Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Go Vote

Get out and vote. We will be staying up late at our house to watch the returns and praying for our Nation.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, November 3, 2016

357 Magnum Ammo from Ammo To Go Review

The good people at Ammo To Go sent us some samples to try out and review for them.  They sent a battle pack of PMC .223 and four Federal Premium Low Recoil 357 Magnum Personal Defense (20 ct). Links are provided at the bottom of the page for your convenience.

In preparation for our review, I ordered a Plano case of 9mm before they had my contact information. This way I could get a raw assessment of their shipping and packaging department. I did opt for the additional discrete packaging for an additional 79 cents, and was impressed with the way the package concealed it's true contents. The Plano case of 9mm  was professionally packaged and delivery in great condition (just like you'd expect).

The package for review did have a cracked case on one of the boxes of the 357 magnum, but the cracked case didn't affect the ammunition in the slightest. Just rough handling on the Brown Truck. I might suggest some bubble wrap, or positioning the bottom of the box towards the outside of the box, but otherwise a flawless delivery. They also provided email updates on the status of your order and this does include a link to the shipping provider for estimated delivery date and time. For standard delivery, it took two days for both packages to arrive at my doorstop.

The Range Trip:

We were only able to review the 357 Magnum during this trip, since baby sitters only aligned with pistol cartridge day at our favorite range, Arkansas Armory. Hey! We get to go shooting again, and that makes us happy. We just might bring our two oldest boys. 

We brought several different kinds of 357 Magnum and 38 Special to compare with the Federal Premium Low Recoil 357 Magnum Personal Defense rounds. Our Smith and Wesson Pro Series Model 60 is our standard concealed carry, and these Hydra-Shok rounds are meant to be carried.

We started with standard Gold Dot 357 Magnum rounds, then switched to a 38 Special cartridge. We each ran a couple of wheels down range to get a good baseline for our comparisons, then switched to the Low Recoil test ammunition. We were hoping that the recoil from the 357 Magnum would be on par with the 38 special rounds, but were disappointed. The recoil from our Smith and Wesson (Weight: 21.4 oz / 606.7g) was more than we were expecting and perhaps a heavy revolver would help subdue, or dampen the recoil to within comfortable levels. On the flip side, you want stopping power, and these Federal Premium Low Recoil Personal Defense rounds are the bullets that you want in your gun when it's needed. The lower recoil does help get back on target a little quicker, but I'm positive that one hit and your target will be out of the fight. 

Final Thoughts:

These rounds are for things that go bump in the night. Stopping power, flawless, and the ability to get back on target for empty cylinders. 

Additional Notes:

California is trying to pass legislation to require permits for ammunition purchases to the tune of $50 for a four year permit, a background check, and a 30 day waiting period.

This election has the possibility of having another anti-gun President, so stock up on your ammo needs.

A special thanks to Maggie H. at Ammo To Go for being so gracious and allowing us to review their products. We look forward to shooting the .223 in our local national forest for another review.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Testing, Future Review, and Bulk Food Site

Just a quick note to keep my readers up to date on my adventures in life, and to drop a few tidbits. I've found a new supplier for bulk foods. I haven't ordered but the prices look really good, and thought I'd pass it along for my food storage proponents. It is called IFS Bulk, click here for a link.

I've also completed my 16 hours of continuing education to sit for the national MRI registry, and paid my $200 for the honor, over the course of seven or eight weeks. It usually takes a person 6 months to complete. I'll set my official date for testing after I jump through a few more hoops.

I've been contacted by Ammo To Go to do a review for some ammunition, and of course I accepted.

I'm shooting to get it posted before the election. Press all of your prepping budget towards the bullets side of the three Bs.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Friday, September 30, 2016

September Preparedness Month (30) Wrap Up

 On the last day of Preparedness Month, I'd like to thank everyone for visiting my humble blog. You might have noticed that I changed my closing mantra to do one small step every day. Prepping doesn't have to be a huge undertaking, but rather small simple tasks that are done when you think of them. If the power goes out for a minute, and you think it would be nice to have a flashlight, then buy one the next time you are out. You don't need a bunker to be prepared as I've hoped to demonstrate this month. Just common sense tasks...

The Bible teaches us to store food and to prepare for hard times. Even if you don't believe in God, there is a wealth of wisdom in the Bible. Aesop's Fable, a child's tales, even teaches us these things.

