Archive for the ‘Readiness’ Category

Drip Irrigation Systems For Container Gardens

Drip Irrigation Systems For Container Gardens

armenian cucumber in bloom with drip system

Tube watering can place less stress on a plant such as this Armenian Cucumber vine.

My vegetable garden is facing summer and with it comes the fierce heat that often destroys most of these tender plants.

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In my quest to prepare for this event and preserve as much of my hard work as possible I installed a simple drip irrigation system on my balcony.

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You see I garden in containers. My watering chore starts in the kitchen of my tiny apartment. It is brought in from the sink and carried to the vegetable bearing plants on my patio.

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A Place For Reflection
I garden for self-sufficiency and survival. I garden for peace and pleasure. It can be a place for meditation and reflection. The effect of this garden’s energies and her inhabitants are a much welcome distraction in a world that is hate riddled and filled with violence, ignorant nonsense.In this place I have my little, green plant friends sharing their gifts with me. The flowers are their smiles. The fruit of this labor is a nutritional addition to my diet and those of my family. These are my rewards. They are a welcome time out in my hectic schedule. The plants are arranged in an attractive fashion that is practical and decorative. It is labor of love project. Always changing. They do their growing thing while I observe. I want to keep them around as long as possible and enjoy their activity. I would rather watch my plants in action than most television programs these days.
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Before the drip system was installed, the effect of water pouring from the bucket drove deep wells into each container. This leads to soil erosion and delicate roots being exposed  in some cases. I would eventually have to replace soils in each pot. With the drip system, this is reduced to a minimum and the water source is dribbled directly to the root systems. From here it can be collected by the plant and processed. The tubes and supplies are inexpensive and the assembly is not complicated. My project cost just under $60 for the lines and the pump. It took just under a 2 hours to set up.

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The results? I now can carry those same buckets to a reservoir. From there the water is pumped to the sensitive root structures and I save on soil and watering time. 

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I am still fine tuning this system. I was a bit sloppy in the set up. The drip tubes spray here and there where they are connected to the main line, but I just arrange a smaller pot to catch the over spray so the water is salvaged. In time I will have all of it directed where it needs to be. My next step on this will be the addition of a misting system…

 

Related Articles on www.Squidoo.com from this author:

Growing Armenian Cucumbers In A Window Box

Creating A Miniature Vegetable Garden

 

Basic Sanitation In Emergencies

If the power or water is shut off in an emergency we have our 72 hour kits and emergency supplies all ready to go, right?

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What about sanitation?

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Are you planning your emergency bathroom situation while you are putting together  your preparedness plans?

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All that food and water will need somewhere to exit. Let’s make sure all that planning doesn’t go down the toilet so to speak if you have left out this vital emergency strategy. Waste disposal systems and supply items should be in your list of equipment.

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Toilet with flush water tank

Toilet with flush water tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For The Shelter At Home Toilet

An in house toilet will need water so it can flush solid materials so stock extra gallons specifically for this task. This water need not be sterilized. Water right out of the tap previously set aside for use in the toilet area is fine. I would recommend you mark these jugs for toilet use ONLY on the container. I have saved sports drink bottles for just this purpose. They are stacked in a closet near my bath area.

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For A Bug Out Toilet

Shovel types

Shovel types (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are in a bug out situation you may fashion a similar toilet area somewhere outside your living arrangement area.

The supplies for this are fairly simple. You need a shovel to dig a hole deep enough to hold waste. Make sure you have lime for the deposits that are left behind and a privacy screen so that you can do your duty without everyone in your camp seeing you at work.

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Chemical Toilets

The items for a  chemical toilet should also be on your list of emergency goods. It is a 5 gallon bucket and a trash bag with some bleach. This is a great way to have ready-made toilet in emergencies. A gallon of water with 2 cups of bleach I believe is a standard mix. I would recommend setting aside about 2 gallons of bleach, one box or more of heavy-duty trash bags, and at least 10 gallons or more water for this sanitizing method. If you live in an area that is prone to major natural disasters, the more supply you have — the better!

