Thursday, June 19, 2008

Far World Book Contest

FREE ARC of Far World by J. Scott Savage.
All that is required to enter the contest is to:

#1 post a comment here with your blog address included and
#2 create a link from your blog to this post telling others about my contest.

There will be a random drawing of the comments for the book in the first week of August.
The publisher will directly send the winner an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book. The winner must supply their regular mailing address to me to receive the book. (Must live in the USA or Canada to win.)

I just finished reading Far World by J. Scott Savage. It pulled me in and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm slated to write a review of it around the end of August.

Earthquake Quiz

Take this earthquake quiz. I saw it on Anne Bradshaw's "What to do in an earthquake" blog post. I got 90% on it, but only because I just attended an earthquake preparedness class put on by our stake. There was so much good information there. I'm still working on getting some of the things that were suggested. There were probably 15 handouts and so much to take in! Good luck, and let me know how you do.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Food Storage, 72 hr kits, and 5 Gallon Porta-pottys.

Today Ryan sent me Glenn Beck's Get Prepared Part 3. It is as follows:

Get Prepared: Food Storage

Family Emergency Survival - Air, Water, and Food
by: Arthur B. Robinson, PhD

During emergencies - natural and man-made - one's family and friends may find themselves without ordinary essentials that make life possible. A human can survive only a few minutes without air, a few days without water, and a few weeks without food. Each of us has a fundamental moral responsibility to make certain that those people for whom we are responsible can get to the other side of an emergency alive, regardless of inconvenience or unhappiness that may occur during the event.

A safe air supply can be lost due to chemical, biological, or nuclear fallout contamination, or, of course, through simpler means such as flood waters over one's head. These threats are best met by public civil defense preparations - preparations that U.S federal and state politicians and bureaucrats have been unwilling to make. So, concerned private citizens must either buy costly air protection systems or arrange to live in locations that are less threatened. These preparations are beyond the scope of this article. Definitive and comprehensive civil defense information is available here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, performs exactly the function that its name indicates. FEMA "manages" emergencies. It does not prepare for emergencies. The last remaining civil defense functions - physical preparations for emergencies - of FEMA were defunded by the Clinton Administration. People deprived of safe air die within minutes. All that remains to be "managed" is their burial.

A safe supply of emergency water is relatively easy to provide. One method is to simply close the inlet and outlet valves of the home water heater in case of impending emergency. This will preserve many gallons of life-saving drinking water. Storage of additional water is also prudent. This can be done in one gallon milk containers, 50 gallon plastic drums, or most other containers of convenience. It is best to use multiple containers rather one container, the possible loss of which endangers the entire supply. As time passes, regardless of the water treatment method, stored water usually accumulates contaminants that one would ordinarily prefer to avoid, but which are acceptable during an emergency. Excellent purification systems are available from many sources, although emergency preparation funds are probably better spent in other ways.

Stored water must, however, be protected from poisonous biological contamination that can accumulate with time. The simplest way to provide this protection is by addition of chlorine compounds available as ordinary bleach. This must be done safely and correctly. These procedures are given in the book, Nuclear War Survival Skills, available on-line without cost here. This book also provides instructions for expedient water purification procedures.

A safe and sufficient supply of food is also easy to arrange, but provision of emergency food is often misunderstood.

First, most adults and children - with the exception of infants - can survive for several weeks without food. Survival food storage is required primarily for emergencies lasting for weeks, months, or even years.

Second, stored food should provide essential nutrition - not gourmet satisfaction. Storage of freeze-dried ordinary food, for example, caters to the illusion that a food-requiring emergency will be such a benign event that the participants will be very concerned about the tastiness of their food. Nothing could be further from the truth. Emergency food preparedness involves staying alive and in functional good health - not catering to one's pallet. Every food storage dollar should purchase the greatest quantity of nutritious food possible - not unneeded luxuries.

Third, a family food storage program should include as great an amount of nutritious, long-lasting food as the family can afford - not an amount estimated for the family's personal needs. The family friends and neighbors who have not stored food will need to be fed, too. Very, very few Americans would, in an emergency, eat stored food while allowing their neighbors and friends to die from starvation. Consequently, a family must realize that their food will likely last only so long as they can feed themselves and their friends and neighbors.

Fourth, stored food should last for 50 years or more in good condition.

During the 1980s at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, we developed food storage recommendations that consider these requirements. These recommendations were subsequently adopted and publicized by FEMA. Our food storage suggestions are as follows:

1. Store whole grain - not ground or otherwise processed - corn, wheat, and soybeans in a ratio by weight of 2:2:1. In other words, if one is storing 40 pound plastic, nitrogen-packed pails of grain, store 2 pails each of wheat and corn for each single pail of soybeans. Combined in these proportions, ground to flour, cooked (as in corn bread), and eaten, 2 to 3 pounds per day of this mixture will provide the nutrition required for a marine in combat - except for vitamin C and salt. An ordinary person surviving during an emergency would require perhaps half as much. Note: soybeans must be cooked before eating to avoid danger to health.

