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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hostage Situation

A situation took place in which people found themselves suddenly being held against their will. From having coffee and enjoying their day they suddenly became hostages. This situation can happen to anyone of us at any time. I will not discuss the politics of this situation neither will I discuss why these situations happen. Let us focus on what you or a loved one can do if caught in one of these situations.

Once you are stuck, the time to run has passed and you realize what is happening, become invisible. Do not obviously look around. Do not do anything to draw attention to you. Submit, submit the way a dog would! Put your head down, tuck your tail and realize YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL ANY LONGER.

The first few minutes of these situations can be very violent. Be prepared to be struck, screamed at, have guns put into your face and probably ordered or thrown to the ground. Raise your hands, if you can cover your head and do what they tell you to. Survive for another moment in time.

After these several moments or minutes of chaos the bad guys will feel they have dominated the room, everyone knows they are in charge and the bad guys believe there is no threat to them. At this point odds are the bad guys will try to organize the scene. This might include separating people in to groups, tying people up and setting the scene until they are comfortable with what is going on. Do what they tell you to do! Become invisible do not stand out in any way!

Do not pose a threat to them, look down, do not make eye contact with them. Physically and mentally make yourself little. Slouch your shoulders, curve your back, and try to appear defeated. Cry if you have to but attempt to gain control of yourself as quickly as you can. Being the only one crying makes you stand out. Be scared, this is a scary moment in your life. Embrace your fear and project it. Let them feel it, smell it and understand you are not a threat.

Now the waiting begins. Plan on being where you are for a very long time. If you think a day is a long time, plan on being there a month. If you think a month is long, plan on being there six months. Mentally prepare for the long haul. If you can, make yourself comfortable without becoming a threat to the bad guys. Should you have anything on you which might offend or threaten the bad guys carefully get rid of it. Maybe you are a postman and you are in uniform. The bad guys are anti-government, guess who represents the government? Ditch any signs of authority, pins, hats, jackets along with anything you do not need which could give them a reason to single you out. Are they making demands or statements about the economically disadvantaged? Is that watch you got for your birthday real expensive? Maybe it would be better inside your pocket right now? Do everything you can to blend in to the wood work!!! Give them nothing to draw attention to you or focus on you in any way.

Know that while you are scared and adjusting to your new situation in life, others are coming to help you. When the authorities arrive they bring along people willing to do whatever it takes to bring you out alive. It takes time for them to figure out what is happening and what resources they need to bring. Plan on the situation changing as negotiations are established between the bad guys and the people trying to help you. As the minutes tick by remember people are working to help you. You probably will not see them because if you see them the bad guys can see them but know they are out there!!

Should you be able to escape or are freed for some reason come out of the area with your hands up, listen to the authorities and do what they tell you! Remember they are scared also! Make sure you follow their commands, even if they restrain you, search you and man handle you. Stay calm they will figure it out. As soon as they can they will put you in touch with your family. Almost every group will bring people whose only job is to make sure you speak to your family ASAP once out of the danger.

Medical personal will check you and then a very important part comes. The tactical element will want to talk to you. They need to talk to you; you know things they need to know! Do not get upset if they are gruff or scary looking. These are the good guys! Take a moment, take a deep breath and remember how scared you were when you were in the danger area. Now think of those people still in danger. Something you know might help bring them to safety. Tell the tactical guys everything you remember. Ever thing your senses told you while you were in the danger area. Every sight, smell, touch and feeling you had. Let them know everything, everything is important to them. Do not think you should only tell them what you think they want to know. Tell them everything! Did one of the bad guys smell like cigarettes? Did one of them sound like they had a cold? Everything matters and you could save a life with your information.

If you are in the danger area when the tactical team makes entry there are two ways they can do it. The team can sneak in or come in dynamically. A dynamic entry is noisy, violent and downright scary. The entry is supposed to be. Distraction devices will rock your body to the core and will shock you if you have never been around them. Drop to the ground or if on the ground curl up into a ball and wait. DO NOT STAND UP; DO NOT RUN AT THE PEOPLE COMING IN!! STAY DOWN AND DO NOT BE A THREAT. In order to take control of the area back from the bad guys the people coming to help you need to be as violent as or more violent than the bad guys.

