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Shelf Reliance Mom

Shelf Reliance Mom: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cheapest Prices of the Summer! 4th of July THRIVE Sale

This sale has ended, but better ones are on the here to view the current Deals and Promotions and newly released products.  To automatically be notified of new sales, you can sign up for the blog email or email me directly at TiffsTreasures (at) gmail (dot) com to receive a discount password onto the Shelf Reliance site.

For the 30 Days of Faves my final favorite is the sales.  Maybe that's cheating...but I love them.  They do a special sale for their Q Club Members each month, typically they have a large special seasonal sale, and sometimes they have sales on specific packages that are just incredible.  For the next 5 days, it is the best sale of the summer for the 4th of July THRIVE Sale.  If you like the sales you see on this page, then you will really like it when go to the product.  It will take an additional discount off of the product because you will be on my consultant website rather than the general website.

My favorite product being showcased on this sale are the Instant Beans.  I love these because they've already been presoaked and partially cooked to where they only take 15 minutes to cook in your favorite dish.  That means even if you haven't planned a dinner, you can add these, a couple veggies and meats and you have yourself a homemade stew in minutes. They are WONDERFUL!  They can still be used in a crockpot, cook some up for a side dish, make some to go with taco salad, bean good.

Other exciting parts of the sale:

Have you been interested in becoming a consultant? The packages are now being offered at the cheapest price I've ever seen for the company.  The basic package is going for only $159 now through July 5th! If you go to the sale landing page, it will show you the package discounts of up to 20%.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preparing for Hurricanes

Luckily, I've never had to prepare for a hurricane because I live in the dry, humidless, rainless, cropless desert...did I mention there's very little moisture around here.  I was talking to someone from Florida who told me that  their area is in hurricane season nearly 6 months of the year! That has got to be so tough knowing that you might have to leave at a moment's notice half of the year.  If I lived in the hurricane alley, these would be my must-haves and why.  But first, here are some of the main pointers I've learned about preparing for a hurricane:

Before a hurricane:
If you've never had to leave in a hurry, you should take the calm before the storm to gather things you need for an emergency kit.  The following are things FEMA lists as most important to do before the storm.
~Board up window or use permanent storm shutters.  Lock doors.
~Install clips or straps to the secure the roof and prevent or lesson roof damage.
~Have well trimmed shrubbery and trees.
~Clear out your rain gutters and downspouts to help with the flood control.

Preparing for Evacuation:
~Make sure you have a full tank of gas since many gas stations close down in the event of an emergency.
~Unplug all utilities except your fridge and freezer.  (You will want to unplug these as well if you are at risk of flood)
~Have a battery operated (or hand crank/solar radio) so you can hear local instructions and news of what to do.
~Turn off your propane tanks
~Let others know where you will be going so they will not worry.
~Take suggested routes rather than short-cuts in case there are unknown blockages.
~Be on the look out for washed out roads, bridges, flooded areas, downed power lines.
~Fill large containers with water so you will have a clean water source for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and other sanitary purposes.  (Trust me, you always need more than you think.  Our family never realized how many times we wanted to flush the toilets or wash hands until we had 0 water access for 5 days)
~Moor your boat.

During a Hurricane:
~Avoid using the phone unless its a serious emergency
~Listen to your battery operated/hand crank radio
~Evacuate if you live in a mobile home or other temporary housing as they cannot be well-secured.
~Stay indoors, away from windows, glass doors, and as close to ground level as possible.
~Take refuge in a closet or small room of some sort.
~Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will pick up again

I know that I say this alot (but I feel like it is extremely important), my #1 priority would be a 72 hour kit.
There are different levels, but if you are just getting started and don't have a lot of money to spare, this one is so cheap that I guarantee you won't be able to build one that is this complete for this cheap, with as sturdy of  a backpack on your own.
This pack guarantees that you will have medication, shelter, light, warmth, survival food and water in case, perhaps, you were to get trapped in a bad situation.

The next thing you want to consider is water safety.  Even when most things are back to normal in the event of a hurricane, you usually have to question the water safety.  I own this Katadyn pocket filter personally and know that its works excellently.  The reason why I chose this above all of the others out there is because it is good for 14,000 gallons.  This is important to me because I don't ever want to have to question whether the quality of the water is ok or if I need a filter in the event of an emergency.  For many water products, the replacement filter price is so close to the original mechanism that over time you will spend a lot more on others that are only good for 400 gallons or whatever the case may be.

