Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A 30 Day Hiatus from the Grocery Store

My family has been engaged in an adventure...a non-shopping adventure (who'd'a thunk it for me)! It has surprised me how much I've enjoyed it.

We decided February 4 not to go grocery shopping for 30 days. We decided spontaneously, which makes the experiment that much more real. In today's economy--which threatens to throw up nearly every day we wake up--one never knows when there might be a hitch-in-the-ol'-getta-long regarding the nation's food supply.

I'm happy to report that we are two weeks into the adventure and it has been fun. No, really. I'm shocked how it's been ok. Something that a few years back would have freaked me out has actually been ok. And guess what, we're eating healthier.

That's right. We're now actually eating all that oatmeal I have in plastic containers, that I've stored forever but just couldn't bring myself to eat. Who'd want to eat oatmeal when sopping-with-sugar store-bought cereals beckoned from my pantry?

But now that those cereals ran out, my kids have actually transitioned to the MUCH healthier, more natural foods. We're getting healthier (who doesn't know the benefits for the heart that comes from eating oatmeal and cream of wheat?)!

So you might want to try it. Of course, don't do this if you haven't been storing food here and there. And it's not like we have a whole year's supply of goodies. I still have work to do like everyone else. But the prophets have counseled us to have at least a 90-day supply of food we are used to eating. That is what we've been working on saving...with longer-term food as our next goal (to round out a complete year's supply of food).

Thus, I wanted to test what we'd done by using this 30 day hiatus. And it's been a blast. You oughta try it! It will show what you're lacking and what you've done well on. If the bird flu or any other disaster were to hit, you'd be glad you tested your supplies prior to a real emergency!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Making Lists and Checking Them Twice

I'm making lists and checking them twice, but it's not for Christmas. It's for my family's preparedness. Two years ago, the word "preparedness" might have been viewed as silly. Prior to the housing bust, prior to banks being bought out by the government, prior to food prices rocketing, prior to severe layoffs rippling throughout the United States, prior to...well, prior to all this, those who "preached" preparedness were viewed a bit extreme.

But suddenly, people see the value of being the grasshopper prepping for winter (or whatever that little creature was in Aesop's fable). Suddenly, "preparedness" makes sense. And no, my family's not perfectly prepared (can anyone be?). But I am trying.

So that's why I'm making lists and checking them twice. Lists like these desires of mine:

  • plant fruit trees in the spring
  • learn to use herbs for health
  • gather important papers into one location
  • teach children emergency skills, such as CPR and first aid
  • set up a ham radio system
  • learn Morse code
  • etc.
All of these might seem extreme if the economy were sound. All of these might seem extremely wise while facing unexpected emergencies. I'd rather lean on the "wise" side and be ready if need be.

So yes, I'm making lists, checking them twice, and then working to accomplish each item. It may take me years, but then the legacy I leave my children will be a priceless one (and they will have learned safety for the "winters" in their lives).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Preparedness is a Lifestyle

Preparedness is a lifestyle.

The more I've thought on preparedness, in all forms, the more I've realized it is a lifestyle. It's picking up two bottles of ketchup at the grocery store instead of one. It's keeping a list of emergency phone numbers in your purse at all times. It's putting the letters ICE next to the two most important phone numbers in your cell phone (emergency responders look for these letters to know who to call--if they've found you unconscious somewhere).

The more you do on a daily basis to be prepared, the more you realize it's all "baby steps" anyways. Little by little soon becomes a lot.

So don't despair if you don't have the two weeks of food & supplies the government now recommends (in lieu of the old-fashioned 72-hour kits). Just start today...with a second bottle of ketchup. :0)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Passivity Kills

Are you or a loved one going into a hospital any time soon? This article at is a must-read: Don't Let a Hospital Kill You

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"The Importance of Other People in our Preparedness Plans"

"The Importance of Other People in Our Preparedness Plans" is the title of an article at the site (an excellent site, by the way). Claire Wolfe raises an essential issue: when/if times get really bad, do you let neighbors or community members into your life? Or do you purely hunker down, with hardness in your eyes? Her points are well worth reading. Here's the link:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Even Bigger Quake Could Hit Midwest

"Even Bigger Quake Could Hit Midwest" is the title given by LiveScience Senior Editor, Robin Lloyd, at for the editor's 4/18/08 article. Living where I do, I hadn't heard about the 5.2 earthquake the US's midwest experienced on Friday, April 18, 2008.

Apparently the coalescence of factors are raising concerns for scientists regarding this portion of the United States. So my question is: are you ready for any sudden event? If not, here is a quick suggestion. Make a list of priorities and activities you can take so that by three days from now, you are more prepared than you were just yesterday.