The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
Proverbs 21:20 NIV

The parable of the ten virgins   : The Bible again teaches us to prepare for the darkness, and the prepared are rewarded.
Matthew 25

The Grasshopper and the Ant Parable
[Link Here]

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8 NIV (emphasis mine)

"Make hay while the sun is shines"
Make hay while the sun shines" is an old saying that's considered a proverb. A proverb is an old, usually short saying that communicates good advice or something true. If you make hay while the sun shines, it means that you take advantage of the chance to do something while conditions are good. (Google)

I'll be posting less, as I prepare to sit for my National MRI registry exam. Stay safe, God bless, and take care of you and your loved ones. I'll still be reading my blogs and commenting... 

The comment section is open for your comments, criticism, and prepping knowledge.

 Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Preparedness Month (29)

As the end nears, today's post will be mainly  miscellaneous tidbits.

Sweetheart wanted me to add that gelatin, collagen, and protein powders make excellent protein sources that aren't your standard peanut butter.

Don't forget the dominant food crops of the world, so grow, store, and experiment with new menu items.

Monsoon Matriarch, of Frugal Prep,   is a strong proponent of the Emergency Essentials orange drink mix for rounding out a more balanced diet. Link here.

In the event of a long term event, vitamins would be a good item to stockpile.

Let's not forget some of the super foods that are easily stored. Pioneer Preppy, at Small Hold,  loves his lentils which are very easy to cook and a powerhouse of nutrition. Rice, get several varieties, which is most of the world's staple food.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September Preparedness Month (28)

I'm sure that a few of my readers were wondering when we would get to firearms. Well, today is the day. I recommend new shooters to talk to a friend that has pistols, and ask to go shooting with them. Most gun owners are more than happy to show new shooters the proper way to handle firearms, how to handle a pistol, and proper training. Some Arkansas ranges offer a wide selection of pistols for rental, and this is an excellent way to get a feel for a pistol.

A big box store or local armory is also a good way to get good information about guns. Make sure that the staff is friendly, doesn't talk down to you, knowledgeable,and willing to take the time with you. Go spend your money elsewhere if they act like a jackass (Don's Armory in Arkansas).

Be sure to include in your budget at the very least 200 rounds to shoot in the very near future, and another 50-100 rounds to start your ammo stockpile. Harry Flashman has a great post on long term ammo storage at this LINK. It's worth your time.

Personally, I like Ruger for the value and service. Your mileage may vary. Buy what works for you, and is comfortable in your hand when shooting it.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Preparedness Month (27)

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, or so the adage goes. During my backpacking years, wet wipes played an important role in feeling clean, and providing a general sense of well being in the back country. For under $2.00 you can purchase enough wet wipes to keep a person feeling fairly clean for about a week. This also includes using it as TP.

Today's small expenditure is to purchase a package of wet wipes for power outages, go home kit, or other uses.

I can not stress enough the general sense of well being with a cleaner body, brushed teeth, and a cup of coffee in the morning.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Monday, September 26, 2016

September Preparedness Month (26)

Some of the best long term storage treats that we have found are the dehydrated potatoes and onions for restaurant style hash browns. We also like the freeze dried pineapple chunks, apple slices, and MRE cookies and cakes.  The MREs are reasonably priced and store very well. I've had five year old MRE cookies that are still good to eat, especially the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake!

If you catch the hash browns on sale from Emergency Essentials they are actually priced better per ounce than the hash browns that you get from the grocery store.

Sweetheart likes the freeze dried strawberries slices, but we have been disappointed by the amount of strawberry dust at the bottom of the can. About half the can is dust, and I guess we could use it for strawberry pancakes or other baked goods, but we haven't experimented with it yet.

You can find some excellent deals on freeze dried foods, which has a shelf life of over 15 years, and incorporate it into your everyday menus.

Question for my experienced readers: What and where have you found great deals on long term storage foods? Leave a comment...

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September Preparedness Month (25)

Today's task will require a little thought and a few dollars. Remember the honest day's food storage? Well, today we are going to throw in a few food treats to bring the spirits up.

Cold weather? Hot chocolate for the kids, a special hot tea for the wife, a percolator for the parents sake and kid's well-being, a small bottle of Baileys for that coffee, and/or marshmallows for the fireplace are all good ideas.

