Considering Emergency Food Storage – How Much Is Enough?

canned food on white backgroundWater seems pretty simple, because you can set up guidelines and say exactly how much you want to store. But on the other hand, what do you do if you wish to store food for an extended period? How much food do you want to have on hand? What do you need to have on hand in order to make it through a difficult time? How much is going to keep you and your family going in case of an emergency of some sort? Like our article on emergency water storage, we’re going to look at some general guidelines that people use and what other things you need to consider.

What Are the General Guidelines?

Food can be pretty difficult because we’re going to eat a lot differently if we’re in a survival situation than we are if we are in another situation. That being said, a good way to go is to make sure that you’ve got enough food for at least one month – some people will say three months, but honestly, that may be a little much depending on what is going on. And the easy answer for what foods you should get? You want foods that keep, (canned foods, etc.) and food that your family normally eats. You don’t want to go way off your regular eating patterns during an emergency situation – you also want to make sure you try and keep everything as normal as you possibly can during this period of time in your life. It can already be stressful, so don’t make it worse just because of the food that you’re eating. Get stuff that you know that your family likes.

How much is enough for a day? You want to shoot for about 2000 calories for each person per day. Children may need less, of course, but you don’t want to store based on their current age – you want to store based on how old they may be when they get older. And it’s always alright to have too much food – it’s never okay to not have enough food. So 2000 calories is a nice number that makes it so you are definitely getting enough to eat, and if you don’t eat all 2000 calories, you’re going to have enough for the next day. This can include any snacks as well- like I said above, as long as you are ensuring that you are getting the amount of calories that you need and the energy you need, you’ll be good to go. Many preppers use food checklist to make sure they have enough food to last a certain amount of time.

What Else Should I Consider?

There are a few other things that you need to consider as well. For example, if you think that you may end up having to go on foot at some point, make sure that you have food that is easy to pack and carry. That way, you don’t have to worry about leaving it behind and you will have enough food to get by while you are going to wherever you need to go.

You also want to consider other things that you have in storage, as well. Some people put a lot of time and energy in putting together what is sometimes called a survival garden. They will save up a number of seeds (and some seeds can keep for a number of years) and then plant them when the time is needed. That way, you can also make sure that you have fresh food ready for you to enjoy. Other people will invest in an icebox or another freezer unit that they can use, that doesn’t need electricity or that has a backup generator, so that they can have proteins and other foods that they may not be able to keep otherwise. It’s up to you what you keep around.

So, food is, obviously, a bit trickier than getting water set up for your survival plan. But if you plan everything out, you make sure that everyone is taken care of, and you think ahead before a disaster even comes along, you can make sure that you and your family are comfortable, even in the worst of situations. This is why planning ahead is such a good idea, no matter how you feel about survival.

 

Keep Your Home Safe And Sound

couple at homeThere may always be someone who will want your valuable items. Guard against burglaries by increasing the security of your home. Read the following article for some great tips on how you can make your home more safe and secure.

Is Anyone Home?

Look for ways to make your home seem occupied. You can purchase timers that can control your household electronics such as lights, TVs and radios. This makes it appear that someone is home. This should help you make your home safer and not attract the attention of potential intruders.

Home security systems have additional features to just being noise alarms. Many systems sound an alert whenever people enter the house. This is useful for parents who have small kids, as it helps keep them from leaving the house.

When looking to buy a security system, shop around. Some companies offer comparable levels of protection that can be priced very differently. Get at least 3 quotes from security system companies and compare features and services as well as monthly costs.

Purchasing an Alarm Company

If you’ve got lots of people you don’t know on your social networks, don’t let them know that you’re going to be on vacation. While these platforms are there for sharing, this is announcing to the world that your home is an open target. When choosing a home security firm, trust your instincts. This is especially true if you are uneasy with those who are installing the actual system. If you simply are not comfortable with a company’s technician, keep searching till you find one you are comfortable with.  Ultimately, the whole point is for you to have peace of mind.dark staircase leading up to door

Never open the door for a stranger. There are people who are going to be convincing, but they can just be professional thieves. Only open the door for people you are expecting.

Your home may be equipped with skylights, and if so you must not neglect them in your security planning. Skylights are great for making a home brighter, but they can make it easier for burglars to access the house. Skylights need to be installed correctly and safely, with hardware that will keep intruders out.

