The ol' Skinflint Curmudgeon

Surviving in Disaster Emergencies

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Holiday Newsletter 2006

Services Disruped; Power, Water, Food, Hygiene, Health, Safety?
 
Emergencies happen;
--Hurricane Katrina hit Southern Coast August 2005;
--Record Tsunami hit Indonesia 2004;
--Earthquakes, tornadoes, wind, rain, snow and ice storms can cause disrupted power service;
--Artifically created power grid outages (Enron)
--The  Y2K scare generated concerns about emergency preparedness
-- Oh, and we got hit with the December 2007 storm here in Pacific Northwest - winds at hurricane strength - 140 mph.
--Hurricane Ike hit Texas hard in 2008.
 
The ol' Curmudgeon knows these things can happen and borrows from  'educational' articles to share suggestions about What to Do in an Emergency.  Many of these are 'survival' type instructions; use at your own risk

What to do in emergency  power outages
 
Emergency Guide: Lights and Warmth


KEEPING WARM

If electric or gas utilities fail, don't try to heat the entire house. It is easier to heat one room, and it is easier to heat a room if you are bundled up warmly. A winter emergency is not a time to expect that you can walk around the house barefoot and in shorts. Wear loose layers of clothes. Keep dry. Wet clothing loses its ability to insulate, and can suck heat right out of you (wool is an exception). Stay out of the wind as much as possible. Clean clothes keep you warm better than dirty clothes. Make sure your head, hands, and feet are protected. Wear a warm cap inside & outside the house.

Newspapers can be emergency insulation. Wrap them around legs, arms, torso, tape over windows/ceilings, on the floor. Blankets, cloth, curtains, plastic, newspapers, & mattresses can be used to insulate windows, doors, walls, and floors. DO NOT seal the room so that no fresh air can get in. You must have ventilation.

Emergency heaters include propane, kerosene, candles, wood, "canned heat", buddy burners, and the burners on your gas stove (if the gas is on but the electricity is off). Place all open-flame heaters in front of a ventilation opening (this keeps exhaust fumes from spreading through the room). A window or door MUST be open at least 1" to provide sufficient fresh air. Position the heater so that it won't be knocked over.

Propane camp stoves may be used indoors, but DO NOT use liquid Coleman fuel stoves inside the house. DO NOT leave a propane camp stove, or the burners on a natural gas stove, burning while you sleep. Kerosene used according to the manufacturer's directions, can be safely used while sleeping. DO NOT leave candles burning while you are asleep. They may get knocked over in the night and cause a fire. DO NOT use charcoal briquets inside for cooking or keeping warm -- doing this has killed people. DO NOT use wood unless you have a fireplace or properly installed wood stove. If you need a campfire, build it in a safe place outside. The flame of 1 candle can keep you from freezing to death.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the improper use of open flame heating include headache, lethargy, blurry vision, room feels "stuffy". If symptoms occur, get fresh air into the room immediately or move everybody out fast. Pregnant women and unborn babies are particularly at risk.

At night, use extra sleeping insulation such as blankets, newspapers, sleeping bags, rugs, curtains, layered clothing, and have everyone sleep together. Wear a cap to bed. If you have no heat, pitch a tent in the middle of a room, and gather the family inside. If you don't have a tent, improvise one from sheets, blankets, newspapers and furniture. DO NOT use open flame heating inside a tent. The best place for babies is on their mother's bodies, either in the arms or using one of the many ways of carrying a baby and still having your hands free. Drink a lot of water, and eat frequent meals with lots of carbohydrates. If you have heat, and your neighbor doesn't, invite them to shelter with you. Work with your community to ensure that nobody is left out in the cold.

 

MAKE A BUDDY BURNER  (at your own risk suggestion)

Materials needed: Plain corrugated cardboard (no bright ink printing, no wax or plastic coating), flat tuna/pet food cans, or flat pineapple cans and lids, #10 can (the large institutional size), candle wax or paraffin. Tools: punch-type can opener, tin snips

1. Cut the cardboard in strips whose width is the height of the can -- across the corrugations, so the hole show. Roll the strips until the cardboard roll fits snugly into the can.

2. Melt the wax. Use a double boiler, because if the wax gets too hot, it can burst into flame. You can improvise a double boiler by putting water in a large pan, and then setting a smaller pan into the water. Each tuna can will take about 4 ounces of wax.

3. When the wax is melted, slowly pour it into the buddy burner so that it runs down into the holes and saturates the corrugated cardboard and fills the can to the rim. You can put a small piece of cardboard sticking up or a candle wick in the middle to help start it, but this isn't required. Let it cool and harden. To light it, set it on a brick or concrete block. Put a lighted match in the middle of the can or light the wick. The flame will spread across the top of the can.

If using indoors, place in front of a door or window open at least 1 inch. Set the burner on a brick or concrete block, It produces a lot of heat and the flame can be 6 to 8 inches high. This doesn't mean it is unsafe, it does mean you can't play around with it or treat it casually or without thinking about what you are doing. BE CAREFUL. Pay attention to details and use common sense whenever handling open flame. DON'T set it on the floor, as someone may kick it over. DON'T let the kids play with it (toasting marshmellows is OK).

To use for cooking: Cut out one end of the #10 can. Use the tin snips to cut a 3" high and 4" wide "door" on one side of the can at the open end. Leave the top of the door uncut. Bend this flap of metal up so the door is "open". Take the punch-type can opener, and make 3 or 4 holes on the other side of the can at the top (this is your chimney). Light the tuna can, place the #10 can over the Buddy Burner and cook on top of the can. This "can stove" can be adapted to fuels like twigs, charcoal or charcoal briquets, but these shouldn't be used indoors. Charcoal briquets should never be used indoors under any circumstances. The fumes can kill you.

To regulate the flame, use the can lid as a damper. Place it over all of the flame to extinguish the fire, or cover it partially to regulate the amount of flame. You can also use a piece of aluminum foil (several thicknesses folded), that is larger than the tuna can. Handle the damper with a pot holder, or a pair of plyers, or punch a couple of holes in the edges of the lid and use some wire to make a handle. To refill the buddy burner, place small amounts of wax on the cardboard while the burner is operating. As long as it has wax, it will burn.

Baking: Using tuna cans as little pans, anything you would bake in a regular oven can be baked on top of the #10 can stove. Simply place another #10 can over your baking pan and its an oven!

Emergency heat: Don't put the #10 can over the buddy burner, as it makes more smoke with the #10 can than without. Light the buddy burner, let it warm up a room. As soon as the room is warm, extinguish the buddy burner.

A second type of buddy burner can be made by putting a roll of toilet paper in a can (such as a new paint can, or a #10 can.) Soak the paper with alcohol, place as noted in "important precautions" below, and light.

 

LIGHTING

Emergency lighting can be candles, flashlights, and lanterns. Putting a light in front of a mirror increases the illumination. If using candles, kerosene, or propane lanterns, take appropriate fire safety precautions. DO NOT go to sleep with an open flame light burning. Store fuels like propane and kerosene safely outside of the house or apartment.

You can get power for lights and radios from a car battery. People familiar with electricity can rig emergency lights from car batteries, brake lights, wire and fuse boxes from cars or junkyards. It is also possible to build an improvised generator using an automobile alternator and a lawn mower engine. If these activities are organized as a community, people with skills will be able to help others learn how to do these things. This kind of utilization will cause a car battery to deteriorate faster, but in an emergency, sometimes such trade-offs have to be made.

 

OTHER ENERGY ISSUES

Fossil fuels have "Carbohydrate" cousins. Alcohol made from grain can be used in place of gasoline (this requires some adjustment of the engine), and "biodiesel" can be made from any kind of animal or vegetable fat or oil. No modifications are necessary for the diesel engine, and the exhaust smells like french fries. Making biodiesel involves combining methanol and lye and then mixing this with vegetable oil. The process yields glycerin soap as a byproduct. Methane gas is a produced by rotting compost, trash, and human waste. In China, such gas is used to cook food and power vehicles. Due to space limitations, it is not possible to describe these alternatives fuels in detail, but most communities have people with these kills and knowledge, or it can be found in libraries.. 
 

WORK TOGETHER WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

Hard times call people to come together in solidarity and cooperation. Many of the activities necessary for recovery from a disaster are difficult at the household level. Through voluntary cooperation with others on useful, life-sustaining projects, the health, safety, and wellness of the entire community is protected.

Pay attention to your own inner responses to the disaster, and understand that many people will have adverse psychological or spiritual reactions to disasters. Be extra patient (especially with children).

 Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce this flyer for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. "The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits.

