Egg Prices are Going Up. Way Up.

Egg prices are going up.  An announcement was made at the beginning of January alerting consumers to a price hike in eggs as California starts requiring hens be raised in spaces big enough to move around in.  This means that states selling eggs to California must also meet these standards in order to continue selling eggs in the Golden State.

Anyone thinking  this new requirement meant that chickens would suddenly be living out their days in luxury digs with prices staying the same, needs to think again.  Because of the new standards, chicken farmers are sending their flocks to their Heavenly Rewards rather than building new, larger buildings to house the hens in.

Less chickens could mean less eggs, which would drive up prices.

powdered eggs
I was able to attend the Augason Farms scratch and dent sale last Friday.  I grabbed these beauties for $13.99 each.

I’m thinking it’s a good time to make sure my preps include some powered/dehydrated/freeze dried eggs.

How about you?

A great way to combat rising food prices is to purchase on sale and in bulk.  This allows you to ‘lock in’ the price of a food.   Purchasing enough to last a year will give you amble opportunity to begin looking for a good sale price before you run out and are left at the mercy of what ever the going price of an item is.

Here are some sources for eggs in long term storage form:

Augason Farms

Emergency Essentials

Thrive

Rainy Day Foods/Walton Feed    (You can also find Ova Easy Egg Crystals freeze dried eggs on this site.  More expensive, but better tasting I’m told.)
Eggs in a can not what you are dreaming of?   Then freezing eggs might be a good fit!

Tip:  How do you use powered/dehydrated eggs?  It’s easy.  In any recipe calling for eggs use 1 T. dry egg powder + 2 T. water for a medium egg or 2 T. dry egg powder + 1/4 c. water for a large egg.

Remember, most companies all source their powered eggs from the exact same place.  So even if one company’s directions tell you to use 2 or 3 tablespoons of powered eggs for the replacement of 1 fresh egg, all you really need is ONE Tablespoon of dry egg powder. 

Have egg prices gone up where you live?  Do you store eggs?   Do you use powered eggs in place of fresh ones?

Last Minute Winter Emergency Road Trip List

Heading to the snowy mountains for the holidays? Here is a last minute winter emergency road trip list to keep you and your family safe!

unpredictable winter weather

 

Emergency car kit containing the following items:

A reflective hazard warning sign (this one’s a carrying case)

Jumper cables

Ice scraper

Tire pressure gauge

Ratchet set

Pliers

Screwdrivers

Electrical tape

Automotive fuses

Work gloves

Flashlight

A strong tote bag or backpack to keep your gear in. An egg crate to store this equipment is also handy as it doubles as a stool if you get stuck changing a tire.

First Aid Kit

Bottled water. I like to keep a whole case in the trunk as well.

Snacks. Some with higher protein and some just to keep your spirits up.

Baby wipes.

External battery pack to charge your phone like a Mophie. 

Road Atlas. See how I plan to use maps in an emergency. This is a great time to make notes on what’s around you when you travel.

Mylar heat blankets and hand warmers. I usually buy a large winter pack with a variety of these heated pouches each year at Costco.

Heavy blanket that you could use to cover a window if broken or wrap around you.

Duct tape.

Snow boots-tuck inside an extra set of warm gloves, hat that covers your ears, scarf, and warm socks.

Ice scraper

Snow shovel.

Siphon pump and gas can.

Kitty litter for giving your tires traction in the ice and snow.

Protein bars, water and ready to eat meals.

Matches

Light sticks

Flares

Make sure someone knows where you are going, what time you expect to be there and what roads you are planning to travel.

Stay up to date on road conditions. Many states have apps now for your phone that will keep you up to date.

Set your phone settings to receive emergency alerts. Here is a good explanation from Verizon on how Emergency Alerts work. These can be critical to your families safety. For more tips on using your phone during a winter weather emergency read Weathering the Winter on the Verizon blog

Turn on your geo locate on your cell phone so that the signal could be used to find you if necessary. 

Make use of the many services offered for vehicles these days like GM’s OnStar features for winter safety.

Disclosure: I have compensated relationships with both Onstar and Verizon Wireless through their social media teams. My participation in these programs has not influenced my thoughts on this post. Both of these services are very beneficial in emergency situations.