Err on the side of caution when you are dealing with home security. There’s no need to live in fear, but addressing some basic security concerns is always the prudent course of action. Remember the tips in this article for some great ways on improving your home’s security, so you can protect yourself and your family!

Benefits of Green Energy

The Benefits of Using Green Energy to Power Your Home and Shelter

home with solar panels on roofWhether you want to live off the grid to homestead or in preparation for a disaster, you will need to have some sort of energy to help run your household and shelter. Living off the grid may also be a necessity if you are homesteading in a rural area far from the conveniences of a utility company to supply electricity or a water and sewer system.

To supply your energy and water needs, you will need to have a source of power. Some of the green, or alternative, energy sources you may wish to use for your home and shelter include:

Solar Power
Wind Energy
Hydro-power
Bio-Gas

The main benefit to using green energy sources is saving money and having a plentiful supply of power, especially if you opt to use solar power or wind energy. You may wish to use more than one type of green energy in your home and shelter to ensure that you have the power available to you whenever you need it.

Solar Power

Although there are initial costs for parts and installation, unless you do it yourself, those costs will be returned to you by the savings you get from using a free source of power. Thanks to technology advances, solar panels are much lighter and smaller than they used to be in years past. Solar panels are also made from flexible, durable materials and they are much less expensive than they used to be.

If you are located in an area that gets a lot of sunlight per day, most of your energy needs can be taken care of with solar power. Solar power doesn’t leave any emissions behind and the energy it generates can be stored in batteries for future use. On cloudy days, especially in the winter, the ability to store solar power is necessary because it is difficult to get energy from the sun during cloud coverage.

Along with being cost effective, solar power systems require little maintenance. Once the panels have been set-up in an area that gets maximum sun exposure and the rest of the system has been installed, it is virtually maintenance free.
Solar energy can be used for lighting, to generate electricity, you can set-up a solar cooking system and it can also be used to heat your home and shelter.

Wind Energy

Another clean source of power is wind energy. Although it isn’t as quiet as a solar energy system, you can set up a wind turbine to use in conjunction with solar power. Wind power can be used to generate electricity and it has been used for centuries to pump fresh water out of the ground. Having fresh water is essential for survival. By using a small wind turbine, or a windmill, you can dig a well and pump water from it using wind energy.

As with solar energy, wind power is very green as it is renewable and leaves no trace of emissions in the atmosphere. A battery system can be set up to store energy when it is needed on days the wind isn’t blowing. New turbine designs are being produced that help to generate electricity at slower speeds.

As will solar power, there will be an initial upfront cost to set-up the system, but it will pay for itself with long-term use. As wind turbines are mechanical, they require more maintenance than solar energy systems, but you may be able to learn to fix them yourself to keep costs low.

Hydro-Power

Power generated from moving water provides energy all year long, 24-hours a day. This is another source of green energy and, if you leave near a waterfall or an abundant water supply, producing energy is virtually free. However, if you don’t have a nearby source of running or falling water, generating energy with water can be next to impossible to do.hydro electric power station

Bio-Gas

Methane is the most common source of biogas. If you have cows on your property, such as milk cows, you know they produce loads of manure. As the manure starts to decompose, it lets off gases that can be captured and used as a fuel source. This is a seldom used source of energy, but you can easily, and inexpensively, set it up yourself.

Using Green Energy To Help Your Everyday Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this bad economy, people are shining the spotlight on green energy even more than they were before. Using sustainable resources is a great way to keep energy costs down and reduce utility bills in hard economic times. Learn more about how to use green energy by reading this article.

Simply cutting back on the amount of electricity you use on a daily basis can save a lot of energy. If you’re not using particular appliances, unplug them! Also, remember to turn off lights when they are not needed. This is an easy way to save cash as well.

Unplug Those Electronics

Save electricity while becoming a more conscientious energy consumer by unplugging the chargers for all your electronic gadgets when they aren’t in use. Mp3, cell phone, laptop, and various other device chargers draw power when they’re plugged in, no matter if it’s charging or not.

Replace or clean your furnace filter at least once every 90 days, and check it once per month for build-up. Warm-air registers can also benefit from filters. Having filters prevents debris from building up inside your heating ducts, which would hinder the energy efficiency of your heating system.

