Author Topic: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria  (Read 263457 times)

Offline RootStrike

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2011, 06:53:27 AM »
I also like canned tuna, the albacore is very good. The tuna in pouches tastes better than cans do. They have a pretty decent expiration printed on them, looks like about 1.5 - 2 yrs. on the ones I have in the cupboard. Plus they are thin, you can just tear the top open, no can opener needed. But less meat in them vs. a can.

What about Chicken? I mean, after all, so many things taste like it... and it gives variety.

No seriously, was at the store last night, found a brand I hadn't heard of before, it was at Target, It says Organic White Meat Chicken, it is dated until Dec. 2012, the ingredients are nice: Chicken Breast, water, sea salt. That's it. So I bought a few, will try out to see how it tastes. It was perhaps $2.24? for a 12.5 oz. can (tuna cans are usually 5 or 5.25 oz. for $1-$1.35, albacore usually 40c more, solid albacore a bit more), so not horrendous. I think also BumbleBee and maybe Swanson sell canned chicken. My wife hates fish. During school I used to eat tuna salad sandwich pretty much every day since a low-cost source of protein.

You know, the idea of canned meats makes sense, you can add them to any dish or soup to boost protein. And up here it is only in the teens Fahrenheit now, and plenty of snow, so not a spot for live chickens in my back yard.

On a different protein front, we also keep extra whey protein, soy protein, and rice protein around, as a nutritional supplement. Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey, Vanilla Ice Cream I like, also their Extreme Milk Chocolate. If you like Whoppers, they have a Chocolate Malt that tastes just like Whoppers. Also we have one called Cake Batter that is good. They taste better with milk, but in a pinch you could use water, or even recon the powdered milk. A 5 lb. protein powder container, or a few, can last a while, then it balances other carbs in the meal. Plus convenient with a shaker cup - my favorite shaker is the "Blender Bottle" 18oz. size (it has a wire wisk ball inside, lots of colors) or the Tupperware shaker cup. Both are easy to clean, mix the powder and milk (or water) well, and are easy to transport. We have taken them on vacations many times.

I like Cottage Cheese too, but that sure wouldn't store well without refrigeration. I have been interested in health and nutrition for a number of years, so that is why I mentioned the protein powder angle, it is in plastic containers, dry powder, would store great and is super convenient to use. Plus if you keep some extra Splenda packets around, or chocolate syrup, you could tweak a shake a bit to taste.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2011, 08:36:15 AM »
TW,
I am honored to be given this award; thank you very much.  If my writing helps clarify some of the confusion a prepper has to slog through to get the job done, then the time I'm spending to do this will be well worth it.  Plus, this is a good way to interact with other preppers. 
Victoria

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2011, 08:59:58 AM »
You deserve it Victoria.  You have compressed a tremendous amount of prepping info into a single source that is both easy to read and entertaining.  It has been a joy to read this thread and I find myself coming back and re-reading some parts of it again and again to take some of my own notes from.

Keep up the great work!!

Doc

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2011, 09:25:26 AM »
I have never seen honey mustard ones.

I want to say that I got them at Wal-Mart, but I'm not positive about that. They were in a 6-pack.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2011, 09:26:18 AM »
TW,
I am honored to be given this award; thank you very much.  If my writing helps clarify some of the confusion a prepper has to slog through to get the job done, then the time I'm spending to do this will be well worth it.  Plus, this is a good way to interact with other preppers. 
Victoria

Congratulations on the award, Victoria. It's well deserved.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #65 on: February 01, 2011, 11:47:46 AM »
After food, we’ll go over how to have continuing light three ways, ways to stay cool enough, warm enough, and have continuing small battery power.  I don’t have a generator and mountains of diesel or gasoline (I’d probably blow myself up or burn the house down).  We also need an easy way to keep our clothes clean.  And, we need to have certain medical supplies/over the counter medicines and know what to do with them - I promise we won’t do major surgery.  Plus, we have to have personal sanitation (can we talk?).  After that, some simple recipes I have found over the years that work for me - my personal rule: if a recipe has more than six simple ingredients, I’m not doing it.   

BOTTLED - CANNED:  KETCHUP, MUSTARD, MAYO, SALSA/PICANTE, GRAVIES, KETCHUP, MUSTARD, MAYO, PASTA SAUCE, FRUITS

Shelf life of packaged, canned, bottled foods, once and for  all:  Before companies had to put “best by” (which means it’s still good after that just maybe not as tasty), and “use by” (maybe use not too long after that), I had to search and search for shelf life and I personally called some companies.  Now, today, with these labels, it’s just not hard to store most items and know what you’re doing regarding shelf life.

A word about bottled foods described below.  It’s a proven fact when people eat the same thing over and over, they begin to stop eating.  It’s also a proven fact, when a person doesn’t eat, she/he dies.  We need to keep up appetites of the family, using what it takes to do that, and that’s these bottled items plus seasonings for intense flavor, as we know stored food isn’t as flavorful as fresh food to start. 

Bottled items – ketchup (Heinz has a “best by” date and you know what that means), mustard, mayo, salsa/Picante, gravies - go by the dates on the bottles, checking if it’s “use by” or “best by” and store what you need for the weekly menus you developed to last as many weeks, months or years as you wanted.  You’ll only have to rotate “use by” foods if you really hate rotating everything.  However, I did recommend rotating canned veggies to keep as much full flavor as possible.

Salsa/Picante:  I can’t tell the difference between the two anymore -  Picante is supposed to be chunkier than salsa, but now there’s chunky salsa - I give up.  But, about storing them:  if you look in Mexican section of grocery, you will find canned salsa.  I think canned salsa lasts longer than bottles (acid tomatoes in a can lasts a very long time, many years according to all we read from companies now) and the can keeps the contents in the dark and it’s not going to break like glass jars.  Canned salsa is my preference to store.  Have I mentioned having a sturdy hand can opener??

Pasta Sauce - canned rather than bottled:  Here’s a true fact:  the cheapest items of something in the grocery store are on the bottom shelf.  They are put there so you won’t bend down and get them, but buy the more expensive items on the shelves above that one.  Go to the canned tomato sauce/canned tomatoes section, look on the bottom shelf and find large cans of Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce, a number of varieties.  One large can with spaghetti or other pasta, will easily feed six people or more. 

Years ago, I called Del Monte (before they had to put dates on there), and the person told me it lasts forever unless the can is punctured or it’s kept in heat.  From their website now, they say the same thing in different words,  “As of 2004, Del Monte began including a "Best By" date on our product packaging for consumer convenience. As a general guideline, Del Monte canned fruit, vegetable and tomato products have a shelf-life of about 2-1/2 to 3 years from the date of production.  After 2-1/2 to 3 years, quality may begin to deteriorate, although the contents would still be safe. Incidentally, we recommend that any swollen or leaking containers be discarded, regardless of age.”

