Monday, November 28, 2011

The Flu and You

It's that time of year again. No not just the holiday season, it's flu season. Runny noses, coughing, and other unsightly things even I'm too squeamish to describe. If you're like me you can't afford to be sick. You have children to take care of or a job to get to each day and you just don't have time to be sick. Or it's tough just having enough money to buy groceries each week, let alone a doctor's copay and a prescription.

However, getting sick is more than just putting a drain on our time and finances, it can be outright deadly. The rising incidents of super viruses and bacterias puts us all at a greater risk than ever before. Science has done a wonderful job at helping us heal and fight infections, but it's been a double edged sword. By suppressing other viruses and bacterias we have increased the ability for new viruses and bacterias to grow and be more immune to current medications, thus creating new strains which are harder to kill.

In the news this week, the rise of a new Swine Flu has the scientific world buzzing and the World Health Organization on high alert. Luckily in most cases when a new strain is identified practices are put into place to help stop it from spreading, but everyday citizens like ourselves need to protect our families with another reminder that clean hands and keeping your hands out of your mouth, nose or eyes are some of the best defenses against you and the flu. This is especially important if you haven't had a flu shot or if you're concerned your flu shot won't work this year with recent reports that it's only 59% effective. If you'd like to read more about this year's flu shot visit's article here.

So could a pandemic happen? The recent blockbuster movie Contagion gave us all a scary glimpse of the worst case scenario. But let's not find out shall we. All it takes is all of us being prepared for the worst but doing everything to keep the worst from happening. I've taken the time to make sure our family has plenty of over-the-counter medications in our emergency storage as well as reminding family members daily to be diligent with hand washing. We can't see the future as preppers but we can do our best not add to the problem if a crisis comes around. So when making your emergency preparedness plans, think outside the box of tornados and floods, remember an emergency could equal an illness and could be just as devastating.

Want to know how pandemics happen? Watch the video below "How A Virus Changes the World" from to learn more. Then share it with your family members, people at work and on your website or blog. Spread information, not the flu!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

From Our House to Yours

(This is my favorite Thanksgiving hymn that I remember singing each year in school choirs. It brings back many dear memories of this day and gives me a sense of peace listening to it again.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stocking Up and Finding Resources

I apologize for the delay in not posting the last couple of weeks. We've had a stretch of good weather giving us a chance to work on our dwindling wood pile and take inventory of our food storage and emergency supplies. We always do this in the fall right before the holiday sale season. We use Kathy Harrison's OAR system. OAR stands for "organize, acquire and rotate." A few times a year we go through everything, especially in the fall, and it helps us to know what we have, what we need, and make certain we use our supplies on an ongoing basis by rotating the older out and the new in. Fall and winter are the perfect time of year to begin stocking up on emergency supplies. During the holiday shopping season some of the best sales of the year happen not only on food items because of holiday grocery sales, but also because it's hunting season and many sporting goods locations have sales on backpacks, dried foods, camping supplies and more.
Sharing about our life as preppers over the last few weeks has been so rewarding and informative. When we first started prepping years ago, there wasn't a large online community of preppers like there are now. There were a few sites here and there and message boards, but now the prepper community can be connected to instantly through social media and for anyone who is wanting to be more self sufficient and work on their emergency plans, it couldn't be a better time to start.

If you're reading this you already know the importance of blogging and how you can get more detailed information and a collection of sources right from one site. That's what we're wanting to do here over the weeks and months ahead. We want to gather in one place all the great information we've collected over the years and share the new things we discover as we continue to work on our own self sufficiency. We LOVE the idea of being able to get what we know out there so others will realize being prepared isn't hard and it's the best insurance policy someone could ever buy for their family.

If you're connected with us on Twitter then you already know what a great resource it can be. We love it because it's a worldwide chat room where we can not only read information about prepping, weather, news updates, homesteading, gardening and more, but we can communicate quickly with other preppers from all over the world. Hashtags like #prepping, #preparedness, #homesteading, #preppertalk, #survival and others can help you find resources you might not have considered or even knew about. You can even follow FEMA and Ready. gov, along with your local emergency preparedness agencies so you can stay on top of updates on what is happening in your neck of the woods.

(Update: I've had some questions about the use of hashtags. Go here to read a great article that will help those who are new to hashtags or for those who want to learn how to use them better. Remember, anyone can use a hashtag in a tweet even if the tweet isn't connected to the subject you're expecting to read about, so use caution clicking links just as you would use when evaluating spam in your email box. Also, note that hashtags can be used by anyone so you may see varying opinions on the same subject. Do your own research and if you don't like what another person is tweeting you can use block to remove them from your Twitter feed.)

Another great place to connect with people who are just starting out or who have done it for years is You Tube. We're a bit shy around here, but we're hoping in the near future to add our perspective about "sheltering at home" on You Tube as well. We're amazed at the enormous You Tube prepper and homesteading communities. If you're looking for information on food storage, bee keeping or home security, from A to Z, someone has done a video on it.

The best part of being a prepper is that you always come across people who are willing to share what they know. Preppers also have a voracious need to know. It becomes a passion so we can learn as much as we can to help our families which will in turn help our community if a disaster strikes because we'll have the resources we need right at our fingertips. It's like the old adage says, knowledge is power. So if you don't know where to start or maybe you have already made your 72 hour emergency kit and want to learn even more about prepping, then dive into social media and you'll find a wealth of knowledge to help you on your way.

Keep safe everyone and happy prepping!