Don’t keep things turned on all the time. So, make sure you turn things off like the computer, TV, or lights when you leave a room. A power strip is an easy way to turn off multiple appliances at once, so consider placing one in a conspicuous place where many electronics are located.

Save on water heating costs by using solar energy. Buy a hot-water system that is solar-powered. Research the benefits of an indirect versus direct circulation system. For colder regions,indirect is a better option.

Take time to maintain your fridge properly. Refrigerators constantly use energy to maintain cooler temperatures. If it is not properly cared for, it will use much more energy than it needs to. Keep heating coils dust free. Also, ensure that the door seals tightly and that it is clean.

Save More Money with Rebates

There are many renewable energy rebates offered by the government, so be aware of them. Local utility companies often offer rebates for upgrades. Also, you will find that you can get a tax deduction or a credit from the federal or state government. These credits and rebates will ultimately cut your costs of bringing green energy technology to your house.

Watch your watt usage. There are many items on the market you can buy to track your energy use, such as the Kill-a-Watt. If you attach the device to the appliances in your home, it will let you know how much energy that appliance uses for different lengths of time. You can then use this information to find out how much the appliance really costs to run.

Think about using a carpool more often than commuting to work if you want to cut the amount of fuel you use. Kids can also form carpools to school by alternating parents days. You could also start doing your grocery shopping with neighbors or friends and switch on and off with who does the driving.

Switching your boiler is a great energy saving tip. The majority of older boilers weren’t built to save energy, but newer models are much more energy efficient. Newer boilers produce far less carbon dioxide and reduce energy bills.

The ideas here can save you money, and the environment, at the same time. You will see from this article just how easy it can be to use “green” energy and save money.

Looking To Increase Your Crops? Try These Organic Gardening Tips!

Organic gardening is a rewarding hobby that anyone can enjoy, as long as they know what they’re doing. The gardening experience can sometimes be rather intimidating and overwhelming to a beginner. How should a novice gardener get started? Reviewing the advice that follows would be a good place to begin!

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Allow your children to assist with the work to be done in your organic garden. Growing a garden is a great way to teach your children about nature while allowing you to have time to bond with them.

Gardeners who are intrigued by the ideas of organic and sustainable methods should think about designating a portion of their landscape to support native plants and animals. The kind of birds and insects needed for pollination will be naturally present on your property and help with your organic garden.

Prepare Your Flower Beds

Cover your flower beds with two or three inches of compost or organic mulch. This will discourage weeds from growing, add nutrients, and retain the moisture in your garden. It also adds a uniform and cohesive look to the garden.

Regularity is the key to keeping your organic garden in order, don’t let your list of chores pile up. No matter what your schedule is like, you should be able to fit in small things that will help you avoid having an overwhelming amount of work all at once. For example, if your family is cooking out on the grill, you could clear a few bunches of weeds between checking on the burgers.

When you run your personal organic garden, try ruffling seedlings using your hands or cardboard one or two times daily. However odd this may sound, research shows that this touching encourages seedlings to grow better than they would without touching.

The simple beer trap is still one of the best methods of ridding your organic garden of slugs. Place a jar into the soil so that the top of it’s mouth rests parallel with the soil. Pour enough beer into the jar to fill it below an inch from the top. The slugs will be attracted to the beer, and will then become trapped within the jar.

Organic gardening may sometimes require more effort than resorting to chemicals, but the payoff in the end is well worth the work. Harsh chemicals may be easier to use, but they can affect the nutrition and taste of your vegetables.

Water for the Season

Change how much you water your plants with the changing of the seasons. You should also adjust your watering habits if the temperature or amount of rainfall changes dramatically. Depending upon whether it is morning, noon or night, the chemical composition of your local water supply and soil type may determine your water usage needs. As an example, do not water your plant’s leaves if you live in a humid climate since this will most likely result in leaf fungus. Water the roots with care.

While any kind of gardening can make you feel as though you’re in tune with nature, organic gardening takes this to the next level. This kind of gardening keeps you more involved in planting, cultivating and harvesting, giving you a clearer picture of the entire life cycle of each plant.

When setting up an organic garden, plant tomatoes three weeks apart. If you plant everything at the same time, you will have an overabundance followed by nothing. This will also prevent you from losing an entire harvest if some type of problem arises that kills off a batch.

