Food Storage

The 4 Step LDS Guide to Preparedness

A few years ago the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints introduced a new program for home storage. As with any plan, they encouraged their faithful to start “modestly.” In olden times, what seemed expected was out of reach for most. The new approach is within everyone’s grasp. Survivalists agree and encourage us to build a 72 hour kit to be prepared, and then build from there to a month, three months and so on.

The pamphlet, “All is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage,” published by the LDS Church, takes a simplified, four step approach to building home storage. This article is designed to take you through the highlights of those steps.

We begin with step one – to gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet until it is sufficient for three months. It may be obvious to some, but I want to mention the food we are being encouraged to set aside food that will store well; Canned fruit, protein, vegetable, cereal, and dried goods that will not need to be rotated every few weeks. Make a list of what you have and when it expires. Rotate your stock.

Step two – Store drinking water. We can live without a lot of things; water is NOT one of them. It is a high priority. I encourage people to have a month’s supply of water per person. That is a gallon of water per day for 30 days and I know what you are thinking, “That is a lot of water!” It can be and it can take up a lot of room if you are stacking cases of bottled water. Consider using water jugs or better yet, a plastic 55 gallon water barrel, where water can be easily transferred into smaller containers.

Step three – Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable amount. It doesn’t talk about “small bills” but according to friends who have been caught in emergency situations, smaller bills sometimes work best as not everyone has access to change.

Step four – Once families have achieved the first three objectives, they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such as grains, legumes, and other staples. This objective speaks for itself.

I want to honor the local Church for their continued commitment to supporting their flock in terms of preparedness and in creating a guide each of their members can follow. It just makes sense. Fill in as you deem necessary with flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, medicine, extra clothes and blankets. Getting prepared and staying prepared is easy. You just have to get started.

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Food and Water Storage – Think in 3’s

Prepare for adversity by storing an emergency supply of food and water.
Earthquakes, fires, severe storms, and power outages are just some of the potential emergencies we may encounter. Imagine that you have no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service. What would happen if you are told to evacuate your home in the next ten minutes? Imagine that all the businesses are closed and you are without any kind of emergency services. What will you do until help arrives?

The 3 day emergency food and water supply is meant to be a quickly accessed, portable source of food and water that can sustain you and your family for several days. It should be stored in one or two containers for quick portability.  The foods chosen should be ready-to-eat without the need for cooking.

The 3 week3 month emergency food and water supply are meant for a disaster where food and water delivery may be interrupted. Hurricane Katrina was a perfect example where the normal delivery of food was interrupted. Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet by purchasing a few extra items each week. Expand on this until you reach your goal.  Not all of these foods will be ready-to-eat and plans must be made to store the necessary means to prepare them.

Long term food supply is stored for one to many years. This type of food storage emphasizes a mixture of canned goods that can be safely stored for several years and low moisture foods that can be safely stored for long periods (10-30 years). These foods must be stored along with equipment to prepare them. A typical long term food supply for a family of four could weigh as much as 1500-2000 lbs. That’s almost a “ton” of food!

Courtesy of Utah State – Thanks Aggies!

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72 Hour Kits for Dummies

Making an Emergency Preparedness kit just makes sense. It is the right thing to do. It is also easy to do. So lets get started. Here is a checklist of items to store in your 72 hour kit so you can be prepared in case of an emergency. Consider making one kit per family member.

Food and Water
(A three day supply of food and water, per person, when no refrigeration or cooking is available)
• Water (1 Gallon/4 Liters Per Person)
• Protein/Granola Bars
• Trail Mix/Dried Fruit/Plenty of nuts
• Crackers (Multi-Grain are great as a bread substitue)/Cereals
• Canned Tuna, Beans, Turkey, Beef, etc. Canned Juice

Bedding and Clothing
• Change of Clothing (short and long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, socks, etc.) Think layers
• Undergarments
• Rain Coat and/or Poncho
• Blankets and Emergency Heat Blanks (that keep in warmth)
• Cloth Sheet
• Plastic Sheet

