Why?

This blog is meant to assist you in preparing for an emergency. It also contains other information that you might find helpful and spiritually up-lifting.

Friday, November 21, 2014

“Now Let Us Rejoice” – The Story behind the Hymn

You’ve sung the song. You know the words. But do you know the remarkable story behind this great hymn?
The trouble for the Mormons in Missouri began in the summer of 1833, but W.W. Phelps and other local leaders of the Church procured a ceasefire under conditions of duress. Despite the mob’s promise of peace for evacuation, they could not contain their hatred toward the Mormons, and violence broke out on October 31, 1833– Halloween. Seven years later to the day, October 31, 1838, the events would repeat.
Over the next week, the situation grew dire. On the night of November 5, 1833, many of the Saints in Missouri were assaulted by a vicious mob and forced from their homes at gunpoint into the freezing cold and dead of night. They had already lived through slaughters of innocents and their women being brutally ravished. Now some were herded like cattle into the muddy streets of Independence and others fled for their lives.
The Saints had experienced a bad storm that day, which combined with frigid November temperatures made conditions worse. Nevertheless, fearing for their lives, they did the only thing they could do: they rushed to the banks of the Missouri River and tried to make shelter. Their only hope now was to ferry across the river to the safety offered in Clay County.
Two days later, the storm hadn’t let up, and the banks of the Missouri were now swollen with thousands of Mormons, who were pinned down in the mud in an effort to escape from the mob. They were terrified, hungry, wet and freezing, but they dared not return to town for fear that the mob would kill them. All that they could do for three days was sit in the mud and watch their beloved Zion and homes go up in smoke.
The only way to cross the river was by ferry, and the cost of transporting a family with a wagon and goods was a dollar and a half. Some of the families had the fee but many did not. The unfortunate ones watched friends traverse to Clay County while they remained behind in Jackson County, knowing that the mob could at any moment swarm down and murder them. It was not a matter of if, but when.
Two brethren decided to catch fish to see if the ferry operator would accept fish in lieu of cash. The following day, they reeled in three small fishes and a large catfish. When they opened the mouth of that catfish, they found three silver dollars, just enough to pay the fare. But a miracle of greater proportions was needed to save the hundreds of Saints who were still stranded.
Some twelve hundred Mormons had been driven from their homes. Their damaged property was valued at $175,000, which included the burning of 203 homes, one gristmill, the destruction of crops, and the loss of livestock and furniture.
Things were about to get worse.
On the night of November 12, the mob assembled for a slaughter. Defenseless and with no place to retreat, the Mormons would be easy prey – shooting fish in a barrel. Jackson County was about to see mass murder on an unprecedented scale, and all that the defenseless, starving, shivering Saints could do was huddle in the mud and wait for their demise.
It was in that moment of hopelessness and defeat that the Lord sent a miracle.
Suddenly, at about 10 p.m., the heavens exploded as thousands of meteors shot across the night sky. Parley P. Pratt wrote: “…to our great astonishment all the firmament seemed enveloped in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expanse had been hurled from its course, and sent lawless through the wilds of ether. Thousands of bright meteors were shooting through space in every direction, with long trains of light following in their course. This lasted for several hours, and was only closed by the dawn of the rising sun. Every heart was filled with joy at this majestic display of signs and wonders, showing the near approach of the coming of the Son of God.”[i]
The fiery display in the heavens continued all through the night, striking the mob with such awe that they halted their advance on the Saints to watch the magnificent celestial display. In the morning, they simply turned around and went home, and immediately thereafter, the Saints safely escaped to Clay County.
It was from these events that W.W. Phelps penned the words, “Now Let Us Rejoice in the Day of Salvation.”
The Saints’ salvation had come on the very night of the Leonid meteor showers, an event that occurs once every thirty-three years. The Leonid display of 1833 has been described as one of the most spectacular meteoric phenomena of the second millennium. Some reports estimated the number of meteors as exceeding 100,000 per hour, and other reports guessed at thirty flashes per second. Taking into consideration that each meteor was accompanied by a long trail of light, the Leonid shower was both magnificent and terrifying. The heavenly display was so concentrated that it lit up the sky and was described as “an intense snowfall.”
The Leonids were seen all across North America. Even the Prophet Joseph Smith was awakened in Kirtland by the spectacle. The following is from the Prophet’s history: “About 4 o’clock a.m. I was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at my door, and calling on me to arise and behold the signs in the heavens. I arose, and to my great joy, beheld the stars fall from heaven like a shower of hailstones; a literal fulfillment of the word of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is close at hand. In the midst of this shower of fire, I was led to exclaim, ‘How marvelous are Thy works, O Lord! I thank Thee for Thy mercy unto Thy servant; save me in Thy kingdom for Christ’s sake. Amen.'”[ii]
The Prophet had recently prophesied that stars would soon fall from heaven as a “sign of the times.” Philo Dibble, who was shot and severely wounded during this time, wrote the following:
On one occasion Joseph was preaching in Kirtland sometime in the fall of 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church, and one man, more bitter and skeptical than others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that ‘Forty days shall not pass, and the stars shall fall from heaven.’
Such an event would certainly be very unusual and improbable to the natural man, and the skeptic wrote the words as a sure evidence to prove Joseph to be a false Prophet.
On the thirty-ninth day after the utterance of that prophecy a man and brother in the Church, by the name of Joseph Hancock… and another brother were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the house of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith’s prophecy, and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his Prophet now, that thirty-nine days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled.
Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, ‘There is one night left of the time, and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled.’
The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night, and it proved to be the historical one, known in all the world as ‘the night of the falling of the stars.’
He stayed that night at the house of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night, and in the midst of the falling of the stars he went to the door of his host and called him out to witness what he had thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of ‘a false prophet.’
The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors, and the countenance of the new spectator was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death, and spoke not a word.
After that event the unbeliever sought the company of any Latter-day Saint. He even enticed Mormon children to keep him company at his house. Not long afterwards, too, he sent for Joseph and Hyrum to come to his house, which they did, but with no noticeable results, for I believe he never received the gospel.”[iii]
All across North America, frightened people left their beds and ran out into the streets believing that the end of the world had arrived. Future president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, related the experience as “the day of judgment.” No one had witnessed anything like it.
The fire in the heavens saved the Saints at the very moment of their highest distress. W.W. Phelps captured the moment as an anthem of salvation that we have sung ever since. “Defeat, frustration, homelessness, suffering, privation, hunger, even—these produced a hymn that still gives hope and sustenance to hundreds of thousands who live in better times…. It was the lily coming out of the ooze.”[iv]
“Now Let Us Rejoice” was one of the hymns sung at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. “Literally millions [have] derive[d] strength from the words of this hymn,” writes Karen Lynn Davidson, “’Now Let Us Rejoice’ recalls the amazing, resilient faith of our pioneers and helps us strengthen our own. Even in the worst of times, we can still rejoice as we ‘watch for the day when the Savior will come.’”[v]
When we sing this magnificent hymn, let us not forget the circumstances of its origin.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting Ready For Winter