The reason I want you to have the extra assurance of shelf life for Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce as stated above, is, this fine tasting sauce, in several varieties, is really cheap compared to bottled pasta sauce and you may use it with many foods to jack up flavor, so buy a large amount.  Think about it; you won’t have fresh tomatoes unless you grow them and if you grow them with hybrid seeds you can’t save those seeds and grow more the next year and if there’s no more to be had, in tomorrow’s world, you’re out of tomatoes.  I’ll write about non-hybrid (heirloom) seeds for those of you who have some space to grow even a small amount of veggies and also we need to cover sprouts (did I just see some of you frown when you read, “sprouts”?)

Think of cheap Del Monte Spaghetti sauce as flavor packed tomatoes.  Use it not only for pasta but as a base to make soup with your stored beans and rice, or base for veggie soup, add to canned veggies for tomato flavor.  Think of those cans as tomatoes and use it whenever you want tomatoes.  There are several types (one has actual meat in it so get those for more meat) and I’m sure more has been added since the last time I looked - hey, it’s on the bottom shelf and I don’t bend down that far unless I have to.  One of you who is younger with a good back, take a look and let me know the types.   

Fruits
According to our buddy, Del Monte, their canned fruit lasts as long as their canned spaghetti sauce.  Well, good.  Buy canned fruit.  Don’t even think of buying dried, canned fruit from Walton or other – it costs a fortune.  Buying dried fruit in a plastic bag in the grocery is expensive and has much less real shelf life than canned.  An exception might be raisins and you need to have raisins.  They are good for you, sweet, and I want rice pudding with raisins and raisins in other recipes.

Next is onions, seasonings, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda, honey, yeast.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 01:53:16 PM by Victoria »

Offline Halffast

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #66 on: February 01, 2011, 02:40:04 PM »
Congratulations, Victoria, on the Oustanding Poster award.  It is well deserved and I look forward to many more posts.  Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

David

Offline Mom2Four

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #67 on: February 01, 2011, 05:59:52 PM »
Congratulations on the award, Victoria!  I have had these thoughts and concerns swimming around in my mind.  You have done so much of the work and made it much easier for me.  Great ideas and thought processes that I can use or adjust to fit our needs.  Many thanks to you and many thanks to so many here that have added to the conversation with their own ideas and experiences!

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #68 on: February 01, 2011, 09:48:30 PM »
Congratulations! Everyone is so enjoying your posts. I know I am. We old Texas gals just have shared memories,  fortunately you are better at presenting them for everyone else. :)

Offline eph2

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2011, 12:34:31 PM »
Really enjoy the thread.  Makes all this prepping stuff seem more like commonsense home-management.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #70 on: February 02, 2011, 03:20:21 PM »
It is really cold down here in Texas, maybe snow Thursday and Friday.  Wind chill this morning was forecast to be 2 degrees.  Most of you are in colder areas than I am.  I hope you are all snuggly in your houses and have water/food and a way to keep warm.  Houston, south of me, has had rolling power blackouts.  Thousands across the country are without power.  I expect to hear some elderly people have frozen to death as that always seems to happen. 

A suggestion for shopping for storage goods if you have walking problems:  Some of you are older (I’m probably the oldest person on this whole forum) and may have arthritis or other bone problems or medical problems that limits your walking.  You can go to “Sams” on the net, join for $40 if you aren’t a member, select the Sams nearest your house, order on line and go to Sams the next day or a few days later, your choice, and your goods will be at the front door desk for you to purchase, pick up and go.  When I go in Sams, my right knee (had operation on it maybe 7 years ago), goes into shock and tells me it isn’t walking that huge store.  If your body parts talk to you like that, just go to Sams on line, order what you want and pick it up at the door.

Another suggestion to use Sams: I saw a post on a thread in the forum, where someone was going to wait until the last minute before an emergency happened, then rush to the grocery to buy goods, and someone posted not to do that, buy storage now.  Normally, that would be true; however, if you live in a small space and definitely don’t have room to store a large amount without having to sit on the goods in your living room, buy what you can store now, the very basics to live, put it in every crevice of your space, including under your beds, but still be able to move around your living space and have a life.  Then, when you see the first hint of a problem coming, don’t wait any longer, go to Sams on line, order your stuff and pick it up  the next day.  At that point, it doesn’t matter if you have to sit on your goods.  Sure, this method is a little iffy for storing for the long term, but not everyone lives in an ideal situation to store a good sized amount of goods.

ONIONS, SEASONINGS, SUGARS, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA, HONEY, YEAST

Onions
When we prepare a meal (I don’t mean bringing in Burger King hamburgers and putting pepper on them), we usually need an onion somewhere in the preparation.  They are a staple for flavor plus food value.  If stores are closed, we have no onions unless they are growing in our back yard.

We can find some now in the grocery to store that are as close to fresh as we can get. They are in the veggie aisle, small pearl onions, usually in bottles.  Some have been flavored and some not.  Use your best judgment as to which ones would fit your needs when you need them in cooking.   

Then, there’s French’s French Fried Onions and a new one, French’s Cheddar French Fried Onions (don’t have this one yet), both in cans.  There is no law these onions can only be put on top of a green bean casserole - think outside green bean casserole.  Put some in a plastic bag and crush them into bits with a rolling pin or plastic glass.  Now, you can use them for onions in anything - put them in soups, in veggies, any recipe where you want/need onions. 

I think the newer cheddar ones would add good cheese flavor and we need that in our  emergency food as cheese isn’t at our fingertips instantly except for Molly McButter cheese sprinkles (remember you can make cheese if you have Eating off the Grid book recipe, but that isn’t instant cheese).  French’s says this about the cheddar ones:  “Add some cheesy, crunchy goodness to your favorite, everyday dishes! Made with real cheddar cheese, French's® Cheddar French Fried Onions are a tasty way to add crunchy, cheddar cheese to the meals your family loves. These zesty, cheesy onions are perfect on mashed potatoes, soups, tacos, salads, and chili.”  So, crush them and use for onions plus cheese.

I also have long term storage chopped onions from Walton.

Seasonings
Seasonings are a major way to put zip in food and that’s what we need with storage food.  There are many and I’m sure you have your favorites.  Herbs and spices need to be kept dry, away from heat and in a dark place.  As with most foods, heat, light, and moisture will destroy herbs/spices.  Put them in plastic bags to help keep out moisture.

Some seasonings are fragile for shelf life - especially leaf seasonings.  Look on the bottle for shelf life date when buying to get the freshest, however, when they are in your house, looking is a good way to determine if it’s too old and lost its kick - if the leaves look dried out and have changed color, usually to gray, it’s dead and won’t flavor your food.

