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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Preparing and Evacuation List for your Home

 Evacuation Lists - What would/should you bring if you needed to leave your home??

It's been a long summer and into fall, with upheaval and unrest unlike anything most of use have ever seen.  I haven't  posted a lot during this time, because this blog is about preparation and the time of preparation is past in regards to a pandemic and quarantine.  

We have lived and breathed it (albeit through masks...) for the last 5 months!  It certainly gave us a good test to see what we were prepared for and what we need to do to prepare more for the future.

Fires and Evacuations

Fires and evacuations are the big story now, and as of last night, I have a fire very close to my home.  I've always felt relieved that I live "inside" a city, rather on the outskirts near forests or grasslands that might burn.  

However, the news from Oregon, Washington and California right now is that no place is being spared.  Large cities, small cities, forests...they are all burning.  We must be prepared to leave our home if the situation arises to do so.

Wildfire updates: Fire above Battle Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove  estimated at 20-50 acres |
Fire above Pleasant Grove, Ut last night

Normalcy Bias and what it does to our thinking...

One of the most poignant stories I ever read was about a man and his reaction during the Malibu California fires.  His home was in the line of the fire, and he was given 3 hours to gather his things and evacuate.  

In the stress and unbelief of the situation, he spent most of the time pacing back in forth in front of his TV, watching CNN.  He was sure there was no way HIS home would burn.  It never had happened before - the fires had turned, they had been extinguished, and certainly the same thing would happen this time.  

Unfortunately, they didn't turn and the flames were nearly upon him before he realized it was too late.  He was able to grab his pets, his keys and jump in the car to flee to safety.  He had 3 hours and he wasted it all in unbelief.

It's called "normalcy bias".  Our ingrained belief that things will happen the way  they always have.  Well, this year has certainly taught us something different.  We can not expect things to happen as they always have, and in fact, should PLAN for them not to.

An Insight Into the Concept of Normalcy Bias in Psychology - Psychologenie
Normalcy Bias

How do you overcome this normalcy bias?  By being PREPARED.

Creating an evacuation list

Think about the following four questions when preparing your list: 

  • What would you need to start over if everything was destroyed? 
  • What would you need to survive a few days or a week? 
  • What is important to you? 
  • What can you fit in your evacuation vehicle?

Video from the Stake on creating an Evacuation List

There is a simple activity every home should do.  

  1. Take a clip board with five blank pieces of paper labeled 5 min; 30 min; 2 hrs.; 12 hrs.
  2. Walk through every room in your home noting what things in that room you would need to grab if you had to evacuate.  
  3. List for every evacuation time frame- in the kitchen, if I had 5 minutes what would I grab?  If I had 12 hrs, what would I pack?  Those are very different lists.
  4. Gather this info and make organized lists for each length of evacuation - one list for 5 minutes, one list for 30 minutes, etc.
  5. Have a meeting with you family, brainstorm to see if there are other ideas of what to put on the list,  and explain what the lists are and when/how you would use them.
  6. Put the lists together and remember, if you have a 30 min evacuation time, you take everything from BOTH the 5 min list and the 30 minute list.  
  7. Make multiple copies and put them in central areas in your home - ours are in the kitchen, the bedroom near our safe, in the garage and in the store room where our 72  hour kits are stored.

Some example lists:(Modified from

 Evacuation time 5 Minutes 

  • Wallet or purse 
  • Car/house keys 
  • Cell phone, charger & car charger 
  • Adequate clothing for the weather conditions 
  • Prescriptions 
  • Extra contacts or glasses 
  • Medical devices (wheel chair, hearing aid, retainer, etc.) 
  • Laptop or backup disks 
  • Computer CPU 
  • Important documents (should already be in one container) 
  • 72 Hour kit with water/food/clothes/toiletries/ 
  • Family photo CD's/money, etc. 
  • Baby bag with extra food/formula 
  • Pet food, water & dish 
  • Pet leash (need this to walk dog or for shelters) 
  • Pet carrier 
Evacuation time 30 Minutes (take these PLUS the 5 minute list) 

  •  Photo albums, family portraits, preferably on flash drive 
  • Case of bottled water 
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, towels. 
  • Tent 
  • Extra batteries 
  • Battery powered TV/radio 
  • More clothes 
  • Toys, activities to keep kids occupied 
  • Kids memory things 

We have seen and heard of disasters in our area over the last several weeks which should make the usefulness of this guidance clear. I am sure many wished they had put together such a plan, so Be Prepared.

Here are some sources for already made lists to give you ideas:

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Covid-19 Coronavirus and Earthquake Preparations

Covid-19 Coronavirus and Earthquake Preparations

Wow what a week!!  Who would have thought we would have both a Pandemic and an Earthquake to handle in one week?  If you haven't started preparing both Temporally and Spiritually for events such as this, it's time!

I held a class talking about preparation specific to the Covid-19 Coronavirus.  In this video I cover what to store for food in a short term (we hope) quarantine situation.

And as a bonus, I covered what to store to keep yourself and your family healthy using natural medicine.

Some highlights:

  1. Why do we prepare
  2. What constitutes an emergency
  3. What food to store
  4. What else should be stored - including sprouting seeds, natural medicines for prevention and Nature's First Aid Kit
  5. How to prepare your family

Video about Covid-19 Prep - Food and Natural Medicine

I talk about documents in the video and they can all be found here:

Outline of Presentation

3 month Sample Food List
3 month Food Storage List

Long Term Food Storage Inventory

Survival and Sprouting Seeds

Natural Medicines to Store

Virus prevention and treatment

Preparedness Test
Self-Sufficiency Made Easy

Spiritual Preparedness FHE Lesson
Be Prepared FHE Lesson

Food Storage Cookbook
Food Storage + Cookbook

Earthquake Information

This is a great site with information on everything related to earthquakes.  Check it out, along with this simple video that is good for the entire family.