Fuel and Light
• Battery Lighting (Flashlights, Lamps, etc., consider the crank type which recharge by turninging a handle)
• Extra Batteries (pay attention to expiration dates)
• Flares
• Candles
• Lighter
• Water-Proof Matches

Equipment
• Can Opener (manual)
• Dishes/Utensils
• Shovel
• Radio (with batteries!)
• Pen and Paper
• Axe
• Pocket Knife
• Rope
• Duct Tape

Personal Supplies and Medication
• Prescription Medication (for 3 days)
• Toiletries (roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag, feminine hygiene, folding brush, etc.)
• Cleaning Supplies (mini hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, dish soap, etc. Warning: Scented soap might “flavor” food items.)
• Immunizations Up-to Date
• Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children’s medication etc.)
• First Aid Kit (some stores, walk-in or on-line, have ready to use kits)

Personal Documents and Money
(Place these items in a waterproof container)
• Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
• Insurance Policies
• Cash
• Credit Card
• Pre-Paid Phone Cards

Miscellaneous
• Bag(s) to put 72 Hour Kit items in (such as duffel bags or back packs, which work great) Make sure you can lift/carry it!
• Infant Needs (if applicable)

Notes:
1. Update your 72 Hour Kit every six months (put a note in your calendar/planner) to make sure that: all food, water, and medication is fresh and has not expired; clothing fits; personal documents and credit cards are up to date; and batteries are charged.
2. Small toys/games may be important too as they will provide some comfort and entertainment during a stressful time. Playing cards, something to draw on and with, puzzles, etc.
3. Older children can be responsible for their own pack of items/clothes too.
4. You can include any other items in your 72 Hour Kit that you feel are necessary for your family’s survival.

Some items and/or flavors might leak, melt, “flavor” other items, or break open. Dividing groups of items into individual Ziploc bags might help prevent this.

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EP planning for Food and Water Storage: Its easy and necessary

Prepare for adversity by storing an emergency supply of food and water.

Earthquakes, fires, severe storms, and power outages are just some of the potential emergencies we may encounter. Imagine that you have no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service. What would happen if you are told to evacuate your home in the next ten minutes? Imagine that all the businesses are closed and you are without any kind of emergency services. What will you do until help arrives?

The 3 day emergency food and water supply is meant to be a quickly accessed, portable source of food and water that can sustain you and your family for several days. It should be stored in one or two containers for quick portability.  The foods chosen should be ready-to-eat without the need for cooking.

The 3 week3 month emergency food and water supply are meant for a disaster where food and water delivery may be interrupted. Hurricane Katrina was a perfect example where the normal delivery of food was interrupted. Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet by purchasing a few extra items each week. Expand on this until you reach your goal.  Not all of these foods will be ready-to-eat and plans must be made to store the necessary means to prepare them.

Long term food supply is stored for one to many years. This type of food storage emphasizes a mixture of canned goods that can be safely stored for several years and low moisture foods that can be safely stored for long periods (10-30 years). These foods must be stored along with equipment to prepare them. A typical long term food supply for a family of four could weigh as much as 1500-2000 lbs. That’s almost a “ton” of food!

Courtesy of Utah State – Thanks Aggies!

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Get the Party Started!

Discussion around food and water storage is biblical. Better than 3,000 years ago Joseph was telling the current Pharaoh his dreams were a sign of what had happened, what was happening, and what was to come. All around us are concrete examples of why it is important to set a little something aside: money, food and water. Its not rocket science and yet, according to a recent study from Red Cross, roughly seven percent of Americans are prepared for an emergency.

Its not complicated. Like anything we want to “get good at” we have to practice. A little practice goes a long way. Exercise: 20 minutes a day, three to four times per week. An apple each day is rumored to keep the doctor away. We are creatures of habit. We do not like to be inconvenienced or to feel restless or discontent and yet, uncomfortable is how over 90 percent of us feel when the subject of emergency preparedness comes up.

Here is a simple recipe to remove the anxiety around emergency preparedness: Take a small step. Watch a dvd or video, most are FREE online (just do a google search, go to YouTube, or visit the MarksBarrelCompany.com website) or free at your local library (by the way, only 3% of Americans have a library card and they are free too!). Visit an on-line or walk-in store. While you are at the library picking up a movie, check out a book on the subject.