Wait until directed to move. They need to positively identify who the bad guys and good guys are. Do what you’re directed to do. You might not be able to hear anything but ringing, there might be smoke or flashes robbed you of your vision for a moment. Tell the team, point to your ear if they are yelling at you and say “I cannot hear you”. They will understand. You will be lead out of the area and go through the same process as if you had been released earlier. Go with the flow; let them know if you are injured. Plan on giving a statement before you can go home. Why? Because they want to make sure they got every bad guy and helped everyone in the danger area. Maybe you are the only one who seen a person who locks themselves in somewhere?

To fight or not to fight? I intentionally have not addressed this. Some people will tell you to fight the bad guys if you get a chance, some will say to never fight. Each situation is different and no suggestion on when or how will be given here. Why? Because we should never judge the actions of someone else caught in this type of situation. Making a judgment is too easy from the couch!!!!!! Should you decide to fight or are forced to…………. Do not go into to the fight half way. Go into action firmly planning to kill the bad guy!!! Only going into the fight with this mind set will you be able deal with the situation. Should you not need to kill the bad guy you can dial down the force. You will not have time to dial up the level of your force if in the middle of the fight you realize you have not brought enough in the first seconds!!!!

I hope none of us every have to deal with a situation like this in our lives! If you do remember people are coming to help and never lose faith! They are working to get you out!!

As always,

Stay Safe!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Travel

With this being the time of year some of us will be traveling to spend time with family and friends it is a good time to practice some of our planning skills and hopefully make the trip the best we can. Where do we start with the planning? If your trip is just across town or several hours away a simple concept will go a long way in making sure the trip comes off without a hitch.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

The holidays can be stressful enough already and travelling to celebrate with your loved ones is a big part of the stress. Of course spending time with relatives can be the biggest part of the stress; let’s deal with the part we can do something about.

Make a list, make a schedule and make plans to be flexible to changing situations. The sooner you start with the Prior Planning the easier the actual “doing” is going to be. A good suggestion is to start planning a week before you plan on leaving. Sit down with a piece of paper and write down what it is you are trying to do. At the top of the piece of paper write a cool or funny name for the plan.

“Operation Grandma’s House” or “Invasion of the In-Law’s House”

Starting with a fun name kind of sets the tone for the trip! Then go to the bottom of the page and write what time you want to arrive. Leave plenty of room between the top and the bottom; this is the area we will fill in with details. Now you have a “MISSION” and a deadline!!!

If we are driving we know how long the trip should take on a normal day. Block out those hours right above the time of arrival. We know holiday travel takes longer than travel on an average day, add an extra two hours. This is your estimated time of arrival and the extra time gives us time to deal with any issues which might come up. We need to plan in this extra time all along the planning of this trip, why? Because someone is lurking in the shadows waiting for you to give him an opening………. This evil doer is known as Mr. Murphy, of Murphy’s Law fame.

Do not think for one moment he will not show up at the worst moment and remind you of your failure to properly prepare. He gets paid to do this and Mister Murphy is really good at his job!!! We must be better than him or at least make Mr. Murphy earn his pay by not giving him anything easy to work with!!

If you are travel more than two hours or with small children plan on taking a break from driving. Two hours or less is a good point to plan on taking breaks, maybe an hour and half works for you better but try not to go too far over two hours of driving time without a break. This allows you stretch your legs, get some blood flowing and helps you stay alert while driving. With planned breaks you also have minor goals to reach which you can judge your progress with.

From the block of time designated for driving block out a section of time for getting gas, last restroom attempt and buying snacks for the drive. This will be the last stop before you hit the road, add ten minutes to how ever long you think this will take and make sure you run down your list while filling up the gas tank to make sure you have everything. Now would be the time to realize you have forgot something, you are still close enough to the house to go back and get whatever you forgot.

