FEMA is not Your Daddy

And it’s not the first responder in a crisis, either. More on Louisiana’s own disaster plan and how the local and state authorities did not follow it, and why this is not FEMA’s fault, here.

As long as I have known anything at all about disaster preparedness, I have known that individuals are supposed to be prepared to have three days of supplies on hand because FEMA says it will take them three to four days to respond. They are being blamed for failing as First Responders- but they have never, ever told anybody that they would be.

(bonnet-tip to Lucianne)

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Frugal Guide To Disaster Preparedness

Today we will suggest four more easy, frugal items that will help improve the taste and comfort level of the bean flour soups and dried bean stews we’ve already talked about:

1. Salt and pepper (okay, that’s two)
2. dried, minced onion flakes
3. garlic powder
4. instant mashed potato flakes
5. Powdered Milk

These are all already dehydrated for you.=) Just add some potato flakes to the boiling water of any bean dish, and the two flavors blend well. It will slightly thicken the broth, and it will be a bit like a potato soup in flavor. These items are readily available at your grocery store, and if you watch for sales and use coupons, you can get them very inexpensively. Use them to thicken and flavor soups and stews. Or just use them for comfort foods like mashed potatoes- just boil liquid, add mashed potatoes and powdered milk, let stand, season to taste. Or add some minced onion to the boiling water at the same time as the potatoes for a more flavorful mashed potato dish.

Store these in ziplock bags or airtight cans or jars. Make sure you keep your emergency supplies together so you don’t have to hunt them down. If you keep some in your freezer, keep a box or plastic tote nearby with other supplies. You should also keep some emergency supplies in the trunk of your car, and some in backpacks for each family member in case you need to evacuate quickly.

Minced onion flakes are available in the spices and herb section of your grocery store. But they are also available in the bulk section of many health food stores, and that will be much cheaper. Cheaper still would be to be a member of a natural foods co-op and buy one pound at a time- although this is a larger chunk of money to lay out in one transaction, and thus will still be out of reach for many. You can dice onions in uniformly sized squares and dehydrate them yourself, although this useful website suggests that it’s not worth the hassle. Sometimes it might be, though.

Slice the onions into rings, then slice the rings into evenly sized squares. Spread them evenly on a cookie sheet (you might want to lightly grease it if it is not a teflon sheet). Preheat your oven at 150 degrees and leave the onions in there for about three hours. They should be brittle when done. The stronger the flavor of your onion, the more flavor the dried pieces will have. To reconstitute, ideally you will want to soak the onions in about the same amount of liquid- so 1/2 cup dried onion would soak in 1/2 a cup of liquid. Ideally it would soak for an hour or two and then you’d use it just like chopped onion- but an emergency seldom gives us ideal situations. You can just add it to your meal, mash it with a brick to make onion powder (it will reconstitute more quickly), of, if necessary, eat it as is for ‘onion chips.’ If you can store it in a dry, airtight jar or bag in a cool area, it will keep about four to six months. If it is stored in a warmer location, replace with freshly dried onions and use it in your cooking after two or three months.

Thus far all we have discussed are water sources (water in bottles, and a bottle of bleach you can use to purify contaminated water), bean flours, soup broth powders, dehydrated beans, salt, dried minced onion, garlic powder, and powdered milk.
If you are going to be able to cook any of these things, you need to make sure you have matches and a lighter or two- these are also things you can add to your supplies without spending much money.
You may end up cooking on the grill, or you may have to cook over a campfire. Or maybe you won’t be able to cook at all? Then what? That’s for next time.

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Katrina Timeline

Rightwing Nuthouse has put together an excellent timeline of Katrina related events as they played out in New Orleans.

Note that when Nagin opened up the Superdome for storm shelter, he said, ““No weapons, no large items, and bring small quanties of food for three or four days, to be safe.”

Hmmm. Three or four days worth of food. Where have we heard that before?

This is a long post, and the comments are even longer, but there is thoughtful criticism and suggestion for correction from both left and right- as well as a lot of nonsense. Sift carefully.

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By an Ironic Coincidence….

if you believe in coincidence, September is National Preparedness Month.

SEveral years ago Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge suggested that everybody should have a readiness kit. Cold Fury says that when this happened the left came unglued, indulging itself in all sorts of foolish ranting and raving. It was fear based, foolish, and even cold hearted. He’s collected and saved all the evidence- but it is not SFC (Safe for Children).

The gist of it is that it’s not compassionate to encourage people to do everything they can to prepare and care for themselves in an emergency because some people can’t. By this reasoning, I have never been compassionate when I have encouraged my babies to talk because their sister, The Cherub, cannot speak. By this reasoning I have been lacking in compassion when I encourage my other children to learn to read because their sister, The Cherub, cannot.

