Christian Prepper Gal: From the 2020 Pandemic to the 2021 Polar Vortex

Christian Prepper Gal wonders What Have We Learned? From the 2020 Pandemic to the 2021 Polar Vortex.

Have we learned anything yet? With the 2020 pandemic a lot of people realized that preppers were not really all that crazy. They learned that it was pretty smart to have enough food and household essentials on hand to last, at a minimum, a month or so. Even our government(s) started pushing preparedness. Then, just one year later, the Polar Vortex of 2021 hit. Both incidents causing shortages of food and essentials on the shelves. Have we truly learned anything yet?

Okay, so maybe I was a little bit motivated to write this article by the fact that when I placed my grocery order for Walmart Pickup just a couple of days ago, there was no Diet Pepsi (in bottles) available. Can you imagine that?!? No Diet Pepsi? At Walmart?!? I was crushed! (I don’t know if they had cans of Diet Pepsi, as I don’t drink from cans.) Then my daughter came to my rescue and found some bottles of Diet Pepsi for me at another store in our small town. What a hero she was!! She literally saved my day!!

Not my local store, just a photo of soda shevles with no Diet Pepsi for emphasis.

But, the fact that this Diet Pepsi shortage affected me so much made me realize something. Even though I’ve known it for years…I am addicted to Diet Pepsi. Oh, I’ve tried breaking the addiction a few times over the past couple of decades, but to no avail. Then in acknowledging this addiction, I also realized that I am not truly prepared. But, I’m a prepper! Some might say I’m a “die hard” prepper! How can I not be prepared?!? Well, it kind of hit me right in the gut. The realization of it was pretty heavy. I mean, I’ve known it for quite a while now, but it was always in the back of my head…way in the back. You know, something you know, but you just want to ignore and so you do.

You might ask, how does my addiction to Diet Pepsi affect my prepping? Well, it doesn’t really. Not in the literal sense anyway. But yet, it does. How can it not affect it and affect it at the same time? I’ll try and explain. You see, I do not stockpile Diet Pepsi. Therefore, it must not be important to me as a prepper. Yet, when my grocer was out of Diet Pepsi (in the bottles) I pretty much panicked. Ugh. I guess what I’ve deduced from this small and yet very large inconvenience in my life is that I need to stock up on Diet Pepsi. Pronto! No! No! That’s not what I’ve deduced. It’s what I wish I could have deduced. But, it’s not what I deduced.

You see, there would be no way in the world I would have enough room to stock up on enough Diet Pepsi to get me through a long term SHTF situation. And, that’s what I personally prep for…long term SHTF. I would need a warehouse to be able to do that. A very large warehouse. So, what I need to do is wean myself off of this Diet Pepsi addiction. It just seems there’s always something more we need to do in order to be prepared to face and endure whatever this world throws at us.

Wow, that was a very long bunny trail I took! Okay, now to get back on subject. When the coronavirus turned into a world wide pandemic, some very important essentials became unavailable to us. For example, toilet paper. And, food. And, cleaning products. And, garden seeds. And, canning jars and lids. Things that we need in our every day lives to stay alive and well. That’s when the world realized that preppers weren’t so crazy! Well, at first we were accused of hoarding food, and that we were keeping others from being able to buy food. But, then “they” soon realized that we weren’t the ones out grabbing food and essentials off the shelves!! Not us real and bonified preppers. We already had everything we needed right and home. And, we stayed home (or at least we didn’t have to go out and scramble for food) so that those who did not have could have. It was those who had panicked that were hitting the shelves and taking everything they could get their hands on! Without a thought or concern for others. Now, I’m not saying that’s wrong, because it is human instinct. However, I am thankful that many who did that learned that it was better to have extra food on hand at home to ensure that if anything like that ever happened again, they would be prepared. Thus, they became preppers! Yay!!

Then, more recently, we have the 2021 Polar Vortex that hit our country (the U.S.A.). We are still in the middle of that and it’s repercussions as I sit here writing this. This was the reason that I had that Diet Pepsi crisis. I’m pretty sure it was the result of trucks not being able to travel and deliver food on time to many stores. Even UPS and the USPS had to stop deliveries. Once again, food is sparse on the grocery shelves along with necessary essentials. In fact, there were people, down in Texas, standing in lines outside in the cold (that they are not accustomed to) in order to purchase propane because they had no power. Millions of people all across the southern and lower mid western states have been without power for up to 3 days now. In temperatures they are not accustomed to nor were they prepared for. In other words, they did not have the necessary clothing for cold climates, they were not prepared to cook or heat their homes without power, and most were not prepared to dig themselves out of the snow. I’m not blaming them. They do not live in climates where these things are normal. In fact, I’m praying fervently for all who were affected by this polar vortex. They knew it was coming, but they did not know how to prepare for it. That’s why it’s important NOT to wait until the last minute to be prepared.

