Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hoard Seeds

My sis FaaTma had a tag line about hording seeds. It made me reflect on being prepared at all times. Alot of western montheistic traditions are rooted in a linear view of history with a specific 'beginning' and a specific 'end'. Thus they are hooked on the 'end times' (yeah...don't sleep on Palin and the religious right and what they will do to bring ABOUT the end time...okay...end political commentary).

Thus you have alot of people nowadays (Christian, Muslim, etc) thinking that the current economic crisis, war in the middle east, etc are all 'signs'. The wise amongst us know that these things have always happened and happen with frequency. I mean what about the great depression, WW I/WW II, the maafa, etc....don't you think all of that was viewed as 'the end of the world'. Anyway what I am getting at is that there are always 'disasters' happening and you need to be prepared at all times.

Hording seeds.

My parents are both farm folk so they always knew the science of surplus from pickling, canning, burying stuff below the frost line, etc. When Hurricane Gloria hit CT when I was young I saw all of this being made manifest as our whole city was without electricity for a week, water was scarce, and food lines were disrupted. We had ample food because my parents always had surplus in the house. It was that lesson that reminded me I needed to always be prepared.

In light of the above here is a blueprint for a 72 Hour Emergency Kit. This is just a skeleton. In the future I will offer you some green options such as a green first aid kit and general green skills you can use in survival.

72 Hour Kits
The objective of the Family 72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit is to have, previously assembled and placed in one location, all of those essential items you and your family will need during a 72-hour time period following an emergency. When an emergency occurs you will probably not have the luxury of going around the house gathering up needed items, especially if you have to evacuate your home on short notice.

Take time now to gather whatever your family needs to survive for three days(72 Hours) based upon the assumption that those items are the only possessions you will have. Store these kits in a closet near the front door or some other easily accessible place where they can be quickly and easily grabbed on the way out the door.

Pack all items in plastic Zip-loc type bags to keep them dry and air tight. This will prevent a liquid item from spilling and ruining other items in your kit and keep rain and other forms of moisture away from the items stored.

Keep a list of the dates when certain items need to be reviewed, especially foods, outgrown clothing and medications so that they may be properly rotated.

Emergency supplies are readily available at preparedness and military surplus stores. Fear may well be responsible for more deaths than exposure, hunger and injury combined. Realizing you have fears and that these are normal emotions in unfamiliar situation, you will be aware of them and better able to cope with them as they appear. Fears can be expected in any outdoor problem situation. Fear of the unknown and fear of your ability to cope with the situation will be foremost, along with a fear of being alone, darkness, suffering, or death. Fear is usually based on lack of self-confidence and lack of adequate preparation and experience. Knowledge and experience(practice sessions), will help to instill confidence and help to control fear.

The container you choose for your kit must be waterproof, have some type of carrying handle, and must be able to be carried easily by family plastic bucket, duffel bag, trunk or footlocker, plastic garbage cans.

Advised amounts of water for a kit vary. The Utah County Sheriff's office recommends a minimum of two quarts per day for each adult. However, a person can survive quite well on less, and the load of carrying six quarts of water with a pack is great. Outdoor survival course veterans agree that a two-liter bottle should be adequate. Water purification tablets or crystals need to be a part of each kit. Refer to Emergency Water Supply for treatment methods and information on portable water filters.

You should include in your kit a three-day supply of non-perishable food. The food items should be compact and lightweight, in sealed packages. MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) are a good choice because they require little or no preparation. Freeze-dried foods are lightweight but require extra water in your kit. Canned goods are heavy with extra refuse. Plan nutritionally balanced meals, keeping in mind that this is a survival kit. Include vitamins or other supplements, if desired.

Possible foods for a kit might include:
· MRE's · snack crackers · hard candy · dried fruits · instant oatmeal · powdered milk · jerky · bouillon cubes · raisins/nuts · instant rice/potatoes · dried soups · gum · granola bars · instant pudding · powdered drink mixes

Also include a mess kit or other compact equipment for cooking and eating. A can opener may also be useful.

The objective of shelter is to provide emergency housing. It is extremely important to be physically protected from nature's weather elements. There are many types of shelter that can be easily included in your 72-hour kit. You may want to consider family tent, backpacker's tent, tube tent, rain poncho, garbage bags, nylon rope or cord, duct tape, space blanket and space sleeping bag.

