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Why You Should Add Disaster Preparedness To Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 5th, 2013

2012 may be remembered as the year when we realized how disasters of many kinds could affect any of us. With the year coming to a close, and in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, becoming more disaster prepared is topping many New Year’s resolution lists.

Below are our top 5 reasons for adding disaster preparedness to your New Year’s resolutions. How will you become more disaster prepared in 2013?

5. Community, local government and disaster relief organizations often are unable to get to everyone quickly.  This became very evident during Hurricane Katrina, but was also an issue during Superstorm Sandy. During the superstorm, city police and fire departments quickly became inundated in the relief effort, and did not have the equipment or resources necessary to help many families trapped in their homes amidst rising floodwaters. Furthermore, relief organizations sometimes need to focus their efforts elsewhere in an emergency. Therefore, preparing for at least 3-5 days of survival can mean the difference between thriving or eating out of a dumpster.

4. Being prepared can help reduce fear or anxiety about unexpected disaster. If you live in an area affected by natural disasters, planning and taking appropriate measures to secure your house and emergency needs can reduce these fears. To ease your nerves, start small. Secure items that can shake loose if you live in an earthquake prone area. Or, begin flood proofing your home by relocating valuables to higher floors. As the year progresses, more preparedness measures should be underway.

3. You and your family can become self-reliant in an emergency situation, and care for your own basic needs. Families can and should prepare to become self-sufficient for at least three days in a disaster (the average number of days before rescue). This includes having access to a survival garden, and the means to provide shelter, warmth, first aide, emergency food, water, and sanitation, and protection in an emergency.

2. You can help others. Preparing your own family early this year can mean more opportunities to secure additional emergency items for others in need.

1. You can reduce the risk of losing a loved one, a family pet, and valuable possessions. Keeping your loved ones safe from harm is the leading reason disaster preparedness is essential in 2013. Check out our other disaster preparedness posts to ensure your family, pets and valuables stay safe in a survival situation. Share the information with your family, and teach your children what to expect and how to respond in an emergency.

-Tips For Sustaining A Survival Garden

-Five Tips For Prepping

-How To Prep An Apartment Or Small Living Space

-Survival Gardening: Boosting Your Disaster Prepardeness

-Canning 101

Here’s to a safe and well prepared 2013!

 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease.  We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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Five Tips For Prepping

June 5th, 2012

Major life changing events can and do happen. Definitely most occur without surprise, and can affect small, remote areas or major cities. Others are more obvious and one, so attuned, can make the best of preparations. Regardless, they can happen slowly or very quickly, causing insignificant to long lasting deterioration even after the worst is over. Such changes can take on many forms, from hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, dangerous spills, flu outbreaks, and especially severe economic events. Knowing this, “prepper’s” are taking great measures to ready their homes and families for endurance, trying times, or just plain survival. With that said, they are also sharing with neighbors, establishing neighborhood gardens, and taking to social media to sound the alarm so to speak by writing about survival, prepping, and the cyclical nature as to why this is prudent.

Many wonder if government agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can truly provide everything we need in an emergency?  Since 2003, FEMA is largely in command of planning and responding to disasters of all varieties.  However, when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005, the FDA reported residents were without basic needs like adequate food or clean water for days, even weeks for some. They also reported that crop supplies and processed goods were completely submerged under water, and exposed to contaminants like chemicals and sewage, forcing residents to fear the very essentials necessary for survival: food and water.

Below are five ways you can better prepare your own food and water supply in the occurrence of a disaster. These tasks should be prepared before a disaster strikes, and with your own location, climate, physical health and family needs in mind.

1)   Store a variety of ways to cook and heat up food.  Depending on whether you’ll have access to electricity, batteries, or even the outdoors – ready.gov suggests that a few different modes to cook a meal can make a real difference.  If you have access to the outdoors, there are now a variety of survival stoves to choose from.  However, survivalists recommend that the stove heat up to at least 1,200 degrees F.  Furthermore, a stove that can run on rechargeable AA batteries, and equipped for a DC Out Plug and/or a portable solar charger can all prove useful in a survival situation. Along with a survival stove, you can keep food warm by using candle warmers, chafing dishes, and fondue pots. Keep in mind that charcoal grills, a fireplace, a campfire and eating food right out of the can are also options.  In the chance you need to change locations, ensuring some cooking devices are light, portable and easy to use should also be considered.

2)   Begin purifying and storing water sooner rather than later. FEMA suggests that families should store ½ gallon of water, per person, per day in the chance of a disaster.  Yet, keep in mind that children, the elderly, and those with health issues may require more than the ½ gallon to stay hydrated.  Medical emergencies and hot temperatures can also quickly deplete a water supply.  Many disaster preppers aim to more than double FEMA’s suggestion, storing at least one gallon of water, per person, per day. Furthermore, it’s important to consider your own climate, family needs and common sense to build an adequate water supply.

Many choose to store bottles of water for easy access.  Yet, boiling water and using one of the many water purification systems out there are also safe ways to attain water when done properly.  If water is running short, learning how to chlorinate or distill water is incredibly useful in an emergency, and can save lives. Also, avoid carbonated, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages in an emergency – as these can dehydrate the body and lead to more water consumption than planned for.