I am sure that many who have lived through this 2021 Polar Vortex have learned from it. At least, I hope they have. Even if we do not live in a certain type of climate, we need to be prepared for any type of climate. This world has gone crazy, and not just the people! I don’t mean being prepared by just having enough food. Even if those who live in the South did have enough food on their shelves, there are so many other things they need to survive this polar vortex. In fact, there are so many different things that could happen to cause us to be without electricity, water, sewer, and gas for extended amounts of time; not just the weather. You see, prepping is more than just storing up food. (See one of my first articles, There’s More to Prepping Than Food.) It’s about being ready for whatever circumstance may come our way. Whether it be weather related (heat waves or polar vortexes), natural catastrophic events such as fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; or job loss, unexpected illness, unexpected accidents (such as car accidents), pandemics, EMPs, etc. As a result of the 2021 Polar Vortex, many utility companies, across our great nation, in areas that have not experienced power outages, are having to affect manual blackouts or brown outs in order to prevent complete power outages (which could take several months to repair). The electrical grid cannot handle the stress of these states that are not normally cold climate states. They are using more power than normal to heat the homes. I can’t stress this enough…prepping is more than just food! (See an article I wrote a couple of years ago, A World Without Electronics and Electricity.)

First we had the pandemic, which taught us (or at least should have taught us) the necessity of having shelf stable foods stored up. Then, the polar vortex which is teaching us to be ready to live without electricity, water, sewer, and gas utilities. I can’t help but to wonder what’s next? Maybe it won’t take an EMP to shut down our power grid. Maybe our power grid is already weak and crumbling. Maybe it’s just a matter of time. And, maybe, just maybe, that time isn’t far off.

If we have learned anything from these two occurrences, it should be that we need to be preppers – in every sense of the word.

Here is the dictionary’s definition of a prepper:

prep·per:

a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.

“there’s no agreement among preppers about what disaster is most imminent”

We all most likely know what it means to stockpile food and ammunition. What might those “other supplies” consist of? Well, that is a topic for another discussion (article). So, stay tuned for that upcoming article. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning and growing as a prepper take the time to browse through my other articles. There’s a lot of information to be gleaned from them.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your time with me! If you have any questions on this article or prepping in general, please feel free to comment below, or send me an email message by going to the About/Contact page and filling in the contact form there. It is my prayer that you will heed the warnings that God has been sending us with these two incidents, and if you are not already doing so, that you will do all that you can to be prepared; and if you are prepping that you will push forward and keep on keeping on.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

1 Peter 5, 8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (KJV) 

Christian Prepper Gal: Back to the Past?

Christian Prepper Gal talks about staying on track for spiritual and physical preparedness in Back to the Past?

We need to learn from history!

 

It is often said that history repeats itself. There are those in today’s society who are trying to erase our history. They want to pretend that it never existed. But the wise know that history is there for us to learn from.

When I was growing up history was boring to me. I had absolutely no interest in it. So, I can sort of see why those people in today’s society would want to ignore it, erase it, and pretend it never happened. But, as an adult I have come to understand why it is important for us to know our history.

Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

What does this verse have to do with history? Well, with history comes knowledge. Knowledge of how to handle a situation, knowledge of what not to do, knowledge of what to do, knowledge of consequences for our actions (or lack thereof), etc. Not having that knowledge could destroy us, both physically and spiritually.

Even many Christians ignore history. They say we don’t need to store up food to be prepared for what is to come. They say that God will provide. While it is true that God will provide our needs, it is also true that in His providing he has often told His people to prepare themselves for what is to come. A huge example of that in our history is the story of Noah (Genesis 6-8). God warned His people of what was to come but only one man listened to what He was saying. And look what happened. Those who did not listen to God’s warning perished. The one who listened to God’s warning and did what God told him to do to prepare himself and his family lived. How can Christians argue that we do not need to be prepared?!?

As Christians, most of us believe that we are living in the End Times. And sadly, almost as many Christians are not prepared for what will actually happen in the “End Times”. It’s like we are the opposite of the world when it comes to being prepared. We prepare spiritually, but do near to nothing to be prepared physically. Whereas the world (those who are wise enough) will prepare physically, by storing up food and essentials, but do nothing to be prepared spiritually. But, if we look back on the history of our world, we would know that we need to be prepared both spiritually and physically.

If we do not need to also prepare physically by storing food and other provisions, then why did God have Noah prepare food and provisions for his family? Why didn’t God just provide what Noah and his family needed? Wait. He did! By telling Noah what he needed to do to be prepared! This really is deep. Please take a moment to think about it.

Do you remember what happened when the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic broke out? How the toilet paper disappeared from the store shelves? Quickly followed by hand sanitizers, antibacterial cleaning products, paper towels, flour, yeast, garden seeds, some food products, most survival/emergency foods, and even canning jars and lids? To some that’s already a distant memory. But to me, it is forefront in my mind. Why is that? Because I do not want to forget what happened. I want to remember so that I remember to be prepared in case something like that ever happens again! We experienced and lived through a true SHTF scenario and many people did not even realize it or acknowledge it as being that. It happened so suddenly! And, those who were not prepared were affected the most. While those who were prepared were barely affected by it. Some areas were worse than others. Some countries were worse than others. It could have been worse everywhere. And I thank God it wasn’t. But, we are not out of possible danger from it yet. We are still in the midst of it.

