Archive for the 'Preparedness' Category

Tips for Getting Prepared for Disaster

Preparedness – part II

As Christians, we are called to be prepared for things to come.  If you have been watching the news over the past couple of years it is no surprise that our world has a lot of difficulties from civil unrest, to all sorts of disasters (natural and man made.)  I am amazed at the seemingly ever-increasing reports of food being recalled due to salmonella or other contamination problems.  I know of many people that have received a prophetic word from God to get prepared.  I also know of many others that see the writing on the wall and are preparing.  My husband, Tim, received a word from God to start getting prepared over 5 years ago.  He knew that God was giving us time to get prepared and now the time is upon us to be ready.  We are happy to share with you the things we have done, the knowledge we have obtained and our other resources.

There are a lot of sites out there with information for disaster preparedness such as FEMA and the Red Cross.  Both of these have guides for preparedness.  As you may surmise, the level of preparedness needed is largely dependent on the type of disaster.  I believe that part of being prepared is thinking about the worst-case scenarios – other than nuclear inhalation.  When we think about what we would do we set our brain in motion to problem solve and come up with solutions.  Then when the disaster occurs we are able to adapt and react with some semblance of organization.  Have you ever been involved in an accident?  Think about the things you learned from that experience that would help you if you come upon an accident later.  It is the same principle.

Communication

One of the first things to do is to make a communication plan.  How will you communicate with your family if there is a difficulty?  Where will you meet?  How will you communicate if you are separated?  Experts recommend that you have an evacuation plan including a plan of whom you would all call outside of the area in case communications are just down locally.  Of course you will want an evacuation plan for just leaving your house in case of fire and a larger one for evacuating the area.

We have a plan of where to meet if we are working outside of our home area.  We also have people outside the area that we will check in with to let them know we are ok as well as to communicate with each other.  We have acquired some hand held battery operated radios (and extra batteries) and a portable battery operated radio.  You will definitely want a portable radio so that you can hear the news if there is a disaster and a major power outage.  Also think about what you might need if you need to leave work and evacuate on foot.  I have small backpack at work that I can carry a few water bottles and some snacks as well as some emergency cash.

Water

The next most important thing is to make sure you have plenty of water for your family and pets (do not forget to plan for pets – they are family members too.)  We are able to survive longer without food than without water.  The Red Cross recommends 1 gallon of water for each person per day.  I have attached the emergency guide from the Red Cross for you.

You may recall from some of our recent disasters like Katrina, that water was the crucial supply that everyone needed.  Do you have a plan of how to collect water if our water system goes down or becomes compromised?  Many emergency preparedness experts recommend filling up your bathtubs, sinks, buckets, pots, pans and other containers at the first sign of potential emergency.  You will want water to help flush toilets and that is the point of filling bathtubs, etc.  The Red Cross also says to have a minimum of a 3-day supply on hand at all times.  You can do this with bottled water and the big gallons of water from the grocery store.

For more extreme situations, you might consider how you would purify water if needed.  Water purification can be as simple as boiling, purifying tablets, household beach, and purifying systems. Washington State has a great handout on basic water purification located at http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/purify.htm .  I have attached a copy for you.  If you want to step up your game and purchase a purification system take a look at your outdoor and sporting goods stores like REI.

We have buckets to catch rainwater, or fill from the sink.  We also make sure to have regular beach on hand at all times and we have a couple of different purifying systems.

Food

Having food on hand is a bit easier, at least initially than storing up water.  I am sure that most of us have a freezer and a pantry with extra food items.  But some things to consider are how will you cook it if the power is out?  And if the power is out how fast can you cook and eat up the freezer items before they spoil?

This past summer, my phase of our preparedness plan kicked in and I spent the summer learning how to can, dehydrate and store food for long term.  If you are not feeling quite so domestic you might consider looking into packaged emergency preparedness food items.  Check out Sams Club and Costco for dehydrated/dried meal packs.  They range from less than $100 for a few week supplies to over $4,000 for a one-year supply.  Costco has a 10 pack of 6 gallon food storage buckets and separate food package sets for vegetables, fruits and meats.