winter (1)As a home owner, you have preparations that must be made in order to get ready for winter. From cleaning up the leaves in the yard to putting away summer outdoor items, you must have your home ready for the harsher months of the year. When winter arrives, it is imperative that the home is nice and cozy warm, so you must take the proper steps to ensure that all you feel is warmth and never cold. Below are a few tips on how you can get ready for winter in your home.

Sealing the Home

First of all, you need a properly sealed home to be able to contain the warm heat your heating system is providing. From the windows to entry points, each area needs to be sealed correctly. Before winter arrives, walk around the home and check for drafts. If you feel air coming in from a window or entry door, you will need to add caulking or other sealant to close off the area. By sealing the home properly, you will use your HVAC system less when heating the home and see a nice savings on your monthly utility bill, not to mention you will be toasty warm!

Insulation

Insulation is a key factor when it comes to keeping the home warm. A properly insulated home will be able to contain the heat produced by a furnace or central system better than a home that is not insulated. Take a look at your attic insulation and see if you should add more to provide a better barrier for escaping heat. Insulation can be added by you or by a professional to add an additional layer of protection for the heat in the home.

Maintaining your Heating System

The heating system is essential to the overall comfort of the home. Heating systems come in all forms from geothermal and central to furnace and boilers. Each unit operates a particular way to provide heat in the home. These systems must be maintained on a regular basis to ensure that the home is warm and the inhabitants are comfortable. Without a properly functioning heating system, you will not be warm and so you will not be comfortable and you may even experience sickness or irritability in the home.
With your existing heating system, be sure to have the unit serviced on a regular basis. Servicing should include the overall inspection of the system as well as cleaning. The unit needs to be reviewed at least once to twice a year to ensure the system is not in need of repair and functioning properly. If not, the unit can easily break down and you will be without heat during the colder months of the year. Contact your local HVAC Company to schedule regular maintenance for your heating system. And remember, if your unit is in need of repair, contact help immediately. Do not let the repair go unfixed as it can lead to major damage within the system.

