Wheat Watchers

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Archive for September, 2008

Water Purification

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 30, 2008

You will find varying schools of thought in water filtration and purification. Some say yes bleach, some no bleach. Some say bleach before storage others say it’s not needed. Bleach is not healthy when it is not pure household bleach WITHOUT additives (perfumes, dyes, thickeners, etc.) Bleach also has a shelf life of 3-6 months depending on storage temperature. My personal opinion is that it’s a good thing and if done right, will not harm but could possibly help. This is one article that seemed to cover most bases and is from a reliable source, take it as food for thought, I’m not an expert:)

Treatment for Stored Water

Tap water or well water is not sterile. The few microorganisms present can multiply during storage and have the potential to make someone ill. Water that is to be stored for long periods of time should be treated to control microbial growth. Be sure to use the best quality water possible for storage.

Heat Treatment:One effective way to store water is in clean canning jars. Fill clean mason type quart or half-gallon jars with water, leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top of the jars. Attach two piece metal canning lids. Fill a boiling water canner half full of water and preheat the water to approx. 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Place jars into the water bath. Add more boiling water if necessary so that jars are covered by 1 inch of water. When water returns to a rolling boil, process jars for 20 minutes. Remove jars from the canner and allow them to cool. After seals set, remove screw bands and place jars in storage. Canned water often will have a white mineral precipitate or ring at the water level. This is normal.

Chlorine Treatment: Liquid chlorine bleach (unscented) can be used to disinfect water for long-term storage. Use fresh chlorine bleach since it can lose up to half its strength after 6 months. One gallon can be treated by the addition of 1/8 teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach containing 4 to 6 percent sodium hypochlorite. (Most bleach contains 5.25 percent.) This is equivalent to 8 drops of liquid chlorine bleach. During storage the bleach will break down into oxygen and table salt.

Bottled Water
Bottled water can be a quick and convenient way to store water. Although it is convenient, it is not considered to be any safer than water from your tap. Standards for public water supplies are set by the Environmental Protection Agency and those for bottled water are set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) works with the industry to assure that FDA regulations are followed, assuring a safe, high quality

Emergency Disinfection of Nonpotable Water
Be sure to filter murky or cloudy water through a clean cloth or allow the sediment to settle before disinfecting it as described below.

Some emergency situations could occur where the only water available is contaminated by disease causing organisms. In this case, the same procedures can be used as for treatment of stored water as follows:

Heat Treatment:
Boiling is the most preferred method. This heat treatment requires water to be boiled in a vigorous rolling boil for 5 minutes for any altitude in Utah. Taste may be improved by pouring the boiled water back and forth from one clean container to another several times to incorporate air.

Chemical and Filtration Treatments:
Chemical treatment is less desirable than heat treatment because the effectiveness is dependent on several variables such as: (1) the amount of organic matter in the water, (2) water temperature and (3) the length of time after the chemical is added until it is used. Furthermore, chlorine or water purification tablets will not kill parasite cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It is recommended to both filter and chemically treat nonpotable sources of water to minimize potential contamination from bacteria, viruses and parasites.

• Chlorine Treatment: Clear water can be treated with ¼ teaspoon (16 drops) of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon. Use fresh bleach. Mix the water and allow it to stand for 30 minutes before using. If water is cloudy in appearance, chemical treatment is not recommended. A slight chlorine odor should be detectable in the water. If not, repeat the treatment and let stand an additional 15 minutes before using.
• Water Purification Tablets: Different types of tablets are available for water purification purposes. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for treatment and allow sufficient time for the chemical to work before using. Check the label for expiration date, since the tablets can become ineffective with time. Most tablets have a storage life of approximately 2–5 years unopened.
• Commercial Water Filtration Units: You can filter water if you have a commercial or backpack filter that filters to 1 micron. These are available in sporting good stores and are recommended for use when backpacking. They are not recommended to filter large volumes of water or for water with a lot of sediment. Filtering at 1 micron eliminates bacteria, parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, but it may not eliminate viruses. Therefore, it’s recommended that 5-7 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of chlorine bleach be added per gallon of filtered water. Wait 30 minutes before using the water, or cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place.

