Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New year

I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year.

Let’s come back again safe next year.

Come back to learn how to slowly prepare for the future over time next year.

Emergency Water Supply

We use water for everything.  From cooking, cleaning the dishes, cleaning our bodies, brushing our teeth and for drinking.  In the event of a natural emergency such as a hurricane or tornado, water can be interrupted for days, even weeks.  Water is one of the first items to disappear off the store shelves when a disaster threatens.  Usually, before, during and after a disaster, stores will not be able to keep water stocked due to the high demand.  Without water to drink, dehydration sets in, the body starts shutting down and then … well it isn’t good. A human can die in a few days without any water. Having safe drinking water is a top priority when it comes to storing supplies in the event of an emergency.

Drinking water is the best way to keep the body hydrated.  Caffeinated beverages such as coffees and teas only make the body want for more water.  Carbonated beverages are also not a good idea to drink as they dehydrate the body.  Potable water is water safe for human consumption.  It is free of disease causing microorganisms, poisonous substances, minerals, organic matter, chemical, biological and radioactive substances.

How Much Water Do I Need?

Disaster officials suggest having a 3 day water supply and further recommends having 1 gallon of water per person per day.

Source –

Play it safe and buy 2 gallons per person.  The extra water can always be used for other purposes.   If there are children, nursing mothers, elderly people or pets in your care, more water should be appropriately accounted for.  Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed, so take this into account as well.  If medical emergencies arise, water would be needed as well. Using disposable cups, plates and utensils will cut down on using water for cleaning.

Safely Storing Emergency Water

Keep your emergency water supply safe.  When storing water follow these tips:

  • Keep emergency water in a cool, dark place in your home, each vehicle, and your workplace.
  • It’s best to use bottled water. Use water before the expiration or “use-by” date stamped on the container.
  • It’s possible to keep water in food-grade containers intended for water storage. Containers must be thoroughly washed, sanitized, and rinsed.  Only store clean, ready-to-drink water. Tap water will probably need to be purified. Ask public health authorities or your water provider whether tap water should be used and how to treat it.  Do not use milk or juice containers for storing water.  Even if you try to thoroughly clean these plastic containers, left over sugars and proteins provide perfect places for bacteria to grow.
  • Plastic soft drink containers can be used in a pinch. Clean and sanitize containers before they are used.

Source –

Protect Your Water Sources

If there are reports of broken water or sewage lines or if local authorities advise you there is a problem, steps should be taken to protect your water sources.

To close the incoming water source, locate the incoming valve and turn it to the closed position. Be sure you and other family members know how to perform this important procedure.


How Do I Find More Water?

When water runs out, the race is on to find available and safe drinking water.  There are places around the house where safe drinking water can be found.

Safe Sources

  • Melted ice cubes
  • Water drained from the water heater (if the water heater has not been damaged)
  • Liquids from canned goods such as fruit or vegetable juices
  • Water drained from pipes
  • To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home.
  • To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on the hot water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, a professional will be needed to turn it back on.

Unsafe Sources

  • Radiators
  • Hot water boilers (home heating system)
  • Water beds (fungicides added to the water or chemicals in the vinyl may make water unsafe to use)
  • Water from the toilet bowl or flush tank
  • Swimming pools and spas (chemicals used to kill germs are too concentrated for safe drinking but can be used for personal hygiene, cleaning, and related uses)

Source –

Rain, clean snow, lakes, ponds and other natural water sources are another type of water source to find drinking water.  However, the water must be treated in order to drink.  The U.S. EPA states that 90% of the world’s natural water supply is contaminated.  Drink water that you know is not contaminated.  If any water looks suspicious, put it aside and drink the good water first.  If the suspicious looking water is going to be used, it should be treated.

When to Treat Water

Water is only as safe as it’s source.  When their is any doubt about the quality of water to drink, treat it.  It is better to be safe than to have the possiblity of ingesting unsafe drinking water.  Treating the water will eliminate any microorganisms and the possibiliy of contaminants in the water.  Microorganisms such as protozoas, bacteria and viruses can make a person very ill.  Some cases of water contamination have even caused death.  If someone suspects they have ingested contaminated drinking water, some of the symptoms include:

  • Severe Gas
  • Diarreah
  • Vommiting
  • Severe Abdominal Cramps
  • Headache
  • Weakness Due to The Above Symptoms

Epidemics such as Cholera and Typhoid have begun as a result of contaminated drinking water.  Making sure the water is safe is not only safe for the person consuming it, but also for the people in your local area.

There are three types of treatments for water:


Boiling is the easist and safest method of treating water. Boil the water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.   Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers. This also will improve the taste of stored water.


Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting only the vapor that condenses. The condensed vapor will not include salt or most other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Here are a few youtube videos that would be helpful in creating a distiller for water:

Homemade Water Disstiller

Solar Powered Water Disstiller

Source –

Chemical Treatment

If boiling water is not a possibility, then chemical disinfection is advised for water purity.

Using Bleach

  • Filter the water using a piece of cloth or coffee filter to remove solid particles.
  • Bring it to a rolling boil for about one full minute.
  • Let it cool at least 30 minutes. Water must be cool or the chlorine treatment described below will be useless.
  • Add 16 drops of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water, or 8 drops per 2-liter bottle of water. Stir to mix. Sodium hypochlorite of the concentration of 5.25% to 6% should be the only active ingredient in the bleach. There should not be any added soap or fragrances. A major bleach manufacturer has also added Sodium Hydroxide as an active ingredient, which they state does not pose a health risk for water treatment.  Make sure the bleach is fragrance free before it is used.
  • Let stand 30 minutes.
  • If it smells of chlorine. You can use it. If it does not smell of chlorine, add 16 more drops of chlorine bleach per gallon of water (or 8 drops per 2-liter bottle of water), let stand 30 minutes, and smell it again. If it smells of chlorine, you can use it. If it does not smell of chlorine, discard it and find another source of water.

