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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seeing the forest but missing the trees

Through all the articles and discussions we have here, the common thread involves being prepared. But while most subjects are topics in generalities, like food preservation, water storage, gardening, etc. Recent events have shown me that while the forest is in sharp focus, the trees were being overlooked.

This past week of dealing with my Mother's broken hip, her hospitalization, the surgery, her admittance into a Extended Care Nursing Facility and now the subsequent uncertain future, in hindsight, there were little things that hadn't been planned as well or hadn't been considered.

Like having emergency workers get a person on a backboard down a narrow hallway from a small bedroom is tricky, it would of been much easier if the bed and other stuff wasn't right next to the door creating a chokepoint.

But here's some tips I can offer from first hand experience...

MAKE A LIST of all needed medications, with the prescription Number,

The family Doctor's FULL NAME & phone number

Insurance , The Power Of Attorney, Patient ID, Next of Kin and any "Living Will" Instructions.
Print all that on a paper you can give to the emergency responder.
AND ESPECIALLY Keep it by your door, not filed away for safe-keeping where you'll never find it fast. (I had most already available, but the idea of having it written down to give to the first responder) DUH!

Make a go kit...7 days of socks, underwear, nightgowns, shirts, slacks, etc. PRINT FULL NAME, SEWN OR WRITTEN, IN ALL CLOTHING.
Toiletries aren't necessary, they have that stuff at the hospital.
Jewelry isn't necessary, but dentures and glasses are.

Have a cellphone? Take a plug-in charger with you...trust me, you'll need it.

Expect not to get much sleep from now on, despite many attempts. You now have no free time.

Throw your pride away and accept the charity of strangers, gladly, and thankfully.

Accept that there is no need for modesty in a hospital room...expect to see things you may not want to see... it's not a real problem when shit happens...just don't be surprised.

When you talk with the afflicted family member, be happy, honest, loving, and showing nothing but support... (I've got all that covered). Accept that YOU are NOT the most important person in the room. Be aware that you may be in the way, no offense intended, but just let the experts do their job.

You may expect to have your loved one hate you despite all that you do. They really don't, but they are hurt and confused, and not in control of their lives at the moment, I know I'd be a bit testy too.

Your ego and pride has to be put on a shelf. You may feel tremendous guilt, or feel you're a failure, but it's not true... just deal with it.

Remember...PRAYER WORKS!

Get every family member on FACEBOOK! Post. Post often, and the news gets out.

That's all I can think of for the moment, I'm sure there's more, but that'll do for now. I do know this...

This is what real preparation is all about.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Please keep my Mother in your Prayers...

Momma & "Little Sister" Aunt Betty Last Thanksgiving

Very early this morning, my Mother got up out of bed and fell, breaking her left hip. We are currently awaiting surgery. She is resting fitfully for the moment, but we expect to see a few a months painful rehabilition in store for her. Hopefully she'll be able to dance at her 90th birthday coming this next February. I'll be sure to keep posting the news as it develops.
Thanks for your prayers for Lucille Hawkins.

House To Home: Fire Preparedness

Fall Season, and you got a ton of dry fallen leaves on your roof & your yard. Think you're prepared? Think again. Think building a defensable perimeter around your home to fight fire. When you think that, you'll pull out the rake and go to work...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Disaster Preparedness From Ready.gov

Here's a little informational video of Disaster Prep courtesy of your tax dollars... Some common sense tips on how to prepare for a garden-variety "3 day disaster". - Editor

Hats off to Ready.gov

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pop Can Solar Powered Heater

Jim Meaney, owner of Cansolair Inc. displays how he converts pop cans into a powerful solar heating panel.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Make Your Own Hard Cider

Make delicious, intoxicating hard cider at home with this simple process.
By Nathan Poell via Mother Earth News

Brewing hard cider from nonalcoholic, or “sweet” cider is a simple process, and the inebriating end product is as delicious as it is discombobulating. Here are the steps you’ll follow to make hard cider of your own.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lithium ion battery industry to boom with wind, solar power

Lithium ion batteries used as energy storage for utilities will be a $1 billion industry by 2018, according to a report released Wednesday by Pike Research called "Energy Storage Technology Markets."