The mulch in your organic flowerbeds should be made of organic material and be no shallower than three inches. This will add nutrients to your soil, keep it moist, stop the growth of weeds and keep the garden looking beautiful.

Now that you have read this article, you know why organic gardening is such a fun activity. You will eat better and have a fun and relaxing hobby that lets you enjoy the great outdoors. With the tips presented above at the forefront of your mind, you can begin to grow delicious organic produce like a professional.

Easy To Follow Advice For A Better Garden

best improved garden  This photo was taken of the best improved garden in Meridian Idaho by DIYlawntime.blogspot.com 
When you properly apply organic gardening techniques, your garden will show great results. It lets other know that you are serious about getting the most out of your organic plants. This is a great thing. As any other skill, your organic gardening skills will only grow with time and experience. Below are some tips to help.

Pull Those Weeds to Save Your Garden

Regular weeding is essential to the health of any garden. Unwanted weeds fight for the same nutrients that more desirable plants do, and they also are unsightly. To help with the removal, you can use white vinegar. Use it instead of chemical solutions to kill weeds. Keep a solution of vinegar diluted with water on hand to spray on weeds.

Mint leaves are wonderful, but don’t you despise how quickly they can take over a garden due to rapid growth? You can stunt the growth of mint by planting it inside a container or super-sized bowl. You can simply put the container below the soil level. Once you do, the container will constrain the roots, preventing them from overshadowing all of your other plants.

Consider planting evergreens in your garden that produce berries. These help to give your garden nice looking color, even during winter when most vegetation is colorless. Some plants that will provide color in the winter include the American Cranberrybush, the American Holly, the Common Snowberry, and the Winterberry.

Plan Your Harvest

Know when to harvest your vegetables at precisely the right time. Different vegetables have different, ideal times that they should be picked for best flavor. For example, baby peas and zucchini taste best when they are picked young. Let your tomatoes, however, linger on the vine until they are fully ripe. To get the most out of your gardening efforts, find out when to harvest your crops.

Make a plant you love the focal point of your garden. There should be a solid focal point for every good garden design. A perfect example of a focal point is using a plant that doesn’t bear any resemblance to those that surround it.

Avoid getting an infection by not allowing dirt and other chemicals to get into open wounds. A cut may become badly infected if it’s exposed to a lot of dirt or grime when you garden. However, there are bandages available that will seal the cut completely. Using these should protect the cut from any infection while gardening.

Learn to work efficiently. By having your tools in one location, you will not spend hours looking for them. Have all of tools you will need for the day before you head out your garden. When you are finished, put them away neatly for the next time. Invest in a tool belt or wear pants that have lots of pockets.

Pine is a mulch that is great. Some plants are more acidic, and prefer soil that contains higher acidic levels. Pine needles to line the bed of your garden are easy to find for these kinds of plants. Simply add a layer of pine needles a couple of inches deep to the plant beds. The needles will decompose over time and provide the soil with acidity.

Using coffee grounds as part of your soil mixture in your garden is often advised for healthy plants. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, an essential nutrient for plant growth. Nitrogen is often the most important nutrient when it comes to plants thriving, and a solid source of nitrogen, like coffee grounds, urea, or compost, can boost growth speed and increase height.

Though organic farming can present challenges that traditional farming with the use of chemicals does not, harvesting the crops is reward itself for the hard work. While the chemical companies claim great benefits, organic gardening will always provide the most rewarding and healthy crops. Now you have everything you need to work in your organic garden– the correct products and tools, and most importantly, the skill! This is great news! These suggestions can help beginners get started, and can give experienced gardeners more techniques to work from. You can always benefit from learning! You have likely, however, learned at least one thing that will be well put to use in your garden.

How To Have The Most Beautiful Garden

Tree in hands Gardening is a great hobby that can be very rewarding in many ways. Whether you grow vegetables or flowers, caring for these plants will give you great satisfaction. Think of this article as a helpful guide to making the most out of your garden.

Many times when digging in clay soil the clay will adhere to the shovel, which will make it much harder to dig. To make digging clay soil easier, try applying a light coating of wax, either car wax or floor wax, and then buff off and commence digging. The wax prevents the clay from sticking to the shovel, and stops rust from forming.

Great Uses for Your Tools

clay

Use the handles of your tools as a handy ruler when doing your outdoor chores. Tools with long handles such as hoes and rakes can double as measuring sticks. After laying the handles on the floor, run the measuring tape along beside them. A permanent marker can be used to label distances. When the need arises to measure something while in your garden, the measuring tool you need will literally be “on hand,” sketched into the handles of your tools.

