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Lessons and Frustrations – 7 Days Without Power

This is an accompanying list of items based on Episode 818.

Video of how dark it turned when the Derecho was rolling in.

Resources that I Have Purchased for Hurricanes, Storms and Blackouts

DuroMax XP13000HXT 13,000-Watt 500cc Tri Fuel Gas Propane Natural Gas Portable Generator with CO Alert, Black/Blue – I made a mistake on how much I paid for this. I actually paid under $2,000. I thought it was under $1,000. Still well worth it!

24FT 3/4″ ID Natural Gas Hose with Quick Connect 3/4″ ID Natural Gas Hose with Quick Connect Fittings for NG/LP Propane Appliances, Grill,Patio Heaters,Generators(One Year warranty) – the 24 FT hose is not available at this time. – The 36 FT is $147.

UL Listed 50 Amp 25 Feet Generator Extension Cord, NEMA 14-50P Male to SS2-50R & CS6364 STW 6/3+8/1 AWG 125/250V Generator Power Cord Twist Lock Connectors for Generator to House – $119.

Midea Duo 12,000 BTU (10,000 BTU SACC) High Efficiency Inverter, Ultra Quiet Portable Air Conditioner, Cools up to 450 Sq. Ft. – $599.

Articles that Will Help in Blackouts, Power Outages

Get Your Backup Power System Now: Comparing Gas-Powered Generators vs Solar-Powered Battery Generators for Blackouts and More!

Options When You Encounter a Battery Shortage.

Read the Nasty (Frustrated) Replies from Residents without Power

Watch News Video of Destruction from the Derecho

See the mangled transmission linesCLICK HERE.

Peace,
Todd

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A Smart Prepper Move: Your Home Needs a Fire Extinguisher

fire extinguisher

Fire safety is an essential aspect of home safety that should not be overlooked. Fires can occur at any time, and they can cause significant damage to property and even lead to loss of life. Having a fire extinguisher in the home is one of the most effective ways to prevent small fires from becoming big ones. This is a smart prepper move that really is a no brainer!

Fire Danger – More Common Than You Realize

Home fires are a common occurrence, and they can have devastating consequences. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 1,291,500 fires reported in the United States in 2020, resulting in 3,420 deaths and 16,720 injuries. These fires caused $14.8 billion in property damage.

Not having a fire extinguisher in the home can increase the potential dangers of a fire. Small fires can quickly escalate into large ones if not addressed promptly. A fire extinguisher can help prevent small fires from becoming big ones by allowing you to put out the flames before they spread.

The Benefits of Fire Extinguishers

The biggest benefit to having a fire extinguisher in the home is it can prevent a small fire from becoming a big one. Fire extinguishers can also save lives and property by allowing you to put out a fire before it causes significant damage.

Fire extinguishers work by removing one or more elements that are necessary for a fire to burn. They come in different types, each designed for specific types of fires. For example, a Class A fire extinguisher is designed for fires involving ordinary combustibles like wood or paper, while a Class B extinguisher is designed for flammable liquids like gasoline or oil.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are five main types of fire extinguishers: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K. Each type is designed for specific types of fires.

Class A fire extinguishers are designed for fires involving ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, or cloth. Class B extinguishers are designed for flammable liquids like gasoline or oil. Class C extinguishers are designed for electrical fires, while Class D extinguishers are designed for fires involving combustible metals. Class K extinguishers are designed for fires involving cooking oils and fats.

It is essential to know which type of fire extinguisher to use in case of a fire. Using the wrong type of extinguisher can make the fire worse.

An Alternative Fire Extinguisher

If you don’t want a traditional fire extinguisher, you might consider a First Alert EZ Fire Extinguisher Aerosol Spray. The product description on Amazon reads, “The First Alert EZ Fire Spray Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use than traditional fire extinguishers and discharges 4 times longer than regular extinguishers, making it ideal for fighting common household fires and providing 32 seconds of discharge to ensure the fire is out. The nozzle sprays a wide area, giving you greater control to put out a fire faster. Just point and spray the Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray on household fires consisting of paper, fabric, wood, cooking oils, electrical appliances, or equipment. The portable extinguisher spray is ideal for the kitchen, boats, RVs, and travel, and the biodegradable, nontoxic-foam, fire-extinguishing formula wipes away with a damp cloth for easy cleanup.”