Buying for storage: 
In a long term emergency, I wanted to be sure I had viable Italian seasoning - it goes in most every soup I make and many other foods/recipes I use, so, along with grocery store Italian, I bought long term Walton Spaghetti seasoning.  This is Italian seasoning, with these ingredients:  onion, garlic, oregano, anise seed, rosemary, green bell pepper, basil.  It’s the only long term seasoning I have due to the price; the rest is grocery store mainly ground seasonings.  Ground seasonings last longer than leaf seasonings before they begin to lose their power.

Which ones to store:  First, small bottles cost more per serving than larger bottles so consider getting the larger bottles.  In grocery stores, the lowest prices will be at Walmart and look at prices before you buy as some companies are cheaper than others - for one, Adams company is cheaper than most others, maybe the cheapest.  Larger bottles (mainly by Tones) are at Sams and I have those as well as grocery store ones not found at Sams.  There isn’t a Costco near me, so I don’t know if they have large bottles, but probably they do.  Get large Tone’s containers of cinnamon to make various sweets and use on fry breads to make tasty desserts with honey or syrup.

I have mentioned beef and chicken bouillon cubes for flavor in soups if beef, chicken, veggie, broth is not available, and, at Sams, there are large Tone bottles of both beef and chicken cubes.  Tone says their bouillon cubes are good for two years.  Also, if a family member is sick with digestive problems, cups of beef or chicken bouillon from these cubes give the person a bit of nourishment, water, when maybe nothing else can be held down.  For long term beef and chicken bouillon, I did get #2.5 cans at Walton – I think it’s that important.

Seasonings for dried Beans:
My opinion: dried beans cooked without seasoning, are awful.  Due to that, and the fact I’ve got gobs of them, I have searched for various seasonings for beans at the cheapest price.  I get the largest containers I can find (however at Sams they have containers as large as a gallon - I don’t get those.  Most of my containers still fit on a regular sized kitchen shelf).  You may have seasonings you use for beans other than these, and, if so, I’d like to know what they are and I’ll get some.  Sometimes (actually most times) I put more than one seasoning together in the beans.  Here are ones from which I choose:
1.  Italian Seasoning
2. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
3. Tone’s Garlic and Herb Seasoning
4. Chili Powder
5. Szechwan seasoning
6. Mrs. Dash, extra spicy seasoning blend - this is addition to the main seasoning used.
7. Fiesta Pinto Bean Seasoning
8. Pinto Bean Seasoning from a company in this area.
9. Canned Rotel tomatoes for heat - 1 can per pot of beans, doesn’t take the place of canned Italian diced tomatoes I put in every pot.
10. Lemon pepper
11. Tabasco sauce for heat
12. Regular salt and pepper in every pot
13. Onion powder, celery powder, garlic powder
Please, post the names of other seasonings you use for beans.

Sugars
Buy white, brown sugar at the grocery.  Seal in gallon plastic bags to keep out moisture, and it will last your whole lifetime and your children’s lifetime, and your grandchildren’s lifetime and on forever.  Bugs, except maybe ants, don’t care for sugar as they know it has little food value (Does that mean other bugs are smarter than ants and does that mean those other bugs are smarter than we are?)  I’m storing sugar - I don’t care what those bugs think – I’m glad they don’t want my sugar.

Another form of sugar is syrups.  You will need them for pancakes, fried biscuits, and fry bread desserts. Buy non-sugar ones for diabetics, regular for everyone else.  My choice is Log Cabin non-sugar for husband and regular for me.
 
Salt
Buy iodized salt at grocery, seal in plastic bags to keep out moisture, and it, like sugar, will last forever.

Baking powder
This one is vitally important to make some of the stove top breads rise, including flour tortillas, some of the fry breads, plus pancakes.  Shelf life greatly depends on how you store it and handle it.  The Virginia Cooperative Extension program states a shelf life of baking powder as 18 months.  However, if you bring it home, use it and leave the top off for awhile, or stick a wet spoon in it - it won’t work anymore.  So,  the rule is, when you remove some from the can, immediately put the top back on and don’t put a wet spoon in it.  Absolutely keep the can in a dry place.  Right now you have a fridge but if you put it in there, humidity will condense and it won’t work.

Clabber Girl website says this about checking baking powder to determine if it still works:  “You should stir up the powder to see if there are any clumps, or if it has hardened; this is an indication that moisture has mixed with the powder and caused a reaction. If it stirs up nice and fluffy, it should be good. Also, you can place a teaspoon of the powder in a glass of tepid water to see if it reacts.”  “Reacts” means it will bubble. Baking powder costs more than baking soda.  Baking powder is so important, I have #2.5 cans from Walton for long term storage.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is used for top of stove fried cornbread, Irish scones, and other top of the stove breads in Eating off the Grid.  Shelf life: Arm and Hammer website says toss it after the use by date.  That use by date may be two years but wasn’t on their website.  Check a box of baking soda for “use by date” the next time you go to grocery.  Same as baking powder, baking soda must be kept dry or it won’t work.  For long term storage, I have it from Walton’s.  Don't toss your soda after it's use by date - keep it for other uses described below:

Other uses for Baking Soda:
Baking soda can be used for toothpaste, antacid, deodorizing, cleaning, and I have a large amount for potty absorbent (will explain that in sanitation section).  It’s cheap and can be used for many tasks.

Honey
Buy it at the store - it’s good forever if you get pure honey with nothing added – check the bottle for purity before you buy it.  Over time, the honey may crystallize.  Put water in a pot, put the bottle in the water, and slowly heat the water just to warm - warm water will make the honey will go back to its original state. 

Yeast
This is from the Walton website about yeast and I use this information for yeast:  “Yeast, a living organism, has a relatively short storage life.  Keep yeast in the original metal foil storage container. The expiration date of yeast is 1 year from the manufacturing.  However, if the seal remains intact, yeast should last at least 2 years at 65 degrees F. It is recommended that you refrigerate after opening and use within the year. Storing yeast in freezer or refrigerator will allow it to store longer.”

Next are ways to have light, be cool enough, warm enough and have continuing small battery power.
 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 06:04:41 PM by Victoria »

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2011, 01:04:36 PM »
Refrigeration:
Power is out and you have no refrigeration unless you have a generator to run a fridge.  Even if you have a generator for a short time emergency lasting several days, you will run out of fuel eventually and lose refrigeration.  When I began to prepare, I did it with the idea of no refrigeration.  I would be back to the time of my grandmother in Arkansas where their entire life was lived without refrigeration.  I remember visiting there as a child and there was no electricity, yet they lived fairly nicely.  They did have a spring on the property and their butter and milk was kept in the cool spring - wish I had that spring.

“Eating off the Grid” also assumes there is no refrigeration, however she lists ways to keep foods cooler and you need to know these.  Also, her recipes take into account there is no refrigeration, so they are scaled down in size so there won’t be huge amounts left over.  Also, there are several ways to have an oven, and she goes over these thoroughly - one of the suggestions may fit what you can do - a solar oven, as suggested in one of my posts, is one suggestion and I know you can do that.  She has some recipes for baking in an oven, so if you can come up with one, solar or other, you have more options but don’t freak out about having an oven. 