Remember, preparedness is a lifestyle, not a one time event. Don't feel badly if you're not perfectly prepared; just take it step by step. Little by little soon becomes a lot!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Children Hurt? Which Hospital?

I read an article today at CNN that spoke of the problem some ERs have in treating children. Whether the child's emergency is an asthma attack or a broken leg, some hospitals only have adult-sized equipment. This is a problem if a baby needs an IV or a small child needs a breathing mask.

The CNN article recommends that you decide which hospital to visit in advance of life-threatening emergencies for your children; it may make all the difference in the world (although the article does point out that you just need to get your child to ANY hospital if they only have minutes to live).

Here is a handy link to determine in advance which hospitals near you (if any) specialize in pediatrics. I know that using a peds specialty hospital has made the difference in saving my son's life when he was dying from the RSV virus.

1. Click on this link.

2. Select the "By Zip Code" search by typing in your zip code and select the "Distance from Zip Code" mileage you desire (you may need to expand your search if your first effort does not pull up a hospital--I'd recommend initially starting with a broad radius of, say, 50 miles). Click on the Search button.

3. At the next screen, select "Type of Provider" and click on "Pediatric Specialty Hospital". Then click on the Search button (if that choice is not available, you'll need to back up and enter in a broader radius of miles).

When I selected 25 miles as my Search radius, I found two children's hospitals 19 miles or less from my home. I do know that there is another hospital with a specialty wing for pediatrics in my area. I'm not sure why it didn't show up. But this website at least will help you get started reviewing your options.

Again, if your child is dying or really struggling, you just need to get him or her to the closest hospital. Period. But if you have a choice, for example, a scheduled procedure, why not do some research and find a hospital that specializes in serving the smallest amongst us!

P.S. Here is a link to a consent form to have at home for babysitters, should your children need medical attention. Nothing like preparedness to help reduce fear during difficult times. And make sure to read the CNN article, "How to Find the Best ER for Your Child," for all the terrific ideas they offer for emergencies with children.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Water Emergency x 4

OK, what is it that I'm not getting? I've now had four water emergencies in less than three weeks.

Water Shortage #1: City Boil Alert

A short time ago, my city announced an emergency "boil water" alert that lasted for (what felt like) days. Do you know what a pain this is? You can't wash dishes easily, you can't shower easily, and you have no running water that you can trust. Talk about an eye-opener.

Water Shortage #2: Broken Water Pipe

Not two hours after the city lifted the water alert, my husband accidentally cut into our main water pipe outside the house while edging the lawn. Yep, this is right. My neighbors now have clean water again, but we've had to turn ours off. Oh, showering is starting to look like bathing in liquid gold.

Water Shortage #3: Broken Kitchen Faucet

True, a broken kitchen faucet is not a water emergency per se, but when the handle snaps off and your husband is working two jobs and not home, this means you are without water in the kitchen ... for what feels like a very long time (although it ended up being only 3 days). Ever tried washing dishes in the bathroom?

Water Shortage #4: Replacing Water Dial-Thinga-Ma-Jiggy

OK, so not a very official title, but I can't remember the true name for the main water measurer-thingy the city uses to see how much water you guzzle. But just yesterday, the city employee showed up out of the blue to tell me my water would be shut off once again, so he could change to a new dial-thinga-ma-jiggy. Once again, I'm without water ... in less than three weeks time or so.

I think I'm getting the message that emergency preparedness MUST include having a water storage system of some kind! (Otherwise, a family gets awfully thirsty!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Electronic gadgets dumping viruses on your Computer

You're not going to believe this. First, viruses came through email. Then news agencies alerted consumers not to download porn, because that brought a slew of additional trash (well, duh). But now get this.

You know that iPod gizmo you just bought? Or that lovely digital photo frame from Target? Or that cool TomTom navigational tool? Hmmm, hmmm. Some of them are coming with viruses and trojan pieces of software set to steal your computer passwords to things such as...your bank account.

Security experts are just now learning that this may be bigger than a few incidents here or there. Just when you thought it was safe to get back on your computer!

Click here to read more and to learn what you can do to protect you and your family:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

4 Years to Extinction?

The phrase, "4 years to extinction," caught my eye today when reading a news report about bees dying in droves. Einstein stated his opinion as to the importance of bees when he reportedly said, "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Why would bees be so important? Here is the link to the Einstein quote and the article that explains. "Collapsing Colonies: Are GM Crops Killing Bees?"

