Wednesday, March 21, 2018

10 Things to Do With Your Food Stockpile

So you have your six months to a year's worth of emergency food stockpiled, it's neatly arranged in a temperature and humidity controlled room, and of course it's dated to keep it in order.  But what do you do with it?  You can...

  1. Rotate it into your regular pantry food; sort of the first in, first out theory of stockpiling food this way nothing ever becomes old and inedible.
  2. Donate the older stuff to a food bank and restock on a regular basis.
  3. Use the older stuff when you throw a party in order to feed everyone then restock.
  4. Give stuff that may age out or which the family no longer eats to those in need (friends, family members, neighbors, etc).
  5. Use it for your camping/backpacking trips then restock.
  6. Use it to feed emergency responders during a disaster response in your area then restock.
  7. Bury the older stuff in a super secret TEOTWAWKI cache.
  8. Give the older stuff to random homeless people you see on the streets.
  9. Do a month or two "no spend" challenge and live off of your food stockpile, then restock.
  10. Use the older stuff to train the kids or grandkids how to cook in an emergency, using the food as real props, then restock.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why I'm Not Much for Social Media Anymore

I've probably tried most of the social media platforms out there, beginning in the mid 1980s when the only "social media" available was local dial-up "bulletin boards".  There were chat rooms on Compuserve and Prodigy, AOL instant messenger, MySpace, Ning, Geocities, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, ad nauseum.  However, since the end of last year, I have significantly scaled back on my social media use.  I haven't used Twitter or Instagram in ages and haven't used Facebook since the beginning of the year.  I do believe it is time to delete all of my social media accounts.

On the one hand, it is great to use social media to keep up with what the kids and grandkids are doing (although they are using FB less and less as well), on the other hand, as the saying goes, 'when something is free, the product is you.'  And no social media service has made that more true in the past many many months than Facebook.  From the psychological tests conducted on unknowing users to the most recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, I'm fairly tired of being (unwittingly) used as a pawn in social media mind-farming.  I'd prefer to curate my own news and information, check in on friends that I want to check in on, avoid the daily hoaxes blasted through social media as the truth, and, you know, not have my every moved tracked.

It would also be nice to go back to the days when people engaged socially in person instead of having their head glued to their cell phone even to the point of death.  And it would be nice if young people were to learn some basic social skillsThen there was this little gem.

I'm not sure what is coming next on the digital horizon but I think the overuse--and over-abuse--of social media has pretty much reached its breaking point.  I, for one, will show myself out of the dismal swamp that is now the social media landscape.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

10 Common Medical Emergencies

You probably won't go through your entire life without running into a medical emergency or two.  Here are the 10 most common medical emergencies you should be prepared for:

  1. Heart attack
  2. Choking
  3. Stroke
  4. Severe bleeding
  5. Diabetic emergency
  6. Dehydration
  7. Psychiatric emergency
  8. Seizure
  9. Woman in labor
  10. Asthma attack

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Daily Preparedness Tip: Add An Emergency Message to Your Lock Screen

What would happen if you were found unconscious with just your cell phone?  This isn't quite so far fetched as many runners head out with just a phone and a house key, and many teens only carry a cell phone with them.  Put a message on your cell phone's lock screen that you would want rescuers to see if you should become unconscious, severely ill, or otherwise incapacitated.  You may want to put a loved one's contact number, a list of your allergies or medical conditions, or other vital information.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Post-Medical Emergency Prep Tips

Now that the spouse is home and a medical crisis has been averted, here are a few post-medical emergency prep tips:

  • Scan the discharge paperwork and keep the file on your computer as well as on your cell phone (should another emergency occur you can quickly show this information to medical responders as well as ED staff if you end up at a different hospital).
  • Take a photo of each prescription bottle and keep it on your cell phone (for the same reason as above).
  • Use those daily pill organizers to keep meds straight.
  • Review your Will, Living Will, and Medical Power of Attorney (when the hospital staff asked if there was a Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney the answer was yes but we hadn't reviewed these documents in years so it was a good reminder to review these documents every once in a while).
  • Pre-package a few day's worth of meds and add them to your EDC bag and BOB in case you aren't home when they need to be taken (in our case, both the spouse and I carry the extra packets of meds in case one doesn't have their bag or runs out).
  • Ask your physician for 90 day prescriptions if possible (in a disaster scenario having additional meds until you can reach an open pharmacy may be important).
  • Make and keep all follow-up appointments with physicians and specialists.
  • Study up on your medical conditions and be as knowledgeable about your condition and treatment as possible.
  • Make any necessary changes--no matter how drastic--to your diet and exercise and other lifestyle factors in order to improve your health.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Your Health Is the Most Important Prepper Tool of All

I think we are going into 72 hours in the hospital.  Turns out the spouse had an actual heart attack after all of the testing was done.  While repairs are taking place now and I am very thankful this wasn't the more common heart attack (the kind where the first symptom is death), I can not overstate how important your health is.  You can have all the preps in the world and all the best training but if you don't put much of your prepping attention to keeping your health in tip top shape, all of your other preps won't matter.  So my short message today is to exercise every day, eat right, and pay attention to your health markers (weight, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc).  More later...