Much of the lithium ion battery development has been geared toward perfecting the batteries as power sources for electronics, and in recent years, cars. But the alternative energy industry is going to benefit from that research, too. Once that happens, there will be a surge in the sales of industrial-scale lithium ion batteries for power utilities, according to Pike research.
"Utilities will be the downstream beneficiaries of innovation and investment in lithium ion batteries for the transportation sector," Pike Research analyst David Link said in a statement.
The energy storage industry in general is poised to grow as more private and public organizations embrace wind and solar energy worldwide. Because wind and solar systems provide energy in bursts and their cycles are not usually in sync with local peak energy usage hours, power storage when using wind or solar will become an obvious necessity for utilities, according to Pike Research.
Out of eleven methods of energy storage, Pike Research found that lithium ion batteries for utility use will be the fastest growing segment of the storage industry.
Sodium Sulfur (NAS) batteries and kinetic storage systems like pumped hydro and Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) were seen as the next likely leading utility energy storage solutions

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drought declaration removed for 12 S.C. counties

SCDNR News Release 10/16/2009
Another round of soaking rain this week (Oct. 12-Oct. 16) led the S. C. Department of Natural Resources to downgrade the incipient declaration to no drought status for 12 Piedmont and Central Savannah counties. The state agency members of the Drought Response Committee voted on Oct. 16 to remove Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Anderson, Abbeville, Greenwood, McCormick, Edgefield and Saluda counties from any drought status. The committee also decided the rainfall was not sufficient to remove the declaration for the Catawba Wateree Basin (York, Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, and Kershaw) and several counties in the upper part of the Pee Dee (Chesterfield, Marlboro, and Dillon). Darlington County was added to the list of counties in incipient drought. According to Hope Mizzell, S.C. State Climatologist, the counties maintained at incipient received beneficial rain this week, but not enough to shift several key drought indices out of drought. Contact South Carolina State Climatologist Hope Mizzell in Columbia at (803) 734-9568 or e-mail at mizzellh@dnr.sc.gov for more information. Find out more about drought at the State Climatology Office.
30-Day (Sept. 16–Oct. 15) rainfall totals for counties removed from drought by monitoring station:
AIKEN - 8.41
ANDERSON - 10.26
CLINTON - 6.54
LAURENS - 5.53
NEWBERRY - 11.08
SALUDA - 6.07
SANTUCK (Union County) - 5.28
30-Day (Sept. 16-Oct. 15) rainfall totals for counties maintained in incipient by monitoring station:(Including Darlington County which was upgraded to incipient)
CHESTER - 3.82
DILLON - 2.83
YORK - 4.46

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fantastic Website: Instructables.com

I love instructables.com.
It's a website devoted to the ingenuity of everyman.

Where else can you find detailed instructions on how to build a Rubber-Hose Chair?

Or a fine looking 72 volt electric motorbike?

Even instructions on how to build a laundry-water, (greywater) recycling system for your home?

If you are a DIY'er, you'll love instructables.com too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grow your own from these groceries