This kind of compassion is deadly.

It is hard to be poor, and it is hard to find even a dollar or two extra sometimes- but in this country most people who are that poor get foodstamps, and you can buy food for your family with foodstamps and occasionally add the extra can or bag of beans or rice. It’s far more compassionate to encourage people to do as much as they can for themselves than to encourage them to rely on the government. It’s more compassionate to help those who can’t yourself, than to shout for somebody else to come do it. It is patronizing and condescending to assume that being poor is the same things as being stupid and incapable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Postscript: When I posted this I was very tired, and I neglected to add a sentence or two that I fully inteneded to be part of the original post. Most people who are destitute do get foodstamps, and I know it’s quite possible to feed a family frugally with something left over for extras if you get full foodstamp coverage. However- and this is what I meant to add- there are people who either will not accept foodstamps on principle (and I admire that), or cannot get them for whatever reason (a few cents above poverty, owning a home or other large asset which it would be too painful or difficult to sell), and in many ways, these people are going to find it the hardest to come up with even an extra dollar or two stock emergency supplies. It’s much harder than many people realize to be very poor, but not quite poor enough to attract attention.

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Is she not cute?

This is The Equuschick’s Jessie. She was a shelter puppy last year and become rather of a favourite of The Equuschick’s. (That is The Equuschick’s coat she is guarding.)
She was taken by a rescue, and The Equuschick was happy for Jessie’s sake but she still miss her little girl very much.

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Katrina Timeline

Rightwing Nuthouse has put together an excellent timeline of Katrina related events as they played out in New Orleans.

Note that when Nagin opened up the Superdome for storm shelter, he said, ““No weapons, no large items, and bring small quanties of food for three or four days, to be safe.”

Hmmm. Three or four days worth of food. Where have we heard that before?

This is a long post, and the comments are even longer, but there is thoughtful criticism and suggestion for correction from both left and right- as well as a lot of nonsense. Sift carefully.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

By an Ironic Coincidence….

if you believe in coincidence, September is National Preparedness Month.

SEveral years ago Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge suggested that everybody should have a readiness kit. Cold Fury says that when this happened the left came unglued, indulging itself in all sorts of foolish ranting and raving. It was fear based, foolish, and even cold hearted. He’s collected and saved all the evidence- but it is not SFC (Safe for Children).

The gist of it is that it’s not compassionate to encourage people to do everything they can to prepare and care for themselves in an emergency because some people can’t. By this reasoning, I have never been compassionate when I have encouraged my babies to talk because their sister, The Cherub, cannot speak. By this reasoning I have been lacking in compassion when I encourage my other children to learn to read because their sister, The Cherub, cannot.

This kind of compassion is deadly.

It is hard to be poor, and it is hard to find even a dollar or two extra sometimes- but in this country most people who are that poor get foodstamps, and you can buy food for your family with foodstamps and occasionally add the extra can or bag of beans or rice. It’s far more compassionate to encourage people to do as much as they can for themselves than to encourage them to rely on the government. It’s more compassionate to help those who can’t yourself, than to shout for somebody else to come do it. It is patronizing and condescending to assume that being poor is the same things as being stupid and incapable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Postscript: When I posted this I was very tired, and I neglected to add a sentence or two that I fully inteneded to be part of the original post. Most people who are destitute do get foodstamps, and I know it’s quite possible to feed a family frugally with something left over for extras if you get full foodstamp coverage. However- and this is what I meant to add- there are people who either will not accept foodstamps on principle (and I admire that), or cannot get them for whatever reason (a few cents above poverty, owning a home or other large asset which it would be too painful or difficult to sell), and in many ways, these people are going to find it the hardest to come up with even an extra dollar or two stock emergency supplies. It’s much harder than many people realize to be very poor, but not quite poor enough to attract attention.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Is she not cute?

This is The Equuschick’s Jessie. She was a shelter puppy last year and become rather of a favourite of The Equuschick’s. (That is The Equuschick’s coat she is guarding.)
She was taken by a rescue, and The Equuschick was happy for Jessie’s sake but she still miss her little girl very much.

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If I Could….

I would have this on one narrow wall to the left of a doorway in our new house. I would have a similar design on the other side.
Tile design by Burne-Jones for William Morris

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Yahoo! Entertainment Headline: “Re-live this summer’s top 5 celebrity scandals”

How disgusting. There are more entertaining things to do. And life is short enough already; I don’t know why you’d want to become familiar with these scandals in the first place, let alone re-living them.

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