Zombie Survival Plans

https://i2.wp.com/img3.etsystatic.com/000/0/5250419/il_570xN.237194139.jpgI saw this sign on Pinterest and had a good laugh. Prepping can be a real downer sometimes (Just watch The History Channel’s After Armageddon or Red Dawn – maybe that could qualify for Preparedness Principle #2? :) ) so to keep things light today we’ll talk about things in terms of Zombies. More SciFi, less reality.

I was at the Grocery Store today in the bulk section, scoping out the trail mixes to vacuum seal for our 72 hour kit when a nicely dressed woman, with her grandson about the age of my son came around the corner. We had crossed paths several times throughout the store up until this point, our littles sharing 4-year-old-boy conversations (er…grunts). She mentioned that we kept seeming to find each other and asked me if I had tried any of the trail mixes myself. I mentioned that I was getting some for our 72 hour kits when she asked for some clarification. “Oh your emergency kits!” She concluded, “I just wanted some trail mix for the car ride, but I’m gathering emergency kits for all my kids for Christmas – what do you have in your kits?” We had a great conversation about it and I gave her some websites to check out. But I also thought it would be a great topic to cover here.

There are 1000 ways to make a 72 hour kit and everyone has their opinion about what to include. You can create your own or purchase them already put together, but either way I think it’s smart to customize it to your family and region.

Creating Your Own

Ready.gov puts out this list from FEMA and if you’re going to create your own kit this is a great way to start. Many of these things can be found at Walmart, Target, your local camping/fishing/firearms stores – as well as online (see my list of resources here). A few of the benefits of making your own kit are:

  • You can start small and add to it each month – no big up-front cost.
  • The supplies you purchase individually are most likely a better quality than the items that come in the pre-packaged kits.
  • You can customize the food to your family’s needs – babies, picky toddlers, dietary restrictions, etc.

Since we have small children, I created our kit myself. I used a couple of different resources – a random list I found online (probably very similar to FEMA’s), with the food kit instructions from foodstoragemadeeasy.net. Though this food kit may be subject to ridicule from die-hard preppers, it is super kid-friendly with real food that kids normally eat. Because of that, however, the shelf life is not very long and you have to continually rotate out the food. I keep track of expiration dates on a sheet of paper and check it each time I go to the store so I can rotate out as needed. Also, each “kit” fits in a milk jug so each family member can carry their own. Here are some pictures of ours from when I first put them together.

72 hour kits 00372 hour kits 005Since then, I’ve moved the contents into grocery bags, which are far easier to access when it’s time to rotate out the food. The gals at Foodstoragemadeeasy.net are AMAZING – if you’re interested in moving beyond 72 hour kits, sign up for their FREE Checklists Emails for instructions for taking the next step.

If you want a more shelf-stable food source, there are many websites to purchase food kits from. However, I recently received a sample from myfoodstorage.com. It was super easy to make (just add water) and definitely edible – my husband and I ate the Savory Stroganoff one Sunday afternoon for lunch and decided with some pepper on top and accompanied with some home made bread, it would make a great meal!

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Savory Stroganoff (iPhone Pic)

They sell a 72 hour food kit, which has a 7 year shelf life, as well as longer term food storage pouch meals with a 25 year shelf life. Like I said, there are lots of places to purchase something like this, but I mention this only because I’ve actually tried it and liked it.

Purchase A Ready-Made Kit

Just Google 72 hour kit and you’ll find unlimited resources! Here are some I’m familiar with:

These kits are great because they save time. If you are busy or just starting out and just want to know you’re covered while you are learning more about prepping, this is one way to start. However, I would encourage you to personalize even the ready made kits with items pertinent to your family. Think about what you would want/need if you had to leave your house for a few days until the earthquake debris had been cleared, the power came back on or the zombies had all been rounded up. If you have kids, what comfort items would make that time away from home easier? What activities would keep you all sane (travel card games or coloring books/crayons)? Starbucks has some amazing instant coffee, I’m just sayin’! Be familiar with the contents and the purpose for them being there. And lastly, have everything in a accessible and mobile container, in climate controlled (if possible) area to maximize food shelf-life.

I hope this gives you some ideas and direction. If you have any questions, please feel free to post below. Now get started!

Emergency Essentials Black Friday Preview

If you have not signed up on the Emergency Essentials Email List, you really should. This is one of the companies I have purchased from in the past and they are really great – reasonable shipping prices and quick to ship. Here is a sneak preview of their Black Friday deals – if you think you may take advantage of them at all, I would create your account now so that shopping will be easier on Friday. One Black Friday I shopped with them the site was VERY slow and I would think that creating your account, on top of the normal check out procedures, might be very frustrating! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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Zaycon Foods

The other day I came across this article from the Chicago Tribune: Higher Feed Costs to Drive Up Meat Prices is 2013. The first three paragraphs do a good job summarizing the entire article:

A surge in the cost of feed grain after the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has stripped many livestock farmers of profit and set off a chain of events that threatens to drive up world meat prices in 2013.

The global economic downturn has made it difficult for farmers to pass on rising costs to cash-strapped consumers, and they have sought to scale back production plans in the face of mounting losses.