Preppers Wish List

Preppers Wish List Instead of the latest useless gadget this year, why not get some emergency preparedness gifts for your loved one? Here are a list of items that are guaranteed to be on your preppers wish list!

Stocking Stuffers:

Instead of putting them in a traditional stocking, I think it would be cute (and more useful) if Santa had a Bug Out Bag hanging in its usual place with all of the above in it!

Preppers Wish List Going Bigger:

  • Dehydrator
  • Canning Supplies (Tammy has some great money saving advice on canning supplies)
  • Pressure Cooker (not electric)
  • Foodsaver
  • Cast iron pans
  • Campstove (don’t forget the fuel)
  • First Aid Kits
  • Car emergency packs (Costco had a really nice one for $29 the other day)
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Fishing Gear
  • Hunting Gear
  • Emergency Toilet (could be a good gag gift that is REALLY appreciated someday)
  • 100 hour candles

Going REALLY Big:

  • Rain Barrels (check Craigslist for people that deliver in your area and only buy food grade & pressure washed)
  • Generator
  • Solar panels
  • Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Sun Oven
  • Big Buddy Propane Heater
  • Hand grain mill

 Free DIY Prepper Gifts

The most important prep we can have in my opinion is close relationships with friends, family, neighbors and loved ones. Take the opportunity this Christmas to reach out and connect with people. Maybe plan a spring camping trip, or offer to volunteer teaching skills you have, make a date to have some friends over to work on canning and food storage, or even set a date to go thrift store rummaging after the holidays. Remember: the greatest gift we can give is ourselves!

Happy Holidays!

 

After Halloween Sales On Prepping Items

Hi Everyone-

Quick post today but wanted to remind you that today most “Halloween” items go on sale for at least 50% off. Here are some great things that you can pick up during the sales to add to your preps:

halloween sales on prepping

 

  1. Pumpkins!! Here are some fabulous ways to use pumpkin: can cubed pumpkins, make pumpkin butter, roast  pumpkin seeds, save pumpkin seeds, dehydrate pumpkins, and don’t forget about putting some away for your doggy’s upset tummy!

    Pumpkins

    Photo by Richard Bowen

  2. Glow sticks! These make excellent emergency lights. You can also use them to mark things outside that you would like to be able to see while camping.

    Glow Sticks

    Photo by Nickstone333

  3. Hard candy. Dum Dum lollipops and jolly ranchers will sure be a treat if you are living off the canned goods, beans and rice you have stored away. Peppermint candy is great for human stomach aches as well.Jolly Ranchers

What are some other great items and uses for the after Halloween sales? Share your ideas in the comments!

Time to Update Your Emergency Road Trip Kit

Every year you should take out your emergency road trip kit, check it and refresh it because you just never know when you hit the open road, what sort of road blocks you will run into…Thanks to OnStar for providing today’s reminder.

road block

Things to Include In Your Emergency Road Kit:

 

  • An all purpose emergency car kit like the one pictured here that is good for  a variety of car troubles.Road_Side_Emergency_Kit
  • A reflective hazard warning sign (this one’s a carrying case)
  • Jumper cables
  • Ice scraper
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Ratchet set
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Electrical tape
  • Automotive fuses
  • Work gloves
  • Sunblock and Bug Spray. Great for those unexpected side trips that can occur!
  • First Aid Kit
  • Roadside Emergency Kit
  • Bottled water. I like to keep a whole case in the trunk as well.
  • Snacks. Some with higher protein and some just to keep your spirits up.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Cell phone with an external battery pack for your charger. Driving a car like some of the new 2015 GM models that have an LTE mobile hotspot built into your car is a great safety luxury. Onstar help is just a push of a button away and you never have to worry about a dead phone battery. Just because you are headed off the grid doesn’t mean you can’t be connected to what matters.
  • A Class B or C Fire extinguisher as rated by by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA.  Class B fires are those that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment such as switches, panel boxes and batteries. Be prepared for both.
  • Rain poncho for summer showers.

 

Don’t forget it will soon be time to winterize your emergency car kit.

I would like to thank OnStar for sponsoring this post. Do you like to road trip? I would encourage you to connect with OnStar’s #WhereInTheUSA campaign and share where you have been this summer. Share photos and use the #whereintheUSA hashtag and tag @OnStarUSA on Instagram to join in the fun. There are some great photo’s to inspire you to get out there like my funny buffalo road blocks from Custer State Park in South Dakota. SAFELY.

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and OnStar blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Technology in Vehicles

Disclosure: I have long had an interest in technology in vehicles and how that plays a role in emergency preparedness. For that reason I am a paid OnStar Ambassador through SocialMoms. While I am being compensated for this post, I believe passionately in the role of technology in vehicles for safety and the opinions expressed are solely my own.

onstar bat signalHave you ever thought of what you would do if your car turned over in a ditch on an isolated back country road? No? OK. Clearly you aren’t me. I think of these things. In fact, most people interested in emergency preparedness do. But as a beginner, you may think emergency preparedness is all about stocking your pantry with countless bags of beans and rice. It isn’t. Being prepared means thinking through the many many things, both big and small, that can go wrong in your life.

I am willing to bet that you spend a fair amount of time in your car and like any good prepper, you have a great car safety kit and you never leave home without a charged cell phone in case of an emergency. But how helpful would either of those really be in the situation I described above? Probably not very.

I have long been a user of the OnStar technology in my GMC car because I like knowing that no matter where I am if my car is in a collision and I can’t respond emergency services will be sent. I can call them at any time if I feel unsafe in my car just to have someone else on the line. The phone and the GPS signal have been a source of comfort as my kiddo learned to drive and the monthly maintenance report has been helpful in reminding me to do things that have no doubt kept me safer while driving.

OnStar just announced that they will be bringing 4G LTE connectivity to select 2015 Chevrolet vehicles. This will allow passengers to connect their personal devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) to high-speed wireless Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot that is built right into the vehicle. There are several implications for emergency preparedness:

  • With the transition from a 2G to a 4G LTE connection built into the framework the hotspot will offer superior signal quality making both voice and data stronger and faster. Signals will be lost or dropped less giving us less of a chance of being caught in a dead zone no matter where we are.
  • GPS signals may be more accurate and stronger.
  • Specially designed apps can be downloaded such as The Weather Channel giving us more accurate and up to date info on changing weather conditions

These were just a few that came to mind but more idea’s can be found on the OnStar page itself.

Here is a quick look at how The Weather Channel App will look in the new cars:

I am curious what you think of the latest technology in vehicles? Would you buy a car with features like this for safety reasons?

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and OnStar blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Top Preppers on Pinterest

The social networking site Pinterest is a a great place to get ideas on prepping, homesteading and self-sufficiency. Last March we wrote a post on the top 5 pinners on Pinterest which became wildly popular. This fall we are discovering some new pinners (to us) and want to share this resource with you all. So, without further ado, we present….

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Of course, you know we are always going to list ourselves so those of you who are not yet following can start seeing the pins we share! Click on the picture of the profile to follow us and all of the preppers in this post!

Simply Preparing on Pinterest

Top Prepper on Pinterest

Glenn H. Levy on Pinterest

One of our favorite prepping friends, Mom With a Prep, suggested our Simply Preparing facebook page that we check out this monster prepping pinner and we sure weren’t sorry. Glenn focuses a lot on survival skills, weaponry and alternative shelters.

glenn levy-prepper on pinterest

Family Preparedness Board on Pinterest

Another one of our favorite boards is curated by Mom With A Prep. We were invited to contribute to this fine collection and are proud to do so. You will find lots of “quick tip” prepping posts links here.

family preparedness

Are You Prepared? Pinterest Board

ConnieSmith1 created a great Pinterest Board called Are You Prepared? You will be after reading through all the tips and tricks she posts here.

Are you prepared? pinterest board

Prepared Housewives on Pinterest

I love when people take the time to organize their board covers to make it easier for people to find things! I really need to do this but for now I will simply enjoy those pinners that are more organized than myself!

prepared housewives on pinterest

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Backwoods Home is a print magazine that is coming to life on Pinterest. They post mostly their own uploaded photos and tips from the magazine to their Pinterest profile.