Earthquake Safety Guide

Earthquake Information Video for the Entire Family

Please make sure to check back frequently for more information about Preparation and Life during an Emergency.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Long Term Food Storage

Long Term stored foods are what most everyone thinks about when they are wanting to get prepared for an emergency.  A store room full of shining #10 cans with who knows what inside.  It makes us feel at least a little more ready for what might come...and it is the starting point, but there is more to it.

Some of the most frequent questions about Long Term Food Storage are;

1. How much do I store for my family?
2. How do I inventory and rotate the food?
3. How long will it really last?
4. How to I use these food staples if I have to?
5. Where do I put it all?

Have you asked some of these same questions?  This and more is answered in the MM Stake Self Reliance video on Long Term Food storage here:

There are some short cuts that are worth knowing about to get you to your goals faster.

How much??  You can use this calculator to figure out the totals for your family.
When you add your family info in you're going to get some serious numbers!  What in the world would you do with all of that food?  These foods are staples that are the building blocks of hundreds of recipes and things you can eat, now and in an emergency.  

Do I have to get it all now?
Heavens no!  Break it up into months and buy enough for one month.  You'll find a way to get more when it's time.  I challenge you to look around at what you have that could be traded for food storage.  My husband had a motorcycle that he rarely used.   We sold the motorcycle and bought food storage with the money.  You'll often be surprised at what money you have in "stuff" when you look at your home, garage and other places.  You might have the ability to get the recommended amounts when you think about "stuff" as potential food!
Where do  I buy the food?
The easiest and best answer is the LDS Home Storage Center.

What can I buy at a Home Storage Center?

Home storage centers help Church members and others build a basic supply of food for their longer-term home storage needs. Several prepackaged items are also available through the online store.
Prices effective as of January 1, 2019
ProductStore Price*Online Price*More Information
Apple Slices$67.50$76.00View Product Page
Beans, Black$33.00$43.25View Product Page
Beans, Pinto$33.00$41.75View Product Page
Beans, Refried$36.00$45.25View Product Page
Berry Drink Mix$54.00N/AN/A
Carrots$51.00$63.00View Product Page
Dry Onions$45.00$56.75View Product Page
Granulated Sugar$30.00$40.00View Product Page
Hard Red Wheat$21.00$25.75View Product Page
Hard White Wheat$22.50$25.00View Product Page
Hot Cocoa Mix$51.00N/A
Macaroni$27.00$22.50View Product Page
Nonfat Dry Milk$48.00$62.75View Product Page
Pancake Mix$32.00N/A
Peanut Butter$48.00N/A
Potato Flakes$30.00$37.00View Product Page
Potato Pearls$51.00N/A
Quick Oats$22.50$26.00View Product Page
Regular Oats$24.00$25.50View Product Page
Spaghetti Bites$27.00$21.75View Product Page
White Beans$33.00$39.75View Product Page
White Flour$24.00$25.00View Product Page
White Rice$30.00$36.75View Product Page
*Prices by case. Prices vary between home storage centers and online orders due to shipping costs.
There are also stores that have bulk items available if you search them out in your area.
How do I use this stuff?
Here is a great article that includes some tips for using these foods:
The key is just to buy SOMETHING. Start SOMEWHERE.  The first can wont' be your last, but it will be the start of you following commandments for storing food, and the Lord will help you get what you need.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Short Term Food Storage Revisited!

Most people that talk about food storage differentiate between long term and short term foods.  What are the long term foods?  The ones you typically think about when you talk about food storage - those #10 cans of wheat and rice and hard beans.  These are needed and something you will definitely want to store, but they are not that useful in a short term emergency.

The nature of an emergency creates a very stressful situation.  You are stressed, your family is stressed...the last thing you want to do is to start eating foods your body isn't used to.  In a short term emergency situation (think 3 months or less) you want to eat foods that you are used to and that can be prepared easily.  

Check out the stake video on short term food storage here:

What are these foods?  The foods you buy and eat every day.  Some ideas:


  • Canned soups and chili 
  • Boxes of macaroni and cheese 
  • Crackers and peanut butter
  • Canned or dried fruits
  • Juice boxes

  • Hamburger helper
  • Cans of stew
  • Instant rice. 
  • Rice-a-roni and couscous (plain and flavored) 
  • Canned meats
  • Canned vegetables and canned fruits 

  • Small packages of jerky
  • Dried fruit, and nuts
  • Cookies and candy
  • Pretzels, goldfish crackers

The idea is that you store foods you are already eating.  The easiest way to gather these foods is to purchase extra when you are at the store.  If you're buying one can of soup, buy two so you have an extra for storage.  Done this way, you can build your three month short term food stores in no time.

Last year the church made a change as well.  They changed the bulk of the food they were processing to "finished goods" like pasta and pancake mix instead of flour.  They see the need for these easier to prepare foods.  

Keep an eye open for case lot sales at your local grocery store, or Maceys has case lots on sale all the time and Costco and Sams Club only sells by the case.  This is a great way to stock up.  

Goals for February:

Choose one or more of these goals for February to ensure you are prepared for ready to use food in an emergency:1. Purchase three cases of canned goods your family likes to eat

2. Every time you go to the store this month, choose a few items to buy double of so you can store the extras.

3. Make sure you have some protein and fats in storage - peanut butter, cans of tuna, vegetable oil

Let's get prepared together!