Hot weather? A packet of Gatorade, sweet tea, and other cold beverages to go with those frozen water bottles from day three would be a welcome treat.

A few well stocked items could brighten an otherwise dark day. What are some treats for your family that you can think of storing today for tomorrow?

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September Preparedness Month (24)

We are in the home stretch for September Preparedness Month, and the rest of the month we'll take on small tasks to make preparedness situations a little more pleasant. Today's task is to acquire a radio for communication and news. Amazon is a great place to start researching portable radios. Check out the reviews, and remember that people are more willing to leave a bad review than a good one. Our portable radio uses 3 AA batteries and has a very good battery life it is the Grundig FR-200.

After your radio purchase, I would consider either a handheld walk-talkie or Ham radio. We have the Baofeng UV-5RAX+ which is a reasonable entry level handheld ham radio. It does need a ham license to operate, but those are easily obtained online (without Morse code now) for a nominal fee.

Another alternative is the walkies-talkies that hunters use, weather radios, or a handheld CB. We don't have either at our house, so I can't recommend a brand or model type.

Check out Amazon, and get your communications squared away.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Friday, September 23, 2016

September Preparedness Month (23)

 Today's small task will be to assemble a small first aid kit. Consider this a short term common ailment kit. This isn't a SHTF trauma kit with quick clog, and surgical tools that you don't know how to use, this is a practical everyday I've got a cut, burn, or splinter kit.

My practical first aid kit includes:

  • Fabric Bandaids (knuckle, strip, and fingertip) with a few large ones thrown in.
  • Triple antibotic ointment for cuts
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Small mirror and tweezers for splinters and things in the eye
  • Individual packets of Advil, Aspirin, and/or Aleve (Doan's is nice too!)
  • Hotel soap (to clean poison ivy urushiol)
  • Silver Oxide for burns (ask pharmacist)
  • Benadryl
  • Heart burn medication
  • Carmex lip balm in the canister
  • Baking soda self made packet (for bee stings)
I'll go into a bit more detail. The Urushiol oil from poison ivy is about as cleanable as axle grease, so wash affected area about 4 times with lots of friction and perhaps a washcloth within a few hours of contact. If a rash does develop, then relief can be sought by using very hot water (as hot as you can stand without burning yourself) to flush the area. The relief will be last a hour to four hours.

Silver Oxide is available from your pharmacist without a prescription, but be warned that it cost about $30 a tube. I told mine that I wanted a tube for a backpacking first aid kit and he was very helpful. You can get a prescription from your doctor to have insurance cover part of the cost.

Baking Soda for bee stings? Make a paste with water and apply to the bee sting area, and as the paste dries, it will draw the poison out of the skin.

So, this is our basic first aid kit...What do you have in your wallet kit?

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September Preparedness Month (22)

Okay, last one dealing with a smart phone. Nobody prints out pictures any more,so today's task we are going to stroll down memory lane and print at least 10 pictures off of your camera. I'm also guilty of this practice, and I don't recall the last time I've held a print picture. Be sure to get a matte finish since the glossy are not archive quality and get sticky over time.

This should cost only a few dollars, but will be priceless if the images are lost.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September Preparedness Month (21)

The last post, we talked about having your wallet lost or stolen and how to mitigate the effect. The next two posts, or step preps will help with your cell phone dying, being lost, or stolen. This one is rather time consuming but can be done in small steps.

Transfer all of your phone contacts onto index cards or another hard copy form. Peace of mind...

 One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September Preparedness Month (20)

 This is an old post from January,but a good action step.

You've gotten your wallet/purse lost or stolen, but thankfully you had your phone in your pocket. Stash a little cash ($20 or more if you can afford it) behind the phone case. Out of gas and they are only taking cash?

Also, have all of your credit card/debit information (contact numbers and card numbers) stored on your note pad to swiftly cancel any stolen cards. It sure beats waiting and worrying until you get home to start the process.

All the Star Wars artwork is by Row, my 10 year old.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, September 19, 2016

September Preparedness Month (19)

The best resource for food, for most people, is the grocery store. Expand your pantry to cover three honest day's worth of food for you and your family. Purchase things that you eat on a regular basis, and rotate your stock. Improve your cooking skills with shelf stable foods and slowly expand, without going into debt, your pantry.