Above the getting gas section, block out a section for loading the car. This can take a while and is a crucial section of our planning. You really only get one good shot at this so give yourself extra time to get it right the first time. Add an extra half hour to whatever time you first wrote down, even after reading this and figuring the extra half hour in. Because you thought about it and in your mind you thought “I got this in one hour!” as you wrote the time down. That thinking is exactly what Mr. Murphy is waiting for!!!

Getting toward the top of the page the next section, block out time for organizing stuff, double checking everything, eating and getting dressed. Take the stuff you are loading into the car, set it out and package it for loading into the vehicle. Organize everything for loading based on what you will need first. These items go in last, back load the vehicle. This enables you to get to items you will need without having to dig through other stuff. Do not pack the kids snacks in the back of the van, under the suitcases and then be an hour into the trip and need them!!!! Making sure you have everything on the list is just one step, you have to intelligently load the vehicle or Mr. Murphy shows up and has a good laugh!!!

Above this block put a block for packing. This is different from when you are organizing everything to put in the vehicle. This is when you lay out the bags and load them. You should have a list before you do this (we’ll get to this block) and follow this list. If you add something not on the list write the item on this list. This way you now have a list of everything you have. Put everything inside of something to carry or move it. You do not want to just pile stuff into the back of the car!!! This just adds stress later when you are trying to find something. Having stuff in containers also helps with loading everything into the vehicle.

Almost at the top we need a block for car maintenance. If our primary mode of travel is going to be by car we need to make sure the car is going to run. Get the oil changed, pay the extra to have them check everything else and if you have a relationship with the mechanic let them know you are going on a trip. See if they recommend anything else you might need done before you go. Even if you do all the work on your own vehicles it is a good suggestion to have someone else give the vehicle a once over. Can’t hurt and really helps with keeping Mr. Murphy at bay!! The timing of this block should be several days away from the day you plan to leave. This gives you time to deal with any issue which might come up and will hopefully keep you from having to cancel the trip at the last moment!

The block at the top of the list needs to be you’re planning block and also needs to be as far away from the date you are leaving as you can put it. This is when you are going to sit down and come up with the entire list for the trip. Write the schedule out and write lists for each member of the family. Then write list for all the family items you need. Map out your trip and plan on places to stop. Make arraignments for someone to watch your apartment, stop the mail and cover all of the unique situations you have.

You should do all of your planning when you are not under any stress to get anything done. This allows you to make decisions without any stress or pressure. Once you add in either you are prone to making mistakes. Mistakes let Mr. Murphy come along for the ride!

Enjoy the holidays and as always;

Stay Safe!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2014


With the holidays quickly approaching we need to do a little planning to give and get some stuff. We should be planning on buying items for our family and friends which could help them and asking for items which could help us. Now I'm not saying to ask for twenty years of dehydrated food or to build a bunker in the backyard. Let's look and ask for items with dual purposes. Things we can use in our normal everyday life and put to service if things go bad.

Tools are an easy one. Everyone should have tools around the house, not a giant rolling tool box you could fix the space shuttle with but a basic set of tools for making minor repairs. Hammer, screw driver, tape measure and a saw are things everyone should have. Either in the garage maybe closet or a drawer in your apartment. One item you can give and ask for this holiday season is a Leatherman. They range in price but most of us do not need one with a thousand gadgets on it, just one to help us around the house.

Swiss Army knives come in all sorts of configurations and prices. Some of the lower priced ones are great stocking stuffers especially smaller ones which can be attached to key rings, attached to a zipper on a bag or to the key hook inside of a pocket which comes with every bag now days.

A good pair or two of wool socks. They are great for cold nights snuggled up on the couch and could really come in handy during a bad day. Should you suddenly find yourself without heat in the house or stuck outside for some reason you will be thankful to have wool socks!!! Even wet they are warmer then regular cotton socks!