Iodine tablets

Iodine must be stored in a dark container so that sunlight does not ruin the tablets.  Iodine has been shown to be more effective than chlorine treatments and inactivate Giardia.  Follow the recommended instructions suggested by the manufacturer.  Beware, some people are allergic to iodine and would not be able to use this form of water purification. Persons with thyroid problems or on lithum, women over fifty, and pregnant women should consult their physician prior to using iodine for purification. Also, some people who are allergic to shellfish are also allergic to iodine. If someone cannot use iodine, use another method.  Camping Trick: If a person adds a Vitamin C tablet to the water, the choline taste vanishes.  Make sure the purification treatment has finished before adding the Vitamin C.

Chlorine tablets

Chlorine can be used for persons with iodine allergies or restrictions.  Follow the instructions recommended by the manufacturer.  Chlorine can be used for persons with iodine allergies or restrictions.  Camping Trick: If a person adds a Vitamin C tablet to the water, the choline taste vanishes.  Make sure the purification treatment has finished before adding the Vitamin C.

Micropur tablets

They are the only disinfection system effective against viruses, bacteria, cryptosporidium, and Giardia.  Follow the instuctions recommended by the manufacturer.  These tablets have no residual chemical taste. 1 tablet is used to purify 1 quart of water.

Wells and Aquifers

If there is time before the emergency disaster, attempt to plug or cap the well to reduce the potential for damage and contamination.

Water Wells – What To Do Before A Flood

After the disaster, go to the well or aquifer and check for thepossiblity of contamination and investigate the area to access the situation.  Check the following:

  • Surface water running into or collecting near the Well.
  • A defective or improperly installed Well Casing, cover or pipe connection which would allow surface water, animals, insects or plant material to enter the Well.  (Well casing not sealed).
  • Nearby septic systems or manure piles, which as within 30M (100 ft) of the well.
  • Openings in the well seal.
  • Well casing not being deep enough.
  • If any of these has occurred, treat any water that comes from the well.
  • A source of contamination not related to the Well Construction.

Source –

Water Pumps and Filters

Anytime that water for the home has been interrupted, it is a good idea to use a good water pump to prevent from ingesting harmful parasites.  If you are out in nature and need to purify water, try and find a running water source as opposed to a standing water source.  Using a water purification tablets in conjunction with a water pump is a good way of making sure that water is potable and ready to drink.  Water pumps have been known to not remove viruses and at times giardia cysts, therefore  if at all possible, treat the water if there is any doubt.

Water pumps come in all shapes and sizes.  The better the water pump, the better the water is not always the case.  Here are some things to look for when purchasing a water filtration system.

  • Find a filtration system that captures bacterias and have effective filters to capture cryptosporidium and giardia.
  • Output or how long it takes to produce an amount of water and how how much physical effort is involved from pumping.
  • Try and find a filter that can attach directly to your bottle.

Read about reviews of the different types of water filters to find the best one that fits your needs.

Water is essential to maintaining health and body regulation.  Emergency experts suggest having a 3 day water supply in the case of an emergency.  There may be times when the emergencies last longer than three days, so plan accordingly.  Keep water stored in a dark area in food grade containers.  Have a list of water sources in the home that can be used in the event that more safe water is needed.  Using the three types of water treatment (boiling, distilling or chemically treating) can assist in eliminating any harmful organisms, bacterias or viruses.  Treat any outside water source as if it is unsafe.  Using a water pump or water filter can treat the water effectively to make it a safer water source.  If these water suggestions are used appropriately, you and your family will have “some quality H2O.”

Via: readynutrition

James Rawles: Salt Will Be The #1 Bartering Item

Salt is a valuable commodity that could become hard to come by in a long term disaster situation.  In Ancient Rome, salt was used as a form of currency because of it’s importance in preserving food.  In fact, it is still used today as a form of currency in some parts of Africa.  It was a  prime mover of both economy and war.  The importance of having a good supply of salt is commonly overlooked and, according to James Rawles, author of the the renowned  Survival Blog, he believes that salt could be one of the highest sought after items in a long term disaster.

“For anyone living in an inland area, I consider salt the highest priority barter and charity item.  Buy a lot of salt, in several forms.  As space allows, buy 20 to 30 of the 50-pound plain white salt blocks from your local feed store.  These are great for barter — both for folks with livestock and for people that want to attract wild game.  Buy a couple of 25 pound sacks of iodized salt for your own use.  Also buy 100 to 200 of the standard cardboard one pound canisters of iodized salt for small scale barter transactions.”

Survival Blog

The Importance of Salt Should Not Be Underestimated

In the CBS apocalyptic series, Jericho, there were towns that literally went to war over salt.

Everyone knows that salt is a necessity in food preparations, but it has many other important functions around a homestead environment as well.  Animals, as well as humans cannot live without some salt in their bodies.  On a physiological level, salt is a requirement to sustain a body.  Specifically, salt assists in regulating the functioning of the digestive system and the kidneys, as well as helps conduct electric signals in the body.  Additionally, farmers have also used Epsom salt to heal scratches and rashes on their livestock.  This type of salt suppresses muscle aches and inflammation.

