Are You Prepared?

This is a useful test that I found online, while searching for some emergency preparedness articles.

It was helpful to me, hoppefuly it will be to you too!!


Answer each question with a YES or NO.

1. Has your family rehearsed fire escape routes from your home?               
2. Does your family know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake or other emergency situation?
3. Do you have heavy objects hanging over beds that can fall during an earthquake?
4. Do you have access to an operational flashlight in every occupied bedroom?
(use of candles is not recommended unless you are sure there is no leaking gas)
5. Do you keep shoes near your bed to protect your feet against broken glass?
6. If a water line was ruptured during an earthquake, do you know how to shut off the main water line to your house?
7. Can this water valve be turned off by hand without the use of a tool? Do you have a tool if one is needed?
8. Do you know where the main gas shut-off valve to your house is located?
9. If you smell gas, do you know how and would you be able to shut off this valve?
10. Gas valves usually cannot be turned off by hand. Is there a tool near your valve?
11. Would you be able to safely restart your furnace when gas is safely available?
12. Do you have working smoke alarms in the proper places to warn you of fire?
13. In case of a minor fire, do you have a fire extinguisher that you know how to use?
14. Do you have duplicate keys and copies of important insurance and other papers stored outside your home?
15. Do you have a functional emergency radio to receive emergency information?
16. If your family had to evacuate your home, have you identified a meeting place?



17. Would you have sufficient food?
18. Would you have the means to cook food without gas and electricity?
19. Would you have sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and sanitary needs?
20. Do you have access to a 72 hour evacuation kit?
21. Would you be able to carry or transport these kits?
22. Have you established an out-of-state contact?
23. Do you have a first aid kit in your home and in each car?
24. Do you have work gloves and some tools for minor rescue and clean up?
25. Do you have emergency cash on hand? (During emergencies banks and ATMs are closed)
26. Without electricity and gas do you have a way to heat at least part of your house?
27. If you need medications, do you have a month’s supply on hand?
28. Do you have a plan for toilet facilities if there is an extended water shortage?
29. Do you have a supply of food, clothing, and fuel where appropriate:
For 6 months? For a year?

These are all questions that need answers if you are to be safe in an emergency.
If you answered ‘No’ to any of them, its now time to work on getting those items done.


Prepare Every Needful Thing.

How sad do you feel when you read about Haiti? To be honest, I really avoid reading about and can't really look at those sad pictures - it makes me cry. That made me think about a lot of things. One of them was how blessed I am and if I am prepared if something like that happened here.

As members of the (LDS) Church we have been counseled for many many years to prepare and keep on hand at least a one-year supply of food. In the early days of our church the Saints were admonished to have a 7 year food supply. Then, for many years there was a time when a two-year supply was recommended, (and it undoubtedly would be a good idea for each of us to still keep a two-year supply if at all possible as
this will allow us to share with others).

But in the meantime it is imperative that we heed the current counsel to obtain and maintain at least a one-year minimum emergency food supply.

According to figures gathered by one of the food storage manufacturing firms, less than 6% of the members of the Church have an adequate emergency program.

Where do you fit into this figure?

Let’s enjoy life as much as we can - but let’s also be prepared. As we have recently seen, an unexpected disaster or loss of income can strike every s-o-o quickly.

“When the emergency is upon us,
the time of preparation has passed.”

How Do I Start My Food Storage?

“Church members can begin their home storage by storing the basic foods that would be required to keep them alive if they did not have anything else to eat. Depending on where members live, those basics might include water, wheat or other grains, legumes, salt, honey or sugar, powdered milk, and cooking oil. … When members have stored enough of these essentials to meet the needs of their family for one year, they may decide to add other items that they are accustomed to using day to day.

“Some members do not have the money or space for such storage, and some are prohibited by law from storing a year’s supply of food. These members should store as much as their circumstances allow. Families who do not have the resources to acquire a year’s supply can begin their storage by obtaining supplies to last for a few months.

Members should be prudent and not panic or go to extremes in this effort. Through careful planning, most Church members can, over time, establish both a financial reserve and a year’s supply of essentials.” 13Jan 20, 2002 First Presidency Letter

I did some (more) research and saw that I am very far from being prepared. But we have to start with the basics, right? So right now, I think we would "survive" ok...
There are MANY sources over the internet that you can find lots of information on food storage and emergency preparedness.

