My Personal “Preparedness” Board of Advisors

24 Apr one thing

With so many preparedness voices out there (with the ever growing number of emergency preparedness “experts” on the internet and otherwise), I thought I’d focus my post today on a preparedness planning idea I’ve used that’s helped me filter and safely navigate all the information (and misinformation) as well as keep things balanced in my life.  It’s not always 100% fool proof, but it’s a whole lot better than going it alone.

First off, as far as preparedness matters go, I don’t have to tell you it’s easy to get overwhelmed, distracted, scared and even sometimes downright frozen from all the information that’s available and not knowing what to do with it all.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of collecting ideas feeling like you’re being productive simply by collecting them, but yet at the end of the day (or week or month) you don’t seem to have much to show for it.

What do you work on first and who do you trust for advice? Continue reading

Week #10 Winners! (including all recipes!)

19 Apr

One more week completed!  Here’s the current standing on points:

Week #10 graph Continue reading

Cook it to WIN it!! {Weeks #11 & #12 Blow Out Drawing}

18 Apr

Part of running a week by week contest like this, especially since it’s something which hasn’t been done before, is keeping a pulse (coming from you, the audience) on what’s working and what’s not.  Of course, my goal in all of this is to utilize this contest to serve the greatest number of people I can.  This said, judging by the response on the facebook contest this current week, my take is it’s not exactly what participants are looking for (which is fine).  So with that, along with the fact that I’d like to give everyone who wants it a final chance to win something fun from the contest prize bag, I’ve decided to pool the remaining weekly prizes from both weeks #11 and #12 into a drawing open to anyone who decides to submit a 100% recipe between now and the end of the contest.

This does not effect the overall participant’s placements at all.  

All who cook over the next two weeks will be eligible.

This is going to be fun!!  I’m excited for all those who end up winning these great prizes.  If you haven’t gotten involved yet, this is going to be a great opportunity to put yourself in the running for a great prize while also trying out cooking with food storage! Here’s the way I’m running the last two weeks.  Ultimately simple (or atleast it seems simple to me), but if you have questions, go ahead and ask away!

  • This final weekly drawing is open to anyone who makes a 100% food storage recipe between now and April 30th and submits it to me by email.  Submissions are due April 30th by 8pm CT.  
  • Points, as we’ve done in the past, don’t need to be counted in order to be entered for this final two week drawing, however I do need to see the recipe(s) you made either by providing a link in your email or including the recipe itself.  Additionally, three photos of the recipe need to be attached to your email:  1)  your ingredients, 2)  some kind of mid-process shot and 3)  a picture of the finished product.
  • If you’re a past participant wishing to count points on your recipes toward your overall score, continue following the main contest point rules submitting as you have in the past.  To anyone with an overall finishing “points” goal in mind, go for it!   This drawing only involves the weekly prizes I would have given out for weekly points pooled with the previous facebook contest prizes.  If you’re submitting for points you’ll still be entered to win these prizes.
  • You’re welcome to submit your email to me in the next two weeks anytime.  If you’re also counting points, you can continue to send it once a week if you prefer.  Email submissions should be sent to biggestprepper@gmail.com.  Please help me out (as before) by addressing the subject line with your name: “Name:  Weeks 11 & 12″ (or if you’re submitting weekly, as week #11/week #12).
  • Following our weekly post tomorrow (for week #10), I won’t post a weekly update again for two weeks, until Saturday May 2nd.  That post will award the four winners for the prizes you see here as well as our overall contest prize winners.

 

Weeks #11 & #12 Prize Drawing

wrap up prizes

1.

A prize package of three pantry sized cans of three great Thrive products, sponsored by our very own  Amanda Schulz (visit her shopping site here!!) Her package for you includes a pantry sized can of each of the following:

Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles

Instant Black Beans and

Freeze Dried Sweet Potatoes

thrive prize 1 (1)

2.

From Foxhill Corporation, it’s a $90 camp oven!!  Camp ovens fit over one burner of a gas or wood stove and allow you to bake as you usually would.  Simply light whatever heating source you’re using, center the oven over it and adjust the flame to reach baking temperature.  Because these units are compact, they don’t require a lot of heat.  In using one, to prevent burning, start out with low heat and increase it gradually until your temperature is right.  They’re made from rust resistant heavy aluminum, which further allows them to bake evenly.