I personally believe that this pandemic was/is a warning of things yet to come. For if we are truly living in the End Times as many believe, there will be many more things that have to happen before our Lord returns to this earth. And, someone will have to live through it. I’m not trying to put fear into anyone by saying this. But, I am doing what God has told me to do and that is to prepare and warn others to do so also. For if we are warned and we listen to and heed said warning then we will be prepared and we will get through whatever it is to come with less suffering. God does not want His children to suffer. But, just as parents warn their children to do or not do something that could harm them, so does our Father in heaven. And in the same way, when our children don’t listen to our warnings they sometimes end up getting hurt, so do we when we do not listen to God’s warnings. And, He’s warning us that we need to be prepared. We need to stock our homes just as Noah filled and stocked the Ark. We need to be prepared physically, just as Noah and his family were prepared physically. Noah was already prepared spiritually, just as many of us are. But, if you are not yet prepared spiritually, then you need to do so. Without being prepared spiritually, all of the preparedness in the world will do no good.

Where was I going with this? That is not a rhetorical question, lol. I got a little sidetracked in my mind. Oh yes…some of us have already forgotten those early days of the pandemic when things were no longer stocked on the shelves of our grocery stores. In our striving to get “back to normal” our minds want to forget what got us in the predicament in the first place. But, please do not forget. Because it was just an example of how we need to be prepared and how things can happen literally overnight.

I know I’ve written this type of blog before. Many times. But, that’s because we need to be reminded often of the need to stay on track with our prepping. It’s easy to forget when things are going well in our lives. Just like it’s easy for some to forget history. But, let’s don’t let history disappear. Let’s be wise and learn from history. Let us be prepared in every way possible for what is yet to come. Because if we truly believe that we are living in the End Times, it will come.

Deuteronomy 31:8, And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

So, just as we know that there are things yet to come that we don’t know what they will be, let us also know that if we put our trust in Him, He will guide us and direct us in the way He would have us to be prepared. It is my prayer that you are able to hear him Him when He does.

In the Bible, Jesus tells us that the End Times will be “as in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37). So let us be as prepared as Noah was; both spiritually and physically (prepping). Let us learn from history, this time by repeating what was done! No, you don’t need to go build an ark. I meant to be prepared by having food and necessities stored, and getting closer to God. 😊

If you have questions about prepping, or just need to talk, I’m here for you. Just fill out the contact form here and I will get back to you via email.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

John 16:33, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  

Christian Prepper Gal: Prepping 101 – Long Term Food Storage

In this article, Christian Prepper Gal gives some basic information on types of foods for long term food storage. I’ve also included links at the end to some more advanced/involved food storage articles.

 

When someone says, “long term food storage” what do you think of? I used to think of canning, simply because years ago I had a huge garden and did a lot of canning. Now, I think of the closet in the basement of our house that has shelves of a different variety of foods that are preserved in many different ways.

There are so many options out there for preppers regarding long term storage! Where does one even begin? Well, the first place to start is to educate yourself. You want to get the best bang for your buck and one way to do that is to research what is available. Some important things to keep in mind are: what is the most economical; what you will need to use to prepare it, i.e. water, camp stove, etc.; and what is going to last the longest (shelf life). This can take a lot of time and research to find what the best choices for you and your family are, and that’s why I’m here to help! I will share what I have found in my research (and experience) that may be helpful to you in yours.

Store bought canned foods

Store bought canned foods are a good, economical choice. One thing that makes canned foods economical is that you can pick some extras up when you’re buying your normal groceries. That way you aren’t spending a whole wad of cash on them at one time.

Canned foods usually have a “Best By” date of 1-1/2 to 5 years. However, they will last long after their best buy date, as that simply means that they will taste the freshest until that date. After that date they will lose some of their flavor from having sat in the liquid for that long of a time. But, they will still be good for eating. Be sure to check the cans and don’t buy any with dents in them. If they have dents, or are leaking any food they can be contaminated and could cause botulism. When you are ready to open the can, make sure there are no dents, leaks, rust, or corrosion on them; as air may have gotten inside them and spoiled the contents. If there are not dents, rust or corrosion and you open the can, make sure are no small bubbles in the liquid inside the can, no bad odors, the food hasn’t become mushy, and the liquid isn’t cloudy. Any one of those would indicate the food has gone bad; don’t eat it. Also, if you open the can and the contents explode, don’t use it or eat it.

Make sure you rotate your canned foods to keep your stock fresher longer. Simply take out the ones that may be close to expiring and replace them with newly purchased ones. Then you can use the ones you took out with your normal family meals. This will just ensure that if your food stays stored for a number of years you will have the freshest selection you can.

