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I have spent the last 2 hours reading your newsletter and wonderful recipes. I have already printed a whole bunch I want to try. I love them because they are using ingredients one has on hand. I love that and just wanted you to know how much we appreciate all your hard work in putting together this newsletter. Thank you very much.


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       Volume I - November 13, 2009

Be Prepared! More Than A Boy Scout Motto: Part 1
by Patty Liston

I have yet to speak with anyone who doesn’t know someone who has been laid off from work, had their hours cut, or has had to get back into the work force to supplement reduced income. No doubt about it, times are tough for many people we know and it may be awhile before the economy gets back to “normal”.

There are things that we can do to prepare ourselves for any unforeseen eventuality — whether it is a bad economy, quarantine due to swine flu, or national disaster. So for the next several weeks, I will present information on how you can prepare yourself, and your family, to live independent of any outside means, should the need arise. There will be information on everything from water storage, food storage, first aid, cooking without gas/electricity, sanitation, etc.

When I lived in California, it was imperative that everyone have a 72 hour kit for each member of the family. We were told on no uncertain terms by the police, fire rescue, and health officials that in the eventuality of an earthquake, it would be 3 days—or more! — before help would come. Hurricane Katrina taught us the truth of that statement.

Many people I know, including my own family, are looking seriously at our personal ability to care for ourselves during a disaster. What if we couldn’t get to a grocery store, or a doctor? What if there was no gas, electricity, or cellular service? What if the water was contaminated?

What if we, like those in fire-ravaged California, had to leave our home on a moment’s notice? In short, how would we cope?

I know of many people who are looking at self-sustainable items to give as gifts this holiday season. The thought is, if the items are never used, we are blessed. However, if one is in need, these personal preparedness items could mean the difference between coping, and despair.

To get us started, below is a list of “Preparedness Gifts” that someone sent me via e-mail. This is basic and will be elaborated on in the upcoming weeks. Many are free, with graduated monetary outlays for other items. I am going to do this exercise with you! If any of you know of any good preparedness web-sites, or would like to share your own experiences, please let me know. We are all in this together and being able to help each other is always a great gift.

Ideas for Preparedness Gifts:


Free (or almost)

Stocking Stuffer





Red Cross pamphlets, various topics
Library books

"Essentials of Home Production and Storage"

Any number of good books on preparedness

More extensive classes

Pay for a child to go to college


Fill your empty canning jars w/ water & process
Fill pop containers with water
Share seeds from your garden

5-gallon water storage jug, $5
(OK, so you need a big stocking)

Water purification tools or system

55-gallon water barrels

Travel to help a 3rd world country install a water supply


Sit down and make a plan for what you want to store, then commit to do it.
Inventory your existing supplies

Garden seeds
25 lb flour ($5)
25 lb sugar ($8)
5 lbs honey

50 lbs wheat
1-4 gals oil
50 lbs oatmeal
Etc, etc, etc, -- there are tons of food storage items in this category

Just buy bigger quantities

Complete year's supply of very basic foods ($250 per adult)
Year's supply of foods of your choice

Food preparation

A gift certificate entitling the bearer to a canning lesson, cooking lesson, or any other skill they'd like to learn

Can opener
Paper plates
Plastic utensils
Thermos Freezer bags

Canning supplies
Sprouting kit
Propane tank

Hand grain grinder
Dutch oven
Pressure cooker

Electric wheat grinder
Bread mixer
Propane stove


A gift certificate entitling the bearer to a lesson on any type of home/car maintenance skill


Gardening tools


Rototiller & fuel



4-pack of toilet paper
Soap, shampoo, Etc, etc, etc

Case of toilet paper/paper towels

Year's supply of most any toiletry would fit here, or even cost less


First aid

Some classes Library books


Inexpensive first aid kit

More expensive first aid kit



Scavenge firewood

Heat packs

Heavy coats

Wood/Coal Sleeping bags
Fireplace tools

Wood, coal, propane stoves


Learn to make candles


Inexpensive Lantern

More expensive lantern


Many classes
(gift to yourself, or bring a friend)
Clean out clutter - give items to others you DON'T use

Transistor radio

Smoke detector

72-hr kit
Emergency car kit
Fire Extinguisher


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