After having many people ask for the newsletters I have compiled each month as my church's preparedness specialist, I decided to find a way they could easily access them. It was suggested I set up a blog. So this is the beginnings of just such a blog. I will be adding a newsletter each month, and see where it takes me as time goes along. I hope if someone has suggestions or questions they will comment so this will truly help us all to live providently and be prepared. (Note: garden tips are for Southern Utah area - you may need to adjust according to your area's climate.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 2014

July is the month we celebrate our freedom on “Independence Day”. It is also the month we celebrate “Pioneer Day” and commemorate the coming of the pioneers into Utah – where the early Mormon settlers would finally find religious freedom. Freedom is something we should be very grateful for, but often take for granted. Living in this great “promised land” (1 Nephi 2:20) provides us with the opportunity to do and be almost anything we set our minds to. That freedom also includes the ability to provide for our own, and to set aside for a rainy day. (In some countries they are not allowed to store food or they may be charged with hoarding.) We live in a world full of ups and downs politically and socially. Yet we each have the freedom to worship in this great land as well as provide for our families. Remember that Luke 6:46 asks us: “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”  We have been admonished to be prepared! May we so be!

In this newsletter:
Survival Preparation: Workout! It is important to have some sort of regular physical fitness routine to keep us all in good health, but have you thought of how your physical fitness could affect your ability to survive an emergency? We need to be in "good shape" to save ourselves and help others.
Family Emergency Planning: a simple emergency plan may include a 3 month supply of food that is a part of your normal diet, drinking water, financial reserves, longer term basic food supply, medication and first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, important documents, and ways to communicate with family following a disaster.
Hot Tip: plan your meals around your food storage to save money. Shopping for a menu can increase your grocery bill.
Spiritual Preparedness: Boyd K Packer advises the safe way to make it in troubled times.
In the Southern Utah Garden: fall planting for July, weeds, watering tips - how often and how much, and spraying for bugs.
Stocking up Options: Use it or Lose it: We have a home storage Center close by with many very economical items to fill your food storage room with. For only $100 you can buy 8 bags (25 lbs each) of basic and delicious food storage items. If we do not use the center, we may lose it!
Non-food Storage:Storing non-food items is important to ensure comfort, convenience and preparedness. Consider your basic equipment, bedding, clothing, fuel, paper products, cleaning supplies, light and cooking, tools and first Aid.
Thought for the Day:Henry David Thoreau determined during his time at Walden Pond the four things a man really needs: Food, Clothing, Shelter and Fuel. We can focus on simplifying our lives.

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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June 2014

Summer is here and with it come the many activities we love as well as a great time for adding to our preparedness. We can freeze or bottle the produce from our gardens and orchards, take advantage of some camping to check our emergency supplies, (see Disaster Prep), or use the lazy days of summer to learn something new (see “Preparedness – Education Style”). June is a great month to put the long daylight hours to good use and extend the preparedness we have already established. Every month we need to do an assessment of what we have and need and where we are going with our preparedness plans. Brushing up on plans, adding monthly to the storage shelves, and being aware of our family needs help us make preparedness a way of life. If preparedness is a way of life, it will not be difficult to respond to whatever life will throw at us. ”Where preparations are being made there will be little difficulty, but where no preparation has been made, suffering and difficulties will come.” (Welfare Ag. Conference 1970). May we all be blessed with little difficulty. Remember the 6 P’s: ”Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

In this Issue:
Food Storage: A Budget Tool. Are you losing money with your food storage?
Disaster Prep: Evacuation Preparation: Camping supplies to use in a disaster, trying some outdoor cooking, and info for solar cooking.
In the Southern Utah Garden: Planting corn, pole beans and pumpkins for a fall harvest, weeds, newspaper mulch, thinning and spraying fruit, picking your garden and pruning.
Preparedness - Education Style: Ideas to continue learning this summer: garden, animals, baking, journal, reading, chores and more.
Spiritual Preparedness: Henry B. Eyring quote on strengthening and refreshing our faith: four ways to strengthen your capacity to know and obey the Lord's commands.

Click here to view a complete copy of June 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 2014

May is such a busy time of year for many people. School is winding down, baseball is in full swing, gardens need to be planted, lawns fertilized, and weeds eradicated while young. In all the “hustle and bustle” of spring, let us include in our goings and comings our continued effort to be prepared. When you empty the gas can into the lawn mower, be sure to refill it that day - so you are ready with extra gas for an emergency. While you are at the gas station, keep the family car’s gas tank above a half tank. As you plant the garden, be sure you put in enough to put some up in canning jars or freezer bags. (And some to share!) When you grocery shop, buy an extra of a few items on the list for the storage room.  As we go throughout our regular day to day lives, we can make preparedness a part of each day. Preparedness is truly a way of life. It is a mindset. It is not something we work on once a month, or quarter, or year! Once we begin to incorporate “preparedness” into each day, it will become a part of the tapestry of your normal family living. “May” you add to your preparedness status as you enjoy “May” and live life!

Included in this month's newsletter:
Sanitation Preparation: In emergencies "being prepared" includes the ability to keep things sanitary. Here are some tips to keep things clean! (Water, disposing of human wast, garbage, things to store.)
In the Southern Utah Garden: planting, weeds, water, fertilizer and poison application tips.
Provident Living: Five Cost cutters for your everyday life.
Drying Food Storage: vegetables and fruits to dry this summer.
Spiritual Preparedness: Quotes by Neil L. Andersen (Whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary) and Robert D Hales (Be careful who you follow).
Five Principles of Economic Constancy - how to make it in a fragile economy.