If you have the space, canned foods are the best choice for long term food storage because you can eat them right out of the can if you don’t have the means to warm them up and you don’t have to have an abundant supply of water on hand to cook them.

Home canned foods

Does anyone really can their own foods at home any more? Yes, there are those who still do! If I had a garden, I certainly would. Most home canned foods will last up to 10 or more years. Just make sure the seals are still tight, there are no dents in the seals, and there is no mold or cloudy liquid inside the can. Home canning is probably the most economical in long term food storage! But, how many of us have the time or the resources to can our own food?

Freeze dried foods

Freeze dried foods have a very long shelf life; some up to 25 – 30 years if properly stored! However, they are not the most economical; whether you are lucky enough to afford a freeze dryer or purchase the food from a company that uses commercial grade freeze dryers. I know you can freeze dry foods at home without a freeze dryer just using your freezer and dry ice, but I haven’t gotten into that as of yet and don’t feel qualified to talk about it at this time.

Freeze dried foods are a good choice if you don’t have a lot of space, if you go camping a lot, or for use in your MREs (Meals Ready to Eat, which I will talk about at a later date). Do keep in mind you will need to have a good and plentiful supply of water on hand to cook them. I have some freeze dried foods mixed in with my canned foods in my storage, mostly to have a variety of choices as well as saving space. I will use those when water is more plentiful.

Freeze dried foods come in a variety of packaging. There are small individual pouches that will feed one, larger pouches with 4 or more servings, and the number 10 large sized cans that have enough to feed several people for several meals. Pouches are usually packaged in tubs or boxes and some companies offer individual pouches for purchase. The pouches are convenient in that you can add hot water directly into the pouches to heat them up and don’t need additional cookware.

Here is a list of three of the most reputable companies that sell freeze dried foods. You can easily purchase their products on their websites. All three companies also sell some of their products on Amazon, and shipping charges can be avoided if you have Amazon Prime. Plus I think delivery is quicker through Amazon. (I always check to see if what I want is available on Amazon before I purchase directly from the company.) Some of their products may also be available at local stores such as Walmart.

Wise Company (They have gluten free foods available)

Augason Farms (They also have gluten free foods available)

Mountain House (I did not see any gluten free foods available)

Dehydrated foods

I will be honest with you here, I have not had that much interest in dehydrated foods until recently. In my research for this article I was unable to find any companies that dealt strictly with manufacturing dehydrated foods and the sale thereof. Although, I did find that Augason Farms offers some dehydrated foods as well as their freeze dried foods.

Recently, for some reason (I believe it was God) I was prompting to look up and research how to dehydrate food. I’ve thought about it a couple of times in my lifetime, but never really felt like it was something I wanted to pursue. But, it was brought to my attention that now that I’m a prepper it might be something that would be of benefit for me and my family. So, I started watching YouTube videos on dehydrating food. They really grabbed my interest!

I always thought the only things you could dehydrate were fruits and beef jerky. Boy, was I wrong. One of the things I discovered was that I could make the meals that my family likes to eat and dehydrate them and store them! And, let me tell you, there are some pretty picky eaters in my family! I discovered I could make my homemade spaghetti, hamburger stroganoff, hamburger vegetable soup, chicken alfredo, fruit roll ups, and a plethora of other things that I make on a regular basis (minus the fruit roll ups, I’ve never made them). So, lo and behold, after watching dozens and dozens of videos I decided to take the plunge! I’m looking forward to receiving my food dehydrator from the UPS man this coming Monday! Yay me! I found what looks like a pretty good and reliable dehydrator on Amazon for only $60. Of course, that was after researching them for at least three days.

Getting back on track…dehydrated foods are another type of food that have a pretty good shelf life, and aren’t overly expensive if you make them yourself. If the foods are dried and stored properly they can last up to 10 years. They do need water to re-hydrate them, but I figure since they won’t be my main source of food storage they will be worth the effort of finding enough water to cook them. They would be primarily for eating once or twice a week at the most. I’m sure dehydrating your food is something I will post a lot more about once I actually try it and see how well it goes, so stay tuned!

Beans and Rice

Dried, uncooked, beans are a good addition to have in your long term food storage. However, I wouldn’t plan on having a ton of them without other foods to go with them as I’m sure even a hangry person would grow tired of them over time. They are definitely inexpensive and if prepared and stored properly will last up to 10 years, maybe longer. The best way to prepare them for storage is to put them in mylar bags in family meal sized portions (depending on the size of your family) along with an oxygen absorber and seal the mylar bag. I will have more on how to properly prepare and store beans later on.

White rice is another good addition to have in your inventory. The same would go for rice as beans, it shouldn’t be a primary staple as you will grow tired of eating only rice or beans after a long period of time. Rice is also relatively inexpensive food item and when prepared and stored properly it can last anywhere from 25-30 years. It should be prepared and stored in the same was as the beans.

Thank you for hanging in there and reading this entire post. I know it’s longer than my usual ones (thus far) but there was a lot to cover in it. Please bare in mind these are only the basics of prepping and we will delve into some of these subjects much deeper in the future.