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What to do if services are disruptedEMERGENCY NOTES:
 Hygiene, Trash, Human Wastes


Hygiene

This is the first line of defense against the spread of disease and despair. If electricity is not available, household duties require the assistance of everyone. Persons with special needs (such as families with young children or the elderly) may need the help of neighbors. Attacking messes when they are "small" keeps them from becoming big problems If water is scarce, scrub pots and dishes with brushes (or clean sand, or newspaper) to remove food particles and grease, and then wash in hot soapy water

Use ordinary unscented chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite, 5.25% in water solution, such as Clorox) to make sanitizing and disinfecting cleaning solutions. To make a sanitizing solution: For hard, non-porous surfaces, use 1 tablespoon liquid bleach in 1 gallon water, wet and then air dry, don't rinse. For porous surfaces (like a wood cutting board), use 3 tablespoons bleach per gallon, wet liberally, rinse and wipe dry. To make a disinfecting solution: Use 3/4 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water, small items can be soaked, surfaces such as floors or counters should be wet liberally and kept wet for 2 minutes. 1 tablespoon of powdered detergent may be added, but do not add anything that contains ammonia, as it reacts badly with chlorine. Rinse after disinfection. For toilets, pour 1 cup bleach into the bowl, brush, let stand for 10 minutes. Change the solutions frequently when doing heavy cleaning.

Use rubber or plastic tubs or buckets and a household plunger to wash clothes without electricity. Put water, detergent, and clothes in the buckets. Cut a hole in the lid for the plunger handle (the agitator). Soak the clothes. Insert the plunger handle through the lid, put the lid on the bucket, agitate, and voila, wash day without electricity. You can use the sink, but if water is scarce, don't let the wash water to run down the drain (if the sewer isn't working, the drain may be clogged). Use a tub of clear water to rinse the clothes. Some clothes may require hand scrubbing Air dry by hanging on clothes lines or hangers. In winter, you can air dry outside, but you may have to crack ice to remove it from the clothes (wear gloves when hanging clothes in winter). Hand wringing clothes is laborious work, you'll want extra hands to help; Use the wringer of a commercial mop bucket.

 

Personal Cleanliness

If water is scarce, use a bucket or tote instead of the tub for bathing. If you use a sink, don't let the water disappear down the drain, you'll need it for flushing the toilet. Put the tote in the bathtub and stand inside it. Use a camp shower, sprinkler bucket, or cups of water, or a wash cloth and a basin of water. Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the toilet; many diseases are passed hand to mouth. If water is scarce, pour a chlorine bleach disinfecting solution over your hands (mix this in a jug, and have it ready for use). Cornmeal or cornstarch can be used as dry shampoos (sprinkle liberally in the hair, and then brush vigorously). Use only boiled or otherwise purified water for brushing your teeth or cleaning contact lenses. If you usually shave, continue to do so unless a scarcity of water or lack of razor blades make this impossible. On sunny days, you can have hot water for washing by painting food grade plastic buckets (with lids) black, filling them with water, and putting them in the sun. (This can also be a source of free heat; put several into the sun, and bring them in to help keep a room warm.) You can also paint 2 liter pop bottles black to obtain smaller amounts of hot water.

Maintaining normal routines is important. Don't skip your daily bath! It boosts morale and prevents disease. Be proactive in your community to ensure public health.

 

Trash

If normal services are interrupted, trash is a serious urban health danger. If you don't take care of it, the rats and flies will, and you won't like that. The primary rule is: Be careful what you throw away and how you throw it away. "What ya do with what ya got" is a traditional saying that bears remembering. People can respond creatively to disruptions of normal supplies and services. When you begin to think of your trash as less of a disposal problem and more of a useful resource, you're getting to the point.

Start by throwing away less stuff. Bottles and cans have other uses once they have been emptied; food and shredded paper can be composted. If stores are closed, you'll find uses for cans. Sort what you throw away; a big problem with recycling is the practice of mixing different kinds of trash. Don't mix wet and dry trash! You will create a stinky mess that will be attractive to flies and rats. Keep toxic items such as spray paint cans separate. Don't put disposable diapers in with other trash. Separate it, bag it, stack it, and cover it with a tarp so it can't get wet.

Compost the wet trash. Mix shredded dry materials (such as newspapers, leaves or sawdust), wet and green trash (lawn clippings, kitchen/garden scraps -- no meats or fats -- and dirt. Keep this compost heap covered with dry material, and slightly damp. If it starts to stink, you probably need to add more dry material or dirt. As the compost rots, it generates heat. You can capture some of this heat as hot water by running a garden hose through the compost heap(s).

Don't put disposable diapers into latrines, compost heaps, or bury them in the ground. If trash collection is disrupted, switch to cloth diapers. Disposable diapers in a disaster situation are a disaster in and of themselves. They can't be burned (institutions can be fined for burning them in their trash incinerators). If you bury them, you could end up digging up your entire yard and you will have a backyard full of diapers that will never decompose. Bag and stack them if you must, but cloth diapers are actually less hassle than fly-infested bags of smelly "disposable" diapers. Feminine pads and tampons should be buried or burned.

If disruptions of trash collection are prolonged, you may be tempted to organize the burning of trash, but this should be done in conjunction with public authorities such as fire or police departments. Be pro-active in organizing your neighborhood to take care of its trash. Don't wait for the flies and the rats to start working on it. Think of your community's trash as a resource that can be used to help people get through tough times.

 

Disposal of Human Wastes

The breakdown of a city's sewage system is an immediate threat of the spread of disease. Improper disposal of human wastes causes epidemic diseases that kill people. Immediate intervention is required. Do not use public spaces such as parks or lawns for human waste disposal on the surface of the ground. Do not bury human waste in snow. If the sewer works, but the water doesn't, use water that has been used for washing to flush the toilets. The "California System": "If it's yellow, it's mellow; if it's brown, flush it down".

Chemical toilets (such as porta-potties) are a temporary solution, but something must eventually be done with the sewage in the storage chamber. If you have access to a gas station or RV park, or if trucks can come and pump the tanks, you can dump into a holding tank; this service may be limited by the availability of fuel and electricity.

To make an emergency toilet, put a toilet seat on a rigid plastic bucket. In the bottom of the bucket, place some sawdust, peat moss, or dried leaves mixed with some dirt. After each use, add more of this material so the waste is covered. When the bucket is full, you have 2 options: (1) Dig a hole in the ground about six feet deep and 2 or 3 feet across. Empty into the hole, and cover completely with dirt. Cover the hole with a board weighted down with bricks or rocks. When this has been filled to within 2 feet of the surface, fill it the rest of the way with dirt. Disposal holes must be at least 8 yards away from a source of water such as a well, pond, or stream. (2) empty into a compost heap, and cover completely with natural materials. (This compost should be aged for at least one year before using, and it must be monitored to ensure that it heats up properly so the disease pathogens are killed.) An alternative is to put water in the bucket, and empty it each time it is used for solid wastes. After rinsing, disinfect with a chlorine bleach disinfecting solution.

The primary problems of outdoor pit latrines are flies/mosquitos, odors, and the spread of disease, none of which are minor nuisances. Manage these by: (1) covering the pit with a slab of concrete or plywood; this slab must fit tightly to the pit walls so that there are no gaps or holes between the latrine cover and the edges of the pit, (2) installing a capped and screened vent pipe that rises at least 18 inches above the roof of the latrine, and (3) using a tight fitting seat cover inside the latrine. Paint the vent pipe black and place on the sunny side of the latrine. This heats the air inside the pipe, causing it to rise and draw air out of the pit, minimizing odor.

If toilet paper is not available, many common papers can substitute, such as newspaper or phone book paper. Some cultures use water for cleansing.

Your health and wellness in disaster situations depends a lot on your community's ability to properly meet the challenges of public health such as hygiene, trash, and sewage disposal.

Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce this flyer for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. "The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits."

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Building Community During a Major Disaster
Normal life has a strong hold on us; it is what we are familiar with and understand. But this "normality" can change suddenly, radically, and painfully, bringing death, destruction, and dislocation with little or no warning. Prolonged and extensive disasters are a difficult challenge to the safety, security, health and wellness of our families and communities. We may expect help to arrive almost immediately; this may not happen; circumstances can prevent it from happening.

Disasters happen. On April 5, 1992, the first of what became an average of 4,000 artillery shells a day fell on Sarajevo, a cosmopolitan European city of 500,000 people that had hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. The siege continued for almost 4 years (the longest of the 20th century). Overnight, the city lost electricity, water, natural gas, & telephone service. 10,000 people were killed, 50,000 wounded. By 1993, the price of wood was $200 per cubic meter, dandelions and nettles fetched high prices. Seeds were smuggled into the city, & gardens were planted everywhere. Ham radio operators helped the city keep in touch with the outside world. For light, people used car batteries, candles, and homemade oil lamps (jars filled with vegetable oil, with shoe strings for wicks).

Throughout this traumatic event, the people of Sarajevo coped with dramatically changed circumstances by working together and continuing their lives as best they could under the circumstances. Many cottage industries and small businesses were started to provide the goods & services that people needed under the new situation. Artists & musical groups staged plays & concerts; religious services continued, children went to school, doctors operated by flashlight. Everything was inconvenient -- people had to walk miles for water (they also caught rain from roofs and drank melted snow), there was little public transportation. The city's markets stayed open, but prices fluctuated with the availability of home grown/made or smuggled goods. The simplest tasks became time consuming. Snipers and artillery added to the stress. The suicide and general mortality rates increased. Few buildings escaped damage. But the city did not collapse and die in a chaos of disorder and violence. People were brought together in solidarity by the situation The moral of this story: Some responses to disasters are better than others; when life hands you a lemon, don't whine, make lemonade.

