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09 April, 2012

Guest Post: Preparing for Disaster - Taking Advantage of Pre-Packaged Emergency Foods

When it comes to building up your emergency food supply there are a number of ways to go about it. From freezing, dehydrating, and canning home grown fruits and vegetables, to buying case quantities and bulk amounts of staples and preferred foods at grocery and wholesale stores, there are plenty of options for the emergency-minded shopper. Another option that more and more are choosing is the online purchase of pre-packaged foods—foods specifically designed for emergency use. Not only do these foods offer more variety over traditionally packaged foods, they come with longer shelf-lives and are much more convenient to use and store. They are also much more cost-effective than in times past, and there are many great deals to be had. As an added benefit, most online suppliers offer sample packs of their products so you can try before you buy. Here’s a look at some of the commercial food storage options you might want to consider for your emergency supply.

Bulk goods:

Buying food storage staples such as grains, drink powders, rice, beans, meats, and vegetables in special bulk containers is a good way to save both money and storage space. Professionally packaged with the contents and expiration dates clearly labeled, these items generally come with extended shelf lives. The one main drawback of bulk containers is that once they are opened, the expiration date no longer applies, which means you’ll need to use up the contents in a shorter amount of time. By breaking down the contents of opened containers into smaller zip-lock bags, which in turn can be sealed tightly and possibly frozen to preserve freshness, you’ll extend the shelf life of stored items substantially—at the same time avoiding the need to serve the same meals over and over until the container’s contents are used up.

Ready to eat meals:

Another benefit of buying pre-packaged foods is the ability to choose from a wide variety of individual meals that are balanced, complete, and ready to eat, often with minimal preparation. Ready to eat meals allow you to address the nutritional needs, wants, and tastes of each member of the family. In addition, you’ll be spared the time, effort, and inconvenience of preparing meals from scratch. By allowing family members to sample and select the ready to eat meals they prefer, you’ll gain greater peace of mind from knowing that, in the event of an emergency, the foods you’ve stored are the foods they’ll eat.

Freeze-dried foods:

When it comes to choosing foods that are satisfying in terms of both taste and portion, along with providing proper nutrition, freeze dried foods are a smart way to go. And as for convenience, many delicious freeze dried foods and meals can be prepared with only hot or boiling water. While many fruits and vegetables lend themselves to freeze-drying, soups, casseroles, and other foods work equally as well. To top things off, you’ll find a number of freeze-dried desserts that are so good you might need to hide them away from your main food stores to keep them from disappearing.

Daily, weekly, and monthly supplies:

In the event of an emergency, you need to know that each member of your family has ample food and water to sustain them for a specific amount of time. To meet this challenge and eliminate much of the guesswork involved in starting from scratch, many suppliers of emergency foods offer complete packages containing pre-measured amounts of daily, weekly, and even monthly supplies of foods for each family member. To better meet each person’s individual needs, many of these packages can be customized to include the right mix of balanced meals, drinks, and desserts.

Pre-packaged emergency foods offer an affordable, practical, turn-key solution to many of the problems encountered in creating and maintaining an emergency food supply. Plus, you will have the peace of mind from knowing that you have effectively met the survival needs of each family member.

Serious LED Lights for Preparedness

Using the newest super efficient, high power surface mount LED’s, SPC’s custom battery powered light sets can flood a house, shop, business or outdoors with brilliant penetrating white light. Unlike flashlights or camping lanterns that illuminate a relatively small area and often have “hot spots” or lines from the reflectors, SPC’s floods and bulbs can fill a large room with bright, evenly distributed light.

The portable lights can be made with built-in batteries, and also have a jack for a power cord for extended run off a remote battery pack or regular vehicle. Insets; The cordless lights produce an incredible amount of light with long run times. The 12 VDC “light bulb” has a whopping 201 bright LED’s to put out roughly the same as an 80 Watt bulb using almost 90% less electricity

SPC creates custom expandable solar powered light sets for your specific personal or business needs. The lights are water resistant, have a 30,000+ hour life and can be safely used indoors for whole house lighting as well as outdoors for security, camping, hunting, maintenance, work and play.

SPC has provided custom specialty lighting and safety devices to the military, businesses, first responders and preppers for over 25 years.

The portable lights with built in batteries use cast aluminum and steel enclosures, with heavy duty connectors, sealed switches and magnetic feet, and have extension cords that allow the lights to run for extended periods off a vehicle or an optional SPC remote battery pack. Unlike most foreign batteries that have a 2-3 year life, SPC utilizes hi quality American made batteries that will hold their charge for up to a year, and offer a life span of up to ten years, so when you really need light, you have it.