We're Out of Water!

Here is a link to my experience recently of "no water." It brought attention to my mind of what happens if you're not prepared. The link also contains an easy family home evening discussion to help your family start becoming even more prepared for unexpected events.

Remember, preparedness is a lifestyle - not a one time event. I learned this even more with the events of last week!


C.S. Bezas

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Preparedness Blogs

I've been blogging recently on Preparedness issues over at I invite you to take a look!

Remember: Preparedness is not a one time event ... it's a lifestyle! No matter what you do to prepare for emergencies or setbacks, just make sure you do something about it today. :0)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I read this "Quote of the day" on an email list. It is profound, especially as regards to the peace of mind that comes when we are daily, incrementally, living in a preparedness way. The peace that comes cannot be bought.

"Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself." -- Rabbi Abraham Heschel

Just what things have you said "no" to so that you could add to your year's supply or create that all-important 72-hour kit (that now the government is calling a two-week kit)?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back to School

OK, I admit it. The back to school flurry hit, in addition to teaching early morning seminary classes for the youth. But now that things are moving forward, I'm back with (hopefully) helpful tips to help you live a preparedness lifestyle.

We never know when things can hit. Crises are rarely anticipated. But for those who have planned for a variety of eventualities, these times of crisis can be less rigorous (not fun, but at least less rigorous).

Here's one thought: if you couldn't get to the vet for a seriously long period of time, do you have supplies for your little furry ones? OK, maybe your furry ones are big (or include the men in your home...but that's another story. You can always buy razors for them!).

Regardless the size of your furry pets - or scaly, etc - they are going to need certain items that you may not be able to purchase from the store. In the event of an emergency, do you have a sufficient supply of flea and tick repellant?

What about pet food? Or access to clean drinking water?

What about heart worm preventative meds? When I was a kid, we had two dogs die from heart worm disease. It was horrible. I would never want an animal to go through that misery.

Thus, the question for today is: do you have sufficient meds for your pets to care for them, should you not have access to a vet? Here are some links for online pet stores to help you get started. I haven't purchased from them, so can't vouch for them, but at least it will help you begin researching your options!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Excellent Countdown

Need some help getting prepared? Here is an excellent countdown list. Couldn't be easier!

Let's "get prepared now."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Too Busy to Prepare?

Wow, it's been a bit of time since I've been able to post. Life has been busy with my family downsizing. We're downsizing so that we can have more ability for preparation in many ways. Downsizing to a smaller home, downsizing to a smaller "activity list", downsizing in as many ways as possible so that we have mental space and energy for more scripture study, more prayer, and more study of what it means to have a preparedness lifestyle.

So here's a question: are you too busy to prepare? The Lord through the scriptures often teaches of preparedness. Find some of those scriptures today and then ponder them. Then ask yourself again if your life is going by too quickly to think, let alone live a preparedness lifestyle.

"Preparedness" implies time to ponder on your family's needs and then actually plan how to meet them. Then it necessitates taking care of those needs. If your daily schedule screeches from one car pool to practice to meeting to...etc., how will you be able to do what you need for your family's preparedness?

I'm finding "downsizing" temporally and mentally gives me a much better chance at helping my family be ready for whatever may come - be that a micro family issue (such as illness) or a more global issue (such as a national issue).

TIP: Begin downsizing and removing all unnecessary expenditures in your life - whether those expenditures come in the form of time, money, or mental worry.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Repeat after me: "I Will Get Prepared Now..."

Ok, get this link. THAT is frightening.

Yet, I must admit that I fitted...fut...fat...(whatever is the past tense for "fit"?) into the category of the sorry folks that the article spoke of. That is, I fit in until now. My new goal for this year is to "Be Prepared In All Things."

So far I've been moving forward in a variety of ways.

How are you doing?

P.S. If you need inspiration, check out this link again. Then repeat after me, "I will get prepared now. I will get prepared now. I will get prepared now!"


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Definitely Not Light or Sweet

OK, ready for a power quote? This one is not easy on the ears, nor the heart. But if I avoid preparing for pending possibilities, what good does that do my sweet family?

This is Elder Bruce R. McConkie, speaking in General Conference, April 1979 (found in the Ensign, May 1979, p. 93):

Be it remembered that tribulations lie ahead. There will be wars in one nation and kingdom after another until war is poured out upon all nations and two hundren million men of war mass their armaments at Armageddon.

Peace has been taken from the earth, the angels of destruction have begun their work, and their swords shall not be sheathed until the Prince of Peace comes to destroy the wicked and usher in the great Millennium.

