This weekend I had a chance to spend some time with the folks at Briden Solutions. As half of their product line includes food I told them to feed me. So they did. I watched as they made a meal using food from their product line. The starch for the meal was Fried Rice. They included freeze dried peas, corn and mushrooms which were delicious and easy to prepare and add to the rice dish. I also got to taste them separately.
The freeze dried peas were great as a vegetable alone and if I was using it as a side vegetable I would have been happy to just add some salt and pepper. The freeze dried corn had a nice taste and texture. However, I will admit that I grew up in a community famous for its “sweet” corn. This corn was not sweet. I missed that, but mixed in a side dish I didn’t notice the lack of sweetness, and many do not like a sweet corn.
I also had an opportunity to try the freeze dried mushrooms. I thought this might be an product ripe for disaster. I was pleased to find the instruction to reconstitute with the proper amounts of water actually did work. They reconstituted so nicely and tasted to me alot like a Money’scanned mushroom. I’m definitely adding this to my personal list of foods I like freeze dried from Briden Solutions.
What are your favourite products?
Sometimes it is not an emergency but circumstance that finds a child at home alone. I recently came across a program offered by a neighbouring community for children who do spend time at home without parental supervision.
This community has created a program aimed at 10-12 year olds. The course covers topics on coming home to an empty house and feeling secure, 911 calls, fire prevention, and a few first aid skills. For more information on this program check out http://www.strathcona.ab.ca/departments/Emergency_Services/Public_safety_education/6861.aspx.
If you have a child that will be home alone, you might want to find out if your local community has a similar program or might be willing to offer one.
Seriously, don’t tell me a computer crash isn’t a disaster. One of the reasons that I am so very interested in emergency preparedness is because I am a genealogist or family historian by love and by training. I can’t tell you the distress that I would experience if I lost either my computer research files and databases or my paper files and family memoriabilia. In my case I’m aware that my evacuation lists have my family history research files and memoriabilia higher up the priority list than my taxes and my insurance papers (probably because I’ve scanned them, saved them to my computer and backed them up online).
So what can we do to prepare for a crash? Because computers are not immortal and they do die.
Online backups are becoming very popular. Some are free and some are fee for service. A few options are
- Windows 7 backup and restore centre and
- Mac Time Machine.
Now you might look at the words “fee for service” and shrink back from the computer screen – however; how much does it cost to lose the data on your computer?
Many of the above listed programs backup online or to restore files on your computer almost seamlessly. No more inserting CDs or DVDs into your computer, choosing which files to copy and backup, taking out the discs, labeling them and then taking them to the bank or sending them far, far away so they are safe from any accident, theft or disaster that may happen to your home. Maybe a small monthly fee is looking a little less expensive?
An excellent article on backing up your computer files online can be found at LifeHacker at http://lifehacker.com/?utm_source=Lifehacker+Newsletter&utm_campaign=49b6a4ec83-UA-142218-1&utm_medium=email#!5720731/resolved-keep-your-computer-safe-clean-and-backed-up-in-2011
This weekend I have the opportunity to go visit Briden Solutions and talk to the owners. I’m hoping to do some taste testing of their food products, check out some of their cool emergency preparedness equipment and maybe get some inside scoops on preparedness from the preparedness solution experts. I’ll let you know what I find out.
Ever lost your wallet or had it stolen? Do you even know what is in your wallet? I didn’t.
This past New Year’s I spent with my brother and his family. When I brought my bags into his house I put my purse down on a small children’s chair near the wall. My brother saw it and warned me to move it. I really meant to get around to moving it, but my niece and nephew are so cute and I immediately got busy playing with them.
Well the weekend past and I was getting ready to leave when my 2 year old nephew came around the corner and held his hand out to me with something in it. It was my credit card and a store loyalty card. Both had been in my wallet in my purse, which I had forgotten to move. Well after 4 days of temptation apparently my very young nephew gave in and pulled my wallet out of my purse and was going through the cards in it. Other than my driver’s license I only have six cards in my wallet. After a frantic search by three adults we found five of the six cards. To this day I have no idea what the sixth card in my wallet was.
Can’t happen to you because you KNOW everything that is in your wallet. Well let me tell you between stress and deep thinking to remember what that sixth card was, three months later I still have no clue which card is still missing. Solution: take your wallet in to your home office, or copy centre right now and photocopy everything that is in your wallet – both sides. Then make sure you put it in a safe place.
I’m a technology lover and so I have now photocopied the contents of my wallet, and I have scanned them and emailed them to myself. I did this because it is very unlikely that a future wallet loss will happen conveniently close to home where I have access to the photocopied version of the documents in my wallet.
Make time this week to make a copy of the cards, documents or contents in your wallet and then store in a “safe” place.