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Of course, we still highly recommend our Top 5 Pinners For Prepping from last spring so click the graphic to visit them.

top 5 pinners to follow for prepping

 

We certainly don’t claim to be perfect and we are sure to have missed some great pinners! Who are they? Leave us their name and pinterest profile URL in the comments so we can check them out and maybe include them in our next roundup!

 

 

The Pros and Cons of MREs

Most preppers and outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with MREs. MRE stands for meal, ready-to-eat, and they are most common as field rations for the military. MREs are meant to feed one individual for one meal. Fortunately, these meals in a bag or box have come a long way since hardtack, cans of Spam, and freeze-dried meat. Modern MREs offer a wide range of foodstuffs and now include heating elements, desserts, and beverage powders. There are even MREs made for cold weather that pack plenty of extra calories when you need them to stay warm.

All of the items included in modern MREs make them extremely popular for preppers and outdoor recreationists alike, including campers and backpackers. You might be wondering, though, if MREs are right for you as part of an emergency preparedness kit. Before you run out and buy cases of MREs to have when disaster strikes, it is helpful to know both the advantages and disadvantages of these.

pros and cons of mresThe Pros:

  • Versatility – Modern-day MREs offer a wide variety of options when it comes to food. MREs from the U.S. military offer a great diversity that was missing even just a few years ago. You can now select those with chicken, beef, or pork as the main dish or vegetarian meals. There are also a large variety of carbohydrates like pasta, rice, oatmeal, and applesauce. MREs come in breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices.

  • Heating Elements – MREs now come with some kind of heating element so that you can have a hot meal even if you don’t have access to a stove, and these heating elements come right in the bag. This makes MREs perfect when you are left without electricity or when you find yourself out in the wildness miles from civilization.

  • Sheer Number of Items – MREs come packed with numerous food items including a main dish, side dishes, desserts, energy bars, beverage flavoring powders, instant coffee, and, of course, the customary salt, pepper, toilet paper, spoon, chewing gum, and Tabasco sauce if you’re lucky. What is included in one MRE differs immensely, and no two are ever exactly alike!

  • Portability – MREs can be easily thrown into a backpack or bug out bag. Once you open a MRE, you have everything you need for a meal.

The Cons:

  • The Amount of Calories – Since MREs were designed for soldiers in combat, one meal contains a large amount of calories. Each MRE contains about 1200 calories and that makes it great for outdoor pursuits but hard on the stomach for more sedentary individuals. An entire MRE should probably not be consumed all in one sitting.

  • Weight – MREs weigh more than freeze-dried meals. It is something to take into consideration if you are thinking about packing them around all day.

  • Cost – MREs are more expensive compared to fresher foods and freeze-dried meals. On average, a single MRE costs around $8 to $10, and a case of twelve can cost around $80 to $100.

  • Availability – MREs are not something that you can find at your local grocery store. Special military supply stores or outdoor stores might carry them but they will probably be limited in quantity and variety. Thanks to the Internet MREs are now available from several online retailers. If you order online, however, you will obviously pay more for shipping.

Unpredictable Winter Weather

Snow is starting to fall and that means unpredictable winter weather is upon us. Taking simple steps now to plan ahead for winter weather emergencies can help thwart a disaster. Here are three posts that can get you started in your winter weather preparations in and around the home.

But what if that unpredictable winter weather decides to wreak havoc when you are on vacation?

unpredictable winter weather

Many of us travel to either play in the snow or to escape the snow during the winter months. Here are some tips for airline travel preparedness.

  • Always carry 3 days worth of prescription and over the counter medications on you at all times. Airport delays happen frequently in the winter. Don’t check your medicine in your luggage. You may get stuck in an airport and you won’t have access to your checked bags.
  • Always wear  a solid pair of walking shoes on an airplane. I can’t tell you the number of times I cringe seeing people wear flip flops and slippers. Think about what you would do if you had to suddenly walk a long a distance with what you have on you. When you get on a plane always think through what you will do if you get stuck on the other end without your luggage.
  • Keep a change of clothes in your carry-on and include things that can be easily layered. Always carry an easy to pack jacket with you with a hood. A small collapsible umbrella is a smart choice as well.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers. If your cell goes dead, you drop it, it gets stolen, would you remember all the numbers you need?
  • Carry cash. Don’t count on ATM’s and credit card machines working. If weather is that bad power can easily be lost, taking down ATM’s and pay machines.
  • Wear multipurpose clothing when traveling. I am a big fan of the SCOTTEVEST line. Particularly this vest that I have. I can carry a lot of essentials on me safely and conveniently.
  • Load your important documents to a secure folder of a cloud service. If you use iPhone you can use iCloud for free or anyone can use Google Drive for free. I personally like DropBox for this. Take a photo of your drivers license, passport, and insurance cards.

