Simple and Effective Ways To Filter And Purify Water

Storing water is only the first step in your emergency water preparedness plan. While we’ve shown you ways to store water for an emergency, you’re going to want to have a way to filter and purify outside drinking sources..

 Filtering and Purifying Water

Filtering and purifying water are two different steps.  Filtering removes things the eye can see from water, such as bugs, twigs and leaves.

Purifying removes things the eyes can’t see, such as germs and bacteria that can not only make you sick, but kill you.

*this post contains affiliate links

How To Filter and Purify Water

 Safe Drinking Water

First filtering potential drinking water and then purifying it is the best practice in order to have safe for your family in an emergency.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish this.  Straining.  Homemade filtering systems.  Bleach.  Pool Shock.  Boiling.

Luckily, there are commercial options available now that make the need to filter and purify water much, much easier.

Bonus:  They don’t cost a fortune!

LifeStraw

Filter and Purify Water With A LifeStraw

Portable and very affordable, you throw a LifeStraw into each family member’s 72 hour kit, and you will have an easy way to both filter up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water and remove:

99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, including E-Coli

99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, including Giardia & Cryptosporidium

Bonus:  No funky after taste, they way you would get by using bleach to purify water.

LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System

Looking to purify water on a larger scale during an emergency?   Take a look at the LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System.  

This system uses a high volume gravity filter to filter and purify 4755 gallons of water.   Ideal for group and family emergency preparedness situation.

Pour the water into the top, and clean water comes out the bottom.  How much easier can it get?

Berkey Water Filters

Filter and Purify Water Long Term With A Berkey

The aftermath of an emergency can leave municipal drinking facilities scrambling to provide clean water.  Just ask any one that has been slammed by hurricanes and flooding.  Even after the taps are turned back on, the water flowing through them can be of questionable quality.

Berkey systems filter both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as  lakes, streams and stagnant ponds.  The Berkey is made to tackle hostile environments where electricity, or treated water isn’t available.  No more having to worry if your tap water is safe to drink.

The Big Berkey

The Big Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites, while reducing harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides.

The Big Berkey system has a storage capacity of about 2.25 gallons (8.5 liters) and will filter approximately  12-15 gallons a day.  It’s the perfect size to keep on a kitchen counter top or by the sink.

Get A Water Filter NOW

Without access to safe drinking water, you have a life span of three days.    Three days.  Yet for the cost of a few lattes, you could provide you family with a simple and effective way to filter water with a LifeStraw.

Don’t wait until an emergency is knocking at your door.  Add a water filter to your emergency kit today.

P.S.

Come and join us!

I have a theory that the reason so many people aren’t prepared for emergencies isn’t that they aren’t concerned, but they simply don’t know where to start, and it’s so easy to become overwhelmed.

Let’s talk not just about what we need in order to be prepared for an uncertain future, but how to use what we have too.

Simply Preparing Deals Group

Save

Save

Save

Choosing The Best Emergency Face Mask

As I write this post, parts of the country are either flooded or fleeing the path of Hurricane Irma.  Other states, Oregon, Washington and California are on fire.  If there was ever a time to begin preparing your family for an emergency, now has to be it.  One item that should be in every family’s preparedness kit is an emergency face mask.

*this post contains affiliate links

Which Type Of Emergency Face Mask Should You Buy?

Let’s run through the different types of emergency face masks and their best uses.

The lowest level of protection is the humble dust mask.   Inexpensive.  Disposable.  It’s the sort of mask you would need to protect against pollen, household dust, cut grass.  It is NOT NIOSH approved protection.  It’s really not going to offer much protection, and the only reason I mention it here is to help you tell the difference between this and a particulate respirator mask.

How To Choose An Emergency Face Mask

N95 Emergency Face Masks

A better choice for an emergency face mask is a particulate respirator, an N95 or above.  These are the types of masks suggested a few years back when the Swine Flu and Influenza were such concerns.  These filter 95% of 0.3 micron sized particles.

Particulate respirator face masks conform a bit better to your face, unless you have a  beard.   These masks give you more protection from microscopic particles in the air.

The N95 masks can be found with ‘cool flow valves’ that help to reduce heat build up, moisture, and fogging, all of which help to make breathing while wearing this mask easier.

N95 masks are NIOSH certified, which means the respirator has passed stringent government performance standards including filtration efficiency testing and provides at least 95% filtration efficiency solid and liquid particles that do not contain oil.

The N95 masks have been a popular choice for protection from the smoke from fires, city pollution, viruses (H1N1, etc.) and allergies.

N99 Emergency Face Masks

Newer on the market are masks like the Cambridge Mask, which is a N99 mask.  More expensive, but reusable, Cambridge Masks provide protection against gases, smells, all PM; PM2.5, PM0.3, pollen, smoke and pathogens such as viruses (99.6%)  and  bacteria (99.77%).

