Prepping Lists

Flu Preps

Posted in Prepping Lists on April 29th, 2011 by Wendi – Be the first to comment

I’ve been meaning to write a little about prepping for a potential pandemic flu. Now, with the current state of affairs it’s not too difficult to realize that this can actually happen.

I want to encourage everyone to gather a three month’s supply of the food that you eat on a regular basis.  Figure out about 5 meals that are common in your home. Take of example: spaghetti. In our family we have 6 children and 2 adults. We have to have 3 pounds of pasta for just one meal. If we eat spaghetti once a week, I’ll need to store at least 36 boxes of pasta for a three month’s supply. The same type of calculations are done for the ingredients for the sauce. If you buy canned sauce, then calculate how many you will need.

Continue doing this for all of the meals you’ve chosen. Remember to think of meals for breakfast as well.  Also include fun foods that you’re going to want to eat. Cookies, cake and brownie mixes, jello, instant pudding…etc.

Along with food, you’re going to want to have N95 masks and surgical type gloves in storage. This is to prevent spreading or inhaling anything from the flu “of the day” to MRSA a nasty staph infection.

Learn how and teach your loved ones how to wash their hands correctly. When washing hands, lather the hands up generously and continue to scrub hands for the the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”. Then rinse hands in warm water. You’ll need to wash hands after using alcohol-based hand sanitizer five times. The hand sanitizer just doesn’t get into all the crevices of the hands and fingers.

BUT, please do include hand sanitizer in your storage. Get hold of small bottles of sanitizer so that EVERY member of the family carries it with them. Teach them how to use it and make it a normal part of their day.

Washing hands will be the greatest source of protection we have to fight against any funky things coming down the pike.

Bleach is also necessary to clean the surfaces of your home and other areas. Mix 1 tsp of bleach to one gallon of water. This mixture will only have potency for ONE day. You’ll have to mix this up every day.  My husband will be taking this in a spray bottle to the gym every day to spray down the equipment before he works out.

Keep your “outside of the house” footprint small. Combine all of your errands so you only have to be outside for a minimal amount of time. This is where the three month’s supply comes in handy.

Add over the counter drugs and vitamins to your storage. Things like children’s Tylenol and cough medicine may help with symptoms from the flu. The healthier you can make your body the better chance you will have of getting through this will as little stress as possible.

If you have more questions, please ask.


List of Skills

Posted in Prepping Lists on April 29th, 2011 by Wendi – Be the first to comment

Lately, I’ve been impressed to compile a list of skills that one would need to live a self-reliant life.  I certainly don’t think I’ll ever be able to learn all of these, but there are definitely many that I could focus on and broaden my horizon.  I challenge those of you reading the blog to pick one on the list that interests you and start learning about it.  Seek out books, look on the internet, make a new friend that can teach you and then, practice, practice, practice.

These are not all of my ideas, but a compilation from many from the yahoogroups I belong to.  If you have others that you think should be added to the list, please let me know.

Preserving Food



Root Cellaring


Meat Preparation

–cleaning preparing wild game/fish

Preservation w/out power



Domestic Skills

Soap Making

Candle Making





Laundering clothes/using a clothesline

Shoe/moccasin making

Grinding Grains

Bread making

Alternative ways to cook






Soil Preparation



Pest/disease Control


Seed Saving

Three season garden

Prep for winter

Medical Care

Pandemic/biological response methods

Disease control

First Aid


Burn & would care

Home nursing

Alternative Medicine (essential oils, herbs)

Outdoor Skills

Building shelters

Fishing techniques




Foraging for wild edibles

Fire making

Collecting (downing/cutting/splitting) firewood

Animal Husbandry

Knife Sharpening/use of a chain saw

Mechanical Skills

Basic home repairs

Basic carpentry


Metal worker, including blacksmith




Misc. Skills

Alcohol for fuel making

Windmill/wind generator & solar power

Water collection/purification/safety

Various sanitation disposal method

Communications (ham radio & other methods)

Firefighting and other safety techniques

Alcohol for fuel making


A love for learning

Seeking God’s guidance


Ham Radio



Essential Sewing and Clothing Repair Supplies

Posted in Prepping Lists on April 29th, 2011 by Wendi – Be the first to comment

This is a guest post by a friend of mine from a yahoo group to which we belong.  She’s fluent in all things sewing and fabric.  This is a SPECTACULAR post about what basics one should have on hand to be self-reliant in providing clothing and mending for your family.  Thank you so much Anne!