3.) Store seeds that offer a wide range of nutrition in airtight, long-term packaging. In severe weather, drought, or in the unpredictable nature of any disaster – ensuring your seeds stay fresh and viable can play a major factor in survival.  While there are a wide range of seed packages and storing opportunities to choose from, The Producer  is a great investment and trade. For a around $5.00 a pack, you get a seed kit that offers bulk fruit and vegetables in 26 varieties of non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds, including certified organic and heirloom varieties packaged for long term storage. Seeds are packaged in re-sealable Myler® bags, then stored in waterproof, rodent proof container that is also FDA approved for long-term storage.  Whether you choose to grow your seeds now or later, The Producer ensures a nutritious food supply.

4) Build Your Own Survival Garden. There are never any guarantees that our grocery stores will continue to be stocked full of food, or that a natural disaster will allow us safe roads to drive to the store on. Many emergencies are such that there is no time to start growing a garden, or just begin gaining experience at growing food. Perhaps that knowing this, you have already started a survival garden of your own.  But the only question remaining is, “how do I keep a survival garden thriving all year long?” To learn more about sustaining your own survival garden, this post offers detailed instructions on planting and maintenance.

5) Learn how to can your own food. First invented during Napoleon’s time as a means of feeding troops healthfully during a march, canning is used today as a useful method to preserve garden fresh fruits and vegetables. Never canned before? Canning entails placing fresh or cooked produce in jars and heating them to a temperature that microorganisms are unable to survive in.  If done effectively; canning can prevent unnecessary waste, save money, and provide healthy food for your family all year long, as well as in an emergency situation. Essentially, there are two options for home canning: one is water bath canning, and the other is pressure cooker canning.  View this post for detailed instructions on the canning process, and how to store cans long-term.

If canning your own food for disaster preparedness is something you aim to try, consider canning a variety of nutritious foods.  Canning fruits like mangos, cantaloupe, and passion fruit can offer B vitamins, which are essential for energy, cell production and body growth, whereas pineapple, brussel sprouts and butternut squash have high amounts of vitamin C, which plays a significant role in building the immune system, protecting body tissue, and warding off free radicals.  Be sure to pack at least (2) can openers in your disaster supply kit, and consider opting for low sodium canned food to prevent dehydration.

So, as the old English proverb goes; “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst” is something worth taking to heart given the current state of the world. We thank you for support of this blog and here is a thanks to you, 20% off at check out for any seed kit by using the code: HSBLOG20

You might also like ~ Survival Gardening: How To Boost Your Disaster Preparedness

 

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Tips For Sustaining A Survival Garden

February 27th, 2012

There are never any guarantees that our grocery stores will continue to be stocked full of food, or that a natural disaster will allow us safe roads to drive to the store on. Many emergencies are such that there is no time to start growing a garden, or just begin gaining experience at growing food. Perhaps that knowing this, you have already started a survival garden of your own.  But the only question remaining is, “how do I keep a survival garden thriving all year long?” Growing your own survival garden is similar to any other garden in terms of chores and maintenance, but do keep these points in mind:

Sustainable Plant Choices: A survival garden should include plants that are both nutritious and perennial.  It is also advantageous to choose plants with a long, repeated harvest. A survival garden that only requires daily and weekly tasks like fertilizing, mulching, pruning, weeding and watering is a far less daunting than starting a garden from scratch each season.  Also, while perennial plants need nurturing, they are also fairly forgiving for new gardeners, and when temporarily neglected. Good choices to include in your garden are: asparagus, root vegetables, beans, artichokes, horseradish and a variety of herbs.

Become An Expert! Do your research about each fruit, vegetable and herb you grow in your garden. Buy a few books or search online for instructions on the best techniques for proper planting, maintenance and harvesting in your garden.  There is no substitute to knowledge and experience to ensure your garden will thrive when you need it most.

Proper Planning: When including more plants in your survival garden, space should be optimized the best way possible.  Stagger and plant close together, and pay special attention to plants that have deep root systems. Plants that have deep roots (like tomatoes,) should be grown next to plants with less intrusive roots (like lettuce).  Take a look at our post on Companion Planting for more information on plants that grow well together.

Many survival gardeners also like to create designated areas for the variety of plants growing in their garden.  Separating and labeling medicinal herbs, vine vegetables and culinary plants may prove very helpful and accessible when in an emergency situation.

Seed Saving:  In an emergency, no one can afford to waste money or allow a garden to fail. In fact, some emergencies can last for more than one season or year.  Saving seeds from plants that are vigorous and thriving can ensure well-grown food years in the future.  To get the most out of your seeds, first be sure to never use hybrid or genetically modified seeds, as these will not be able to reproduce. Using non-hybrid seeds, also known as open-pollinated, allow you to reproduce the same plant and yield seeds every year.  Keep watch for vegetables and fruit in your garden that are free of disease, yield a high number of produce, and are the best looking (also – resist the urge to eat them!).  Mark that plant with a stake or ribbon. Allow the seeds to fully ripen before harvesting, and carefully place them indoors for drying.  A paper bag or clean newspaper will work just fine.  Once dried, store seeds in a labeled, airtight container or clearly marked envelope. Seed saving can only occur when non-hybrid seeds are planted. You can find a wide variety of non-hybrid seeds within Humble Seed’s The Producer- which makes the perfect survival seed bank.

Canning and Preserving: Preparing early and not waiting for an emergency to arrive is the key to survival. After each harvest, begin storing an emergency supply of food by canning your bounty and storing them in a dark room, food pantry or cellar.  Freezing food is not the best option for disaster preparedness, as there are never any guarantees that electricity will work.  Never canned before?  See our Canning And Preserving 101 post for an easy step-by-step guide to canning your produce.

Be sure to read our original post on Disaster Preparedness for more information and tips on survival gardening!

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