If you have any tips or insights that you think would help others regarding long term food storage please feel free to comment below (you will need to be signed up and logged in before commenting). Take care, and God bless.

Also see her article on Food Storage: The Basics if you’re just starting out.

For more on long term food storage, see also:

The Provident Prepper: Long Term Food Storage: Creative Solutions to Build a Critical Asset

Money Crashers: How to Start a Long-Term Home Food Storage & Prepare for Emergencies

Self-Reliance: Basic Long-Term Food Storage

Crisis Equipped: The Complete List of Long-Lasting Survival Foods

Church of Jesus Christ: Longer-Term Food Supply

EZ-Prepping: Food Storage Calculator

Christian Prepper Gal: Is another lockdown coming to America?

Christian Prepper Gal talks about getting ready – Is another lockdown coming to America? Biden’s Covid advisor recently talked about a nationwide 4-6 week lockdown, though it has been denied as being accepted by Biden.

The cases of Covid-19 are rising at a quick rate across America. So are the death rates from it. Just yesterday (11-11-2020) it was reported that our current cases are a higher count than they were when we had the first lockdown. I’m not trying to scare anyone. I’m trying to make sure that we are all ready for what could be our reality.

My thought on the increase in cases is that people have let their guard down. People are getting tired of the virus and are just wanting to get back to what used to be their normal. Therefore, they are ignoring it and carrying on as if it was gone. It doesn’t work like that…it won’t go away if you ignore it, it will only get worse.

If the current trend keeps up there will be no avoiding another lockdown. The upcoming holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) are predicted to cause a surge in positive cases. Another lockdown is getting closer to happening with each passing day. One thing that is for sure is if Mr. Biden does turn out to be in fact our president-elect, he has promised another lockdown once he takes office. It is rumored that his lockdown would be longer and stricter than the previous one. Unfortunately, the way things are heading there may be another lockdown before this year even ends.

Are you truly ready for what may happen?

Let’s take a moment to talk about this. I really hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but if you are one of those who has a 72 hour emergency kit (like the one in the pic to the left) and thinks you are ready for any type of emergency, you are wrong! Those may be good for evacuating due to a fire, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, etc. But, they will not do you much good in a SHTF scenario such as what we are actually in the middle of with this pandemic. We are not at a point to where we would have to evacuate. In fact, as you know, we need to stay hunkered down. And if there is another lockdown, trust me, it will last longer than what’s in those kits will last. It has been estimated that a four to six week lockdown will be necessary.

So what do we need to do?

We need to make sure that we have at the very minimum 30 days worth of food and household essentials for our families. While most preppers who have been preppers since BEFORE the pandemic happened, will have at the minimum a six month supply of food and household essentials. And, then there are those who are long term preppers who have a year plus supply of food and household essentials.

If you haven’t already forgotten, toilet paper was the very first thing to disappear off the shelves, even before the last lockdown began. So, make sure you have enough toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc. to last a couple of months. Then, we had cleaning/sanitizing products, hygeine products, flour, and yeast disappear from the shelves. So you will want to make sure you have enough of those items on hand as well. And, if you’re going to have flour and yeast in your food storage, make sure you have a tried and true recipe for making bread and other foods using them. The same would apply to beans and rice, make sure you have some recipes 🙂.

We also need to ensure that we have shelf stable, non-perishable food items; foods that don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen. What happens if you lose power (for whatever reason) and your refrigerated/frozen food spoils? That’s where the emergency food meals and meals in a bag can come into play. They don’t need to be refrigerated and can be as quick as microwave meals to prepare. Plus, they take up much less space to store than canned and freezer foods. Click on this link for recipes for my meals in a bag. I started making my own emergency food meals when I discovered that most of those that were available for purchase cost way more than they should. In other words, I couldn’t afford them, lol. But, I found that I could make my own, using my own recipes and substituting dehydrated or freeze dried ingredients for fresh or canned ingredients. And, I knew those homemade emergency meals would be meals that my family members would eat.

Ummmm…it seems I kinda got off on a little bunny trail there. What can I say, I just love my meals in a bag!! Anyway, a good idea is to make sure you store foods that your familiy will eat. And, it’s a good idea to have a variety. So, while you have canned foods, pastas, and other non-perishable foods, it’s a good idea to have other choices also, such as the emergeny meals, on hand for those days you need a quick and easy meal.

I’m focusing on food here because that’s the main thing we are going to need in the case of another lock down. If nothing else, learn from the very reccent past with the first lockdown and think about what items were sparce, or not available at all, in your area. Those will be the things you need to make sure you have on hand now, if you have not already done so. Then, you need to try as hard as you can to build up a supply that will last your family at least three months. Minimum.

