Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.
Arriving home after being away for three weeks meant lots of chores. The most pressing was my garden and my tomato seedlings which had been at the seedling sitters. Truthfully, my seedlings don’t look too good. They are now 5 weeks old and have yet to show their first set of true leaves. I suspect that one of the problems is that while I was gone, they were not under the grow lights I had purchased before leaving. I won’t say that I am totally back to ground zero, but I am not hopeful. Worst case, I will once again purchase tomato starts at our local nursery.
On the other hand, I did start my lettuce seeds today plus, to help with germination, I order a heated grow-mat from Amazon. As promised, my intent is to share the ups and downs of this years garden adventure with you.
On a positive note, Shelly put together my new compost bin. For those of you that are new to the website, the reason I have a pre-fab compost bin and not simply a pile of compost tucked into the corner of my yard is that I have almost no yard and almost no garden area. I will be doing most of my gardening in pots and in a very small square foot garden.
In the photo above you see me emptying greens (Nitrogen i.e. from the kitchen) into the bin. I also added the browns (Carbons i.e. shredded leaves). The way this composter works is that you add your raw materials then give the tumbler 5 to 10 spins every couple of days. So far so good and I couldn’t be happier with the set-up, the price, and the ease of use.
I have seen a number of recipes for compost; 2 parts greens to 1 part browns, 2 parts browns to 1 part greens and so on. What is a gal to do? For now I will experiment and as long as I don’t have a smelly, pest infected mess, I will assume I am doing okay.
I had some other things waiting for me upon my return, most notably some additional lavender essential oil plus some wild orange and additional salve jars. I love my salves so much that I have another version to share with you on Wednesday. You are going to love it, I promise.
So okay, enough of my rambling. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.
SURVIVAL NEWS & ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB
Emergency Preparedness for Your Elders – How to Take Care of Grandma in a Crisis: This article discusses seniors whose health has effected their mobility or mental acuity (as opposed to healthy, active seniors who get around just fine). This is a very useful article that everyone with older family members should read.
Vegas man stuck with $407,000 medical bill after ObamaCare breakdown: Another example of how the so-called technology behind the ObamaCare enrollment process has failed.
Future economy: Many will lose jobs to computers: George Ure has been preaching this for years and has even gone so far as to say that computers should begin to pay employment taxes. Okay, far fetched but indeed, computers have and will continue to gobble up jobs formerly held by humans.
Why the NSA Tried to Keep Its Water Use a Secret: By computing the water usage rate, one could ultimately determine the computing power and capabilities of the Utah Data Center. Armed with this information, one could then deduce how much intelligence NSA is collecting and maintaining. Wow.
Government Agency: If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months: The internet in my area was down for over a week last November. As a matter of fact, land lines and cell service was down too. Talk about feeling exposed. Are you prepared for being grid down and without modern communications for a year or 18 months?
The Real Expiration Dates on Common Foods: The message is that expiration dates typically address quality, not safety. Good to know.
Resources for the Newbie Homesteader/Prepper: This is a great list and I am both humbled and proud to be included.
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS
Michele had this to say about used buckets obtained for free from restaurants or fast food joints:
Try using a baking soda wash to get the pickle smell out– it’s a trick that is as old as Tupperware! lol I used to sell it and I was taught that if you take baking soda and use it in place of say kitchen cleanser powder – it can take almost anything out of plastics– I have let the mix sit in plastics over night and it does great.
Michael shared this tip for playing card games when the power is out:
Over the years, we have gotten our teenage daughter and her friends hooked on card games, such as “Speed” that pits 2 players against each other. They are so competitive and have searched the web, now, for interesting card games. They have printed out the rules to have in hand if there isn’t any power for a while.
And from Patrick:
An important note about Epi-Pens. They have very short expiration dates and that expiration date means something. The chemicals break down and completely lose their effectiveness after they expire. Also, the effects of an Epi-Pen wear off in about an hour, so if you are having a serious reaction, you aren’t out of the woods yet.
An Epi-Pen can save your life, but understand the limitations.
