Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Topic #3 is Non-Food items

So far we've covered Food & water.  The last item for storage is Non-Food items.   Again Folks tend to think of stuff like Toilet paper, shampoo, soap, etc.  But this catagory covers so much more so this will be another long entery.   

First you need to think of how you would cook that food you have stored if you have no power.  We've cooked over those little emergency heaters we made out of toilet paper and soaked in rubbing alcohol.   I set two cans of shortening on either side and laid a cooling rack over it and heated food up using that.  another option you can use inside is the little Sterno single burner folding stoves.  Now there are other ways to cook but most have to be done outside.  If you have a grill then you could use that.  You can use a camp stove.  you can get a simple one with one or two burners or you can get one of the Camp Chef oven units with 2 burners & a small oven.  You could make yourself a Rocket stove.  You can "google" rocket stoves and find many sites that show you how to make your own.  You can get or make a solar oven.  I have loved my Global Sun Oven but after 10 years worth of use it's about done in.  Food cooked in my sun oven tastes so much better than it does in the regular oven or crock pot.  I have also found a site that shows you how to make a solar cooker that will go up to around 300 degrees:  http://rimstar.org/renewnrg/modified_cookit_solar_cooker.htm     The other item you can make is a hay box cooker.  This comes from back in the pioneer days.  As wagon trains made their way west they needed to make meal times easier.  They used a box which back then were made out of wood and lined it with hay.  At breakfast they would start a stew or soup cooking in their dutch oven and after it got boiling they would drop the dutch oven into the center of the hay box and then cover it well with heavy quilts.  It would stay hot for hours and when they stopped for the night they could get dinner ready very quickly by reheating the stew/soup and making biscuits or what ever bread they wanted.  By the time the men had the livestock taken care of they could have a hot meal and get to bed.  This is a way to cook and save energy.  I made a hay box using a round plastic tub and two small bean bag chairs.  I put the first one in and then add the dutch oven and top it tightly with the second one and it cooks very well for several hours.  You can do a google search if you want to see how others made their hay boxes.  Try it now so you know how to best use it in a crisis.  Having several cooking options is a wise thing to do.  No matter what you should be able to cook some how.   Just make sure you have fuel for what ever options you decide to use.

How will you keep thing cold if the fridge isn't working?   We used ice chests during the 3 week ice storm but you can't count on it always being winter time when the fridge goes out.  Root cellars and spring houses are nice but most folks don't have such things these days.    Two systems out of Africa work very well.  The Zeer cooler uses two unglazed clay pots, one smaller than the other.  They pack sand on the bottom and then put in the second pot and pack sand around the sides.  Then you can put your food in the inside pot and cover it and pour water over the sand.  the wet sand soaks the pots and then wind blows over it and it cools right down and keeps produce etc nice and cool.   The second is and evaporation refrigerator.  This is listed on page 42 of the same manual that had the water filter.  This book is well worth the $11.75 or worth printing out if you choose to do the free download.  https://providentliving.lds.org/bc/providentliving/content/english/self-reliance/health/pdf/basic-physical-health-limited-resources-eng.pdf?lang=eng&icid=osd            I would make this fridge out of PVC pipe instead of wood.

The other thing people do around where I live is to bury old freezers in the ground with the door opening at ground level.  They pack straw bales on top of it during the warm months.  If you have kids in the area you might want to install a pad lock to keep them out of it.   A friend of ours has several of these and he makes big ice blocks all winter long and then when it starts warming up he packs them into his freezers and packs saw dust around them.  He has ice all summer long and a nice cold place to put stuff too!

Now maybe I should just make a list of items but there is so much more to include!   Personal care times like body wash, shampoo, razors, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, tooth brushes & tooth paste.  Clothing:  material, patterns, sewing needles, thread, laundry soap, clothes line and clothes pins.  ( I made a simple washing machine out of a 5 gallon bucket with a small hole in the center of the lids and a simple toilet plunger with a few holes cut out.  You can add water, soap and clothes and plunge away!)  ( I also made a toilet paper replacement kit for each family member.  I use a simple plastic ice cream bucket and put in a small sponge and 16 double layered flannel cots sewn together.  You can wipe with the flannels and then wash them to use again.)   Flash lights and batteries, candles and matches, lamps with extra wicks and lots of lamp oil.  diapers, pet supplies, medications, first aid supplies, water filters, some way to generate electric if you require it.  There are so many things you use!  Take a day and mark down everything you use and then make sure you have extra in your storage.  If you have kids you might want to make sure you have plenty of family games and puzzles.  It might help them as they go through withdrawals from their video games and TV shows.  

So this one wasn't even close to being as long as the one on water but I decided to not go totally crazy on getting everything down.  But you should have enough ideas to get you thinking!  

So hopefully you get some ideas this week and come up with a plan.   I hope everyone works toward having a years supply of what they need.  The exception to that is those who live in apartments or a major city.  If anything goes really wrong you will want to get out of Dodge right fast.  That means you will need a bug out plan and location.  You should still have 2 weeks to 3 months worth of supplies on hand in your apartment.  Then you will be covered for short term emergencies and budget crisis.  If you have to bug out you will want to carry supplies with you and get out as quickly as you can before most realize there is a problem.  

Have fun as you think about your situation and get prepared to handle anything that comes your way.

brchbell@ yahoo.com

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