Understand, disasters do and will happen. Like the major water line break in the Boston area earlier this month where over two million (2,000,000!) residents in thirty cities were impacted. Local stores were cleaned out of bottled water in under an hour. No preparation. No forethought. Just pure panic.  Check out the report from WCVB TV Channel 5 in Boston at: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/23399070/index.html

Also understand being prepared just makes sense. It is NOT about doom and gloom. The time really is now. The place really is here. Just get started. Take a baby step. Contact MBC for any of your food and water storage container needs. We have a full supply of 5 gallon pails, 30 and 55 gallon drums, and we are here to help you take that first step. Everyone will most likely get their turn in the “barrel.” So we encourage you to be prepared. Make a plan. Work and test your plan. Change as needed. All of the above reduces panic and it allows you to be of service to your fellows about you. To be of maximum service for others…what a vision that is going forward.

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The “Big One”

Welcome to Earthquake Preparedness Week! (Really, it does exist. It is sandwiched between the basketball playoffs and Administrative Assistant Appreciation Week.) Recently Scott Graviet, the Salt Lake County Emergency Services Coordinator spoke about emergency preparedness and the potential catastrophes for Salt Lake. The potential for an earthquake topping 7.0 on the Richter scale poses more danger than any other natural disaster and ranks it as his number one priority.

It is estimated that nearly 100,000 homes would be left without shelter in the valley and that tens of thousands would be injured.  According to earthquake program manager for the Utah Division of Homeland Security, Bob Carey, we are in a time frame where a catastrophic earthquake is “probably more likely than less likely.” It would most likely strike along the East benches, adjacent to the Wasatch fault.  According to Carey, “There are not too many places where you can hide from significant ground shaking.”

Emergency preparedness tips for earthquakes are available online at http://bereadyutah.gov. A massive earthquake would overwhelm government services, rupture pipelines cutting off water, electricity, natural gas and telephone service for days, potentially weeks. Gaviet said people should be prepared to dig themselves out. “As you start to prepare yourself,” he said, “the anxiety goes away.” He suggested to seek training through a program such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) and to create a family plan that includes where to go and what to do should such an emergency occur. Gaviet urged people to “Prepare a 72 hour kit with food and medical supplies.”  The Red Cross recommends having an earthquake preparedness pack for your home, office, and vehicle. You can find a pack at your local Red Cross for about $70. Most items (backpack, LED flashlight, first aid kit, toiletries, granola, water, duct tape, feminine napkins, and snack food such as raisins, granola, and other non-perishables, a thin blanket to stay warm with) can be put together for less.

This is a time for preparedness and not panic. Earthquakes happen, just ask our friends in Mexico, California, Chili and Haiti as they have rocked the globe in recent months. The good news: scientists say it has been roughly 1,300 years since an earthquake topping 7.0 has struck the valley.  The potential bad news: We are due for another quake toping 7.0 about every 1,300 years.

Be sure to stay tuned into our website for the latest in food and water storage articles and videos.

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FOOD STORAGE in the LAND OF MORMON: FACT AND FICTION

There are a number of misconceptions by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and non-members alike around food storage. Rumors of LDS leaders putting the “fear of God” in their membership for certain end times which are just around the corner, insisting the LDS flock have a semi-load of dry goods and a swimming pool worth of water are out of context. Another story, just as ridiculous has the Mormons seceding from the union and hunkering down for a long hard fight with impending doomsday consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth.

LDS members, often referred as Mormons due to their belief in what their faith holds is an ancient sacred text named after a prophet who compiled the writings of his predecessors, follow doctrinal principles taught in their church which use a combination Book of Mormon and Bible. Many recall the story of Jacob’s son Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers only to become Pharaoh’s number two man in Egypt. The Pharaoh is troubled by a dream about feast and famine, which Joseph interprets as a call to save food for seven years to prepare for an upcoming seven years of famine. The First Presidency encourages members world-wide to “prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” Their practical advice is more about celebrating the abundance of a Heavenly Father by modeling Christian values of caring for one another in adverse situations. One way to do this is by prudently preparing for every needful thing over a period of time so as to be ready should a situation present itself.