Bottled condiments and no refrigeration: 
Mayo:  buy the smallest jars to last a few days without refrigeration once they are opened.  Many years ago, mayo was made with uncooked eggs and that’s when people got sick on picnics (think potato salad), etc., and some died.  No bottled mayo is made that way today and this info. comes to me from a phone call I made to Hellmann’s years ago.  That little jar of opened mayo will last at least several days before it begins to sour.  However, to prevent worry and save money for an emergency lasting more than a few days, only store a few and make your own from the book.  Note, she uses soy flour sometimes to substitute for eggs, but you can use Ener-G Egg Substitute for the eggs. I have no soy four stored.  Her mayo is made from soy flour (use the egg substitute instead), mustard, vinegar, salt/pepper, oil.

Regular Mustard:  It needs no refrigeration, period.  French’s mustard company says, “Dijon & horseradish mustard will lose their distinct flavors if not refrigerated, so we encourage refrigerating both. For all other mustards, refrigeration will help maintain flavor; however, it is not necessary to refrigerate if you prefer to consume your mustard at room temperature. There are no ingredients in mustard that spoil. "Refrigerate After Opening" is not required for food safety--we only recommended you do so to maintain optimal product flavor.”

Ketchup:  Buy the smallest bottles possible.  Heinz Ketchup company says: “Because it is a very acidic product, ketchup does not spoil easily. Once opened, in order to maintain the product's quality more effectively, we do suggest that ketchup (and any other processed food) be refrigerated after opening because refrigeration retards spoilage.”  Using their advice, seems opened ketchup is going to be okay for a while.

So, the rule is, buy small bottles of any condiments (including pickles and pickle relish), except for mustard.

A suggestion when ordering long term food:  Let’s say a fellow’s first order is all the flour he will ever need - lots of flour.  It gets to him and the next day a disaster happens - all he has is flour.  Unless you order everything at once, select some of each you want so you will have a cross section of food should an emergency happen in the middle of your ordering.  The poor fellow who has only flour, at least needed some baking powder, soda, salt and oil to make something out of the flour – hope he had some of that at home but eating only fry bread for a long time is going to get old. 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 01:14:34 PM by Victoria »

Offline RootStrike

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2011, 01:26:29 PM »
Thank you again, this is very helpful info. I'll have to look into refrigeration, wondered about that, how cool is the basement, etc. Right now, I could walk outside and put something in a snowdrift, or really anywhere in the yard, due to all the snow we have from the other day. But in the summer, thankfully, no snow. I'll bet packets of condiments keep well too. I have updated my Word doc with the posts thus far.

Offline MaineMerrie

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2011, 05:29:30 PM »
Thanks for the thought provoking thread.  This is my very first post to any forum and I also am just learning how it works.  I grew up with a Mother who prepped before it was know as that.  I am now putting what I was forced to "help" with as a child to good use today.  Thank you for bring back great memories and kicking my but to get going in other areas.

Offline elcoyote

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2011, 05:46:15 PM »
welcome to the board MaineMerrie! Feel free to stop on by the Intro thread and introduce yourself! The regional boards are great too, to meet some local to you people! :)

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2011, 01:26:13 PM »
LIGHT, WARMING, COOLING, CONTINUING SMALL BATTERY POWER

LIGHT
On the day I evaluated a day without power, having light seemed like a real problem.  I don’t worry about that now.  Here are ways to do it and some of them cross over to provide heat, too.

1.  My best choice to light a living room:  (Since I started, improvements have been made in flashlights and lanterns, so I updated my choices and bought them at Amazon.)  Rayovac Sportsman lantern.  It has three LED bulbs that will never burn out.  LED bulbs give out more light using less battery so batteries last longer.  There are two levels of light, punch the button for the one you want.  It can sit on a table, but it comes apart and has a hanger at the top so it can be hung from your light fixture that doesn’t work any more, and it will light the whole room.  It won’t be as bright as your light fixture, but it’s enough light to even allow reading (unless you get in a far corner away from it) and that’s bright enough for me.  Two of them, of course, will give you much more area light. The size of your room, and how bright you want it, will determine if you need two and if your kitchen is separate from the living room, get one for there.  It takes 3 “D” batteries. 

2.  My best choice for bedrooms/bathrooms: Energizer Weather Ready 3 in 1 LED flashlight (also makes a lantern for area lighting)- three lifetime bulbs never need changing.  If you use it as a regular flashlight, two of the bulbs light and it will run 100 hrs. on one set of batteries.  If you are in your bedroom or bathroom, click again for the area light lantern and three LEDs light up the lantern part and it sets upright on a surface.  If a young child needs a nightlight, click again and an amber light, using one bulb, lights up in the lantern part.  I suggest one for each family member to have for his/her bedroom and use for the bathroom.  It takes 4 AA batteries.

3.  Oil lamps -  stop right here - I don’t mean the husband’s kerosene camp lantern - those are for the outside (it’s good to have one or more for the outside) - if you use them in your house, you’ll have kerosene smoke, fumes, and gross smell all over your house and likely get nauseated or worse.  I’m talking about lovely oil lamps for the house that burn clean, no smell, and use Ultrapure lamp oil.  I sort of went overboard with these pretty lamps - one for every room, and enough oil to last…well, a very long time.  I put it to paper to figure how many hours a bottle of oil would burn in a lamp, then figured out how many hours I needed for nighttime, then came up with the number of bottles I needed for …a year. 

True story: One Christmas, being my thoughtful self, I bought a pretty oil lamp, along with Ultrapure lamp oil, for each couple in our family who live very near the coast.  When they unwrapped them, they all stared in shock, then looked at me as to say, “What is this thing?” You just can’t help some people.  About a year after that, a hurricane was headed their way and they were freaking out - where is a flashlight kind of panic.  Then, one of them thought of the lamps and called the others telling them to dig out their lamp and lamp oil.  See there, I knew they would need one, they just didn’t know it at the time.

I got the pretty lamps those years ago, at Walmart for a cheap price and they had Ultrapure oil.  I looked on their website today, and it appears they don’t carry the lamps and oil anymore.  I did find that Lowes carries the Ultrapure oil for $6.97, 32 oz., burns up to 30 hours.  They also have a house oil lamp for $12.97.  I saw one today on Amazon for $7.06.  There are others on Amazon and on other websites - you might like more elegant ones, but the cheap ones will do the job and some of them are pretty.  But, get the Ultrapure lamp oil locally to avoid high shipping.  Lowes has it listed and, based on what I saw on Amazon, I think Ace Hardware might have it and lamps.  I couldn’t find lamps or oil on Home Depot website. 