Add some decent gloves, beanie and a jacket to items you can ask for or give during the holidays. All of these things work great day to day and are a must have if suddenly you are in a bad situation. We can also think about thermal undergarments for our loved ones and you. Even some thick PJs or a night shirt should be thought about. Buy the family that set of matching PJs you have always wanted!! Yes you have to take the group photo!!!

Ask for or give some caste iron pots and pans. They have the 'old school' look about them and can quickly be put to use during a situation. Buying them before you 'need' them also give you time to learn how to cook with cast iron, they work a little different than what you might be used to.

Might be a good time to ask for a new BBQ? Maybe you do not have one, now would be a good time to pick one up since this is not the season for them and they are cheap! Maybe ask for a smoker to learn something new or get a deep fryer to add to your abilities? Bundles of spices, utensils and other assorted items for cooking outdoors are gifts we can give and receive which will be useful during a bad day.

The idea is to pick up a few items which you can use but not to ruin the holiday by having everyone thinking about the end of the world as we know it or the zombies invading to eat everyone's brains. Really, when was the last time a group of zombies attacked? You might see one here or there but they are not really team players.

Remember the holiday season is about family, friends, being thankful for what you have, helping others and having a celebration during the winter season to remind us better things are ahead! Now make a list, buy things not emergency related, give some gifts and enjoy yourself!!!

As always,

Stay Safe.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

$20 - canned goods @ Ralph's

On a recent trip to the store with the 'list' I found everything on the 'list' then went to see what kinds of canned goods I could pick up for $20.00. (Now, nobody tell her I spent the $20.00 ok?) Here is what I picked up for UNDER $20.00:

I did not have any goal in mind, cheapest, on sale items were checked first and making sure I was getting the most I could, which would fill the belly, came second. Most of these items could be a meal by themselves or could be added to other items already at home to make a larger meal. While picking cans I made sure to get the ones with the furthest away 'best by date', were not dented and did not have an rust on the can. This is really important if the can has even a little dent, mis shape or discoloration on it, do not buy it!! Check the best by date and compare the cans to get the one with most inside. All of them have the weight printed on the side.

At the end of the trip the bill came out to $18.99. With better math skills I could have added another can to the take! Maybe next time I will use the calculator on my phone, DUH!

Tuna is good on it's own but we should think of it more as a filler for other things or as part of something else. You can add it to bread for a sandwich, into a salad, put into a sauce or a host of other meal ideas.

Potatoes can be made into items for breakfast, dinner or just eaten on their own.

There are a couple different types of vegetables included in what was bought but mixed vegetables are the ones I prefer when buying items for a bad day. The can of mixed gives you a variety of taste and nutritional value, more bang for your buck.

Each set of canned soups are good as a meal on their own. The more 'hearty' type of soups fill the bellies quicker and counting calories is not an issue during an emergency. Having a full belly is more important when you are not sure when the next meal is.

Chilli is always a belly filler. Serve it with the potatoes and the veggies, now you have a meal which will stick to the rib cage!

You can find meals children should enjoy. When you can put a few away in your storage to know you have things the kids will eat. Also we should try to get as many canned items which have meat in them to help in keeping the belly full and make sure you are getting protein when you might need it the most.

Every item in the cans can also be cooked in the can. This is a good idea if water is short, you do not have to wash pans, just throw the can away, also allows you to cook the items over a open fire. Just make sure you use a pair pliers, two sticks or something to take the cans off the fire!!! Also take the lapel off before cooking food in the can! Add a fork or spoon and you can eat right out of the can if need be.

Remember we are trying to feed ourselves and/or our family for just one more meal during an emergency! By walking down the canned food aisle we can pick up an item here or there which could make sure we can feed everyone one more meal. You do not have to spend $20.00, you spend just one or two dollars each trip. Sooner then you think you will have a cupboard full of items you can keep for awhile and make a meal if needed!

