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Category: Prepping

Preparedness Weekend Retreat In Florida

We are pleased to announce this one of a kind, hands-on event and hope you’ll join us:
Faith Based Preparedness Retreat Weekend
February 21-23, 2014
Marianna, Florida

Let’s learn real skills!  In a family friendly atmosphere, you can learn hands on skills, watch demos, join in small teaching rooms for more one on one instruction and more real life training than you could ever get searching the web or just walking through an expo.

Hotel Style Rooms* or RV Sites or One Day Ticket
Children 3 and Under attend at no charge.
Children (ages 4-9) & (ages 10-15) at Discounted Price
* Five Meals Included for Hotel Guests

Take a look at the full weekend’s itinerary







Preparedness Retreat Weekend in Florida – Feb. 21-23, 2014. Registration is open now and closes Feb 6th.



All inclusive packages with meals and accommodations or RV sites w/o meals or if you’re local, come on Saturday. Look at the itinerary within the package you like.


More Ways To Prep For Storms or Other Disasters

Just yesterday, the southern US was hit with ice storms and power outages.  Several children had to spend the night on a school bus because they got caught out in it. I wonder if that bus-driver was prepared for that?  Many motorists are, as I type, still waiting for someone to come rescue them. I hope they prepped their cars. You never know when you’re going to be in a situation like that.

In my last post I talked about how to prepare for your electricity going out in the areas of food and water.  This time I’ll talk a little bit about warmth and medicine.

Staying Warm

If your power goes out in the winter-time, and you are accustomed to using electricity for heat, you will have to find another way to stay warm. Don’t try to start a fire indoors unless you have a fireplace that is made for burning wood, its very dangerous. Don’t try to use a camping stove for warmth, its even more dangerous. kerosene

Think ahead. Purchase some kerosene heaters and kerosene. We have two 10,000 BTU kerosene heaters and the two of them are more than enough to keep our 1300 square foot home warm.   Its does take thinking ahead, however. Kerosene heaters must be started and used correctly or you can burn yourself down. Kerosene must be stored correctly in blue, non-static, plastic containers, away from your home.

If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, keep wood cut and on hand. Keep the fireplace or stove clean and ready to go if you don’t use them on a regular basis. If you don’t use them much, be sure you know how to start a fire and keep it going safely.

All types of heating that uses fuel can produce carbon monoxide. Since that stuff is poisonous, be sure you have carbon monoxide detectors with new batteries and that you leave one or two windows barely cracked open so that air can circulate.

To stay warm at night, put layers of blankets and quilts on your beds. Its warmer to use several light layers than one or two heavy comforters. Be sure that everyone sleeps with socks on, pj bottoms or long underwear and at least long sleeved t-shirts on.  Though it sounds old-fashioned, a stocking cap can keep you much warmer than sleeping bare-headed.

Physical activity is great for getting warm. Outside chores or even inside work can help you work up warmth. But be careful. Don’t over-do it. And be sure to drink plenty of water while you are working, If you’re thirsty, you’re already on your way to becoming dehydrated. I heard a military trainer say recently that many of the physical problems people have today, including back pain, are due to their constant state of dehydration.

To stay warm during the day, bundle up, drink warm beverages, get up and move frequently.



Unless you’ve been without a life-saving medicine and couldn’t get that medicine there is no way to describe to you how desperate and frightening that situation is.

I’ve been there and so I encourage you and plead with you to have a talk with your doctor get the prescriptions you need ahead of time. If you have a good relationship with your Dr., and if you have a history of being honest and responsible with your prescriptions, chances are, he or she will work with you.

There are Over-The-Counter medicines you will want to have on hand as well. Here is my list. Be sure when you make your list, you know how to use these medicines. Take into consideration what kinds of ailments you and your family normally have to decide what you need to keep on hand.

first aid





Lomotil – this is for extreme diarrhea
Benadryl – We keep this on hand not just for allergies but for all kinds of allergic reactions like insect bites and stings, poisonous plants, etc.
Hydro-cortisone cream
Anti-biotic Ointment
Raw Honey
– for sore throats
Lemons – makes medicines taste better
Ground Red Pepper – for sore throats, colds, read about the uses for capsaisin.
Laxatives and Stool Softeners

We keep a big first aid kit in our home. We can treat anything from indigestion to a compound fracture.

Next time I’ll talk about making a Bug-Out-Bag. If you sign up now for my free newsletter, you’ll get instructions (also free) for making your own Bug-Out-Bag.

Children And Ice Storms (Or snow or most any disaster)

ice 2







We’re in the throes of the 20 year December ice storm here in Middle Tennessee.  Every 20 years or so we have a big one. Although, this one isn’t as big as the one in ’94. The resulting broken trees and devastation from that ice storm could be seen for 8-10 years afterward.

This one is more inconvenient than life-threatening, and we may have some more ice in a day or two. The city workers were out in force last week coating the roads with salt brine so the roads aren’t iced over in the city. The county roads are another thing, they are icy.  Power is out in pockets all over the city as well.