By TRACY HOBSON LEHMANN - San Antonio Express-News

For the curious gardener, a trip to the grocery store can be the start of something more than dinner. The aisles can yield cuttings and seeds that, with a little TLC, a healthy dose of patience and ample luck, will sprout into productive plants.
The operative word: productive. Those who have toothpick-supported sweet potatoes and avocado seeds in glasses on the windowsill can appreciate plants that will bear something other than leaves.
The pea-size black seeds inside the fleshy papaya grow easily. Scoop out the mass of seeds, clean them thoroughly and allow them to dry a few weeks. March is the best time to plant a single seed in a 1-gallon pot. Place it in a partly sunny spot and water it when the leaves droop.
It's a tropical plant, so bring it inside through fall and winter. In late spring, when the plant is a year old and about 6 feet tall, put it in the ground. You'll be harvesting papayas by July.
Those gnarly brown roots sold in grocery stores as fresh ginger are rhizomes. So the next time you bring one home for stir fry, snap off a piece and plant it. Choose a firm piece without bruises, and cut or break off a piece with nodes.
Let the pieces dry for a few days, then plant them in a 12- to 14-inch pot that's about three-quarters full of rich potting mix. Cover them with an inch of soil.
Place them in filtered sunlight, and keep the soil moist. Sprouts will appear in a few weeks.
The mature plants, which look like bamboo, will be 2 to 4 feet tall. After a season, harvest pieces of the rhizome that appear above the soil. The tender stems can be used in stir fries.
A tropical plant, this ginger needs frost protection.
Growing a pineapple might test your patience, but with time, about 18 months, you get fruit.
Twist or cut the leafy crown off a firm, ripe fruit. Pull off leaves nearest the crown, then remove any flesh, and allow to dry for a few days.
Set the crown about an inch deep in a 5-gallon pot filled with sandy soil. Keep the soil moist for a few days, then water a few times a week. Overwatering will doom your plant.
These tropical plants like sun and a monthly feeding with liquid fertilizer. The plant will grow to about 4 feet wide.
Lentils, fenugreek
You can do more with dried legumes than soak and boil them. Toss a few mung beans, lentils or some fenugreek in some water and see what pops up.
If you follow the directions they are simple, but the margin for error is slim you will be harvesting sprouts for salads and sandwiches in a matter of days.
Put about 2 tablespoons of seeds in a clear jar, either glass or plastic. Add two to three times more cool water than seeds, then cover the jar with cheesecloth and place it in a warm location. The top of the refrigerator works well.
Twice a day, drain and rinse the seeds until the water is clear. Lentils will produce sprouts in about five days, mung beans in three or four.
Fenugreek, a legume that looks like a rock, needs to soak about eight hours before starting the germinating process. You'll have nutty-tasting sprouts in 4 to 6 days.
From a firm garlic bulb, choose a few of the largest cloves. In late fall, plant them with the tips up about 2 inches deep in soil that's loose and rich in organic material. Allow about 4 inches between cloves. Keep the soil moist, not saturated. Cloves will sprout grassy foliage in a couple of weeks, but the real work is going on underground. Each clove will develop into a garlic bulb. It's time to harvest when leaves start to yellow. The process takes six to nine months.

Friday, October 16, 2009

NOAA: El Niño to Help Steer U.S. Winter Weather

El Niño in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean is expected to be a dominant climate factor that will influence the December through February winter weather in the United States, according to the 2009 Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Such seasonal outlooks are part of NOAA’s suite of climate services.

“We expect El Niño to strengthen and persist through the winter months, providing clues as to what the weather will be like during the period,” says Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. “Warmer ocean water in the equatorial Pacific shifts the patterns of tropical rainfall that in turn change the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and the U.S.”

“Other climate factors are also likely to play a role in the winter weather at times across the country,” added Halpert. “Some of these factors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation are difficult to predict more than one to two weeks in advance. The NAO adds uncertainty to the forecast in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic portions of the country.”

Read more here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Off Topic...or is it? This is what it's all about.

I hope this inspires you as much as it has inspired me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Months later, no review of SC fire in tourist area

The fire chief in one of South Carolina's busiest tourist spots said he won't alter his agency's practices even though his crews failed to extinguish a small blaze that mushroomed into the worst wildfire in state history.

The wildfires that blackened thousands of acres along South Carolina Grand Strand has gone on the book as the state's largest, but to date, no changes in policy have been made by state firefighters as to how they shall respond to wildfires in the future.

This story from the Gazette Times has the details.

Wild Creations Frog Blog Headline Animator

South Carolina Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. South Carolina Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.