Air Filters

A common need of heating systems is an air filter. The filter helps to remove particles from the air that are harmful to breathe but also helps the unit to operate smoothly without overworking. The air filter needs to be changed out on a regular basis so when winter arrives and you begin to use your heating system, be sure to change out the filter regularly so your unit can operate normally.
By taking these few tips into consideration, you can spend less time worrying about the comfort in the home this winter and spend more time with family and friends!

Monday, November 17, 2014

In Guatemala, Indigenous Communities Prevail Against Monsanto

Late in the afternoon of September 4, after nearly 10 days of protests by a coalition of labor, indigenous rights groups and farmers, the indigenous peoples and campesinosof Guatemala won a rare victory. Under the pressure of massive mobilizations, the Guatemala legislature repealed Decree 19-2014, commonly referred to as the “Monsanto Law,” which would have given the transnational chemical and seed producer a foot hold into the country’s seed market.
“The law would have affected all indigenous people of Guatemala,” said Edgar René Cojtín Acetún of the indigenous municipality of the department of Sololá. “The law would have privatized the seed to benefit only the multinational corporations. If we didn’t do anything now, then our children and grandchildren would suffer the consequences.”
Originally passed on June 26, the Monsanto Law was written to protect the intellectual property rights of multinational companies in their investments within Guatemala. The law also allowed Monsanto an entrance into the Guatemalan seed market and set in place stiff penalties for any farmer that was caught selling seed to another farmer without the proper permits. The response was a massive mobilization of a coalition of labor, indigenous groups and campesinos.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Turkey production down, wholesale prices up


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Turkey production is at its lowest level in nearly three decades and wholesale prices are at an all-time high, but Thanksgiving cooks probably won't see much difference in the price they pay at the stores for their frozen birds.
This year's anticipated stock is 235 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service — the lowest since 1986, when U.S. farmers produced roughly 207 million birds.
While the estimated 2014 number doesn't indicate a shortage of turkeys, which can remain in cold storage for a year or longer, it does reflect a pullback in recent years by poultry producers who were forced to reduce their flocks to remain afloat.
"Last year was a bloodbath. It was bad," said John Zimmerman, a farmer in Northfield, Minnesota, who produces about 300,000 turkeys a year. He said scaled back his numbers in recent years because higher feed and transportation prices, among other things, cut into his bottom line. Even the price of soybean meal — which accounts for about 30 percent of turkey feed — is at a historical high, he said.
All areas of livestock production — poultry included — were drastically cut after the widespread 2012 drought in an attempt to stifle losses, says Corinne Alexander, a Purdue University agricultural economist. Plus, many farmers are using feed that they bought in the wake of the drought, which cost more than the current market price.
"What's happening in the turkey sector is a mini-story of what is happening in other sectors, where the impact has been really dramatic," Alexander said. "If you look at beef cattle, we have the smallest beef cattle herd since 1951, and prices for beef are up 17 percent this year."
October wholesale prices for live turkeys jumped 12 percent from 2013, from 72 cents per pound to 81 cents, NASS commodities statistician Michael Klamm said. And frozen turkey wholesale prices were expected to be between $1.12 and $1.16 per pound in the fourth quarter — up from $1.05 per pound at this time last year, the USDA said.
But consumers won't necessarily see that reflected in the price of their Thanksgiving meal centerpiece.
"There's really no correlation between what grocery store chains are paying and what they're selling them at," USDA agriculture economist David Harvey said.
Turkey numbers peaked in 1996, with nearly 303 million birds.
Alexander doesn't expect the paltry poultry numbers to stick around, because, compared with other livestock, it doesn't take as long to rebuild the flock — about three to five months to raise a turkey to market size. Plus, this year's record corn harvest will help the process, she said, as current projections indicate corn prices are about half of what they were in September 2012.
Zimmerman doubts corn prices will fall much more because of demand for ethanol and exports, and because farmers are rebuilding cattle and swine herds, too, cutting further into the nation's abundant corn supply.
"It takes a while to recover, once you have a shock to the system, because premium stock gets liquidated and it takes time to raise it back up," he said of the nation's turkey supply. "There's not going to be a quick change of price, but there should be a moderate change in the next six months."