Ways to Use Salt Around the Homestead

  • Food preservation – Table salt is the most important ingredient in curing food.  According to Wikipedia,  salt kills and inhibits the growth of microorganisms by drawing water out of the cells of both microbe and food alike through osmosis.
  • Medical Purposes– Modern medicine has recently rediscovered the healing effects of salt on the body.  Salt provides antiseptic and bactericidal qualities when ocean salt is used.  A way to treat chronically inflamed skin is by bathing in salt (Dead Sea salt or normal salt can be used).  The salt helps to regenerate the skin.  Therefore, it would be effective in the use of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and chronic eczema, inflamed mucous membranes, as well as arthritis.
  • Tanning hides is another way that salt can be used on the homestead.  The salt preserves the hide.  Experts suggest that for “Hair on tanning,” spread fine granular salt (table salt, canning salt or solar salt) on the hide to completely cover it.  The hide should be salted for 1-3 days.  For further instructions, click here.
  • Soaps can get an added boost when  adding salt, specifically sea salt to the soap making process.  The added benefits are that the salt will exfoliate skin and naturally heal the skin from it’s natural antiseptic factors. There are different methods to the soap making
    , and research should be done as to which process is right for you.  Additionally, a person can add 1 cup of finely ground sea salt to 1 cup of liquid soap to make a daily exfoliating soap.
  • Livestock – Mineralized salt blocks are a supplemental feeding that can be fed to livestock such as horses, sheep, and goats.  Not to mention, salt blocks can be  used to attract wildlife.  Deer will go the distance to find salt blocks.  Luring wildlife to the homestead would be a beneficial way to hunt without wasting much needed energy when searching.  The wildlife will literally come to you.

Salt is a multipurpose, low cost prep that will be highly desirable if a long term disaster were to come around.  Prepping calculators suggest having 25 pounds of salt stored for one year.  With all of the uses that salt can provide, perhaps we should think about stocking up a little more on this worthwhile prep item.

Via: readynutrition

First Time Shopping List For An Emergency Food Supply

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means that most of you have gotten your pay checks.  Before you go out and spend the remainder of the money you have worked so hard for, have you thought of investing in your emergency food supply?

Last month, I challenged my readers to start a 30 Day Preparedness Challenge to either extend or begin their own preparedness efforts.  In the article, I suggested to keep food storage simple and to begin with immediate needs.  To simplify the challenge even more, I have provided you a shopping list to start your emergency food supplies.  Print this list out and give it to family members or friends who can begin their own preparedness efforts.

The shopping list below was based on the food amounts needed for 1 person for a 6 month period from the Latter Day Saints food storage calculator.  To add more family members, go to the calculator to see how much food your family needs.  These foods are easy to find at supermarkets and most of these items have a long storage lifetime if properly stored.  Buying these food items now would be a good investment on your part, as global food prices are hitting record highs.

First Time Shopping List for an Emergency Food Supply:

1.  10 lbs. of white or wheat flour (both would be better.  Remember the Prepper Golden Rule: 1 is none and 2 is 1).  Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.

2. 10 lbs. of corn meal

3. 5 lbs. of oats

4. 20 lbs of rice (white rice stores better than brown rice)

5. 12 lbs of pasta

6.  20 lbs of beans (pinto beans are usually packed in heavier quantities)

7. 5 lbs of mixed beans (lentils, mixed bean soup, black beans, etc)

8. 5 lbs of sugar

9. 2 lbs of salt (this is a multipurpose prep item, click here for more information).

10. 1 gallon of cooking oil

11. 2 large containers of peanut butter

12. 5 lbs of powdered milk

13. 1 lb of baking soda

14. 1 lb of baking powder

15. .5 lbs of yeast

16. 1 gallon of vinegar

17. 1 gallon of drinking water per day  (*I would round up here.  You can never have too much water)

18. 1 gallon of bleach for sanitation and treating water

Don’t Forget To Add More Nutrition!

The above listed items are a very basic food supply.  A person needs to add vitamins and nutrients to this emergency diet to maintain bodily functions and overall health.  To add a variety to this emergency diet, you can begin accumulating different types of canned goods.  Concentrate your efforts on goods that provide you with loads of vitamins and proteins.  Canned goods such as canned meats, canned beans, canned vegetables and fruits.  And remember to buy foods that your family normally eats.  For instance, I use canned tomatoes in my meals, so I have a lot of canned tomatoes in my emergency food storage.

Another way to include essential vitamins and nutrients to your food supply is to stock up on sprouting seeds.  In an article  I wrote about sprouting, I mention that these tiny sprouts may be minuscule in size, but they are jam packed with with essential vitamins.

Once a seed has germinated, it begins to sprout.  Within these sprouts contains vitamins A, B, C and E, and K, as well as, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Chlorophyll, amino acids, and up to 35% protein.  Inside these small biogenic (living) foods lies essential nutrients and vitamins that can assist in providing a good portion one’s daily requirement of nutrients.  Sprouts can grow anywhere, during any season, and require minimal work.

In addition to food, many preppers also buy powdered drink mixes, tea bags, and coffee to add a variety to just drinking water.

Emergencies arise all the time.  Sometimes they affect a large population and sometimes they are felt on a personal level and only affect one household.  That being said, by a simply investment of adding an extra 10% of your monthly budget toward your food storage, you are investing in your piece of mind.  If an unforeseen emergency occurs, your stress level will not be as heightened because you know that you are prepared for it.

Via: readynutrition

Store Your Food and Be Ready

Having a short term food supply on hand has been recommended by multiple preparedness organizations including the American Red Cross and FEMA.  These experts suggest having a three day to a fourteen day food supply on hand in the instance of a prolonged disaster.  However, for one reason or another, many do not have this supply of food on hand.  Perhaps the reasoning is out of denial that anything catastrophic could happen, some are unaware of this preparedness suggestion or it could be the belief that the cost of  a small supply of food would be too expensive.  On the contrary, a short term food supply is relatively inexpensive.  Many experts  say that adding an extra $5 -$20 to the grocery list for purchasing a short term food supply would adequately supply a family within a month’s time.

When a disaster threatens, the initial step is the rush to the store for provisions, thus causing unwanted stress and tension.  In some cases, many go home empty handed due to the fact that people buy the same type of emergency food items.  A government website suggests having a two week supply of food on hand in the event that a disaster cuts off the food supply for that length of time.