3 kinds of reactions to disaster: (1) During and after a disaster, people may develop personality changes relating to trauma-related stress. They may experience anxiety attacks, have trouble sleeping and eating, feel on edge & brittle, be easily disturbed or upset, become over-protective of loved ones, experience emotional episodes (including crying), and suffer despair and a sense of hopelessness. They may feel so powerless to affect their situation that they are almost incapable of helping themselves. They may become angry and resentful, unable to make decisions, easily irritated, unable to focus on work, lacking the energy even for basic daily activities. They may be sad, depressed, and unwilling to confront the situation that brought about the disaster. (Sources: Virginia Cooperative Extension & materials distributed after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the May 1999 tornado disaster in the same city.)

(2) During and after a disaster, people may experience strong feelings of solidarity & bonding with their neighbors and others who have suffered the same situation. They may become very cooperative, generous, compassionate, helpful, and warm-hearted. People often demonstrate the ability to learn new skills very fast, and exhibit a lot of ingenuity and creativity in working around obstacles and managing chaotic situations. Humans are known for sacrificing themselves to save others -- sometimes for members of their family, but also for complete strangers. We can work hard and smart when the need is there. Instead of giving into despair, we can become pro-active. People are very adaptable, even when changes are coming very fast and the stress is very grave.

(3) During and after a disaster, some people take advantage of the suffering, distress, weakness, or problems of others. They profiteer on scarce goods, refuse to cooperate on necessary neighborhood projects, hinder rescue and repair efforts, and/or turn violent and criminal. Some disasters have been followed by violence & looting, and theft generally increases. Goods donated by humanitarian organizations may end up in the marketplaces at inflated prices. People can be rude, arrogant, pushy, violent, or lazy in the absence of a disaster, and these traits may be intensified by the stress of a major traumatic event.

Got commonsense? Panic, paralysis, flight, and helplessness. Pro-activity, solidarity, cooperation, smart work. Crime, thuggery, profiteering, vicious competition. All responses to disasters are not created equal; some are more dangerous than others. If times get tough, encourage and support the good; discourage and avoid the bad, protect the weak & defenseless. The actions of individuals and neighborhoods can have dramatic consequences for the larger systems of society (for good or evil). The Scout precept -- "Do a good deed daily" -- as well as the religious, ethical, and philosophical traditions of many diverse cultures bear witness to this. Many good deeds done daily are seeds of a culture of life and love.

Special Needs of Children: Children are greatly affected by disasters; they will need extra realistic reassurances (don't promise what you can't deliver.) Expect them to be afraid -- 4 common fears are death, darkness, animals, and abandonment. Refusing to discuss such fears with children will only intensify their concerns; encourage them to talk about their feelings or otherwise express them through activities such as play acting or painting. Their feelings won't go away if adults refuse to talk about them, if repressed, eventually they will come out, usually in a negative way. Pretending that problems don't exist only makes them worse. Physical reactions like nightmares, vomiting, headaches, or emotional reactions like refusing to eat, getting upset easily, feeling guilty or neglected, are very common reactions to severe stress. Kids may regress to earlier behaviors like bed wetting or wanting a special toy. When you talk with your children, listen to how they say what they say. Watch them at play -- with other children, and with their toys. Repeat information & reassurances many times; answer their questions as much as you can. Hold your child, provide comfort (touching is very important for children during stress). Spend extra time with them before going to bed. Don't hesitate to seek help from friends, family, schools, religious organizations, or support groups. Caution: the stress reactions of your kids will be a source of stress for you. Don't take your stress out on your kids. (Source: Virginia Cooperative Extension & tornado disaster info.)

When a disaster happens: Take care of first things first. Immediate threats are the obvious & threatening: fire, freezing cold, medical emergencies, severe weather, industrial-chemical-pipeline explosions. Medically fragile people, the elderly, and families with young children are especially vulnerable in disasters. Check on your neighbors! It may be necessary to set up heated shelters in homes or public buildings during winter emergencies, or for people to stay with neighbors. Be realistic in your expectations. Things may not get back to normal instantly. It will take time for the situation to recover and the burden may be on each community to rescue itself. Encourage dialogue about what has happened. People's emotions may be roller-coastering; it will help (a lot!) to be able to talk about the event and how it has impacted their lives, for better or for worse. Encourage dialogue (organize opportunities for this to happen). But remember: rumors abound in disaster situations, and should be judged guilty until proven true. Beware of spreading false information that creates public anxiety.

Learn some relaxation techniques: take several slow deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, while thinking calm and peaceful thoughts (or prayers). Challenging events such as major disasters make demands on our "best natures". It's vital to determine the important actions to be taken in response to the disaster, but people may have different ideas about what is important and should be tackled first (this is true in families, neighborhoods, businesses, governments). Understanding this potential for disagreement helps manage the situation. Leaders must be patient in their interactions with others; they must understand that they are as vulnerable to these stress reactions as anybody else. Be aware of the tendency to resort to bad habits when you are under stress. Remember that "haste makes waste." Wisdom, daydreaming, & risk taking can reveal options that you never felt possible.

Be pro-active and hopeful. If there are things that need to be done to help put things back to normal, then do them. Try not to be swamped by details (while remembering that often the devil is in those details). Keep your eyes on the big picture and what has to happen in order to ensure the health, safety, security, and wellness of your family and neighborhood. Think "outside the box", be open to creative solutions to shortages, failed public services, or problems in the marketplace. Even small actions that promote stability and preparedness can affect the ultimate outcome of this event, for better or for worse. What you and your family do (and what you don't do!) will be important not only for your own family, but also for your entire community. Artists, entertainers, musicians, and theater groups should expect that their services will be in great demand, ditto for plumbers, doctors, mechanics, gardeners, nurses, mothers, priests, tailors, engineers, electricians, and many other skills, trades and services. (Librarians will be major heroes!) There will be plenty of work to be done, and it will help if the work is as smart as possible. You won't be able to get through this safely and securely all by yourself: you will need your community, and your community will need you.

Morale is critical during hard times. Draw on all the resources available to you to bolster morale in yourself, your family, and your neighborhood. After attending to any immediate and pressing emergencies of the disaster, invite your neighbors for a potluck dinner. Use this as a time to talk with them about how your community will meet this grave challenge. Many people find strength in religious, ethical, cultural, and philosophical traditions. These beliefs can be structures of support to carry people through hard times. If your family has religious or devotional practices, do not neglect them under the pressure of events in a crisis. If your family doesn't have any religious or devotional practices, you should think about getting some.

Honesty is the best policy. Leaders must be prudent in their responses, because poor leadership can make a disaster much worse, aggravating an already bad situation. Resist the dead end path of authoritarianism. The best and most effective leadership in a crisis is servant leadership. Bad news should not be concealed. Lies, half truths, making promises that can't be kept, and evading the issues or their consequences are sure and certain destroyers of leadership credibility. (It is also essentially immoral to not warn the public of hazards.) Beware of those who resort to politics and scape-goating in their disaster response; those who do this run the risk of being suspected of bad faith or of attempting to shift blame from themselves onto others. The time for apportioning blame (if this can be done) is after the recovery is well underway, not during the on-going progress of the disaster.

"The world will be saved by Beauty." Civilization doesn't just happen by accident, we have to work at it. If we keep practicing, we will eventually get good at it. In the meantime, everybody must do their part to maintain community and support the common good, especially during a disaster. You will start re-creating a safe and secure community when you yourself decide that you will be a good neighbor. Like charity, building community begins at home, it starts with you. In a disaster, you may feel that you have lost control over your situation. But building community is something you can do, right here, right now, in the place where you are -- whether or not the electricity works, you have a job, or the buses are running. Nobody is an island. Think of your neighborhood as your village, and discover anew the truth that we have learned many times in history: united we stand, divided we fall, cooperation is as important as competition. (During a disaster, cooperation is much more important than competition.) Don't leave anybody behind, there is room in the boat for everybody. And let's remember this good advice as we rebuild: we can do better next time!

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Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce this flyer for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. http://www.bettertimesinfo.org, rmwj@soonernet.com . These notes are not meant to provide all the details, but rather to suggest ideas for coping with prolonged disruptions due to the instability and injustice of modern systems of economics and governance.

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       Water Purification
 
  You Never MIiss The Water Until Your Well runs dry.

If the water system has been disrupted, assume the water is impure unless announced otherwise. 90% of the surface water on Earth is unsafe to drink without purification. Many life-threatening diseases and parasites can be spread by impure water. Do not take chances with water; always boil or otherwise purify any water suspected of impurities. Here are some places to look for water:

Your household plumbing. (1) close the main shutoff valve. If the gas and electricity are still on, turn off the hot water heater. (2) Open the faucets, one by one, collecting any water that comes out. Do this until all the faucets in the house have been opened and their water drained. (3) Open the drain valve on your main water line. If there is no valve, disconnect a water pipe at the lowest point in your system, and drain the water. To tap the water heater, close the cold water inlet pipe (on top of the heater). Open a hot water tap and let the water run until it stops. Attach a hose to the drain cock in the base of the heater, open the valve and drain into a container. The plumbing of large buildings will contain a lot of water. The building maintenance supervisor would know how to access this water. Waterbed water is not safe to drink due to the toxic anti-algae treatments, but it is a great source for water for flushing toilets. Treated swimming pool water is a judgment call based on what it has been treated with.

