Category: Indoor Living

Home Essentials You Need For Survival

Home Essentials You Need for Survival

With so many daily works, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.

Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.

Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries

When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.

Hand Crank Radio

Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.

How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage

Solar Oven and Freezer

Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short-term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.

Coats and Boots

Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.

Water Purifier

Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.

First Aid Supplies

A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.

Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.

Pet Supplies

No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.

Sanitary Supplies

While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, biohazard bags, biohazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.

Hygiene Essentials

Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.

Sleeping Bags

Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low-temperature ratings.

70 howtos for your preps

Emergency Preparedness Guide

No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.

Multi-Tool Knife

Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.

These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.

By Mary Saurer

Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.

Ways To Conserve Energy Use At Home

Ways To Conserve Energy Use At Home

Each year, Americans are spending troubling amounts of money on their energy expenses. In fact, the average family will spend close to $2,200 on their utility bills during the course of a year. The truth of the matter is that many individuals are spending more than necessary because they are not making an intentional effort to conserve energy in their home.

For some, it’s easier to neglect energy conservation practices because, for whatever reason, it simply isn’t a high enough priority. For the readers of My Family Survival Plan, we know this isn’t the case. You care deeply about saving money and minimizing the impact your day-to-day choices have on the earth. So, let’s take a look at some the best ways to conserve energy at home.

Heating and Cooling

Heating and Cooling account for just about half of energy-related expenses in the average family home in the United States. Because of this, focusing your efforts on conserving heating and cooling energy could be the most effective starting place.

Use a smart thermostat to program your HVAC unit to adjust based on your needs each day. Adopt the recommendations provided by Energy.gov, setting your air conditioner at 78 degrees during the day and bumping it up to 80 degrees while you are away from home or asleep. During the wintertime, opt for bundling up so you can lower your heater’s settings to 68 degrees during the day and as far as 60 degrees while you are away or asleep.

As much as 20 percent of heating and cooling energy is wasted because air is leaking through ducts, doors, and windows. Spend the time and money to regularly check for and repairs leaks and you may see a significant difference in your heating and cooling costs over the long term.

Lighting

Your typical American family can expect to spend 10 percent of their utility budget to the lights in their home. Lessening the energy consumed by lighting is all about making a few smart habits and sticking with them for the long term.

An easy fix is to switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which not only last a lot longer before needing a replacement, but also use up to 75 percent less than traditional light bulbs. When it comes time to replace your bulbs, always recycle your old bulbs and check with your local power company about rebates or discounts for CFL bulbs.

lighting
Via Modernize

Appliances and Electronics

The electronics and appliances in your home have this annoying trait: they use energy passively even when they are not in use. Cutting back on this passive energy consumption can be accomplished with a few different strategies.

Use a power strip for your electronics and turn it off when they are not being used. Give up your desktop computer for a laptop, which consumes significantly less energy. If you stick with a desktop, set it to hibernate when it is not being used instead of using a screensaver.

When it comes to appliances, they key is to use them less. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using your dryer, and opt for warming food in a toaster oven instead of heating your conventional oven. If it is time to replace an appliance, chose an energy-efficient model whenever possible, using the guide provided by Modernize for making the best choice for your needs.

Don’t stop here! Approach energy conservation with your whole home in mind, developing a holistic plan to include each room, appliance, and electronic device. Involve your whole family in your energy conservation efforts, educating them on the effect their day-to-day choices have on the budget and the well-being of the world we live in.

Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.

Natural Preservatives

Despite the negative image preservatives have gained over the last decades due to the media concerns over their effects on health, not everything that falls into this category is bad. In truth, preservatives are important for keeping food safe to eat, and not all of them are synthetic. Nature has left us many preservatives, and if you know how to use them you can preserve food for a very long time in harsh conditions.