One site that I really like is Food Storage Made Easy. They have a great 'plan' to build your storage in, what they call, 10 Baby Steps.

You can also go to LDS.org and find very useful information there.

Why Should We Have Food Storage?

I have my personal reasons, but in a message from the First Presidency we read:

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.

"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.

"We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

We have already 'lived' on our food storage two or three times since we've been married. Last time, was almost a year ago when Julio (DH) lost his job and couldn't find one for nine months! I was able to stay home, but had to cut down on MANY things and after all I was so grateful that we had some food put aside! So whatever happens, I am NEVER letting my food storage go low!!!

Again, the First Presidency, tell us what we should have stored.

**Three-Month Supply
Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage

**Drinking Water

Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.
If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks.
Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

**Financial Reserve

Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount.

**Longer-Term Supply

For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.
These items can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply.

I will try to post some more specific info about each item above.

If you have any ideas on the subject, LET ME KNOW!! Leave a comment...


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

And I am NOT talking about Christmas! To be honest, I am a kind of a Grinch ... As soon as christmas was over, I put ALL the decoration away! My kids cryed when I took the tree down!!

What I am really talking about is SPRING - my favorite time of the year! Although it's been soooo cold, I am already in the spring mode! I'm very excited to start my garden seeds, to spend all day outside and... SPRING CLEANING!!! Yes you 'heard' me right; spring cleaning. Time to put away the kids outgrown clothes (dreadful job by the way), clean up the garage so hopefully whe can park the car in again and get rid of all the junk that piled up during winter because I didn't feel like doing pretty much anything! So I think my family is very glad that winter is almost over too! Specially my DH!!

I am planning to do this one baby step at the time, so hopefully, by summer I am done ;0)

This year I am trying to be more organized with my chores, so it won't be so overwhelming. I found a great article about how you can make spring and weekly cleaning an easy and stress free deal!

Start with the Kitchen

It's easy to stay on top of cleaning when you create a routine that works for your lifestyle. Complete these simple cleaning tasks once a week to ensure a tidy home and avoid marathon cleaning sessions.

In the kitchen, it pays to get the hardest jobs out of the way first. To keep your kitchen sparkling clean, stay up-to-date with these  tasks.

** To Do Daily **

Spray and wipe the countertops, range top, and vent hood.
Sweep the floor. (I vaccum instead, it's easier for me!)
Scrub the sink with a general-purpose cleaner. Then, wipe dry. (see tips below for hard to clean sink stains)

 ** To Do Weekly **

Mop the floor. (You you have little ones, you will probably may need to mop more often, like three times daily!)
Clean the exteriors of appliances.
Wipe the refrigerator door.
Scour and polish the sink.

** To Do Monthly **

Wipe off the cabinet doors.
Clean the oven. (thank heaven for self-cleaners)
Clean the refrigerator and sanitize the refrigerator drip pan.

Quick-Cleaning Tips and Tricks.

Keep a spray bottle with a solution of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water or an all-purpose spray cleaner in the kitchen for quick cleanup. I use the clorox kitchen. It smells good and disinfect.

Keep a broom and dustpan  in the kitchen or the vaccum handy for sweeping after meals.

Clean up spills as soon as possible to avoid a bigger mess latter.

Use your ice cube trays to freeze vinegar. Throw one or two cubes in your disposal and turn it on. That will help with smelly problems or you can do the same with leftover lime/lemon.

For more effective dishwashing, add a few tablespoons of vinegar along with the dishwashing detergent when washing dishes. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling.

To whiten an old stained sink , poor a half cup of salt in it and then scrub it with a lemon. Let it stand for a few minutes and rinse.

Odor producing mold and bacteria in garbage cans: sprinkle 1/2 cup Borax in the bottom of the garbage can.

To clean mineral deposits inside the dishwasher, pour in a container of Tang drink mix and run the dishwasher (without dishes - of course!).

Do you have any cleaning tips to share?
What's your "cleaning strategy"? Let me know!!


Do you know me?