Friday, November 14, 2014

6 Tips for Planning a Secure Remote Cabin

Trapline CabinMany like the idea of having a cabin tucked away in the woods where they can go to enjoy nature and get away from it all. How to keep the cabin safe from intruders and large animals when you are not there and how to afford it in the first place are two major questions.
“Sitting in front of a crackling campfire at a cabin is one of the great joys in life “ says William Edward Summers, principal of California and British Columbia based design firm William Edward Summers Creative Projects
1)  Find a cabin solution that will not strain your budget.  It can be a financially difficult to build a cabin or a remote retreat, yet many view having such a location as a necessity. Many more just want to have a place to get away to enjoy the wilderness. Making these desires a reality requires an affordable feasible solution that will be small and simple.
2) Consider how you can achieve reasonable security for your cabin. When you finally build a cabin how will you keep it secure from intruders or large animals? The truth is that no matter where your cabin is located some boys or young men will come across it and want to get inside. Preventing your cabin from being obvious by using stealthy design strategies to reduce it’s profile will reduce access by the curious passersby.
3) Make your remote cabin solution easy to construct. With an unlimited budget it is possible to build the cabin of your dreams in any location however one real challenge is being able to realistically build in a remote location with your budget. You will want a structure that is rugged but simple enough that it will not require a large crew and major equipment.
4)  Make sure that you have planned a cabin that can be built from a pick up truck so materials can be easily brought to the remote site.
5)  Build at least as large as a large tent. It makes sense to build  large enough for several people.  More than one small discreet cabin might be a good strategy if additional space is needed. That way you can at least get a minimum shelter in place sooner and expand your site if necessary.
6)  Plan for long term use in the event that a place was needed in which to ride out a natural disaster, survive a bout with homelessness or just to get away from the madness. Consider installing a small wood burning stove and other basics for long term use at your cabin site.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Surviving Disaster Near a Lake or River: How to Get Prepared

floodThose who live near large bodies of water are no strangers to storms and the devastation they can leave behind. Just as those near the coastlines have to deal with treacherous hurricanes, those who live near lakes or rivers know all too well about the potential of flooding. Take the proper precautions to ensure you are safe and ready in the event that disaster strikes.

Preparing for a Disaster Near the Water

Have an emergency kit on hand that includes the following:
  • A battery-powered weather radio
  • Water
  • Nonperishable foods
  • Sleeping bags
  • Mess kits
  • Clothing
  • First aid supplies
If you have the option, subscribe to cellphone alerts for notification of all kinds of disasters, including floods, tornadoes and high wind alerts.

Living on a Boat During Disasters

If you own a boat that survives a disaster, it may become your new temporary shelter. Keep an emergency kit like the one described above on your boat at all times. Add additional waterproof clothing, extra flotation devices and life jackets for adults and children.
Be prepared for scenarios that require quick thinking and proper training by taking a boating education course. In addition to learning how to operate the equipment on your boat, these classes cover navigation rules, safe personal watercraft operation, casting off and docking. Find out now if you need any liscensure or certification to legally operate a boat in your state, too; for example, boaters in Wisconsin born after Dec. 31, 1988, and who are at least 16 years old must have a Wisconsin Boating Safety Certificate to operate any motorized watercraft.
Thanks to new boating technologies, living on a boat can now be more comfortable than ever before. Photovoltaic (PV) power, which has been used for years to power battery chargers, calculators and flashlights, is now incorporated into thin panels that can be stored and rolled out to capture power from the sun. These can keep batteries charged or stored in a battery bank, according to Lance Long, a bug out blogger in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Robert Richardson, founder of Off-Grid Survival, is a great resource for boat bugging and has investigated alternative power for boat living. He recommends a portable solar device to keep USB devices charged as well as those using rechargeable AA batteries. Check out his step-by-step off-grid air conditioning unit as well.

Defending Yourself and Your Boat During a Crisis

Conditions and people can change during a crisis. Looting often takes place ashore and pirating can spring up on a large body of water. Don’t become a victim.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Burglary: All It Takes Is 13 Seconds

Burglary2Before you finish reading this paragraph, someone’s home is being broken into and a family is dancing with danger.  That’s how long it takes to take someone’s peace of mind and how long it takes to change someone’s life forever — 13 seconds.
Every 13 seconds, a home in America is attacked by burglars according to the crime statistics of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  By definition, burglary is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft and the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred.  In 2010, more than two million cases of break-ins were reported accounting for the 24% of property crimes that year.
It also seems that homeowners are making it easy for criminals to break-in.  The FBI reported that more than 30% of entries were without force, almost welcoming burglars into the victim’s homes.  Sounds astounding?  Here are 13 other facts about burglary that you need to know to ensure the security of your home and protect your family:

how_they_break_inGuard the front
Most burglars are apparently not that discreet as we expected them to be.  The most common point of entry is not the back door, garage or other erstwhile secret passages.  It is the front door that is often left opened or unlocked.  According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2011, 34% of break-ins are through a front door.  Just a good push or kick is enough for an old door.
Check your windows
Another common point of entry is the first floor window.  Some 22% of burglaries start here.  In less than one minute, a burglar can silt a screen or break the glass and crawl through a window. Windows are mostly targeted during the warm months when they are left opened and thus inviting to thieves.  Make sure they have secondary locking devices and not just latches.
Just kick it
Your family’s safety could be compromised with the simplest of tools and the simplest of strategies.  It turns out that the most common form of forced entry is by simply kicking the door, sometimes not more than once.  The weakest point is usually the lock strike plate so it pays to upgrade to a heavy-duty strike plate as a way to prevent break-ins and deter burglars.
In broad daylight
It often shocks people when crimes are committed in broad daylight. However, in the case of burglaries, that is rather common.  They occur between 10 am to 3pm when residents are at work or in school.
All it takes is a minute
In just one minute or less, a family’s privacy and security are put in danger.  On an average, the FBI reported that it will take one minute to break into a home and burglars only need eight to 12 minutes to take valuable belongings.  Remember that every burglar’s goal is to do it quick and with as little noise as possible.
imagesScare with alarms
This will probably motivate you to take action: homes without an alarm system are 300% more likely to be broken into.  Despite this, security agency Safeguard The World noted that only 17% of homes in America have a security system. Researches from the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice found the direct correlation between burglary and security systems as an effective way to deter burglars. They interviewed 400 convicted burglars and found that 83% of them took steps to determine whether a home has an alarm system or possibly hidden security cameras.  If yes, majority of burglars will move on to an easier target.  Only 13% said they will still attempt to break in.  It’s estimated that 74% of uncompleted intrusions can be credited to an alarm.
Go wireless
Wireless security systems are increasing in popularity because they are easier to install.  The other benefit is it is less vulnerable to burglars.  Home security statistics show that roughly 25% of offenders report cutting alarm wires before breaking in.
Just amateurs
A shocking 85% of break-ins are by non-professionals and first-timers.  Home security statistics show that most offenders are under 25 years old and would settle for small items like cash and other valuables like gadgets and jewelry that can be converted to cash to support their drug habit.  Never underestimate these amateurs because they are usually more desperate and dangerous.  They are prepared to attack anyone who stands in their way.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Burglars are not rocket scientists.  They target a home through a simple selection process.  If the property has signs that it is unoccupied like mail left at the door or simply unlocked like 6% of incidents reported by the FBI.  They also choose homes that have easy access, great amount of cover and best escape routes.  If the door is too sturdy or there is an alarm system, they are most likely to just pass by.
All they need is a screwdriver
Amateur offenders with simple goals and a simple selection process need nothing more than simple tools to carry out a crime. No, this is not Mission Impossible.  Security statistics show that most burglars use a screwdriver, pliers and a small hammer.
Costly attack
Burglaries do not only compromise a family’s safety, it is also very costly.  In fact, victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.6 billion in lost property in 2010 or around $2,119 per home.  Only 15% of property stolen is recovered.
Anybody home?
Burglars prefer homes when residents are out.  However, they also do not mind if someone is actually home.  A special report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that approximately 28% of burglaries were committed with at least a household member inside.  At least seven percent of the time, a household member who tries to deter the burglar suffers injuries.
Unlucky 13
A home is broken into every 13 seconds and this is also happens to be the number of burglary cases solved.  According to the FBI, the police solve only 13% of reported burglaries.  With security cameras, this number could go up. Burglars want easy access. They want it done silently and as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, some homeowners and even renters are so careless to give burglars want they want.  Protect your family and keep your sanity by making easy and necessary precautions.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Home Fire Safety and Disaster Preparedness

fire-safety1We all want to feel safe in our homes. We don’t like to think about disasters happening to us. We hope that they never will, but being prepared will help if they do. The best way to handle a disaster is to have a plan in place. Being prepared gives your family an advantage in the face of an emergency or disaster.

Fire

Fires are one of the most common disasters we are likely to face in our homes. That is why home fire safety is so important to your family’s security. First, you should have a good home fire safety plan. Research and make a plan for what to do in the event of a fire at your home. Discuss it with your family. Be sure that everyone knows what to do and where to go in the event of a fire. Remember to plan for different scenarios, like a fire in the kitchen, a fire outside, or a fire at night while everyone is in bed. Teach each family member what to do if they encounter a fire when they are alone. Keep fire extinguishers in several areas, particularly any areas that are prone to catch fire such as the kitchen, bathroom, attic, and garage. Make sure that each family member knows how to properly operate the fire extinguishers.