(I have found a few brands of commercial filters I am interested in purchasing including the British Berkfeld and AquaRain filters. I may see about a group purchase if there is enough interest, please contact me if you’re interested.)

Contamination by Radioactivity and Chemicals

No effective method for decontamination of water that contains radioactive or chemical fallout is available for home use. This decontamination should be supervised by local or state health officers.

Most of this information is found in the USU Extension Document WATER:Storage and Emergency Use.


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The Last Days

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 28, 2008

I will post excerpts as pertaining to this blog. I heartily encourage you to read the entire article or watch the video stream from lds.org.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
CES fireside September 12, 2004

The Last Days

Many have asked, “Is this the hour of the Second Coming of the Savior and all that is prophesied surrounding that event?” Indeed, sometime not long after 9-11, I had a missionary ask me in all honesty and full of faith, “Elder Holland, are these the last days?” I saw the earnestness in his face and some of the fear in his eyes, and I wanted to be reassuring. I thought perhaps an arm around him and some humor could relieve his anxiety a little. Giving him a hug, I said, “Elder, I may not be the brightest person alive, but even I know the name of the Church.” We then talked about being Latter-day Saints. I said, “Yes, Elder, we are in the last days, but there is really nothing new about that. The promised Second Coming of the Savior began with the First Vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820. So we already have about 184 years of experience seeing the Second Coming and the last days unfold. We can be certain that we are in the last days—years and years of them,” I said, and gave him a friendly shake of the hand and sent him on his way. . .

As far as the actual timing of the final, publicly witnessed Second Coming itself and its earthshaking events, I do not know when that will happen. Furthermore, President Gordon B. Hinckley has said that he doesn’t know when it will happen, and that is because no one knows when it will happen. The Savior said that even the angels in heaven would not know (see Matthew 24:36).

We should watch for the signs and read the meaning of the seasons, we should live as faithfully as we possibly can, and we should share the gospel with everyone so that blessings and protections will be available to all. But we cannot and must not be paralyzed just because that event and the events surrounding it are out there ahead of us somewhere. We cannot stop living life. Indeed, we should live life more fully than we have ever lived it before. After all, this is the dispensation of the fulness of times. . .

I have just two things to say to any of you who are troubled about the future. I say it lovingly and from my heart.

First, we must never, in any age or circumstance, let fear and the father of fear (Satan himself) divert us from our faith and faithful living. There have always been questions about the future. Every young person or every young couple in every era has had to walk by faith into what has always been some uncertainty—starting with Adam and Eve in those first tremulous steps out of the Garden of Eden. But that is all right. This is the plan. It will be okay. Just be faithful. God is in charge. He knows your name and He knows your need.

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—that is the first principle of the gospel. We must go forward, as it says in K. Newell Dayley’s hymn commemorating our pioneers of the past, “with faith in ev’ry footstep.”1 But like those pioneers, you do have to keep taking them—one step and then another and then the next. That is how tasks are accomplished, that is how goals are achieved, and that is how frontiers are conquered. In more divine language, that is how worlds are created and it is how your world will be created.

God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.

God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.

Drawing upon my vast background of children’s bedtime stories, I say you can pick your poultry. You can either be like Chicken Little and run about shouting “The sky is falling; the sky is falling” or you can be like the Little Red Hen and forge ahead with the productive tasks of living, regardless of who does or doesn’t help you or who does or doesn’t believe just the way you believe.

So much for farmyard stories! How about two scriptures, both directed at those who live in perilous times?

The first is from section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants. If you recall, this revelation came as the Saints who were gathered in Missouri were suffering great persecution—were at the very height of their persecution. Mobs had driven them from their homes. Hostility, even hatred, followed them from county to county as they sought refuge. These frightened Saints lost land, livestock, clothing, furniture, crops, and a host of personal possessions. Threats of death were heard every day. I suppose, at its worst, this was the most difficult and dangerous time—may I say “terror-filled”—that the Church had ever known. Later on names like Haun’s Mill and Liberty Jail would take their place in our vocabulary forever.

Yet in that frightening time the Lord said to His people:

“Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

“Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.

“They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion—

“And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled” (D&C 101:16–19).