This is the route that I have personally chosen and I feel very comfortable with it. I have several placed in strategic areas in my home.

fire extinguisher

Where to Place Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be placed in areas where fires are most likely to occur, such as the kitchen, garage, and workshop. It is also important to have multiple fire extinguishers in different areas of the home.

Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible and mounted on a wall or placed on a stand. They should not be hidden behind furniture or stored in a closet where they may be difficult to reach in an emergency.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is essential in case of a fire emergency. The acronym PASS can help you remember how to use a fire extinguisher:

– Pull the pin
– Aim at the base of the fire
– Squeeze the handle
– Sweep from side to side

It is important to remember that fire extinguishers are only effective on small fires. If a fire is too large or spreading too quickly, it is best to evacuate the area and call 911.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

Fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. They should be checked monthly for any signs of damage or leakage and replaced if necessary.

It is also important to have your fire extinguisher serviced by a professional every few years to ensure that it is in good working condition.

Fire Safety Tips

In addition to having a fire extinguisher in the home, there are several other fire safety tips that can help prevent fires from occurring:

– Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and test them regularly.
– Keep flammable materials away from heat sources.
– Never leave cooking food unattended.
– Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your family.

Conclusion

In conclusion, having a fire extinguisher in the home is essential for fire and home safety. Fires can occur at any time, and they can cause significant damage to property and even lead to loss of life. By having a fire extinguisher in the home, you can prevent small fires from becoming big ones and save lives and property. It is also important to follow other fire safety tips, such as installing smoke detectors and having a fire escape plan, to ensure that you and your family are prepared in case of a fire emergency.

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Frugal Food, Soup and Eating Well

Food is so important to our well-being. As our world gets crazier it can effect many things, including the food we can afford to buy. One way that families can eat more frugally is to eat soups. A warm pot of soup, a little bread can go a long way to warm the body and soul. In fact, with the right soups, you might find yourself eating well. In hard times, good frugal food is important. And having some easy recipes in your back pocket makes it even better.

I try not to eat out for lunch. Not only does it put a dent in the pocket book, most of the times you are looking for something fast, which usually means unhealthy. Most of the time I take my lunch to work. I try to vary it up, but most of the time it is some sort of salad or a sandwich.

In an effort to get away from a sandwich and chips, I wanted something different, easy, but tasty. I started craving soups. Not girly soups (insert some pumpkin cream something or other soup here), but hearty soups.

Soups, Recipes, Oh My

The internet has tons of frugal an inexpensive recipes waiting to be found. This is true for soup recipes too.

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this specific site, The Modern Proper, but I found a few soup recipes that looked hearty and easy to make. I bookmarked the site and picked the first of three soups I wanted to try. I put together my list and made a soup every Saturday for three weeks in a row. I took a bowl of soup every day for lunch and never got tired of eating the same soup Monday-Friday. I was the only one eating the soup, but my family all tried them and liked them.

One word before I share the soups I made. These soups are quick and easy to make. Although all have vegetables, some of the ingredients and flavors come from a can. These ingredients can all be made from scratch, which would save you more money. But I was looking for easy soups as well as frugal food that would save me money from eating out every day for lunch.

Green Chicken Enchilada Soup

The first soup I tried was the Green Chicken Enchilada Soup. I made this soup exactly from the recipe except for the beans. Instead of Great Northern White Beans, I used Pinto Beans. I’m used to Pinto Beans and felt it would go better with the Enchilada taste.

I will also say here that enchilada sauce is not all made the same. We use the Hatch brand. It is a little bit more expensive than say Old El Paso. But it is thicker and spicier, the way I like it.

One thing that I will change when I make this the next time, is leaving out the Zucchini. For some reason, I just didn’t like it in the soup.

enchilada soup
enchilada soup - Frugal Food

You can get the recipe for this soup here – Green Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Green Chicken Chili Soup

The second soup I tried was the Green Chicken Chili Soup. You can see the trend here… Part of being frugal was that I cooked a big package of chicken the week before and froze it to use in this recipe. I also saved the chicken broth, which was so much more flavorful than trying to use something out of a can.