Aladdin Mantle oil lamps (expect to pay $110-$400):  This is the cream of oil lamps.  Besides their beauty, there is a special wick as well as a one of a kind mantle which causes it to produce a steady bright light - it doesn’t flicker.  The cheaper oil lamps do flicker.  Aladdin’s mantle puts off a white light (equal to a 50 watt bulb), while the others put off more of a yellow light and are not nearly that bright.  The two I have are designed to work with electricity or oil so I can use them all the time.  If you’re interested in Aladdin, read about them on the web to decide if they are for you.  If you get one, buy extra mantles and wicks and extra globes as all are only for Aladdin lamps - you can’t find these just anywhere; the mantles are so delicate, a little pressure and they disintegrate.  Buy lamp oil especially made for Aladdin lamps.  Lehmans.com is a popular website for Aladdin lamps but there are a number of others.

When you need heat in winter, Aladdin lamps help warm a room; the cheaper ones do not burn as hot as Aladdin but they do contribute some warmth to a room. 

4. Jar candles.     
Jar candles are the safest candles you can have; they won’t tip over; takes some effort to turn them over.  I think Walmart has the cheapest prices.  I have one in every room, including bathrooms, all the time.  I did some paper calculations as to how many hours a jar candle would burn, how many hours I would need them at night, and bought enough to last…six months.

WARMING
1.  Kerosene heater
These are at Lowes and Home Depot along with kerosene and other hardware stores may carry them.  There are different models, select the one best for you.  These heaters, for use inside a house, consume kerosene efficiently.  You do have to have fresh air coming in somewhere, maybe open a window a bit where the heater is.  If you live in the north where you have severe cold, you may want more than one; one in living area, kitchen if that is a separate room, and bedrooms.  Store the kerosene fuel outside.

2.  Oil lamps
These, especially the Aladdin’s, add warmth to a room.

3.  Jar candles 
These add warmth – not much, but it’s warmth.

4.  Sleeping bags
All sleeping bags are not equal.  The very light weight, sleep over type bags, won’t keep a body warm in cold weather.  Good sleeping bags are rated.  Mine keeps a body toasty warm down to 10 degrees above zero.  We would be in the house, not in the wild, so that rating is fine.  Look at the rating before you buy a bag and choose according to the rating you want.

A couple of days ago, Texas, across the state, was having rolling blackouts.  That didn’t hit us, but if it had, we would have unrolled our bags and zipped ourselves up in the bags in our living room chairs.  If the power didn’t come back on in a reasonable amount of time, we would go to other methods. 

As long as you have good rated sleeping bags, you can stay warm in your house and in your bed.

COOLING
Here in Texas, we claim the crown for the worst heat in summer.  As one gets into more south Texas, the humidity from the gulf makes the air heavy with moisture and it’s simply terrible.  A temperature of 100-105, with the humidity figured in, makes it feels like 115 if you are outside in it.  I had to do something about heat and no air conditioning if power was out.

1.  Battery fans:  These aren’t found in stores around me, at least I’ve never found them - got them off the web.  I have four of these fans.  Three take 6 “D” batteries.  One takes 4 “D” batteries.  The last time we used them, 5 days without power in summer when Ike came through, we used them some during the day, but mainly at night, sitting next to the head of the bed, so we could sleep, and we did.  It would have been much worse without them. 

2. Misting fans:  These water bottles with soft plastic fans on them, will lower the temperature 20-30 degrees from the ambient air around you.  These bottles with fan are not expensive and I wouldn’t give them up in summer with no power.  I could sit in my chair and mist my face and arms with the little fan running and be quite cool.  I know that sounds too simple to work, but it does.  We had cold water in a cooler and put cold water in the bottles for super cooling.

Some of these fans are mainly junk and will not last - been there, done that.  My present ones are “Squeeze Breeze” and use 2 “AA” batteries. 

You can use the large battery fans (mentioned above) the same way – just wet your face and arms and turn on the fan.  You will get cool.  While we used the battery fans during the day and evening some, we tried to conserve batteries so the fans wouldn’t quit during the night - didn't want to change batteries in the middle of the night.  They never did stop, but could fix this concern by putting in fresh batteries before going to bed.

If you sit outside in shade, without a misting fan or battery fan, have a wet washcloth and keep your face and arms and legs wet - any small breeze will help cool you.

CONTINUING SMALL BATTERY POWER
Rechargeable batteries
If you noted above, those appliances work on “D” or “AA” batteries.  Everything we use in an emergency situation that needs batteries, uses “D” or “AA” batteries.  I have NiMH rechargeable “Ds” and “AAs” (plus I have Cs).  I’m sure I have enough to last several years.  The batteries can be recharged 500 times. 

How to recharge them when there is no power - could put them in a recharger that plugs into the wall – oh, wait, there is no power.  I have a sun recharger that fits all small batteries except 9 volt which we wouldn’t use.  We have used it several times after a hurricane, and it recharges the batteries just fine.  Actually, I need to get another one for redundancy – I’ll get that done immediately - don’t put off fixing an identified problem when you find one.

I do have a large plug in recharger, “AccuManager20”.  The reason I have it is because it also refreshes rechargeable batteries.  Here’s what it does:  “Battery Maintenance System: Refreshing function:  The memory-effect can be avoided in new batteries and overridden in older ones.  The regeneration of batteries is conducted automatically without prior discharging.  Six charging channels with over-voltage and reverse-polarity protection, recognition of defect batteries, automatic float charge and self-protection disconnect.” 

This unit will keep my batteries working longer, plus tell me when one has totally died.  If I know a power outage is likely coming, as with a hurricane, this unit will quickly recharge batteries (much faster than the sun recharger), and I can start with freshly zapped batteries.  (The unit can be plugged into a car cigarette lighter and charge batteries, but if one has no gas, forget this method.)

I hope the above suggestions start your brain working to decide how you can best provide light, warmth, cooling, and battery power for your situation.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 02:52:21 PM by Victoria »

Offline MaineMerrie

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #76 on: February 05, 2011, 10:59:37 AM »
Thanks again Victoria, I'm loving the thread.  Just a couple of things.  I buy my jar candles at AC Moore.  It is the only place that I shop on the day after Thanksgiving but I get there early and for the past 3 years they have had their large candles on sale for $2.50 each.  I have a large supply now but will return next "Black Friday" for more.

Also on powdered milk.  I buy the larger boxes as Sams Club and repackage the powder into 1 gal plastic bags to protect it from moisture.  I store the bags in plastic 5 gal buckets.  That seems to work well.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #77 on: February 05, 2011, 11:19:07 AM »
MaineMerrie, good plan to keep adding to your candles.  I should have said only buy the big boxes of loose instant milk if one plans to re-pack it (and then does it).  You have done that extremely well by re-packing in plastic bags, then in a bucket.  I'm thinking you're an excellent prepper.  Let's all go live with MaineMerrie if TSHTF.   