As per the Cambridge literature:

The filters used in the Cambridge Mask meet the N99 standard (higher than N95)This is a US Government specification for pollution masks. Cambridge Masks have been independently tested by Nelson Labs, USA which confirmed almost 100% of particulate pollution, bacteria and viruses were successfully filtered when tested. We have also tested to meet the standards for Chinese NK-95 and Korean Food and Drug Administration requirements. The masks use a triple-layer filter system which will protect from a range of airborne contaminants.

Please, check the specs on ANY emergency face mask purchase you make.

 

 

PRO TIP: Remember viruses are transferred not only by touch, through a sneeze, these bugs can also enter through your eyes.  Good hand washing and keeping your hands away from your face is important.

Choosing an emergency face mask.

Should You Buy A Respirator?

Next up, Respirators.  These provide at least 95% filter efficiency against solid and liquid aerosols as well as some organic vapors.  It will filter pesticides and some viruses too.   Basically, you get a much better seal with this type of face masks, which offers better protection.  If you want to amp up this protection add a pair of safety goggles.

Respirators work well for those with serious breathing problems, allergies, and a need to be protected from bad smells.  Think of it as a really jacked up version of the paper N95 masks that can also filter out strong odors.

PRO TIP:  At around $30.00 a pop, respirators are a great choice for protection.  But make sure you pay attention to the SIZES they come in, usually Small, Medium, and Large.   The effectiveness of any face mask depends on how well it fits.

Full Facepiece Respirators provide a good seal around your face, AND protect your eyes.  More expensive, but if this is a big concern for you, worth every penny.

What Face Mask Should You Choose For Mold Removal?

Let’s face it.  In the aftermath of a hurricane, a lot of people are going to be dealing with a lot of mold.  You are going to need a Mold Remediation Respirator kit.
Mold is nasty stuff.  Don’t try to use a paper face mask or simple respirator for this job.

What About Gas Masks?

This really isn’t as outlandish as it may seem, considering today’s world events.  Living in a state with an Army Depot that stores old chemical warfare goodies, I can see the value of these.   Again, it’s all about your personal circumstances.  The Israeli Gas Masks also run in the $30-40 dollar range.

Pro Tip:  Regardless of which face mask you choose, wearing them is a bit of a learning curve.  They are uncomfortable.  They can look scary on, especially for children.   Take some time and practice wearing your masks BEFORE an emergency.

What face masks have you used?  Which ones do you like the best?  Which ones would you not buy again?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

March is Frozen Food Month and frozen vegetables will be on sale at stock up prices.  Now is the time to learn how easy dehydrating frozen vegetables is!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Why You Should Be Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

    • Unless you have a really big garden, dehydrating frozen vegetables is much cheaper than buying fresh, and you can dehydrate frozen vegetables year round.
    • Dehydrating frozen vegetables requires no washing, peeling, slicing, chopping, or blanching,  saving you a lot of time.
    • Needs less room (much less!) for storage!Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

*this post contains affiliate links

 

Dehydrators

I use an Excalibur Dehydrator, and love it.  I also own a Nesco dehydrator, which is much cheaper and works really well for dehydrating frozen vegetables.   You can quickly and easily recoup  the cost of both of these dehydrators in just a few months of dehydrating your own fruits and veggies.

Dehydrators can often be found at yard sales, but so far the ones I have come across are usually missing most of the trays, or the trays and sometimes the motors are so covered in hardened gunk, that I pass them up.  But keep your eyes open for dehydrators at yard sales and thrift shops, as your luck may be better than mine!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

How To Dehydrate Frozen Vegetables

Simply spread out the mixed veggies on the dehydrator trays. I didn’t worry that the pieces were touching, I knew they would shrink as they dried and it wouldn’t be an issue. As a matter of fact, my one POUND bag of veggies shrunk down to 3/4 of a cup!

I dehydrated these @125 degrees and they took about 10 hours. Please look at your dehydrator model to see what temperature is correct for your machine. The time to dehydrate will always depend on the humidity in the room where you are dehydrating.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Storing Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

Now that you have a batch of inexpensive dehydrated frozen vegetables, you’ll need to store them properly. Here’s where a Food Saver comes in so handy!

My favorite way to store my dehydrated vegetables is to pour them into a wide mouth canning jar, and using the mason jar sealer accessory, vacuum seal the jar. You won’t need a ring for this, the vacuum sealing will securely keep the lid on.

Vacuum Sealing Mason Jars

The wide mouth vacuum accessory from Food Saver makes it so easy to vaccum seal items in wide mouth mason jars!

This method will keep your dehydrated goodness fresh for at least a year. It’s always a good idea to check your lid seals every six months or so, to make sure it’s still up to snuff. Simply press on the middle of the lid, if the lid gives and makes a popping sound, you seal is no longer good.