Again, I pretty much stayed true to the recipe except for the beans. This recipe called for white beans. I traded that out for pinto again. The recipe called for salsa verde. I purchased an expensive jar at the store. And like I mentioned above with the enchilada sauce, each brand and type of salsa verde will give the soup a different taste. But, of course, if you have a garden, you can easily source all of the ingredients for salsa verde from your own backyard.

salsa verde soup

salsa verde soup - frugal food

I didn’t always snap a pic of the soup complete with all the fixings. Above, you can see cilantro, avocado, cheese and crunched up chips. If you want to see this recipe click here –> Green Chicken Chili Soup.

Taco Soup

The last soup I tried was the Taco Soup. I started to get a little braver and stray away from the recipe just a little bit here. I followed the recipe, but instead of frozen corn, I used corn in a can. I also through in a 14.5oz can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and more taco seasoning than the recipe called for. And like the other soups, I switched out the black beans for pinto beans.

I didn’t add any fixings to this one when I ate it. It was hearty enough to eat just like it was. I also didn’t get any other pics other than the one when I was stirring the pot. To get this recipe, click here –> Taco Soup.

taco soup - frugal food

Eating Well When Things Go Boom

I liked all three of these and I would recommend them all. I would also recommend to make them your own and change up the ingredients if you don’t like something or don’t have something readily on hand.

Soups are so versatile that you can do so much with them. I also like that you can make a whole meal with just one pot. That is something to think about if you are having to conserve fuel or want to minimize clean-up in an emergency situation.

If you are looking for more recipes, check out The Bug-In Recipe Cookbook, a FREE, crowd-sourced book of recipes from others in the Preparedness Community.

If you have a favorite soup recipe, share it with me in the comments. I’m just not into Pumpkin Spice Cream Something Something…if you know what I mean.

Peace,
Todd

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Bringing Back Bible Study

I used to go to church on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings and Sunday nights. I didn’t necessarily grow up going three times a week, but when I turned my life over to the Lord, I wanted to learn as much as possible and spend time with other Believer’s in His presence. As Christian Preppers watch what is happening in the world, many are understanding that they need to spend more time with others in Christian community. It might be time to start a Bible study for preppers and/or other Believers who want to grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord.

Going back to what I mentioned above, there are few churches that have Wednesday night services anymore. There are even fewer that have a Sunday night. But the desire for many Believers to get together with other Believers, fellowship and spend time in His presence is still important, or at least it should be important!

Many churches have gone to small groups that meet at someone’s house. This takes on many forms. Some are promoted by their church, some are just Believers choosing to get together. Some use videos, some use a Christian book, some just read out of the Bible and some use some kind of Bible study curriculum, like Experiencing God.

As we see the world getting crazier, many Bible believing Christians understand the times and are getting serious about their relationship with the Lord. They desire to go deeper into the knowledge of the Word and desire to do that in the company of other Christians who can pray and hold them accountable every week.

If you are in an area where churches don’t provide small groups and/or you don’t feel confident to prepare a lesson every week, you can use the resources that I’ll start providing here on a weekly basis.

My church does an online Bible study through Zoom. The lesson is a previous message with questions written for discussion during our meeting. You can see the first one at the end of this article.

What Can a Home Bible Study for Preppers/Believers Look Like?

  • Create a text or email group to touch base with everyone and remind them about the small group. Life gets crazy sometimes and it is easy to forget an evening event, even if you desire to go. A reminder helps a lot.
  • In the past, I always had some sort of snack or coffee ready. You can request that a different person brings a snack every week if you want to share the love.
  • I always tried to start at the same time. If you wait till everyone gets there, they will get there later and later.
  • You will want to start with prayer. This seems like a no brainer, but it needs to be mentioned.
  • Ask how everyone’s week has been and if there are any praise reports. You are building relationships, community and getting to know other.
  • You’ll always have someone who dominates the group and who has an answer for every question. Don’t look at the questions as something to get through and mark done. The best questions are open-ended and should provide for discussion.
  • Use “wait-time.” This is a teaching strategy that makes people uncomfortable enough to speak up. Once people become familiar with each other, it won’t be as necessary.
  • If you are face to face, look down at your notes if someone is directing their answer to you. This will force them to look around at the other people in the group, causing more of a dialogue or discussion among the group. This is another strategy that I try to use when I’m face to face.
  • If there are questions that don’t have answers, write them down and do a little research to share your findings the next week. You might find that there is someone in the group who loves to do this and report back.
  • End the meeting asking for prayer requests. It would be a good idea to have a little notebook to write these down, maybe share them with the group through email and check back on them to mark them as answered.

