These monthly newsletters are put together each month at the request of our Stake Presidency, and are copied for the wards within the stake. There are also other wards, family and friends who use these each month. They are for anyone who would like ideas of how to be better prepared! There are monthly newsletters here from January 2011 to present. In the January 2015 posts there is an index for the first 4 years. There are also some preparedness booklets that have been posted.

May we help each other to be more prepared, and remember what President Thomas S Monson said: “When the time for performance arrives, the time for preparation is past.”

(Note: Garden tips are for Southern Utah area – you may need to adjust according to your area’s climate.)

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 2016

Click here for a complete copy of February 2016 Back to Basics Newsletter.

February is often noted as the month of Love. We make and give and receive valentines. It is a chance to express our affections for our “valentine”. We “heart attack” our friends and family, make special dinners, and give roses to someone special. As we are sending expressions of affection to our loved ones – let us send a message of love by making sure we are prepared to care for our families – come what may. If we truly love our family we will be sure we have a storage of food, water, clothing, fuel, and some money set aside. There would be nothing worse than having an emergency to deal with, and watch our family suffer because we were not prepared! But it will give us a great sense of satisfaction if we can care for our family and know that all is well because we followed the prophet – and are prepared. Let us show our love this month – and “prepare every needful thing.”

Included in this month's newlsetter:
A Three Month Supply:  You should be able stay home for 3 months without going to the store! Ideas to store include baking supplies, breakfast, lunch, supper, spices, desserts, dairy, and other supplies.
An Encouraging Word: The first presidency reminds us to "prepare every needful thing" so we can care for ourselves, but to not go to extremes. With careful planniung you can establish a home storage and financial reserve.
Do I Really Have a Year's Supply? Read a list of amounts and give your family storage a check up. This includes an online link for a food calculator to figure amounts needed for your size family.
In the Southern Utah Garden:  An important month to fertilize, prune, spray, and plant. Helpful tips on pruning, starting seeds indoors, rotating crops, and companion planting.
Cooking with Food Storage: Recipes for using the beans you learned to cook last month! Bean Dip, Bean Salad Sandwich and Chili Beans
Disaster Prep - Winter Warnings - Disasters do not just happen in the summer when you can camp out. Winter brings extra challenges. Have a plan to stay warm, stop heat loss, store needed items, have a woodstove, plan for shelter, stock your car, and keep hand warmers and hot chocolate ready!
Companion Planting: A chart of what vegetables to plant together. A list of companions, allies and enemies!

Click here for a complete copy of February 2016 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

January 2016

Click here for a complete copy of the January 2016 Back to Basics Newsletter.

It is hard to believe another “new” year is upon us. The year “2016” once-upon-a-time seemed like a fairy tale! Yet – here we are as old man 2015 leaves and the new 2016 crawls in. With this “new year” comes the traditional opportunity to evaluate our own lives and set “new” goals. As we set goals for personal milestones we hope to reach, or traditions we want to establish, let us also keep in mind our family’s preparedness. This is a great month to take stock of where we stand and where we want to be. Take inventory of your food storage – and make a list of what you need to purchase at upcoming sales. Use the winter months to build some new shelves in the basement, a closet, or make coasters for under the bed storage. Try out the emergency items you have on hand – 72 hour kits, solar lights, generators, etc. – and be sure they are working, then repair or replace as needed.  Our preparedness must also include a spiritual preparedness.  Staying close to the spirit will give us peace in tribulations, and guidance in times of trials. May each of us make the best of this New Year and renew ourselves and our preparedness commitments.

Included in this month's newsletter:
The Family Store - turn your storage room into a mini store. Keep things on hand that keep you from making a store run. Start with 3 months, then add a longer and expanded storage.
Preparedness with Moderation! Statement frm the LDS Church to avoid extremes, but gradually build a supply to be self-reliant.
Preparedness Thoughts to Live By: Ezra Taft Benson, Spencer W Kimball on preparedness.
In the Southern Utah Garden: plan your garden, prune fruit trees, transplant during cold times, and fertilize this month.
Cooking with Food Storage: bottling beans, and how to cook beans.
Home Storage Center: an order form for over 20 items to add to your food storage.

Click here for a complete copy of the January 2016 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 2015

Click here to download a complete copy of December 2015 Back to Basics.

