In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina disrupted an entire region of our nation. Not only were communities destroyed, but families were literally ripped apart. In the aftermath of Katrina and Hurricane Rita that followed, over 5,000 children were separated from their parents across the region. In mid-March 2006, the last missing child, a 4-year old girl, was reunited with her family. Why did it take six months to return the last missing child to her family? Because caregivers, children, and working parents were evacuated all over the south. Not necessarily in the same direction. Sometimes not to the same state. Some small children became separated from parents during transit or in temporary shelters. And a complicating factor was that the smaller children couldn’t give any information about their parent’s name, or even their own names.
There are many ways you can prevent losing a child in the chaos of disaster. If the child is old enough to speak, teach them their name, your name and, if possible, a phone number, including area code.
Put an Emergency Contact Information card in your purse or wallet, every school child’s backpack or bag, and every diaper bag. Every member of the family should have an Emergency Contact Information card.
At the bottom of this post there is a page you can print out with four cards on it. You can fold the Emergency Contact Information card in half and laminate it, take it to an office supply store and have them laminate it, get self-stick laminated pockets to seal it in, use clear contact paper, or put it in an envelope. Use pencil or ball point pen, so the writing doesn’t run if it gets wet.
You can indicate medical conditions, medication taken regularly, allergies, or other important information specific to you or your child. You might want to include a doctor’s name and phone number if the individual has a chronic health challenge.
Why an out-of-area contact? Because during a disaster, local phone service is sometimes damaged or overwhelmed by the great number of people trying to access the system at once. Here’s what you can do to solve the problem of diminished or no local service:
-Ask a friend or family member who lives out of the area or out of your state to be your contact person. Many times, even if local service is interrupted, long distance service still works.
-Fill out an Emergency Contact Information card and make sure every family member carries one, even the baby.
-If calls aren’t going through to your out-of-area contact, there’s a good chance a short text will. Try that if the lines are tied up.
-If you can’t get through by phone, try sending a brief e-mail to your contact indicating that you’re safe and your location.
-At some emergency centers, there are ham radio operators who volunteer to try and get messages through to other locations to be sent on to your contact.
Being the geek that I am, I recently found a product on Amazon that I’m planning on trying out. It’s called Dynotag® Web/GPS Enabled QR Code Smart Tags . You can get them in stickers, cards, zipper pulls, metal dog tags, pet tags, and luggage tags. For Christmas, I’m planning on creating a card for each child and grandchild in my family and putting one of these stickers on each card with instructions on how to activate it. Their emergency information is stored in the cloud and readable with a smart phone or with access to the web. (Just for clarity’s sake, I want you to know I’m an “Amazon Associate” and will get a small percentage of the sale of these products if you click through from this site).
Having said all this, the reality is that you need nothing more than a simple index card with the important information on it, so if you are separated from other family members you have a way to reconnect.
Share this with your family and friends at school events, family reunions, church gatherings, play dates, sports events, neighborhood meetings, or where ever parents gather. Surviving a disaster is a life-changing event. Being separated from a child increases the trauma for everyone.
I know the panic of losing a child in a store. The idea of being separated from a little one during an active disaster sends terror through my heart. There are never any guarantees in a disaster situation, but by filling out an emergency information contact card, you’re doing everything in your power to keep your family safe and together.
Hey, look what I built!
In the spirit of living providently, I recently had the bright idea to add chickens to our menagerie. Yeah, in November, because I do what I want.
Backyard chickens are a great investment. First, farm fresh eggs are nutritionally superior to store bought eggs. Second, it’s inexpensive. Third, chickens are fun and funny, and I’m all about fun and funny, kids.
Anyway, I’m picking up six red star pullets tomorrow, so this week I needed to set up the chicken coop that I ordered online. No big deal, right? Right.
Except I’m not a carpenter, or even that handy really, and the parts weren’t labeled and half the screws were missing, and when I tell you that if it’s possible to put something together upside down and backwards, I will, I do mean I will every single time. Also, having a four year old helping out is the exact opposite of efficiency, and we hit a cold snap this week and it is freezing outside (thanks Canada!).
But now it’s finished, yay! I’m excited to pick up the ladies tomorrow, and I’m feeling accomplished, and that’s a pretty awesome way to start the weekend. I was planning on taking pictures of the process, which I remembered directly after I was done, so instead, you get the finished product.
Watch for an update when the girls get here!
