Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bird Flu is Back

The United Nations warned Monday of a possible resurgence of the deadly bird flu virus, saying wild bird migrations had brought it back to previously virus-free countries and that a mutant strain was spreading in Asia. Its unlikely this bird flu will pose much threat to developed nations but it is important to keep an eye on it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene a wake up call.

Hurricane Irene is yet another reminder of just how important it is to be prepared. It may not have been the doomsday disaster that many had feared but it did cause severe flooding and power outages. 4 or 5 million people lost power at some point. Irene left at least 21 people dead in eight states. And Initial property damage estimates ranged up to $7 billion.

Again on the news before the storm we had thousands of people running around trying to purchase water, batteries and other supplies.  DON'T WAIT TILL ITS TOO LATE. You must get ready for emergencies before they happen. And forget the 48 or 72 hrs of supplies that the Government authorities tell you to have on hand. If you don't have every thing you need to be totally self sufficient for at least a week you are a fool. Sorry to be blunt but that's how I feel.

Its not hard to have a weeks worth of supplies on hand. Every one can do it. It just takes a little effort.

Water Water Everywhere...

Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink? Hopefully you've planned your water storage for emergency situations. An adult requires 1 to 3 litres of water daily so for one month you need 30 to 90 litres! That's for ONE ADULT. Phew. That's a lot of water.

This past weekend I purchased several rain barrels. They hold 200 litres of water so a full one is good for my wife and I for at least one month, perhaps longer. I set one up yesterday on the deck and added a spigot so I can have a tap and a hose to drain the water out. I'll use it for watering my herbs grown in window boxes on the deck. And it will be one of three that we're going to set up around our house and outbuildings.

We have a small garden shed which only needs a bit of eaves troughing and bingo we can set up another rain barrel. We have another larger shed which can be set up easily too. That gives us 3 200-litre rain barrels, enough water to last the two of us for 3 months or more.

Rain barrels plus large containers of water stored in your basement or closet are a good way to be sure you have enough water on hand for any crisis or emergency situation. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Survival Food Groups Choices: The Basics

We've talked about the 7 basic survival food groups my family uses to plan and store emergency food for a crisis. I've also mentioned spices and dried soup mixes as an extra to provide more variety. But do you know what food choices there are within each group?


Rice, oats, wheat, pasta, cornmeal, flour


Dried beans, split peas, lentils, dry soup mix (my fav!)


Vegetable & Olive Oil, Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Shortening


Sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, flavored gelatin, powdered fruit drinks


Powdered milk, canned milk - evaporated and condensed

Remember that different foods have different shelf lives. So for example I only buy vegetable oil, not olive oil, because vegetable oil lasts indefinitely but olive oil does not.

Canned goods only last about 3 years then you must use them and buy new. So I don't buy canned goods, but that's a personal choice. I'm far too lazy to rotate my food supplies!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Than the Basics: Additional Foods to add to Your Emergency Storage

I've been working on our plan to buy and store enough basic foods for my family for 3 months. Our goal this year is to concentrate on the 7 basic foods I talked about in a couple of other blog posts.

But we also need other supplies to supplement our basic stockpile. Extra supplies include long-term foods that help give variety to meals and add nutritional value.

If I just had my 7 basic foods PLUS dried soup mixes (I didn't mention those before but I'm hooked on stockpiling as many dried soup mixes as I can!), I could make oatmeal with milk and honey for breakfast, a tortilla and soup for lunch, and tortillas, rice and beans for supper. That's pretty decent in terms of helping to fill someone up but let's look at nutritional value.

1 cup cooked oatmeal, 2 tortillas, 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of pinto beans and 1 cup of  beef vegetable soup made from water and dried soup mix provides one adult with the following % of my daily needs for these nutrients:

Fats 55%

Salt 95%

Fiber 83%

Vitamin A 5%

Vitamin C 5%

Calcium 59%

Iron 133%

It's pretty obvious that I need more of Vitamins A and C as well as Calcium. I can live without the fats but I'll start losing weight pretty fast. And more fiber would certainly help.

The question now is to find out what foods will give us those missing vitamins AND have a long storage life. Foods that are high in Vitamin C that my family likes are raspberries (1 cup = 54%) and potatoes (1 large - 37%). The problem is they don't provide enough and I'd have to lay in a stock of dried raspberries or potato powder and those are expensive.

Sprouts The Magical Powerhouse

But I have a solution. Sprouts. Sprouts are an amazing powerhouse of nutrition. They also give high yield of edibles compared to the small amount of raw seeds you start with. As an example, 1 cup of sprouted kidney beans provides 119% of your daily Vitamin C needs! So start sprouting right now. You want to be sure you know how to do it in case of an emergency. I'll talk more about how we grow our sprouts in future blog posts.

There is one caveat - kidney bean sprouts are toxic if eaten raw, so must be cooked. To be safe, cook all bean sprouts (mung, lentils, navy etc) before eating. Just toss them into stews or soups or stir fry them to remove the toxins. Soaking beans overnight prior to sprouting will also help neutralize the toxins present in them but better safe than sorry, especially if you are in a crisis (emergency) survival situation where little or no medical help is available.