If you would like to add a little more ‘insurance’ this storage method, you can add an oxygen absorber to your jar before you vacuum seal it. I do this quite often.

Tip:  If you would like a bit more in depth description of how to use a Food Saver to vacuum seal canning jars, take a look at this video.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

What To Do With Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

  • Add a handful or two to soups or stews. Perfect for crockpot cooks!
  • Add some to a blender and turn them into a veggie powder. This powder can then be added to all sorts of things you’d like to up the nutritional value of.
  • Smoothies!
  • Use for camping and hiking trips.

LOVE the idea of having veggies and fruits in your long term food storage as a hedge against inflation and emergencies? We’ve got you covered! Thrive carries a wide variety of freeze dried foods for this very reason!

So, which frozen vegetable will you be dehydrating first?

Save

Politics and Prepping: The Rising Cost of Produce

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy is an important Prepper skill to develop.  It allows you to prepare in advance for the rising cost of produce items we rely on daily.

Paying For A Wall Between The U.S. and Mexico

Let’s take President Trump’s proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico. You know, the one Mexico is supposedly paying for? The one that for all intents and purposes might really  be paid for by a 20% tax on what American’s import from Mexico?

Now whether you are in favor of a wall or hate the idea, isn’t the issue.

The issue is a potential 20% increase of everything you purchase that crosses that boarder.

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

What Does The U.S. Import From Mexico?

In 2015 alone, the U.S. imported over $295 BILLION dollars worth of products from Mexico, according to government trade data. From cars to car parts, to electrical machinery and oil.  $2.4 billion worth of apparel.  $1.9 Billion in beer and tequila.

What really has my attention is the amount of of vegetables, fruit and nuts we import from Mexico.  $5.5 billion of vegetables and $3.9 billion of fruit and nuts.  All to potentially be subjected to a %20 price increase.

Bananas and Mangoes

Consider the products we simply can’t grow here such as bananas and mangoes. And then consider what other countries might do to block U.S. exports in retaliation.

And what about the fresh fruits and vegetables we depend on during the winter months? Where do we get a great deal of those? Yup. Mexico.

Can Your Grocery Budget Handle The Increase?

Did I mention the amount of tomatoes and avocados we import from Mexico? 78% of our avocados and 71% of our tomatoes according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  And it not just avocados and tomatoes either.   Herbs, spinach and lettuce make their way across the border to our tables every day.

Finally, according to Forbes, the restaurant industry is already seeing their stocks fall on the fears of increased food costs.

 

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables. How To Prepare For The Rising Cost Of Produce

Learn to grow your own.  Now is the perfect time to learn what grows in your area and how to start your own seeds indoors.   Growing your own food helps to tremendously off set the rising cost of produce.

As the season progresses we at Simply Preparing will help walk you through the basics of getting your first garden up and growing!

Learn how to preserve your own food.   It’s easier than you think.  I promise.

Dehydrating.  With just a few simple pieces of equipment you can dehydrate and store fruit and vegetables long term.  One of my favorite resources for dehydrating is the book, Dehydrate2Store by Tammy Gangloff.

Another excellent storage option is to freeze your bounty.   Did you know you can freeze avocados?  Yup! I have a freezer full of frozen avocados for my son’s blenderized diet and my guacamole addiction!

Carolyn Humphries book, How To Freeze Fresh Food At Home is a great book for beginners wanting to learn how to freeze foods.

Prepping With Freeze Dried Food.

Let’s face it.  With or without a wall between us and Mexico, food prices are only going higher and higher.  This is where the real value of freeze dried foods come in.  With up to a 25 year shelf life.  Non-GMO offerings.  Locally sourced whenever possible.

Each can of freeze dried food I purchase today has it’s price frozen as well.  Up to 25 years from now I can open a can of food that I paid 2017 prices for, and allows me to combat the rising cost of produce.  It’s like having money in the bank, but with a much higher interest rate.

It’s also pretty amazing how versatile freeze dried food is.  Take a look at all the produce used in one of my favorite soup recipes, Sausage Potato Soup!  Yum!

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Not sure how to use freeze dried foods?  No problem!  You can take a look at the recipes found on my Thrive Website to get some great ideas.

Taking the time to understand what is happening within the White House will insure that your house is prepared to better weather the growing world wide unrest, the consequences of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and the returning concerns with China’s economy.

Prepping For Basic Emergencies

Prepping for basic emergencies doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  It doesn’t have to be a huge expense.  I work with many people who immediately get that dear in the headlights look when the topic is preparing families for emergencies.

Prepping for basic emergencies can be as easy as taking a trip to your local grocery or big box store.  Or, in this case, simply let your fingers click through the Amazon Affiliate links!

Prepping doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. Whether you are a doomsday prepper, or a mom wanting some peace of mind, we have your survival needs covered!