Wells. Many cities have artesian wells in parks and other public places. Studies indicate that ground water that has filtered through 2 meters (a little more than six feet) of sand or loam is free of bacteria, parasites, and other water-borne problems, but there could be problems such as a leaky sewer pipe or industrial contamination with the water. Unless announced otherwise, purify the water. Rain. Most houses and buildings have gutters that collect and channel rain to down spouts. When it rains, let the water run for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then catch the runoff from the down spouts in barrels or buckets. (If the roof is in bad repair, cover it with tarps or plastic.) Rainwater can be caught on flat roofs by tarps that channel the water into buckets. Rainwater is very pure, but if the roof or gutters are in bad condition or dirty, purify the water before drinking.

Streams, rivers, lakes. All surface water must be purified before drinking. Just because animals and birds may drink it doesn't make it safe for humans. Water-borne diseases & parasites are grave threats from such water, even if it looks sparkling clean and pure. Snow and ice melt. Fresh, clean, just-fallen snow can be melted and used without further purification. Older snow must be purified. Don't eat snow; you'll have a net water loss due to the energy required to melt the snow. Use a candle, a camp stove, wood stove, or the sun. Two ways to melt snow with the sun are: (1) Pack clear containers (smaller containers, like a 2 liter bottle with the top cut off) with snow. Place them on a black background in full sun. (2) Put two poles in the ground and drape a couple of black trash bags so their ends are in a bucket. Put some snow on the black plastic. Orient this so the snow is exposed to full sun. The melted water trickles down the plastic into the bucket. Rivers. Dig a hole at least 3 feet deep below the level of the water, about 12 feet from the river's edge, in a spot that is only a foot or so above the level of the river. You may need to shore up the sides of this hole to keep it from collapsing. Water will seep into this hole from the river, and will be relatively clean water, but it must be purified before using.

Emergency purification of water

Water to be purified by these methods should be as clear as possible. If the water is cloudy or dirty because of suspended solids, let it sit in buckets for a day or so to allow the solid materials to settle to the bottom. Siphon clear water from the center and middle of the bucket, leaving the solids and the water just above them in the bottom. Put this water through several layers of coffee filters or clean cloth. Then treat it by one of these methods. Make purified water taste better by adding a bit of lemon juice or a powdered drink mix; also, pouring back and forth between two clean containers helps.

Boil for 10 minutes. "Boiled" means a rolling boil, not simmering. At higher altitudes, increase the boiling time to 15 minutes. To improve the taste, add a pinch of salt to each quart of boiled water and pour it back and forth between two containers. Treat with chlorine or iodine. Use plain, old-fashioned chlorine bleach (the label says "sodium hypochlorite at 5.25%", Clorox bleach is this strength, don't use scented or colored bleach). Add 8 drops to each gallon of water. Mix thoroughly and let it stand for 30 minutes. It should have a slight chlorine odor. If it doesn't, repeat the procedure. To purify with iodine, use "2% U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP) strength" (ordinary household or medicinal iodine). For clear water, add 20 drops per gallon, 40 drops if the water is cloudy. Cover and let it stand for 30 minutes. If you are using water purification tablets; follow the directions on the label. Bleach and iodine kill micro-organisms, if there are chemical pollutants in the water, they will remain. Distillation. Put 3 tuna cans on the bottom of a large pot and place a smaller pot on top of the tuna cans. Put unpurified water in the larger pot (make sure the smaller pot does not float off of the tuna cans.) Turn the lid upside down and place it on the large pot. Bring the pot to a boil. The vapor will condense on the under side of the upside-down lid and flow down the lid to drip into the smaller pot. To hasten the process, you can put a bit of cool water in the lid, but make sure the cool water can't drip through the lid into the water below.

Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. "The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits." http://www.bettertimesinfo.org

 Food preparation and safety


EMERGENCY COOKING

+ Wood stoves, fireplaces, Dutch ovens, charcoal briquets, gas grills, camp stoves. Use bricks to make a stand for a pot or to hold a grill in an open fireplace. Dutch ovens can be cooked in fires outside in the yard or in the fireplace. Charcoal briquets can be used with cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, and other pots and pans, but such cooking must be done outside. Small 1 to 3 burner propane camp stoves can be used indoors (with adequate ventilation), liquid coleman/unleaded/white gas fuel stoves must be used outdoors. Most kerosene heaters get hot enough on top to cook food.

SAFETY NOTES: Emergency cooking will involve an open flame. If cooking inside a dwelling, you must have proper ventilation; a window or door open 1" will provide sufficient fresh air if the open flame camp stove is placed in front of (or very close to) the opening (this keeps exhaust fumes from spreading through the room). DO NOT use charcoal briquets inside for cooking -- doing this has killed people. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, lethargy, blurry vision, room feels "stuffy". If symptoms occur, get fresh air into the room immediately or move everybody out fast. Pregnant women and unborn babies are particularly at risk. DO NOT use wood inside at house for cooking unless you have a fireplace or properly installed wood stove. If you need a campfire, build it in a safe place outside. A box of baking soda is a good emergency fire extinguisher.

+ Baking on top of a camp stove. (1) Place a cast iron skillet or cookie sheet on top of the burner(s). (2) Put something on top of this to raise the cooking pan up and allow air to circulate underneath. This could be a low cake pan, or empty tuna cans, or the trivet from your gas range. (3) Put the food to be baked in a covered pan on top of the "risers". (4) Make a tent from several layers of foil over the cake pan, so that air can circulate beneath it, and put a small vent hole in the top of the aluminum foil. Large cans or pot lids also work as covers. Keep an eye on the food as it is baking. You may have to flip biscuits so that they brown on top.

+ Chafing Dish cooking. Chafing dishes come in many different sizes and use small cans of jelled fuel for heat, some use candles or denatured alcohol burners. A fondue pot is a type of chafing dish. The small stand supporting the chafing dish can be used with a skillet or omelet pan, or a pot for soup or stew. It takes up to a half hour to warm a can of food with a candle. Buddy burners can also be used with chafing dishes. "Buddy burners" and candles can be used wit chafing dishes.

+ Solar cookers. Solar cookers are made with cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, duct tape, and glass. Such ovens can get to 350 degrees, hot enough to bake meats and casseroles. A solar cooker works by reflecting light onto a dark pot through a clear transparent cover such as glass or an oven baking bag, and insulating the pot so that the heat does not radiate out but rather cooks the food. Crockpot recipes will generally work in a solar cooker. Work with materials you have at hand to create an insulated container with a clear top that can be heated by the sun.

+ Non-electric crockpot. Use a box or bucket big enough to pack 4 inches of insulating material on all sides, top and bottom. Line the inside with aluminum foil, and put insulating material on the bottom (such as newspapers, cloth, sawdust, hay). Bring the food to a boil, cover the pot (3 - 6 quarts) and put it in the container. Pack the top and the spaces between the pot and the sides of the box or bucket with insulating material, and put the lid on. Good for up to 4 hours cooking..

+ Remember: Food cooks faster in covered pots. Be thrifty with scarce fuels, combine methods (such as using a camp stove to bring beans to a boil, and then the non-electric crockpot to finish the job). Consult Scout manuals for other methods of cooking over open fires. Work with your neighbors to ensure community food security.


 

FOOD SAFETY IN A DISASTER

Cold foods must be kept cold (below 45 degrees F.) to prevent spoilage. If the power goes off, open your refrigerator and freezer as little as possible. Wrap the freezer in blankets or newspapers, or stack bags of clothes or mattresses against the walls & on the tops. Shield it from direct sunlight, and don't heat the room it is in. Eat the items in the refrigerator first, the same day the power goes off. (Invite the neighbors for a disaster buffet potluck.) If you are frugal in opening the freezer, the food inside will stay below 45 degrees for 3-5 days. Be careful about storing prepared foods without refrigeration. If it is cold winter, put food in an insulated box (such as an ice chest) in an unheated room or porch. Pack it with snow or ice (if available). Put a thermometer in the box and check it several times a day to make sure it is staying below 45 degrees. Protect the cold box from sunlight. When cooking, estimate food portions carefully, as you may not be able to refrigerate the leftovers. Spoiled foods may not have an offensive odor, so while the presence of a bad odor is a sure indicator of spoilage, its absence may not be an assurance of safety. Don't take chances with food safety! If in doubt, throw it out.

Creamed foods, soft cheeses (cream cheese, spreads, cottage cheese), gravy, mayonnaise, salad dressings, pork, & poultry spoil quickly. Dispose of them if the refrigerator has been without power for 12 hours. Seafood, chopped meat, and poultry sandwich fillings are not safe after 4 hours without refrigeration. Hard cheeses will be fine at room temperature for several days. To preserve for longer periods: Dip the cheese into a salt solution (salty enough that an egg floats) and place on a rack to dry overnight. On the 2nd day, rub with salt and leave on the rack. Do this again a 3rd day. By this time a rind should be developing. If it feels dry and smooth, continue to the waxing; if not, rub with salt and let dry another day. Waxing: Apply 3 or 4 coats of wax (either with a brush, or by dipping into melted wax, melt the wax in a double boiler, which is a pot of water with a smaller pot inside), let the wax dry between each coat. Wrap with cheese cloth, and continue the process of dipping and drying until several layers later the cheese is completely covered with a smooth wax exterior. It will continue to age inside, but remain good. If you do find mold on hard cheese, simply scrape or cut it off and use the rest of the cheese.