Emergency circles ask for a minimum of 72 hours of supply of food and water. Practical circles suggest a three month supply of food and water. A year’s supply of food, water, and other necessities falls in line with principles taught in their church. Historically, the LDS faith have been at the forefront of many major disasters providing relief to those impacted by natural and man-made disasters. Relief in the form of money, food, water, clothes, blankets, first aid, and ready hands, arms, and legs are woven in the fabric of this Church.

As 2012 gets ever closer and yet another earthquake, fire, or hurricane impacts another community, understand LDS leaders do not over-emphasize building up food, water, and money supplies. One day at a time, step by step, members are encouraged NOT to take drastic measures in obtaining their food, water, and emergency preparedness supplies. Food storage containers filled with dry goods. Water barrels filled with water and standing ready. Blankets, warm clothes, and a first aid kit tucked away in case of an emergency. AND should one occur, perhaps you might pray that you live next to a prepared Mormon who is ready and willing to share their stash. Amen?

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5 Things I Can do to be Prepared

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 101 or 5 THINGS I CAN DO TO BE PREPARED

“DO IT NOW!” Those three little words create a sense of urgency within us. Each and every family should be prepared for a natural or man-made disaster. The time to get educated, planned, and prepared is now, not while you are in a disaster. The saying, “Better safe than sorry” comes to mind.

  1. First things first – What to get? Have enough water, food products, medications, first aid kit, and sanitary items for THREE DAYS.  Most regular services can be restored within a three day period, that is why it is vitally important to have enough materials for a 72 hours period.
  2. Emergencies can be longer than three days. So your next step is to have a three month supply of food you normally eat. This way you can rotate canned goods, grains, and other food products easily without wasting any money due to food spoilage.
  3. What is important? Survival! Creature comforts come down the line, however, storing warm blankets, a cordless radio, a flash light, and a few sets of batteries is great for emergency situations.
  4. Many ask what kinds of foods to pick when putting together an inventory. Start with the basics, such as highly nutrient wheat, white and brown rice, beans, pastas, flour, etc. Powdered milk, powdered eggs, bullion, salt and spices are a well rounded foundation.  Fill in with ready to eat meals, freeze dried foods, dehydrated foods which all have an extremely long shelf life and do not require special storage conditions.
  5. Consider your local climate conditions when getting ready for possible emergencies. Warm clothes and blankets, jackets, rain gear, gloves, hats, and a pair of sturdy shoes are things to have ready for emergency purposes.

These five basics will get you off to a great start.  Do not under estimate the value of a good education. There are many outstanding videos available on YouTube, www.MarksBarrelCompany.com, and other resources.

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Are You Prepared?

Earlier today I was on the www.fema.gov website. There continues to be a growing concern in the U.S. about what is happening with the economy, natural disasters, and world events, including terrorism. I noticed the website had a map listing out the recently declared disaster areas in America. Most of those listed, whether it was in North Dakota or Texas, I was not familiar with. Are you?

Families and businesses are beginning to wake up to the importance of being prepared for potential situations, which will lend them powerless and unable to secure their long-term food, and water needs. Most people are vulnerable to outside influences and have not made an investment in preparing for a disaster. Given that no amount of money can keep someone alive in a crisis, long term water and food storage may be the most important investment we can make.

The food and water systems we have created in our local communities are designed to support our basic day-to-day needs. It is estimated there is less than a three-week supply of food in the national food distribution network. Grocery stores keep about a one-week supply of food in their stores. Most households have even less food readily available. A serious emergency could easily cause breakdowns in the supply of essential goods and services. The non-existent food reserves coupled with a water supply that could get easily contaminated would spell disaster for millions. Are you prepared?

Most survival experts suggest a minimum three-month supply of storable food and water per person. A wise person once said it is better to buy two years early rather than a day late. Still undecided? Personally, I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. How about you? There are a variety of people readily available to lend you assistance. Contact us at www.marksbarrelcompany.com and let us help.

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