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year.” Even the songs blaring over the radio seem to agree! Pretty lights twinkle, the Santa’s ”ho ho ho”, and we have “Decked the Halls”. But amidst all this hustle and bustle, let us not forget why it IS the most wonderful time of the year.  It is the time of year when we focus a little more on the savior and his birth. The beautiful songs of Christmas and of the Savior truly fill our hearts with the peace the gospel brings. That peace is something we can have throughout the year as we come unto Christ and keep his commandments. One of those commandments is to Be Prepared. It is a wonderful gift to the savior, to our families and to ourselves as we follow Him, and are prepared. May we make this a Preparedness Christmas in one way or another. And may we feel the peace that comes to us as we all enjoy a Very Merry Christmas!

Included in this month's newsletter:
Disaster Prep: Where were you when the lights went out? short term and long term preparations for dealing with a power outage.
The Incredible Edible Egg: Winter months bring fewer eggs if you have chickens. Try some tips to get your chickens to lay, or check out ideas for having eggs on hand and extending their shelf life.
One more "Bright" thought: Ideas of what to do before and after a power outage.
In the Southern Utah Garden: Take a break, til the soil, plan for next year, and put leaves on the garden.
A Preparedness Christmas: ideas for gifts to give this year with preparedness in mind.
Provident Living: Christmas is a great time to practice provident living. Robert D Hales helps us learn how.
Cooking with Food Storage: Grandma Ballard's Molasses Candy
Emergency Preparedness: Make a Camp Box for quick access to go camping, or if necessary - to evacuate. Ideas are included for a Kitchen Camp Tub, Family tent Tub, and Camp Supplies Tub.
Encouraging Words: The Promised Land: From President Lee concerning the future of America.

Click here to download a complete copy of December 2015 Back to Basics.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 2015

Click here to download a complete copy of the November 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

The season of gratitude has arrived. We should have gratitude all year long, but something about the beauty of the fall season with the harvest, colored leaves, and the golden glow that fills the air – seems to naturally fill our hearts with gratitude. One way that we can show our gratitude to God is by keeping His commandments, and one of those commandments is to “Be Prepared”. We know that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear”. In this day, when the evening news is filled with reports of evil and sadness, we need to – more than ever - be sure that we are prepared. The world can be a fragile place and one never knows when our “preparedness” will be used. May we fill this season with all the gratitude we can find, and in so doing keep Gods command to Be Prepared. When we do this we will only reap more blessings… which in turn gives us more to be grateful for!

Included in this issue:
Who What When Where How? Basic Suggestions for Home Storage a list of guidelines to establilsh a home storage program.
Disaster Prep: Food and Water Safety after a Disaster: tips for food and water after flooding, taking care of food after power outage, and santitizing items.
HOT TIP: check out Wayne Whitaker's facebook page for tips on emergency preparedness and money saving ideas.
In the Southern Utah Garden: tips for end of season garden, hoses, weeds, and waht to do with leaves and fertilizer.
Coming soon to a table near you... A Preparedness Thanksgiving Dinner. A list of items that you can have in your storage that make it possible to have Thanksgiving without going to the store.
Spiritual Preparedness: The Sabbath Day. We have been asked to focus on keeping the Sabbath. Read a quote from Elder Russell M Nelson on how we can choose our activities on the sabbath. 
Cooking with Food Storage: Thanksgiving Recipes: No Fail Pie Crust, Dixie Salad, and Grandma Ballard's Thanksgiving Relish.
Parting Thought: from President Gordon B Hinckley after Sept. 11, 2001 on preparedness and these perilous times.

Click here to download a complete copy of the November 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 2015

Click here to download a complete copy of October 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Fall is in the air! It is a favorite time of year for many. The harvest is in, the yard work has slowed, and the shelves are lined with fresh bottled goods. It is a great time to relax a little and enjoy the fruits of a summer’s labor. Fall is also when the LDS General Conference time rolls around and a great time for us to take stock of our spiritual preparedness. As we bask in the glow of the autumn leaves, let us soak up the spiritual enlightenment that is also available. Nights are a little longer, so perhaps we can use that time to add to the spiritual part of our life.  Let us review both the shelves that are lined with temporal preparedness, and the testimony within that is our spiritual preparedness.  As we are prepared in both aspects we will find the peace that preparedness and obedience brings.