You can eat most other sprouts such as alfalfa raw. Think about what a great "salad" you can toss together during a crisis - 3 or 4 varieties of sprouts and some homegrown herbs such as parsley make a tasty (and nutritional) addition to an emergency survival meal. Or stuff them into your tortilla with a few beans. Yum!

Vitamin A Foods

1 cup of dehydrated carrots provides 1013% of daily Vitamin A needs. Wow. So that means to have 100% all you need is 1/10th of a cup. Now dehydrated carrots are expensive but what a magical food!

This will blow your mind - did you know that you can get 44% of your daily Vitamin A needs from 1 Tablespoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper?  So why not stock up on one or both of these spices? There's another magical spice you might want to have on hand - paprika - it gives 71% of your daily Vitamin A needs in 1 Tablespoon.


We need 41% more of our daily calcium needs.  How can we do that? Well, we could stock up on Calcium Pills but they are expensive and gradually lose potency over time. So let's look at foods rich in Calcium. 1 cup of cooked rhubarb gives us 35% so if you have rhubarb in your garden (as I do) you've got a great source of extra calcium when it's in season.

Those magical dehydrated carrots are helpful and if you're eating them to get their high Vitamin A, guess what - you've just given yourself an extra 16% of your daily calcium and iron needs too! They sure pack a nutrition punch in every cup. 

I'm going to talk about menus and recipes and dried soup mixes in another blog post so stay tuned. I'm also going to show you my successful sprouting of Alfalfa and share how I save and store my seeds.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Buy Emergency Foods on Sale and Buy in Bulk

Kraft Dinner Emergency Food
Score! The Canadian Superstore had a super sale on Kraft Dinner (the original). Half price. So I stocked up for my family emergency survival needs. 

This is how you stock up on foods for long-term storage for your family. Buy on sale and buy in bulk. 

One box of Kraft Dinner cooks up to 3 cups of final product for lunch, dinner or a snack.

Can't afford to stock survival emergency foods for a year? Aim for one month. One flat of Kraft Dinner cost $21.30 and is 35 boxes.

Guess what? 35 boxes of Kraft Dinner at 1/2 cup per person per day feeds a family of 6 for just over a month (at one box daily)

Guess what? 35 boxes of Kraft Dinner at 1 cup per person daily fees two adults for 7 1/2 weeks.  Wow, almost two months of survival!

You are a family of two adults and two children? Okay for 4 people you will get at least 4 weeks and you can have 1 full cup of Kraft Dinner daily.

Everyone can do this. Aim for 30 days of food. Watch for sales. Be sure the foods you are buying have a good shelf life. Store them carefully when you get them home. Protect from humidity and extreme temperatures.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Basic Suvival Foods to Keep You Alive

Let's start our Disaster Plan with learning what basic foods are needed to keep a person alive. The basic survival foods you should be storing are:

Grains (Rice, Pasta, Wheat, Oats, Cornmeal)

     One adult needs 3.5 kg or 7.5 lb of grains for one week

Legumes (Beans, Peas, Lentils)

     One adult needs 1/2 kg or 1 lb of legumes for one week

Fats and Oils (Vegetable Oil, Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Olive Oil, Shortening)

     One adult needs 3/4 cup of fats or oils per week


     One adult needs 70 grams or 2/3 cup of salt for one week 


     One adult needs between 1 to 3 L of water daily which is 7 to 21 L of water per week.  Water requirements depend on the temperature,  the amount of exercise the person is doing (how hard they are working) and their body weight. 

I also include in my basic survival needs plan Sugar (sugar or honey) and Milk (powdered or canned)

Sugar (sugar, honey)

    For one adult you should have 1/2 kg or 17 1/2 oz. or just over 2 cups or 1 lb of sugar per week

Milk (powdered milk, canned milk)

     For one adult plan on 140 grams or about 1 cup of milk per week

These 7 essential basic foods will keep you alive for one week. You won't have very interesting or fun meals as you will mostly be eating such things as rice and beans but you'll survive.

Note that there are only 15 L of water (30 bottles) in this photo on the right. I personally store the maximum per adult per week which is 21 L. 

I've included oatmeal and rice as my weekly grains as that gives me more variety in meals. What meals can I make with these basic foods?

Not much! That's the reality. But I can make hot oatmeal every morning with a bit of sugar (or honey)

I can make beans and rice for supper. Lunch could be lentil soup. I think you get the idea.

Remember, these are BASIC survival rations. They will keep ONE adult alive for ONE week.

I'll show you how to expand your food rations and make more variety of meals cheaply and easily in future blog posts.


Monday, August 22, 2011

There is a roughly 1% chance of a super-eruption in the next 500 to 7000 years

I found an interesting interview with Dr. Clive Oppenheimer. He is the author of the book, Eruptions that Shook the World  and apparently quite the expert on volcano's. Now I don't claim to know much about volcano's and cant really say much about the subject. But the 1% chance of a super-eruption in the next 500 to 7000 years is sure interesting.