       After grandma died, I was trying to remember some things about her. Quite honestly, I couldn't come up with much. Then I thought about my kids and how they won't know much about their grandparents either, since we live only 10.000 miles away from them!

       That's when I decided to start a Family History book. I will try to write as much as I can about all my family members, with pictures and videos (if I have any). I think my kids and their kids will enjoy this... I wish I had one book telling me all the stories about my ancestors!

Will they know ME? Scary thought. I will start with my own personal history, than do my parents and so on.

How many of us have taken time to collect our own certificates, photographs, memorabilia and life stories and compile them into a personal history to be cherished by our own posterity?

Don't leave a void next to your name, date or place of birth on your group record. Learn to write your own personal history. One of the many benefits of telling your story is that you learn more about yourself. The very process requires considering what you believe, what matters most and what the sum of your life experiences has taught you.

I will write a little what is personal/family history and a few tips on how you can start doing that today!

*What is a Personal History?
A personal history is information and stories that help posterity never forget that we were more than just a name on a pedigree chart (click here).
The information gives a personality and history that help our posterity know where they came from.

*Why write your Personal History?
To ensure that your family will know you as a person.
To share personal and family stories as a gift.
To let them know your thoughts and dreams.
To share incidents in your life that teach a lesson or tell of your triumphs over adversity.
Provide inspiration.
To ensure you are not forgotten.
To discover who you are, to search for your own identity.



What's for dinner?

Ok... So most everybody that knows me, know that cooking is not what I love to do! Actually, I cook only for surviving matters ;0)

Well, maybe is NOT that bad, but between cooking and cleaning, I rather clean (see how bad?)!

Last summer I started a new Relief Society group in my ward - a Recipe Exchange Group. It's very fun! Every month we have a 'theme', last month was desserts - yumm.

That is (kinda) helping me get excited to try new recipes. Tonight I made a soup that one sister shared the recipe in one of the meetings and it is the Zuppa Toscana (the yummy one with sausage and kale) from Olive Garden.

Even my picky eaters liked. Becca had five times!! Anyways, I want to share the recipe. It can be changed to taste...

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. italian sausage (use half mild/half hot or all hot if you like spicy)
1 large onion (diced)
10 slices bacon (I used MUCH less)
2 tsp. garlic
5 cups water
5 cups milk
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup heavy cream
5 red potatoes (cubed or sliced)
2-3 cups kale

Brown the sausage and the bacon. Remove from heat and let it sit on a paper towel (to absorb the fat).
Cook the onion and garlic, reserve.
Bring the water, milk and the bouillons to a broil and add the potatoes (my soup boiled over and made a mess! i think it was because of the milk, so next time i will either add the milk latter or watch REALLY close!)
When the potatoes are done, add the heavy cream, the meat, onions and the chopped kale. Cook for about five more minutes and voila!

Buon appetito!!!

Goodbye Tide...

Yesterday my dear Grandma "Tide" died. She had been sick for awhile and after a few days in the hospital, she passed.

I think I am happy just to know that she is better now...

My grandpa died twenty years ago (tomorrow, actually) so I think they are happy to, finally, see each other!!

We always lived far from my grandparents, so everytime that my parents said we were going to see grandma, it was pure bliss!

I remember one time when she came to stay with us over the summer and made lots of pretty skirts for me. I thought she was amazing...

Well, I am going to miss her, but I am glad that I will have many good memories left behind...
Love you Grandma...


It's a New Day...

I just can't believe 2009 it's over! Actually I can't believe that we are approaching the end of January! Crazy how time flies... But I'm happy for the new year. I think it will be great!

With the new year, the new resolutions...

One of them is to read with the kids every night! So far, so good! We made through the first 20 days of the year! Let's keep up the good work, peolple ;0)

For christmas, my good friend Amy, gave this cool 'Values-By-Month project' for the year. For every month there's a different value, symbol, a main scripture, songs, FHE ideas, Gospel Art lessons, related activities and topics and the scripture of the day - all related with the month's theme.

January's theme is "Order and Goals - organizing the home and work"! Don't you love it? January, new year, new beginning... Cleaning, organizing... I loved it! And the kids are so excited every night to know what the scripture is about!

Click **here for the PDF file!! Hope you enjoy!
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