Nitrogen packing helps to assure that insects cannot infest the food. Containers should be long-lived and rodent resistant. There are several good commercial sources of food already appropriately packaged for storage - for example, Walton Feed in Idaho.

2. Store 1 kilogram of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) for each person-year of food. This is 3 grams per day. People under stress require extra vitamin C for optimum health. For prevention of death from scurvy, however, about 1% of this amount will suffice, so storage of vitamin C in these amounts might save the lives of an entire community.

Store crystalline vitamin C - not pills. During storage, the pills may deteriorate. In a cool, dry bottle, crystalline vitamin C will last indefinitely. Vitamin C can also be obtained by simply sprouting some of the food grain before eating. In a serious emergency, however, sprouting may prove difficult. Store also, in a cool place, a supply of ordinary multivitamin pills.

3. Store lots of salt. This could be crucial to saving many lives. An inexpensive and convenient form is in bags or salt blocks obtained from a local farm feed store.

4. For infants, store dried milk available from food storage suppliers in #10 cans. Infants can live on the grain ration, but they may refuse to eat less familiar food and will do better with milk.

5. Store several 4 gallon plastic buckets each containing 25 pounds of ordinary table sugar - sucrose; 1 pound baking soda; 5 x 11 ounce containers of Lite salt - KCl &NaCl; and a teaspoon for measuring. Dehydration from burns and diseases such as cholera can be treated with proper oral administration of these items. Instructions can be found in the March 1988, Volume 1, # 12, Fighting Chance newsletter. These buckets could save many lives during a serious prolonged emergency, where ordinary medical care is not available.

In ordinary times, soy bean, corn, and wheat flour can serve as a base for delicious and nutritious corn bread - when cooked with lots of baking soda, vegetable oil, and fruit for flavor.

Prior to the current U.S. government program to burn America's food for fuel, the rations above could be purchased and stored for about $100 per person per year of food. Prices now are between $200 and $300 per person year. If Americans continue to allow repressive government regulation and taxation of their nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries and tax-subsidized use of food for fuel, these prices will rise much higher.

It is best to store food now, while it is still available at a reasonable price.

Art Robinson is a scientist and currently a professor at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has commended and utilized Robinson work on emergency preparedness.

So we went to Walton's Feed and bought a three month supply of dried corn, soybeans, and salt for our two families, to go with the wheat my dad has canned. It isn't a lot, but it is a start. I use to have a good supply of food storage, but we left a lot in Mesa with Mindy and company. It is heartening to know that if stored properly some things can last over 30 years according to Walton's website. Yet after reading on their website, I'm betting that the wheat and things I left Mindy aren't good anymore because we kept them in our garage and the storage got too hot.

Ryan and Becky are going to use the food canned in #10 cans as a foundation for their bed so that they can store it. Yes, it is a bit like the family in the movie The RM, but it will be worth it.

I've been reading a novel called "Patriots, Surviving the Coming Collapse". It is more than a novel. The author tries to make it a guide in how to prepare for the next depression, collapse of government, anarchy, and chaos. It is a bit thick to wade through, but it is making me think. I know that I'm not as prepared as I should be as far as food storage and things go. I've spent several hundred dollars lately getting 72 hour kits ready and some earthquake preparedness items since the Utah "earthquake lady" came and spoke at our stake. I feel a little more ready, but I hope we are never going to need it.

One of the things we did was to move our water storage and 72 hour kits out of our basement and into our garage so that they are easily accessible. We purchased 2- 5 gallon bucket toilets with garbages bags and kitty litter. It is exciting, I know, but I still feel better. My sister said that she needs to store hundreds of pounds of kitty litter for her big family. I thought about giving one of these toilets as a bridal shower gift . . . it would have been memorable.

Like I said before, it is a start. Ryan called it our life insurance. Now we just have to get it canned after we go on our trip.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

High School Graduation

Tessa graduated from Mt. View High School in Mesa, AZ on May 22nd. It was memorable. It had been raining off and on all day and the higher powers were talking of separating the class into two groups to hold it indoors. The 803 graduates didn't want to be separated, so many sent texts to the head of the school board and said, "We are the class of 2008. We started together and we will end together. . ." It was held outside in the rain. We had a wool blanket and an umbrella, and it was still pretty miserable. I was happy that they let them graduate together. It would have been sad for them to not see 1/2 of their classmates and friends walk. Tessa thought it was neat. It was 52* when we drove away.
Tess was so sad to graduate. It meant that she had to come back to Utah and not be where her heart is, but many of her friends are already leaving, going in all the directions that kids go when they graduate.
I remember being so sad when I graduated 26 years ago. I loved high school, and all my friends. There were many that I have never seen again. There are a couple that I saw once and then learned of their deaths years later when I was hoping to see them at the next reunion. Life really does change so much after high school.
I really enjoy my high school reunions, or seeing old friends from that time of my life. Something about being with them makes me feel young and invincible again. I usually end up laughing and feeling carefree, and forgetting I'm an adult. I don't know if others have that same experience, but I look forward to it every 5 years. I hope it is the same until I'm 70+.