Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Tornado Safety Preparedness

Since it is tornado season here in Texas I decided that I would share some preparedness tips in regards to tornados.  We have been lucky through our years of living in the DFW area to have never had any severe damage to our home from a tornado.  I will never forget the opportunity I had when I was younger to go help with a disaster relief group after a series of big tornados hit a town in Oklahoma. There were houses that the only thing left was a closet and the rest of the house was leveled and then houses next door that appeared to have no damage other than the power being out. 

So I'm gonna start this post out with signs of a tornado, how the warning system works and ways to stay safe from the Old Farmer's Almanac another good resource is

Signs of Danger

  • A pale green sky is an indicator that a tornado may occur. No one knows why this is, but because tornadoes usually form in the afternoon, some people theorize that the longer red and yellow wavelengths of afternoon sunlight turn water-heavy, blueish clouds green.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also advises to look out for the following danger signs: large hail, dark, low-lying clouds, and a loud roar, similar to a freight train.

Ways to Stay Safe

  • A tornado watch indicates possible tornadoes in your area. Stay tuned to the radio or television news.
  • A tornado warning means that a tornado is on the ground or has been detected by Doppler radar. Seek shelter immediately!
  • If you are indoors, take cover in the cellar or a small space (a closet or bathroom) in the interior of your home. Stay away from windows! 
  • If you are outdoors, find a field or ditch away from items that can fly through the air and lie down as flat as you can.
  • Do not stay in a car or try to drive away from a tornado. Cars can be flung about by high winds or crushed by debris.
  • If you have evacuated, do not return to your home until it is deemed safe to do so by local officials.
If you have a Tornado Warning make sure grab these things:
  • Grab your 72-hour kit (batteries, water, a well stocked first aid kit) and emergency radio
  • Lock your doors
  • If you have time, turn off all utilities
  • If it’s safe, move outdoor furniture and grills inside. They can be deadly flying debris.
  • Don't take shelter under a bridge or overpass if you are driving because these structures could be destroyed.
  • Don't open your windows. Keep the wind and rain outside.
  • Don't use matches, a candle or a lighter. An open flame can ignite leaking gas.

Assume the position 
The greatest danger during a tornado is being injured by flying debris. You probably remember the tornado drills of your elementary school days, during which you and your classmates calmly filed into the hall, got down on your knees, tucked your head and covered the back of your neck. The rules are still the same. You can stow blankets, old mattresses and couch cushions in your shelter to cover yourself with in the event of a tornado. If your bathroom is your shelter, grab some couch cushions, hop in the tub and cover yourself with them.


Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Palm Shortening Edition

Today I wanted to share a post from Cheree over at Natural and Frugal: Raising 6 Kids blog on Palm Shortening Oil. She did a review and shared lots of recipes and tips for using your Palm Oil that you have for every day as well as how you can use it in an Emergency with your food storage.

*Remember the shelf life of Palm Oil is indefinite so we think it is the best oil/fat for your Emergency Supply.

This was her first impression: "first things first, right away I got the lid off & was pleasantly surprised that the color of the Palm Shortening is reminiscent of fresh made butter, you know that light yellow color. It also was still slightly solid. I immediately took some to rub between my fingers, & noticed it’s not as greasy or oily as I had imagined. It was more like a lightweight cream in feel with a slight oiliness to it. Next I got a spoon & tasted a bit & to my amazement it did not have that strong shortening texture & taste, again lightweight would be a great way to describe it with very little taste. Oh & by the way at this point I was noticing just how amazingly soft it left my fingers, so I knew right away I would love Palm Shortening in my DIY body care, oh yea!"

Check out her recipes she posted for soup, gravy, yellow rice, pan fried cabbage, fried potato cakes, country fried steaks, french fries, fried eggs, cake, frosting, coffee creamer, body care and more! 

Don't forget to submit your order for Palm Shortening Oil by March 31st. You can find an order form here: PALM SHORTENING ORDER FORM

Check out our other posts on Palm Shortening you may have missed.


Deal on Raised Bed Garden Kit

Check out this amazing deal we found on DealNews today!