As I am proof reading this article, I am watching The Nightly News and it is being reported that some grocery stores are putting limits on some food items again. They mentioned the very same products that I mentioned above as having been in short supply during the first lockdown as being those items that are now having limits put on them again. It is my prayer that your eyes will be open to what is happening around you, and that you will listen to what God is telling you that you need to prepare you and your family during this pandemic. Please stay home as much as is possible, and stay safe.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

James 4:17, Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it,

to him it is sin. (NASB)

As an aside, I just want to say…As Christians, it is hard for some to realize that even though God has promised to be our Protector, He has also told us that we need to be vigilant and look out for ourselves as well. In other words, we know that if we put our hand in the fire and hold it there long enough we are going to get burned. In the same way, during this pandemic, if we carry on our lives ignoring the reality of the Covid-19 virus long enough we are eventually going to come into contact with someone who has the virus but is not yet exhibiting the symptoms, or someone who is asymptomatic. So, we need to protect ourselves by not putting our hand in the fire. In other words, we need to follow the protocols that have been set forth by the CDC. Just because you follow protocol DOES NOT mean that you are not trusting in God. Yes it’s true that if it is our time we are going to go no matter how careful we are. But, what if it is not our time and we act in a way that will accelerate that time?

Christian Prepper Gal: Proper Storage of DIY Emergency Meals

Christian Prepper Gal has a thorough article on How to Properly Package and Store Homemade DIY Emergency Meals.

Vacuum sealing vs mylar bags

When I first learned that we could dehydrate food and keep it for long term food storage I was so excited!! I immediately bought an inexpensive, but good, dehydrator. While looking for recipes and such as to what to do with my new dehydrated foods I ran across what are called meals in a jar. I wasn’t really looking for meals in a jar because the emergency meals I had were for us to use if we had to “bug out”. So, I didn’t get too excited about them. That is, until I ran across a YouTube video of what this lady was calling a “meal in a bag”. Hmmm. Now that was something I could get interested in!

I already had some military MREs in our food storage, and was aware of emergency foods such as Mountain House and Wise Foods meals. I even had a couple of sample kits of emergency meals. So, I knew that not only would these meals be cheaper to make myself, but they would also be healthier. And, I could make food that my family would actually eat! (I have very picky eaters here.) So, I started looking for other recipes because I like to have a variety of foods and choices. But, recipes were not that easy to find. So, I started experimenting with how I could make up my own recipes. And, that’s how I started making my own meals in a bag!

However, upon further research for meals in a bag I became confused. I thought you could store the meals in either a mylar bag or a vacuum sealer bag. Well, actually you can store in either. But, what I discovered along the way is that the mylar bags will last longer than the vacuum sealer bags. I’ve even done videos and written recipes using and suggesting you could use either mylar bags or vacuum sealer bags to store the meals. And, that’s why I decided to write this article to explain the difference as well as the way you should store meals in a bag or jar and other dehydrated/freeze dried foods.

Mylar Bags

Mylar bags are deemed to be by far the best way to store meals in a bag. Apparently mylar bags are made for long term use. I do not personally know how long they will last because I’ve only been using them for a couple of years. Supposedly, they are good for 25 plus years. And that’s what makes them superior to vacuum sealer bags. Although, that does not mean you can’t continue to use vacuum seale bags if that’s what you are using. I will explain that in just a bit.

When storing dehydrated or freeze dried food in a mylar bag you will need to place an active oxygen absorber inside the bag before sealing the bag. The oxygen absorber draws all of the oxygen that is in the bag. It usually takes 3-4 hours to do so; however, I’ve had some take as long as overnight.

Not sure what size oxygen absorbers you need? Since I use either pint or quart size mylar bags for my meals I use 300cc oxygen absorbers. Although, a 100cc size is recommended as a minimum. I’ve also read that the 300cc is what is recommended for the gallon size. My first mylar bag purchase included the 300cc so that’s what I’ve gone with since.

It is easy to seal mylar bags. They have to be sealed with a high heat. Most vacuum sealers do not have a high enough heat to seal mylar bags properly and it is recommeded that you do not use the sealer on them. But, not to worry. All you have to have to seal mylar bags properly is a flat straightening iron that is used for straightening hair. That’s right! Just clamp one half of the top portion of the bag with the straightening iron, hold it there for around 20-30 seconds, turn the bag over and do the same to the other half. Easy and simple! Oh, and vacuum sealers will not draw the air out of a mylar bag propery either. They weren’t made for mylar bags and mylar bags were not made for vacuum sealers. You can also use an impulse heat sealer to seal the mylar bags if you prefer and it is within your budget to buy one.

A quick note: The mylar bag above has a zipper at the top. Just so you know, that does NOT mean that you do not have to seal the bag. You just seal it above the zipper. The zipper is so you can open the bag and zip it shut, or re-use it. It does not keep air completely out of the bag like heat sealing it does.

Vacuum Sealer Bags

As stated above, I started out using vacuum sealer bags for my homemade emergency meals. However, upon learning that they will only last for around two to five years before air will start to seep back in through the pores of the plastic, I stopped using them for my meals. They may last longer than said two to five years, but I did not want to take that chance.

The vacuum sealer bags are epecially susceptible to leaking when storing rice or other sharp dehydrated foods in them. So, if you are or did use these you will need to check them once in a while to make sure they are not leaking. One way to help avoid this is to place rice or other sharp foods inside a brown paper bag before placing them into the vacuum sealer bag. I’ve also used thick paper towels to help protect food from poking through. All it takes is a tiny pin prick size hole to allow enough air in to spoil the food.

As long as you check the bags often and rotate them (cooking the food in the bags and replacing them with new meals in a bag) every couple of years you should be just fine using the vacuum sealer bags. I didn’t throw out the ones I have in vacuum sealer bags because I know they will be good for a couple of more years and I just plan on rotating them out.

Canning Jars…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Christian Prepper Gal.

Christian Prepper Gal: Has the Reality of It Hit You Yet?

Christian Prepper Gal asks if you’ve realized that you’re in a SHTF situation in Has the Reality of It Hit You Yet?

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. We are in the middle of a SHTF situation. I think for most preppers that is just now beginning to sink in. And, I’ve been amazed at the number of new preppers that have shown up in Facebook groups in the past month! The time to be prepared is NOW. And, I’m not just talking about being prepared with food and household essentials. Unfortunately, so many, and especially new, preppers think that is all they need to or have to do.

Last Fall (2019) I began to feel very strongly that it was time to stop trying to warn people of the need to be prepared. That it was time to make sure we had our own ducks in a row, and see to it that our own lamps were filled with oil. I even expressed to those around me that I felt like “something” was going to happen in 2020. And, by “something” I meant we were going to experience (as a nation) SH(ing)TF. And, guess what?!? It happened! I personally had thought it would be as a result of the election. But, apparently I was wrong. See? I can admit being wrong, from time to time, lol.

It is my belief that this SHTF scenario has just begun. We are all wanting it to be overwith quickly and for things to get back to normal. But, you know what? I don’t think it’s going to be overwith quickly, and I’m not sure things can ever be back to what normal was before the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I also don’t mean to give false hope to others, or myself. The reality of it is that there will be repercussions from our nation being essentially shut down. Even though the term has not been “officially” used as of yet here in the U.S., that is what has happened. We’ve already been shut down for close to a month, and it sure doesn’t look like things are going to be getting back to “normal” any time soon.

How are you reacting to all this?

First and foremost, we SHOULD NOT be reacting with fear. Especially as Christians. But, it’s easy to allow that to happen. Remember, though…

2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)

It is especially important to remember that right now, during this pandemic. We do not want to allow our minds to become the devil’s playground, do we? I know I don’t! But, if we allow fear to creep in, that is exactly what we’re doing.

How do we avoid or get rid of that fear? We read The Word of God. Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV). If we read (hear) The Word of God, it drives out fear! How can you have faith and fear at the same time? You can’t! And, that’s why we need to build up our most holy faith. We need to saturate our entire beings with His Word! According to Johh 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (KJV) Jesus is The Word. If we read what He said, in His Word, our faith will abound! And, faith expels fear! If we put our trust in Him, we will prevail and overcome fear.

There was one day a couple of weeks ago that I was so overcome with the negative from the news and social media that I had to play some contemporary worship music. I turned it up loud, and let it drown out all the negative in my mind and eyes. Then, I could put my mind and eyes back on Jesus.

We need to keep our eye on the prize. And, as Christians, our prize is eternal life with our Heavenly Father. So, if we keep our eyes on Him, we will win in the end!

Are you still denying it?

As I mentioned earlier, some (many) people (including preppers) are in denial. They truly think that our government will be able to take care of us and this is the worst that things will get. Some preppers don’t even realize that this is the SHTF that they’ve been preparing for! My thought is that the reason for that is they are only seeing the here and now. They’re not seeing what can and possibly will happen as a result of our nation being shut down.

Take a moment and let that sink in. Think about it. Our government has already put itself two trillion dollars in debt over this pandemic and that has only touched the surface. It will take much, much more than that to dig us out of this economic hole we are in. Do we have that much money and resources in reserve? Most likely not.

The economic downfall of the pandemic is just now beginning to be felt by many. What is going to happen when the food and resources begin to run out? What’s going to happen when parents cannot provide for their families? It will hit those with the lower incomes first. And, we are on the brink of that happening as I write. And, we are only in the beginning; one month since the declaration of this being a pandemic. We have a long way to go before we can even begin recovery. The virus hasn’t even been stabilized yet; it could take up to 18 months or longer to develop a vaccine. Our government is trying to help us and prevent things like chaos as a result of looting and rioting from happening. But, it’s not all up to only them…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Christian Prepper Gal.

Christian Prepper Gal: This Is Only a Test. Or Is It?

Christian Prepper Gal has an article up on using the current pandemic to evaluate for preparedness – This is a test. This is only a test. Or is it? We don’t know if this event will last two weeks (seems unlikely to be that short), two months (maybe?), or two years (the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 actually surged on and off for about two years). It’s quite possible that we’re living a piece of history that could be remembered for decades or even hundreds of years. For your own benefit, keep a journal of what is happening to you, how you have prepared, what shortcomings you experienced, what you need to improve, and so forth, so that you can go back in less hectic times and make improvements to your life and readiness.

With all that is going on in the world right now, I can’t help but wonder if this is just a test. A test to allow us to see if we really are ready/prepared for what’s yet to come? You know, kind of like a wake up call? Telling us we only thought we were ready.

I’m really hoping that’s all it is! Why? Because I have already learned so much from it. And, by that I mean how much I am NOT ready and prepared! I mean, don’t get me wrong…I am prepared for a short term emergency/SHTF. And by short term I mean a few months. But, anything beyond that? Well, it would be a struggle to survive.

Funny thing is that I thought that was why I was at the homestead…so I could be prepared for a long term SHTF situation. But, I don’t know God’s reasoning behind things. I can only trust Him that there is something more that I need to learn before being put in that position full time. And, I need to be open to Him showing me what that something is. I do know that I learned a lot about prepping/surviving while living on the homestead and some of those things can be implimented in my preps here in the city.

Okay, so I guess looking back on the homestead experiences, combined with this current pandemic (COVID-19), I am seeing where I need to concentrate on improving my preps. So, for me, it’s a combination of both. A test and a wake up call. However, I do believe that most of us who consider ourselves preppers have been able to see areas that need to be improved upon before we are ready for “the big one”. Or is this “the big one”? Personally, I don’t think it is. Although, if those people who are resistant don’t start realizing that this is a serious matter and keep themselves at home as much as possible, it could turn into a long term SHTF.

I do remember many of us last year (2019) feeling like there was an urgency to step up our prepping. Do you remember? I was strongly prompted and urged to do so. Actually, I’m thinking it may have been right around this time of the year. Anyway, I also told my daughter that something was going to happen in 2020. I didn’t know if it would be as a result of the presidential election or something different. But, I did know that we needed to put a rush on our prepping and learning survival skills. It wasn’t fear motivating and moving me. It was God prompting me. Just like this feeling that we really need to get completely serious about prepping for something bigger than this current pandemic. For something that may last longer than a couple of months.

Geesh! It is so easy for me to get off track here! Okay, back to the subject at hand. Is this a test? Or a wake up call? Or both? Now that I’m thinking about it more, it could be both. A test for us to see the holes in our prepping, and a wake up call for us to continue to work on our preps and push to be ready for “the big one” (as in the big SHTF).

This definitely is a SHTF situation that we are living in right now. But, I don’t think it’s the end game just yet. I could be wrong, I’m no expert, so please don’t hold me to it. It’s just a gut feeling that I have. The feeling that something so much worse than what we are experiencing right now is in the works. It may even be the current pandemic continuing to such a place. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I need to be more vigilant and push forward with much more force my prepping/survival endeavors. Once I can. For now, I can remain vigilant and make plans for what I need to do when we get back to a point where I can purchase more food products.

When I really take a look at where I’ve come (with prepping) over the past couple of years I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. And yet, with this pandemic it has also caused me to see all the areas in which I need to improve. And believe me, there are a lot of holes that need to be filled in. I don’t know about you, but it’s not just the food storage that I need to improve upon. It’s also expanding my medical supplies to include a trauma kit and other emergency supplies; which I had started working on just before I moved to my son’s homestead. I need to work on learning more bushcraft/survival skills and practicing the skills I have already learned. There are many areas in my prepping that I need to expound upon and improve. I will not procrastinate. I will not put it off until everything is “back to normal”. I will continue to move forward. There are so many things I can be doing to improve my knowledge and skills while we are all basically self-isolating ourselves.

Here’s some of what I have learned from the Coronovirus (COVID-19) Pandemic of 2020:

  1. That I do not have enough toilet paper stocked. We probably have enough for a couple of months, but who knows how long this lack of availability will last?

  2. That I do not have enough disinfectant wipes, lysol, or bleach stored. Again, I have some, but not nearly enough if this goes long term.

  3. That people are going to hate you for having been prepared with food and necessities. People were actually complaining that there were some who were prepared and didn’t have to go to the stores for food and necesseties. Not even realizing that some people being prepared left more on the shelves for them!

  4. That it truly is important to keep your mouth shut about being a prepper to everyone except those you are willing to feed and care for in a SHTF scenario. This is because of how people reacted to preppers at the beginning of this pandemic (see No. 3). I can just imagine what would happen if it came to the point of food not being available at all.

Those are only a few of the things I have learned from this pandemic. There are some more things I will be sharing with you in upcoming articles and videos.

So, if you are like me in that your eyes have been opened and you have seen areas that you need to expound upon or improve upon in order to be truly ready for “the big one” SHTF, then I pray that you will heed the warnings and regroup, re-evaluate, or whatever it is that you need to do in order to begin to move forward and accomplish those improvements. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We can’t see into the future (well, most of us can’t). But, we can put our trust and faith in our Heavenly Father and heed His warnings and follow His leading.

Remember we prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)