As we lay in bed this morning waiting for our power to come back on, and it did an hour later, my husband and I discussed how different things are now when the power goes out than they were when we had 5 children at home.

These days we just lay in the warm bed or get up and put on warm clothing and check the condition of the roads or fire up the kerosene heater and …. go back to the warm bed and go to sleep!

But with small or young children in the house its a whole other world.

First, every time the power went out, all the children felt it was their responsibility to come inform us of the outage. One. At. A. Time. The baby always being the last and the loudest.

Then we had the pleasure of at least three children climbing in bed with us.  A double bed mind you, so we were very snuggly.

And then there was the getting dressed warmly and finding something to eat. And there was usually one who came down with a cold or flu-like symptoms. These are the things where planning pays off and I want to show you what you can do to plan for power outages when you have children.

These are the main things that I learned I needed to plan ahead for.

Food – Cooking has to be part of this as well because if your electricity goes out, you are going to need to cook or at least prepare warm food with heated water. We have a fire pit, a gas grill and a charcoal grill. We have wood cut for the pit and lots of extra charcoal. Normally, we keep two canisters of propane. You’ll need to prepare to cook in what ever way you know you can cook. You should practice cooking on your alternate because its different from cooking over gas or electricity. You’ll be glad you did!
Make sure you have pans that can be used over fire. Cast Iron is best. Aluminum will melt if it gets too hot, so be careful.
At the very least you can boil water over your alternate cooking system. Boiling water can be put into a Thermos and then rice or pasta or other pre-packaged foods can be added, allowed to sit for about 45 minutes and cook. This is also something you should practice.

Its really convenient to have home canned foods that are completely cooked that you just have to open up and heat. You can have the same convenience, if not the same quality, if you buy store bought canned foods such as stews, meats or complete meals. Its handy to have peanut butter and crackers on hand, canned fruit (save and drink the juice!), tuna, canned chicken and corned beef, soups, stews and instant rice.

I’ll make a post soon and show you exactly how to “cook” in a Thermos and how to put together pre-packaged foods to make a meal.

The idea is to used your alternate cooking source as little as possible to conserve. So don’t build a huge fire thinking that you’ll need it to cook a pan of burgers. You don’t need a lot of fire to cook you mostly need hot coals. The best thing  to have to cook on in my opinion is a propane gas grill because it can be turned on and off easily and there is little waste. 

Water – Sometimes pipes freeze when it gets really cold. If your electricity goes out and stays out for a while, chances are, your pipes will freeze and you won’t have access to water.  So you need to store some water. Experts say that humans need a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day, just to drink or cook with. That doesn’t include water for personal hygiene. Years ago, we started storing water in clean 2 liter pop bottles.  I filled them about 2/3  full so if they froze they wouldn’t burst.  I added 10 drops of household bleach to each 2 liter bottle as recommended by the US Dept. of Health. Water can be purified by boiling as well;  filter through a coffee filter then bring to a boil and boil for 1 full minute before storing. You can add  2 drops of bleach per gallon of boiled water to help maintain its purity during storage.

In my next post I’ll talk about how to prepare these areas:





Review: Prepper’s Food Storage ~ By Julie Languille

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting CHK with your purchases. 

I’ve been reading a book called Prepper’s Food Storage – 101 Easy Steps To Affordably Stock A Life-Saving Supply Of Food by Julie Languille. The author’s publicist sent me the book and asked for a review. I’m always interested in new books, especially those on Prepping or Survival. They’re usually pretty interesting at the least. This particular book has a lot of merit and I could see myself using it even though I am a seasoned prepper.

prepper food storage

Prepper’s Food Storage is organized.  It’s organized very well. What I mean by that is that the author gives an introduction that explains how to use the book, includes well laid-out charts and lists and has given pertinent information right on the same page with each food or item.  That organization appealed to me right off the bat. She has charts to show you how much of each type of meat or vegetable you’ll need for X number of people for a year.  The author also has menu samples and a list of the foods you’ll need for those menus. Information about planning menus and what is needed can be helpful for people who are planning menus or storing food for the first time.

Ms. Languille also includes information about where and how to store your food, equipment and supplies you will need preserve food in several different ways, where to shop for food to store and information about several different ways of food preservation. Her very first and highest priority food is actually water. Smart. The second food is salt. Also smart.

Here is a list of some of what’s in the book from the back cover:

  • Charts to calculate food needs
  • Best shelf-stable foods
  • Storage solutions for big and small spaces
  • Instructions for dehydrating and canning
  •  Checklists of essential non-food items

Each food is given a priority and a category. For example, canned beans is given a high priority which means you should work on getting some in your food stores. The author lets you know why you should be storing canned beans: they are high protein, convenient, versatile and have a long shelf life.  With the information about canned beans a handy little chart is included that shows you how many 14.5 ounce cans of beans you need per person per year at a 1/2 cup serving per week. You can use the chart to track your own bean storage. Recipes are included at the end of each food listed.

I really like the fact that the author has included “real” foods along with canned and packaged foods. That one fact makes the book something I would use to help me store food. She includes olive oil, butter, coconut oil, beans and grains, seeds, fruits, meats, honey, root vegetables and winter vegetables along with convenience items like canned vegetables, canned meats and cake mixes.