There are lots of water options so you can gaze at bunch.  Let me know if you have questions on the differences between them and what might be best for your specific needs.  I would also recommend a water barrel that you can store clean water in that you store before a storm happens.  This is what I have for my home (I have one in case of a drought).

Our company is currently out-of-stock of these as well as the official website, but I would suggest getting your hands on a WaterBob if at all possible.  It is well suited for people in a hurricane area as it stores 100 gallons of clean water in a safe place without a lot of hassle.

A battery operated/hand crank/solar radio provides you with the security of not having to find an electric outlet, or worry if you have current batteries.  This one even has a siren in case you were trapped and needed help, LED lights if the hurricane were to happen in the dark, as well as a USB phone charger.

Last but not least, food.  Many people know that the roads are often damaged and cooking can be near impossible when grocery stores are out of stock of fresh fruits and vegetables, much less canned goods.  Make sure that you can have peace of mind by having food in stock for your family (and if you are generous, friends and neighbors).
Our company has heard plenty of stories from people who were hit by the most recent tornadoes who were able to feed themselves as well as others due to the Just-add-water food they had on hand.  To learn more about freeze-dried food, food storage, or other emergency options please visit for the best prices available.

If you liked this post, you might also like how to build water storagewould you be ready in 10 minutes, and what's your plan?  Time is running out to enter the drawing for the free Harvest 72".  To enter, "like me" on facebook by clicking here, follow me on my blog, or for full details, visit, click here.

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Freeze Dried Pineapple ... THRIVE Sweet and Sour Pork or Chicken

Today is Day 21 of the 30 Days of Faves and I just HAVE to post this because it is literally almost everyone's favorite product.  If you haven't already tried FD Pineapple, it will rock your world.  THRIVE outdid themselves as they went to 16 different companies before they chose this company for the finger licking, tongue tingling fruit. 
If you'd like a sample of this delectable fruit, email me at for more information.

The following recipe is adapted from the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook.
Getting Started:
1 1/2 c FD Pineapple
4 c water
8 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 lb boneless pork (or chicken)
Vegetable Oil

1/2 c flour
1/4 c cornstarch
2/3 c cold water
1/2 t salt

Skillet Mix:
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white vinegar
1/2 t salt
2 t soy sauce
1/2 t minced garlic
2 t cornstarch

1. Combine pineapple and 4 c water in a bowl and allow to soak in the fridge.  Begin cooking your rice.  Click here if you need a rice recipe and just double what it calls for.
2. Remove excess fat from pork or chicken and cut into 3/4 in cubes.  Heat deep fryer or dish to 360 degrees.  Note: I don't fry things very often so I just filled a skillet with about 1 in vegetable oil to cook the pork.
3. Combine all of the batter ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk quickly until mixture becomes smooth.  Add pork pieces to batter and toss around until each piece is well coated.
4. Add pork pieces one at a time to frying oil leaving a little space in between each one so they will not stick together and so they will be easy to turn.  Cook them 5-6 minutes long turning each piece 2-3 times until golden in color.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
5.  Get 2 1/2 c water from bowl of pineapple (add water to equal 2 1/2 c if there isn't enough) and put this, brown sugar, vinegar, 1/2 t salt, soy sauce, THRIVE carrots, THRIVE Mixed Bell Peppers, and garlic into pan and bring to a boil.  Let it cook for 6-7 minutes.
6.  In pineapple bowl, add 2 T cornstarch (2 T water if there isn't any water remaining and the pineapple soaked it all up).  Mix well, then add cooked pork.  Mix again.
7. Add contents of the bowl into the pan with the rest of the cooked ingredients and allow to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Makes 6-8 servings.
Serve with one cup of cooked rice.

If you are lucky to end up with pineapple powder at the bottom of your can and aren't quite sure what to do with the powder, you can visit here for more ideas.  To purchase pineapple or see any of your other favorite THRIVE products, you can go to
To enter to win the free shelving system, don't forget to like me on Facebook and follow my blog.  For all of the details on the drawing you can go to win a free Harvest 72.  Hurry, contest ends June 30th.