· Bedding should be warm, lightweight, comfortable, waterproof and compact. · Sleeping bag (2 1/2 pound hollow-fill) · Insulation. Under your sleeping bag you will need some insulation to protect you from the cold ground. Though foam pads are generally thought of as an item of comfort, their true importance is in insulating you from the ground. The best types are "closed cell" foam pads about 3/8 of an inch in thickness. They are very light weight and easily attached to the backpack for carrying. You may also use a poncho, plastic ground cloth, newspapers, leaves, or pine boughs, for insulation but they are not nearly as effective as the closed cell foam pads.

· Blankets can be used to make a bed roll but generally they are not as comfortable nor as warm as a sleeping bag. Wool blankets are the best since they retain their warming ability even when wet. However, blankets are very heavy and bulky.

· Space blanket or bag. As explained in the previous section space blankets and space bags (aluminum coated mylar) are very efficient at retaining body heat and are a must for every 72-hour kit. Even when used by themselves, without the added benefit of a sleeping bag they will keep you warm during the night. In cold winter weather they may not be entirely comfortable but they will probably keep you warm enough to keep you alive. Being plastic, however, they are impervious to moisture. This is good for keeping out rain but they also retain sweat and condensation from your breath. you may find that periodically during the night you will have to air them out in order to sleep comfortably. They can also be used during the day to protect from rain, sun and to retain body warmth.

Include in your kit one change of clothing and footwear, preferable work clothing. Anticipate severe weather conditions. If you have a growing family remember to update clothing sizes and needs at least once a year. Try to avoid wearing cotton clothing. Tight cotton clothing holds water next to the skin. Wet inner clothing causes freezing. Cotton clothing "wicks" (draws water up the very small individual fibers), thus retaining water and spreading it over the entire body, causing loss of body heat at an ever greater rate. Wool clothing is best. Wool is a natural thermostatic insulator that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wool is naturally durable and can withstand rugged and tough wear. Wool also repels water and has the unique property of keeping the body warm even if it does get wet. Wool dries from the inside out and does not "wick." Include two pairs of wool socks- one pair for wearing and one for keeping your feet warm while sleeping.

Every family member should have fire starting materials and know how to start a fire. Several of these items should be assembled into a kit and labeled as "fire starting kit." Teach all family members how to use them and let them practice building fires with all methods until they feel totally confident with their ability to do so. Even little children aged five or six can be safely instructed in correct fire building techniques under proper supervision. Then if an emergency arises, they will not panic or feel overwhelmed or frightened at the prospect of building a fire for their warmth and protection.

Some different sources are:
· Matches. Carry at least two dozen wooden kitchen matches that have been either dipped in wax or nail polish to make them waterproof or carry them in a waterproof container.
· Metal match. Waterproof, fireproof, durable, and non-toxic. Will light thousands of fires. Available at sporting goods stores.
· Butane lighters, such as Bic cigarette lighters, are excellent ways to light a fire.
· Magnesium fire starters are good for starting fires with wet or damp wood. Shave magnesium shavings off of a magnesium block with a pocket knife and then strike a spark from a flint starter with a pocket knife. Magnesium burns exceptionally hot and will ignite almost any combustible material. Works even when wet and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.
· Small magnifying glass. Use to concentrate sunlight onto paper, shredded bark or other tinder.
· Flint and steel A spark from flint and steel (such as an empty cigarette lighter or flint and steel striking bar), when directed at dry paper (especially toilet tissue), shredded bark, dry grass or other tinder, if persisted in patiently will work very well to start a fire. This is the most reliable "non-match" method of starting a fire.
· Commercial fire starter kits. These come in a variety of styles and fuels.
· Steel wool. Fine steel wool (used for scrubbing pots and pans- but not Brillo pads or other types that have soap already impregnated into them) can be used for tinder. Hold two "D" flashlight cells together in one hand (or one 9-volt transistor radio battery) while touching one end of a clump of steel wool to the positive end of the battery and the other end of the steel wool to the negative end of the battery. The current causes the steel wool fibers to incandesce and then produce a flame. It burns very hot and fairly fast so have lots of other tinder to burn once the steel wool ignites.
· Candles can be used for warmth, light, and starting fires. To start a fire simply cut a piece of candle about 1/2 inch in length and place it on top of the tinder. When lit the wax witl run over the tinder making it act as a wick and ignite. You can also place small twigs and other easily burnable materials directly into the fame to build a fire.
· Car Battery. If you are near your car you can easily put sparks into tinder by attaching any wires to the battery posts and scraping the ends together in the tinder.
· Sterno fuel and stoves make an excellent cooking fuel when backpacking or in emergencies. Sterno can be lit with a match or by a spark from flint and steel. Slivers of gelled sterno can be cut from the can and placed on top of tinder and lit with flint and steel or with a match. It burns hot enough to ignite even damp tinder.
· Cotton balls and gauze from the first aid kit make excellent tinder and can be ignited with sparks or with matches.
· Fuel tablets such as tri-oxane and gelled fuels store well and ignite quickly and easily. Some can be fairly expensive, however.
· Butane and propane stoves. These are made especially for backpackers. The fuel is cheaper than sterno, it burns hotter and it heats better in windy situations than other fuels. Propane, however is more difficult to light as outside temperatures near zero.