Let There Be Light

Nobody likes to be stuck in the dark.   These items are inexpensive and will make getting through an emergency a much safer experience.

Flashlights

Batteries

Light Sticks (Ultra Bright)

LED Solar Lights

Water.  And More Water.

Water is your friend, boys and girls.  Make sure you have 1 gallon of water per person per day.  More if you are hoping to flush toilets, or brush your teeth.

I’d suggest a LifeStraw water filter that can easily fit into a backpack.

Ready to eat, shelf stable foods.

Quick and easy is the name of the game.  Peanut butter.  Crackers.  Those ready to eat packets of tuna.   Again, things you can pick up a little at a time each time you make a grocery run.

As a BIG fan of Freeze Dried Meals in emergency situations, the Mountain House Just in Case Essential Bucket is one of my favorites.  Unlike many other buckets of this kind, Mountain House has put together a trio that even my kids will eat.   You’ll need a way to heat water to add to these meals.  Don’t forget the matches!

Toilet Paper

You are not going to want to be stuck spraying your sweet patoot clean with a honey bear filled with cold water unless the apocalypse really is in full swing.  Until then stock up on the TP.

After Hurricane Harvey, toilet paper was listed as one of the 6 most sought after items.  Hurricane survivors  underestimated how much toilet paper they needed to make it through the aftermath. Toilet paper is used every day and when it runs out, things can get disgusting……quickly.

 

Magical Miracle Tape

Duct tape is truly the stuff miracles are made of.  In case you need some inspiration check out our post on this glorious product.

Black Contractor Bags

Not garbage bags.  Not leaf bags.  On the box it will state CONTRACTOR bags.  Those are what you want.  Exactly WHAT will you use these for?  Here’s a few ideas:

Ground Cover.
Poncho
Line a 5 gallon bucket with a contractor bag for an emergency potty.
Cover broken or blown out windows after an earthquake.

Here are more ways to use these versatile bags.

Over The Counter Medications and Prescriptions

Aspirins.  Allergy Medication.  Cough Syrup.  Prescription medications.  I have a week’s worth of medications sorted by day in one of these handy little travel pill organizers.  In an emergency you want to make things as simple as possible.

Basic First Aid Kit

Chances are you’re not a doctor, nor do you play one on T.V.  You aren’t going to be performing a tracheotomy or needing to crack someone’s chest to massage their heart.  A basic First Aid Kit will serve you well.

Breathe Easy

There is a good chance that during or after an emergency event the air quality may be less than stellar.

N95 Respiratory Masks will protect you from dust, allergens and other forms of air pollution.

We’ve broken down the respiratory mask code to help you decide which mask will best protect your family.

Odds and Ends

You will need to have some cash on hand, with small bills being best.
Make copies of all important papers and include them in your basic emergency kit.
Include a change of clothes and good, sturdy shoes

Prepping doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. Whether you are a doomsday prepper, or a mom wanting some peace of mind, we have your survival needs covered!

Taking Prepping to a Higher Level

Can you take preparedness to a higher level?  Of course!   Most people start with the basics, get the bug, so to say, and then continue to grow their preparedness goals.  The point is that you don’t have to jump onto the Expert Level to make sure your family can make it through a rough time.  And every thing listed above can be purchased either at your grocery store or a big box store, on sale, and often with coupons.

Don’t panic.

Start simply.  Pick up a few items each time you get paid. Sell some of your stuff that you are no longer using, and put that money towards a prepping goal.    Put your foundation in place and then work to meet your personal preparedness goals.

Self sufficiency is a mind set, an every day way of thinking.   It’s a journey to a simpler, less worry filled life.

Where are YOU in your emergency preparedness goals?  How can I help you achieve those goals?

Save

Save

Save

Make Perfect Stove Popped Popcorn

We are big stove popped popcorn eaters around here.  I pretty much pop a pan a day.  My kids grew up on it.  Cheap and whole grain healthy, with a long term storage life and the added bonus of being quick and easy to make, popcorn is a food storage mainstay.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

Ingredients for Stove Popped Pop Corn

You’ll need a heavy bottomed 6 quart stock pot with a lid.  This is important.  You don’t want your popcorn to burn.   I find these sorts of pots at thrift stores and yard sales all the time.  They are so versatile.  I have several.

My family prefers a light olive oil.  Or if I’m feeling rich, I use macadamia nut oil.  Grape seed oil works well.  I’ve also used avocado oil and love it.  But since I always have olive oil on hand, it’s usually what gets used.  Some people like to use coconut oil for their stove popped popcorn, but the taste wasn’t a hit at our house.