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Basic Cooked Rice

I use rice pretty often in my cooking because it is inexpensive, filling and picks up amazing flavors of whatever its combined with.  If you are new to cooking and need a basic go to recipe, here it is!

If you are combining this with the Sweet and Sour Pork (or Chicken) recipe, you will need to double th ingredients.  This recipe makes 4 cups of rice.

2 c rice
4 c water
2 T butter (or butter powder)

Combine all ingredients in a medium pot.  Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a light simmer, cover and leave on simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Do not stir! 

Note:  My stovetop gets hot easily so I already know that I have to add more water to the things I boil anyway so I actually do an extra half cup of water.  Adjust to your stove tops needs.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas featuring the Magic Mix

These recipe and excellent step-by-step directions come from Rena Hearn at

I love this book!  This was my first book I ever purchased about food storage, about a year before I became a Shelf Reliance consultant.   She breaks down how to use food storage items that you may be new to you, such as whole wheat, powdered eggs and powdered milk.  She also has conversion charts that I copied and keep in my kitchen for quick reference.

One of the wonderful things I learned from her book was how to make Magic Mix.  It was developed by the Utah State Extension Service as part of their Don't Waste Your Milk Campaign.  For some great recipes and ideas visit this link and download the top 5 files.
I found lots of new uses for Magic Mix and can't wait to print these out and try them!

Magic Mix
1 c All Purpose Flour
1 c (2 sticks) Butter at room temperature.  (I have usedTHRIVE Butter Powder before!)

I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer with the wisk attachment.  To the flour and milk, simply add the butter a slice at a time.

Every now and then you may need to stop your mixer and strap the wisk.
When it has a cornmeal like texture you are done.  Don't over mix, because you don't want to warm up the butter and cause it to melt down...don't ask how I know that!   Store in an empty Thrive or coffee can in the fridge.
Chicken Enchiladas
2/3 cup Magic Mix
1 cup boiling water
1 can Enchilada Sauce
warm flour tortillas

Reconstitute the chicken, onions and mixed peppers in the same bowl by covering with water for about 15 minutes then drain.  Reconstitute the cheese by placing in a plastic bowl with lid and adding 1T of water.  Put lid on bowl and shake up!  Every few minutes give it another shake.
Place about 2 T chicken mixture on a flour tortilla, sprinkle with a little cheese and roll up.  Place in glass casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.  How many it makes will depend on how much chicken you like in them.

To make sauce wisk in 2/3 cup Magic Mix into boiling water. 
Stir as it thickens!  Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste.   Stir in enchilada sauce.
Wisk in THRIVE Sour Cream Powder.  Pour over enchiladas and top with any remaining cheese.  Bake in 350 degree oven until sauce is nice and bubbling hot. 
YUMMY!!!  Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.
More great recipes with Magic Mix are coming soon!  I LOVE this stuff!!

It's easy to keep up with the great sales and recipes! Just subscribe to stay up to date!  If you are interested in winning the Free Harvest 72" be sure to "Like Me" on Facebook and follow me through my blog for extra entries in the drawing.

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Doughn't you like Homemade Pizza?

I am a huge fan of homemade pizza and have a few recipes for the crust that I absolutely adore.  I received two this week that I haven't got to try yet, but here is one that is getting rave reviews...can't wait to try it out.

This is from Jamie at

Pizza Dough

My family has become spoiled!  I make home made pizza once a week.  I know your probably thinking pizza isn't very healthy.  I have made a healthier pizza that my fam LOVES!  I make a whole wheat crust and add veggies for the toppings.  I got this recipe from my fave blog  Here is a video showing how to make the dough.  Krystal is making bread sticks but also talks about how to make the dough into pizza.  One thing I do different from Krystal is I don't put butter on my cookie sheet (cut calories) I spray mine with pam instead.  I also don`t let my dough rise.  I just put it in the oven right away.

2 in 1 Pizza Dough & Bread Sticks

2 1/2 C. Medium Hot Water
5 tsp. SAF Instant Yeast*
2 Tbsp. THRIVE Sugar
Let the yeast rise.


3 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. THRIVE Salt
6 C. THRIVE Flour (I do 100% whole wheat but you can use any variation of white or wheat flour)

Note:  This recipe will make 2 cookie sheets of pizza or 1 pizza and 1 bread stick.  Or you can 1/2 the recipe and just have 1 bread stick or pizza.  Any of the THRIVE ingredients can be exchanged for other brands.