In the collage above I pictured the smaller single unit, to demonstrate how it’s used.  However, the unit being featured for our prize is the actually the double unit, measuring 10 x 10 x 9 1/2″ and weighing 4 lbs. Additionally, the package includes:

  • Two Non-Stick Baking Pans
  • Baking Rack with Removeable Middle Shelf
  • Favorite Camping Recipes
  • Easy to Use Instructions
  • Side Handles
  • Temperature Gauge

outfitter_oven_display2

3.

From Campmor.com for emergency lighting, heating and cooking, our next prize, a Tri Outlet Safety Post, turns a propane tank into a multi-use tool!!  You just screw the pole onto a bulk propane cylinder and it allows up to three propane accessories to run at once.  The post is 30″ tall and retails for $35.99.

wrap up prizes

To go along with this prize, is a compatible lantern, the Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern, retailing for $59.99.  By placing the lantern on top of the pole, you’ll have light at the optimum height for any kind of area lighting.

4.

A distributor of Goal Zero’s easy-to-use portable solar power products, the website powerinapinch.com  is donating Goal Zero’s newest lantern, the $79.00 Lighthouse 250!! Product Description: Lantern and USB power hub in one.  This bright lantern has 250 Lumens and three brightness levels and hand crank.  Recharge through USB or solar.  Also gives you the ability to recharge all your small USB devices right from the lantern.  Integrated USB cord to recharge your phone twice, camera, gps, Guide 10, or to give a boost to a larger device like an iPad.

Lighthouse 250 Lantern

If you’re looking to go solar, whether it be panels, power packs or tools for lighting, the guys over at Power in a Pinch offer a wide variety of products to choose from.  Get an idea of what they can offer you by checking out a video (a product walk through) HERE.  

Week #10 Prize line-up

14 Apr

I’m excited to finally get to share week #10’s prizes with you!  Here’s what’s coming up this week:

the prepared hour prize 2

Brought to us by The Prepared Hour, our weekly points winner this week will receive our second collection of Do Terra Essential Oils.  It includes three 15 ml bottles, including Wild Orange, Clove and Peppermint oil and retails for $60.  If you remember, Clove Oil landed on the First Aid Supply list I posted last week  for it’s usefulness for toothaches.  In addition, each of these essential oils have many uses (including using them in your cooking if you like).  Here are some ideas of what each can be used for (as suggested HERE).  Thanks going out to The Prepared Hour for this great prize!

Wild Orange 

Diffuse Wild Orange for its effectiveness killing pathogens, and enjoy its incredible aroma while it disinfects and kills bacteria.  It is an excellent oil to diffuse in a car during long trips.  Wild Orange is certified by the FDA to be GRAS and 1-2 drops in ¼ cup of water can be taken internally for acid reflux or heartburn. Use topically for a calming, yet invigorating,  massage.  Use in a spritz to spray bed sheets or as an fragrant pathogen killing spray in bathrooms and kitchens. Use with a carrier to sooth an infant’s tummy.  Use topically in a massage during the early stages of a cold.

Clove 

Clove’s traditional use for dental pain is still helpful and is used and recommended by dentists.  A few drops on a cotton ball and placed on the painful tooth, dry socket or gum area will provide relief for an hour or two.  This application makes it a perfect addition for home dental emergency.  Its analgesic properties also make it suitable, when diluted properly with a carrier oil, for help with muscle and joint pain.  Further when mixed with water Clove can be used as an antiseptic spray to clean and disinfect surfaces and countertops. Adding one or two drops of Clove with carrier oil creates a stimulating disinfecting rinse. When diffused in to the air in small amounts, Clove is a powerful eliminator of airborne microbes.

Since this oil has strong properties it should be used with care for topical applications.  Avoid sensitive areas or those that have sensitive skin.  Usually for oils that can cause skin irritation it is best to dilute in a carrier oil at a 1% dilution or less.  Use with care during pregnancy.

Peppermint

Many studies have noted the power of Peppermint, even in smaller amounts for stomach problems.  Aromatherapists have long suggested using Peppermint either internally, aromatically, or topically for indigestion, nausea, or other digestive ailments.  Topically a 1 or 2% dilution with a carrier can be massaged over the abdomen.

Peppermint is often used to improve mental alertness and acuity. Apply Peppermint to the back of the neck to help relieve stress and tension. It can be applied to the temples to relieve headache. When applied to the bottom of the feet, Peppermint creates a cooling sensation and may help to reduce fever.  Its aroma is uplifting and invigorating and when used topically can be soothing to tired, sore muscles.  Its cooling sensation is perfect for fresh breath and opening the sinuses and airways.  The FDA certifies Peppermint as GRAS.  Mixing a drop of Peppermint with a blend of other oils will help the body absorb the constituents faster.  Caution:  Has a strong cooling sensation.  Do not use with infants.  Use with care during pregnancy.