Every good first aid kit should contain several doses of an antihistamine. A max dose does more than just control minor itching. It can keep you breathing. Easily purchased over the counter and they last a lot longer.
AND THE WINNER IS
The winner of the Buy Emergency Foods (Legacy Foods) free food giveaway is Sharon. She will have her choice of dog food, cat food or people food. Here is how she answered the question:
In an extreme power outage, what amusements do you have in place to keep yourself and your family occupied without TV, video games, and the computer/Internet?
We have backup power enough to run a couple light bulbs or recharge cell phones, Kindle, etc., but we also have tons of books, magazines & board games. We typically have too much to do around the “farm” to have much down time…so usually these things pile up on the bookshelf, unread, until we get weather that’s too crummy to do anything else in….like today. 🙁
Congratulations, Sharon. For everyone else, the next giveaway is Friday when I review the fabulous HERC Tea Light Oven.
NEWS FROM OUR SPONSOR
Let’s give a warm Backdoor Survival welcome to JZ O’Brien, the author of SURVIVING ABE: A Climate-Fiction Novel. You know how I love survival fiction! This one is $2.99 and as one reviewer says: “A very good read! Leaves you begging for more!”
As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival.
TIPS FOR USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Spark Naturals is including a free bottle of “Wild Orange“ with all March Oil of the Month orders. As I mentioned above, my bottle just arrived so I have been researching how to use it. Here is what I have learned:
Fights Depression – Mood Lifter
Breaks up Heartburn causing Acid
Aids the Digestive System & The Lymph System
Helps with Sleep Issues
Assists with Addiction Withdrawals
Brightens Dull / Oily Facial Skin
Here is a link for more information on the Oil of the Month Club. Don’t forget to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL to get a discount on all orders (except OOTM which is already discounted).
THE FINAL WORD
That about wraps things up for this week. I am still playing catch-up from my trip and need to devote more time prepping the garden in the coming week,
So what about you – what did you do to prep this week? Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.
Bargain Bin: Here are of some items mentioned today as well as some personal and BDS reader favorites and items from the current Amazon Top 10.
Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat: I have always used a heat mat with my seeds but in recent years I have been purchasing starts. My old mat is long gone and this year I am growing my own veggies from seed. And heirloom seed at that. This is the heating mat that I have ordered.
Yimby Tumbling Composter: I love my new composter. This one was $99 and it works great – unlike the first one I purchased and returned. If you have hesitated to begin composting, consider this tumbling version. I will keep you posted about my progress but so far I am pleased.
Plastic Ointment Jars With Lids 1/4 Oz 10/pkg: These small ointment jars make it easy to custom blend various salve concoctions. Less than $6.00 for 10 with free shipping. Have you tried my salve? See the article DIY Miracle Healing Salve and make your own!
One Second After: For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. I did not realize until now that the price for the Kindle version was only $2.99. If you have not read this book, you really should. This will set the stage for other novels in the survival fiction niche.
Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10-pack: There are 10 boxes of 40 matches each for about $7. That is a good deal for 400 waterproof matches.
Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: FAVORITE! Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. Many Backdoor Survival have emailed me indicating this is now their favorite knife too. I paid $12 for this knife; it was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.77.
FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp: FAVORITE! Here we go with another flashlight. At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.80 with free shipping. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.
Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver: The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. Here is the antenna I ordered along with the programming cable: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more. And this month only, there is FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $150 or more!
I frequently forget to mention that Emergency Essentials sells a huge selection of preparedness gear. This month, the Kaito Voyager is on sale for $39.99. If you have been procrastinating on purchasing an emergency radio – or, do not have a spare – this would be a great item to add to your food storage order.
This is just one of the items on sale this month. Click on this link for more: Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials.
Are You Interested in Essential Oils?
I now use essential oils from Spark Naturals for wellness purposes. There are a lot reasons one of which is there commitment to both quality and value.
My recommendation is the Health and Wellness kit which includes all of my favorites or, if you are just getting started, the Essential 4 Pack which includes Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Peppermint. Be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount.