Getting Started

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  • #53603

    Hi Icefire,
    Truth to tell unless hard pressed WTSHTF I couldn’t kill a thing as of now, totally a city boy and the wife would look at me with tears and that would do it. I do fish and eat the catch.. So that will have to suffice for now.

    #53604
    D_Loki
    Participant

    When stuck for space or in a rental unit, consider container gardening. You can grow almost anything using buckets, old coffee cans etc. Small window boxes are great for herb gardens, as well as lending a fresh scent to your kitchen.

    And BTW Since I posted before reading all posts, you can find a new entry I added for getting started prepping overall and not for simply starting with food. [remembering Mom’s fav phrase, “Don’t open your mouth til you are sure there isn’t crap on the spoon” or on other temr “Look before you leap” LMAO].

    #53605
    Chuckd
    Member

    Very good advice. I also look at what we eat and I try to grow these items in our garden. Buy the seeds it talks to fix your meals the same way you do today.

    #53606
    Wingnut
    Member

    About the prescription medications- Most people who have insurance plans know that the insurance will not allow repeated refills all at once, but most will allow a refill after 21 or 22 days. Therefore if you are getting 30 days worth of medication per refill you can accumulate one week of medication per month. Stretching out the math means that if you are militant about getting the refills ASAP each month you can have an extra 3 months of medication on hand after only one year.

    By U.S. law any medication dispensed as a prescription must be labelled as expiring in one year, however the stock bottles they come out of often have expiration dates of 2-3 years. Even then prescription medications lose potency, they do not “turn into” poison or anything harmful. the only exception to that is that when aspirin breaks down one of the by-products is vinegar.

    Anyway back to expiration dates. The theory behind the shortened expiration dates once the customer/patient takes the medication is that they won’t store it under “proper” conditions and therefore it should be discarded after one year.

    So, proper conditions are; 70-77 degrees Fahrenheit, dark area (no bright sunlight!), most of all no moisture. Storing your medications in your bathroom medicine cabinet is actually not a great idea because of the humidity. Any tablets that are discolored, moldy, or crumbly should be discarded immediately mainly due to the possibility of bacterial or other contamination.

    Hope this helps.

    #53607
    kymber
    Member

    who needs moderators when the “peeps” are this capable???? thanks for making my job this easy guys and gals….sorry for the interruption!

    #53608
    IceFire
    Moderator

    @Wingnut wrote:

    …Even then prescription medications lose potency, they do not “turn into” poison or anything harmful. the only exception to that is that when aspirin breaks down one of the by-products is vinegar…

    One other MAJOR exception to this is tetracycline. When tetracycline breaks down, it DOES become toxic. There was a case back in the mid 90’s of a dentist who accidentally killed his entire family by giving them expired tetracycline–they had all been ill with colds, and this moron decided to “help” them out by giving them some old tetracycline that he had at his office. The case was written up in JAMA–the Journal of the American Medical Association. I read about it when I worked at the vet clinic on base over in Germany–the vet had us all read it.

    #53609
    Legacy
    Member

    Like others have said, “a few cans at a time” builds up faster than you think. It works! One thing I haven’t seen mentioned (although maybe it was and I missed it–veeery possible!) is a few GOOD can openers. I bought one cheap spare to go with my good one we use all the time. My good one broke, and within a month, my “spare” broke. Most cans these days come with the pop-top lids, but some don’t. Canned food does no good if you can’t get to the food inside. 😆 Get a few good ones set back. Who knows, might be quite the hot barter item some day.

    #53610
    IceFire
    Moderator

    In addition to regular can openers, but for EVERY can that has a plastic lid for resealing (especially for the long-term storage stuff, I slip a miltary p-38 can opener under the plastic lid, so each can has an opener. I also have a LOT of extra p-38s down in my food storage area (Got a pack of 100 for $20–I’ll have enough can openers for a LONG time–also gives me extras to trade to people who DON’T have can openers)

    #53611
    Wingnut
    Member

    @IceFire wrote:

    @Wingnut wrote:

    …Even then prescription medications lose potency, they do not “turn into” poison or anything harmful. the only exception to that is that when aspirin breaks down one of the by-products is vinegar…

    One other MAJOR exception to this is tetracycline. When tetracycline breaks down, it DOES become toxic. There was a case back in the mid 90’s of a dentist who accidentally killed his entire family by giving them expired tetracycline–they had all been ill with colds, and this moron decided to “help” them out by giving them some old tetracycline that he had at his office. The case was written up in JAMA–the Journal of the American Medical Association. I read about it when I worked at the vet clinic on base over in Germany–the vet had us all read it.

    Actually that was one lot (or batch) only that it happened with. When they tried to replicate it, several times, the tetracycline didn’t turn to anything poisonous. It was theorized later that the tetracycline in that case may have been contaminated with something else.

    All that being said tetracycline is not used anywhere near as much as before so it’s probably not a problem, but if your unsure then skip the tetracycline.

    #53612
    roolu
    Member

    Can openers! Excellent idea. I had not considered that one at all. I have one in my BOB, but no other extras other than that one. So then should scissors be added as well? I know alot of people store up on cheap fabric and thread when they find them on clearance. Never know when you have to make your own clothing.

    #53613
    IceFire
    Moderator

    I keep a small set of folding scissors (as part of a sewing kit) in each BOB. Nothing worse than ripping your clothes or losing a button in an embarrasing location and not having the means to repair it. I’ve stashed away a LOT of fabric on clearance, and not just cheap stuff, but stuff that has some durability, as well.(Last count is about 20 rubbermaid storage containers full of fabric, sorted by fabric type and color.) I quilt, so know that we’ll always have plenty of warm blankets!