Honeyville Grain at http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/ has a lot of food that is already dried and ready to use.  I also get my oxygen absorbers that I use in my dried food packaging.  No matter how much you order, the shipping is only about $5.

In case you are interested in preparing food for storage on your own, here is the information that I learned.  I love this site for how to can, freeze, dry anything.  I use it to figure out how to can food.  It has great instructions and pictures.

How to can, freeze, dry any fruit or vegetable at home  www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

This is a fabulous site for learning how to dehydrate and package food for short term and long term use.  They have about 8 videos showing exactly what to do and what the end product should look like.  Dehydrate 2 store

www.dehydrate2store.com/  This site also teaches you how to vacuum-seal food for long term storage and how to cook with dehydrated items.

This site has a lot of information for dehydrating meat and fish.

Preservation of Game Meats and Fish

www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he155w.htm

I purchased my canning equipment (about $100 for the canner and a few supplies – not including jars) at Bed Bath and Beyond (BB&Y); I purchased my Nesco (700 watt) food dehydrator from Amazon for around $100; and I purchased my food storage sealer at Amazon for around $170 (I also saw them at Sams Club and BB&Y).

I purchased 40 pounds of beans and rice and vacuum sealed it smaller 2 and 3-cup packages.  I have successfully dehydrated and vacuum-sealed apples, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, zucchini, collard greens, papaya, green pepper, carrots and cucumber.  I have not started dehydrating meat, but I have purchased a dehydrated meat pack from Costco.  I have taken a sampling of all the dehydrated and packaged foods and packaged them in 6 gallon plastic buckets (honeyville grain or Costco online.)  I used oxygen absorbers (Honeyville grain) in the vacuum-sealed bags and the buckets to assist in keeping the food dry and fresh longer.

I know several people who have purchased seeds for growing their own food.  The key is to get seeds that are not GMO (genetically modified organism) and that can be stored for several years.  I saw some at Sams Club on line and at Survival Seed Bank at

http://www.survivalseedbank.com/?gclid=CJGPp4yUgqkCFRG4KgodCTygSA   I put in a few gardens over the past couple of years with an idea to start growing more produce and then canning or dehydrating it for future use.

You might also watch for canned and dry good items to go on sale and start building your storehouse.  Remember that you will want to rotate these items by using and replacing them, whereas, most prepared dehydrated foods can be stored up to 25 years.

We figure we can use our gas grill to cook or a backyard fire pit.  You might consider a camp stove and extra propane.

Other Things to Consider

Heat/light – think about what you will do if the heat or electricity is out.  Did you know that when you travel in your car during the winter it is a good idea to carry a few candles and matches?  Candles do put out heat and can help heat your car.  The same might be true of a room in your home.  We have a very large bathroom in our basement that we could “camp” in and I believe that we could heat it with candles.  Do you have sleeping bags and extra bedding to help keep warm?

Faraday cages – A faraday cage can protect your electronics from an Electro Magnetic Pulses (EMP).  This is the type of pulse that will knock out ALL electronics – it is like a lightning strike that surges through your outlet and fries your computer except that it will strike EVERYTHING at once and surge protectors will not help us.  These pulses can come from extreme solar activity or from a device detonated over our country by an unfriendly country – I have heard a few of them are already trying to figure out how to get a boat off of one of our coasts to do this very thing.  Here is a site that discusses how to put a faraday cage together

http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/emp-101-part-iv-faraday-cage/  – An easy one seems to be an old microwave (with the cord cut off) since they are designed to keep microwaves inside, it is thought that they will keep the EMP out.  You will want to put your battery operated portable radio in here as well as any other radios, phones, electronics, GPS, batteries, etc.  This website talks about using a microwave as a faraday cage

http://apps.onesecondafter.com/Forum/message/index.cfm?topicgroupID=10569&topicID=15495&messageID=46444&start=0&isLast=0

Evacuation gear – Do you have supplies and gear in case you need to hit the road?  You know, tents, sleeping bags, cold weather gear, camping equipment, backpacks.  Also, do you have everything stored and labeled in one or two areas so that you can grab the stuff and hit the road?  Don’t forget important papers, car titles, proof of residence, etc.