Midwest StormsThunderstorms, Hurricanes, and Tornado’s

Storms are always an issue and can sometimes become violent. Make plans for these scenarios. Have a strategy for each possibility. Prepare your home and family members for what may happen. Strong winds are common but can be powerfully destructive and dangerous. Stay away from doors and windows. Get to the innermost room in your home. Flooding is also an issue. Have a plan for extreme flooding, too. It can happen very quickly and be extremely dangerous, as we saw with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Electrical outages may also occur. Having a generator will help you during any outage.

cutcaster-vector-800902976-Medical-SuppliesMedical Supplies

In any situation you should be prepared for a medical emergency. It is recommended that you put together your own first aid kit rather than buying one pre-made. This way you can customize the kit to your family’s situation. It is also recommended that you have several first aid kits in different locations, for example, your car, the kitchen, the boat, etc. A comprehensive first aid kit should include supplies and medications for cuts, burns, insect bites and stings, nausea, fever, and rash.

food-storage2-300x225Food Storage

Having stored food is a necessity. During many scenarios, food and water may be in short supply or completely cut off. Just as with first aid kits, create food storage areas in different locations like your car, home, and office. The food in your home should be well stocked and include enough food for your family to eat for at least one month. The more you can safely store, the better. Store enough food in your car to feed your family for one week. Again, the more you can safely store, the better off you will be if you need to use it in an emergency. Stock your food supply with non-perishables and other foods that have long expiration dates. Keep in mind the nutritional needs of your family when selecting foods to store. After you have stored your food, remember to check it every 6 months for expiration dates and use and replace anything that will expire.

Basic-Emergency-KitDisaster Supplies

There are several items that are necessary in many emergencies and disasters. It is a good idea to keep several of these items on hand. Keep a list of phone numbers and other pertinent contact information for family members, doctors, local emergency services, and your regional poison control center. Have a medical history and consent form for each family member. This helps medical professionals take care of you faster and more efficiently in emergencies. You should also keep a small waterproof flashlight and extra batteries. Flashlights are invaluable in many emergency and disaster situations. Candles and matches are also a good idea. Fire can be used for light, warmth, and a source for cooking food. Keep your candles and matches in a waterproof container. It may be surprising, but sunscreen is also essential. Sun exposure can be very dangerous, particularly for small children. A waterproof and sweat proof sunscreen with a high SPF is recommended. An emergency space blanket is fundamental, as well. It can not only provide warmth, but can also be used in a wide variety of ways in an emergency survival situation.
Having a plan and being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. Take the time to research different emergency situations and disasters. Plan carefully for each scenario. Learn survival skills like CPR and other first-aid medical techniques. Discuss the plans with your family. Teach each member of your family what to do and how to do it. Go over your plans and practice drills annually to make sure that everyone and everything is prepared. Your family’s safety depends on your disaster preparedness.

Monday, November 3, 2014

8 Survival Principles Every Kid Should Learn

Your kids’ tender age makes them fragile when faced with overwhelming challenges. When disasters strike, your kids’ safety will be your number one priority above everything else. Prepping trends have risen in conjunction with increased man-made and natural calamities. Along with this comes the urgency to teach survival principles to your kids. Prepare your little ones for any turnaround of events. Don’t settle for what you already know. Expand your knowledge to impart pertinent prepping insights to your kids.


Larger Quantities Always Come in Handy
pic 1
Be aware that to survive any disaster, you should always arm your children with relevant supplies. If your kids go on a camping trip, you need to ensure their supplies are sufficient to enable them to combat a possible catastrophe, independently.
Check if your kids did pack the complete emergency survival kits before they leave for the trip. You should ensure these kits will contain all the essentials to keep your children alive, even if the greatest doomsday event hits the earth.
Games Re-enact Survival Scenarios
pic 2
The traits of every prepper are particularly visible when disastrous events are re-enacted. Expand your kids’ awareness to the value of mind boggling games, as a part of the prepping process.
Guide your kids when they conceptualize a preparedness guide during disasters , while engaged in a hide and seek game. Hide all the essentials for survival in the room. Provide support when your kids formulate ways to look for these essentials, as they exhibit their potentials for survival.
E-Books Provide Additional Insights
pic 3
Preparing your kids for natural and man-made disasters is not limited only to practical drills. Let your kids get additional prepping insights from e-books. Your kids may easily access e-books, either through a personal computer, laptop or tablet.
Your kids will get unlikely, but useful additional prepping insights from e-books. There are millions of survival principles out there. Your kids may not be readily aware of all these principles. E-books will play significant roles in developing your kids’ knowledge. The article in The Last Refuge said there were 3 million preppers in America. As they grow older, learning how to prep offers endless life-saving benefits to your kids.
“Doomsday Preppers” Depicts Reality
Let your kids relate the reality show, “Doomsday Preppers” to real life emergencies. Answer questions they may have about the show. Doing so will equip them to get a clear idea about the scenarios depicted.
Your kids will have fun learning how to use an alarm system from watching the reality series. Learning to prepare for doomsday will never be boring as kids initially thought it was. Watching real-life situations portrayed on TV will make kids form a close affinity with other people from all walks of life.
Alertness Increases Chances for Survival
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Teach your kids to look out after their security by constantly being alert on what’s taking place in their environment. Nobody will supervise your kids’ safety when they’re in school, for instance. Always remind them to avoid thinking about other stuff whenever they’re alone. Warn your little ones that distraction can cause more damages than they may have thought of.
Prepping Should Never be Taken for Granted
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Advise your kids they should not claim to know it all in prepping. Even when they’re at home, kids will still likely struggle figuring out how to combat a particular type of  disaster. Motivate young people to regularly strive to learn. Learning is an endless process. Remind children there are many survival skills they can learn every day. They should never settle for less when it comes to prioritizing their safety and welfare.
Planting Alleviates Hunger
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Prepare your kids for an impending disaster by teaching them an additional skill. Planting plays an important role in alleviating hunger when a catastrophe strikes. They will have less trouble surviving when food scarcity strikes on earth. At least, in the absence of food kits, your little ones will find sources of food if they know how to plant.