Things to Look For When Buying Food

When beginning a small food supply, many are overwhelmed with the idea of what foods to buy and how much to buy.    Using a food storage calculator will help determine how much food is necessary.  There are some considerations to keep in mind before purchasing the food items.

  • The amount of people in the household.
  • Have a good amount of food varieties to reduce food fatigue.
  • The serving amount in the food.
  • Vitamin content in the food.
  • The expiration date or “best if used by” labels on the food.
  • Special health conditions for family members.

Taking time to read the nutritional information on the back of the food source will help a person make the best choices for their needs.  If a person needs to use their stashed food supply, having foods high in vitamins, nutrients, and proteins will provide their bodies with what it needs for energy and mental clarity.

Getting Ready for the Short Term and Food Supply Suggestions

Gathering a three day food supply is useful for the home as well as for
72 hour kits
.  Begin by listing all family members (pets included) and keeping in mind any special health needs (allergies, diabetes, etc)  for the members.  Plan meals to meet a 1500-2000 calorie diet that are high in nutrients.  Having a ready food supply already stocked will keep the mind focused on creating a safety plan and preparing rather than losing precious time at the store and the gas stations getting provisions and supplies.

Some suggested food supply items are:

  • Canned fruits, vegetables and meats
  • Canned meals
  • Dry mixes
  • Trail mix
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Beans
  • Canned soups and broths
  • Dried soup mixes (including bouillon cubes)
  • Boxed juices and milks.
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Jellies
  • Beef jerky or dried/smoked meats
  • Granola or granola bars
  • Energy bars
  • Instant pudding
  • Hard candy
  • Instant rice and potatoes
  • Pastas
  • Instant oatmeal
  • dry milk
  • Infant formula or baby foods
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Ready to eat meals (such as MRE’s)
  • Freeze dried foods
  • Vitamins
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Popcorn
  • Food for pets

Important Notes to Consider:

  • Water, infant formula, and canned foods are usually the first items to go.  People buy the same foods, so if there is a mass rush and everyone is buying the same foods, there will not be enough for everyone.
  • It is important to note that water is one of the most important items to have on hand.  Without water, some foods cannot be prepared as well as the use for drinking purposes.  Have water in food grade containers so they last longer.  Some preparedness sites suggest having at least two quarts of water a day, but that amount seems too small and does not take into account that issues arise and more water may be needed.  When preparing a water supply plan on using 1 gallon of water per day per member of the household.  If water supplies are a concern, avoid certain foods and drinks that are high in salt, over processed foods or caffeinated beverages.  These foods tend to make the body crave more water due to the high salt content.
  • Having ready to eat foods, staple foods, and specialty foods stocked such as hard candy or cookies creates a sense of normalcy and lifts moral.

Getting a Food Storage Space Ready

Wherever one decides to store their food supply, the food should be in a safe, dry space.  Many people that are tight on space use creative methods such as shelving units high in their closets, bedrooms or closets.  Some people use extra rooms or unused closets as their storage space.  As long as the space is dry and big enough to store the foods, it can be used.

Managing the Food Supply

Storing food is a continual process of using, rotating and reloading.   If a short term food supply is bought, the food must be used and more food purchased to resupply the storage shelf.  Thinking of the food supply as a small store where the foods in the front have the shortest expiration date and the ones in the back have the longest.  The food storage area should be checked every six months to make sure that appropriate food items are rotated.  Rotating the food and resupplying when needed will keep the supply of food as fresh as possible.

Keep an inventory list of foods that have been purchased and add to the list accordingly when more items are purchased will provide a well-rounded supply.

Guidelines for Food Storage:

Use within 6 months:

  • Powdered milk (in box)
  • Dried fruit (in metal container)
  • Dry, crisp crackers (in metal container)
  • Potatoes

Use Within 1 year:

  • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
  • Canned fruit, fruit juices and vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers)
  • Vitamin C
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hard candy and canned nuts

May Be Stored Indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):

  • Wheat
  • Vegetable oils
  • Dried Corn
  • Baking powder
  • Soybeans
  • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa
  • Salt
  • Non-carbonated soft drinks
  • White rice
  • Bouillon products
  • Dry pasta
  • Powdered milk (in nitrogen packed cans)

Source –

 When a disaster threatens, tensions run high and food and water supplies are typically the first items to go as far as preparedness goes.  Already having these items on hand alleviates some of the initial stress that comes along with preparation, and concentration can be put to more constructive uses.  Adding a few items to the shopping cart each time at the store is the most effective way in being proactive in preparing a food supply.

Via: readynutrition

Freedom Through Self Reliance


Due to the fragile state of this country, more Americans are struggling to make ends meet.  Each day, more individuals are turning to government organizations to come to their aid.  Although some find relief knowing there is assistance available, others would rather take an alternate route.  Instead, some individuals are finding ways to become more self-reliant.  They believe in taking personal responsibility to learn the forgotten skills of the past.  This will to acquire knowledge drives them on knowing they will benefit in the long run.

It is said that knowledge is power.  An individual who is able to care for himself and his family without dependence on others is truly a free man.  Learning new skills each month and applying them to your life will shift a person from dependent to independent.  Acquiring these knowledge sources is as easy as finding a class around the community you live in that can teach these skills, or going to the library or book store, finding an individual with first-hand knowledge of the skill you are wanting to learn, or finding online courses.  The bottom line is, if a person is ready to become more self-reliant, they will find a way to achieve this.

Steps to Becoming Self Reliant

Step 1: Think about all the ways you depend on others and the community to get what you and your family need.

  • Food (fresh and canned)
  • Cooking and baking
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Medicine
  • Security and protection
  • Vehicles to drive to work.
  • Handymen to work on problems around the home.
  • Car repairmen to fix the vehicle you drive.