As always,

Stay safe!!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Food storage – start with staples

When we are planning for a bad day we need to set a good foundation which allows us to be flexible and adapt to changing situations. Food storage is no different. Now some of these items I will be suggesting a few of us might not consider ‘staples’. Maybe you do not eat this type of food on a regular basis. That is fine; we are not suggesting you alter your way of eating on a daily basis. What we are suggesting is you have the tools on hand to feed your family for ‘one more meal’ or even maybe have these items on hand to barter with if the situation calls for this.

The two items you should look at purchasing first are flour and rice. These are the bases for a vast majority of the world’s diet. With flour you can make several types of meals and the rice goes with just about anything. The idea here is to have items you can build up from and fill your belly. At most stores there are five pound packages of both rice and flour available. In some case you can find one pound packages for around one dollar. These can be bought, put up in the cabinet and forgot about for a while. Yes they need to be stored in a cool, dry place which is free of pest. Stored properly they can be left for extended periods of time.

Next items to look at buying are an assortment of beans. These again come in pound or larger packaging and can be picked up for around a dollar also. Along with the rice and flour you can store these in a cool, dry place the ants or rodents do not make a habit of visiting. Purchase a variety of beans to give you different tastes to work with. Any type of bean can be served with the rice and now you are really filling the belly when you need to. Add in a few bread items from the flour and now you have a decent meal. While you are picking up some beans odds are there are lentils somewhere near. Pick some of these up to make soups with. Pea soup is great on a cold evening!

Dry milk and sugar can be bought in small quantities and added to our storage. This allows us to make more items with the flour and now we can do some baking. How about some sugar cookies? Purely for morale!!! Add some oats and now you have the ability to make more items and increase your menu.

A valuable item most people do not think about is spices! With a foundation of rice and flour you can add different spices to change the flavor of your meals. Food apathy can be a real problem and spices can assist with keeping this at bay.

What is food apathy? It is when you are tired of eating the same thing over and over and over and over again. You can only eat plain white rice every day for so long before you do not want to eat another piece of rice. Changing the taste of the rice makes you want to eat more of it. If you begin to suffer from food apathy you will not eat, which leads to less energy to do things, sluggish thinking and is a spiral downward you do not want to take. Pick up a few shakers full of pepper, salt, BBQ flavoring and any other type of spice which catches your eye.

Honey is another often over looked item for food storage. You can pick up a container of honey, store it properly and just forget about it. They have found honey in ancient Egyptian burials thousands of years old and the honey is still good!!! Honey on a biscuit is a treat! The number of uses for honey is great and honey can also be used for medical purposes if you have to!!!
All of these items can also be stored long term. How to do this is the subject of a different post. For now, pick up a pound or two of staple items the next time you are at the grocery store. Remember we want to be able to feed our family for ‘just one more meal’!!!!

As always,

Stay Safe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Civil Disturbance

Here is a situation our prior planning might pay off. Why? Because with our prior planning there is a chance we are prepared for this situation.

Should you find yourself caught in a situation where the rule of law is no longer in control, avoid the situation. The mentality which takes over crowds does not care about you or your family. You might have originally been in the area or the large crowd for one reason but as soon as the crowd turns into a mob your original reason no longer matters. Mobs are a creature all its own.

A mob becomes a creature with no sense or a care in the world. Inside of the mob regular people will do things they never would do if alone. Parasites always attach themselves to the mob and take advantage of the mob. These parasites carry out acts they would never do if they did not have the mob to hide in. Mob mentality is a very dangerous thing and should never be taken as something ‘cool’ to be involved with or something to stay inside of just to see what happens.
When the crowd turns violent, toward people or property, just leave! Go home, spend time with your family and watch what happens on TV. You are just putting yourself in danger.

If you find yourself living in an area experiencing a disturbance bring your family inside, secure your doors and stay out of the way. Any possessions, cars or other items outside of your home which you can bring in, do so. The lack of a potted plant outside might stop someone from having a plant to throw through a window, maybe yours! Move what you can behind gates or maybe just behind your home. If you do not have somewhere to park your car which is more secure than the street, empty everything out of the car you are not willing to lose. In this situation there is a chance of your vehicle being damaged or destroyed along with anything inside.