Included in this months newsletter:
72 Hour Kit Food: Ideas for food in your kit and church guidelines for a kit.
An Encouragine Word: Quotes from past general authorities about home storage and priorities.
Provident Living: Homemade Halloween Makefup, starting on Christmas, and limiting shopping trips.
In the Southern Utah Garden: Ideas to harvest before frost, store green tomatoes, clean old plants, till garden, flowers, weed killer, tools insulate crops, and garden seeds!
Disaster Prep: an inventory sheet for extended family or neighbors to help pull together during a crisis and help each other out.
Cooking with Food Storage: Make your own graham Crackers and Wheat Thins with these recipes.
The Nuts and Bolts of Home Storage: Seven items to cover as you establish and add to a successful home storage program.

Click here to download a complete copy of October 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Monday, August 31, 2015

September 2015

Click here to download a complete copy of September 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

September is a favorite month for many: it brings cooling temperatures and the harvest begins to wind up. What a satisfying feeling to see the freshly bottled produce lining the storage shelves. Some are still enjoying their garden and looking forward to a fall harvest. Let us each be sure to finish the summer strong. If you meant to do some canning, there is still much available. Fall case lot sales will soon arrive to help you fill your shelves. September is also National Preparedness Month. We have been encouraged to make a plan to stay safe and communicate in case of a disaster. Floods, fires, winds, power outages or water disruption are happening all over this land - and we never know when an earthquake might hit. But, as with all things, if we are prepared we need not fear.  We can focus this month on finishing the harvest and making a plan for emergencies. Then we will know- like the song says – all is safely gathered in. What a peaceful feeling to know YOU are prepared!

Included in this newsletter:
First Aid Tips - the best first aid is prevention! In case of an accident here are a few tips for your first aid kit and protocol. (Burns, Sprains, Bleeding, CPR, and Injuries).
A Blast from the Past: Quotes that have warned us for years to Be Prepared from church leaders.
Provident Living: A penny saved is a penny earned - so try these cost cutters to help keep you and yours clean.
In the Southern Utah Garden: ideas for September planting, leaving carrots and onions in the ground, planting fruit trees, taking care of weeds, lawn fertilizing and flowers.
Disaster Prep: Have a drill, get your 72 hour kit together, and do an earthquake "Tie down" in your home.
Modern Root Cellar: turn a window well into a root cellar. Tips on storing items there.
Fall Harvest Canning: Prickly Pear Jelly, Zucchini Pickle Relish, and Dried Swiss Chard.

Click here to download a complete copy of September 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Friday, July 31, 2015

August 2015

Click here for a complete copy of the August 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.

The warm sultry days of August are upon us. The days are getting a little shorter – which gives some reprieve from the heat. The efforts of spring planting are now realized as we fill our tables with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers or even another squash dish! If we are wise we are putting some in jars for the winter goodness of spaghetti sauce, pickles, or the fresh taste of green beans. Each family has their own favorites. What a blessing to be able to store up for a winter (or rainy) day. The cherries and apricots have come and gone, and peaches, apples and pears are making their debut. What will you do with the opportunity before you to harvest and prepare for the future?  We never know which harvest may be our last for a season. Let us use what the good Lord has provided and find a way to get a little more prepared and provide for our loved ones. There is no time like the present! Take advantage of it today!

Included in this month's newsletter:
Practicing Preparedness: Summertime Fun! The summer is not over yet. Use the time left to practice preparedness: Go camping, keep BBQ Fuel on hand, Use Kid Activities to make preparedness items, try new items on the BBQ, rotate water on plants, Road Trip restock, solar cooking, canning, clothes line useage, sleep under the stars.
Disaster Prep - what level are you? Criteria for a level 0 (every emergency is a disaster) to level 5 (can survive indefinitely)
In the Southern Utah Garden: Fall planting, weeds, apple spray, picking pears, scarab beetle, squash bugs, diseased tomato, corn harvest.
It's Freezing in August: Freezing produce tips, things to try and freezer useage tips.
Spiritual Preparedness: Quote from Henry B Eyring on preparing spiritually for the last days.

Click here for a complete copy of the August 2015 Back to Basics Newsletter.