4 Tablespoons of oil.
1 Cup Popcorn
Sea Salt

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

How To Make Stove Popped Popcorn

Pour 4 Tablespoons of oil into a cold pan.
Next pour in 1 cup of popcorn.
Make sure each kernel is covered in oil. Shake the pan a bit to get so the corn and oil is evenly distributed over the bottom of your pan. Remember, you don’t want your popcorn to be drowning in oil. The oil line shouldn’t be above your popcorn.

I then put the top on my pan, turn up the heat to about a 7, or medium high, and let ‘er rip!

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

To Shake or Not to Shake (The pan that is……)

I use to shake my pan back and forth. But if your heat is high enough and your oil is hot enough all those little pieces of popcorn will pop up without any extra help.

However, if shaking helps you from burning your popcorn, by all means SHAKE! Just keep sliding the pot back and forth over the heat until all of those kernels have turned themselves inside out!

When the popping slows down to just a few pops at a time, it’s done!  Remove it from the burner.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

 

Salt

I like to add my salt while my popcorn is still very warm. I think it sticks to the popcorn much better. I use sea salt. Unless I’m out. Then I’m stuck with table salt. That always make me a little bit sad.

Here’s the secret to adding salt to your popcorn. STIR/TOSS IT UP. More stirring/tossing than salt. Add a few shakes, stir the bejeebers out of it, taste it to see if you need more salt and repeat IF necessary. There is nothing worse than too much salt on the top of the popcorn and not enough on the bottom.

Viola. That’s it! That’s right, I don’t even add butter. Seriously. It’s divine just the way it is. Food of the gods. I always have people tell me how good it is.  As a matter of fact, people often leave my home with a big plastic cup of the stuff to take on the road with them.

It’s really that good.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

Toppings for Stove Popped Popcorn

Every Sunday night is popcorn night at our house. It’s been a tradition since my kids were little. As a matter of fact, my married kids keep the tradition alive in their own homes now.

Over the years, we’ve come up with a few ideas to make our humble pots of stove popped popcorn a little more festive. Heck, we’ve been known to jazz up a pot of corn, serve it with a side of carrot sticks and fruit and call it dinner. (ahem)

Here are some of our favorites:

Lightly buttered with freshly grated Asiago cheese.

Lightly drizzled with white truffle oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tossed with salt and dry Ranch seasoning.

Lightly buttered with both sea salt and black pepper.

Sprinkled with Thrive’s Dry Cheese Blend.  (Item #22445)

What is your favorite popcorn topping?

I’m secretly hoping that once you’ve tried making your own stove popped popcorn,  you’ll never go back to the microwaved stuff again.  Try it out for yourself, then come back and tell me what you think!

Save

Save

Surviving Winter Storms: A How To Guide

Snowy and cold has been the forecast for my state this year, with the Northern part of Utah digging out from under 28 inches of the greatest snow on earth,  even as I type.  We are at about 150% of average snow fall here, with more on the way.  This is a big change from the last several years of drought,  prompting me to compile a list of the best posts on Simply Preparing on the topic of  Surviving Winter Storms.

*this post contains affiliate links

Surviving Winter Storms Safely

Clothing

I always have to grin when recent transplants from warm weather states realize that they are actually going to need a warm coat to survive winter storms with below zero temperatures.

1.  Learning how to dress in layers for winter weather is a must.

2. Don’t let your body heat escape into thin air.   These behind the head earmuffs are my favorite and don’t make me feel like a five year old when I’m out in the winter weather.    But you may be more of a beanie sort of person.

3.Gloves  You’ll need winter gloves that are warm,  water proof, moisture wicking and will allow you to work out doors too.

4. Winter Boots   I have a pair of KEENS that I adore.  They give my feet the support they need, while keeping them warm too.

5.  Insulated snow pants.  Maybe a pair of thermals to go underneath.

6.  Wool Socks  I remember first thinking that wool socks would be so uncomfortable.  The first thing I think of when I think of wool is rough and scratchy.  Plus, who wants to hand wash wool socks.  Then I found Smartwool.  Soft.  Warm.  Machine washable.  Your goal of surviving winter storms will be much more comfortable when your feet are dry and warm.

The Ultimate Guide To Surving Winter Storms

Surviving Winter Storms Without Electricity.

1. Your chances of losing power during a winter storm are pretty high.  Having a Propane Space Heater will allow you to heat the inside of your home safely.

2.  Firewood.  If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove,  make sure you keep an extra cord of wood available to burn.  You’ll also need a good axe for splitting wood and chopping kindling.

3.  Wool Blankets.   Far superior to cotton or fleece at keeping you warm, wool blankets are a must have for surviving winter storms without electricity.

4. Hand Warmers.  I buy these by the box and stash them everywhere.  Little bits of bliss, I’ll tell ya.

Food

Surviving winter storms requires  you having a stock of non-perishable food items to last for a while.  Granola bars and shelf stable milk for breakfast.  Peanut butter and whole grain crackers.  A can of black beans mixed with a jar of salsa scooped up with tortilla chips.