Sour milk can be used in baking (corn bread, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, sour dough starter). Butter will keep for several days, and clarified butter will keep for months without refrigeration: To clarify butter: melt it slowly over low heat, boil slowly until the solids collect together in the bottom of the pan. The butter oil will be clear and golden. Sometimes a bit of scum floats up to the top; skim that off. Ladle off the clarified butter, leaving the solids in the bottom of the pan (you can pour the remaining bits of butter oil and solids through a cheese cloth to extract all the butter and leave all the solids behind). Store in an airtight container. Whole un-cracked eggs will keep for several days at a cool room temperature.

Emergency food preservation: meats and vegetables can be preserved by pressure canning. Fruits and pickles can be preserved by boiling water canning. Consult resources such as the Ball Blue Canning Book for the necessary times. Vegetables can be dehydrated. If electricity is not available, they can be dried in the sun. Place trays of thinly sliced vegetables or fruits in the sun, covered with screen (to keep flies and insects away from the food). They can also be placed on trays on the dash boards and seats of a car, which is then parked with the windows rolled up in the sun.



EMERGENCY FOODS

If there are problems with the food distribution system, work together with your neighbors to ensure community food security during the emergency. Set up soup kitchens in homes or public buildings. Organize potluck meals and community kitchens; food may be available, but fuel for cooking may be in short supply. For many people it will be safer to prepare food in community kitchens than to use emergency cooking methods in homes or apartments. Anticipate the needs of spring and summer by building greenhouses (depending on local climate) and preparing for community gardens: use sheets of plastic, PVC pipe, poles, lumber or windows scavenged from houses to build greenhouses, egg cartons and other small containers can be seed starters, buckets can be planters. Start compost piles for fertilizer. Learn new skills and teach others. Network with groups such as gardening associations and government agriculture and extension agencies. Forage for edible wild greens and flowers such as chickweed, lambs quarters, miners lettuce, dandelions, daylilies (all parts are edible), Rose of Sharon (flowers), dock, roses (flowers and hips), pansies (flowers).

Authorities may distribute emergency foods such as wheat and soybeans. Home processing of whole grains is labor intensive, so organize community processing centers. In an emergency, people may refuse to eat unfamiliar food; encourage people to eat, even if the food is unfamiliar to them.

To make an emergency grain grinder: cut 3, 30" lengths of 3/4" steel pipe (such as water pipes), wrap each pipe with duct tape. Tape the 3 pipes together, so there is a "working end" where the pipes are level with each other and smooth. Cut the top out of a large can (a large juice can is ideal). Put 1" of clean, dry grain in the can, put the can on a smooth hard surface (such as concrete). Sit with the can between your feet, and put the bundle pipes in the can. Move the pipes up and down about 3 inches, with rapid strokes. It takes about 4 minutes of pounding to make 1 cup of flour. You can sift this using window screen (thus providing cracked wheat and flour) or thin nylon or cheesecloth. The finer the grind, the easier the digestion. Beans can also be ground with this procedure. Wheat may be "parched" before grinding. Heat in a dry skillet, until slightly puffy (this can then be cooked with water and eaten as a porridge, or ground into flour for baking.) Sprouting the wheat or the beans makes grinding easier and enhances taste and nutrition.

To make bulgur wheat: Soak whole wheat kernals in water overnight. Bring to a boil one part rinsed whole wheat kernals plus two parts water or other liquid, then simmer until the berries are tender (about one hour). Spread the berries on a cookie sheet and bake in a 225 F oven, stirring occasionally, until dry (about one hour), or dry in the sun. Grind in a blender, or grain grinder, or crush with a rolling pin, to the consistency of cracked wheat. To make the bulgar wheat pilaf: saute onions and garlic and bulgar wheat in oil. Add 2 parts broth, stock, water with boullon, to one part bulgar wheat, plus dried herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley. Cooked or stir-fried vegetables and/or chunks of mat can also be added. Be liberal with the seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until liquid is absorbed

Soybeans must be cooked before grinding for flour or grits. Soy flour may be substituted for up to 25% of the wheat (or other grain) flour in quick breads, and for up to 15% of the grain flour in yeast-raised breads. It increases the nutritional value of the recipe. There are two ways to make soy flour or grits:, dry heat (in an oven) which is typically used in Asia, and wet heat (boiling) which was developed in the West. DRY HEAT METHOD: For both soy flour and soy grits, first soak the soybeans in water for 8 hours, drain, and then bake in an oven, solar oven, or in a covered oven/pan over a campfire or cooking stove; you want the equivalent of about 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir the soybeans, then bake again for 10 minutes (stirring them after 5 minutes). Grind finely to make soy flour, or crack coarsely to make soy grits.

WET HEAT METHOD: (1)Dissolve a pinch of baking soda in five cups of boiling water, add 1 cup dried soybeans. Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water. Dry in the sun or in an oven at low heat until dry (sun drying will take a day or so). Grind to a fine flour. To enhance its nutty flavor, toast it lightly in a dry skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. To make soy grits, grind the boiled and dried soybeans coarsely.:To cook soy grits, add water and cook like rice, flavoring it with herbs and spices.

To make soy milk: Bring 3 cups water to a boil, then slowly add 1 cup soy flour (do not use toasted soy flour), stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Line a colander with cheesecloth or nylon mesh (a nylon stocking works well) and place over a large bowl or pot. Strain the soy flour mixture through the lined colander. Stir sweetener or other flavoring into the strained soy milk and use immediately or refrigerate. Use as a substitute for milk..To make a weaning food for small children: Mix cooked finely ground soy grits with cooked rice and reconstituted powdered milk (30% soy grits, 60% rice, 10% milk powder).

Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. "The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits."

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Community Food Projects during a major Disaster


Community Kitchen. If food or fuel become scarce, establish a community kitchen in a place convenient for those in need of assistance (schools or churches come to mind immediately, but you can also feed 200-300 people out of a home). Organize cooking and serving teams. Invite people to bring food, cook it together and serve it cafeteria style so that all are fed. (This is a soup kitchen where some or all of the guests bring the food.) Arrange for meals to be delivered to those unable to come to the kitchen. (If fuel is scarce, this may be the most practical way to distribute food.) Generators could be used to power freezers to keep food frozen. Community bread ovens can be built from materials available in most communities, as well as solar cookers, outdoor wood stoves made from barrels, and non-electric hotpots (explained in the BETTER TIMES Emergency Notes on Food Preparation).

Community Food Processing. Governments or non-profit agencies may distribute emergency supplies in a food scarcity emergency. If the disaster is prolonged, it is likely that those distributions will be primary agriculture products (whole wheat, corn, soybeans, dried beans, rice, powdered milk, etc. Tasty and nutritious meals can be cooked from these foods, but many people do not have the knowledge or the equipment for home processing of these ingredients. The basic technology required is a way to grind the products. If manufactured grain grinders are not available, grinders can be improvised from steel water pipes.. Soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and other products can be made, and vegetable oils extracted from corn, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and other oil crops. If the weather is not cold, and a generator is available, making ice would be very useful. (Fill containers like cottage cheese tubs or casserole pans with water, freeze, chop up into smaller bits.) It may also be necessary to organize water fetching and purification teams, and a community food processing effort can do this too.

Urban Agriculture & Community Food Production. About 10% of the world's food is grown within cities. If a disruption of the regular food production and distribution system is prolonged, it will be necessary to increase this production considerably. Even if the problem happens during the winter, in many areas this can begin immediately in greenhouses and cold frames. Indoor greenhouses, with lights powered by car or marine batteries that are recharged by automobile alternators can be improvised, and seeds started for spring gardens (heat is also an issue here). Seeds can be sprouted. Depending on local resources, other options include fishing (ocean, rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes), hunting, or foraging (very slim pickings in most areas during winter). Even densely populated cities have lots of space for community gardens. Possibilities include street medians, lawns, vacant lots, golf courses, and container gardening on roofs, porches, sidewalks, even streets. Compost heaps can be started immediately, both to help resolve the garbage situation, and to make fertilizer for gardening.

Rural-urban partnerships. Many cities are surrounded by farming areas, but there are many potential disasters that could wreak havoc with normal systems of food production & distribution. If the present food system fails, it will be necessary to weave new direct relationships between rural farmers and urban consumers. Farmers will need assistance with planting, harvest, and transportation; new direct market relationships with urban consumers would help with these essential activities. In the old days, cattle and pigs were driven to market on the hoof; this may happen again if the transportation system is compromised by instability and disaster.

Networking ideas. Work with other agencies or organizations, such as community gardening organizations, neighborhood associations, university extension departments, and food banks to help ensure that nobody is left out in the cold without food.