1. Bain-marie boiling

The Bain-marie is a method of preservation by double boiling food to certain temperatures. It is mostly used for tomato sauce to store it over winter. After you mince the tomatoes you boil them for one hour, then add salt and oil until everything is homogenous.

bain-marie

The second step is to put it into glass recipients (jars or bottles) as glass is the best material to store food because it preserves its consistency, as opposed to plastic and wood, which always retain the smell and flavor of stored materials. The recipients are then put into another larger recipient filled with water and are boiled like that for about half an hour more. Before putting the lids, seal off the bottles with cellophane. The heat pushes the hot air outside, and the oil should reach the mouth of the bottle so that when you seal it off there is no air in it. Stored in the basement, they can last for years. Of course, this method can be used for mostly anything: fruit juice, guacamole, coconut milk, mashed vegetables, you name it.

To make matters simpler, you can just buy a bain-marie equipment.

2. Oxygen deprivation

oxygen

Oxygen is the source and sustainer of life, but also it is unmaking. Everything on the planet deteriorates and dies because of oxygen. Oxygen alters tissues in time (we call it aging), and the same effect happens with food as well. This is why void packed foods don’t go bad, and avoid packing machine is vital for food storage. It’s only 100 dollars and you can make big provisions with it, from dried fruit to meat and dairy products.

3. Salt

salt

Before refrigerators existed, and especially in the Middle Ages, meat was preserved using salt. You may have heard of the term corned beef or salt fish; this means treating the meat with sufficient salt up to the point where mold and bacteria can no longer develop. Salt dehydrates the meat, and bacteria need water to grow. You can try this at home: salt a slice of meat and leave it out of the fridge for several days. You will notice the absence of foul smell and it will still be good to eat. This method can also preserve food for years on end if done properly.

4. Lemon

lemon

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is one of the most powerful antioxidants, and it also draws water from other surfaces. Though not as powerful to last for years, lemon juice can preserve food out of the fridge for several days. You can test it most easily with avocado, one of the fastest oxidizing fruits: after squeezing a lemon over it, it won’t blacken within the hour.

5. Vinegar

vinegar

Acetic acid is a good natural preservative that is used for many non-artificially preserved products, such as mustard and other sauces, but only use wine vinegar. Other types of vinegar contain artificial acetic acid. This is one of the best preservatives, provided you can stand the smell and flavor.

6. Horseradish, Ginger, and Wasabi

horseradish

Horseradish, along with its Asian relatives, ginger, and wasabi, contains the same active ingredient (Allyl isothiocyanate), which is a great preservative against alteration and bacteria. You need 2 ounces of any of them (minced) in a quart of water to have a natural preservative for your food.

7. Hot Peppers

hot peppers

Red Peppers, Jalapeno, or any other species of hot peppers all share a common compound, which makes them hot: capsaicin. Given its heat for the human tongue, it’s not hard to imagine what it does for bacteria. It’s no coincidence that all the cultures who live in tropical and equatorial climates all share an abundance of capsaicin in their cuisine: it’s not merely a traditional whim, but it comes from old methods of preserving food in warm and dirty environment.

8. Honey

honey

Honey products and propolis has many antiseptic uses since ancient times, and not only by humans. If bees – some of the cleanest organisms on the planet – use it against fungi and bacteria, so should you. These substances are extremely stable against bacteria because of the low water percentage, low PH, and hundreds of anti-bacterial natural compounds secreted by bees.

9. Drying

drying

When it comes to dried food, the same principle applies as with salted meat. You can find dried fruit, meat and vegetables at the supermarket, but you can also make your own. Use your oven to dry tomatoes, fruits, and sausages, then store them in the pantry vacuum sealed.

Final Thoughts

As for other natural preservatives you could include in your bug-out bag, you should take into consideration grapefruit juice (also a great antiseptic and antibiotic), rosemary extract, sugar, Neem oil, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, mint, eucalyptus, and rose oil.

Last but not least, do not forget the oldest method of preservation and probably the best there is: freezing. If you find yourself in the wild during a Wyoming winter, food preservation will be the last of your problems.