Friday, September 18, 2009

What are the gaps in your stockpile

Perhaps you’ve been working on building a good stockpile for a while, combining coupons and sales. Your pantry is looking full and so is your freezer. You wonder how long you could go without shopping if you couldn’t.

What if you couldn’t go shopping?

What if you knew your family would be living off of your food storage for 6 months or more? What would you make sure that YOU had on hand?

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Filling Your Ark" Has Been Referenced in an Article

One Women's View of Budget Prepardness by Lisa L.

It's a great article, too. She discusses Long-Term and Short Term prepardness as well as some lessons learned. A very good read.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creating a Culture of Self-Reliance

By Carolyn Nicolaysen

Read original article here.

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré (Retired) who was the 33rd commanding general of the U.S. First Army and commander of Joint Task Force Katrina said:

"Each of us has a personal responsibility to be ready. We need to prepare our families and our homes. In many cases, family and personal preparations can be fairly simple. All it takes is a shift in our thinking. For example, when Granny's birthday comes around, we have a tendency to get her one of those little silver picture frames with a photo of the kids. We need to stop giving Granny those picture frames and give her a weather radio. And on Father's Day, instead of giving Grandpa those funky colored ties, give him a weather radio, too.

“In this new normal, we have only two options: We can exist in a culture of fear and dependency, or we can do the responsible thing: Live comfortably in a culture of preparedness and readiness; a culture where individuals can save themselves and empower their local, regional and national governments to better respond to any disaster. It's time for America to adopt this culture of preparedness."¹

We want more than just a culture of preparedness - we are striving for a culture of self-reliance . While the prepared person may have the goods they will need to survive an emergency, the self-reliant individual has in addition the capabilities, judgment, and resourcefulness to manage their own affairs, independently.

President Joseph F. Smith explained the importance of temporal salvation and its relationship to spiritual salvation this way:

“You must continue to remember that the temporal and the spiritual are blended. They are not separate. One cannot be carried on without the other, so long as we are here in mortality"

(Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, p. 208)

President Marion G. Romney said: “The most fundamental principles of temporal salvation include two basic concepts: providing for oneself— self-reliance —and providing for one's family— family reliance. The first principle, that of self-reliance, grows out of a fundamental doctrine of the Church—that of free agency. That doctrine of free agency is based on the truth that the basic essence of man is comprised of spirit matter, or intelligence, which is independent “in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself … Behold, here is the agency of man.” (See D&C 93:26–38 ; emphasis added.)

“Thus, we understand that all is in place so that man can, if he so chooses, work out his salvation—both temporal and spiritual—and can achieve the benefits promised in this, his second estate. The self-reliance we speak of in the Church, then, grows out of eternal truths connected with the doctrines of intelligence and free agency. Consequently, self-reliance, as taught by the prophets, becomes a fundamental truth in the gospel plan.” - Marion G. Romney, “Principles of Temporal Salvation,” Tambuli , Oct 1981.

To the degree we fail to prepare and become self reliant, we give up our free agency - one of the most precious gifts from God.

So how can we create a culture of self-reliance within our homes? To create a culture of self-reliance, a yearning for independence in temporal matters must become a constant in our homes. It must become second nature in everyday living. As with a diet, we cannot starve for a short time, lose a little weight and then assume we are done. Self-reliance needs to be a change in our lifestyle in the same way weight loss requires a change in lifestyle. It means not just a change in our habits, but a change in the very way we think.

Begin by determining which emergencies may affect your family. Approach this as you would evaluate what you need in the way of insurance. Could there be a flood, house fire, burglary, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire, chemical spill, terrorist incident, tornado, or dust storm? You would pay for insurance to cover these disasters if you thought them likely. Here comes the change in thinking, now you will establish your own insurance against these possibilities. Each week think about your self-reliance insurance.

In my blog I have called self-reliance a “General Store”. Remember general stores of old? They were the place you went to purchase food, clothing, medicine, tools, garden seeds, fabric, candles, school supplies, stamps - just about everything you needed to care for a family and run a household. As you consider yourself and your family - ask yourself what is missing from your General Store.