5 USEFUL EMERGENCY FOOD IDEAS: SOURDOUGH, PICKLED EGGS, GLUTEN, TVP, ORAL REHYDRATION

Easiest sourdough bread: Make bread as usual, add an extra cup of flour (you will have to adjust the amount of liquid and other ingredients accordingly). After the second rising, pinch off about one cup of the dough, and put in a covered non-metal container in a warm place. When you bake the next day, instead of adding yeast, add the dough you saved from yesterday's baking. This will take a little longer to rise, but it works. (Many cookbooks have other sour dough recipes.)

Without refrigeration, eggs will eventually spoil. Before this happens, pickle them: 1. Use quart mason jars. Boil the jars for 10 minutes and then keep them covered with hot water until they are used. 2. Hard boil the eggs and peel them. Take the mason jars out of the water and put the boiled/peeled eggs in them. You can add hot peppers and fresh garlic for flavor and color, also carrots, spices, herbs (cumin, dill, oregano, whatever you like). Anything added contributes flavor and is itself pickled. 3. Add 2 cups vinegar. Add water to fill to about inch below the rim. Wipe the rims of the jars and put on a new lid and then screw on the ring finger tight. Note: lids should not be reused, but the rings can be used over and over again. 4. Put water in a deep pot (deep enough so the water comes up to the rims of the jars, look around for a boiling water canner). Place the jars in the pot so they do not touch each other (make sure they are up off the bottom of the kettle, some kettles have racks for this purpose, or you could put a towel in the bottom of the pot. Bring the water to a rapid boil, and keep the water boiling rapidly for 20 minutes. (This is called "processing time" and it starts when the water starts to rapidly boil, NOT when you turn on the heat). Use tongs to put the jars in the water and take them out. If you don't have tongs and can't improvise any, let the water cool naturally. Do not reduce processing time.

5. After the 20 minutes are up, turn off the heat and remove the jars from the water. Place them on a rack and allow them to cool naturally. Don't try to hasten the process by putting them in cold water. As the jars cool, , the center of the lids will depress slightly. This is a sign that a proper seal has been made. If the center of the lids doesn't depress, bring the water back to a boil and process for 20 minutes again. Once the jars are completely cool, store them in a cool dark place. You can remove the rings or leave them on. If you don't need them, might as well leave them on, that way they won't get lost and you'll always know where to find some. Let the jars sit for a couple of weeks before using them. Once opened, use within a few days, or keep refrigerated.

Gluten can be made from whole wheat kernels. Despite the name, gluten is a very useful and nutritious food product that you can make without using fancy equipment.. It can be cooked in a variety of ways. 1. Mix six cups flour with water until it is the consistency of bread dough. If you don't have flour, grind whole wheat to make flour. Let this dough sit for 20 minutes. 2. In a sink, basin, or bucket, place a bowl, on top of that put a pie plate, and on top of that put a colander (pasta strainer). The bowl should be larger than the pie plate.

3. Take a handful of the dough, and run or pour cold water over it while you kneading it (if you are pouring water from a pitcher, you'll need an extra set of hands). Keep doing this with handfuls of dough. The water running off will be milky white with starch and have flecks of bran. The bran settles in the pie pan (dry it and save it, it has a lot of uses), and the white water in the bowl should be saved and used to thicken sauces, gravies, or soups. Keep kneading and rinsing until the water runs clear. What's left after the water rinsing is wheat gluten.

4. You now have several tasty possibilities. (1) marinate for 10-12 hours. Use beef or chicken bouillon, add hot peppers, the "Scarborough Faire" spices (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme), soy or teriyaki sauce, hot chili sauce, sesame oil, garlic, whatever you have handy and tastes good and familiar. Then bake it or crumble it and fry in hot oil. (2) With or without a marinade, bake in a bread pan or cut both ends out of a tin can, grease it, fill it with gluten, and bake at about 300 degrees for 45 minutes. After removing from the oven, slice and add to a stir fry recipe, or put it through a meat grinder or food processor for a hamburger texture. If you don't marinate it before baking, you'll want a good amount of sauce in the recipe. It's taste is very bland, so it needs a liberal spicing, or a flavorful sauce or gravy. Sprinkle the bran on breakfast cereals (including oatmeal and creme of wheat), and add it to baked products or casseroles. (3) Be creative with your seasonings. The recipes below have some ideas..

Gluten Recipes

Chickless Caciatory: Add poultry seasonings, powdered chicken bouillon, cumin, thyme, rosemary, garlic, savory and salt to the freshly made gluten and bake in a loaf pan at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. In a fry pan, saute onions, bell peppers and mushrooms, celery (whatever you have, if you are using dehydrated, re-hydrate in hot water before sauteing). Slice the gluten in 2 inch diameter pieces, and put in the pan. Slowly cook on both sides until it cooked all the way through. Cover with spaghetti sauce and let simmer for about 20 min. Serve over pasta or rice. Vegetable "liver" and onions: After making the gluten, flavor with soy sauce, garlic, onion powder and salt and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.. Put some oil in a pan and saute onions (cut in strips) and mushrooms. Remove the mushrooms and onions, slice the gluten in patties and slowly brown on both sides. Add a mushroom gravy (cornstarch variety is best) and simmer for about 45 minutes or until most of the gravy is absorbed by the gluten, turning often to avoid burning. Serve with the cooked onions and mushrooms. Scalloped gluten: Season gluten with lemon thyme, pepper, garlic, cumin. Heat a deep fryer (hot enough for french fries). A deep fryer can simply be a heavy pot (such as a pressure cooker or Dutch oven) with oil in it. French fries are a perfect side dish. Form the gluten into balls, and deep fry. Serve with tarter sauce. Meatless Loaf: Make gluten, mix with chili powder, bouillon, garlic, onion powder, and a handful of oatmeal. Form into a loaf and put in a loaf pan. Cover with tomato sauce. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Chicken Fried Steakless Cutlets: Make a Meatless Loaf, don't cover with tomato sauce before baking. Let cool, slice, dip in milk and seasoned flour (do this 2 or 3 times, add black and/or red pepper and salt to the flour). Put some oil in a skillet. Fry with medium heat until brown on both sides. Make a white cream sauce flavored with some spices or herbs, or a brown gravy, or mushroom gravy, and serve with mashed potatoes.

Textured Vegetable Protein: This food product may be distributed by emergency agencies during prolonged disasters. Saute it in oil and spices for a while and then add water and let sit until it absorbs the water. There are a variety of things you can do with, casseroles, meatless loaves, meatless burgers, etc. TVP may be flavored as beef, chicken, pepperoni, whatever, or it may be unflavored, in which case, use spices and flavorings liberally.

Oral rehydration solution: In the event of severe diarrhea and dysentery, or loss of fluids due to excessive heat, make and administer an oral rehydration solution (common store names for oral rehydration solutions are Gatorade and Pedialyte). Give the dehydrated person sips of this drink every five minutes, until he or she begins to urinate normally. Keep giving the drink often in small sips, even if the person vomits. Not all of the drink will be vomited. Combine tsp salt and 8 heaping tsp (or 2 handfuls) of powdered cereal and dissolve in 1 liter of boiled and cooled water. Powdered rice is best, but corn meal or wheat flour or cooked and mashed potatoes can also be used. Boil this mixture for 5 to 7 minutes to form a watery porridge. Cool quickly and give to the sick person. When using, make it frequently, especially in warm weather. Without refrigeration, it can spoil in a few hours. Another recipe for an oral rehydration drink is: one-half level teaspoon of salt, 8 level teaspoons of sugar, mixed with one liter of water. A half cup of fruit juice should also be added if available.

 Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce this flyer for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. http://www.justpeace.org These notes are not meant to provide all the details for these projects, but rather to suggest ideas for coping with a prolonged disruption in the food production and distribution system.

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Easy, Very Tasty Recipes made with typical emergency food pantry groceries.
 
Doing what you can, with what you have, where you are.
When you get a bag of groceries from a food pantry, it's not always easy to figure out how to make a meal out of what you are given. Food pantries depend on donations, and often odd stuff gets thrown into the sack. Plus, emergency groceries are usually long on beans, rice, flour, canned corn, and other basic foods. This is to give you some ideas and recipes for low-cost cooking, using ingredients typically distributed by emergency food pantries.
 
Invent your own casserole
A casserole consists of six basic ingredients: meat, vegetables, filler, sauce, seasonings, and topping. Example: meat could be hamburger, chopped ham, fried and crumbled bacon, or sliced wieners. Vegetables could be one or two cans of whatever you have in the pantry. The "filler" helps you stretch the value of the more expensive meat and vegetables. This could be rice, noodles, potatoes, macaroni. Seasonings are whatever you like -- if you have no special favorites, try parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. A sauce can be melted cheese, or a can of soup (lots of people use cream of mushroom), or a homemade white sauce. For a topping, crumble some crackers and saute them in melted butter or oil, sprinkle on top. Generally, you cook the meat and the filler before making the casserole.
 