By using 12 volt LED’s run directly from a battery, runtimes are increased significantly over systems that change 12 volts DC into 120 volts AC, and then back down to low voltage DC again, through the LED’s internal circuit, wasting power with each conversion.

The portable cordless and corded lights are available in any configuration and come in cool or warm white spots, floods, strip, and bulbs up to the equivalent of a staggering 2400 incandescent Watts to illuminate massive areas. Options include solar PV chargers, a remote battery pack, plug in wall charger, 5 volt USB port for charging electronics and a cigarette lighter socket to power a 120 volt AC inverter. From a simple single corded light that runs off a car lighter outlet to a solar charged battery pack with several hi powered lights to illuminate a house or business, we can provide it.

At almost five bucks a gallon for gas, there’s no need to run a genset to provide light when you can silently and efficiently illuminate an entire house using power gathered from the day’s sun.

For additional information, go to http://12vdc.wordpress.com.

03 April, 2012

RE: "Trayvon Martin"

I decided to write this follow-up piece to this previous article in order to answer a few of the comments I've been receiving. What I needed to say was a bit long for me just to comment on the comments, per se, as I've been doing up until now. Please read this article and the attendant comments first, otherwise you're liable to be lost as to what I'm saying.

First off, regarding my writing: I think you may be confused as to what exactly you're reading. This is not a professional news magazine or a scholarly research article. You're reading a *BLOG*, which is essentially a person's diary or journal turned outward. Believe me, I know how to write an article: I'm a straight-A graduate student. I write more in a week than most people do in a year, but I wasn't aware I was going to be held to APA standards and graded on the article construction on my own blog. A base insult such as that would normally result in me simply ignoring the remainder of what you said; attacking the person expressing an opinion is a common enough internet practice of trolls, and they rarely have anything to say that is worthy of consideration. I will say a few things, however, despite my own good sense telling me not to bother.

When I stated, "The fools on the Left, on the other hand, have things mostly correct in this case," I wasn't referring to the bald-faced villainous lies they've been telling re: portraying Martin as a little angel, in order to drum-up sympathy and outrage. I was talking about the facts they've been presenting regarding an unarmed kid on his way back from buying a snack being gunned-down in the street by a guy with an iffy past and a story so full of holes that even the lead detective on the case thought he was full of crap and actually sought a warrant to arrest him for manslaughter.

I call the Right "fools" in my article because they are; and so are the Left. Both major parties have drifted so far toward their polar extremes over the past two decades that they are now little better than fanatics. Political philosophy can be plotted on an x-axis; sane people are in the middle, perhaps leaning slightly to one side or the other. Go too far to the Left, and you find Socialism and eventually Communism; likewise, to the extreme Right you find Fascism. I am decidedly Right of center, but I identify more closely with Libertarianism than I do with the current Republican party; the GOP is no longer run by real "Reagan Republicans," to my everlasting sorrow. The GOP loves big government just as much as the Left does, despite their lip service to the contrary. Anyway, I said all that to say that, while I self-identify as a Conservative, if you're reading this blog expecting to hear someone parrot the standard GOP drivel, you're going to continue to be sadly disappointed.

You are correct, however, in saying that it's doubtful any of us will ever really know all of what happened that day.

And, to the other commenter (or the same one -- hard to tell since they're both anonymous): they're trying to downplay the negative aspects of Trayvon's personality for the exact purpose I stated. They want to make him a poster boy martyr in order to push their fanatical anti-2nd Amendment/anti- self-defense political agenda. With that said, even if he was in a gang, that doesn't make it okay to gun him down when he wasn't doing anything criminal until he himself was harrassed. I have tattoos; is it okay for a cop to hassle me simply because of that? No. No more than dressing "thuggish"-ly made it okay for him to be targeted.

And now, it's time for me to pi$$ some more people off.

In my opinion, there are few things as dishonorable as shooting an unarmed person. We aren't talking about you or I being blindsided on a dark street, blitz-attacked and unable to defend ourselves, and we end up using deadly force. Zimmerman instigated the entire confrontation, and, in my opinion, if he wasn't physically able to defend himself from a big black kid using his fists without having to pull a gun, then he shouldn't have been stomping around the neighborhood, pretending he was some b@d-@$$ crime-fighter.

Even in the Old West, when damn near everybody carried guns, if somebody decided to whip your @$$ and you shot them for their trouble, you ended-up swinging from a tree. Force must be used appropriately or not at all.

There. I said it. Let the flame war begin.