First Aid Kit
Update your first aid skills. Keep your first aid kit well supplied. Suggested first-aid supplies for 72-hour kit:
· first aid book · waterproof container · assortment of band-aids · gauze pads · butterfly bandages · cotton balls · small roll of gauze · adhesive tape · cotton swabs (Q-Tips) · safety pins · Pepto-bismol tablets · antacid tablets (good for bee sting) · cold pack · consecrated oil · hydrogen peroxide · alcohol (disinfectants) · smelling salts · medicine dropper tweezers · alcohol wipes · Benadryl capsules · aspirin (promotes healing of burns) · Tylenol (chewable for children) · collapsible scissors · thermometer · crushable heat pack · special prescriptions or equipment · small tube or packets antiseptic cream · ointment · small spool thread/two needles

Some other miscellaneous items that may be very helpful are: · light stick · small flashlight · extra batteries · pocket handwarmer · compact fishing kit · compass · pocketknife · 50 ft. nylon cord · plastic poncho · garbage bag · paper or cards · pen, pencil · fine wire · extra plastic bags · small scriptures · favorite songs · small game, toy, etc. · spare glasses · money (small bills and change) · field glasses · toothbrush/toothpaste · metal mirror · comb · razor · pre-moistened wipes · toilet paper · feminine products · sunscreen · soap · lip balm with sunscreen · bandana (may be used for hat, washcloth, mask, sling, tourniquet) · tube soap, bar soap, waterless soap · identification/medical permission card · special blanket or such for little people · portable radio with extra batteries

Family Information Record
In addition to emergency survival supplies you should also collect vital family information. Record and keep it in at least two safe places-a fire resistant "get-away" box that you can take with you if you have to leave the home, and a safe-deposit box at your bank or credit union.

The following items would be useful for you to record and keep in these two locations:
· Genealogy records · Full name and social security numbers of all family members · Listing of vehicles, boats etc. with identification and license numbers · Listing of all charge account card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers (both checking and saving), insurance policy numbers, securities, deeds, and loan numbers showing the company name, address and telephone numbers.

· Name, address, and telephone number for each of the following:
Ø employer Ø schools Ø fire/paramedics Ø family contacts Ø utility company Ø police Ø doctor Ø hospital Ø attorney Ø civil defense · Location of important documents Ø insurance policies Ø deeds Ø securities Ø licenses Ø loans Ø will Ø safe-deposit box key Ø vehicle titles (pink slips) Ø birth/death certificates Ø social security I.D. cards Ø citizenship papers Ø letter of instruction Ø tax returns (last 5 years)

When assembling items for your 72-hour kit be sure to include all necessary items for infants. It would be a good idea to include a separate back pack or other container that holds nothing but infant supplies (which can be surprisingly voluminous). This kit should be kept with the kits of other family members so that it will not be forgotten in a moment of haste. As the baby begins to grow, replace clothing and diapers with the next larger size.

Car Mini-Survival Kit
Your car is frequently your home away from home. most of us spend many hours in our cars each month. Anything from a jammed-up freeway to a major disaster could force you to rely on your car for short-term shelter and survival. It is a wise practice to keep simple provision for emergencies in your car. A self-made cold-weather car kit, as described in some preparedness stores, is also good to keep in the car.

At-Work Survival Kit
Many persons stand a 40 percent chance of being at work when an earthquake or other emergency strikes. A mini-survival kit kept at your place of work could make the hours until you are able to get home more comfortable and safer. This kit could be a duplicate of the car mini-survival kit.

Jacked from


faatma is... said...

thats right! hoard seeds and take back your power to create a local farm economy that isn't driven on seed distributors!!! Peace God!

C'BS ALife Allah said...

word..why can i see myself doing stick up to those seed banks if they keep trying to make on genetically modified seeds the 'staple'.

"Yo, run those seeds"

bootzey said...

Have you read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler? Ever since I read that it seems like a blueprint to the future. Very scary....

C'BS ALife Allah said...

Being that I am the Black Nerd of course I roll with Octavia the Black Sci-fi matriarch. Alot of those dystopian novels aren't even about the 'future' per say. Alot of that stuff is actually the NOW and that's what's scary to me.