Paper preparedness??? What on earth is the Briden Blogger writing about.
Well think about it. You get a knock on your door one afternoon and the official standing there tells you there is a gas leak in your neighbourhood due to a gas pipe being accidentally hit by the construction workers building the new subdivision behind your house. You have 5 minutes to evacuate and no estimated time to return. What do you take?
Well hopefully you think to take your kids and pets. You may remember to grab your phone or your wallet. That’s about 3 minutes gone. You’ve got two minutes left. What next. You may lose those next two minutes just running around the house wondering what to take.
This actually happened to my sister last year. She and her son were home when they got the knock on the door. Thankfully my parents live in the same community and they went there after being evacuated. However, her husband and daughter were not at home and had to be contacted and notified of the evacuation. They had food because they were at my parents, but what if the evacuation turned out to be longer than a few hours. They had no clothes and no access to important paperwork.
The Canadian Government has a website called “Get Prepared” where they have information on creating a family plan for an emergency. Check it out here. http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/knw/plan/plan-eng.aspx
Sit down with your family in the next few weeks and create a family plan so your family knows what to do in an emergency.
A further note, my sister (mentioned above) read this post. This was her reply to my post. I’m proud that she did as well as she did with her paper preparedness. She obviously stayed calm enough to think about what would be important to take. How would you compare?
“I took my whole safe with me but no pictures. I took all my tax stuff on my memory stick. But I still need to make my paper up [of things to take with me in an emergency].”
I’ve heard many a wise person say, regarding food storage, that every time you shop you should buy just a little bit extra of what you already eat. It makes no sense to buy a 50lb bag of rice if all your life you’ve eaten potatos. However, adding a little variety to your current eating habits may not be such a bad thing either.
A starting point for many of us would be to look in our cupboards. Look at the foods we really eat. Maybe even check out the expiry dates on the food to help keep us honest. I have food that I moved in my last two moves, 6 years apart, that I promised myself I would “eat soon”. Of the foods we really eat, buy an extra can or two, or package next time we are at the store. Watch for sales and buy a couple of extra of whatever you like to eat. It really can be that simple to start.
As you build up your supply of food you may want to consider writing the date on the food when you bring it in the house so that you can always be eating your oldest food first – which keeps it from getting old.
Food isn’t the only category we should look at when preparing for an emergency. Watch for “paper” preparedness ideas coming next.
If you read the post earlier this week you will remember that I wrote about building up a storage supply of food in case of an emergency. However, you will likely find it amusing to find out that shortly after I moved out of my parents home to attend school I bought several packages of soft, good quality socks.
You see, I was no longer living under my parents roof. They were now a 5 hour drive away. I had convinced myself that if any emergency ever happened I would likely have to walk all the way home. (Remember about that room of food I told you we had growing up.) I couldn’t afford to build up a robust food storage like my parents had and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to buy enough gas in an emergency to get all the way home. So I prepared myself to walk.
This is a funny memory decades later, however; I think the underlying principles still apply. Could I take care of myself in an emergency for at least 72 hours and do I have the supplies needed and handy if I needed to evacuate? These are all good questions and in light of recent natural disasters around the world, current gasoline prices and promised hikes to food prices, questions we might all want to ask ourselves and start working towards.
How or where do we start? Coming soon.
Let me introduce myself. I am the new Briden Blogger. I have no corporate or financial affiliation with Briden Solutions, merely a lifelong interest in emergency preparedness. Only, of course, growing up we didn’t call it that. You see we had a room full of food – our food storage. I thought everybody had a room like that. When there were sales we bought a little more of that item so there was always food.
I thought that food room was for people like my mom who didn’t love cooking. Many nights she would go stand in the food room and wait for inspiration about what to cook for supper. I’ve inherited that “don’t know what to make for supper gene”.
Now you are probably thinking what does my mom’s lack of meal planning inspiration have to do with emergency preparedness. Well it turns out that our family’s food room wasn’t so mom could have a place to go for inspiration about what to make for supper, it was actually a supply of food for an emergency. A disaster, financial crisis, sickness, epidemic, whatever. My family, okay, my parents worked really hard to make sure that we had a well developed supply of non perishable food that we could eat in an emergency. They also developed a plan to use up food that had been in storage the longest so that our food in cans, bottles, and boxes was fresh and not expired.
Now that I look back I realize that my parents set an excellent example for me. I too am always working to build up a supply of food that I can store, of foods that I actually eat. I am also very conscious about rotating through my food storage to keep items current.
I am wondering if food storage in anticipation of an emergency, even financial, is common? Or is food storage a thing of yesterday and we expect to be able to purchase what we need before or during a crisis, should one occur? Let me know your thoughts.
Watch for the story of the socks coming later this week.