Sunday, May 8, 2011

Food Storage Mothers

This was a talk I gave on Mother's Day 2010

Let’s talk about the importance of keeping the commandments, and how as mothers we need to set the example as we follow the Lord and his prophets and provide for our families in times of need.
Earthquakes are becoming so prolific and commonplace that we aren’t even paying much attention to them, UNLESS they happen to us.

You may recall that since Jan 1, 2010, we have had 68 earthquakes that have ranged in magnitude of 6.2 to 9.0, in places like Japan, Haiti, Chile, Mexico, and elsewhere throughout the world. Between Jan 1, 2010 and May 9, 2010, we had 17 earthquakes between 6.2 and 8.8. From May 10 2010 and April 23, 2011. We had had an additional 51 earthquakes between 6.2 and 9.0. God has told us in scripture that in the last days we would see devastating earthquakes in increasing numbers. 

But what if it wasn’t called Japan.... but was called Spanish Fork, are you prepared? 

President Monson spoke in a 2010 conference about earthquakes happening in diverse places, and then another big one occurred that very afternoon. Do you think he was telling us to get prepared? Do you follow the prophet or do you smirk and roll your eyes? 

Are you as a Food Storage Mother prepared?

A Food Storage Mother is prepared for anything that comes her way; and she remains calm because she is prepared. In Doctrine & Covenants 88:119, 109:8, & 15 we are told to prepare every needful thing. Are you heeding these words of the Lord or ... are you a slothful servant? In Doctrine & Covenants 38:30 we read, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear."

A Food Storage Mother is faithful in keeping the commandments and ensuring her family is well cared for in every way she can imagine. A Food Storage Mother serves her family and in doing so serves her Lord and God. 

A Food Storage Mother sets the example in her neighborhood. So when the rains come, and the storms gather she is ready. Remember President Hinckley prophesied of "a portent of Stormy weather." A portent is an indication of something important or calamitous which is about to occur. It is prophetic and of threatening significance. As a Food Storage Mother we either choose to believe God and His prophets, and take heed or we laugh it off and go play in the sun, because we choose not to see the storm clouds ahead.

So...When is the time to prepare? Before the event or after? If you are like 98% of the church members you would have answered... After. The sad fact is only about 2% of the church in the United States have chosen to follow the Lord and prepare for what we know will happen.

Being a Food Storage Mother is fun. You get to experiment all the time, and perfect your skills. What wonderful memories you are creating for your family as well as teaching them skills in many areas. A Food Storage Mother then passes these skill along to her friends and neighbors. 

Many sisters whose husbands have been laid off, have gone to the dry pack cannery, and have told that they go through their one year supply in four months. They have continued to eat in the same quantities they always have. President Hinckley told us the recommended amounts by the church is a starvation diet. The same amounts that the handcart companies brought, the same amounts that those in the concentration camps were allotted, and we know how  each of these groups looked and what happened to them. 

I have been informed the amounts of grain were 400 pounds per person per year when President Hinckley said this in 2002.  The amounts of grain have now been down sized because the saints have not been following the commandments, and saying it is too hard. This year, the amounts of grain asked to be stored is a mere 300 pounds per person. That means that the handcart saints and those prisoners of war had much more to eat than you will if you follow the new revised guidelines for the church.

A loving Food Storage Mother calculates what her family eats now, and then obtains what she needs to provide her family with their favorite meals and foods, and provides them with a normal diet and life in times of need. And if you just have plans to go to Macey’s Grocery Store when the need arises ... think again. What hasn’t fallen off the shelves and broke, has been looted by all those who didn’t prepare either. And in case you’re worried about the employees like my husband, don’t...they won’t be there. They can’t traverse the ravished streets.

So what if the earthquake wasn’t called Japan, but was called Spanish Fork?

Don Thomas the city preparedness coordinator has said,  "When a big earthquake hits here, all the overpasses will crack and collapse. Utah Lake will experience it’s own Tsunami, and the lake will overflow its banks. The valley floor will drop 15 feet, and all of our Natural Gas, Water, and Sewer Lines will be severed. Spanish Fork will be an island by ourselves, with out any power, water, gas, access to  ATM’s. Stores and homes will be damaged or destroyed." You can very well imagine what it will be like.

What should the Food Storage Mother do since she is faced with these prospects? 

She should set aside one or two days a week to learn how to cook and eat the foods she has stored as well as learn how to use the different cooking appliances she has. A great idea would be to use this as a Family Home Evening activity, or a Sunday dinner. We set our Sun Oven out before church and when we come home our delicious meal is ready for us to partake of and has been cooked by the Sun. 

A Food Storage mother is prepared with a redundancy of various cooking methods such as a Stove-Tech Rocket Stove, Volcano, Alcohol, Propane, Butane, and Rocket Stoves, a BBQ, and a Retained Heat Cooker, as well as the fuel to go with them. 

A Food Storage Mother provides for as much of a normal life as she can for her family. She knows that a very common problem is Appetite Fatigue. The not so prepared mom fixed oatmeal for six days and on the seventh day the husband and children threw the bowls of oatmeal against the wall and said they weren’t eating again. Children will stop eating. You as a Food Storage Mother need lots of variety, many different types of grains for breakfast as well as the perfected recipes for sweet rolls, fruit crisps, omelettes, and more. 

You can make the choice how well you will live tomorrow, today.

A Food Storage Mother provides the luxuries for her family such as... Spices, Cocoa,  Vanilla,  Chocolate,  Hard Candy, Cookies,  Bottled Butter,  Waxed Cheese, Sauces,  Condiments,  Meats...Everything her family is used to eating and using. Our loving Heavenly Father does not want you to be miserable, that is why he has given you ample time and warning to prepare. 

There needs to be redundancy in preparedness, you should have several items that provide the same outcome but in different ways. As an example, for your lighting you would have... Candles, Crank, Propane and Oil Lanterns, Crank, Solar, re-charable, and Battery Operated Flashlights, Oil, Propane, flint and steel, and  matches. Redundancy is your helper, redundancy is your key to survival.

A Food Storage Mother is always experimenting. 

She thinks how she will keep her home cool in the blazing summer and warm in the frigid winter. You may have seen many of my experiments as you have drove past my home. You saw my indoor garden greenhouse. I grew green beans, peas, and cantaloupes in my front window. 

Last  years  experiment was so successful that we implemented it into our lives. Our living room was either miserably hot or frigid cold; sweat was pouring off of you with the air conditioning on, or during the winter you froze. We put "emergency blankets" (the thin silvery type) up in our windows, it keeps it warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. This has effectively reduced our energy bills year round. Another big plus is I can see out, but you can’t see in.

And lest you think I am leaving the fathers out, a father has responsibilities to aide the mother in her duties. What would a Food Storage Mother be without her Food Storage Family? Too Overwhelmed! 

So, a Food Storage Father helps by building, finding, creating, buying, gathering, planning, and so on. He too is commanded by God to prepare every needful thing. My wonderful husband helps me to be a Food Storage Mother by bringing me wonderful gifts that bring delight to my heart and soul. Tom brings me canning jars, a large dehydrator, alcohol stoves, and a fantastic surprise one day ... a volcano stove! He even built a few rocket stoves. We have wonderful stories to tell of our experiments and failures. But each failure was just a learning experience. 

Tommy is a Food Storage Son, who has learned well how to bottle butter, juices, can chicken, and dehydrate fruits and vegetables. Your children too can be a great aide in preparing the family. 

A Food Storage Father perfects his skills in gardening. Skills should be learned and perfected now, just as our prophets have told us, and forewarned us. If you think that you are going to wait until you need a garden to grow your food, well guess what? Without all the knowledge, and experience that you would have gained by following the prophet, you will starve. 

You can go to all the classes you want, but until you go out and work the soil with your own two hands, and as a family learn through experience you won't be able to grow enough to augment your stores. It takes much preparation each year to keep the soil and garden producing as it should.

A Food Storage Mother has barrels, and barrels of water for her family. No one has successfully been able to live on just a gallon of water a day. Try to live on a gallon or two of water a day for just 3 days, and you will find out that you are not going to be happy. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. Remember when the electricity fails that is also fails at the pumping station, and so a smart Food Storage Mother prepares now for water for her family at the very minimum of two 55 gallon drums for each family member per month. 