Consider the following steps to develop a culture of self-reliance in your household:

1. Set-aside money each week to "pay" your self-reliance insurance. Purchase those items which your general store is lacking. Help your children to understand that just as a storekeeper has to sacrifice to purchase their first inventory to stock their store, you may also need to sacrifice to establish yours. When you have met those goals and stocked your cupboards it will be easier to throw together a last-minute party after the big game or to invite friends to stay for dinner. If your kids signed up to bring something to school, but forgot to tell you until they were about to leave – more than likely they will be able to go to your General Store and find it. There will never be a time when friends drop by that you can't offer a snack, and never again will you have to tell a Relief Society president that you just can't help out a family in need.

2. Involve your family in the adventure and change their thinking also. Ask them to watch and search for bargains. My sister-in-law called last week to let me know a local chain store was closing out their canning lids. In May? Why would you close out canning lids at the beginning of canning season? I ran down and stocked up. I can now preserve 156 bottles of food for less than $10.00 in lids. Your spouse and children can become detectives in the same way, when they know the plan and what is needed to stock your family's General Store. Each year we wait for binders, pencils, crayons, and notebooks to go on sale at the beginning of the school year. When they get to bargain prices it is time to stock up for the next year. After all, the bargains come a week or two after the first week of school when most people have already had to purchase supplies to meet the teacher's requirements.

3. Learn new skills. Summer is here and schools are letting out for a few weeks or months. Now would be a great time to take on some projects as a family. Learn to cook using only foods from your General Store. It really amazes me how few people know how to make a cake or a batch of pancakes from scratch. Learn basic car care. Learn to change a tire, put on snow chains, change the oil, fill the radiator, learn to wash and vacuum the car like a pro. Learn to sew. Learn to build a fire. Learn to set up a tent. Learn to use every item in your 72 hour kits. All these skills are important in case there is no one available to provide the service.

“Self-reliance implies the individual development of skills and abilities and then their application to provide for one's own needs and wants. It further implies that one will achieve those skills through self-discipline and then, through self-restraint and charity, will use those skills to bless himself and others. That the Lord expects all his children who are of sound mind and body to thus perform in this second estate is made clear in many scriptural passages whose central thought focuses on work —personal, earnest, life-sustaining work.” - Marion G. Romney, “Principles of Temporal Salvation,” Tambuli, Oct 1981,

4. Think through a disaster and plan your response. When we are faced with a crisis, we mortals tend to respond in the same way. Why? Because that is the way our brains are programmed to handle extreme stress. First, we cannot believe the crisis has occurred. We have friends who lost their barn with their camping supplies, food storage and more. They could smell the smoke but it was not until a passer-by stopped that they realized it was their barn. We just don't want to believe it could be happening to us. The second phase is a stupor of thought. We may know we need to take action but we just can't move. We may even stand and stare at our 72 hour kit and never pick it up. Last of all, we move into action.

All these stages are faced by everyone during a crisis. The difference in how quickly one person moves from phase one to phase three, compared to another, depends on how much knowledge they have absorbed before the disaster happens. The more you know, the more you have thought through how you will react and what you will do – and the more success you will have in dealing with and surviving the emergency.

5. Study the Scriptures. As we strive to create a spiritual home we study the scriptures. Remember what the Lord has said "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created." (D&C 29:34)

We must study and work until we truly understand that all the Father asks us to do is for our eternal salvation. I recently heard a speaker talk about the relationship between stress and productivity. He explained that those who are stressed cannot be productive. As stress is reduced, we become more creative and more capable of solving problems.

The Lord has told us exactly how to reduce stress and become productive, creative, and successful in every aspect of our lives. "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God" (D&C 109:8)

He said to organize yourself, then prepare every needful thing. Then, we are prepared to establish a house of prayer, fasting, faith, learning and glory. This house will then be a house of order and God can become the center of all we are and all we do.