This is part of our pantry (which needs a organizational overhaul) and how we save money at the grocery store. When products that we use go on sale, we stock up our pantry. For example, the two cases of canned organic pumpkin was on clearance after Thanksgiving for about 75 cents a can. It's usually $1.67.

I have a fairly good memory and can spot excellent deals. The top left holds our pasta, that is currently very low, but it goes on sale for .39 a pound once or twice per year. When it goes on sale, I'll probably buy about 60 pounds between three stores, since we have spaghetti night at least once per week for the five of us.

I've tracked food prices with a notebook (LINK), my phone, and on the item itself (with a sharpie) to stretch the most from our food budget.

Gradually increase the pantry's supply to feed your family longer and longer periods of time. Don't forget a manual can opener.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Sunday, September 18, 2016

September Preparedness Month (18)

We barely scratched the surface of cooking fuels in yesterday's post, and I'll go into more detail of a bare bones portable kitchen. Most of my backpacking has been in forest settings, so my fuel choice is going to be dead wood, scrub brush, or other collectable fuels along your route.

There are several books, websites, backpack forums, and other resources for finding one pot recipes. These meals can be as fancy or basic as your taste buds prefer! My favorite breakfast menu for a breaking camp day is instant oatmeal, dried fruit, and hot tea/coffee for breakfast. I've found that this meal is quick to prepare and an easy cleanup for getting on the move!

Dinners are usually a bit more involved but we have done fajitas with tortillas, stews, and fried rice in the back country with great success. One pot to cook in, eat out of, and clean. Speaking of which, I usually only carry a pocket knife and a spoon for my meals.

For my bare bones back country kitchen: A pot, lighter, knife, spoon, and endless possibilities.

 One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September Preparedness Month (17)

Yesterday, we discussed no cook lunches and meals. I'll briefly go into some of the ways to heat and cook food. Wood and fire are obvious choices and almost free, depending on your geographic location, and would be a renewable resource in a life changing event.



A Sterno cook stove is about $5.00 and the Sterno is fairly cheap and very easy to use.

Combine this with some canned stew and some hot tea, and you've got a treat during an ice storm.


For about 35-40 dollars you can purchase a Propane cook stove that is more versatile, easy to use, and portable for tailgating or camping. In a previous post, I've done a field test between Propane fuel and white gas fuels (LINK TO OLD POST). I prefer the white gas version, but it is a lot easier to use the propane tanks.  I would be comfortable with my kids using the propane tanks but not the white gas stove.

There are also optional regulator hoses for using the bigger tanks on these small camp stoves, but that means spending more money. My propane grill also has a side burner with can be pressed into service for multi-pot meals. We currently have three large propane tanks for the grill, that way we don't have to run to the store for a refill when we've got food cooking.

Keep On Preparing - K

Friday, September 16, 2016

September Preparedness Month (16)

Yesterday's post we discussed preserving our refrigerated food supply. Today we are going to take a small peek at the possibilities for shelf stable foods in times of power outages. For today's effort we are only discussing foods that do not require any cooking. My backpacking mentor called these "walking lunches" since you could theoretically walk and eat lunch at the same time.

I store tuna and a pouch of mayo from Chik-fil-a, salt/pepper, and pickles (finely diced) for my own tuna salad on crackers. Add some hot sauce and raisins, and I've got a easy lunch with no cooking.

So, what's your favorite, easy no-cook meal that is shelf stable? We should have some good comments.

TIP: I have personally snacked through lunch a few times with almonds, dried fruit, and package of cheese and crackers with a Gatorade. Next time you are grocery shopping, look around at the possibilities of meals without cooking, you might be amazed!

Keep Right On Preparing - K

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September Preparedness Month (15)

This is a post from February 18,2012 but worth another read. The post outlines the steps that should be taken to preserve your refrigerated food supply for as long as possible. I've updated and reedited for today's post.

Things you can do now: 
  • If you have any chronically empty space in your freezer, then make some blocks of ice. It will improve your efficiency of your freezer and you'll have ice for your ice chest.
  • Make sure you have (and know how to use) an alternative cooking appliance. A propane grill or camp stove are my two favorites. I cannot emphasize enough the dangers of toxic gases or risk of fire when they are used indoors or without proper ventilation. KNOW HOW TO PROPERLY USE AND MAINTAIN YOUR EQUIPMENT.
  • Purchase a food thermometer and calibrate it. (Link provided)
  • Know your Danger Zones for bacteria ( 42 degrees F to 140 degrees F ).