Essential Sewing and Clothing Repair Supplies

By Anne Lawver


When we hear the term ‘home storage,’ our minds automatically go to neatly arranged rows of edible commodities lovingly stored. However, being truly prepared and living providently should include the ability to not only feed, but also to meet our family’s basic human needs including clothing and shelter.

For centuries, the great bulk of human clothing was produced within the home. If not in the home, then by skilled craftsman who lived and worked nearby. Garments were made to order and, until the invention of the sewing machine, sewn completely by hand. Today, most clothing is purchased from a retail outlet that acquires the clothing from any number of sources. If that supply source were cut short, or if your ability to purchase new clothing were curtailed, you would need to prolong the life of existing clothing by making appropriate repairs and/or create new clothing and household wares yourself. Additionally, a few basic sewing supplies and a dose of knowledge will allow you to make simple repairs, small alterations and even produce clothing, useful items and decorative touches for your home.

Regardless of your desire, or lack of desire, to sew, everyone should stock and maintain an adequate sewing storage. If you take a few moments to hunt for sales, your sewing home storage can be purchased at less than half retail price. Your sewing storage should ideally include at least the following:


  1. A good pair of sewing scissors that are used ONLY for fabric. An 8 to 11 inch pair of shears is a good purchase. Mark them clearly FOR FABRIC ONLY and store with sewing supplies.
  2. A small pair of pointed sharp scissors sometimes referred to as embroidery scissors.
  3. Good quality sewing machine needles that come packaged in a hard plastic case. Needles packaged in paper or thin plastic are often bent during shipment and selling. Even minor bends & chips can cause problems with the stitches and your machine. Schmetz is a widely available and reliable brand of needles. Choose needles that are sizes 10, 12 and at least one package of denim needles. Even if you do not have a sewing machine, store one package of each. Sewing machine needles are very sharp and strong. They can be used to hang signs, framed art work, remove stubborn splinters and even pierce a nail that has blood building up under it (of course, the needle would need to be sterilized and you should understand how to perform such a procedure before attempting.
  4. Hand sewing needles. Again, it pays to buy quality needles in a variety of sizes. Be certain to purchase short and long needles as well as one leather needle.
  5. Closures such as buttons, snaps, zippers, hook & eyes, etc. If you are disposing of clothing with buttons, clip the buttons off and store. Learn how to properly sew on a button!
  6. Elastic in ¼”, ½” and 1” widths. Clear elastic is a good additional choice as it can be sewn through and is very strong.
  7. Safety pins in a variety of sizes.
  8. Straight pins
  9. Measuring tape
  10. 24” ruler or yardstick
  11. Iron on patch material. This is sold with the notions and is fabric with an adhesive on the back that is activated by an iron. You can mend clothing, re-enforce wear spots. Etc. with this type of patch.
  12. Heat activated adhesives. Stitch witchery’ and/or ‘steam-a-seam’ as well as ‘wonder under’. These heat- activated adhesives are sold on rolls or by the yard and allow you to hem clothing, make small repairs, make your patches or embellishments, etc.
  13. A variety of 22” zippers. You can always shorten a zipper, but it is impossible to make one longer.
  14. Ribbons designed for sewing, which can be used to strengthen seams, create drawstrings, add embellishments and tie back hair.
  15. Velcro (hook and loop tape). Do not purchase sticky back Velcro as it will be nearly impossible to sew through by hand or machine. The sticky substance does not stand up well to the pressure of the Velcro being pulled apart. If you need to attach the Velcro to a hard surface, gorilla glue or a similar substance works better than the adhesive supplied on the sticky back Velcro.
  16. Thread—again, don’t buy the cheapest you can find. Forget the thread in small packaged sewing kits. You want a thread that is tightly wound and never appears ‘fuzzy’ or frayed. If in doubt, run your fingernail over the thread on the spool and see if little ‘fuzzs’ appear. Stick with Gutterman, the newer Coats & Clark or Mettler, which are all readily available. At a minimum, store white, beige, light grey and black in all-purpose thread. Many hand quilters sew all of their patchwork using only those colors as they blend in easily. Also store several spools of white hand quilting thread, which should NOT be used in a sewing machine. Hand quilting thread is sturdier than regular thread and can even be used to suture wounds – again only if you know what you are doing!
  17. A rotary cutter can make cutting fabric faster. If you purchase a rotary cutter, you will need a sturdy ruler and a cutting mat. Consider purchasing a cut resistant glove (Fons & Porter sells a great one) to protect the hand that is holding the ruler. Rotary cutting blades are incredible sharp and can cause serious injury.
  18. A good quality seam ripper. Two of my favorite ones are either a curved blade seam ripper or one that has a metal handle with replaceable blades. If you cannot find either of those, or wish to purchase a less expensive one, Dritz makes a small seam ripper that usually has a blue handle. It is one of the best inexpensive seam rippers. A good seam ripper is very sharp, so use caution and store away from children.
  19. Sewing patterns to include: (Look for patterns without button-down fronts, complicated seaming or set – in sleeves. A raglan sleeve is the easiest sleeve to put in)
  • A general women’s wardrobe pattern to include at least a simple skirt, elastic waist pants, simple blouse and jacket
  • PJ, scrub or other pattern for men, children and women
  • Simple dress for women and children. Some nightgown patterns can be adapted to make simple dresses, especially for children. As you look at patterns, remember you are not looking for your favorite fabric, just the basic line of the pattern.
  • T-shirt for children and adults. Again, check the sleepwear section as many pj tops are simple t-shirts
  • Basic butcher-style apron. Wearing an apron when you cook and clean is the best way to preserve your clothing.
  • Baby layette pattern—multi-sized and including at least a day gown, t-shirt, pants, bib and diaper cover
  • Loose fitting jackets for children and adults.