So, my young friends, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion. And remember the most fundamental definition of Zion we have ever been given: those who are “pure in heart” (D&C 97:21). If you will keep your hearts pure, you and your children and your grandchildren shall sing songs of everlasting joy as you build up Zion—and you shall not be moved out of your place.

The other verse I refer to is from the Savior, spoken to His disciples as He faced His Crucifixion and as they faced fear, disarray, and persecution. Talk about troubled times! In His last collective counsel to them in mortality, and knowing full well what lay ahead for Him and for them, He said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

So, in a world of tribulation—and there will always be plenty of it—let’s remember our faith. Let’s recall the other promises and prophecies that have been given, all the reassuring ones, and let’s live life more fully, with more boldness and courage than at any other time in our history.

Christ has overcome the world and made straight a path for us in the wilderness. He has said to us in our day: “Gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome” (D&C 38:9). So let’s gird up. Let’s get some gusto into singing those songs of everlasting joy.

Click HERE to view video.

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Emergency Sources of Water

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 26, 2008

You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool. Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or dark color. Do not drink flood water (water has already flooded the sewers and is contaminated.) Be sure to purify the water before drinking it. Sources of water include:


  • Melted ice cubes
  • Water drained from the hot water heater if it has not been damaged.
  • Water from the flush tank (not the bowl) of home toilets. Bowl water may be used for pets.
  • If water to the house has been interrupted, turn off the main water valve, empty the pipes by turning on a faucet on the highest level of your home to let in air, and then turn on a faucet in the lowest level of your home.


  • Rainwater
  • Moving bodies of water like streams and rivers
  • Ponds and lakes
  • Natural springs

(from Utah Department of Public Safety: Personal and Family Preparedness)

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Storing Water Safely

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 24, 2008

During times of serious emergency, the normal water supply to your home may be out or become so polluted that it is undrinkable. You will need to have some water stored to help you and your family survive until suitable water is available or a continuous source for purification is located.


  • Store two gallons, per person, per day, for 14 days (28 gal. per person.) This allows one gallon per day for drinking and one gallon for cooking and hygiene purposes.
  • Start with AT LEAST a 3 day supply per person (6 gal. per person.)
  • If there are family pets, include sufficient additional water for them.


  • Collect the water from a safe supply.
  • Check and possibly replace water every 6 months.
  • Water weighs 8 lbs. per gallon. Consider weight of filled container when deciding on storage location and before container is filled.
  • Store water only where potential leakage would not damage your home or apartment
  • Protect stored water from light and heat. Some containers may also require protection from freezing.
  • Do not store directly on cement. Use carpet, wood or another barrier between storage container and cement. Cement contains elements that will leech into plastic and water making it unsafe for drinking.
  • Seal containers tightly, label with date and store in a cool, dark place.
  • The taste of stored water can be improved by aerating it – pouring it back and forth between two containers.


  • Use only food-grade containers.
  • Store water in thoroughly washed plastic, fiberglass or metal containers that are lined with enamel.
  • Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic barrels, buckets or drums work well.
  • CLEAR 2 liter soda bottles also work well.
  • If you have water in colored plastic bottles, save it and use for washing only. Chemical dyes could leech into stored water and be harmful for humans.
  • Glass is a fairly effective container for storage and is non-permeable to vapors and gases.
  • Glass should not be the sole source of water storage since it is easily broken and may be damaged during an emergency event.
  • Clean, sanitize and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use. A sanitizing solution can be prepared by adding 1 Tablespoon of liquid household chlorine bleach (5-6% hypochlorite) to one-gallon of water. Shake well, turning the container upside down to sanitize the cap. let stand for 1 minute, drain water. let the container air dry. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents or additives should be used.
  • Do not use plastic milk jugs (or similar containers), because they do not seal well and will become brittle over time.
  • Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products. Never reuse a container that contained toxic materials such as pesticides, solvents, chemicals, oil, antifreeze, etc.