If you want to take a look at the interview.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Preparing for Emergencies and Disasters

Do you have a plan in place for your family in case of emergency or disaster? We decided long ago that we should always have a 3 month supply of food and water on hand.

Like many other families we began with saving  a 2-week food supply. Eventually that became one month of food, and now we are prepared for 3 months.  One month of food for your family is a realistic goal and I'm going to help you figure out what you need and where and how to store it.

We're not alarmists. We don't think the world is ending in December 2012  But natural disasters happen - floods, tornadoes, super volcanoes, pandemics, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes to name a few.

Ice storms also occur where we live and power can be knocked out for weeks. If it's winter and you have no power, can you survive? Do you have a plan for staying warm? What about cooking your food IF you have food stored - how will you accomplish this?

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short-lived - perhaps a few days or a week or two of power outages and inconvenience. Some could be longer - even up to a few months. Do you have enough stored food on hand for your family for that long?

In a series of blog posts I'm going to share with you the plans that hubs and I have in effect. I'll show you what foods we have stored and tell you our reasons (mainly shelf life and ability to extend to feed many people)

There's so much to research and learn before you start buying and storing food. Hubs and I started as most families do - we bought in bulk whenever something went on sale. So we ended up with many cans of pork 'n beans and soup. But guess what - canned goods have a short shelf life (less than 3 years) so unless you're prepared to eat a lot of beans and soup when that 3 years is up, it's not the best emergency supply food.

So stay tuned, check back frequently, and follow the topic in the right hand menu bar "SURVIVAL FOOD STORAGE" or "DISASTER PLANNING" to read all the great tips I'm going to be sharing with you.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

My New Zombie Gun. The Smith & Wesson Model 500

Smith and Wesson Model 500
Well I just picked up my newest addition to my arsenal. A Smith and Wesson Model 500 revolver. The Smith and Wesson Model 500 is a five-shot, double-action revolver firing the massive .500 S and W Magnum cartridge.

It is built on Smith and Wessons largest frame, the X-Frame. Smith and Wesson claims it is the "most powerful production revolver in the world today" and this is largely correct. The Model 500 can fire a bullet weighing 350 gr ( 22.7 g; 0.8 oz) at 1975 feet per second (602 m/s) generating a muzzle energy of over 3,030 foot-pounds.

Now many people believe this gun is just way too big and powerful to be of much practical use. In fact that was my first thought when I first heard about this firearm a few years back. But after having shot it I soon changed my tune. Now I will say this gun is not for the novice shooter. The recoil is quite sharp and the weight of the gun (1.59 kg to 82 oz 2.32 kg) would make it just too heavy for some. And the fact that it only holds only 5 rounds would deter some who like a lot of rounds backing them up. However I believe that for the right person this gun can be a practical and let's face it, just plain cool addition to your anti zombie arsenal.

So what good can a heavy revolver with a lot of recoil and only 5 rounds be? Well lets see. Portable, accurate, large caliber, long range fire power that you can take any place. In simple terms this gun fills a niche that many other firearms do not. It gives you the ability to reach out and hit targets at distances that you just can't with an auto pistol or small revolver but its smaller and more compact than most rifles.

So why not just carry a smaller handgun and a rifle? Well the simple answer is that most of the time in a survival situation your guns are just dead weight that you have to carry around. Most of the time you are working or walking or engaged in some other activity and your guns are just a pain in the ass.

Think about it. You are out working trying to scrounge supplies or plant crops. What are you going to do with that heavy rifle. You are going to take it off and lean it against a tree because its just way too hard to do any work with it slung on your back. Yes you may have a smaller pistol on your belt but that's only a short range weapon. Most people can't hit a target with a small handgun beyond about 30 to 50 yards. And that's at a shooting range. It's a lot harder in the real world when the bad guy is hiding behind a car or tree and shooting at you. The 500 allows you to reach out to 100 or 200 yards with precision.

Now I know that there are other firearms that might fill this role. The PDW guns of the last 20 years or so like the FN P90 give fantastic firepower in a small portable package. But the bottom line is people are all different in what works for them or what they like. Their are lots of people who just don't like fancy hi-tech semi/auto guns. People who are used to more old fashioned simple technology. Or perhaps some one who is really comfortable with their smaller revolver and would like something in a format that they are familiar with. The 500 can fill this role.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mysterious nocturnal rumble in Windsor Ont

An interesting story about a mysterious rattling, humming and shaking in Windsor and Detroit is making the rounds. Every one including the authorities are baffled about its source. Its not earthquakes. No industrial reason has been found. Its a real mystery.

Now it will most likely turn out to be nothing. Whatever it is its probably nothing dangerous. Mind you if i lived in Windsor or Detroit I would keep my bags packed. Then again. I always do.

Read More About This Mystery