Step 2: Learn and find a way to do these skills without the help from others.

  • Try and grow your own food and medicinal herbs.
  • Learn to make your own bread.
  • Make your own cleaning supplies, and soap.
  • Learn to preserve food.
  • Take self-defense classes.
  • Use an alternative form of transportation (if possible) to get around town.
  • Learn how to repair problems around the house.
  • Repair your car on your own.

Step 3: Practice and experiment with the new skills you have acquired.  The more you practice, the better your skills become.

These new found skills will not go unused.  Especially during an economic hardship, skills can be bartered for other needs or goods.  A person who has collected enough skills to consider themselves proficient, can teach others to become more self-reliant on themselves.   Those that teach these precious knowledge and skills to others will be like a diamond in the rough.

The path to self-reliance is not an easy journey.  In fact, it is an investment of time and labor, and requires one to use their precious free time to learn the forgotten skills of our ancestors.  Many feel compelled to go on this journey towards self-sufficiency and rely on their abilities because they foresee economic uncertainties that will no doubt cripple what there life once was.  Some believe that freedom and self-empowerment are the end result of becoming self-reliant.  Whatever the reasoning is, these individuals have made a decision not to be helpless.  They strive to learn and acquire knowledge in an attempt to be better individuals.   The more a person begins to step away from a dependent lifestyle, the more self-assured and empowered they become.

Via: readynutrition

Online Preparedness Courses For Those Who Want the Keys to Survival

A lot of emphasis is placed on being prepared for the unknown.  Although many would like to be prepared and be ready, some simply do not have the time to sit for an entire week taking a survival course.  However, there are many organizations and local governments who understand and are offering courses online that people can do from the privacy of their own home and at their own pace.

Look Locally

If a person does have a few extra hours to spare, taking a preparedness class locally can give a person a good idea of how their city will respond if a disaster occurs.  Having some insight on their protocols and getting to know some of the members who work in the disaster related field would be equally beneficial in that one can learn from them.  Typically, local fire departments and city websites offer free courses such as EMT training, disaster preparedness courses, earthquake and flood preparedness and emergency preparedness training.  Additionally, many local fire departments offer First Aid/CPR online.   Doing a little research can go a long way.

Online Disaster Preparedness Courses

Federal Emergency Management Institute has courses designed specifically to prepare the public for disasters.  This agency has online courses for independent and self paced studies that focus on the 9 mission statements of the agency: Incident management, Operational planning, Disaster logistics, Emergency communications, Service to disaster victims, Continuity programs, Public disaster communications, Integrated Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation.

Courses are all free and enrollment in EMI is generally limited to the U.S. residents; however, there are a limited number of International participants who are accommodated in these courses.  There are certain criteria and prerequisites that are specified for each course.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has multiple university courses available and offers a wide range of topics including:

Bio-terrorism & Emergency Preparedness for Public Health/Dental Health Care Professionals, Coping with Disasters, Effects of Radiological Agents, Global Food-Local Outbreaks, Katrina, Catastrophes, and Communicable Disease Calamities: Are We Prepared?, Psychosocial Issues Related to Bio-terrorism.

All of these courses can be done from home (distance learning) and as a person is learning, they will accumulate college hours as well.  This program is not free.

Online Survival Training Courses

There are many websites that offer survival courses, but require a fee.  The Survival Trading Preparedness course is the only site found that offers it for free.  The course will last roughly about one hour.  This basic survival course will help a person identify and prepared for being in natural setting where an emergency situation may occur and knowing how to handle oneself.

Start Gaining Knowledge

Preparing to the highest magnitude in the case of a disaster has just gotten even easier.  Having a well-diversified knowledge base on how to prepare for disaster is key to knowing when and how to react in a disaster situation.  Thanks to the Information Age, information is at the click of a button.

Via: readynutrition

Homemade Cough Lozenges

Herbal cough lozenges are extremely soothing and contain natural medicines to help when you have a dry cough, sore throat, or need a little something extra to help your body fight off an illness.  Natural remedies for common illnesses have long been forgotten since the introduction of pre-packaged medicines.  However, these handy herbs and concoctions have been waiting around for us to take notice of them again.  Herbal cough lozenges are fairly easy to make and can be stored ahead of time for up to 8 weeks.  Making them yourself is also a gratifying process.

Find the right herbs to assist in alleviating the symptoms.  You want to look for herbs that have soothing qualities to the lungs, assist in thinning mucous, dull throat pain, and have antibacterial qualities, etc.  Medicinal herbs such as the ones listed below have healing qualities and sooth the body when it’s immune system is down.

  • Peppermint- peppermint contains the volatile oil menthol which helps soothe the bronchial and help eases sore throats.
  • Spearmint- just like peppermint but some think it works even better!
  • Ginger-soothing and great tasting.
  • Horehound- horehound had been used for decades for coughs and bronchial upsets. It is a great herb for breaking up congestion. It contains murubin which stimulates bronchial secretions.
  • Thyme- thyme is another great herb that has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is very useful for treating coughs and colds.
  • Mullein- mullein is an herb that will help soothe the bronchial and lungs. It is extremely gentle and effective. IT will help ease coughs.
  • Marshmallow- marshmallow is very soothing and will help shrink inflamed bronchial making it easier to breathe.
  • Slippery Elm- like marshmallow this herb is used to help relieve inflammation of the bronchial.
  • Fennel- fennel is soothing to irritated throats and helps relieve coughing fits.