Food isn’t the only thing Ms. Languilles addresses for storage. She includes items like toilet paper, paper products, laundry products, lighting and cooking supplies, personal products, vitamins and health products and first aid supplies. She also addresses what type of equipment is needed for storing food depending on the method you decide to use to prepare and store food.

The author has done the math for you and I have found it to be correct for my family. She has given serving sizes that are normal, not too large, and then shown the reader how much of each food is needed per person, per year. For example: Beef Chunks or Beef Stew Meat has a serving size of 1/4 pound per person per meal. After giving the shelf life for freeze dried or canned Beef Chunks, the cost, where to buy, sample pricing and how to store, the author shows you that you will need 7 pounds per person per year and does the math for you for 2, 4,6,8 and 12 people. She then follows that up with recipes and how to pressure can Beef Chunks.  Each food is given this thorough treatment.

Food storage location isn’t given a whole lot of treatment in this book. The author has about 1 page of information on where to store food, although with each food item, she gives basic storage instructions. The advice she gives is standard; cool,dark,dry. But the one really good piece of storage info is her suggestion to have a long term storage area and a shorter term, Food Rotation Pantry. I know so many people who just buy up food to store and never use any of it. That’s not the right way to be a prepper or to store food, You should use your food and restock.  Languille makes effort to explain this and this theme carries on throughout the book.

Prepper’s Food Storage has a $12.95 price on the book. Amazon Prime offers it for $9.71. Some of the used books at Amazon are even less.  I would spend the money for this particular book. It is put together in a way that is helpful, its small, very easy to take along with you and contains good information for building your food stores.





How To Hide Your House From Google Maps


I found an interesting article at Off The Grid News today.  Did you know that Google has cars with cameras that their folks drive around the countryside to take pictures of your home and property?  This article is short and to the point, it shows you how to hide your home from Google Maps so that it appears as a blur instead of its picture.  Thank you to the folks over at Off The Grid News.

Take a look at How To Hide Your House From Google Maps.



Your Primitive Kitchen

lydia fire

If I ever find myself in a world very different from where I am today, meaning if I have no electricity and no running water, either here in my home or somewhere I have had to relocate to, I want to be prepared. I want my family and me to survive. I don’t want us to get sick with some bug or other. More than survive……

I want to live and do well. And because of that, I realize that I need a plan for cooking and preparing food. So I got to thinking; what would I need if I had to permanently prepare and cook food without electricity?  I have cooked over a fire for months at a time, so I know I can do it but I also know it takes planning and particular tools.

So, here is my list of items you need to acquire if you anticipate having long term power outages or living in an area where there is no access to electricity. This list assumes you have already taken care of procuring an alternative cooking method like wood stove, cook stove, outdoor fire pit, etc.

1. Matches.  I’m a pro at starting a fire with flint, steel and tinder but hey, matches are easier. I really believe you should have several ways of starting a fire on hand at all times.  Matches are easier. They’re lightweight and relatively cheap. Buy them in bulk and store them where they won’t get wet.

2. Cast iron cookware. There are other kinds of cookware that you could get as well; stainless steel, porcelain covered steel or iron. Cast iron will take a beating and last a life time if you take care of it. It holds up well to cooking over coals and heats evenly even when you are cooking over a wood stove.  In fact, I wouldn’t cook on a wood stove for any length of time using anything else.

3. The right kind of utensils. Iron and steel utensils are best.  If you’re cooking on a fire or wood stove, you’re going to want to lose the plastic utensils.  ‘Nuf said.

4. Pots, pans, roasters, etc.  Be sure that all your pots and pans and things are made from tough materials like porcelain coated steel, iron or stainless steel.

5. Dish pans. These kinds of pans are so helpful in all areas of homekeeping.  You’ll find yourself using them in the garden, to do dishes, to bathe babies and everything else.  I like the ones that I pick up at antique stores and flea markets that are porcelain coated steel. Watch for holes if you are buying them used.

6. Lots of cotton dish cloths and dish towels.  Cotton is easier to care for than blends and they can be bleached as kitchen towels usually need. I always by white for that reason. Don’t forget to buy or make heavy pads or mitts to move hot cookware around.

7. A bucket and shovel for removing ashes from your fire pit, fire ring etc.

8. A tripod is a great tool to keep you  from having to place all your cooking pots directly on the fire, its especially good for soups and stews. My son made me one using three big juniper trees and some rope. I hang my pot from a large chain using cast iron S hooks. See the picture at the top of this page.

Now, if you are setting up a kitchen outdoors, you’ll need other things like a good source of water, shelter for your cooking area and food prep area, shelter for your food that is up high away from predators and out of the weather. Always store your food at least 30 feet away from your food prep area. This will discourage scavengers and night time visitors to your kitchen area. You’ll also need a place to keep wood to allow it to dry and a place to prepare and store kindling and tools.

The only other things you’ll need is practice cooking over that fire, so I recommend you do it now while you don’t really have to!