Cheese, olives, THRIVE mushrooms, THRIVE mixed peppers, THRIVE oinions, THRIVE Spinach THRIVE sausage (FD or TVP), THRIVE ground beef, THRIVE ham & FD pineapple (Hawaiian pizza).  The sky is the limit as far as toppings go.  Several THRIVE ingredients will go perfect for toppings.

Put dough directly onto a pam sprayed cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Spread with your fingers.  No need to flour your counter or dirty your rolling pin!

Before I start making my dough I take a SMALL bowl and add a few Tbs of oil and several crushed/minced garlic cloves and mix it together.  When I take my pizza dough out of the oven to top it I brush on the oil mixture.  Bake 400 deg for about 7-10 minutes (for pizza) 10-12 minutes for bread sticks or until desired browning is accomplished for bread sticks.  Baking the dough prior to topping it for the pizza keeps the dough from being soggy.

 For pizza take out of oven and top with your fave toppings.  I top ours with cheese, mushrooms, olives, chopped peppers and sometimes broccoli.  Then put it back in the oven just to melt the cheese.

For bread sticks top them how ever you like.  We brush some butter or oil and garlic (like for the pizza) then add some cheese.   Cut into strips and enjoy

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This post comes from fellow blogger Tawny at
The Freshman 15! My theory is it comes from all the junk food poor college kids are living on: Ramen noodles, Mac & Cheese, Frozen Pizza! Yuck!!
Eating healthy can seem expensive. Fresh Produce goes bad very quickly. processed food is cheap because its full of ‘junk’.
Do you know a college student you care about? Would you like an easy, affordable way to provide this ‘starving’ college student real, healthy, easy to use, convenient, shelf stable food?
The perfect gift: The Q!
You choose the amount. Each month Real healthy food is sent to your ‘starving’ college student! You can even choose what foods to send! Does you student love milk but is short on space? Send him a #10 can of instant milk each month! Is she a cheese lover? Send her yummy real freeze dried cheeses each month? You can choose entrees, desserts, fruits, veggies, dairy, basics, meats & beans, anything you would like!
What college student wouldn’t love a monthly gift of food! How comforting would milk & brownies be each month? You will feel great knowing you are providing real food free of preservatives, with no added sugars or salts! What a great way to ensure he gets his fruits and veggies even when away from home!
College kids are short on space! Pantry cans are perfect! They can be stored just about anywhere! You can also provide your student with cansolidator or FRS shelving to help store his monthly gifts of goodies! Thrive foods require no refrigeration and have a long shelf life!
Many college kids don’t have access to a full kitchen, many shelf reliance foods can be eaten right out of the can, reconstituted, or warmed in the microwave!
When you give the Q as a gift, you get the satisfaction of providing a great gift, earn Q club reward points, and are always guaranteed the lowest price on Shelf Reliance Products!
The Q really is the gift that keeps on giving!
The Q makes the perfect gift for graduates, college students, newly weds, or anyone who eats!
Contact me today to set up a gift Q for your loved one!
What Is The Q? Learn More here.

To learn about earning a food organizer for free, you can go to Win a free organizer

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Homemade "Helper" Mix-in-a-Jar

As many of you know I am going to start Dinner-in-a-Jar nights soon.  I love this posting by fellow THRIVE blogger Rena Hearn at  I am starting to try out some Just-Add-Water Meals and this is next on my list of recipes to try out.  I typically don't eat Hamburger Helper because of all of the added fat and ingredients I can't pronounce that probably aren't the best for my body... this seems like a great alternative and something I can hand over to my dear, sweet husband on nights that my hands are tied.

Recipe: Homemade 'Helper' Recipe

We love easy around here. And we have all been brain washed into believing those boxed ‘helper’ recipes are as easy as it gets. With a whopping 110 Calories in the mix alone and a lengthy list of unhealthy ingredients and preservative, there must be a better way!  Making homemade hamburger helper could not be easier!! You make up a basic ‘mix’ and add noodles and meat as you see fit. You could easily layer noodles, mix and spice into mason jars to give as gifts or as a quick meal. With options such as freeze dried meats or TVP, quick ‘helper’ style meals have never been easier!!