Facebook People’s Choice Prize:

people choice logo1

 

This week’s facebook contest prize is a collection

of a few of my favorite books!

**

The Everyday Gourmet by Shari Haag

I’ve used this book over and over again on my journey cooking with food storage as well as here on the blog.  Unfortunately this book is no longer available for purchase (unless you count the single used copy I found on Amazon for $125).  It’s a great book in learning to add a bit of style to cooking with long term food storage!  I feel like I’ve gained all the use from it I can personally, so this book is being given away straight from my own book shelf.  The type of person who is working hard on their family’s food storage recipes is exactly the type I want to pass it on to! :)

In addition to searching for it’s title here on my blog, here are two other reviews on the book for you to check out:

Eating Food Storage’s “My Favorite Food Storage Books”

And Prepare Today’s review on one of it’s recipes found here.

FS cookbooks 005

 

“So Easy to Preserve”

from The University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension

With canning season right around the corner this extension book, “So Easy to Preserve”, details everything you’d want to know about canning and preserving.  It came highly recommended to me by a canning expert who I personally trust (and who’s guest posted on canning here), Cheryl Driggs.  Because it seems to go in and out of being found “in stock” on the extension’s site, I ordered an extra to be able to give one away.  Authored by two Ph.D’s in food science, you’ll be able to trust the direction it gives you as you use it for a reference in canning and food preservation.

Books

Bread in a Bag by Pam Emick

Compliments of the author, another favorite book of mine is in the mix this week:  “Bread in a Bag”.  I reviewed this book a while ago and I love the concept and recipes it offers.  It’s all about “pantry-meal” type convenience for breads!  Thanks Pam, for offering this book to this week’s winner!

FS -- Bread in a Bag 003

 Water Treatment Kit Prize

For whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget is having problems for me this week, so the water treatment kit from Water Pure Technologies will instead be given away to the contestant who has the most points in this week’s submissions who hasn’t yet had a chance to win it!  Easy enough! :)

h2o-resq-kit_3

Alright then, I’ve taken enough of your time gabbing on this.  Go on and get cooking!

Weekly recipe/points submissions are due to me Wednesday night (for anyone who’s new, you can check out the details on submissions here) and {important} our facebook contest (detailed here) will end instead at 7 am CT on *Saturday morning* this week, so I don’t have to wait up late to call it at midnight, lol!  I’m getting old and I need my sleep!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

Week #9 (including all recipes!)

13 Apr graph

I’ve been trying to decide the most helpful format in which to archive our participant’s experiences since many of you have been asking how you can get a list of their recipes.  For me, one of the best parts of this contest has been the additional ideas and resources discovered through our contestants and I don’t want this information to get buried as just another contest.  Instead I see it as a collection of experiments that can become a useful part of the blog.    So this new format is what I’ve come up with.

So this is how it’ll go from now on… I’ll be updating each of our past weeks in the same way you see here.  My goal is to have everything done and ready for you in this way by the end of May.  However, if you want to know the information on any specific recipe you’ve seen sooner than that — (for example, if you’re participating and you want to try one of these recipes for yourself) just sent me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out.

Alright then, to get started, let’s see where our participants stand in placement overall as well as what they’ve earned in points!

Continue reading

First Aid Supply Lists {6 Printables}

10 Apr

For my own preparedness goals lately I’ve been working on updating our emergency binder as well as our first aid kits.  And since the cook of the family is most likely also the nurse (as well as many other things) I’m sure these lists will come in handy to you as well.  Don’t we all love lists!!  How I wish coming up with a food storage plan was as easy as just following a list like this!

spring-tonic-Norman Rockwell

Thanks to Holly Drennan Deyo, author of the book “Dare to Prepare” for compiling all of this great information!  I’ve redesigned this collection of ideas into 6 printable “check list” style pages to add to your emergency binder.  In my experience, it’s the most complete first aid supply list I’ve ever come across.  No question, many years of thought and experience as a preparedness expert went into it.   See what she suggests, use what you need from it and once it’s together feel confident that you’ve covered all the bases.  You can have the best first aid kit on the block (or many miles around)!

Also, you’ll notice that most every item also includes in parenthesis the name of a product which fits that description, so you’ll easily be able to locate everything in your shopping online or at the store.  After your kits are finished the way you like them, you can use these pages to keep track in keeping them stocked. Continue reading

Week #8 Winners!

5 Apr easy-week2

Drumroll… we have three winners to announce for week #8’s contest! Continue reading

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