Source –

Homemade Cough Lozenges #1

Things You’ll Need:

  • Sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Water
  • Herbal tea bag or assorted fresh herbs
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Add the teabag or the loose herbs to boiling water. Choose herbs like peppermint leaves, horehound, thyme, slippery elm, fennel, marshmallow, ginger, mullein and spearmint. Set a small plate over the cup and let the herbs steep for at least an hour.
  2. Remove the teabag or strain the loose herbs from the water when cool. Discard the teabag or the loose herbs.
  3. Mix the herbal infused water, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over a low flame until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat. Use a damp cloth and carefully wipe away any sugar crystals that have formed up the interior sides of the pan. Heat the mixture for another 2 or 3 minutes then remove from the stove. Add the food coloring.
  5. Use cooking spray to coat a cookie sheets or candy molds. Use a teaspoon to drop small amounts of the mixture onto the cookie sheet or fill small hard candy molds with the syrup mixture. Allow the cough drops to set, harden and cool completely before touching them.
  6. Place a few tablespoons of powdered sugar in a plastic bag. Toss the cough drops in the powdered sugar to coat them.
  7. Store the cough drops in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Put a handful of them in plastic wrap or a small resealable bag to share.

Source –

Homemade Lozenges #2

Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup dried herbs (mix and match according to your preference and what you have on hand)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract if desired
  • candy thermometer
  1. Add the tea bags to boiling water and steep the dried herbs in the tea. For stronger tea, steep for about 30 minutes or so. Strain well using a tea press or cheesecloth.
  2. Add brown sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil slowly.  Stir constantly to avoid sugar from scorching. When the brown sugar, herbs mixture reaches 290 to 300 degrees and pulls apart in threads it is done. At this point remove from heat and add the peppermint extract if desired.
  3. Pull the mixture like taffy and make little balls. Or the easiest and fastest thing to do is spread over a cookie sheet. When the herbal mixture it hardend you can then break into pieces.  Use wax paper to store them. They will keep for up to 8 weeks.

Source –

Via: readynutrition

Natural Flu Medicines

Nature provides us all that we need to live and thrive.  Two generations ago, people did not have Tylenol and Ny-Quil and Sudafed to get them through when they were ailing.  Our ancestors had knowledge on medicinal herbs, and had proven tonics that alleviated symptoms and cured their illnesses.  As with many forms of generational knowledge, things are forgotten.  But, the time may come when we will need to know what our ancestors knew long before us.

Nature has provided us many natural cures and natural antibiotics.  Having knowledge of natural remedies is imperative to our overall health.  Making natural remedies such as cough syrup and lozenges are not difficult in the least.  All that is required is a knowledge base on what the ingredients are and how they affect our bodies.

If you find any recipes that may be of use, print it and store it in your G.O.O.D Manuals.  There are certain ingredients that are constants in many natural medicinal concoctions.  Adding herbs into the recipes below only enhances their healing power.  In fact, if you combined them all and made a large quantity of cough syrup, this would last a few months.  Some of these powerful medicinal enhancers are:

  • Lemon – This fruit has a high Vitamin C content as well as breaks down phlegm.
  • Honey –  Honey has well-established antioxidants and antimicrobial effects, which could explain its contributions to wound healing. Honey also soothes on contact, which may help explain its effect on cough.
  • Vinegar – Vinegar assists as a cough suppressant, aids in respiratory and sinus congestion, as well as alleviates sore throat.
  • Garlic or Onion – Encased in these smelly herbs are natural antibiotics and assists in breaking down phlegm to have improved  lung health.
  • Whiskey, Bourbon or Brandy – These alcohols can assist as a sleeping aide and pain reducer.  Note: only a capful is needed.
  • Ginger – In Chinese culture, ginger is considered the best home remedy for colds due to its antiviral compounds and assists in aiding digestion and alleviates symptoms of head colds.
  • Cayenne Pepper- This spice assists in circulation and in inflammation.
  • Sage – This herb restores the appetite and treats head colds and symptoms related to head colds.
  • Thyme – This helps revive exhaustion and helps fight infection.

Cough Syrup Base

  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 c. boiling water

Pour boiling water over honey and vinegar in a cup.  The taste is not so good, but it is effective.  This is also helps with sore throats.  You can add chopped fresh sage for that headache feeling, grated fresh ginger to help increase circulation, or a spoonful of chopped fresh thyme to fight infection. Cool the mixture. Take a 1/2 tbsp. three times a day.


Garlic Cough Syrup

  • 1 quart jar
  • 3-4  garlic bulbs, minced or use a fine grater
  • honey

Mince the garlic and place in a jar.   Cover the minced garlic with honey and set it aside in the refrigerator for 14 days.  Once the mixture has fermented you can add lemon juice (for added vitamin c), and take by the spoonful as needed.  This alleviates symptoms from the flu, strep throat, sore throats, and coughs.  Any unused portion of this syrup can be used for marinades or sauces.


Onion Cough Syrup

  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • honey

Slice the onion and set on a plate.  Pour honey over the onion slices and allow to sit 5-6 hours covered.  Drain off the syrup and use 1 tsp. every time you or your child coughs.


Garlic Tea

  •  2 pieces of garlic
  • 2 quarts of water
  • chamomile tea bag or other herbal tea bag
  • Honey

add garlic to two quarts of water and boil the mixture.

When water is piping hot, remove from the stove and pour into a tea cup with your favorite herbal tea bag.  Allow the teabag to steep for 10-12 minutes.  Add honey to thicken the mixture and drink slowly.


Honey Tonic for Cough

  • 1 tblsp. honey
  • glass of hot water
  • slice of lemon

Stir in honey into the hot water and add a few splashes of water.  This combination has healing properties as well as quiets the tickle associated with coughs.

Via: readynutrition

Natural Antibiotics

We have been given us many natural wonders to treat the common ailments that this fallen world often bestows upon us. Here is your quick guide to the world of natural antibiotics.  These natural solutions can help you avoid the side effects from conventional prescription antibiotics, as well as a trip to the doctor’s office!