Traveling by car can present a different set of challenges in unpredictable winter weather. Here are some tips for car travel preparedness.

  • It’s time to update your emergency road trip kit.  In addition to everything I suggest in that post, lets add:
      1. Mylar heat blankets and hand warmers.
      2. Ice scraper (it is mentioned in that post but I want to make sure you have it).
      3. Snow shovel.
      4. Siphon pump and gas can.
      5. Kitty litter for giving your tires traction in the ice and snow.
      6. Protein bars, water and ready to eat meals.
      7. Matches
      8. Light sticks
      9. Flares
      10. Cell phone signal booster and extra battery chargers like a Mophie.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going, what time you expect to be there and what roads you are planning to travel.
  • Stay up to date on road conditions. Many states have apps now for your phone that will keep you up to date.
  • Set your phone settings to receive emergency alerts.
  • Turn on your geo locate on your cell phone so that the signal could be used to find you if necessary. Having apps like Find My iPhone or Verizon’s Family Locator service are perfect for this.
  • Make use of the many services offered for vehicles these days like GM’s OnStar features. There is an add-on mirror available now if you do not have a GM car. It does not have all the features of a built in unit but is better than not having the service. I use OnStar and always feel safe knowing someone is available at the touch of a button via a separate satellite phone that won’t go dead. They can geolocate my car and send help via GPS coordinates even if I am unresponsive after a collision. It’s like having a guardian angel in my car.

The Prepared Mom signature

Dressing for Unpredictable Weather

The outdoors presents a large variety of physical activities to participate in, everything from hiking, backpacking, snow sports, water sports, hunting, fishing, and more. However, outdoor recreation can be challenging in the fall because of the weather. Fall weather is often unpredictable, changing from sunny skies to rain or wind at the blink of an eye. Temperatures can drop suddenly without any warning, and the days get shorter as winter approaches. There have been many cases of people dying because they were not prepared for sudden changes in weather, like this dad and his two sons in Missouri.

Dressing for unpredictable weather appropriately  is critical when spending time outdoors. The best way to do this is to layer your clothing. That way you can adjust what you are wearing to both your activity level and the weather, and you will be able to simply add or subtract layers. Experts recommend you have three layers of clothing and each perform a different function: a base layer, an insulating layer, and an outer shell layer.

  • The Base Layer – This layer, the one closest to your body, manages moisture. It is the layer that will keep you dry and regulates your body’s temperature by drawing sweat and moisture away from your skin. This is critical in the summer in order to keep you cool and in the winter to keep you from getting too cold. The best base layers are not made from cotton but synthetics like merino wool, polyester, or silk. Examples of base layers include things like a sports bra and thermal underwear in the wintertime.
  • The Insulating Layer – The insulating layer is the next layer that goes on top of the base layer. The Insulating layer does just that; it traps air close to your body and therefore helps you retain heat. The best insulating layers are those made out of wool, goose down, or fleece. Fleece is typically preferred because it is breathable, lightweight, and works even when wet. Insulating layers also come in a wide variety of weights to that you can choose one according to both your activity level and the weather.
  • The Outer Shell – The third and last layer is one that will protect you from the elements. It provides a barrier from the rain, snow, and wind. Most outer shells have some degree of water and wind resistance. Of course, outer shells come in a large variety, everything from waterproof, breathable coats to soft shell jackets that provide some of your insulation too.

As you find yourself outdoors, you can add or remove layers according to the weather. If it is a sunny day and a sudden storm moves in, you can then add your outer shell for extra warmth and protection. If the sun comes out and the temperature warms up, you can then remove your shell and insulating layer. Plus, this layering system works for both your upper body and lower body. It also never hurts to bring extra warm clothing like a hat and gloves just in case. How you dress is a critical component of spending time outside, especially in unpredictable weather.