Friendly Rapport Brings Positivity to Prepping
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Children need to realize you can’t spoon- feed every prepping detail to them. Attacks on prepping will vary according to the catastrophe or situation on hand. Enlighten children to get inspirational and useful learning from their peers and friends. Prepping ideas may suddenly pop out of nowhere while playing with other kids. Most of the time, anybody can obtain additional knowledge by interacting with other people.
Being aware of the ropes on how to teach kids about survival increases the chances that your next of kin generation will live longer lives. Don’t repeat the mistakes you’ve seen other people commit. Most of the time, unexpected events occur on a daily basis, wherever you are. Act now before things get out of control. Teach the necessary prepping skills to your kids to minimize their tendencies to become dependent on you if the impending doom does occur.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Milk Costs Most Ever to Signal Higher Prices for Pizza...wake up...Milk Price jumps 26% this year alone.

Milk futures rose to a record as exports by the U.S. climbed amid shrinking inventories of cheese and butter, signaling higher costs for pizza and pastries.
The U.S. shipped a record 17 percent of milk production in the first half, according to Alan Levitt, a spokesman at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Cheesestockpiles in July dropped 8 percent from a year earlier, and butter supplies tumbled 42 percent, the Department of Agriculture said last month. U.S. dairy costs are higher than world prices, signaling imports will increase, said Jon Spainhour, a partner at Rice Dairy LLC.
“Usually, we use the first six months of the year to build the inventory we’re going to sell in the last six months,” Spainhour said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “People are saying that ‘I know those imports are coming in, but in the meantime, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got enough to get on the supermarket shelf.’ ”
Milk futures for September settlement rose 0.7 percent to close at $24.45 per 100 pounds at 1:11 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the class III variety, used as a cheese benchmark, reached a record $24.47. The price has jumped 26 percent this year.
Dairy consumption increases in the North American autumn as U.S. football fans boost pizza orders and bakers need more butter for holiday cakes and pastries, Spainhour said.
U.S. cheese consumption will rise to a record 4.88 million metric tons in 2014, USDA data shows. Milk use will climb to an all-time high of 93.4 million tons.
“We just didn’t build the stocks we needed to, and domestic cheese buyers are still scrambling to build that inventory,” Spainhour said.
In July, retail whole milk was $3.65 a gallon, the most for the month since 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Low Inflation? The Price Of Ground Beef Has Risen 17 Percent Over The Past Year