Homemade ‘Helper’ Mix
Mix this all up and store in a glass jar or other sealed container.
Use 1/2 cup for each pound of ground meat.
The Nutrition Info for this basic mix comes to about the following: 41 Calories, less than 1g of fat
Basic Preparation:
  • 1 pound meat (Thrive Freeze Dried Beef, Thrive Beef TVP, or seasoned browned ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup of  ‘helper’ mix (above)
  • 1 to 2 cups noodles (elbow macaroni for example)
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups water
Stir in meat, dry mix, then add 2 cups hot water and 2 cups noodles. You can add more or less water and noodles, proportionately, depending on much you need to stretch that pound of beef. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
This Recipe is easily adaptable to what you have on hand and what you are hungry for. Looking for a cheese burger? Add Thrive Cheese Blend or Shredded Cheddar Cheese. Throw in some Bacon TVP for a bacon Cheese burger! With Thrive Freeze Dried vegetables, its easy to add corn, green beans, or other yummy veggies to your helper meal. Just dd them when you add the noodles. Looking for a comfort food: Instead of macaroni, add 2-3 cups very thinly sliced potatoes. Simmer 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Uncover and simmer until liquid has evaporated.
This recipe is easily adapted to your families dietary needs. Use whole grain pasta. Or gluten Free Pasta. Season and adjust the recipe to your needs and taste.
When you do the math this recipe is an incredible money saver!! You could easily take the $2 or so it takes to buy one preboxed ‘helper’ meal and buy enough pasta to make this recipe 2-3 times! The ‘Helper’ Mix cost about $2 to make & makes about 6 servings, so this mix is going to cost you about $.30 per serving!
With this mix you are going to save time. You can easily customize it to what you have. You are going to save shelf space, all those ‘helper’ boxes take quite a bit of room. You are going to save money, preboxed foods are expensive, and you are going to save your family’s health.
Ready to start making your mix? Go to to get the very best in freeze dried and shelf stable foods. Contact me about making the most of your ‘home store’, or book a ‘make a mix’ party and share this and other great mixes with your friends while earning free products!

It's easy to keep up with the great sales and recipes! Just subscribe to stay up to date!

If you are interested in earning the shelf for free, don't forget to like me on facebook and begin following me on my blog.  For full details, you can go to Win a Free Harvest 72".  For another great recipe in only 20 minutes, go to Easy Chicken and Rice.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

If you can, can- Can-solidator Pantry

Day 10- Winning Free Stuff is Always Fun
Continuing forward with the 30 Days of Faves I'd like to offer everyone a chance to win something amazing!  Keep reading for details.  You can read on below to learn more about another can rotator we offer for people who don't have room for a shelf in their home. Read on below!

Many people love to buy food, but have no place to store it.  I am giving away one of these fantastic shelves July 1st.  That means you have now through June 30th to enter.  If you don't have room for one of these and would prefer some of the smaller shelves that we sell that go on your existing shelves (like I describe in the post), I'd be more than happy to oblige.  Here's how to qualify:

Easy ways to earn tickets into this raffle:
1. Follow me on the blog by clicking on the Follow button. (25 tickets)
2. Like me on Facebook by clicking here. (25 tickets)
3. Join the Q and get 1 ticket for every dollar you commit to the Q
each month by clicking here.
4. Make a purchase online by clicking here (100 tickets)
5. Host an online party and get tickets for each of your friends on the Q.
For each friend that you email contest details to, you will receive another entry.  If you invite FB friends to "like" my page, leave a comment with the number of people whom you invited so I know how many more tickets to give you....honor system.  Example letter below.

Example Letter
Dear Friends and Family,
I am entering a contest to win a free can rotation system and thought you might be interested in winning one.  It is really easy to earn tickets.  For details, just go to
For each person you forward this to, you also get
another free entry as long as you add to the recipients.  Good luck everyone!

Now for details on the Cansolidator Pantry:

The Cansolidator Pantry is one of many food rotational systems which Shelf Reliance has developed to help you have more organized and fresh food.  It works by having you insert newer product on the top and rolling the older product to the bottom in First In, First Out fashion.  No more having a tower of cans fall over when you need something or opening up a can of expired spoiling soup.
Here's a diagram of how it works!