    #53614
    Muzhik
    Member

    I love the idea about using the can labels to keep inventory! I just finished doing an inventory, and already it’s out of date.

    I’ve been buying batteries to make sure I have enough of the right type. The thing is, I wound up buying a bunch of D and C batteries that were in 2 and 4 packs. They all had long plastic heads for hanging on the display rack, and those head were eating up space in my storage box. This last weekend, I took my exacto knife, cut off the plastic heads, taped the batteries into the plastic “shell” that made up the package, and labeled each “pack” with the battery’s “best by” date. I managed to reduce the amount of space needed so all my batteries now fit in a shoebox.

    #53615
    Muzhik
    Member

    I have some info to share, and I’m not quite sure how to do it. Last year, for reasons to long to go into here, I needed to set up food caches in two locations. They had to have at least 30 days of food for at least 3 people (although there could be only 1 or 2 there). I was ripping my hair out trying to figure out how much food was needed and of what kind.

    I finally found some sources that let me calculate how much food was recommended for one person in one day. I got both minimum and recommended amount, and how to calculate them. I put them into a document that listed the types of food (Bread, Vegetable, Fruit, Milk (Dairy), and Protein) and how much of that type was one serving. Using that, I was able to calculate the amount of food you need to set aside to feed X number of people for Y days.

    I would like to share that document here, but I’m not sure of the best way to do it. Any clues?

    #53616
    Muzhik
    Member

    I gave up on trying to post my document here. I’m just going to copy and paste the info into this message. I put the list together to figure out how many things to buy to feed one person for 30 days. Once you know that, you can increase the amount depending on the number of people you’re planning to shelter for those 30 days. The information is based the present nutritional guidelines.

    DAILY NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

    Amount Needed For 1 Serving:

    Bread: 1 slice bread, 1/2 C oatmeal, cooked cereal, rice, or pasta
    Vegetable: 1/2 C chopped vegetable
    Fruit: 1 medium apple, 1/2 C chopped fruit, 3/4 C juice
    Milk: 1 C milk or yogurt, 1-1/2 oz cheese
    Protein: 2-3 oz meat, 1 egg, 1/2 C cooked beans, 2T peanut butter

    NUMBER OF SERVINGS PER DAY, MINIMUM AND RECOMMENDED
    Min Rec
    B 6 9
    V 3 4
    F 2 3
    M 2-3 2-3
    P 1 2
    Fat 53 73 (grams)
    Sugar 24 48 (grams)
    1,600 2,200 Total Calories

    These serving sizes are for adults. For small children or adolescents, adjust the amounts accordingly.

    MIN AND REC NUMBER OF SERVINGS (1 PERSON, 30 DAYS)
    B 180 270
    V 90 120
    F 60 90
    M 60-90 60-90
    P 30 60

    Multiply the above amounts by the number of people to arrive at the total number of servings you’ll need for 30 days:

    		# of people (recommended servings)
    3 4 5
    B 810 1080 1350
    V 360 480 600
    F 270 360 450
    M 270 360 450
    P 180 240 300

    When calculating servings of canned foods, note the serving size on the can. Most cans (beans, fruit, etc.) have about 3.5 servings; some, though, have only 2. Each Snack Pack pudding counts as 1 Milk and has half your daily requirement of sugar. In addition to powdered milk, pack some small cans of evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. The evaporated milk can be added to the powdered milk to improve the flavor; while the condensed milk can be used as a topping on fruit.

    Pancake syrup doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Better yet, get molasses — it has other nutrients, and mixed with hot water makes a flavorful “tea” for bedtime. Also buy local honey. The “national” brands have been buying their honey from China, and have had problems with getting honey-flavored corn syrup instead.

    Don’t forget to include things like pop tarts and other “comfort foods”, as well as soap, toothpaste and new brushes, deodorant, and cologne or perfume. These things can be a big moral booster during hard times. Also don’t forget salt, vinegar, bleach (NOT scented), and baking soda. Stock up on herbs and spices — changing the spices can make that third meal of beans more palatable.

    Rice can be better to pack than pasta, since it takes less water to cook. Try to get some canola or olive oil in your fats, as these add nutrients not available in corn or vegetable oil. Look in Eastern or health food markets for ghee, which is shelf-stable butter (or read how to make it yourself online).

    To give you an idea of how much food this is, a 5# bag of rice has about 45 servings, a small canister of oatmeal has about 15 servings, a box of crackers has about 30 servings as does a box of baking mix. (Get the kind where you only add water, unless you have a supply of eggs.)

    So for one person, a recommended amount of food for 30 days would be:
    10 lbs of rice,
    2 canisters of oatmeal,
    2 boxes of crackers,
    2 boxes of baking mix
    8 lbs of pasta
    40 cans of vegetables
    20 cans of fruits
    5 lbs of dried fruits (raisins, dates, etc.)
    1 large box powdered milk
    12 pudding packs
    3 lbs dried beans (different types)
    5 cans tuna
    5 cans chicken breast
    5 cans spam
    2 40oz jars peanut butter
    1 large bottle of canola oil
    1 large bottle vegetable oil

    Multiply this by the number of people you will be sheltering.

    Don’t forget water. The government says to allot 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person per day, but that’s for everything: drinking, washing, brushing teeth, etc. If you’re willing to forgo the washing for a while, you can get by on 2 quarts (2 liters) per person per day. Don’t forget water and food for pets, if needed. You may want to invest in a water purification system.

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