 
Shepherd's Pie
Fry 1/2 pound hamburger and drain grease. Add 1 chopped onion, garlic, and 1-2 cans of vegetables, drained. Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in two tablespoons of flour, add 1 cup water with some beef bouillon dissolved in it, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. If you have some cheese, add it (or a packet of cheese powder from boxed macaroni and cheese. Creamed corn works well in this recipe. Put in a casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. If you don't have any hamburger, you can use chopped spam, or sliced wieners, or a can of chicken.
 
 
Cornbread Meatloaf
Fry some bacon and remove from pan, cut it in pieces. Add 1 chopped onion and 1/2 pound hamburger to bacon grease, fry until done (drain grease if you're worried about calories). Add bacon pieces, 1 can cream of tomato soup, 1/2 soup can water, 1-2 cans beans (or more, depending on how many you're feeding), chili and garlic powder, crushed red pepper if you like it hot. Simmer this mixture over a low fire for about 20 minutes, stirring often. If it gets thick, add more water. At the end of the 20 minutes, add grated cheese if you have it, stir well. Put in a casserole dish if you aren't using a cast iron skillet. Pour your favorite cornbread batter over the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven until cornbread is done, about 20-30 minutes. If you don't have any hamburger, this recipe tastes great with beans only.
 
 
Easy Very Tasty Grits Casserole
Put 1 cup uncooked grits in 3 cups boiling water, add some garlic powder or chopped fresh garlic, reduce heat and cook until thick. Remove from heat and add 2 tbspn margarine (you can add cheese, or a packet of cheese powder from boxed mac & cheese). Fry some breakfast sausage, ham, or smoked sausage, add 1 chopped onion and 1-2 cans of beans, with their liquid. Place this meat/bean mixture in a casserole pan or cast iron skillet. Add hot sauce or jalapenos if desired. Beat 3 eggs and 1 cup milk together, add to grits and mix well. Pour on top of sausage/bean mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. If you don't have sausage, make this one with beans only, or use hamburger.
 
 
Pork Steak Delight
Cut pork steaks in half and brown well in skillet. Remove from pan, add 2 cups uncooked rice and 1 chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Put rice and onion into large baking dish, add four cups of water and a can of cream of mushroom soup, mix well. Place pork steaks on top of rice, bake at 325 degrees for one hour. You can add parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme to this recipe.
Gravy
A good gravy adds a lot to an otherwise plain meal. The basic rule of thumb is: 2 tablespoons of oil or fat plus 2 tablespoons of flour plus 1 cup of beef or chicken stock or milk makes a cup of medium-thick gravy. You can use margarine, butter, bacon grease, shortening, hamburger grease, sausage, whatever you have. Melt it in the pan, and add 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir and cook until the flour starts to brown, then add the milk or water all at once. Keep cooking, stirring continuously, until it thickens, which won't be long (a few minutes). Tip: Powdered milk makes great sauces, you can't tell the difference between gravy made with fresh milk and gravy made with powdered milk.
 
 
Sausage Gravy for 8 Hungry Adults
When I make sausage gravy for 8 people, I fry 1/4 pound of sausage with about 1/2 cup of shortening in a skillet. Add 1 cup flour to the sausage and grease, brown it lightly, and then add 2 quarts liquid (usually 1 quart of milk and 1 quart water, I use mayonnaise jars to measure the liquid) . Add salt and pepper to taste. Gravy may take a bit of practice, but it is worth the effort.
 
 
Easy Very Tasty Biscuit Mix
Mix 6 cups flour, 9 tsp baking powder, 1-1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup powdered milk. Add 3/4 cup oil (or margarine, butter, or shortening). Mix well. Store in an air tight container, in a cool place. This makes enough for 3 bakings of biscuits. Biscuits for Three: Combine 2 cups biscuit mix with 3/4 cup water. Knead for a couple of minutes and form into biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Buttermilk biscuits, add 1/2 tsp soda to the dry mix, and then add buttermilk instead of plain water. Baking buttermilk can be made by adding 1 tsp vinegar to the milk, let it sit for 30 minutes before adding to the dry ingredients.
 
Pancakes from Biscuit Mix
Add 1-1/4 cups water to 1-1/4 cups biscuit mix, plus 1 beaten egg. Mix thoroughly, cook on hot griddle until done, turning once. For buttermilk pancakes, add buttermilk instead of water, or use the vinegar in regular milk trick mentioned above.
 
Scalloped Veggies
Use 2 cans vegetables, drained, put in a greased casserole dish. Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 soup can milk. Top with 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or crumbled crackers mixed with melted margarine or butter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until crumbs are browned. You can also add some shredded cheese to the top.
 
Medium White Sauce
If you don't have cream of mushroom soup, this will substitute in any recipe that calls for a creamed soup. To make 2 cups medium white sauce: put 4 tablespoons oil or butter/margarine in a skillet, melt, add four tablespoons flour, brown the flour, add 2 cups milk, stir over a medium flame until it thickens. To make a cheese sauce, add 2 or 3 slices of cheese, or some grated cheese (about 1/2 cup per cup of sauce), and 1/4 tsp dry mustard if you have it (dry mustard, not prepared like people put on sandwiches).
 
Corn Chowder
Drain 2 cans whole kernel corn, put in a crockpot. Add 2 to 3 medium potatoes (chopped in small pieces), 1 chopped onion, 2 cups chicken broth (water with chicken bouillon will work fine), salt and pepper to taste (crushed red pepper can be added if you like it hot). Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or so. Puree in a blender or use a mixer (if you have neither, stir it vigorously to combine the ingredients and flavors). Return to the crockpot, add 1/4 cup butter or margarine and 2 cups milk, cook on high for 1 more hour.
 
Corn-Tomato Casserole
Combine in a baking dish: 2 cans of corn (drained), 2 cans any kind of stewed tomatoes (if whole, chop them a bit), some chopped onion and green pepper (if you have it), 1/2 cup cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, 1 tbsp sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with some grated cheese (or add a packet of cheese powder from boxed macaroni and cheese to the mix). Sprinkle the top with another 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs, dot with margarine or butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
 
Rice & Corn Casserole
Melt some butter or margarine in a skillet, add 2 chopped onions, 1 can of corn (drained), 2 tsp chili powder, salt, pepper, and 1 cup uncooked rice. Saute until onions are slightly cooked. If you have some chopped black olives, you can add them too. Add 2 cups water with chicken or beef bouillon dissolved in it. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until water is absorbed by the rice. If you already have cooked rice, reduce liquid to 1/2 cup and simmer for only five to ten minutes. If you have a can of cream of mushroom or chicken soup, that can also be added.
 
Scalloped potatoes and frankfurters
Cook 1-1/2 cup onions and 4-1/2 cups thinly sliced potatoes in a small amount of boiling water for five minutes, drain. Mix 2 tbsp flour and 2 cups milk (put in a jar, put the lid on, shake vigorously). Put 1/3 of the potatoes and onions in a casserole dish, top with wieners or frankfurters cut in half lengthwise, sprinkle with some dried parsley. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over this. Add another 1/3 of the potatoes, the rest of the wieners, sprinkle with dried parsley and add another 1/3 of the sauce. Put the rest of the potatoes on top, pour on the remaining sauce, bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. You can add a cheese packet from boxed macaroni and cheese to the milk and flour, or you can top it with grated cheese.
 
Basic Beans
Wash beans and pick out any rocks or debris. Soak in water overnight. Drain any water that is left, and add plenty of water and some bacon or a ham bone, bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for about 1-1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. You can also add chili powder, cayenne pepper, onions, garlic, shredded carrots or some maple syrup at the beginning. If you need to add water after the beans are cooking, add only hot water. Add salt at the end of the cooking. For refried beans, drain the liquid from the cooked beans (save it), and put the beans in a skillet with some fried bacon grease or oil, and mash thoroughly, add about 1/2 cup of bean liquid for each cup of beans mashed. For bean dip, add some salsa, cheese, onion and garlic powder.
 
Ramen Tuna Noodles
Cook 2 packages ramen noodles (without the seasoning packets) until tender, drain and return to the hot pan. Add the seasoning packets, some cheese, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 can drained tuna, and stir gently until mixed and hot throughout. If you have some parmesan cheese, sprinkle it with that. Add crushed red pepper if you like it hot.
 
Corn Bread
Combine in a mixing bowl: 1-1/2 cups corn meal, 1/2 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, a dash of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar (optional). After the dry ingredients are mixed, add 1/4 cup oil or margarine, mix thoroughly. Beat 1 egg in 1 cup of milk, mix quickly with dry ingredients, pour into a greased baking dish (a cast iron skillet works great), bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean).
 
Abbreviations:
thspn is tablespoon,
 tsp is teaspoon,
lb is pound.
 
Prepared by Bob Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House

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DISASTER PREPARATIONS ON A LIMITED BUDGET


The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits. If your resources are limited, anything you can do to extend your "margins of safety" in terms of the basic necessities of life helps you prepare for a disaster or emergency (such as loss of a job, sickness, eviction, earthquake, tornado, economic collapse, war, etc.) Think carefully about the challenges you may face. Make lists and check them twice. If a disaster doesn't happen, you still benefit because you made these preparations: you have increased the safety, health, security, and wellness of your family and community -- and you've fulfilled an important aspect of your civic duties as a citizen. Don't procrastinate or wait to the last minute!