Hour 0:
  • Call your energy provider and report the power outage. It gives you a timeline for the expected grid-down situation.
  • Stay out of your freezer and refrigerator if at all possible.
  • Access situation: security, safety, health, etc...
Hour 4:
  • If you have a generator, now is the time to run it and cool your refrigerator and freezer. Reset the stop watch to zero and repeat every four hours. Stay on this step as long as you are able.
  • Otherwise continue...
  • The USDA considers this time to be when the refrigerator is no longer within the safe zone. If it is cold outside (under 42 degrees) then move your products outside or into a cooler. If it is hot outside, then put as many critical items into a cooler with the ice from the freezer. 
  • Eat as much as possible of the thawed foods, better to eat it than throw it away.
Hour 7:
  • Time to eat. Now is the time to cook any raw products in the refrigerator. Invite neighbors over for a BBQ or potluck. Discuss helping one another and put cooked and cooled meats into an ice chest with the blocks of ice from the freezer (Things you can do now step).
Hour 8:
  • Any items that have been within the Danger Zone for bacteria for FOUR hours or more are now considered unsafe for public restaurant sales. These items should be discarded or fed to the pets. Do not place your family or yourself at risk to save a few dollars.
  • Some people are at higher risk for developing foodborne illness. These include pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
    If you — or someone you care for — are in one of these at-risk groups, it's important to pay extra attention to handling food safely. For more on those most at risk, visit www.fsis.usda.gov.
Hour 12:
  • The freezer should still ( on average ) be okay and under 42 degrees.
  • If a cooler is being used, then check to make sure ice is still in it. Sometimes shaking the cooler and listening is a good indicator. Still prevent unnecessary openings of ice chest, refrigerator, and freezer.
Hour 16:
  •  If a ice chest is being used, then check to make sure ice is still in it. Continue to prevent any unnecessary openings.
Hour 24:
  • On average, the freezer is now approaching the Danger Zone for bacterial growth.
  • Again, consider cooking the previously frozen items and eating them. Waste not, Want not.
Day 2:
  • Hopefully, you still have some ice or able to acquire some.
  • Some foods will be edible for a day at room temperature such as eggs, butter, mustard, and hard cheeses.
  • Here is a link to one of the best sites for bacterial growth requirements. Bacteria Needs for Growth.
Day 3:
  • Assess all of your previously refrigerated foods. An old kitchen motto says, "When in doubt, throw it out."
  • At this point you will be starting to get into your pantry supply.
  • Minimize leftovers so that you don't have to worry about food poisoning.
  • Feed any appropriate scraps to your pets to reduce waste.
  • Sanitation is even more important now. Paper plates were a good investment.
  • Most grocery stores only carry three days supply.
  • Statically speaking, neighbors have started to run out of food. 
 One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September Preparedness Month (14)

Continuing with the power outage theme, we have our water squared away and light at the very minimum. Most people have cell phones, our first second priority is to contact the electric provider and get information about the outage and estimated repair time.  Our first priority is to make sure that the house and people are safe. Turn off any potential hazards for when the power comes back on, such as the oven, stove top, iron, etc...

Have a couple of games, books, or non-electrical items for you to enjoy the quiet. Step outside and check on the neighbors, or take a nap or retire for the evening.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September Preparedness Month (13)

We've spent quite a bit of time on getting to and from your house in an emergency, now we'll focus on sheltering in place. Most people will experience multiple power outages in their lifetime, and most people still won't plan for them. Go figure? We are going to focus on short term local power outages that do not require moving to a new location. The first item that should be purchased is a flashlight, preferably one for each family member or two each for kids under ten.

Beginner Level:

Walmart carries an LED flashlight, with batteries included for one dollar each. An even better deal is going to Harbor Freight with a coupon and getting a free one!

My personal favorite, the Energizer WeatherReady Flashlight, plugs into the wall outlet and automatically comes on when the power goes out. It costs about $9.00.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Monday, September 12, 2016

September Preparedness Month (12)

The last two days, we have talked about getting to our evacuation destination and home from work. I probably should have put this one before the other two, but sometimes you have to backtrack to move forward. Anyways, a family discussion needs to be put in place to make sure everyone gets home in case of disaster or weather event. This is a two-fold situational exercise: communication and no communication.