We discovered that we were not prepared to evacuate this past summer when there was a forest fire very near to our house.  We started going through the house and packing up what we thought we had room to take and what we would need.  We were surprised at how little we could take with us in our cars and at how useless a lot of our stuff was for helping us survive.  We also needed to prepare to bring out cat and all his cat stuff with us – don’t forget to plan for your furry kids!

Bartering – think about things that you can easily collect that you can use to bargain for other goods or services such as jewelry, extra cash at home, liquor, toilet paper, extra food, etc.

I know that all of this may seem a bit extreme, and you may think we are a couple of paranoid freaks, but we have had over five years to prepare and we have done a ton of research.  Now we can share this information with you to help you prepare for your families and friends.  We believe that a time may come when we might need to come together to survive some tragedy or disaster.  We also believe that if we are not here to use our supplies someone else may be able to use them.

Please note that we are fully aware that Matthew 6:20 states, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”  We are called to make sure that we are keeping our focus and faith on our Lord and we are to know that He will provide for us, however, we are also called to listen to His Word and His promptings and to act in the world to prepare for things to come.   We are also called to take care of our families and that includes anyone that we come across because everyone on earth is our family because they are created in the image of God, whether they know or accept it or not.

1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

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-Are you Prepared?

Are you Prepared?

In a 2006 USA Today article, Mimi Hall stated that most Americans have not taken adequate steps to prepare for a natural disaster. Indeed, only one-third of persons have even made a plan for communicating with others during a crisis, she wrote. I believe that now (5 years later) we are still in about the same situation – not only in the natural world, but also spiritually.

When we discuss being spiritually prepared, a few questions come to the minds of many Christians. First, do we really need to be prepared when the Lord is going to come and rapture the Church before the tribulation starts? Second, when we prepare for disasters are we operating out of a lack of faith by not relying on God to take care of us? Finally, what is our responsibility to prepare? As I discuss further below, the answers are: (1) yes, we need to prepare; (2) no, we are not lacking in faith; and (3) our responsibility to prepare is huge.

Regardless of whether you believe in the rapture occurring before, in the middle, or at the end of the tribulation (so-called pre, mid, and post-trib beliefs), we are called to prepare for whatever might come. Let’s face it – we’re already facing natural disasters that require us to be prepared both spiritually and in the world. In the aftermath of something like Katrina, for example, I would hope that someone with a tent would do better with someone without.  Likewise, someone with a firm grounding in God’s word would undoubtedly face whatever disaster with the advantage of the kind of peace that only faith and knowledge of God’s purpose can bring.  So, for those of you who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture – hey, you might be wrong!  Better prepare!  And you mid-trib folks better prepare too!  I mean, if you go early, you can always leave your worldly preparations to someone who didn’t make the trip.  And even if you miss the last half of the tribulation, the first half is a pretty nasty situation that requires a bit of thought to get through.  The fundamental point is that spiritual preparedness requires us to know God’s word, and God’s word consistently tells us to be prepared in the world.

There are several instances in the Bible where God called His people to prepare, and in these notes we will look at three of them.

The first is located in Genesis 6-9 – yeah, you guessed it – the story of Noah. You may recall that Noah was called to build an ark to save his family and himself from an impending flood. He was mocked and ridiculed by his neighbors, but in the end Noah was victorious and pleased God! The story of Noah’s faith and his obedience to prepare is referred to several times in the New Testament as impact of the importance of his actions. Hebrews 11:7 states,

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

Also, see Matthew 24:37, 38; Luke 17:26-27; I Peter 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:5. The first two of these scriptures liken Noah to the second coming of Jesus, warning that many people will be caught unprepared.  Remember, God speaks through his prophets first, and the prophets that I am hearing today are telling us to get ready.