There are ready-made kits available and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a couple of different options.

I realize you can’t carry all of this stuff with you but here is a bit of advice. Make sure you have several packs ready to go that contain ONLY sanitation systems and in specific bags. Put a pack together that is just for a latrine. Create another that is just chemical toilet. In the event you do have to bug out you don’t have to dig through your gear to set this up quickly. You will need to set up this area immediately when you can get settled.

Related pages /articles:

How to create an emergency toilet

 

(More soon! I’m on a crappy schedule at the moment and that’s what inspired this little post! — Thanks for the visit!)

Maya calendar – Is This The End?

Maya Calendar

Maya Calendar (Photo credit: Turinboy)

The Maya Calendar (Mayan) will be cycling to an end on December 21, 2012 just a few days away.

Is it the end of our days or is it simply the end of a cycle recorded in ancient times?

I am sure there are individuals set in panic mode for this date’s arrival, similar to the Y2K event in the year roll-over from the 1900’s to the 2000’s, but is it a major disaster in the making?

According to the Wiki article misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is the basis for a popular belief that a cataclysm will take place on December 21, 2012.

From this author’s opinion, I am not sure this is a total world wipe out event. Planning for this event as the end of the world may not be a practical matter. Doing so would be like being a prisoner on death row and counting days to an execution. What would you prep for? Why make the effort of gathering goods and foods if it’s ending anyway? Who’s going to be around to make use of the supply anyhow if it’s coming to an end? Just some thoughts to ponder.

Go about business as usual. The true key to preparedness is to face disasters and  emergencies calmly, demonstrate a cool head in catastrophe and try to make our situation as normal as possible.

There is a cartoon out there that shows the calendar creator talking to his buddy about running out of room on the stone he carved said calendar on. The friend responds along the line of, “That’s going to mess people up!”

The point is, go through your routines as business as usual. Prepared mentally we can face this day without panic. Maybe try cleaning up some of your spiritual baggage and attempt to have a clear conscience upon this day’s arrival. Meditation and prayer costs only a little time. That’s probably the best area you can prepare for on this day’s arrival.

Perhaps this is the day that we finally become aware that we have a beautiful life and are grateful for the opportunity to do good and great things that will impact us in positive ways setting aside the anger, the wars, and the anguish that are experienced by so many here on earth. Maybe this is the day peace finally rules our planet?

Just some thoughts. Anyhow, I have some Christmas shopping to do and some decorating

Maya calendar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Magnesium Fire Starters Review

Magnesium fire starters are a popular way to create an emergency fire for heat and cooking in wilderness settings.

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Photographic capture of a flame created by thr...

Photographic capture of a flame created by throwing flint sparks onto a small pile of magnesium shavings from a common emergency fire starter and pocketknife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are easy to use and depending on the style of fire-starter you choose creating a fire is only minutes away!

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In the following video there are several fire starters reviewed.

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The title of the video is “How To Use A Ferro Rod.”

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Ferro  is short for Ferrocerium which is a man-made metallic material that gives off a large number of hot sparks at temperatures at 3,000 °F (1,650 °C) when scraped against a rough surface. (see more…Wikipedia)

Please be very careful when using magnesium firestarters.

NEVER NEVER toss them into a fire as they will explode!

For More Videos see: www.youtube.com/user/Survive2prep360

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Which magnesium fire starters do you have ready to go in your 72 hour kit?

Preparedness IS – Readiness IS

English: Food storage area of the San Diego Fo...

English: Food storage area of the San Diego Fort in Acapulco, Mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preparedness is a list of foods and  goods gathered for emergencies!

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Readiness is understanding how to use said goods and the knowledge of how to adapt in the middle of said crisis.

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Like the cartoons I used to read that said “Happiness is…”

I wanted to share a few of the things that mean to me

Preparedness and Readiness

Preparedness is… Food Storage, 72 hour kits, and Water

Readiness is… having  food, water, and shelter no matter what

Preparedness is… A couple of pair of warm, clean socks!