To begin your own journey toward a Culture of Self Reliance or to build your own General Store join Carolyn at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jobless rate at highest level in 26 years

By Patrice Hill
Read original article here.

The nation's unemployment rate surged to a 26-year high of 9.7 percent last month as employers slashed jobs in nearly every part of the economy, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The news heralds what is likely to be a long, "jobless" recovery for the economy. Analysts believe the economy this summer started to emerge from the steep recession that started in December 2007, but say improvement in the job market is following the pattern of other recent recessions and lagging behind the return of growth in other sectors, such as manufacturing.

The job cuts since last summer have been the deepest seen in modern times, and have left the nation with nearly 7 million fewer jobs than before the recession, the department said. But the 216,000 jobs eliminated during August were the fewest in a year and fewer than the 276,000 jobs cut in July, indicating that the pace of layoffs continues to slowly moderate from a peak of 700,000 a month at the beginning of the year.

"Job losses are diminishing as the labor market creeps ever so slowly toward stabilization," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. "But employment conditions are improving at such an agonizingly slow pace that most Americans will not be able to detect any genuine improvement. That's why consumer spending will remain weak for the balance of the year."

Even though a recovery likely has begun, "if history is any guide, we will continue to see payrolls decline for at least another six months," he said. After the last two recessions, it took more than two years for the economy to generate enough jobs to bring down the unemployment rate.

"Companies just do not commence hiring once a recession ends, in part because it is so difficult to know with confidence that the economy has turned the corner for good," Mr. Baumohl said. "As a result, employers ask their existing workers to produce more" to get by for a while, and later they will add temporary workers until they are sure a recovery has taken hold and they can add full-time staff, he said.

Incomes have taken a hit along with jobs. Average hourly wages grew modestly by 0.3 percent in August, but weekly earnings were up by less than 1 percent over the past year because employers have been slashing hours as well as jobs in their efforts to cut costs and stay afloat.

Every major sector lost jobs during the month except education and health care, where jobs have kept growing since the onset of the recession. Even the government, which managed to create a few jobs in past months, slashed jobs by 18,000 in August, reflecting the lagging effect of tax revenues lost to the recession.

While state and local governments, faced with escalating budget gaps, are expected to continue trimming jobs, the federal government is becoming a rare source of job growth as it gears up to carry out massive stimulus, homeland-security, bank-bailout and other programs.

With baby boom-era government workers moving toward retirement, a survey by the Partnership for Public Service estimates that the government will need to fill 273,000 mission-critical jobs in the next three years, a 41 percent increase from the group's 2007 survey of job openings.

"Job opportunities are there. People need to seize them," said Max Stier, president of the partnership. "For job-seekers motivated by a desire to make a difference and improve the lives of Americans, there are no better possibilities than those provided by our federal government."

Unemployment rose among all groups in August but hit teenagers particularly hard. More than one in four teens who are looking for work have been unable to find jobs - a record, according to the department's survey of 60,000 U.S. households.

One reason the unemployment rate jumped to 9.7 percent from 9.4 percent in July was the fact that 73,000 people entered the market looking for work but were unable to find jobs, the department said.

In a broader measure of the job malaise facing most Americans, a measure of unemployment that includes workers who are too discouraged to keep looking for jobs and those working part time who would rather have full-time jobs rose to a record 16.8 percent from 16.3 percent in July.

In a sign of the depth of the employment distress, one in every three workers looking for jobs has been unemployed for more than six months.

John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities, said that is a hint that layoffs in the past year have been permanent rather than temporary. The hardship for workers with no prospect of being rehired by their previous employers is increased by the fact that the struggling housing market has made it more difficult to move elsewhere to find work, he said.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I wonder how many of these folks have 72-hour packets? This would be the perfect time to be using one!

"LOS ANGELES – A relentless Southern California wildfire raged Tuesday with 53 homes up in smoke, thousands more threatened and new rounds of evacuations as towering flames crackled close to foothill neighborhoods in the path of the blaze."

Read entire article here.