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Being Prepared: These Are My Favorite Things

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Sometimes being prepared can seem a bit overwhelming and can lead us to be frustrated. Today I decided to break down my thoughts and discuss my favorite things I highly recommend when it comes to being prepared. Please remember, I don’t recommend anything I haven’t tried or don’t own. That’s how I roll.

I’m sure you remember this outline I’ve provided before:

  • You can survive for 3 minutes without breathable air.
  • You can survive 3 hours in extreme heat or cold environments.
  • You can survive 3 days without drinkable/potable water.
  • You can survive 3 weeks without food.

I don’t recommend you test any of these, but it may help you realize what our bodies may or may not tolerate.

Being Prepared: These Are My Favorite Things

Being Prepared: These Are My Favorite Things

Shelter Is Needed

Along with food and clothing, shelter is a must-have preparedness item. Some people have tents, but I don’t want one at this time in my life due to my age. I did when I was younger. We don’t plan on bugging out. If an earthquake hits, yes, we will probably need to evacuate. Tents are wonderful for camping, but if you have an RV that would be awesome if the roads are driveable.

Plus, hopefully, you have your gas tanks filled, you don’t want to line up to fill your tanks after a disaster with hundreds of other people. If the power is out your gas tanks can’t be filled. Here again, please keep your tanks filled.

Lead-Free Hose

Please clean the spigots you plan on filling your water storage containers. Use unscented bleach on the hose after you clean your containers with that unscented bleach. Soap is often too hard to get the residue out of, including a hose. Just giving you the heads up here.

Most garden hoses have lead in them, please fill your clean water storage containers with a lead-free hose if you are filling them outside. Lead-Free Hose (They are like RV hoses).

How To Store Water

You may have read that the American Red Cross recommends one gallon per person per day. American Red Cross. I beg to differ, I recommend 4 gallons of water per person per day. You may ask why, well, we need water for drinking/hydration, cooking, limited personal hygiene, and washing dishes or clothes.

If you have a water heater, please keep in mind if our city/county water is contaminated, that water won’t be drinkable. It may be an error made by a city worker or a terrorist group. We have had water contaminated in Utah several times by accidents or mistakes.

If you have a swimming pool, it seems like that would be all the water you need, but not if we lose power. That beautiful swimming pool filled with clear water will become a dangerous algae mess without electricity to keep it circulating and filtered. How To Store Water

Please store all water containers and food storage containers off the concrete with 2 by 4s. You don’t want the chemicals in the concrete to leach into your containers.

WaterBricks

WaterBricks

I have always suggested 4 gallons per person per day. That amount could help support not only needed hydration, but also cooking, small laundry tasks, and some limited personal hygiene. We tend to forget that personal sanitation is an important part of getting through an emergency scenario.

Read More of My Articles  34 Things You Need To Know About Food Storage

WaterBricks and Spigots plus Water Preserver

These WaterBricks hold 3.5 gallons of water and weigh about 27 pounds each when filled. I use Water Preserver in these as a treatment solution so I only have to rotate the water every 5 years. I use a 1/2 teaspoon of Water Preserver in each WaterBrick (the 3.5-gallon size). You can stack the “bricks” and/or put them under beds for storage.

BlueCans

Blue Can in Box and Bag

I’m extremely fussy about my water, I particularly mean the taste of my water. I have always had reverse osmosis water because I’m concerned about the quality of water where we have lived over the years. Blue Cans drinking water is my favorite source of drinkable water to store. The cheapest place to buy them is Brownell’s Blue Cans. Please sign up for their newsletter to see when they have discounts or free shipping. I buy the 24 cans in a case.

I love that they use 95% recycled aluminum to manufacture their cans for this emergency water product. WooHoo! Good for our environment! BlueCanStores I quote, “In accordance with the FDA requirements and California Proposition 65, BLUE CAN Water cans have a non-BPA epoxy coating on the inside to protect the contents from the metal. (Aged water in the can have been tested BPA-free by an FDA-certified lab.)”

The little Blue Cans are 12 ounces of pure water. Blue Can filters and purifies its premium canned water to less than one part per million of dissolved solids. They recommend a temperature to store these cans between 33 degrees F to 150 degrees F. This means they could freeze in the garage if you have brutal winters.