Readiness is… A fire drill plan and practice

Preparedness is… A 72 hour kit (again YES! Do You Have Yours Yet?)

Readiness is… Knowing when to evacuate safely

Preparedness is… The food storage list being checked off

Readiness is… Baking your own bread ANYWHERE!

Preparedness is… Making sure you have some emergency supplies and tools in your car!

Readiness is…–> Survival Skills: Hunting, fishing, foraging, building shelters (everything they taught you in scouting!)

Preparedness is… A Full tank of gas when fueling stations are either dry or lined up for miles!!!

Amusing Video On Disaster Preparedness:

I am sure there are a lot more things we could add to this list!

What is on your list for Preparedness and Readiness?

Pillaging is NOT Preparedness

I have often heard people respond

Mad Max

Mad Max (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to preparedness with the comment that they are going to pillage preppers stores.

Let me elaborate a little more on this topic.

I understand this macho comment is a very narrow view of what is going to really happen if the SHTF as we know it and we really find ourselves in a Mad Max society.

I am sure I am not the only one who has heard this one. Trusted friends who say they are just going to rob and kill people who have set up a back up. This statement has me really looking at the reasoning behind this attitude.

Beware of the Ostriches

First up we have the head in the sand phenomenon that goes with personalities of this type. These are the ostriches we need to be wary of. Usually they are brash and harsh in the way they carry themselves. I could go into pages of reasons they want to compensate but that is another blog in itself.

My concern is that the more I hear this the better you and I need to prepare to confront this outlook. The family I have is sacred enough to protect and defend in times of trouble and I do not understand the reasoning behind leaving behind your safe house to steal from another what you could have readily stocked yourself.
 

Pillaging requires:

  • A) A high amount of physical energy
  • B) Weapons and ammo to make it there and back (where ever there is!)
  • C) Knowledge of Combat tactics
  • D) A way to get back ALIVE to your safe house with the goods you took!

SO, you have left your family in the lurch by going out to conquer and pillage. You have left them to die? It occurs to me these individuals are the ones truly in the delusion that the world is theirs to claim. What they fail to understand is they will find others like them and suffer attack and injury and possibly fatal consequences of their own misguided deeds. They can probably achieve a couple of treasures for the take but the odds of them making it back to their strong holds are minimal.

These so called friends probably will be carrion for the crows in the fields.

Be prepared and beware of the pillagers.

Recovery – Things are going to be ok no matter what

When I think about my recovery from situations in my life I find a common statement:

Things are going to be ok  – NO MATTER WHAT!

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And that is because I have prepared and planned it that way through mental preparedness and meditation.

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There is a reason I am where I am. I tell myself. Be it that God has me there or the Universe scheduled my path to experience a few hardships. What do I have to learn here? In these circumstances I have found incredible strengths.

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Stepping into the hospital a couple years ago for a major surgery scared the hell out of me.

Harold Wilkins walks through rubble left by Hu...

Harold Wilkins walks through rubble left by Hurricane Andrew (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

I hadn’t been that frightened since Hurricane Andrew was pointing it’s wicked energy our way and we looked like we were in its path for certain.

All I really could do in either situation was sit still within, find productive activities,  be at peace, and put my faith and life in the hands of my creator for the moment. Neither situation was a lengthy process, thankfully. That awful storm didn’t reach West Palm. My surgery was a painful patch but I had prepared mentally and in other ways as well.

Food storage on both accounts carried me through these crisis. In the hurricane scare, bread, water, and batteries were gone in the stores. We planned well, so we had a good supply. We adapted. We would have set up camp in our backyard and gone about life as close to usual as possible. During the hurricane warnings in the days before we gathered gasoline, water, and set up our home to ride out the monster. We even had a john boat in the front room in case we had to float our family out of a flooded home.