  1. Fabric! Even if you never intend to sew, a small stash of basic fabrics is an essential ingredient in a prepared home. Consider purchasing on sale, at garage sales, through freecycle or donations the following:
    • Flannel. Look for tightly woven 100% cotton that is at least 43” wide. White is your best choice if you are simply going to store it. Flannel can be used for diapering, blankets, lining jackets for warmth, pillowcases and nightware. Flannel sheets purchased on the clearance rack can be a great source of extra wide flannel at a very reasonable price. Be certain to check after-Christmas clearances. I was able to find a set of king-sized flannel sheets for 95% off—the set cost me $2.
    • White cotton lawn, batiste, broadcloth, shirting and/or ‘bottom weight’. These fabrics can be used for nearly all clothing needs, including baptisms, blessings and burials. Again, cotton flat sheets, if new or nearly new, are another good source of wide cottons. I would not rely on worn sheets for new garments, as sheets wear very unevenly. You do not want to spend valuable time and resources creating a garment that may wear out in one spot and be perfectly fine in another.
    • Denim. Recycle old jeans as well as buying yardage when you can find a great deal. Denim comes in many weights and should be 100% cotton.
    • Wool sold by the yard as well as re-purposed wool sweaters and garments. Wool is naturally flame retardant, can shed water (depending on weave), breathes and if felted (which merely means shrinking it excessively) will not ravel. Felting old wool pieces and then sewing with the newly created fabric is quite ‘in’. Felted wool makes wonderful hats, slippers, baby booties, jackets, quilts and decorative items. There are multiple websites with excellent free tutorials on felting.
    • Polar fleece—though many new sewing enthusiasts gravitate to fleece for its comfort and ease of sewing, please note that it is HIGHLY flammable. Not only will it burst into flames, it will explode into blobs of molten synthetic.


21. A basic sewing ‘how to’ book. If you can find a copy of the book “Let’s Sew” by Nancy Zieman, it is a great basic guide to the beginnings of sewing. Originally written for 4-H children, it is a good reference source. You may also find classes and willing tutors through the American Sewing Guild, which has groups throughout the country:

Always watch for sales and coupons to acquire fabrics at discount prices. All fibers, but most significantly cotton, are rapidly increasing in price. There are several good online sources for fabric, including (always check their clearance section, especially the ‘everything’s a $1.95 section) and (they carry many high end fabrics, but also have closeouts). Both of these sites will get designer bolt ends of better quality cottons and wools, then discount them sharply. One way to identify a fabric intended for use in the production of retail clothing, especially higher end retail lines such as Ralph Lauren, is the width of the cotton. Cottons sold in stores such as Wal-Mart and JoAnn’s are usually 45” wide. Many of the shirtings, silks and cotton/polyester blends at & will be 54” to 60” wide, which is the ‘normal’ for commercial bolts.

Other good sources for fabric include garage sales, thrift shops and freecycle. Be certain you learn a little bit about fabric quality and pricing before paying too much for fabric!

Finally, acquire a few basic sewing skills. Sewing isn’t hard and is actually good for you! At least learn the basics of hand stitching, such as sewing on a button, a snap, hemming a skirt and sewing a running stitch. It takes only a few dollars and a bit of time to create simple and fun children’s clothing. One of the easiest dresses to make is to simply add a skirt to a little girl’s t-shirt.