As you have seen in Japan and Haiti this was not a day or two, or even two weeks, this is still going on. What will you as a Food Storage Mother say to your children as they are thirsty and hungry? 

Let’s think about the pumping stations, when they don’t work neither does the sewer system. If a big earthquakes hits, it knocks out the power and without power we don’t have a pumping station. Without a pumping station our toilets, showers, sinks, and bathtubs quickly become backed up. Those further down the bench, and on the valley floor will have some real surprises bubbly up in their toilets, showers, tubs, and sinks. Stinky, yucky surprises! She also knows how to stop the surprises with simple rubber balls to stuff into the toilet to block the incoming sludge, and covers to place over the drains.

So a Food Storage Mother makes sure she has ample toileting supplies, as well as diapers, cleaning products, and personal supplies; and learns how to make them. 

She prepares her family with adequate clothing and shoes for each season. 

A Food Storage Mother makes sure she has an expanded First Aide Kit. You are your own Doctor and Nurse. You should already have taken training for yourself and family. Do not rely on someone else to take the training. They are relying on you. 

Many years ago President Hinckley warned the Saints in California to put closed toe shoes under their beds. When the glass breaks in your windows during a large earthquake you are not leaping out of bed and stepping on sharp shards of glass. You will simply reach under your bed and pull our your shoes. You wouldn’t want to have to use your First Aide Kit as soon as you leap out of bed.

A Food Storage Mother would never forget the family pets. They are your companionship during stressful conditions. Your dog is your warning and security device. Their food, health, and security needs to be prepared for also. To not do so would be choosing to not obey the commands of God to care for the animals.

A Food Storage Mother knows that her family can only reap the blessings of the Lord by following the commands of God. A Food Storage Mother is a blessing in her home,  to her family,  in her ward,  and to her neighbors. A Food Storage Mother is like a Pearl of Great Price.

after thoughts....

Since we do not know what is in store for us in the future, we should be prepared for every thing we can think of. Perhaps it may be earthquakes, nuclear disaster, perhaps war, plagues, desolation, abominations, or having to leave our homes like Moses, Nephi, or others in each dispensation. We do not know, but we can prepare.

..... Just what are Emergency Blankets you ask? The Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket can be purchased at many different stores, like Maceys, Emergency Essentials,, etc. I'm not recommending any location, just do a search to get your best price. They sell for about $1.00 each.

  • They are very simple to put up in your windows.  
  • Measure your window.  
  • Unfold the blanket. Yes, it will be large, and thin, and you think you'll never be able to do it. If I can figure it out, then you can do it, even with my less than stellar instructions. 
  • Now just using a pair of scissors cut the mylar blanket about 3 to 5 inches larger than you need. 
  • Wet a washcloth... do not wring it out all the way, leave it dripping, but not so much that you leave puddles all over. You'll get the hang of it on your second window. The first will be the hardest. 
  • Wash the window with the wet washcloth, leaving the window wet and dripping.
  • Take the top edge of the blanket in your hands, and place it at the top of the window glass. It can extend a bit in each direction, because you are going to cut it to fit. The blanket is going to stick to the wet window, and leave you frustrated. Just keep adjusting, and rewetting until you get the blanket in the position you need over the entire window.
  • After the blanket is in place and your happy with it. Then use a dry wash cloth and start from the center of the window and wipe upwards and outwards, and then downwards, all over the window until you have the blanket down, and in place. You can always lift the edges, and wipe again with the wet and dry washcloths until you have it like you need.
  • Now either using a razor blade or the edge of the scissors blade cut the blanket close the the edges of the window all the way around, being careful to not tear the blanket.
  • Discard the scraps of mylar blanket, and now on to the next window. 
  • In windows that get a lot of sun, or the temperature changes all the time, you may have to redo the mylar film on occasion because the thin film of water underneath that makes the mylar cling to the window dries up, and then the blanket starts to fall off the window. 
  • In those couple of windows I have that problem with, I have put the mylar up in the window, and then used Scotch Tape to spot hold it in place to the window frame.
  • You are right, I can hear you now. It's not the most attractive thing on your windows, but you are doing this to make you and your family comfortable.

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