In the surgery recovery, I relied on the foods I had that would help me to eat until the healing settled so I could work again. Setting up the sick room in my last week before my hospital visit I made sure I had anything and everything I needed to lay in that bed and rest, heal. I stocked the headboard with small water bottles, first aid supplies, small food containers like puddings and applesauce. I placed books and other items to help me bide the time. I camped out my recovery for 2 weeks. I was unable to work for months but through preparedness I was able to get the time I needed to become healthy once more.

I planned my recovery in both of these situations by devoting some thought to the What if’s. These experiences had me looking at how fragile our lives really are. If our surroundings are disturbed we still have our health, right? We no longer have the creature comforts we hold so dear but we still have our family, friends, good memories? Yes! We need those to strengthen our resolve. I will be ok! Everything that is dear to us is gone. But we still have so much to be grateful for. Hold onto those good things at times of crisis. This is your hope!

Meditation For Preparedness:

Lay beautiful things inside your mind for times like these. Meditations are wonderful examples of this. I have a meditation that involves the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. I want you to know that I am not Catholic but I find this prayer a wonderful tool for clearing out troubles in my mind and spirit.

From Wikipedia:

St Francis in Prayer (copia)

St Francis in Prayer (copia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
 
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
 
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

 

This prayer enlightens me to what is really important in life.

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English: Waterfall

English: Waterfall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I do this I imagine a
cool, scene with a waterfall flowing into a pond.
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Breathe in sets of six counts and exhale that breath in the same count.
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This is where I settle.
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This is my safe place, my sanctuary, my time out.
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This is where I go when the day might get too heavy, stresses get too demanding, my schedule gets too crazy.
 
Where I will go in moments when I have to live out of my pantry or my 72 hour kit in moments I can spare out of my reality.
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I will require a moment in time where I can reflect and  feel safe so I can recharge and press forward with action and not defeat my own purpose for preparedness with gloomy thoughts or standing still or overwhelming fear.
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We must feed our spirit gratitude and light even if the world seems dark around us.
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There must be hope. 
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Keep moving in planning for emergencies!
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 And keep moving if we are in a disaster.
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Move always with purpose.
 

Prepared Mentally Healthy Excersizes

Preparedness is an excersize in living  healthy lives mentally no matter what. Providing the substances we need for food, hydration, tools to provide a back up plan to any situation where normal routines and life interruptions occur enable us to continue without much of an inconvenience. Sure, we will have to prepare our foods a little different if there were a lose of our home or an evacuation was necessary we will also have to prepare our minds to accept what ever comes our way. If the home is intact and we were just without electricity, that’s  a minor disruption if we did have the equipment to generate back up energy.

Ok, so we just have to do things a little different.

The Mind On Autopilot

In times of extreme shock or trauma humans go on auto pilot. Some folks go to panic. Soldiers have to be conditioned mentally and so should we. What have we trained our Auto pilot to do for us?

We plan to be in these situations so that when they do occur, we are not surprised we are merely redirected. In both circumstances I went into a numb state knowing I had to do certain things and just wait it out. There was no turning back or side stepping these events. They were happening!  I stood ready in both of these minor crisis to act if I needed to. Our mind does that for us. The aftermath of disasters if we are lucky enough to escape unharmed must be worked through. We will need time to adjust to new surroundings or life styles and lay in the foundation of a rebuilding. Coping with circumstances where we feel we have lost something or that something has been taken for us is not easy. It requires a mindset telling us not to harbor anger, sadness, doubt, dispair. The emotions certainly will be normal and they are going to happen.

We cannot let them stand in our way of being productive and healthy.

In the recovery of a 12 step program the first half of the first step is:

We admit we are powerless over _________ fill in the blank with what ever it is that has invaded your life. While there is very little we can do to control a situation we can take measures and actions to take us out of the center of it and find a new way to direct our thinking. Dwelling on the problems do us no good.

Taking affirmative decisions to live the best we can under our circumstances is a healthy way to begin recovery.

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