Home Depot offers the Greenland Gardener 42" x 42" Raised Bed Garden Kit, model no. 105981, for $28.97. Opt for in-store pickup to avoid the $9.99 shipping charge. That's $43 below the lowest total price we could find for a similar item elsewhere. Made of recycled plastic and wood, this kit is rot-proof.

UpdateWalmart offers it for the same price with in-store pickup.


Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Prolong the shelf life

Today's tip comes from Hybrid Rasta Mama she is obsessed with all things coconut oil. She did a post a couple weeks ago that I thought would be important to share with our readers. She shares how to extend the shelf life of Eggs with Coconut Oil. This is great as an every day tip as well as in a survival situation when you can't get to a store to get more eggs and you have no power to keep your eggs refrigerated. Check it out and let us know what you think! Do you oil your eggs? Are you going to now?

Check out the post here

Also check out her post on Palm Shortening, she did a great review of it a few years back! And don't forget we are doing a palm shortening order this month stay tuned for more details on that!


Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Get more Protein in a survival situation

In a survival situation you might need to rely on more of the things found in your environment to survive. We already talked about edible plants here, but what about bugs? Most people would get squeamish at the idea but I was surprised at how many edible bugs there are other there and how much protein is packed in those tiny things.

"Insects tend to be nutritious meals, high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and low in carbohydrates and fats. For example, 100g of dried caterpillars serves up 430 calories and 53g of protein, and is high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron.
While the prospect of this may not get your mouth watering, knowing which insects are edible can be a good survival skill to have."
Prepared for That has a list of Insects you can eat and tips for making them taste better as well as a general rule of thumb for what insects to avoid.

Check out this video for more information on eating bugs from TED Ed



Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Re-grow your scraps

Since we are doing orders right now on Heirloom seeds I wanted to talk a little bit about gardening.
Did you know that certain foods will re-grow themselves from kitchen scraps? It's true!
I knew that Scallions regrew themselves, I have a vase with them growing in my kitchen window, but when I went to grab a clove of garlic this week for our dinner I noticed it was sprouting! Kind of crazy looking. So I looked it up and found out how easy it is to grow your own garlic. 

PS Garlic growing season in Texas is not until October (HERE is a tutorial on how to grow Garlic)
This is a list of other foods that will re-grow from kitchen scraps.

Those of you that get our monthly email have already seen these links but I wanted to make sure that ALL of our blog readers know about them too!

Know when to plant your plants and seeds based on your zip code


Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Make Your Own Refried Beans

So you have a bunch of dried pinto beans in your food what do you do with them? 
Check this out:

Make Your Own Refried Beans

I’m always amazed at the ingenuity of my fellow bloggers. I ran across a few recipes for how to make your own refried beans today.
Now, I never really gave refried beans a second thought. Refried beans were, well, refried beans. They came in a can. Right?
Well, as it turns out, not necessarily. You can make your own. Who knew?
I suppose it would be cheaper, too, to make your own, especially if you’re like me and you buy your beans 25 or 50 pounds at a time. Then they get really, really cheap!

Make Your Own Refried Beans

Homemade Refried Beans in a Crockpot

  • 3 cups pinto beans (or 2 pint jars of your home-canned beans)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter , coconut oil or palm shortening oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 9 cups Milk, as needed (chicken broth, water or bean broth can be used if your family is dairy-free. However, I prefer the richness that the milk adds.)
  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Homemade refried beans are:

1. Healthier -- Canned, store bought beans are usually full of hydrogenated oils and preservatives.
2. Frugal – I can get a 25-lb. bag of pinto beans from Azure Standard for around $25. That means I’m only paying about 75 cents for the beans I need to make this recipe.(This recipe makes at least as much as 2-3 cans from the store.)
3. Better tasting – To be perfectly honest, I despised refried beans for the longest time. It wasn’t until I learned how to make them myself that I discovered that I actually love them! Homemade refried beans have a much better texture and are full of flavor.
Right on, MoneySavingMom. I completely agree.
By the way, if you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to check out palm shorting oil.  It’s very shelf-stable, and makes an excellent storage fat. I love cooking my eggs in palm oil. It’s my go-to storage fat. 

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