Offline MaineMerrie

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #78 on: February 05, 2011, 02:31:57 PM »
Victoria you got me to thinking when you mentioned the book Eating Off the Grid.  It shounded familiar and sure enough there it was on my cookbook shelf.  Thank you for bringing it to my attention again it has been awhile since I have thumbed through it and I think it is time for a reread.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #79 on: February 06, 2011, 11:55:58 AM »
(psst - can we talk - personal sanitation)  Liquid and Solid Waste

Travel: 
After we traveled fifty miles west in the blackness of night to find power, I evaluated all that happened or didn’t happen.  If either of us had needed a bathroom stop, there wasn’t one.  So, I found a way to fix that.  I bought two travel toilet packages.  One is “Restop 1” for liquids, the other is “Restop 2” for solids.  Both packages are quite small to store in a car.  For both systems, liquid and solid, once either is deposited, it is instantly incorporated into odorless gel and stays that way to be deposited later in a trash container.  If circumstances required, the design is such that females and males could deposit liquid while in a car.  For solid waste, it can be used on the ground or attached to a toilet seat on a bucket.  Both liquid and solid models include toilet paper and antiseptic wipe for each individual bag.  “Restop 1” has 4 individual bags, “Restop 2” has 5 individual bags.

Loss of water for any reason means potties stop working.  Stored water can be used to push waste down the toilet, but that’s good water literally going down the drain.  If there’s dirty water around, like in a ditch, etc., that can be used, unless you need to filter it for drinking using a Berkey.  Eventually, sewers will back up and lower lying homes will get the backup sewage first.  Consider where you are in the lay of the land around you.  If you’re in a low area in regard to homes around you, it may be necessary, in the worst of circumstance, if the sewer backs up, to find where the nearest sewer connection is and cut it off.

Home:
Buy a shovel if you don’t have one as waste eventually has to be buried (I didn’t consider composting toilets.)  You know to bury waste where it cannot leak/travel into any water gathering area.

First, no matter which potty method you use, deposit liquid in one collector and solid waste in another.  Liquid promotes odor from solid waste.  Once solid waste is deposited, put some soda (large boxes of soda are cheap) or cat litter, on the waste to help dry it to cut down odor.  For liquid waste, after depositing, put in some drops of “Pine Sol” to prevent urine odor from developing.

1.  Simplest method: Use toilets in the house:
You need gobs of plastic bags.  Fit a bag into the toilet, securing it with the toilet seat down.  Use two toilets, one for liquid and one for solid.  When one needs to be changed, bury the bag.

2.  Two five gallon buckets with fitting toilet seats and gobs of plastic bags.  One can buy these buckets at Lowes or Home Depot.  Toilet seats to fit, plus the buckets, are found on the web at preparedness websites.  Use one bucket for liquid, the other for solid.  Fit a plastic bag under the seat so the seat holds it in place.  Once a bag is ready to be emptied, bury the plastic bag.  These can be transported easily if you had to leave your house for a period of time.

3.  Toilet chairs:
Home health companies sell these chairs for patients who can’t walk to a toilet.  If you don’t have one, you may have seen one in a hospital.  They are metal chairs with a toilet bucket underneath.  Put a plastic bag in the bucket so it can be removed easily and buried.  If that is used for solid waste, use another container for liquid waste to keep them separate.

4.  Chemical toilets:
Only use this toilet for solid waste.  This will allow for a longer time before having to empty it and make the store of chemicals last longer.  Use a different container for liquid waste.

(Now we have four ways for a husband to use a toilet - if he still insists on urinating off the back porch, he has potty training issues.)

Toilet Paper – how much to store:
Here’s what I did:  I put new toilet paper rolls in each bathroom.  At the end of the week, I evaluated how many rolls had been used; multiplied by 52 weeks in a year and there was my total for a year.  I did the same for kitchen paper towels, how much in a week, then knew a year.

Next is medical supplies.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 12:05:31 PM by Victoria »

Offline 4bull

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #80 on: February 06, 2011, 02:33:00 PM »
IF I REMEMBER RIGHT THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED THE LONE RANGER LIVED IN A FIRE watch tower and for sanation they used plastic shopping bags , then placed a paper clip on a runner wire down in to the forest to dispose of it.
 Great posts  Vicktoria

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #81 on: February 08, 2011, 01:06:37 PM »
Hope to post medical section tomorrow - still working on it.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #82 on: February 09, 2011, 11:39:39 AM »
MEDICAL SUPPLIES

Don’t worry about medical care if there is no power.  Hospitals have emergency generators and they come on line when power goes out - unless they don’t.  That is exactly what happened in my area when Ike brought down power.  This is a large regional hospital and the generator did not come on even though it had fuel.  A smaller generator kept lights on in the emergency area and that was it.  Critical patients had to be sent by ambulance to San Antonio, more than a five hour trip.  Operations could not be performed.  All patients in the hospital were in the dark in hot rooms. 

Where were repairmen to immediately fix the generator?  At home with their families hoping their roof wouldn’t blow off or a tree fall into their house (some roofs did come off and trees did fall into some houses).  Portable hand held house phones and cell phones did not work so unless the caller in the area and person called had a non-portable phone land line, no communication was going to happen (Communication is next). 

What does this mean to us?  It means always have your prescription medicines and over the counter medicines and supplies to treat wounds.  It also means do not take chances if power is out, for if you are badly hurt, unless you have a non-portable land line phone, you can’t call 911 (if they could get there) and if you have no gasoline, you aren’t going to an emergency room, whether they have power or not. 

True story:  I was prepared for Ike, knew I would lose power and had everything in place, except my body decided to tell me it was sick the morning of day it was coming in that night.  I also had a fever and needed to start an antibiotic right then -  couldn’t believe this bad luck.  I immediately put in a call to my doctor but I doubted he would call back as every person in the area was beginning to hunker down and stores were beginning to close.  I could see myself going to the emergency room and waiting for hours to get that medication with everyone there likely in a panic due to the approaching hurricane. 

Then, about 4:30 pm, the doctor called, then he immediately called our pharmacy very near us.  I waited about five minutes, then called the pharmacy.  The pharmacist said he was beginning to lock up and leave when he got the doctor’s call and he would stay until we got there, then he had to go home to prepare for the storm. Thankfully, my doctor cared enough to call me and the pharmacist cared enough to stay there, and I got the vital medicine at the last minute before everything shut down. 

After the hurricane passed, power was out and stores couldn’t open - it was a ghost town with police cars occasionally driving around shopping centers checking for vandalism.  If you needed over the counter medicine or wound/accident supplies from a drug store then, you weren’t getting them as drug stores couldn’t open and employees were long gone.
 