Goldenseal is another herb that is often found in herbal antibiotic formulas. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is often used by herbalists to treat sinus infections, vaginal infections, ear infections and sore throats. It can be taken internally and used as a gargle or vaginal wash. The Clayton College Herb Guide warns, however, that it should not be taken during pregnancy, as it may stimulate uterine contractions. It also lowers blood sugar levels and should not be taken by hypoglycemics.


Myrrh has been used by herbalists for centuries and is even mentioned in the Bible. It is antiseptic, antibiotic and antiviral. It can be taken internally, used as a gargle or used as a wash for wounds. The Herb Guide recommends myrrh for bad breath, bronchitis, mouth sores and sore throats. It is a healing agent and helps increase white blood cell counts. Although, it warns not to use myrrh for more than 2 weeks as it is harsh on the kidneys.



It’s great for salads, as a disinfectant, and as a window cleaner. But did you know that it is also great for your health?
Apple cider vinegar (“ACV”) – organic, raw, and with the mother. Its many health benefits and touted healing properties are astounding.

Apple Cider Vinegar, that wonderful old-timers home remedy, cures more ailments than any other folk remedy — we’re convinced! From the extensive feedback we’ve received over the past 8 years, the reported cures from drinking Apple Cider Vinegar are numerous. They include cures for allergies (including pet, food and environmental), sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout. Apple Cider Vinegar also breaks down fat and is widely used to lose weight. It has also been reported that a daily dose of apple cider vinegar in water has high blood pressure under control in two weeks!

 It provides vitamins A, B6, C and E, which the body needs to fight off infection and disease (see Resources). It also contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium minerals. A deficiency of any of these minerals hinders a child’s healthy growth and development. Pectin, a dietary fiber, is another essential nutrient that can be obtained from apple cider vinegar.

For an adult, drink 1-2 tablespoons diluted in 4-6 ounces of water or juice (must be diluted or it can burn) 3 times a day. For children, prepare 1 tablespoon in 6 ounces of juice 3 times a day.

In addition to being used orally, apple cider vinegar can be used for vaginitis, urinary tract/bladder infections, and other female problems that would normally cause the use of antibiotics. Add 3 cups of pure apple cider vinegar to bath water and soak in the tub for twenty minutes.

A gargle formulated from a 40/60 solution of apple cider vinegar and water is a centuries-old folk remedy for oral thrush. For younger children, a cotton swab saturated in the solution is used to apply it to the tongue and inner cheeks.

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Garlic is the most potent natural antibiotic. Eating at least one clove of raw garlic each day can prevent a multitude of infections. It contains allicin which is similar to penicillin. As powerful antibiotics lose their punch against “superbugs” such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), scientists are searching for new antimicrobial agents from natural sources. Allicin, the major component of garlic, is one such agent, and it was recently shown to be potent against VRE and MRSA in two studies

Garlic juice or oil has been used in traditional folk medicine to relieve pain associated with ear infections. Garlic was often mixed with other herbal oils like mullein and used as ear drops to help to treat otitis media, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

One particular study wanted to determine if garlic ear drops were as effective as prescription ear drops and antibiotic treatment on ear infections. The study discovered that ear drops were associated with greater pain relief after three days of treatment, irrespective of antibiotic treatment.

A 2001 double-blind study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that garlic drops helped to relieve pain from acute ear infection, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Reported in the journal Pediatrics in 2003, the second study had similar results in children.

You can eitherstop by your local natural health store (just stop there instead of the pharmacy!) and purchase garlic ear drops or make your own at home for a fraction of the cost!

Rose Water

After rose petals are distilled for their precious oil, what remains is rose water. Like garlic, it is one of the oldest antibiotics. It is also part of the oldest cosmetics. Rose water, combined with beeswax, is more commonly known as “cold cream.” Today synthetic materials are used, but the best is made from the real ingredients.

Use rose water to refresh dry skin, as a tonic, flavoring for pastries, ice cream and more. Yup, organically grown roses are edible. Candied rose petals were a favorite among Victorian ladies. They can be found today, along with rose petal ice cream. Pricey, but de-licious!

One ancient use was as a wound cleanser.

Read more:  Remedies that Still Work

Garlic Ear Oil Drops

Dian Dincin Buchman writes in her book, “Ancient healing secrets: practical cures from Egypt, China, India, South” that garlic oil drops have been used for centuries to treat ear infections. In fact, the Greek army of Alexander took back the Egyptian remedy of garlic oil for ear drops to Greece. Dincin Buchman writes to place 4 to 5 drops in each ear, one at a time. You can also soak the oil in a cotton ball and place inside the ear.

To make:

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Simmer garlic in olive oil over very low heat (or use double-boiler if your pan/stove won’t go very low, otherwise you will end up instead with deep-fried garlic!) for about 5 minutes. Strain and pour into a small glass bottle. Use with a dropper from an old medicine bottle or from the pharmacy. Place 2-3 drops in the infected ear 3 times/day.  You may also put a small cotton ball slightly inside the ear to give the garlic more time to heal.

To provide additional pain relief, you can add mullein leaf to the garlic/oil mixture in the pan. Additionally, you may want to put drops in each ear, not just the infected one, in case the other one may be progressing towards infection.

If you’re still breastfeeding and have a baby with an ear infection, natural health experts and many chiropractors also recommend putting a few drops of breastmilk into baby’s infected ear three times daily. While this may sound strange at first, it’s incredibly easy, on-hand, and we must remember the amazing power of mother’s milk! It is also Dr. Mercola’s recommended treatment for ear aches and infections.


Oregano Oil is a proven natural antibiotic. Oregano contains elenoic acid, a powerful antibiotic and antiviral compound. Oil from the common herb oregano may be an effective treatment against dangerous, and sometimes drug-resistant bacteria, a Georgetown researcher has found. Two studies have shown that oregano oil—and, in particular, carvacrol, one of oregano’s chemical components—appear to reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics.