If you heat with a fire or a wood stove you can heat up canned soups and stews.  In a real pinch, you can even eat these foods straight out of the can.  Just make sure you have a good can opener on hand!

You can also purchase MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) that come with their own single meal use heaters.

Don’t forget the bottled water.  The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day.

Sanitation

At the first sign of a winter storm, fill the bathtub up with water to use for flushing toilets. Add the water to the tank so that, if necessary, you can flush.

Another option is to get a box of the black contractor grade garbage bags. Place a bag in your drained toilet. Sprinkle some kitty litter into the bottom of the bag. Every time someone makes a ‘deposit’ into the black bag, add another scoop of kitty litter. You’ll be able to tie the bag securely and then store it outside until your services are restored.

A Guide To Surviving Winter Storms

Let There Be Light

The last thing you want is to be caught in the dark while surviving winter storm. Fortunately there are a lot of lighting options to choose from.

Camping Lanterns

Flashlights    At the price of this top rated Outlite A100, you can afford for each member of your family to have their own light source!

Candles   Don’t forget the matches!

Staying Safe Outside

1.  I’ve seen many people trying to remove snow from their roofs after a snow storm.  Make the job easier and safer with a roof rake.

2.  Ice Melt  Used for porches and sidewalks to keep them free from ice.

3.  Kitty Litter.  Yup.  Plain old non-clumping, non-scoopable, gravel kitty litter will help provide traction under your car’s wheels and down those front steps.  Can’t find this type of kitty litter?  Grab a couple of bags of sand.

4.  Snow Shovel/Pusher.

5.  Snow Scraper with Brush

 

Preparing for any possibility during a winter storm is simple common sense.  Don’t be part of the herd racing out to the grocery store in hopes of grabbing a loaf of bread and a carton of milk before the flurry flies.   Take the fear of of winter storms by being prepared before hand.

What things to you to do to prepare to survive winter storms?

 

Don’t forget to review Simply Preparing’s List of 11 Things To Do Before A Winter Storm!

 

Plan on traveling during the winter months?  We’ve got you covered. Check out our post on   Last Minute Winter Emergency Road Trip List

Save

Save

How To Make A SHTF Financial Survival Plan

Are you concerned about your personal economic situation?   Worried about how you’ll survive if things continue to go downhill?   Do you work in an industry that is shutting doors at an alarming rate?   Inching closer to retirement?   You need a financial survival plan.

 

Financial Survival Plan for 2017

There are huge issues brewing for those looking to retire on pensions.  This is where my husband and I find ourselves.   A projected FY17 $1.8 trillion dollar deficit is nervous making for Baby Boomers wanting to retire.  Take, for example, the Dallas cops who chose to take their pensions in one lump sum, fearing the money will soon be gone.

You may be facing a job loss, or another situation where your monthly income will be drastically cut.  Regardless of the reason, now is the time to prepare for your family’s  financial survival, before things head south.

Create a Financial Survival Plan Before The Next Crisis

 

Know What You Have Coming In. Know What Is Going Out.

Begin 2017 with a resolution to cut your expenses to an all time low.   This not only saves money, but insures that when there is less coming in, you’ll still meet your needs.

Your first step will be to write down how much money  you have coming in each month.  Next write down how much money is going out each month.   This gives you not only something concrete to refer to, but also a way to track your progress.   On her website, and in her book, Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford offers an excellent and non-intimidating worksheet to help you create a financial survival plan.

Once you understand where your money is going you can begin to plug the leaks and be proactive in your quest to create your unique blueprint to financial survival.

Set Goals

How much would you need to have saved to cover one month of your living expenses?  What about six months of your living expenses?

Do you have any big expenses coming up?   My husband and I need a new roof for our home.  We had hoped that this roof would have lasted us another couple of years when we might have most of the costed saved up.  Nope.     Now we are looking at adding another $10,000 to the debt load we’ve been working so hard to pay off.

sigh.

You can bet we’ve set a goal to create a more aggressive savings fund for future home repairs.

Cut Expenses

Do you still need that premium cable package?  Downgrade your cable plan. (Hello Netflix!) Don’t use all your phone minutes?  Go with a less expensive plan.  Life was  good even before smart phones.

What are you paying for that you no longer use?  The gym membership?   An online service that you could easily go without?

Change out those light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

Trade in your gas guzzling SUV for something that costs much less to get you where you’re going.  And remember to batch your errands!

One of the best resources I’ve ever found on cutting expenses and preparing for a strong financial future costs less than a fast food dinner out.  Take a look.

3 Months Of What Your Family Uses Daily Is Part Of A Financial Survival Plan

Create a Stock Pile

I’m a firm believer that having at least a 3 month supply of what you use on a daily basis, purchased in bulk, on sale and with coupons, is the same as money in the bank.   How nice to have the knowledge that in an emergency you wouldn’t need to worry about going to the store for at least 3 months?