You can’t predict an illness that requires an antibiotic, but you can always have over the counter medicines you use, plus others you might need and medical supplies for injuries, if the elusive power, over which you have no control, goes off, and plunges your town into a ghost town.

Over the Counter Medicines:
What over the counter medicines should one store?  Let’s use parts of the body to help you decide as no one knows your body and your family’s bodies like you do:

Head:  Each member of  your family has a mouth, eyes, nose, ears, scalp, hair, and skin.  What has happened in the past to these parts and what over the counter medicines did you use to cure, or help cure, the ailments?  Whatever those were, get some.  For toothaches, Orajel can help deaden pain.  You’ll likely have to find a dentist, but the Orajel can give you some time with less pain or no pain before you have to get there.  There are over the counter ear drops to help stop earaches.  Eye drops are good to wash out debris that might get in an eye. 

A caution:  Eye drop tubes look very much like super glue tubes, Orajel tubes, and others.  I had a patient who was driving her car, pulled over, picked up her eye drop tube to put drops in her eye, but got the super glue tube instead, and was in major pain in seconds. Fortunately, she didn’t lose her eye, but let that be a lesson to always check the tube before putting drops in your eye even if you’re sure you have the right tube - look one more time. 

Likely, you have used decongestants and antihistamines for stuffed up nose/sinuses.  Be sure you keep some in your medical stash.  Benadryl could be a choice for an allergic reaction to a substance.

Neck:  Might you need a soft neck brace for neck pain - the drug store has them.  What about your throat?  Ah, yes, sore throat.  If you don’t have a favorite remedy for a sore throat, ask the pharmacist for a suggestion.  You’ve also probably had a doctor suggest gargling with warm salt water and you will have that if you have stored water and salt and have a way to heat/cook.   

Chest:  Congestion due to a cold or flu.  There are over the counter expectorants and cough suppressants and you likely have your favorites; if not, ask the pharmacist to suggest some.  However, if you suspect flu, try to get to your doctor fast to get an antiviral shot and prescription.  Flu can lead to pneumonia fairly quickly.  Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot every year unless you are allergic to the vaccine.  If you are prone to pneumonia, talk to the doctor about a pneumonia shot which is different than a flu shot and lasts several years.

Stomach/intestines/kidneys/bladder:  Whatever you take now for indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, store some.  If you have never used any, ask the pharmacist to suggest one for each problem.  Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration and loss of electrolytes. Pedialite and Gatorade are two liquids that will help replace electrolytes.  Easier for storage is Pedialite and Gatorade powder packages.  In case a kidney or bladder infection happens, consider having a box of over the counter,  “AZO Standard”.  The AZO will eliminate some of the symptoms so one feels better but go to a doctor if at all possible as an antibiotic may be needed.

Legs/feet:  Do you have a weak knee that might need an elastic knee support?  Even if you don’t use foot powder or have athlete’s foot now, have foot powder (Gold Bond is popular) and an athlete’s foot medicine.

For all the body:  Pain killers, for children and adults, the kind you likely already use, just make sure you have them.

CPR:
If you don’t know CPR, you can find good instructions at http://firstaid.about.com/od/cpr/ht/06_cpr.htmput  Be sure to also read instructions for infants and children. 

Accidents during an emergency:
My number one caution:  Do not climb on anything if there is ANY possibility you could fall.  Breaking a femur (thigh bone), can rupture the femoral artery and you will bleed to death fairly quickly.  That artery is deep in the leg and it’s almost certain no one around you will able to stop the amount of bleeding that will happen - just pressure on the leg won’t stop it. 

No member of the family should climb when medical help is not available.  Men won’t take kindly to this, but they are the most likely to climb, fall, and kill themselves.  Young boys would likely be next.   

Besides arms and legs that could break from a fall, a head injury from a fall could be fatal. 

Suggestions about possible head injuries (assuming the patient is breathing): call 911 if possible and don’t move the patient as the neck could be involved.  Assuming you don’t have a neck brace, keep the patient still, one person get behind the patient and hold the head to keep the neck from moving.  If there is blood from a place on the head, do not push in on that spot.  If the skull is broken, and you push in, those pieces could go inside the brain causing more damage.  If you see blood, assume the skull is fractured there.   

A suggestion if the only way to get medical help is to transport the patient with the possible head injury, and you have no neck brace, one person should hold the head so the neck doesn’t move and, with others on either side of the patient, put the patient on a board of some kind to stabilize the body, strap the body down if possible with someone still holding the head still, then transport to a hospital with the head still being held immobile by the assisting person.  More injuries could happen if you move the patient so try your best to get medical help to come to the patient. 

Injuries from falling and head injuries from falling or other causes, are, to me, among the worst accidents that could happen in an emergency situation.  Avoiding those injuries is the best cure for them - don’t let them happen - don’t take chances. 

If you take an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) course, you would be able to help your family and others should the need arise.  There is also an ECA (Emergency Care Attendant) course that is less demanding but would still be of immense value to your family and others.

If a substancial wound happens, go to an emergency room if at all possible.  Suggestions for treating a wound (generally): 
1. If you’re outside and someone with you suffers a wound, apply pressure to stop or minimize bleeding and go inside to treat the wound.  Once bleeding has been controlled:
2. Wash hands thoroughly before cleaning patient’s wound (or wash, then use hand sanitizer).  Use sterile gloves if available.
3. Clean wound with sterile gauze pad and soap (liquid antibacterial if you have it) and clean water.  Rinse with clean water.
4. Apply antibiotic cream/ointment.
5. Apply bandage.
6. The next day, remove bandage and leave off if bleeding has stopped.  Wash with soap (antibacterial if you have it) and water every day and apply antibiotic cream.  A bandage is not there to conceal a wound; it’s there to absorb blood, help stop bleeding, and keep the dressing (antibacterial cream/ointment, sterile dressing, etc.) on the wound.  Once the wound is over the bleeding stage, leave the bandage off; there is more chance of infection if the bandage is left on plus the wound needs air to dry. 

If you can’t get to a doctor/emergency room immediately and the wound is a sufficient cut separating the skin, do the above to stop bleeding and do the cleaning and apply the cream/ointment, then pull the skin together and apply either Butterfly Strips or Steri-Strips to hold the skin together. Use enough of either strips to hold the skin together well.  Steri-Strips must be kept dry or an infection could start.  Butterfly Strips are more likely to come off, but the chance of infection may be less, and new strips may be applied.  Read the instructions before you use either kind, and follow them to the letter.  If it’s a severe cut that obviously needs numerous stitches, do your best to get to an emergency station.

For all wounds: Watch for infection in any wound and if you suspect one, do your best to get to a doctor/emergency medical station.