I love that you can adjust the racks to fit whatever type of food you need whether its tuna cans, chicken noodle soup or green beans.  Also, its nice being able to add on to whatever rack you buy so you can place more cans with your current system.  For an idea of some of the other can rotation systems we sell, click here.

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Summer Refresher

 by Hilary at Thrive Hive

Summer is here! I love summertime, but I live in AZ so in addition to fun and vacation time, summer for me brings extreme temperatures, dust storms, wildfire danger, and Monsoon Season (aka flood season). Elsewhere, it is the season for heat waves (continuous high temperatures coupled with humidity), tornadoes, and flooding. So, it's definitely time for a refresher on how to prepare for such situations. There are a few things that are universally important to do to prepare. is a very useful site that can tell you what natural disasters you are at risk for where you live. It suggests three basic things we should all do to prepare for any emergency.
1. Get a kit
2. Make a plan
3. Be informed

Personally, I think it makes the most sense to go in reverse order. Inform yourself on the potential dangers you face in your area, then make a plan including a 72 hour kit appropriate for your situation and family needs.

Get informed!
Below I list a number of potential emergencies and some links to help inform you.

Heat wave: This could happen anywhere. In fact it is often the most harmful in places where you least expect it because people often aren't ready for it. If you do find yourself in this situation, make sure you dress lightly, avoiding polyester; drink lots of water; eat lightly--fruits and veggies are best; NEVER leave kids or pets in cars (temperatures can rise and cause death in just minutes), and make sure you check on your elderly or infirm friends and neighbors.

If you notice symptoms of heat illness such as clammy skin, excessive sweating, pallor, extreme fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, vomiting, lightheadedness, or excessive thirst, seek medical advice and cool the person down as soon as possible. Signs of a heat emergency are red flushed skin OR paleness, body temperature of 106 F or higher, seizures, extreme headache, rapid breathing, rapid pulse, sweating ceases, confusion, or unconciousness. If you notice these symptoms seek medical attention immediately! For more on safety during a heat wave, check out

Wild Fires: Smoky the Bear always said, "Only you can prevent forest fires!" So, the most important thing here is to heed the warnings and restrictions for campfires in your area. My husband is a Boy Scout leader and they are scrambling right now because all of the mountains here are closed due to fire risk and therefore, scout camp is cancelled. As sad as this is, it would be infinitely worse if that warning wasn't heeded and they found themselves in a wild fire situation. Another big temptation is fireworks. It's disappointing when fireworks are restricted during this patriotic season (trust me, I know. It happens every year here!), but it is vital that those restrictions are heeded. Some other advice for reducing your risk of being affected by a wild fire is to clear dried weeds and brush from your property, have a working fire extinguisher, never drop a burning cigarette (not smoking them in the first place is even better!), install smoke detectors on every level of your home, and keep your vegetation watered and pruned. For more information on wild fires, see here:

Dust/Sand Storm"Sand Storms are among nature's most violent and unpredictable phenomena. High winds lift dirt particles or, in the case of sandstorms, sand, into the air, unleashing a turbulent, suffocating cloud of particulates and reducing visibility to almost nothing in a matter of seconds." If you are in a sandy or dry area you should be especially aware of this danger. These storms are especially dangerous for motorists. If you are driving and encounter a sandstorm you should try to outrun it if you can. Once you are in the storm, it is best to pull over, close all windows and vents, and turn off all lights to prevent a collision. This seems counter intuitive, but in storm situations people often follow the lights of the cars around them to get through, so if you are on the side of the road they may follow you and be run off the road or even collide with you. Sand storms are often accompanied by high temperatures, so make sure you keep plenty of water in your car when traveling. If you get stuck outside in a sand storm, seek higher ground. Do not lay in a ditch or gully as flash floods are common in areas of sand storms. For more information on sand storms, see:

Floods: These are the nation's most common natural disaster and "flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S." according to FEMA. There is flooding right now on the Mississippi that is breaking records. Flooding is also forecast for many other parts of the country and it happens here in Arizona multiple times each year. One of the best ways to be alert to flood danger is to check in with your local news daily. Be aware of where the flood plains are in your area and also in the areas that you plan to travel. If you are planning a hike in a flash flood area, stay up to date on the wather forecast and check regularly for flood warnings. If rain is expected or warnings are in effect, consider a change in plans. Flash floods can happen miles away from an actual storm as the rain waters rush over the hard dry ground, so don't think you are safe just because it isn't raining right where you are. If you know there is a danger of runoff flooding, create barriers like a sand bag wall, turn off the electricity to your home, elevate any valuables, then seek higher ground. Avoid walking and driving through flood waters, but if you must walk through them, do so with great caution and avoid moving water. This website is also a very useful tool in preparing for floods if you are at risk:

Tornadoes: Although there are areas much more prone to tornadoes than others, they can happen anywhere at any time. We have seen evidence of this lately with the tornadoes in Alabama, Missouri, California, and even Massachusetts. Warning signs of a tornado include darkening skies, especially if it is a greenish or orange color. Also watch for rotation of the cloud base, very calm or quiet conditions during or right after a storm, a rumbling or roaring sound that sounds like continuous thunder or a train, whirling debris on the ground even in the absence of a funnel cloud, blue-green or white flashes in the distance at ground level (these could be a sign of power lines being snapped in high winds). In case of a tornado, seek safety in a shelter, basement, or inner room with no windows. Stay in the middle of the room because debris often gathers around the edges and could injure you. You should also understand that if a tornado strikes, you will not have utilities for about a week, so stock up on non-perishable food as well as water to get you through. See Lessons from Alabama for a first hand look at what you should have from a survivor of the recent Alabama tornado outbreak. Look at these links to see what to watch for, how to prepare for, and what to do in a tornado.

Earthquakes: There isn't an earthquake season as far as I know, but we'll include this just to round out the list. To safegaurd yourself in case of earthquakes, make sure all heavy furniture that may tip is secured to the wall. Do not place heavy objects on high shelves and make sure mirrors, heavy pictures, and shelves with heavy objects are not placed over beds and couches to prevent injury. You and your family should have earthquake drills and have a plan so you know where everyone will meet and communicate after an earthquake occurs. If you are in a car during an earthquake, stop and stay seated, and wait until it's over. However, if you are in a parking garage, get out and crouch next to a car. If you are in a building during an earthquake, you should drop, take cover (protecting your head and neck), and hold on. If you get trapped in a building, slowly make your way out, pushing on objects in your way gently to see if they will move. If it doesn't budge, it is load bearing and should be left alone. Once you are outside, get away from tall buildings if possible in case of an aftershock. If you are outside during an earthquake, stay there. Move away from buildings, trees, street lights, etc that could fall on you. Do not seek shelter under a bridge. No bridge is earthquake proof. For more information about earthquakes check out these links:

Drowning: This is not a natural disaster, but it is a danger during summertime. Drownings are extra heart breaking because in most cases they could have been prevented. In order to do so you should make sure all pools are fenced in. If you have a small kiddie pool, only have it filled if you are there supervising. When you are done, dump it out. Do your best to block access to pools and hot tubs. Teach your children to swim. Learn CPR and keep emergency equipment handy. Keep your eyes peeled--there should always be an adult swimmer outside the pool keeping an eye on those in the water. Make sure drain covers are up to date and don't allow children to play near drains. Here are a couple of links with more info about how to prevent and spot drowning this summer:

Make a Plan!
Everyone's plan will be different depending on location, number of family members, ages of family members, etc. My blogging partner, Tawny, has an excellent post on what to consider when making an emergency plan. Check it out here. Shelf Reliance also has a great checklist here.

Get a Kit!
If you are not familiar with an emergency kit, they are basically backpacks or other containers that you can easily grab and go with in case an emergency requires immediate evacuation. They contain items that you will need to make it through the first few days of an emergency while you wait for help or safe return home. It is a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your vehicles, in school lockers/backpacks, and at the office. Shelf Reliance has a number of emergency kitsavailable. These kits are a wise investment for your family, make a great birthday/holiday gift, and are a fabulous and unique wedding gift too. Right now the 2 Person Survival Pack is on sale for only $79.10 (plus taxes and S&H) when you order through a consultant. Email me at if you are interested in that deal. Shelf Reliance also provides a free emergency kit planner to help you customize a kit based around your personal needs. If you are feeling ambitious, you can always make your own kit too. I will post soon with more details on 72 hour kits and what my family's kits contain. If you want to get started now, here are two great resources to guide you:

I hope this information is helpful to you this summer, so that this year you will not only survive, you'll also thrive no matter what life throws at you!

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