Coordinating the collection of kids and other party members for evacuation is easy with cell phones and land lines. The main purpose of this exercise is to discuss the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when communication is not possible. Who gets the kids from school? daycare? We picks up Grandmother from her house? Everyone needs to be included in the loop and know what the plan is to get everyone to the same location for evacuation. Be sure to take into account for different situations such as: power outages, weather events, and maybe even an extreme event such as having to walk.

Any and all comments are welcome, so post any questions or additional information throughout the series.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September Preparedness Month (11)

 15 years ago at 8:46am on Sept 11th.....

 Thank you to all the heroes, and a prayer for those lost.

Yesterday,we talked about planning a route from the home to our destination in case of an evacuation event. I think this one is a little more fun. We are going to find alternative routes from work to home and bypass traffic congestion spots. I'm sure that most people are better versed at this task than their evacuation destination.

Waze is a great free smart phone application to get started.

Any and all comments are welcome, so post any questions or additional information throughout the series.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September Preparedness Month (10)

While we are still on the topic of evacuating the house. Today's action will be to plan out various routes to your destination. Be sure to take into account alternative routes for traffic jams, snow, floods, forest fires, or other region disasters that commonly occur in your area.

Traffic jam in New Delhi
Traffic: Listen to traffic reports to identify local areas of common congestion and plan various routes around them.

Floods: Identify typical low laying areas prone to floods.

Snow/Ice: Identify hills and slopes that are often problem areas and route through better sloped streets.

Exploring alternate routes now will give you more options and a better understanding of how to reach your location. A good detailed map, and knowing how to us it, will be a good investment.

Any and all comments are welcome, so post any questions or additional information throughout the series. See you tomorrow!

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Friday, September 9, 2016

September Preparedness Month (9)

Today's task still deals with having to leave your home in case of a disaster, evacuation, or emergency. We will be assembling a small bag to grab as you are leaving the house. It can be as simple as a brown grocery bag from the grocery store to backpacks. Don't forget the family pet and vaccination records. This checklist helps you make sure everything finds it's way to the vehicle.

Here is a short list of items:

Clothes: 1x shorts,  1x long pants, 2x under garments, 3x socks, 2x T-shirts, 1x flip flops, 1x old sneakers, light jacket.

Personal Items: toothbrush, toothpaste (travel size),floss, deodorant (travel size), male/female items, old glasses?, thumb flash drive(s) with personal information (from previous post), hotel bar soap.

Misc. Items: These items should be easily grabbed while heading out the door. Perhaps a written note on your bags as a reminder: Medicine, wallet, keys, phone, snacks bag, seasonal gear (heavy jacket, etc.).

Items that should already be inside vehicle: case water, 1/2 tank of gas or more at all times, and phone charger(s).

Any items that you can think of that I might have missed? Comments are always welcomed.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September Preparedness Month (8)

In our previous post, we talked about having to leave your home due to evacuation or disaster. Today's task will be finding and confirming a primary and/or secondary location to seek shelter in the event that it is needed.

Call and confirm, and offer to host them in case of a disaster. Can you guess what tomorrow's post will be about?

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September Preparedness Month (7)

We are going to continue with the flash drive today, and do some historical preservation. I haven't seen this tip anywhere else, and I think that this task can save a lot of heartache to people that lose their home due to fire, flood, tornado, or another disaster. I recommend purchasing a second thumb flash drive, as a backup,  to pass along to a trusted relative for safe keeping.

Here is a link to Matt Greer Photography for a quick tutorial. Thanks for the information Matt!

If you do have to leave your home, at least you will have copies of those cherished photographs of the kids growing up or your wedding day.

This could also be a viable part-time job for people with a fairly low startup cost. 

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September Preparedness Month (6)

Okay, I glad to see that you came back after the budget task. Today, we are going to spend a little bit of money and buy a small thumb drive. It's an easy way to store a lot of information that is lightweight, and can handle temperature extremes from -25 C to 85 C ( -13 degrees F to 185 degrees F ).

Cost: $10.00 at most

Today, you are going to gather all of your information:
  • Bank account numbers with contact information.
  • Any personal information not easily remembered (Kid's SSN)
  • Photos of utility bills (proof of residency).
  • PDF scans of insurance.
Search Google for "free encryption program" to secure your information from prying eyes. Documents can be created with OpenOffice which is an open source Microsoft Words program. An encrypted  file can be created to place photos in, which might be a bit easier for some people...