Medical supplies that are reasonable to have:

1.  Tubes of antibiotic cream/ointment to help prevent infection in a wound.
2.  Burn gel or burn pads.
3.  Instant cold packs.
4.  Boxes of sterile gauze pads to use for cleaning wounds.
5.  Antibacterial liquid soap.
6.  Bandages of different sizes from Band-Aid small ones (I like Walt Disney “Princess” and “Sponge Bob Square Pants”.  Oh, those are for kids?), graduating to larger ones up to the largest size available, and a box of individually wrapped Kotex Maxi-pads for large wounds.
7.  Rolls of good adhesive tape. 
8.  Butterfly Strips and/or Steri-Strips  (Butterfly ones are easier to find).
9.  Number of bottles of hand sanitizer.
10.  N95 masks, a box.  If used correctly, these masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer could prevent flu from going through the family.
11. Medical gloves, a box, fits all sizes.
12. Ace bandages for sprains or to hold a makeshift splint on an arm/leg or to wrap a wound tightly to stop bleeding.  Make sure you have a pulse on both sides of the wound whether it’s a broken limb or cut, before you wrap and check again after you wrap.  If you can’t find both after wrapping, release the wrap and re-try.
13. Wine and other alcohol drinks for adult pain killers -  I’m sure you won’t go overboard with this one, right?  I can trust you, right?

Writing this section was difficult to do without going into more detail and end up writing a book.  My suggestions are only that and result from my EMT training and I'm not a medical doctor and if you have questions about treating wounds or over the counter medicines or medical problems, talk with your pharmacist or doctor.  As for adding more to your supplies, take a walk around your drug store and see what’s available.  The more you have, the better off you are if you know how to use the products; always read and follow directions.

Communication is next.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 12:26:32 PM by Victoria »

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #83 on: February 09, 2011, 06:59:45 PM »
A quick note on medical gloves, if you don't know if you're allergic or if you expect to treat someone you don't know you might want to pick up nitrile or vinyl gloves instead of latex gloves.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #84 on: February 09, 2011, 07:08:39 PM »
Thanks Nico, good point.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2011, 06:31:40 AM »
My pleasure, ma'am.  ;)

Offline Orion53

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2011, 02:41:37 PM »
Victoria,

Fantastic post!  Love the real world examples, and common sense approach to it all.  I also live in Southeast TX and was in the path of Ike.  We lucked out by being without power for only 8 hours, but learned fantastic lessons.

+1 from me!

Orion

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2011, 03:03:46 PM »
Orion, you lucked out being only 8 hrs. without power.  It does change one's thinking, doesn't it?  Your world changes drastically and immediately.  As for getting sick hours before it came in, I was totally mad at my body, but it didn't care.  It's the unexpected that throws one for a loop.  Sick in the middle of a hurricane?  I had not planned on that one.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #88 on: February 10, 2011, 06:16:29 PM »
COMMUNICATION

There you are - no power.  Just call someone on your cell phone - no, it doesn’t work.  Fine, call from your walk around house phone - no, it doesn’t work.  Turn on TV for information - no, it doesn’t work.  Turn on the plugged in swell radio/CD player - no, it doesn’t work.

Your next thought will likely be, when will power come back on?  How long will I be like this without the ability to communicate with anyone?  In most cases, you won’t get an answer to those questions.  That’s why “you” need to provide for communication and not leave it up to some nameless somebody out there in never, never, land.   

When power goes off in your whole town, it becomes very quiet, really, really, quiet.  If you’ve never “heard” quiet, you will then.  Your house is quiet, nothing is humming in the background - there is no sound in your house or outside.  It feels like you’re in a vacuum and something will happen to fill this vacuum, but it doesn’t happen, there is just quiet.   

I knocked that vacuum all to hell and stomped on that sucker! 

After Ike took out power, my phone worked, my radio worked, and I could hear Houston TV stations on that radio, and I had a TV that worked – but I had no electricity.

Phone:
I’m hesitant to throw away perfectly good equipment that works even though more modern ones come about.  That’s why I had two “old time” cord phones that plug directly into the phone jack on the wall.  They are just phones, that’s all, and you have to stay where the phone is - no walking around unless you have a very long cord.  I used one of those phones during those days without power.  I was able make and receive phone calls, including receive our son’s call from overseas when he called to make sure we were okay after the hurricane passed.

These old time type plug into the wall phones are still sold.  Looked at Walmart website today, and, for $9.84, can buy AT&T White Trimline Phone, TL-210, that plugs directly into the phone jack on the wall.  Also saw some corded ones over $100 that would work without power, but the cheaper one would be fine.  I suggest you get one if you don’t have one of this kind.  It’s the difference between being not able to contact anyone by phone and being able to connect to the outside world.

Radio
Years ago, I bought a “crank” battery small radio - very difficult to find one then.  Over the years, products improved, including radios.  I have three crank radios now, but two of them are backups, including that first one.  Remember, I have rechargeable batteries and a sun charger, so I was going to have small battery power as long as I needed it and wouldn’t need a wind-up radio (but I wouldn’t give them up - they’re plan C and D if A and B fail.)   My main radio now is an Eton, model FR300.  It’s crank or three AA batteries and I used batteries.  This radio is AM, FM, NOAA Weather band, and VHF-TV.  Yes, I could hear two TV stations out of Houston on that radio.  The radio also has an emergency light, a DC jack, an ear phone jack and a phone charger output jack (however, without power, cell phones won’t work, anyway).  The Eton emergency radios are excellent.

TV
So, how did I have a working TV with no electricity?  Enter engineer husband.  I had very small portable TV, think screen was 8 inches square.  He took the battery out of one of our cars, sat it next to my chair, and hooked the little TV to it, and behold, there was TV so I could follow what was happening.  At times, he would unhook the battery and recharge it with our car, to make sure it wouldn’t completely discharge.  Since then, TVs have changed, and the little TV won’t receive anymore. 

So, engineer husband searched the internet for a solution, and I now have TV software on my laptop, a new power inverter, plus the new type TV antenna to hook to computer.  Next time power is out for a period of time, there will be a marine battery next to my chair, power inverter hooked to that, and computer hooked to that, then antenna hooked to computer, and Houston TV channels will be on my laptop with much better, much larger, picture than I had last time.  Engineer husbands are very good to have in an emergency.  I suggest all single ladies get one as part of your preparedness.  Single engineers, please respond to the call.

There was no vacuum of silence in our house - we had our choice of vacuum stomping - the TV going or the radio with TV channels going or calling friends and family.

My engineer husband is special.

Next is Security.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2011, 06:47:15 AM »
It's good to have someone around in an emergency that can solve problems like that.

Most any time, except in the case of emergencies when information is vital, I enjoy that silence. For a little while anyway.

Thanks for the reminder about having backup radios, I need to purchase another. I have a hand crank Eton, which had lasted for almost a decade, but I broke the antenna off. I'll be able to repair this one pretty easily if I can get a similar sized antenna. That's definitely a weak point in their construction.