Common Storage Containers
5 gallon clear jug – Easy to move, rotate and use. ($4.59 at Macey’s this week) You may also want to have a spigot ($.99 @ Macey’s this week.)5 gallon mylar bag/box – Bags are flexible, collapsible and extremely portable.
“Blue Barrel” available in 15, 30 and 55 gal. sizes – heavy duty, thick food-grade plastic. Efficient, effective, long term water storage. Restricts light and helps control growth of algae and bacteria. Can be expensive (55 gal. is $42 and 15 gal. is $25 @ Macey’s this week 9-23-08. Both EXCELLENT prices)
To use a blue barrel type container effectively, you will also need a bung wrench and a siphon hose or pump (pump is $7.49 @ Macey’s this week) to open and pump water out of container. You may also store these barrels on their side and purchase a hose bib to remove the water easily.

Bung Wrench, Siphon Hose , Siphon Pump

Sources: providentliving.org, simplylivingsmart.com, homelandsecurity.utah.gov and The Earthquake Lady handout.

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How Not to Freeze When the Lights Go Out

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 23, 2008

Macey’s Little Theater is presenting another FREE emergency preparedness class given by Jon and Kylene Jones (yourfamilyark.com) These classes are ALWAYS filled up fast but I have reserved 10 places for our Wheat Watchers group. Check your calendars and post a comment or e-mail me if you’d like to attend. I will cancel any unfilled spots.

How Not To Freeze When the Lights Go Out
Tuesday, October 14
7:00 pm
Macey’s Little Theater

Back for Part 4 of our emergency preparedness series, Jon and Kylene Jones will teach us how they and their eleven kids stayed warm and well when the electricity was out for four days. A wealth of information we ALL need to know

PS-I will be out of town. So someone will need to take good notes for me! Macey’s does repeat this series so watch for more classes and reserve us some spots 🙂

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Bruce R. McConkie

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 21, 2008

I stand before the Church this day and raise the warning voice. . . . It is a voice calling upon the Lord’s people to prepare for the troubles and desolations which are about to be poured out upon the world without measure. For the moment we live in a day of peace and prosperity but it shall not ever be thus. Great trials lie ahead. All of the sorrows and perils of the past are but a foretaste of what is yet to be. And we must prepare ourselves temporally and spiritually.” (Ensign, May 1979, pp. 92-93.)

We do not know when the calamities and troubles of the last days will fall upon any of us as individuals or upon bodies of the Saints. . . . We can rest assured that if we have done all in our power to prepare for whatever lies ahead, He will then help us with whatever else we need. . . . We do not say that all of the Saints will be spared and saved from the coming day of desolation. But we do say there is no promise of safety and no promise of security except for those who love the Lord and who are seeking to do all that he commands.” (Ensign, May 1979, p. 93.)

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A letter from Texas

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 18, 2008

Southern Texas was recently hit by hurricane Ike. Here is a letter from a local resident (and a friend of a friend of a friend) experiencing the effects. THIS is why we’re doing what we’re doing. See if you can recognize some areas of preparation we’ve been working on or something you’d like us to do. Choose something you’re lacking and get it ready.

Dear Friends:

(We) are doing well. We have a 6’x6′ hole in our roof, no electricity or running water, Trees down everywhere. However, because we listened to the counsel of our Prophet we are prepared, calm, and helping one another with trees in roofs, flooding, etc.

There is a POD or Point of Distrubution where we live.There you get water and ice IF you have enough fuel to wait in the 3 hour lines. We don’t have to do that because we have 3 full water barrels, 75 juice bottles filled with water, and our pool which is dirty but we use it to flush.

It is very difficult to get gas. Police guard the stations when fuel is delivered and you might wait half a day to get up to the pump just to have them say, ‘Too bad, we are out’.

I am grateful that we have a generator. We run it 4 hours a day to keep our fridge and light. I am grateful that we have had fuel for it. You can’t even by gas containers as they are rationed. We can only by bread once a week and limited to 2 loaves at a time. Water is rationed by the case at the grocery store. 3 cases per family.

The Atm machines do not have power. For the past 6 months I have stashed small bills away because I have had such a feeling of foreboding. We have cash because of that.LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT. Get cash in small bills because the stores can’t make change and credit and debit cards often don’t work. I had to pay 5 dollars more for an item because they couldn’t make change for me.