Our second example comes from the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. You may recall that Joseph persevered in his trials as a slave and was ultimately asked to interpret a dream of Pharaoh. In that dream Pharaoh saw seven fat cows and seven skinny cows. The Lord revealed to Joseph that the fat cows indicated seven years of abundance and the skinny cows meant seven years of famine. Pharaoh was so pleased with Joseph’s interpretation that he placed him in charge of all of Egypt. During that time, Joseph used the wisdom from God given by the dreams to save all of the surplus grain during the seven abundant years so that there would be food during the seven years of famine. The story of Joseph begins at Genesis 30:24 through chapter 45. Genesis 41:48-49 states,

Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

This is a clear example of God guiding his people – through prophetic revelation – to prepare for a disaster.

The final example is the parable of the ten virgins found in Matthew 25:1-13, which states,

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

This example speaks specifically to the coming of Christ, but the message is clear that God means for us to be prepare for the future.

As I said earlier, as Christians, that means both spiritual and natural world preparation.

The first step is to be prepared spiritually. We must have a solid spiritual grounding, with strong and deep spiritual roots. To accomplish this, it’s important that there be no doubt about our salvation. As a believer in Christ, you will attain the best preparation possible – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that will comfort you in times of trouble, who will guide you in detecting right or wrong action, and who will give you prophetic insight. Moreover, as a believer in Christ, you will have assured yourself of an eternity with God – something that I look forward to more and more each day.

If you have ANY doubts about where you will go when you leave this earth, please pray the following prayer from your heart.

Lord, I know that I am a sinner, and I come to you to ask for forgiveness. I believe that you sent your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross as a final sacrifice for my sins. I believe that by this act I am forgiven. I believe in a life after death with you in eternity. Come into my heart and cleanse my soul so that I may forever turn my back on sin and follow Jesus Christ.

It’s okay to re-commit your life to Christ if you aren’t sure of your salvation. God gives us new mercies everyday because He understands the faults and limitations of our flesh.

As part of being prepared spiritually, we must also guard our spirit and keep it fed and strong. We can do this through focused time in prayer (including prayer on our knees), fellowship with other Christians, and time in the Word. It’s critical that we keep growing our roots strong and deep. We’ll need this when the difficult times come so that we will not fall away, and thus we will preserve our status as part of the prophesized church remnant during the last days. The parable of the sower in Luke 8 talks of seeds spread on a rock – illustrating that some people will receive the Word with joy but fall away in the time of testing.  Don’t let that happen to you!

The second step of preparedness is physical preparedness in the natural world. This encompasses two categories: (1) physical health preparation; and (2) the act of preparing goods and supplies for any impending disaster. I will send out a separate set of notes with all of my emergency supply preparedness information. But suffice it to say that no matter how much “stuff” you have to get you through a disaster, it’s important to be healthy, in good physical fitness condition, and have positive mental fitness. If you haven’t started to think about getting fit, NOW is a great time to get out and walk and build up your stamina, cardio and endurance. In the last days, when so many will be panicked and confused by the events unfolding in the world, it will be the followers of Jesus who offer an explanation and a solution to those in need simply by saying, “I am prepared because all that is happening has been foretold in the Bible. Come with me, and find strength in my faith. Follow God and do not fear.”

I close with one of my favorite scriptures that addresses our need to be prepared, Matthew 24:36-44,

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

We act in faith when we know what the Word says about a situation, we listen to what the Lord says, and we obey. Saints, be obedient! The Lord is speaking to us to be prepared. Look at the signs: the economy, the world unrest, the earthquakes and disasters, the persecution of our brethren around the globe, and the unsustainable depletion and pollution of our natural resources. We are just like Joseph.  We have had a time of abundance, and now we must plan for the famine. We must have faith that God will take care of us, but he also wants us to partner with Him and do the work we can here on Earth.


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