 1000 servings is really only 250 meals, or 83 days’ worth of food for one person.  Yet, it is marketed like it may feed your family for a year.  When we say our Family Unit is “enough food for 4 people for a year, “  We mean it.  It is designed for 3 full meals a day, per person, for an entire year.  That’s 4 adults, for a year.

Why should people buy from you?

Kelley - Here at Ready Reserve Foods, Inc., we pride ourselves in our quality.  Quality food, quality containers, quality preservation methods, and quality customer service.  Our food products are the best.  We take extra special care in finding the highest quality foods as local as we can get.  Our cans are made from  U.S. Steel and double enameled, and our Nitrogen Preservation System is unsurpassed and real time tested to be the best.  We have never taken shortcuts in our products, which is why we’ve been able to stick around for over 42 years.  Because of our continued relationships with our suppliers, we also have excellent pricing on our products.  We’ve been able to keep our costs down and prices competitive by not hiring overpriced spokesmen or ridiculously expensive ad campaigns.  Our dedication, expertise, and experience is unsurpassed.  We have over 60+ years’ of experience in just our management team.  This knowledge and know-how is the backbone of our company and we truly enjoy sharing the knowledge with our team and customers. We believe that creating a solid relationship is just as important as creating a solid product.  Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. has not only had the privilege of getting individuals prepared, but also large corporations, small businesses, hospitals, church groups, the military, various government agencies, and emergency response facilities.  Here at Ready Reserve Foods, Inc., you can rest assured that you and your family are prepared with the best available while purchasing from people who actually care.

Some Thoughts on Storing Water for Emergencies.

storing waterThis year with the drought, I am watching streams and other water sources disappear.  I have lived in this area for over 30 years and have talked with people who have lived here much longer and no one can remember a drought of this magnitude.  Now I know this water shortage does not affect all the areas of this country, but a large part of the western US is effected.  I strongly suggest that now is a good time to add to your water storage, so my post today is some suggestion on storing water.

If you reside in a city or urban area, you are probably dependent on a municipal water system.  In times of turmoil, they will not be reliable.  Be aware of other sources of water in your neighborhood.  For instance, rivers, streams, swimming pools, or fountains can be useful sources of water.  Ponds in golf courses and city parks may not be a good source of drinking water.  The grass around them is normally heavily fertilized and they can become filled with harmful chemicals.

Depending on where you live you may want to check with some of the older residences and find out if there are any old wells that have been capped and abandoned.

The plumbing system in high rises, office buildings, apartments and other large structures contain large amounts of water.  Become familiar with the buildings you have access to and learn how to isolate the water system from the municipal supply.  Once the system has been isolated from the municipal water system, you can drain water as needed.  It is best if the building system is isolated from the municipal system before the municipal system becomes contaminated.  If you encounter contaminated water, be sure and purify it.

Beware of fire sprinkler systems.  In cold climates, they may contain anti freeze.  The anti freeze is poison and can kill you if consumed.

Improvised methods for storing water

A friend of mine saves his two-liter soda bottles, washes them out, and fills them with fresh water.  He then throws them in the crawl space under his home.  Two-liter soda bottles make excellent storage containers.  These are strong, light and designed to hold liquids.  Every day you throw away high quality storage containers, such as juice and water bottles

Beware of plastic milk containers.  They have a tendency to break down and the lids do not seal well.  In the past, many sources have recommended using old bleach bottles.  However, the current manufacturers of bleach advise against the use of bleach bottles for water storage.  I have tried it and the water tasted so bad I couldn’t drink it.  Do not use containers that have been used to store nonfood items.

Be careful where you store your plastic water bottles.  Plastic bottles are permeable and should not be stored near flammable liquids, pesticides, or other chemicals.  They will pick up tastes and odors of chemicals and flammable liquids stored in close proximity.

Collecting rainwater is an option.  You can build a improvised cistern for storing water fairly easily. You can build one with a minimum of 3 sheets of ¾ inch plywood, plastic tarps and a number of 2x4s or 4x4s.  Build a simple box measuring 4x4x8 feet and lined with heavy plastic.  This will hold approximately 950 gallons of water.  One inch of rain from a 2000 sq ft roof will equal about 1200 gallons.  Remember you are dealing with a lot of weight so the 2x4s and 4x4s will be needed to reinforce the box.  This amount of water will weight over 7000 pounds, if you completely fill it. You can store the materials until needed.

Storing water may be one of the most important things you have to accomplish to protect your family.  Store as much as you can.

Howard