55-Gallon Barrels

These are my least favorite water storage units. With no lower spigot, you need a water pump to pump the water out, which works great. The drawback is that they take up so much space and you must cover them with UV Barrel Covers or they will crack eventually from the weather if stored outside. You’ll also need the following:

  • Bung (to loosen or tighten the closure cap)
  • Barrel Pump ( you need this to get the water out, there are no spigots)
  • UV Barrel Bags
  • Water Preserver (one container per barrel)

High-Capacity Tanks

The thing about high-capacity tanks is that they are heavy very large and bulky containers. These tanks are typically 250-350 gallons of water for family use. They do take up a rather large corner of your garage, but water is critical, so it is what it is. But they usually have 2 spigots, one for filling a bucket, and one to empty the tank when you need to. I rotate the water every 5 years by treating the water with Water Preserver. I don’t use unscented bleach because that water needs to be rotated every 6 months. Water Preserver

Food Storage

I mainly buy freeze-dried food products because it lasts longer. How To Store Your Food Storage In case you are wondering I DO NOT buy meals ever. I only purchase FREEZE-DRIED fruits, veggies, meats, cheese, and instant milk. All of the ones I purchase have a 25-year shelf life, but once opened, it’s one year. I don’t buy ham or sausage because they have a shorter shelf life, at least in the brand I prefer.

Read More of My Articles  How to Properly Store Food for Long-Term Storage

Before you run out and start buying food storage please write down what you think your family will eat. It doesn’t make sense to store things family members don’t like! This form may help get you started. PRINTABLE: Where do I start (PDF)

  • Thrive Life
  • Augason Farms
  • Valley Food Storage
  • Nutristore (Located in American Fork, Utah)
  • Be Prepared (Emergency Essentials)
  • Wise Food Storage
  • Canned Foods are great, Canned Meat, Canned Vegetables, and Canned Fruit

Cooking Without Power

  • Store fuel resources like charcoal briquettes, propane, butane, wood, and pinecones in airtight containers without the lighter fluid in the briquettes. Emergency Fuel To Store For Survival
  • Dutch Ovens work great in a fire pit. Here is my PRINTABLE Dutch oven chart that Lodge Manufacturing allowed me to make for you: Dutch Oven Chart
  • Butane Stoves work awesome inside with a window or door cracked for ventilation. Butane Stoves
  • Your barbecue will work fine but will use too much fuel to cook most meals or even heat water.
  • Camp Chef Stove/Oven Combination is great with propane. Make sure you have the attachments required for the different sizes of canisters and tanks.
  • Kelly Kettle I wrote a post about Kelly Kettles
  • Volcano Stove I hope you enjoy this post about Volcano Stoves
  • SunOven If you have consistent sunlight in your location, these are awesome.

72-Hour Kits-Bags Of Food-WaterBricks

I have a list of items you should consider for your 72-hour kits. 72-hour Kits Please keep in mind, this is a very LONG list, it’s intended for you to choose what you need in your kit. I DO NOT store any food in my 72-hour kits. I store them in a zippered bag with food that is freeze-dried and has a longer shelf life.

Then I have WaterBricks filled with water and ready to take with us. Please note that Thrive Life no longer sells “bags” or pouches”. They do sell “Pantry Cans”. I used a sweater bag to store my food items inside my home as well as the WaterBricks. I store my 72-hour kits in bags in another location close to an exit so they’re handy to grab on our way out.

Food Storage Bag

Flashlights and Lanterns and First Aid Kits

  • OLights
  • Bushnell Lanterns
  • Solar Flashlights I have my solar flashlights on window sills throughout the house so they’re kept charged at all times. Solar lanterns are great too. If you use regular flashlights, be sure to have extra backup batteries that are rotated to keep them fresh and reliable.
  • First Aid Kits or you can make your own: First Aid Kits

Extra Clothing

Depending on your location, the time of year, and weather conditions, it’s always a good idea to have extra changes of clothes. During an emergency, you may get cold, get wet, or need items more suitable for hot temperatures. Evaluate your personal needs based on past experience and the makeup of your household. Pay particular attention to the older people, the little ones, and any family member with unique needs.