Click here to download a complete copy of the May 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

April 2014

Children have always chanted that “April Showers bring May Flowers”. This year we surely hope so! Many parts of the western United States are in a severe drought and stand in great need of rain. So often we become accustomed to “good weather” we forget the necessity of rain clouds showering down and snow packed mountains giving us spring run-off to resupply our aquifers and springs as well as rivers and streams. (In the desert “good weather” is also rainy weather!) Truly these are the life blood of the desert. The lack of moisture in the west can ultimately affect the produce availability in our grocery stores. This springtime offers a great opportunity to become a little more self-sufficient – especially in the event food availability does become limited! Plant a garden, be vigilant in your personal family preparation, make a plan and involve the entire family as you implement it. Marion G Romney once said “We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.” (April 1975) Let us be certain that our April showers – and work - bring forth May flowers - and peas – and other summer fruits and veggies! No one knows when they will need to be more self-sufficient, but as an old saying tells us “There’s no time like the present”.

                  Included in this month's newsletter:
Spring into action: April is time to rotate 72 hour kits and water storage, and test smoke and Carbon Dioxide Alarms.
72 Hour Kits: If you do not have one - NOW is the time to get one. A list of items to include.
In the Southern Utah Garden: items to plant, lawn treatment, Malathion and Borer spray, fertilizing, weed killer.
Cooking with Food Storage: recipes for Graham Crackers and Wheat Thins.
Provident Living: Double Duty. Items to store that have multiple uses: from cooking and cleaning to medicinal and yard.
Spiritual Preparedness: quote by Marvin J Ashton - "We are living in a time of urgency...."

Click here for a complete copy of the April 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 2014

Spring is “Marching” right in! Whether it is a lamb or a lion sometimes seems to depend on whether it is the morning or afternoon.  You just have to be prepared for whatever kind of a day Mother Nature throws at you. This sounds a lot like our family and personal preparedness. We really do not know how or when our “preparedness” will be used – we just need to be prepared for anything!!  You may use your food storage in an economic slump, a power outage, a truckers strike or even a drought that affects food supplies. It may be something you use for a day, or a week or longer. Really, being prepared should just be a “way of life” so that whatever comes your way is only a bump in the road and not a major crash. Let’s use this month to “march” our way into a greater level of preparedness.

Included in this month's newsletter:
Just in Case - tips for purchasing case lot sales this spring
Disaster Prep: Matchless! storing matches in our food and 72 hour kit storage.
In the Southern Utah Garden: seeds to plant this month, transplanting tips, time for bare roots, new seeds and plants moist, dividing flowers, clean up, pruning shrubs.
Cooking with Food Storage: grain to grain ratios for cooking a variety of grains.
Provident Living for Spring!  Storing gas, homemade ice packs, organic pest control from egg shells and Poor Mans Tupperware!
Spiritual Preparedness: Oil in your lamps - spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.

Click here for a complete copy of March 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Friday, January 31, 2014

February 2014

February brings with it great promises of spring. In southern Utah the bees begin buzzing, and the daffodils poke their heads out to welcome the warmer weather. The world wakes up – flowers, grass, trees, and even the little crawling insects will soon begin to emerge from their winter rest. We all know that there will be cold days and nights ahead. That is the nature of spring – unpredictable! So it is with the world that we live in today: very unpredictable. We have seen a great increase in disasters and need for preparedness and service. Let us use this springtime – a time of new life – to breathe fresh air into our preparedness efforts. Like the ant spoken of in Proverbs… “Go to the ant…consider her ways and be wise! Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler – provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6: 6-8) We can learn from the tiniest insects around us to BE PREPARED! Let us use this beautiful spring time to do a little better!

Included in this month's newsletter:
Storing and Using Bulk Items - storing large amounts to use from, refill shelf, optimum storage ideas.
Pocket First Aid Kit - a mini survival kit or for a school backpack.
In the Southern Utah Garden - Fertilizer tips, pruning tips, dormant spray, cold weather planting, rotate garden plan,
Disaster Prep: Earthquakes - A list of things you need to make a plan for in case of earthquakes. Precautions to take before, during and after the quake.
Spiritual Preparedness - Henry B Eyring quot on another even more important preparation.
Provident Living - time proven adages our grandmothers lived by we can apply today to our lives.

Click here for a complete copy of February 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2014

Old man 2013 has left us and baby 2014 has arrived! It is hard to believe - time seems to fly by faster each year. Our 2013 year was full of amazing events: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and even a record breaking winter storm and low temperatures right here at home! There was the government shutdown, new laws, unemployment, and more. All around us we can see reasons to be prepared! We just never know what is around the corner. It is important to remember – it is never too late to start or continue your work on preparedness. As this New Year gets into full swing, let us sit down and make some plans for our preparedness. Let us set goals that will protect and care for us and our loved ones. 
To “Be Prepared” is a noble and worthy new year’s resolution!

Included in this month's newsletter:
New Year - Old List: list of basics for long term food storage, & five things a successful storage depends on.
Cooking with Food Storage: Using basics from your food storage for hearty winter eating: Chili beans, Corn Bread, Homemade Bread, Granola Recipe, Carmel Corn Recipe.
Spiritual Preparedness: Self Reliant quotes by Thomas S Monson and Robert D Hales.
In the Southern Utah Garden: planning, working the soil and pruning.
Disaster Prep: Emergency sources of water-boiling, plumbing system and SODIS.
Provident Living: summary of the book "The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me" by Richard Paul Evans. 

Click here for a complete copy of the January 2014 Back To Basics Newsletter.