Different Types of Bible Study Locations

The focus of the above list was a face to face meeting. Our church does Zoom Bible Studies on Tuesday @ 7 pm CST and they work similar. It’s amazing how you can connect with people in your area and in other parts of the country nowadays.

In the past, I’ve met with small groups in restaurants, coffee shops, church cafeterias and school classrooms. Anywhere is possible if you have people who want to get together.

If you would like to start your own Bible study for Preppers or other Believers and would like to use the resource below, you are welcome. I share out the video and questions a head of time through email. We then get together to catch-up, pray and share our insights to the questions and Scripture of the week.

Managing Personal Chaos

Questions for Discussion

  1. If you could have been right next to Eve when she was being tempted by the snake, what would you have said knowing what you know now?
  2. Why do you think God waited so long to confront David about his sin with Bathsheba?
  3. David must have felt guilty and responsible every time something negative happened with one of his kids. How do you think he dealt with it?
  4. What are signs in someone’s life, that can be identified, that point to a life that is in chaos? Think about big signs and some that are not as easily seen.
  5. What advice would you give to someone who was experiencing personal chaos?

Peace,
Todd

Bible Study for Preppers

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Christmas in September?!?

Christmas in September?!? We keep hearing about shortages…EVERYWHERE! Some are buying into it and preparing and others have been bitten by the mainstream media, social media, prepper media, crying wolf. From what I can tell, different parts of the country (and the world) will experience different shortages at any given time. If you think shortages might hit your area, are you ready to prepare months in advance for Christmas?

Where is this prepper getting his information? In the Prepper Website Exclusive Email Group (PWEG), preppers from all over the US and other parts, have shared about what grocery stores look like in their local area. It is usually a feature at the beginning of our online meetups to discuss our “local situation” which could include grocery stores, gas, ammos, crime or anything else relevant.

In any given meetup or email thread, some members in one part of the country could be experiencing shortages while others have plenty. A lot goes into the reasons for this, but one thing for sure is that if you want something specific for a specific time, you should prepare ahead. But isn’t that what we do?

Prepping for Christmas in September

Recently, I posted an article on Prepper Website about preparing for Christmas. Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog wrote,

Thanks to extreme disruptions caused by the global response to the pandemic, millions upon millions of Americans are going to have a very disappointing holiday season. Supply chains are in a state of complete and utter chaos all over the world, and now we are being told that it will remain this way for the foreseeable future. And that is actually a best case scenario. If a new variant comes along that causes even more global disruptions, the shortages that we are experiencing right now could become even more dire. We are so vulnerable right now, and any unexpected twists or turns could easily make things a lot worse.

Source

This idea is fresh on my mind because one member in the PWEG brought up preparing now for the holidays, including preparing for your traditional meals. This topic reminded me of how it was hard to find canned pumpkin last year during the holidays.

I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas (that’s probably not good for a pastor to say), but I do love pumpkin pie. Thinking back, I can’t remember having pumpkin pie this last Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I do remember going to the store and only seeing a few dented cans of pumpkin.

Whatever your view on Christmas, you probably don’t want to serve Hobo Soup to your family during the holidays. At least when you can help it by planning ahead now!

Christmas in September

Bah Humbug!

Although I’m not the biggest Christmas fan, my wife is. After our most recent online meetup, I told my wife she should be getting ready for Christmas…in September! She had no problems with that! In fact, she might even put up the Christmas tree early! I think I created a monster!