Final Word

I hope you enjoyed my post today, Being Prepared: These Are My Favorite Things! Life is good when we are prepared one step at a time. Be patient, have a plan, practice the plan, and include all family members in planning and execution. Don’t feel like you need to do everything all at once. I’ve told my readers for years, you can do it one can at at time. Yes, we can do it, my friends! May God Bless this world, Linda

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27 Comments

  1. What an excellent post, Linda. One of the most important items of clothing you can have for any emergency, and one most people don’t think about, is a good hat with a wide enough brim to keep the sun and rain off of you. Another is a decent poncho.

  2. Great post! Helps to be reminded of necessary items for preps. We have been putting together bug out bags for our grandkids and their parents. They would have to walk about 35 miles to get to our home. Happy New Year everybody!!! Stay safe and stay well!.

    1. Hi Dangduffys, thank you for your kind words. What a blessing for your grandkids and their parents to have you putting together bug out bags. Good job!! Hopefully they have bicycles to make the 35 miles to your home! It would take me several days to walk 35 miles!! But it’s not too bad for the young and full energy people! Love it, Linda

  3. Linda, While I have finally brought my husband around to the idea of needing more water, when he saw the Berkeley water filter system, at our sons home, I found a problem I don’t understand. The EPA claims the system uses silver, and because silver kills pathogens such as bacteria, it should be labeled a pesticide instead of a filter. Does that make sense or is the EPA just being a pain in the A**?

    I always seem to take one step forward and two back.

    Chris

    1. Chris ~
      I think the EPA just being a pain in the A**! My opinion but the water tastes so much better from my Berkey!! If you don’t have one yet, when you do, I suggest also purchase as many replacement filters as you can!! I currently have 6 sets of black and 6 sets of fluoride filters on standby! I didn’t buy all of them at the same time, though, due to the costs. Also, before I replace my filters, I run the dye test – if they are still pretty good but I still want to put new filters in, I clean the old filters really well and let them dry out. I put them in the box the new filters were in and label them. I keep then on standby for when I have been through all the new filters. Of course, as long as they pass the dye test, I could still use them and not switch out but that is just me and my ways!!

    2. Hi Chris, I have a Big Berkey and several Berkey Sports bottles. I use silver not the kind that makes people blue, they mixed it themselves. I’m not a scientist, but I only buy the black ceramic cartridges for them because they remove more pathogens. Years ago when I bought mine they could not ship them to Ohio or California. That may have changed now, not sure. I know they have some “fake” ones being sold a lot cheaper that are breaking down (according to their website). Here is their phone #888-213-3394. I know Reverse Osmosis systems will have “chemicals” in their cartridges to remove pathogens, so do our refrigerator filters. The EPA may be saying that, I’m not aware of that statement. I refuse to drink our city water, I wrote a post on “what’s in your water”. Reverse Osmosis and Berkey water thats filtered is so good you will never go back to city water. That’s my humble opinion. Linda

  4. Linda~ excellent post and reminder for the new year.
    My food storage consists of freeze dried, dehydrated, canned and near ready to eat meals. The canned and near ready to eat meals are always in rotation as I eat them pretty often. Having ready to eat meals or canned items that can be eaten out of the can or heated up is important for the stressful time right at the beginning of a situation in my opinion. The last thing I would want to try to figure out in the heat of the battle is what to fix for dinner!!

    It is on my bucket list for preps to get some of the water bricks this year. I am going to shoot for 14 of them over the year’s time frame. That would give me 2 weeks of water. I have a weeks worth of water right now but in other types of containers that are not long term solutions.

    1. HI Leanne, yeah watch for the sales on the WaterBricks, I have more BlueCan cases than WaterBricks. But the Water Bricks are great for cooking water, personal hygiene, filling your Berkey, having several types of water storage is the best. My stuff is still in the storage unit, it’s frustrating. Hopefully, 3 more months. I hope I live that long! LOL! Living in this one bedroom for 2+ years is getting old very quickly. LOL! Linda. P.S. Great goal for 2 weeks of water with 14 WaterBricks. Love it!

    2. Agree on having pre-made meals in storage. I keep them for when everyone is sick and nobody has the energy to cook. Just heating water and adding it to a freeze dried mix will make it much easier to keep everyone fed when nobody feels right.

      And for water, I like having both the 5 gallon LTS water containers and cases of 0.5l bottles – I keep one case per person in storage and rotate them out every 4 to 6 months. Having the 0.5l bottles makes it easy to prepare rehydration solution or other medical solutions when necessary. Although the water bricks are looking more convenient as we age and it gets harder to move 40+ pounds of water at once.

      1. Hi DmWalsh, I agree lifting 5 gallon containers of water is too heavy for me as well. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea about having the 0.51 (equals about 8 ounces) bottles of water on hand for those who are sick and we need to add those packets. BRILLIANT! Thank you, Linda

        1. Actually 0.5 liters is just under 17 ounces (16.907 ounces according to Google)

          The oral rehydration solution formula I use is based on 0.5 liters, so it was an easy decision to get that size bottle. Commercial pouches that are for 8 ounces will need either two pouches per bottle or just use half the bottle in a cup to mix in the pouch.

          1. I thought I remembered smaller bottles at the warehouse club, and it looks like Poland Springs has lots of sizes, the smallest of which is the 8 oz bottle which might make more sense for folks who stock commercial pouches….

            polandspring.com/products/spring-water

  5. Linda,
    I just looked up the water preserver on Amazon and it is enough for 2- 55 gallon barrels of water, not 1 barrel.
    Mary

      1. Hello again Linda,
        I cannot find the place where I found it. There are so many pages that I don’t know which one I clicked on. After reading all the others I defer to you and 1 bottle for 55 gallons.
        Sorry about that.
        Mary

        1. HI Mary, there may be one that does fills 2 55-gallon barrels. I will keep looking as well. My favorite one is Water Preserver but they have been out of stock for a couple of years. I will check some others ones to make sure I didn’t miss one. It’s all good. Linda

  6. Linda,
    I found it. For 2-55 gal barrels. It is at —thereadystore.com— It is ‘ion water preserver’. $19.99. A different brand.
    Sorry about the mix up.
    Mary

    1. Hi Mary, YAY! What’s funny I recommended that one because Water Preserver has been sold out for a couple of years. Thank you! This is awesome! They sell it on Amazon as well. Linda

  7. Linda, FYI Thrive foods now has complete meals in pouches and ones that can be stored for 25 years. They are adding 2 or 3 varieties every year. The price is a little more than the Mountain House meals but a little less than other backpacking meals. Plus Thrive meals have 3 servings to the 2 servings in other brands. I wish they had more vegetarian and vegan options since I have one daughter in each category.

    One thing I discovered just before Christmas was at Menards and it is a nice sized cooler with a large zippered front pocket that has 4 plates, 4 plastic wine glasses, silverware, a small cutting board, and knife. I think it would be great for a 72 hour food kit. A large family might need two of them but the coolers were $19.99 each. I bought one for my youngest daughter and one for hubby and I. For my daughter, I added a vegan freeze dried dinner and two of the backpacking granola breakfasts. We just bought the single serving backpacking meals for her, We’ll keep giving her the backpacking meals until she has a 72 hour kit. I just checked (www.)menards.com use picnic cooler as the search term and they still have some and some colors are on sale for $12.99. If you have a store near by they have free delivery to the store, I’m not sure what the shipping is if you don’t have it delivered to the store.

    I will fill our cooler with a combination of canned foods (from Linda’s list), Thrive freeze dried meals and my own dehydrated meals with freeze dried meat. I think it will hold my one burner propane stove and a collapsible cooking pot. If we keep it in our truck, we can prepare a quick meal while out and about.
    Then refill it after each trip to be our 72 hour food kit.

    Since we are planning some off grid camping this summer, I want to get some water bricks to use for that and then have at home for emergency use. I love it with items can have a dual purpose. The same with our most of our case iron cookware, we use it for camping, cooking in the fire pit at home and of course have it for emergencies.

    1. Hi Topaz, oh my gosh, I never looked at the shelf life of the Thrive Life Meals. 20 years on some, that’s awesome. If you are looking for vegan and gluten free food (I have not tried it) I know (www.)foodstorageguys.com sells some. Thank you for the tip on the Thrive packets. Linda

  8. Linda, Help me out if you can. I keep seeing sites mentioning that you should not place your water containers directly on concrete because of leeching. But, no one sites any proof. Can you point out any studies done to back this up?
    Thanks,
    Jose

    1. HI Jose, I Googled a couple places but it was way over my head as far as scientific studies. I understand its the heat from the concrete, but I have always heard the same thing keep your your water and food off the concrete and soil. I’m not sure where to look but I will always keep my water off the concrete or soil to be safe in my mind. You may want to make some calls to your local water department, but I’m not sure they would know either. Linda

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