In the pork industry, this has meant slaughtering breeding sows, which in the short-term can actually increase meat supplies, with the eventual decline in production not felt until 2013.

That’s right, for a little bit here, there will likely be a surge of meat to the market making prices decline slightly so if you have a freezer or are skilled at canning meat, this would be a great time to stock up!

Another option is to see if Zaycon Foods serves your area. Zaycon foods is, “…a privately owned company based in the state of Washington. The company was founded in 2009 to bring fresh meats and other products direct to consumers at wholesale prices.” You can see a list of their events here, detailing the types and quantities of meat they provide. Then sign up for free and make your purchase! The meat is on sale until it sells out and there is a very small window to pick up your order. For example, if you are in Kern County, right now you can purchase 40 lbs of 93/7 Ground Beef for $131.60, which works out to $3.29/lb.

If you purchase for this event, you must pick up your order on December 12 between 5:30 and 6:00 pm! A half hour window! But it would be a great way to stock up if you can do it. I’m going to take this opportunity to get to know my FoodSaver, which has been sitting in its box since I bought it on sale last Christmas! I’m also thinking I might portion out several 3/4 lb servings since that would stretch it even farther and I’m not sure we’ll notice the difference in the recipes I typically use (Spaghetti, chili, etc.).

I would love to know if you take advantage of this offer and/or if you see any great deals around town! Thanks for reading!

Joy & Peace in the Lord

If you have gone over to our resources page and clicked through to any of the links, you may have found the Preparedness Pro’s 10 Principles of Preparedness and noticed that the first step is Spiritual Preparedness. The weekend after I started this blog, we sang the following song in church and I knew I wanted to share it here. I want to reiterate that my goal is not to foster panic or fear, but to be wise in our steps here on earth while trusting in the Lord. The chorus sings like this:

What Joy, What Joy For those whose hope is in the name of the Lord

What Peace, What Peace for those whose confidence is Him alone.

I hope you’ll take this Sunday before Thanksgiving, and the rest of the week, to remember how much we are truly blessed by God that no matter what happens to us in the body, our citizenship is in Heaven. What Joy! What Peace!

Why Self-Reliance

Two nights ago just over half of the citizens of the United States voted to re-elect President Obama for a second term. While half of the country celebrates that victory, several people I know are feeling a sense of loss. I see it as a confirmation that, despite hoping otherwise, the makeup of our country has indeed changed. I suppose I had a sense of it over the last few years as I began taking measures to rid our family of debt, change my approach to home management, become a work at home mom and stumble unintentionally into homeschooling. I just didn’t realize the switch had indeed already taken place.

As I see a general shift in the values and culture of our country, I wonder what can be done. Raised by a stand-up-and-fix-it mom, I knew there had to be something, but I felt that the political solution ship had sailed. It occurred to me that all I could do was preserve the values I held dear by teaching them to my children and sharing my resources with family and friends. If the next generation knows nothing about personal responsibility, freedom, hard work and the like, it won’t be because of my negligence! I also decided to start this blog as a place to share the resources I’ve found in my journey of preparedness and self-reliance. I hear from many family and friends about their desire to have some extra food on hand or to create a 72 hour kit and now I will have a centralized virtual location to send them for all the necessary information. I am in no way an expert on the topic and welcome any input from you as you interact with the topics presented here. I simply desire to start the conversation and provide resources.

I choose the term self-reliance to describe the topic of this blog because I believe it is an important quality in a good citizen. We have so many recent examples to pull from as we’ve watched Super Storm Sandy, Katrina, and the recent Tsunamis. Many people failed to have even just an extra bottle of water on hand and the resulting anger and outbursts about the failure of the government to rescue them was astounding to me. What if we adopted this vision instead: Imagine you have, little by little, gathered a 72 hour kit, worked to eliminate your debt and have some camping supplies on hand. Disaster hits and you can not only have supplies to sustain your family until the dust settles, but you are free to help your neighbors. Imagine that someone in your household loses their job but because you have maintained a debt free lifestyle and have some extra food on hand, you are able to better weather the economic storm until a job can be found. What I am promoting is not panic-based hoarding, but wise plodding that leads to gain (Proverbs 21:5). Being self-reliant in this way frees us up to be helpful to others.

Being someone who relies on God, I find the term “self-reliance” a little unfortunate since it essentially means to depend on one’s self. My use of the term on this blog refers, in the earthly sense, to the difference between depending on others for your well being and becoming co-dependent in a way that leads to slavery, and taking the responsibility for your livelihood as much as possible so as to owe no man anything. I believe self-reliance was a value of those who founded this country and the government was set up to take care of certain things, but to be hands off on most everything else, allowing each man to pursue the life he dreamed of and worked hard to build. I write from an evangelical worldview, but I do not want to pretend I speak for God. Where I use scripture references, I am simply siting the reason for my perspective.

Again – Please feel free to comment and pass on your own tips and ideas – I’m starting this blog not to set myself up as an expert but to hopefully spark some discussion and I hope you’ll join me in rediscovering self-reliance.

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