When you are in a group which turns violent LEAVE! Just leave. People can be injured by flying debris, trampled by the herd mentality and even attacked for suddenly belonging or being perceived as belonging to the wrong “group”. Why would you risk injury or act as concealment for the parasites in the crowd?

During an incident, should you be caught up in the incident, listen to what any law enforcement is telling you to do. If they say leave, leave. In most cases law enforcement will give everyone a way to disperse I suggest you quickly take the opportunity when it is presented. Regardless if they are “right or wrong” do what they ask you. Remember law enforcement has a job to do, do not get arrested simply because you did not leave when told to. Who is going to take care of your family while you sit in a cell?

For those of us who have not experienced the deployment of less than lethal tools, tear gas and other types of tools. They can still hurt you badly. They are made to be less likely to cause permanent harm or death. Does not mean they won’t!!!! Tear gas is an area saturation tool and does not know who is who in a mob. Even if you are leaving the gas will affect you. Should you get a whiff expect to cough, sneeze, cry and if you get a good dose maybe throw up, feel burning, have trouble breathing and be unable to open your eyes. Remember the gas is designed to make you go away. So go away! Stay calm, DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES, this just makes it worst. Stay calm the effects run their course in a few minutes once you are out of the affected area.
Should you be struck with a less than lethal round they hurt! They are made to hurt in order to encourage you to go away. Again, stay calm and get out of the area. Should you be engaged by law enforcement give up! Batons hurt! If they attempt to arrest you do not fight. Remember they are humans also and they are subjected to the same fears you are.

Watch the news, listen to the radio and try to avoid areas being affected by the disturbance. If you drive into an area and are caught up in the crowd, do not leave your vehicle. Should the violence get to the point you are in danger even inside of the vehicle. Slowly drive away. Try to give people a chance to move out of the way! Should the threat level rise to the point of immediate threat to your life drive away quickly while still trying to not hit anyone. What you do if caught in your vehicle is completely up to you and what you are willing to do to get home. Avoidance is the key here.

With proper planning you should have alternative routes home, have several days’ worth of supplies at home and be able to stay out of danger with minimal effort. Even if the utilities are disrupted or you are unable to get to get to a store you should be alright.

Please remember there is a really good chance you will be on your own for some time during a major incident. You are responsible for you during this time. Law enforcement will be busy elsewhere and you as an individual are really not that important to the overall goal of the authorities. Might be hard to read but it is the truth. Keep yourself safe, keep your family safe and help others who are not involved in the violence.

Stay Safe!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Food Storage, what's your reason?

Food, one of the things we can go a little while without, but only a little while. Sure you can go much longer than you think or what your stomach will tell you. Only problem is the lack of food will start to bring down your abilities in all areas and soon you are in a downward spiral which could prove fatal. The first thing you have to ask yourself when planning your food storage is "what is the best use of my limited resources?"

The best way is to first ask 'What are you planning for?' Is it a blizzard, earthquake, tornado or maybe the loss of a job? All these things are equally important to plan for. Are you planning on the food being mobile or are you planning on being at home?

While we plan we should plan to cover as many situations as we can by having tools or options which can cover multiple situations. Options which give us flexibility and the ability to adapt to anything we face. Some of these things we can easily do with food but some situations or specifically your situation might need specialized answers to what you face.

“One more meal.” We need to focus on feeding ourselves and loved ones one meal at a time; this will bring what could be an overwhelming task down to a manageable level. Where to start? The simplest way to start is to buy more of what your family already eats. Buy two of what your family already eats.

Take cereal for the kids, they eat one box a week? If you have the money buy two boxes instead of the one. Now your kids have cereal for two weeks. The next week you buy two again, now your kids have cereal for a month!!!! This is an easy way to start and I would strongly suggest everyone start with this method. What if we do not have the money? We need to still be able to supply our family with just “One more meal.” Let’s look at some options.