Inflation Public DomainThanks to the Federal Reserve, the middle class is slowly being suffocated by rising food prices.  Every single dollar in your wallet is constantly becoming less valuable because of the inflation the Fed systematically creates.  And if you try to build wealth by saving money and earning interest on it, you still lose because thanks to the Federal Reserve's near zero interest rate policies banks pay next to nothing on savings accounts.  The Federal Reserve wants you to either spend your money or to put it in the giant casino that we call the stock market.  But when Americans spend their paychecks they are finding that they don't stretch as far as they once did.  The cost of living continues to rise at a much faster pace than wages are rising, and this is especially true when it comes to the price of food.
Someone that I know wrote to me today and let me know that she had to shut down the food pantry that she had been running for the poor for so many years.  It isn't that she didn't want to help the poor anymore.  It was that she just couldn't deal with the rising food prices any longer.  Now she is just doing the best that she can to survive herself.
Perhaps you have also noticed that food prices have gotten pretty crazy lately.  In particular, meat prices have become absolutely obscene.  For example, the average price of ground beef has risen to a new record high of over $4.09 a pound.  Over the past twelve months, that works out to a whopping 17 percent increase...
The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high–$4.096 per pound–in the United States in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In August, according to BLS, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time–hitting $4.013. In September, the average price jumped .083 cents, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month.
A year ago, in September 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.502 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 59.4 cents–or about 17 percent in one year.
The "intellectuals" over at the Federal Reserve insist that "a little bit of inflation" is good for an economy, but the truth is that inflation slowly robs us of our buying power.
In a previous article, I shared a chart that showed how food inflation has risen dramatically since the year 2000.  For this article, I wanted to show how food inflation has risen since the 1970s.  As you can see, the rise in food prices has been absolutely relentless for more than 40 years...
Food Inflation 2014
If our paychecks were going up at the same rate or even faster that would be okay.
But they aren't.
In fact, CNN is reporting that our paychecks have fallen back to 1995 levels...
Americans also don't feel any better off. While more people may have jobs, they aren't bringing home fatter paychecks. Wages and income have remained stagnant for years, making it tough for folks even though inflation is low. Median household income, which stood at $51,939 last year, is back to 1995 levels.
Consumers expect a median income boost of 1.1% over the next year, Curtin said. But that won't keep up with their inflation expectations of 2.8%.
"American households, on average, are still struggling with their living standards slowly eroding," he said.
This is one of the primary reasons why the middle class is disappearing in America.
The purchasing power of our dollars is continually diminishing.
And this could be just the beginning.  Right now, severe drought is affecting some of the most important agricultural areas around the globe.  Most people are aware of the nightmarish drought in California, but did you know that things in Brazil are even worse?  Brazil is one of the most important food exporters in the world, and so they definitely need our prayers.
In addition, a "black swan event" such as a worldwide explosion of the Ebola pandemic could quickly drive food prices into the stratosphere.
Just this week, we learned that food prices in the Ebola-stricken regions of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have already risen by an average of 24 percent...
Infection rates in the food-producing zones of Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone, Lofa and Bong County in Liberia and GuDeckDedou in Guinea are among the highest in the region. Hundreds of farmers have died.
The three governments quarantined districts and restricted movements to contain the virus’ spread. But those measures also disrupted markets and led to food scarcity and panic buying, further pushing up prices, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization have said.
"Prices have risen by an average of 24 percent," said WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, adding an assessment of major markets showed the price of basic commodities was rising in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and in neighboring Senegal.
If you have been storing up food, I think that you will be very happy with your decision in the long run.
Without a doubt, food prices are only going to be going up from here.
But the Federal Reserve continues to insist that inflation is under control.
One of the ways that they make the "official numbers" look good is by playing accounting games.  They regularly change the way that inflation is calculated in order keep everyone calm.
You don't have to take my word for it.  Posted below is an excerpt from an article by Mike Bryan, a vice president and senior economist in the Atlanta Fed's research department...
The Economist retells a conversation with Stephen Roach, who in the 1970s worked for the Federal Reserve under Chairman Arthur Burns. Roach remembers that when oil prices surged around 1973, Burns asked Federal Reserve Board economists to strip those prices out of the CPI "to get a less distorted measure. When food prices then rose sharply, they stripped those out too—followed by used cars, children's toys, jewellery, housing and so on, until around half of the CPI basket was excluded because it was supposedly 'distorted'" by forces outside the control of the central bank. The story goes on to say that, at least in part because of these actions, the Fed failed to spot the breadth of the inflationary threat of the 1970s.
I have a similar story. I remember a morning in 1991 at a meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's board of directors. I was welcomed to the lectern with, "Now it's time to see what Mike is going to throw out of the CPI this month." It was an uncomfortable moment for me that had a lasting influence. It was my motivation for constructing the Cleveland Fed's median CPI.
I am a reasonably skilled reader of a monthly CPI release. And since I approached each monthly report with a pretty clear idea of what the actual rate of inflation was, it was always pretty easy for me to look across the items in the CPI market basket and identify any offending—or "distorted"—price change. Stripping these items from the price statistic revealed the truth—and confirmed that I was right all along about the actual rate of inflation.
It is all a game to them.
It is all about getting to the "right number" to release to the public.
But anyone that goes to the grocery store knows what has been happening to food prices.
The next time you get to the checkout register and you feel tempted to ask the cashier what organ you should donate to pay for your groceries, please keep in mind that it is not the fault of the cashier.
Instead, there is one entity that you should blame.
Blame the Federal Reserve - their policies are slowly pushing the middle class into oblivion.