Anyway, with that said, I wanted to pose the question to readers, are you already preparing for the holidays? Are you buying gifts? Are you preparing certain holiday meal ingredients? Do you remember any items you couldn’t find last year?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and insights.

Peace,
Todd

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The High Calling of a Prepared Life

The prepared life is a high calling. It’s not usually looked at like that, but it is. Most preppers look beyond themselves and see a need that they take seriously. This calling helps the prepper stay focused, even when the prepared life loses its appeal and is challenging.

Calling Compared

Many Christian preppers can easily compare the calling to a prepared life with the calling of the Prophet Elisha. But to get there, we need to talk about Elijah.

Elijah was a great Prophet of God. But after being greatly used by God, he had a little pity party and went into a depression that had him along way from home, waiting for God on a mountainside. God gave Elijah some instructions, one being to anoint a replacement, Elisha.

When Elijah approaches Elisha, he was plowing his field with 12 oxen. Elijah places his mantel (robe) on him and turns around. Of course, this symbolized that Elijah was calling Elisha to be his disciple. Elisha, coming out of his shock, runs to Elijah and asks to say goodbye to his family.

19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20 He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.

1 Kings 19:19-21 NASB

Calling for Good

Elisha goes back, kills his oxen, uses the plowing implements to build a fire and throws a party. This doesn’t seem like a big deal to people who read the story, but Elisha was saying that he was leaving it all behind to follow the call of God for his life. He was telling everyone that this was a permanent thing.

This is very similar to the prepared life because once someone truly sees and understands the need to prepare, they don’t turn back. It’s for good!

The System is Fragile

Preppers live the prepared life because they see how fragile our world is. It’s a calling to know this and not just live in fear, but choose to do something about it. Preppers have decided that they are not going to leave it up to someone else to come to their aid, they are going to take responsibility and do it themselves. Of course, Christian Preppers approach everything with faith and trust in the Lord first. But even Noah had to prepare for his 40 day exotic cruise adventure.

21 As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Genesis 6:21-22 NASB

Me, Myself and More People

The Prepared Life is a high calling because when it really hits the fan, most people realize that they are preparing for more than just themselves and in most cases, extended family and friends. Yes, many preppers are very adamant that they will turn people away when the hammer drops. But do you really think your non-prepping spouse or kids are going to let you turn away Grandma or Aunt Jill out to the zombies? Come on!

Most preppers realize that they need to put aside extra for the unprepared. It kind of sucks because people should be more responsible, but that is how it is, the prepared life. 1 Timothy 5:8 NASB says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” I’m sure many Christian Preppers want to “lay some hands” on the Apostle Paul for that one! 😉

It’s About Being Responsible

Continuing the above thought, the Prepared Life is a high calling because Preppers forgo the typical American lifestyle to spend their money more responsibly on preps. While preppers are putting away for a rainy day, most Americans, including the family members who will show up on our doorsteps, are having a grand time taking trips, buying new vehicles, flashing the newest and the greatest.

This is the kind of behavior that causes us to want to tell our “loved ones” to take a hike when the cloud goes up, but we now how that really is going to go down. If you’re not sure, read the above paragraphs again and go ask your spouse and kids if they could turn away granny in a time of need. And then get ready for the fallout.

There is Some Good News Though

This COVID mess has caused the non-prepared to understand that the prepared life isn’t a bad idea after all. My non-prepper friends that I warned back in March, sent me text and calls of appreciation because they beat the frenzied free-for-all’s at the grocery stores. I have had others, like in the PW Exclusive Email Group and from the podcast, thank me for talking about toilet paper so much. LOL

Stock Up on Toilet Paper

Another thing that came up in one of the PW Exclusive Email Group’s Online Meetup, is that canning supplies are almost non-existent out there. This would include canners. I tend to believe, that although people are not calling themselves “preppers,” more and more are starting to do just that. Now if they would just start reading the articles on Prepper Website!

Conclusion

We don’t always think about it, but living the prepared life is a high calling. Preppers do it because they love others and want to live free. Did you just hear Mel Gibson yelling “freedom” there? I did!

If you’re interested, my devotional on Elisha’s calling is down below.

Peace,
Todd

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