I knew a woman who said she wanted to return to church but didn’t have a dress. I told her God probably wouldn’t mind if she went in pants. She insisted she’d feel out of place. At the same time, she expressed resentment at the thought of having to buy a dress to feel socially acceptable in church. Some time later, she was an extra on a TV show and needed a dress for an important scene. So she went out and brought a dress. In a class I took on time management, the instructor posed a question: if you needed to go to Pendleton, a town about 70 miles away, to pick up your mother-in-law at noon, and there was an over-turned semi-truck that wouldn’t be clear for 8 hours, what would you do? The consensus was that Mom-in-law would just have to wait until the road was cleared. Then he asked: what if I told you instead of your mother-in-law, a pouch is being delivered at noon. If no one is there to pick it up, the man delivering it will get back on the plane and leave. Oh, and the pouch contains a million dollars. Since I can’t go because I’m teaching this class, I’ll give you half if you’ll pick it up for me. What would you do? Answers included: get to the nearest airport and charter a plane, walk around the wreck and pay someone on the other side to take me to Pendleton. Half a dozen people came up with a number of creative ideas on how to get to Pendleton. You see, it was never about the dress. The mother-in-law wasn’t incentive enough to figure out how to get to Pendleton. But a half a million dollars was. Next time you approach a task or goal, answer the questions: How strong is my motivation? Church strong or TV strong? Mother-in-law strong? Half a million dollars strong? It’s never about the “what.” It’s always about the “why.”
The “what” is getting prepared. How strong is your “why?”
There is an interesting law in the universe that says if something is left alone long enough, it will decay and deteriorate into disorder and disarray, eventually devolving into turmoil and chaos. Just as a half eaten apple rots in the sun, so does a house left empty suffer broken windows, the roof falling in, stairs falling apart, and chimneys crumbling.
Individuals are like this. Housekeeping is like this. Marriages are like this. Families are like this. Nations are like this. Do you see a pattern here? If we don’t care for what is important in our lives and prove our caring with positive action, it will crumble and fall apart.
My Dear Ones, be vigilant. Keep your awareness sharp so you and all you hold precious do not become victims of this Law of Entropy.
Be ever watchful. I pray for your strength and success.
Emergency Preparedness Goal
- Place $20.00 in coin and small bills in a concealed location – this will be your “Cash Stash” and you will be adding to it each month. You should have $80.00 by now. Only us it for emergencies.
- Soap (hand, dish, and laundry)
- Water Purification tablets
- Change of clothing for each person
- Sanitary napkins / tampons
- Salt and pepper
Food Storage Goal
- Garden Seeds (A year’s supply of seed may be stored in a dark, cool place to help maintain seed quality).
Work together as a family to plan, prepare and plant a small garden. You may realize that you are not just growing a garden but growing in family traditions.
Emergency Preparedness Goal
- Add $20.00 in your “Cash Stash” location. Doesn’t it feel good to save like this?
- Cooking Utensils
- First Aid Kit, Manual & CONSECRATED OIL
- Free First Aid Guide
Food Storage Goal
Take the time to reevaluate your preparedness plan. Have you let things slip this summer? Is it time to get back on track? What can you do to have a big bite out of preparedness by the end of the year?
September Tips For Success
Recommended amounts to store: 5 pounds per person.
Storage life for salt in indefinite. So long as you do not let it get contaminated with dirt ot whatever, it will never go bad. Over time, iodized salt may turn yellow, but this is harmless and may still be used. Salt will absorb moisture if it is not sealed in an airtight container. If it does absorb moisture and cakes up, it can be dried in the oven and then broken up with no harm done.
Uses for Salt
Salt may be used for the drying to increase the storage time of some foods, such as fish. Salt and water brines may be used to prevent the growth of spoilage organisms in some foods. Excess salt may be washed away before the food is used.
Other not so common uses for salt
Salt and cold water to remove bloodstains. Sprinkle salt on a spilled raw egg to make clean up easier. Salt sprinkled in crack on driveway can help prevent weeds from growing through. Salt is deadly on garden slugs. Salt can be used as a gentle abrasive to clean sinks and counter tops. Salt is an excellent suds reducer. If you have put to much detergent in either the dishwasher or washing machine, sprinkle in the salt and watch the suds instantly disappear.
Different kinds of salt
- Table Salt is the most common type of salt. It comes in two varieties: Iodized and non-iodized. There is an ingredient added to it to absorb moisture so it won’t cake up in damp weather. This non-caking agent does not dissolve in water and can cause cloudiness in whatever solution it is used in if a large amount is used. In canning it won’t cause a problem since there is very little per jar. For pickling, though, it would be noticeable.
- If you are storing salt for this purpose, you should choose CANNING SALT. This is pure salt. It can usually be found in the canning supplies section of most stores. It is generally about the same grain size as table salt.