By writing down what you family eats for seven breakfasts, lunches and dinners, you will be on your way to knowing what to stock up on for a three month supply of food.

Next write down how many rolls of toilet paper, boxes of tissues, tube of tooth paste, etc. that you go through a week or a month.  What else does your family use on a daily basis?

And don’t forget to add in your drinking water as part of your three month supply!

Sell It!

 

One of the best decisions I made in 20016 was to go minimalist.  A successful Prepper is an organized Prepper.  You’ve got to know what you’ve stored and where you’ve stored it to make it through a disaster.

Look around your home.  What do you have that you don’t use?  Sell it!   Have a garage sale.  Or sell it on a Facebook yard sale page.  Simply type in the name of your city and ‘yard sale’ into the Facebook search bar, and you’ll find several cites to sell on, without having to ship or pay for ads.

Be brutal.  If you don’t use it on a regular basis, make some money off of it.

Find A Side Gig

Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough coming in, to meet the bills, much less to create a successful financial survival plan.  This is when a totally new stream of revenue needs to be found in order to make your financial security plan complete.

Look towards your skills and passions.  I’ve always had a heart for emergency preparedness and self sufficiency.  So it’s natural for me to blog about it with a goal to turn my knowledge into a work at home job.  This is the perfect way for me to stay at home with a medically fragile child, while adding another stream of income to help us better meet our son’s medical needs and prepare for retirement.

Food Storage has always been a passion of mine as well.  While my friends were having lingerie themed bridal showers, mine was……wait for it……FOOD STORAGE themed.  Yup.   I was a Prepper years before prepping was cool.

Because of my desire to have a deep pantry, I became a consultant for Thrive Life.   I’m not a host a party kind of girl, everything I do is online only.   I also receive discounts off of what I order.  It’s a win-win for me, and might be just what you’ve been looking for.

Maybe you’re a people person and working a part time job in your favorite store might be just the thing to bring in an extra source of income.

A Financial Survival Plan To Become Debt Free

Do You Have Skills Others Don’t?

Do you sew?  Quilt?  (Totally jealous if you do!)  How about selling via craft shows and local expos?

A neighbor with mad cake making and decorating skills creates and sells her master pieces from home.  Her work beats the socks off anything I’ve seen in bakeries.

Are you a gardener?   I’m hoping to sell my excess veggies this year to bring in a little extra money.   Are you great at fixing stuff?   You could start a new business using those skills.

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without

One of the biggest hurdles in creating a financial survival plan is the mind set that our society embraces that whoever  has the most toys wins.  Assigning meaning to stuff, at the cost of our self worth, or our health, vastly limits our ability  to prepare for an uncertain future.

Without the clutter, you can focus on what’s important: preparing your family to make it through a financial crisis.

What are you doing as part of your financial survival plan?

Mason Jar Match Holders: DIY Gifts

I’ve been thinking about what I could give for neighbor gifts this holiday season that would be something people would actually have a use for.  Mason Jar Match Holders are inexpensive and useful.  Perfect!

A quick and easy hack for your matches!

These match holders provide a sturdier way to store matches, protecting them from the humidity that can make lighting a match harder.   Bonus, no more having a box of matches spilling out all over the place when you take them camping!

*this post contains affiliate links

 

 

Mason Jar Match Holders are so easy to make!

Materials For Making Mason Jar Match Holders

Half Pint Mason Jars

Strike On The Box Matches

Hole Punch

Glue Gun

Pencil

Small Piece of Cardboard

What you need to make a mason jar match holder

How To Make Mason Jar Match Holders

Fill a mason jar with matches.   One box of 300 hundred matches will easily give you enough matches to fill two jars.

Lay the top of the match box out flat, with the striker area facing up, then place a jar ring over the flattened box top and use a pencil to draw a circle to fit under the jar lid.  Cut that out.

You’ll take your cut out circle from the match box and use that as a template for your cardboard cutout.  The piece of cardboard adds stability to the strike zone for when you go to light the match.

Making Mason Jar Match Holders
Use the hole punch to cut holes through both the match box layer and the cardboard layer.  A few dabs of hot glue will help keep it all in place.

Pour your matches into the jar, screw on the lid, and viola’!   Your Mason Jar Match Holder is ready to give in all of it’s warmth and light.  See what I did there?  Warmth?  Light?    Fear not!  I’ll be here all week folks!

But maybe you might like to add a little somethin’ – somethin’ to your handmade goodness. ……..

 

A super easy way to store matches!

Looking To Give The Perfect Gift For A Friend NEW To Prepping?

Perhaps you’d like to pair your mason jar match holder with the perfect gift for someone newly into preparedness.

We’ve got you covered!