There will be earthquakes and floods and famines. The waves of the sea shall heave themselves beyond their bounds, the clouds shall withold their rain, and the crops of the earth shall wither and die.

There shall be plagues and pestilence and disease and death. An overflowering scourge shall cover the earth and a desolating sickness shall sweep the land. Flies shall take hold of the inhabitat of the earth, and maggots shall come in upon them. 'Their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets" (see D&C 29).

Bands of Gadianton robbers will infest every nation, immorality and murder and crime will increase, and it will seem as though every man's hand is against his brother."

The crops withering me bothers me (not that the rest is exciting). But I've just begun gardening with my little Earthboxes (see my post Earthboxes, Earthboxes.... I've become most attached to my little plants. As I water them each day, periodically I have the disturbing thought flit through my mind as to the privilege of water. As to the necessity of water - for both plants and me.

Thus, while I have time to garden - before things get really bad - I am going to garden. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm concerned about a few leaves right now being eaten by little bugs. I'm learning and I'm growing. But I'm determined while I still have time left to learn how to be as self-sufficient as possible and to put up in canning jars and other food storage ways that which I'm now growing.

Until the next time, Let's Get Prepared Now! :0)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Slow to Hearken

Oh, how I don't want this to be me!

"They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me." (D&C 101:7-8)

This is how I want to be:

"And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted. Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them;..." (Alma 57:20-21)

We don't need to be perfect to be obedient.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Those Who "Almost" Believe

I saw that expression (Those Who 'Almost' Believe) in one of the best books I've ever found on food storage. The book is called Prophetic Statements on Food Storage for Latter-day Saints. The author is Neil H. Leash and can be found here.

Here is a quote from Prophetic Statements on Food Storage for Latter-day Saints:

"Perhaps we can find meaning for ourselves by looking at Abraham's struggle concerning the city of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 18:23-33). In his situation, as you may recall, Abraham was laboring with the Lord to save the city if sufficient righteous men could be found. In our day the story might go something like this:

"'Peradventure' Lord, will thou save the Saints if we can find sufficient with seven years supply of food storage?" (as the Lord instructed the Saints through the prophet Brigham Young). And the Lord responds, 'If you find those with seven years supply, I will save them.' Then our doubt begins to set in, because we know it is very unlikely that there is hardly anyone with a seven-year food supply, so we quickly ask the Lord to consider another possibillity:

"'Peradventure' that some shall have but one year less, wilt thou save them if we can find those with six years of food storage? And the Lord answering says, 'If you can find those with six years of food storage I will save the Saints.'

"And so it goes; and as with Abraham we continue to press the Lord, trying to reduce our anxiety and cover our doubts. Thus, we have gone from 7 years of food storage to 6, to 5, to 4, to 3, to 2, and eventually to a minimum of a year's supply as the Lord, sadly, acquiesces before us - a people unwilling to extend themselves to meet the greater requirement, but one none the less in our best interest. You will also note that the Lord has reduced the amount to be stored to a minimum, from the food we regularly eat to that which would 'keep us from starving.' And so it is with us today, as the history of the food storage program has unfolded." (p. 147)

One might say, where does one store all this food? I will be researching this, because I live in a state where most homes have few closets due to the warm weather. It is also too hot to store food in the small garages we have here. So it's an interesting proposition. But it is no excuse. The Lord only asks that which we're capable of.

Oftentimes obedience is simply a shifting of priorities. I may not be able to store 12 months of food for a family of eight, but I certainly (if this were my scenario) could show my efforts in obedience to have stored at least three months worth (or whatever my home is capable of bearing).

A large dream is begun by living the smaller dream at first. Let us first start with at least one month's worth of food in storage to show the Lord we're learning to live a preparedness lifestyle. Then next month, we add a second month's worth. The following month, we add a third month's worth. Little by little soon becomes a lot.

I'd rather store a little at a time, rather than one day my children starve because I didn't get started today. Remember...preparedness is a lifestyle, not a one-time event. Thus, let's go find something to begin with today!

P.S. You might want to start by getting Neil Leash's book today. It can be found here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Quote: Harold B. Lee

Elder Harold B. Lee counseled,

“Perhaps if we think not in terms of a year’s supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn’t have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year … just enough to keep us alive if we didn’t have anything else to eat. We wouldn’t get fat on it, but we would live; and if you think in terms of that kind of annual storage rather than a whole year’s supply of everything that you are accustomed to eat which, in most cases, is utterly impossible for the average family, I think we will come nearer to what President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., advised us way back in 1937.” (In Welfare Conference, 1 October 1966.)