- Rock Salt comes in large chunky crystals ans is intended for use in making Ice cream. It has also been used in icing down watermelons. Rock Salt is not generally labeled as “food grade”, so it is best not to use it for this purpose. Rock Salt has also been useful in melting the ice on your sidewalks in the winter.
Remember to “Savour” each moment!
I have always loved the story of Noah’s Ark, probably because of the animals and the beautiful rainbow promise. As a nutritionist I have studied food, spices, chemicals and reactions in the body. I am so amazed at the value that is in the most colorful foods! Red tomatoes and pink grapefruit, orange yams and mangoes, yellow pineapple and squash , green spinach and kiwi, blue berries and eggplant, lavender cabbage and , indigo beets, violet endive, and white jicama. The healthiest foods naturally have the colors of the rainbow. So taste the rainbow every day (and no. I don’t mean skittles.) for a helpful list of fruits and vegetables from the rainbow North Dakota State University has a fantastic list.
Color also plays an important part in our emotional health. Many studies have shown that colors can make us feel calm, energized or open to learning. Interior designers and artists understand how color can affect moods, feelings and emotions. Color can be a powerful tool for communication, signaling action, influencing mood, or causing physiological reactions. Certain colors can even increase metabolism!
All this thought and talk about rainbows has made me think of our creative energies and our power to achieve and succeed. I believe each of us is filled with a desire and ability to create.
Each of You have a Huge Gorgeous Brilliant Rainbow Beauty inside you! So as your eating your rainbow and noticing how you feel around different colors please remember you are amazing!!!
Use your imagination and creativity to change the way you look at the food in your world. Enjoy the tastes, textures and feel of food. Try new foods. Experiment with your taste buds. I believe you will discover healthy foods that you really love.
Food is fuel for the body. When we eat the right fuel our body can function at its optimum. Seek out the foods that are healthy that you haven’t tried. Prepare the foods you think you do not like, in different ways to find ways you can enjoy them. By adding a few new colorful fruits and veggies to your diet daily (grains too) you will start to see and feel a difference.
Enjoy your Rainbow!
I found my pot of gold at the end of my rainbow-getting money writing blogs. If you’re interested just click here to see how I do it.
Do you already blog or have your own website?
Join now !
I can show you how easy it is to get traffic to your blog and/or website(s).
Love and hugs
Its summer time!
The Cherry Season generally lasts from the first week of June until the end of August. This year, 2012, due to the weather the season came later. Cherries are one of the freshest produce items available. Many people consider Cherries hard to can because of all the effort it takes to pit the cherries, but I disagree. The effort is well rewarded when you taste your own home-canned cherries.
A favorite way to can cherries is to make Cherry Pie Filling (continue reading below) and to Juice the Cherries for the freshest and best juice around.
The Cherry Pie Filling is amazing because one quart of that is not only good for make pie and cherry crisp, but it is also good for Cherry Bread, Cherry Chicken, Cherry Crescents and so many more yummy things.
Most people think that you can not can Cherries, but I am here to tell you CAN! I was in a lucky situation to be able to get all of the free cherry’s that I could pick myself and even come back for more if I desired. I loaded into my tiny G3 as a few hours later about 25 gallons of Cherries. I will be giving drying, freezing and making yummy Cherry Pie/Crisp Filling.
Not just cherry pie and cherry crisp, I am also going to show you some recipes for cherry filling bread, cherry chicken and how we marinade a roast. NUMMMMMMM!
But first for the filling recipe of how to can it.
* 3 1/2 quarts water
* 4 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 cups Clear Jel (this is very hard to find in stores but we have added it to our convenience store)
* 1 quart water
* 3/4 cup jell-o cherry gelatin (powder)
* 2 1/2 cups Karo syrup
* 1 (1/4 ounce) package cherry Kool-Aid
* 14 cups sour cherries
I have substituted knox jello for cherry gelatin powder and powdered cherry juice in place of Kool-Aid to cut out the preservatives, HFCS and color. I have also substituted 2 cups of honey in place of the Karo corn syrup – It works!
- Bring first 3 ingredients to boiling point.
- Mix Clear Jell and the 1 quart water together. Add to the near boiling ingredients in 8-quart kettle.
- Bring again to boiling point.
- Remove from heat and add Karo syrup.
- Mix Jello and Kool-Aid together and add to kettle.
- Put cherries in last.
- Ladle the mixture into 7 quart hot, sterile jars.
- Leave 1/2 inch headspace.
- Seal the jars.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove from water bath and place on kitchen towels on counter top to cool.
- When you’re sure the jar is sealed, tighten the rings.
- Make sure the rim is clean before putting the lid on and reprocess.
- Or you could pour the pie filling into a freezer container and put in your freezer and use first.