Anything else you can think of that might be needed in an evacuation event, please post a comment!

If you are short on cash, all of these items can also be sent to your new email account, but please remember that anything that goes into cyberspace can be seen by Big Brother/hackers.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Monday, September 5, 2016

September Preparedness Month (5)

This task is a bit more involved but very important. You are going to create a spending plan for this month and every following month. I guarantee that you are going to have a financial emergency. 100% chance. Let's work on living within our means, accumulating an emergency fund, and getting out of debt. I recommend Dave Ramsey. Here is the link.

Dave Ramsey baby steps:

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Sunday, September 4, 2016

September Preparedness Month (4)

Today is another small task that we will expand upon in the future. You are going to create a new email account. Choose your favorite but add a capital E to your normal last name, The "E" stand s for emergency which is the only use for this email account. You can expand upon your last name if needed, such as your house number ( i.e. E123Smith@email.com). The password should be an easy one to remember, again such as your zip code then a period and the name of  head of household ( 12345.John ). This is just an example...

It should be shared with everyone in your household or group. Messages can be passed along to the entire group via email, much like the old school bulletin board systems.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Saturday, September 3, 2016

September Preparedness Month (3)

Take that case of water that you just bought and cram the freezer with at least half of it. This step has many benefits, it'll make the freezer more efficient and save you money. If the power goes out, you'll have drinkable blocks of ice and the frozen bottles will help keep the freezer colder longer.

Plus, if you are going on a road trip, then you've already got your ice.

Comments are always welcome, and continue to visit this month for more prep steps.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September Preparedness Month (2)

This is probably the ugly stepchild of prepping, but the most essential element besides breathing: Water. This prep step will cost you about $3.00 per 24 count 500ml bottles (~2.5 gallons) plus a dollar for a gallon jug of water.

Total cost: $4.00

The typical guideline is one gallon of water per person per day. This is in strict conservation mode, and really unrealistic in my situation. I typically store about three gallons per person per day. Here's why. I have three young boys that would use about a half gallon of water just to brush their teeth. I don't want to be getting onto them for using too much water when things are already stressful enough. While I have the opportunity, I'd rather have enough water to waste. We also live in Arkansas and the summers can be brutal, and a gallon of water should probably be the minimum just for drinking to prevent dehydration.

Mid Level- $12.00-17.00

If your budget allows, I use these jugs that can be obtained at Walmart. They ran me about $12 five  years ago and are a little bit more expensive now, but a frugal investment for water storage based on cost per gallon.

I keep the water rotated twice per year, and have one per family member and yes, that includes the dog. I'll buy more containers to bring it up to two per person as money allows. This will give me a total of 84 gallons ( 2 x 6 x 7 gallons).

FYI: according to some research that I've done, the longest time between rainfall in Arkansas is 39 days. LINK  "Number 1 on the list is the period from July 27th, 1995 to September 3, 1995 (39 days)" What's the longest period  between rainfall in your state? It might be worth considering if you are planning on rain collection for part of your water supply, and your anticipated needs during that time period.

BONUS: Research your state to determine the longest period between rainfall.

Top Level - $200.00

The top tier investment for water storage, besides a hillside spring, is the Big Berkey water filter. Be sure to locate accessible water sources and remember that a gallon of water weighs eight pounds.

Comments are always welcome, and continue to visit this month for more prep steps.

One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community - K

September Preparedness Month (1)

This is my month long series for National Preparedness Month. I'll be doing small, frugal, and quick tasks to be completed on a daily basis, or you can do them at your own pace throughout the month. One task every day, one small task....for a better prepared community. There is some new content that I haven't seen anywhere else, so stay tuned!

Any and all comments are welcome, so please post any questions or additional information throughout the series. See you tomorrow!

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekend Update

The family did a 3 mile fun run, well walking with a two year old and stroller, called The Country Run in the Capital City of Arkansas. It was hot and humid but got everyone out and active for the day.

I joked with the kids that we were like a herd of Zombies after the first mile. A documentary on WWII, they commented that the city refugees would scour the countryside for seven miles on each side of the lines of drift. The current physical condition of people nowadays, your farm would probably be safe four miles from any major highway.

Keep Right On Prepping - K