We can buy cases of MREs, dehydrated food or maybe bulk cases of food? Each has a benefit and a limitation. The first for all of these is cost. It can cost a lot to buy enough of any of these items to feed your family and I would suggest we start on the cheap!

Serving size is also a major issue when you start discussing food for a bad day. Now some folks need more and some need less. Let’s be honest, some people need a lot less but when a bad day comes is not the time to suddenly ‘get healthy’! You will have enough to worry about and adding a sudden drop to your calorie intake is not a good idea. In fact you might find yourself needing to burn more calories during an incident then what you are used to!!! You might have to shovel snow, cut up a downed tree or a host of other demanding tasks.

Top Ramen can be bought by the pack of six at the dollar store. That is six meals you can provide your family for a dollar!!!! it is cheap and easy to make. As some of you already know you can live on Top Ramen if you have to!! The trick here is to realize one package of Top Ramen is enough to feed one person for one meal. If stored properly Top Ramen will last a very long time.

Another item which will last a long time if stored properly is canned soups, chili and other canned items. These will last well beyond their best by date. Now depending on your family make up and needs a simple can of chili can count as a meal for one person or one meal for two people. You can also buy an assortment of items stored in cans. Everything from soups, meat and vegetables can be bought canned. An entire meal can be had out of what you can buy canned.

You can also purchase MREs and Dehydrated foods to fit the bill for your emergency needs. These are more expensive than what you can get at the grocery store when buying dry goods or canned goods. An obvious benefit with these two options is they are easier to carry around if you have to go and in this case the meals are already prepared. Usually water is the only item you need to add.

One MRE can have enough calories to carry you through a day. That is if you are not doing much physical activity during the day. Sure you might be hungry but if you spread out the time between eating each item in the MREs you can live off one a day. They also have the benefits of being highly mobile, an assortment of dishes and a large amount of items packed into one package. The downside, the are expensive, might not cover any special needs and give people a false sense of having found the answer to the problem. Like all the other options here the MRE does not cover every situation you might face and simply stuffing your closet full of them is not the best answer. (little side note; I can tell you from experience even with the assortment of meal types MREs get tiresome day after day!)

Dehydrated meals are another option people use for the answer to their planning needs. Most of these types of meals are made for hikers or camping, they are portable and need little else besides water to prepare. A major issue with these is there serving size. In most cases the serving size is listed as ‘one cup’.

For most of us one cup might not be enough to satisfy our hunger. Sure you can do the math and say this item has the recommended amount of calories but have you seen how much food really comes in a cup? This becomes a major issue if you have growing kids to feed! I have yet to meet a healthy teenage boy who does not try to eat everything in the fridge and now you are going to try and feed him one cup of something? Odds are you will be adding to your problems if you try to do this!!! What if you have a pregnant wife to feed? Are you really going to sit her down in front of a cup size serving? Good luck with that!

I would suggest tackling the food needs of your family from multiple directions. The first direction being, buy more of what you already eat. Fill up your pantry or cup boards with what your family eats every week. This way should something happen your family has extra food for a day, week or month and they will still have a sense of normalcy during a trying time.

Next angle would be to buy dry goods you can use to make meals of any size you need. Buy some pasta, dry milk, beans and dry bakery mixes to give your family some options. While you are at the store pick up some canned goods. Get whatever is on sell to start, than focus on buying canned items to give you a varied selection and once you start looking you might be surprised at what you can find in a can.

After you have a few weeks of food on hand from these categories go to the nearest camping store and see what kind of dehydrated food they have on sale. Remember to shop around and again you might be surprised at what you can find that is dehydrated! A little time spent on the internet will also allow you to add MREs to what you have on hand by watching for a sale.

Next thing you know you will have enough on hand to last your family a week or more, give you enough to make serving sizes you need and give you the portability you might also need! Mixing an item from your cupboard with something from your can goods, tossing in something from your dry goods and heating up something from your dehydrated items might just be the thing you need to serve your family a healthy and filling meal just when they need one!!!!

As always;

Stay Safe!!!