Got Free information? Available in libraries, schools, on the internet (libraries often offer free internet access), & from long talks with older people about how things were in the past. The other BETTER TIMES Emergency Notes cover issues that can help you prepare within your resources. Consult them for inexpensive ideas regarding water, emergency heating, and cooking. Enroll in free classes. Ask questions. Use maps and dictionaries. (Often.) Read the instructions. Use time constructively. Remember: A stitch in time saves nine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Waste not, want not. If you don't know, ask! To avoid fools, take steps! Nurture blessings in your own life and in the life of your community. Keep books in your home. Read them to your children. Learn many things. Practice many skills. Teach others. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Got smart shopping? Look at flea markets/garage sales for stuff that would be useful in an emergency: extra pots & pans (such as a Dutch oven), blankets & winter clothing, towels, water & food containers, food processing equipment (grain and meat grinders, mason jars, pressure cookers), candles, matches, blankets, towels, rope, tools, camp stoves, flashlights, lanterns, rolls of plastic, fishing poles and tackle, etc. Stop throwing stuff useful stuff away: this includes plastic & glass containers & their lids, newspapers, plastic & paper bags, kitchen scraps, cardboard, lawn trimmings. Start a compost heap (makes fertilizer for future gardens). Think of your trash as a resource to be used rather than a problem to be disposed of.

Got contingency plans? Planning involves no out-of-pocket expense so decide what your family will do during emergencies. If people aren't at home, or can't get home, where should the family gather? If you have to evacuate, where would you go? Prepare small "evacuation kits" for each family member. Pack them with a 3 day supply of food, water, a blanket, small battery powered radio, addresses, phone numbers, and other items that would be useful if your area has to be evacuated quickly. Note that if civil disorder threatens the area, the best course is usually to stay home, avoid crowds and public gatherings, and become as invisible as possible. If the disaster is large and widespread, it may be days or weeks before help arrives. Make sure you have paper copies of all your vital documents, including birth and naturalization certificates, bank statements, etc.

Got community organizing? A resilient neighborhood is a better and safer place to live. Resilience is a word that describes the ability of a community or family to successfully meet challenges. If a major disaster hits your neighborhood, work together with your neighbors to increase the safety, security, health, and wellness of your family and community. "Neighbors" can include: friends, family, the people next door & on your block, churches, service clubs or other organizations (like Scouting or 4-H), schools, neighborhood associations, government agencies, co-workers. Pool resources, work on projects together, and plan what you will do during an emergency situation. Past experience in disasters indicates that trusting relationships that begin before a disaster endure through the event and help people be resilient in the face of grave challenges. That history also teaches us that a disaster is a hard time to establish such relationships, so NOW is the time to get to know your neighbors. Be ready to help others by organizing a community response to a bad situation. Take special care of those who are particularly vulnerable: people with serious medical conditions, the elderly, the very young, those who have emotional or mental problems. Be aware of the tendency to resort to bad habits when you are under stress. Don't leave anybody behind, there's room for everybody in the boat.

Got water? It's cheap and so are containers to store it in. Make sure you have plenty. Start collecting empty bottles (soda pop, etc.) Wash with dish soap and rinse with a chlorine bleach disinfecting solution (see BETTER TIMES Emergency Notes #4). Don't rinse the bottle with plain water after rinsing with the disinfecting solution. Fill immediately with clean tap water, put the lid on, and store in a dark and cool place. Store as much as you can. Clean, large plastic trash cans with lids can be used to store water for washing and flushing purposes. Chlorine bleach is cheap, get several gallons in case you have to purify drinking water or need a disinfectant.

Got juice? The essentials of a cheap power system include a source of power (car alternator, portable generator, wind or solar power), batteries, an inverter (to change the battery's 12 volt DC power into AC power), and a way to distribute the power. Small inverters are as cheap as $30 and will run a couple of lamps or a radio, or even a small TV (up to 140 watts, look at electronics or auto parts stores, or catalogs). They plug into the cigarette lighter of a car, a good quality extension cord that plugs into the inverter will bring the power into the house. When the battery gets low, the inverter automatically shuts off and the car can be started to recharge the battery. Small solar panels are available ($100 or less) that can provide enough sunlight for a couple of hours of lights each sunny day. Emergency lights can be run directly from a battery (such as brake or backup lights removed from a car or bought for this purpose). Flashlights & battery powered lanterns are useful; for less money than you spend on batteries in a few months, you can get an inexpensive $20 solar small battery charger and some nicad rechargeable batteries ($2 - $6 each, depending on the size). A step down voltage converter (plugs into the cigarette lighter) can be used to run small "C" or "D" powered radios or CD players from a car battery. For all alternative power applications, an inexpensive volt meter will be very useful. This flyer has only a bare minimum of information on this subject, use it as a source of ideas. Do further research in libraries or by talking to electricians. BETTER TIMES Emergency Notes #10 discusses alternative energy in greater detail. Got more energy ideas? Look for cheap candles at dollar stores & churches, buy lots of the tall ones in glasses (they last 3 to 6 days burning continuously and produce light as well as heat, don't leave them burning unattended or while you sleep).

Got Food? The tighter the budget, the more you will have to rely on basic foods such as beans, rice, flour & canned goods that supply a lot of nutrition for the dollar. You can increase the health and quality of life of your family right now if you buy less prepared and packaged food and do more cooking from basic ingredients. Bonus points: you save money and people will ask, "How did you learn to cook like grandma?" Store as much food as you can. If a disaster doesn't happen, with extra food on hand, you'll spend less time in the grocery store.

Emergency Food Storage List for People with Limited Incomes

30 cans of meat (15 tuna, 15 chili) 8 pounds oatmeal
40 pounds white rice 40 pounds flour
15 pounds corn meal 30 pounds pasta
10, 26 oz cans of spaghetti sauce (or 30, 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce & some spices) 30 boxes macaroni and cheese
30, 15 oz. Cans Mixed Vegetables (15 Oz. Cans) 4, 3 pound cans shortening (or equivalent in oil)
15 pounds sugar 3, 32 ounce jars grape jelly
salt, bouillon, pepper, some hard candy, spices, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa 5 pounds dehydrated hamburger (see recipe below)
12 lbs dried milk (60 quarts liquid) 12 lbs dried beans or peas

This list can be bought for about $160 (look for sales, buy generic and store brands), and provides 30 days of nourishing meals with 2500 calories per day per person for a family of 4. Additional items that would enhance this diet include cream of mushroom soup, instant potatoes, syrup, sprouting seeds, tea, more canned meats, vegetables, fruit, & dried beans/peas, tomato/spaghetti sauce (another $30 - 40).

From these ingredients you can prepare: donuts, chocolate cake, chili mac casserole, biscuits, macaroni & cheese, tortillas, chili & rice, bread, rice pudding, Spanish rice, pasta and various sauces, hush puppies, gluten steaks/meatless loaf, bean loaf, cookies (among the many possibilities). Measure portions carefully. If you typically don't include these foods in your diet, and this is what you plan to store, start cooking with them now. Don't wait for an emergency to start a new diet. This helps save on your current food bill too, and thus helps you to put aside more food now for an emergency later.

If you can't buy it all at once, buy a little at a time until you have 2 or 3 months emergency supplies on hand. Store carefully so roaches and rodents don't get in -- look for food grade plastic containers such as 5 or 6 gallon buckets with lids, you can often get them cheap or even free at bakeries, donut shops, restaurants, or other places that serve a lot of food. Empty 2 liter pop bottles are another cheap storage container for dry goods like beans, rice, and flour. Rotate your supplies, use some of the flour, rice, beans or whatever, and then buy more. "Store what you eat, and eat what you store." Use this list as a guide, customize it to meet the needs and tastes of your family.

Got more food ideas? Buy produce directly from farmers or on sale at the stores and preserve it yourself by dehydrating or canning. (You can learn how to do this if you don't know how.) Dehydrators are cheap & the dehydrated foods can be stored double bagged in ziplocks or in mason jars. You could also dry food in the oven. Set it to 140 degrees, spread food in trays, prop the door open a little, check frequently. Consult your local home extension office or library for more information. You can grow tomato plants, peppers, and other such plants in containers inside your house, or on a porch or balcony. If you have pets, don't forget pet food.

Got dehydrated fried hamburger? Fry until well done, drain grease, blot dry, rinse the hamburger under hot running water, clean and dry the skillet thoroughly, put fried hamburger back into the skillet (add onions and favorite seasonings), fry again, drain any remaining grease and blot dry, line the dehydrator trays with wax paper, add hamburger and dehydrate until it is thoroughly dry and resembles little hard rocks (how many hours depends on the dehydrator, if you don't have a dehydrator, use the "oven method" described above). Store in airtight ziplocks (double bagged) or in clean mason jars, in the dark. To rehydrate: soak in hot water until soft, add to a favorite recipe (casseroles, pasta sauces, etc.).

Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce this flyer for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. http://www.bettertimesinfo.org, rmwj@soonernet.com . These notes are not meant to provide all the details, but rather to suggest ideas for coping with prolonged disruptions due to natural disasters or the collapse of unjust and unsustainable systems of economics and government.

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