Use biennials and annuals to add color to your flower beds. These fast growing flowers let you change how your flower bed looks season to season. They can be used to fill in gaps in your garden between the perennials or shrubs so your garden looks fuller. Notable varieties include cosmos, rudbeckia, petunia, hollyhock, marigold and sunflower.

Pick the proper soil in order to get the best outcome. The soil may have to be adapted, depending on what types of plants you’re planning for the garden. You can also make an artificial area with one variety of soil.

In order to rid your garden of pests, take advantage of plant materials and other organic matter. A border of marigolds or onions around your veggies can prevent slugs. Mulch around the bottom of trees and shrub seedlings with wood ash to reduce unwanted infestation of pests. You can avoid using pesticides that contain harsh chemicals if you employ these techniques.

It can be tough to keep insects and other plant-ruining crawlies from infesting your garden. While chemicals can help with pest control, you should avoid using overly harsh ones, as veggies you grow in your garden are meant for eating. Frequently check your garden for pests. In many cases, you can simply remove the pests from your plants by picking them off.

Indoor Plant Care

Keep the temperature in your home between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, if you are keeping or growing any kind of plant in your house. The temperature needs to be this warm so they are able to grow. You can also buy a heat lamp to maintain ideal conditions for your inside plants during the winter.

If you are growing plants organically indoors, you have to consider the light that they are getting. If you’re living in a home that doesn’t receive much sunlight, you should consider growing plants that thrive in environments with low to medium amounts of light. If this is not an option, or you have your heart set on a particular type of plant, consider adding additional growing lights instead.

After your seeds have sprouted, heat lamps are not needed. After growth begins, you can remove plants from any excessive heat sources. If you used plastic wrap to insulate your seedlings, you should now remove it. Check on your seeds often so you catch them when they are ready.

You probably know just how rewarding gardening can be. For flower gardening, the beauty alone is rewarding. Vegetable gardening adds economic, culinary and health rewards. Take your gardening to greater heights of enjoyment with the tips you’ve gotten here.

 

Does Your Garden Need A Little Help? Find Handy Tips Here!

tomatoesOrganic gardening is very popular these days but many people are afraid to dip their toes into it.  Properly lay your sod. Before you lay the sod, the soil has to be prepared. Pull any weeds that you see, and work to break up the soil so that it is a fine tilth.

Make sure your soil is flat and compacted. The soil should be adequately moistened. Lay the sod in rows, and make sure the joints do not overlap. Make sure that the sod forms an even, flat surface, and if you have any gaps show between the sod, fill them with a little bit of soil. For the best results, you need to water the sod every day for a two week period. After this time the sod will have rooted into the soil and can be now walked on.

Clay soil is hard and will also stick to a shovel, making it difficult to work with. One way to get around this problem is to coat the shovel with wax. Use a clean cloth to spread the wax evenly. The wax prevents the clay from sticking to the shovel, and stops rust from forming.

Normally, hybrid plants that fight off diseases and are rather cold-tolerant have a greater yield than normal optoins. Check your soil before you begin planting your garden. A soil analysis is inexpensive and can be used to figure out which nutrients should be added to provide a healthy garden environment. Many offices of Cooperative Extension will do a soil analysis, and it is important to know how to improve soil so that all crops can grow in it.

Planting Bulbs

Plant bulbs in your garden if you want flowers through spring and summer. Bulbs will growflowers every year and are easier to take care of than seeds. Plant bulbs that will bloom at various intervals to ensure beautiful flowers are growing in your garden all year long. Prior to planting – soak the seeds overnight – in the dark.  Use a few seeds and insert them in a  jar  and cover them with water. This will give your seeds a healthy head start in the growth process. The seeds will then have a greater chance at lasting and blossoming.

Planting Vegetables

Vegetables should be planted in an area where they will get a minimum of six hours of daily sunlight. Most vegetables need that much sun to grow rapidly and successfully. This is also true for some flowers. When you keep in mind the tips, tricks and advice in this article, the prospect of organic gardening should not seem so fearful. Follow the tips you have studied here, and your yard will soon be yielding a terrific amount of delicious wholesome food for your kitchen.