Believe it or not…I have not had a bath in 4 days, Today was the first day I got to wash my hair with pool water. I haven’t fixed my hair in a week!!! It just doesn’t matter anymore. We can not do laundry because we don’t have water. So, we wear our clothes until they are literally disgusting.When we do finally get water we will have to boil it since it is contaminated.

I am grateful for my parents. When we got low on generator fuel they drove 45 minutes to help us. They filled up their cans and brought us 10 gallons of fuel which kept us going until this morning at 6:oo am when we finally found some gas.

I want all of you to know that I have such a testimony of following the counsel of our living prophet. There really is safety and peace in your heart if you are prepared. Please get your generators, 5 gas cans full of gas, canned goods, baby items, baby wipes to bathe, and all the water you can store…even if you have to trip on it in your home. Have your lanterns, crank flashlights, tarps, rope, etc.. ready to go because you never know when it will be your turn to endure the test. It’s overwhelming, but it’s going to be ok eventually. I have a home, I have food, I have water, because i listened to the counsel of the prophet. PLease make sure you do the same. It’s time to have your life in order. Tomorrow may be too late.

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Water Purification and Storage

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 18, 2008

We had a good meeting on Tuesday. We learned many good things about water purification and storage, how to use a siphon pump on the big blue water barrels and I think everyone there learned something we didn’t know before. We also briefly discussed the necessity of pandemic preparation and will be focusing our next couple of meetings on that as well.

I will get condensed information posted soon. Until then, here are the links I will most likely use as resources, you can preview them yourselves.

Provident Living – Water Storage Guidelines
USU – Water: Storage and Emergency Use
Simply Living Smart – Water Filtration and Purification

Posted in How-to, Preparedness Kits | Leave a Comment »

Super Saturday

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 17, 2008

Save the Date!
Saturday, October 11

Wheat Watchers is offering two items for Super Saturday. Look for the sign-ups at Relief Society, leave a comment or e-mail me your order. These are anytime projects and may be assembled at anytime between Super Saturday classes. Or you may assemble these at our October Wheat Watchers meeting so you don’t need to choose preparedness over crafts-just which project time will best fit your schedule.

72 hour BASICS kit is based upon The Earthquake Lady’s lists and suggestions. We have found these to have “just enough” items for our needs, without a lot of fluff. We are still costing some items but these should cost between $10-15.

We will also be assembling portable toilets with supplies, also as suggested by The Earthquake Lady. Buckets w/seat & lid are often priced at $18-20, we will be able to make the whole kit for less than $20.

We MUST have an estimated quantity BEFORE we can finalize pricing. The posted pricing will only get lower the more we purchase.

72 Hour Basics – Less than $15 (my goal is $10-12)
1 E poncho
1 E blanket
1 hand warmer
1 plastic whistle w/ lanyard
1 12 hour lightstick
1 TS toothpaste (TS is Travel Size)
1 toothbrush
1 toothbrush cover
1 TS lotion
1 TS shampoo/conditioner
2 TS kleenex
1 TS soap
1 TS hand sanitizer
q tips & cotton pads
safety pins, various sizes
2 unbreakable combs
1 hand towel
4 moist hand wipes
4 alcohol wipes
bandaids, gauze, first aid tape

Portable Toilet – Around $20 (my goals is less than $20)
bucket & seat kit
heavy duty plastic bags
1 roll TP
Hand wipes or sanitizer
Clorox wipes (?)
2 liter bottle kitty litter
paper towels

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Group Purchasing

Posted by imawheatwatcher on September 17, 2008

One of the greatest benefits we gain by working together as a group is the ability to purchase in bulk quantities at a discounted price. We have recently begun working with Emergency Essentials and Macey’s and will continue to work with Chirine Wadsworth at Alpine Food Storage. Look for more information about these programs in their own post.

As we assemble various kits and prepare in specific areas, we will organize specific group purchases to acquire those necessary items (for instance upcoming pandemic preparedness.) The group purchase items will hopefully be much less than one person could purchase retail and I would encourage all to participate if you’re able to.

While this is a great opportunity to acquire food storage and emergency preparedness items, remember that we should not get into debt to purchase these things. First focus on getting out of debt and then prepare for other emergencies.

If you have questions or suggestions for group purchases, PLEASE COMMENT. If you’re needing it, chances are good that someone else is needing it also.

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