This UCO Collapsible Lantern offers warm, natural light.  It’s Easy-slide glass chimney creates a windproof environment for the candle; includes 9 hour candle .

This lantern is perfect for camping, emergencies or simply for a sweet Hygee effect.

Lookee there!  The perfect gift for everyone on your list! 

Save

Thrive Monthly Q Program for Preppers!

Thrive Monthly Q Program reflects the understanding that often people hesitate in getting their food storage because they simply don’t know where to start, how to use it, and how to budget for it.  To remedy this, Thrive Life has created the Monthly Q Program which offers a variety of ways to incorporate their products into your food storage AND you every day cooking, as well as a way to get the lowest prices at the same time.

 

WHAT IS THE THRIVE LIFE MONTHLY Q PROGRAM?

You decide the budget. You choose what you want delivered. It’s that easy.
With the Q, the groceries come to you each month! Trade in those last-minute grocery store trips and spendy fast food runs for the unbeatable convenience of THRIVE foods. Discover a better way to shop with the Q.

Build Your Food Storage Easily, Effectively and Inexpensively with The Monthly Q From Thrive

HOW DOES THE Q WORK?

1. Select the foods you like by adding your favorite Thrive foods to your Q (what I do) OR by selecting the recipes you use the most.  The Q will organize your foods into customizable monthly shipments.

2. Set a monthly budget.  Choose the amount you want to spend each month to build your Home Store.    No need to spend more money: simply reallocate part of your monthly food budget to your Q.

3.  Get monthly shipments at low prices.  THRIVE foods are shipped to your doorstep on the date you choose.  Save time and money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  Because I’m local, I just pick my orders up myself, saving me the shipping.  If you are local, you can to do the same!  While you’re there be sure to try out a few of their products from their sample bar.  Yum!

 

 

 

 

How To Have The Thrive Monthly Q Delivered To Your Door

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE Q CLUB TO RECEIVE EVEN MORE GREAT DEALS!

By starting your Q shipments with an order of $100.00 or more in product OR signing up as a consultant—you will get a FREE membership in the the Q Club.

How to join the Thrive Life Q Club For FREE

The Thrive Monthly Q Club

WAIT!  THERE‘S MORE…….LOTS MORE!

Why You Should Sign Up For Thrive Life's Q Club

I AM BUILDING MY FOOD STORAGE PANTRY USING THE  THRIVE MONTHLY Q-PONS, SPECIALS AND Q CLUB REWARD POINTS TOWARD FREE PRODUCT

Q-pons and the Thrive Monthly Q Program

As a Q Club member, each month you will have access to Thrive’s Q-pon of the month.  This Q-pon will reflect a SIGNIFICANT savings on that month’s product.  You can bet that my Q takes advantage of each monthly Q-pon…..I really stock up!

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THRIVE LIFE MONTHLY Q PROGRAM

Buy Thrive Freeze Dried Foods NOW!

Click the image above to be taken directly to the page where you can sign up for the Thrive Monthly Q Program

How To Sign Up For The Monthly Thrive Life Q

 

Look for the My Q  link.  Click on it.  You will taken to a page that looks like this:|

How to sign up for Thrive Life Monthly Q Club

Click on the red box with the words ‘Get Started’

This will lead you to a page with a header like the one below.  It will walk you through, step by step, how to set up your first Q.  Remember that if you want a FREE MEMBERSHIP into the Q Club, your first shipment will need to be $100.00 or more!  OR you can sign up to be a consultant and earn free product!  The choice is yours!

Thrive Life Q

You will also have the opportunity to choose your own items to add to your Q, or allow Thrive to add a well rounded mix to your Q that also stays within your budget.

Add Items to Your Thrive Monthly Q Program

There will be the option  choose The Smart Start for your first 3 months on The Thrive Monthly Q Program.   In a QUICK  THREE MONTHS you’ll have your home store up and running with everything from food to recipes!

The Chef’s Selections 200

Quickly Build Your Home Store With The Smart Start 200 and the Thrive Montly Q Program

The Smart Start: Chef’s Selections 200 is packed with high quality THRIVE products like meats, THRIVE Express, and Sauces and Seasonings, and you’ll get an even better price on the included THRIVE foods than you would buying them separately! Includes 65 THRIVE products, a booklet of 38 recipes, and meal planners and shopping lists for easy meal prep.

Month 1 includes 18 Pantry Cans, 4 Spice Cans, and 2 Express Pouches

Month 2 includes 18 pantry cans and 4 Express Pouches

Month 3 includes 18 pantry cans and 1 Express Pouch

 

Activate Your Q

Your very last step is to click on that ACTIVATE Q button.  Or else you’ll be waiting for that first shipment of your Thrive Monthly Q Program to arrive and wondering why it hasn’t yet.  Ask me how I know.  (ahem)

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save