Archive for the ‘Preparedness’ Category

How much longer can you have a garden?

Think your garden fresh veggies are safe? The Nevada Health Department may beg to differ. This will make your blood boil.

Thankfully some good Utah legislators are working to try and ensure this won’t happen here.

All You should Know About Water

Jed Norwood provided this information on water storage and preparing containers to hold water and agreed to let me post it.


-Water is the universal solvent
-It is heavy at 8# per gallon
-If you don’t have it you will have to leave that area and food to find it.

In the 1960’s the Israeli Military tested how much water was needed each day to keep their troops in top condition.  They found that 15 gallons per person per day.  This includes all uses.  During the heat of summer they found a person will need for drinking alone 5 gallons.

In our climate, an individual needs to reserve a gallon a day just for drinking. With all other uses such as cooking, flushing, and hygiene, a person would need about 5 gallons a day. This would mean that a family of five would need 75 per day to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

In the Utah region a 1000 square foot roof will receive 30 to 40 tons of water in an average year.  Rain and snow are the softest water you can find and the easiest to treat. This equates to 7,500 to 10,000 gallons. Capturing this water source is crucial.

Have a supply of water filter socks that will filter down to 1 micron.

After socking the water to catch the large debris then run it through a ceramic filter.

With this type of a set up you can filter 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of rain water.  Or 10,000 gallons of pond , river or lake water.

Store all water filtering socks and filters in ziplock mylar bags.

After filtering the water treat it with a biocide. Here are some types of biocides you can use.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Vitamin C
Activated Charcoal

Here is the complete procedure for water management.

Procure the water

Filter the water with sock

Filter water with ceramic filter or a towel filter

Chlorinate water

1 of the following


Hydrogen peroxide

Vitamin C

Activated Charcoal

Treating the water storage containers

Here are the cleaning instructions. with the barrel up right fill the barrel and let it sit for 24 hours.  Then empty and place it up right again. Fill the barrel again and let the hose run for 15 minutes. Once it starts over flowing check for debris. If it is clear then pour 1/2 cup of chlorine into the water and cap the barrel. Let it sit out in the sun for two weeks. After this dump it out and fill with treated water.  Store barrel on blocks of wood, or carpet or both to keep barrel from touching the ground or concrete directly.

*To obtain the diagrams for making your own towel filter, instructions on making low cost activated charcoal, or obtaining (through a group purchase) filter socks, ceramic containers, or ziplock mylar bags, email Jed Norwood at

Government Gone Wild and Food Storage

This video is encouraging…NOT. Does anyone really think we’ll last 10 more years? How’s your food storage? A few months ago I sent an email out to my email list but I guess I should have posted it here. I watched the segment on Glenn Beck last year that showed food prices skyrocketing as a result of inflationary forces that would affect our nation. Glenn was advertising for Daily Bread on his radio show so I called them up and a local rep came by to let me sample some food. They sell freeze dried meals that you just add hot water to and in a few minutes they’re ready to eat as if you’d made them fresh. The food was really good so we ordered a 3 month supply to supplement our current food storage which is mostly comprised of individual foods that you would have to prepare in a meal. Now we have meals that you just add water to, and regular food items which is a relief to know we’ll have some meals ready to go without a ton of preparation. In an emergency that can put your mind at ease. Anyway, I spoke with the rep that sold us our food storage and if you call him directly, he will give you a 15% discount on any package deal you purchase directly through him (you have to mention Oak Norton). He’ll also give you 1/2 off any shipping charges. You can reach him, Rex Willis, at 480-444-6429 or If you want to check out the packages, you can do so at Daily Bread’s website, but don’t contact them if you want the discount, contact Rex directly. He will email you a current price sheet (prices are going up, in case anyone was in doubt about the economy and inflation…) and if you want to sample the food before buying, just ask him for a sample meal to try out.

Preparation: Fuel and Energy

I don’t know if this will be a regular column, but I feel the need to examine all of my preparedness categories and make sure I’m covered. I’m sure everyone has noticed the inflationary hill we’re chugging up right now as food, clothing, and fuel are all getting more expensive. I feel like our time to ensure we are prepared for coming events is being shortened at a faster pace. I hope this information might help some to take similar considerations toward your own state of preparedness.

Most of the readers here are LDS and may remember the council to store a year’s supply of fuel where possible in addition to the counsel to have a year’s supply of food. I used to think this was just something I’d never be able to do because of living in a town and I couldn’t store that much gas for our vehicles. I recently realized that this wasn’t just about gas for our cars, but fuel also includes being able to cook and have power.

Now I’m not saying go out and suddenly buy all this stuff, but I found a couple of products that I think are cool and I bought a couple of them. We already had a small charcoal grill which anyone can pick up at the store pretty cheap. They aren’t big propane grills, but they are handy in a pinch and you can store bags of charcoal to give you a near years’ supply of daily heat.

One of the cool products someone pointed out to me is this solar oven.

It’s a good sized basin with a floating table inside it. Plexiglass or something locks into place on the front panel around a rubber seal. Extending the 4 reflectors and pointing it at the sun generates over 300 degrees in the box. Pretty awesome for doing basic cooking. There is a thermometer in the upper corner so you can tell how warm it is in the box. A friend of mine wanted to get a “lazy-Susan” type of spinner to set it on so you could rotate it with the sun if needed, but I don’t know that you’d be cooking for hours with the sun moving that much. Anyway, pretty cool device.

The second one which looks really cool is the Rocket stove here.

The design of this is really neat. You have 2 cylinders that are welded together so the heat inside the center cylinder is insulated from direct contact with the outer temperature. It takes very little fuel to generate cooking temperatures. You can use twigs and small pieces of wood and even reuse unused wood. Check out this video.

Then you just need a supply of wood and an axe or hatchet to break wood up into long splinters and you have a great source of heating.

Of course there are Dutch ovens and other things, but these are very efficient tools. One other super efficient fire starter is the Spark Lite. My dad actually invented this one and sells it to the U.S. Military as their official fire starter. It’s a highly efficient, one handed, flint and steel method for lighting small tinder. It comes with 8 waterproof cotton tabs that you can peel open and ignite even after being wet. You can also use other small substances to ignite. Every backpack and emergency kit ought to have one of these.…

Now I have a question for you. Have any of you used solar power equipment you can recommend? I’ve bought a couple of solar battery chargers and was pretty unimpressed. I would love something that would give a decent rate of charge to a regular battery charger or a laptop. Any other cool ideas on efficient power needs?