It is commonly used for strep throat and has been shown to even help overcome superbugs caused by antibiotic resistance. Place 2 drops in 6 ounces of water and gargle 3 times/day. It is also commonly used to treat sinusitis. According to Dr. Mercola and his research, it also helps stave off colds and flu.

It was also discovered  that a study from 2003 in which doctors tested the efficacy of prescription antibiotic treatment for strep throat. They found that “Penicillin treatment was not more beneficial than placebo in resolving symptoms of sore throat.”

(Full study can be seen here:

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Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf, like many other natural antibiotics, is also a good antiviral, making it an excellent choice when the nature of the microbe is not completely known.  Drs. O. and B. Lee at the Department of Biomedical Science at CHA University in Korea, found that olive leaf extract was potent against various microbes.  Additionally, their research showed olive leaf exhibited free radical scavenging abilities.  Free radicals are linked with aging and disease.


Colloidal Silver

This natural product comes about as close as possible to a broad-spectrum prescription antibiotic like penicillin but without the risks. It has been used for thousands of years for a vast amount of illnesses and ailments. American pioneers found that putting pure silver coins or silverware in their water barrels would keep it free of dangerous bacteria. Just some of the things it works well for are ear infections, colds, urinary tract infections, warts, and so much more.

In the past several decades, research has shown colloidal silver can even eradicate antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA , the Avian Influenza (bird flu), and Human Corona virus (SARS).

Unfortunately, it has recently got some bad attention due to the media focusing on a few people whose skin has turned a bluish-grayish tint as a result of using homemade silver in large doses.

The fact is that these people are not an accurate representation of what can happen when using colloidal silver. Many people eat carrots; I even know one guy who turned orange temporarily as a result of consuming large amounts of carrot juice as part of his cancer regimen. Does that mean that everyone who eats carrots will turn orange? Similarly, colloidal silver in its proper form used as directed is a much, much safer alternative to prescription antibiotics without any side effects.

For more information on the different forms of silver available and which one is best to use with no concern of causing argyria (turning blue), check out Dr. Mercola’s article here:

Many people wonder why this natural antibiotic, if it’s so effective, is not still used by mainstream medicine. There are two reasons: “The first reason is that true colloidal silver is a Pre-1938 drug (by over fifty years) and so the FDA has stated that it may continue to be marketed (grand fathered). The second reason is that the FDA has no jurisdiction over a pure mineral element.”

The link above has additional information on what colloidal silver is, what it’s history is, and how to use it. This link: has a colloidal silver dosage chart, as well as recommended uses:

If you want to know how to make some your self check out:  HOW TO: The Healing Power of Colloidal Silver, and How to Make Your Own

TEA TREE OIL–The Skin Solution

Tea tree oil has strong activity against MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant strains. “There is clinical evidence that topical dermatological preparations containing tea tree oil may be more effective than conventional antibiotics in preventing transmission of CA-MRSA.” (The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, June 30, 2008, Vol. 62, Number 4, pp. 769-772)

For bacterial infections on the skin, such as abcesses and parasitic rashes, tea tree oil can help you avoid the use of antibiotics. This natural antibiotic also has antiviral and antifungal properties.

A report in the Journal of Hospital Infection (2004;56:283–6) found that Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) preparations may be as effective as drug therapy for the treatment of certain staph (Staphylococcus aureus) skin infections. Unlike other treatment methods, the tea tree oil treatments were well tolerated, with no adverse effects reported.

Tea tree oil is a viable alternative to antibiotic treatment for MRSA skin infections. This finding is especially important as bacterial resistance continues to increase and infections become harder to treat. As of this writing, there have been no reports of MRSA resistance to tree tea oil.


As you may remember from last week’s tip, green tea can help antibiotics be three times more effective in fighting drug-resistant bacteria, even superbugs, according to a by researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt. The results surprised the researchers, showing that in almost every case and for all types of antibiotics tested, drinking green tea at the same time as taking the medicines seemed to reduce the bacteria’s drug resistance, even in superbug strains, and increase the action of the antibiotics. In some cases, even a low concentration of green tea was effective.

Unfortunately, researchers are also discovering that in order for it to be effective, consumers have to drink about 4 to 5 cups of green day each day.  Fortunately, there’s a better choice.  Matcha Green Tea provides the same benefits with only a teaspoon of powder.  So if you aren’t likely to drink that many cups of green tea a day, Matcha would be a great choice for numerous health benefits.

Read more:  The Tea Tree Skin “Miracle” – The 7 Benefits of Tea Tree Oil


Raw honey is another GREAT natural antibiotic. Truly raw honey is the only kind that retains its healing benefits and is not often found in grocery stores (with the exception of stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, local health food stores, etc.). But remember–the label “organic” on honey does not mean that it is raw. It should specifically say “raw” on the label.

Read more:  What’s so Special about Raw Honey?

The best way to get it is by purchasing it from a local beekeeper. Check to find a local source near you or visit your farmer’s market.

“As an antiseptic, honey is also a drawing agent for poisons from bites or stings or infected wounds, and has outperformed antibiotics in treatments for stomach ulcerations, gangrene, surgical wound infections, surgical incisions and the protection of skin grafts, corneas, blood vessels and bones during storage and shipment.”

But the list doesn’t stop there. For burns, sore throats, osteoporosis, and more, the healing benefits of honey are numerous and proven. A list of raw honey’s health benefits can be seen here:

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In addition to these wonderful natural medicines, remember the value of a healthy immune system.  Probiotics, vitamin C and vitamin D3, as well as a diet low in sugar and processed foods will help you avoid illnesses.

Read more:  Honey as a Dressing for Wounds, Burns, and Ulcers

This information is not intended to be used in place of advice from your medical doctor.

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