Wheat Watchers

Preparedness and Planning Group

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    Wheat Watchers meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday at 7:00 pm at Kathy's house.

    We've talked the talk, now it's time to walk the walk. I'm letting the blog, newsletter and e-mail do most of the talking and leaving the meetings open for much more DOING!

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Archive for January, 2009

How to Create a Home Inventory

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 27, 2009

Originally posted by SquawkFox. Her FREE printable Home Inventory Worksheets are really useful!

1. How to make a home inventory.

There are several ways to create a home inventory. Pick the method you are most likely to embrace and update.

Notebook with photos.

Get a notebook. Make a section for each room in your house or apartment. Go through each room and document everything. Take photographs. Download the 15 Free Printable Home Inventory Worksheets (PDF) to help. These sheets are blank so just fill in the details! Don’t forget to list serial numbers, manufacturers, models, and price paid. Attach receipts. Using a spreadsheet and then attaching photos is also helpful.

Make a video.

You don’t have to be from the MTV generation to know the value of video. Creating a mini movie with a room-by-room playback is very valuable when making an insurance claim. Walk through each room and record your stuff. Be sure to shoot serial numbers and add commentary by reading out model numbers. Collect all receipts and store with the tape. Dubbing in your favorite theme music is totally up to you.

Use home inventory software.

Do the digital thing by finding free home inventory software (freeware) or by buying a trusted brand. Use home inventory software to document your stuff by room, upload photos, and make digital copies of receipts. Here are some popular packages, some are free and some have a fee.

Free home inventory software:

  • Know Your Stuff | Runs on Windows and Mac OS. Software is free, but it costs $15/year to store the data on their servers.
  • StuffSafe | A web-based application. Inventory your home or office furnishings. Since this inventory is automatically stored off site there’s no chance of your catalog going up in flames.

Fee-based home inventory software:

  • Quicken Home Inventory Manager | Costs $30. Runs on Windows.
  • Kaizen Home Manager | Costs $29.99, free demo. Runs on Windows.
  • My Stuff Deluxe | Costs $39.99. Runs on Windows.

2. Reasons to store your home inventory off site.

Do not keep your home inventory at home. What use is a home inventory if it burns in a house blaze or gets whisked away in a whirling twister? None at all. So be sure to keep your notebook, video, or digital back up on CD and place it in a safe deposit box.

3. Should renters have a home inventory? Students?

YES! When I was a student renting a little apartment, I would have benefited greatly from having a simple catalog of all my stuff. When the time came to make a claim, I had no idea how many CDs I owned, or the worth of my wardrobe.

4. Update and repeat!

Be sure to update your inventory with each big purchase. Don’t let it get out of date.

A home inventory is a very valuable tool in times of theft or natural disaster. A listing of all your stuff can really help when dealing with the unpleasant task of making an insurance claim. I must admit, I never claimed my Chia Pet.


Posted in How-to | Leave a Comment »

Lessons from the Saluda

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 25, 2009

William G. Hartley, “Sturdy Shoes and a Waterproof Tent,” Ensign, Oct 2001, 38

Church history teaches us many lessons about personal preparedness
“If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us!” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1831. While it may sound surprising, a look at Church history can teach us about preparedness for our day.

Lessons from the Saluda Disaster

On Good Friday morning, 9 April 1852, the Missouri river-boat Saluda blew up near Lexington, Missouri, killing nearly two dozen Latter-day Saints traveling from St. Louis to Council Bluffs on their way west to Utah. Important lessons are learned from this tragedy.

Lesson 1: When the Spirit cautions us against something, we need to obey.
One passenger, William C. Dunbar, later admitted he had ignored warnings from the Holy Spirit to stay off the vessel. When Latter-day Saint agents chartered the old, slow Saluda to move Saints from St. Louis upriver to the wagon train camps, Brother Dunbar and his friend Duncan Campbell looked it over. Both felt strongly impressed that “something awful was going to happen,” such that each saw tears coursing down the other’s cheek. This was a warning that went unheeded. By contrast, Abraham O. Smoot was similarly prompted and refused to board the boat, even when offered free passage.

Despite his bad feelings about the Saluda, Brother Dunbar determined that he and his wife, Helen, and their two small children would go. But on departure morning the Dunbar family missed the boat because supplies they purchased did not show up on time. Brother Dunbar later reflected that “some friendly unseen power was at work in my behalf, trying to prevent me from going on board with my family.” Two days later they boarded another riverboat, but Brother Dunbar insisted that its captain put him aboard the slower Saluda if they caught up with it so they could rejoin the Latter-day Saint company. Before long they caught up with the Saluda, but river ice prevented the Dunbars from transferring. Upriver the passengers on the Dunbars’ boat disembarked, but Brother Dunbar made the captain drift their boat back to a dock where the Saluda was waiting for the ice to clear. There the Dunbars boarded the Saluda the night before it blew up. They joined about 175 passengers, 90 of them Latter-day Saints.

The Dunbars slept that night behind a canvas wall on the deck—directly over the boat’s boilers. Friday morning Brother Dunbar stepped briefly to another part of the deck to watch the crew working. Stokers fired up the boilers so the Saluda could start upriver. When pumps shot cold water into the red-hot boilers, they exploded. The blast was “heard and felt” throughout nearby Lexington. Two-thirds of the Saluda’s superstructure disintegrated in a cloud of smoke, flame, and dust. Passengers were blown ashore and into the river.

Brother Dunbar wrote, “I witnessed just two revolutions of the paddle wheels, when I remember nothing more till I found myself lying on the bank of the river within three yards of the water’s edge, with my clothes drenching wet, and my head all covered with blood.” When conscious, he found the lifeless body of his one-year-old boy. Then, in a temporary hospital, he saw his wife, Helen, breathe her last. Searching among the dead, he found the body of his five-year-old daughter. He lost his entire family. For the rest of his life he regretted that he ignored several voices of warning.

Lesson 2: Up-to-date rosters of people are important, and parents need wills that specify who should have their children.
To this day, no one knows for certain how many members were aboard the Saluda, how many were lost, or how many reached Utah. Lexington townspeople, with charitable instincts but who also wanted to save children from Mormonism, took a number of Latter-day Saint orphans into their homes and raised them. Leaders had no list to check off to see how many children they needed to locate and claim.

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Lessons from the Mormon Battalion

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 25, 2009

I thought I scheduled this for last week but obviously I didn’t. Two posts today (and February meeting information coming soon!)

William G. Hartley, “Sturdy Shoes and a Waterproof Tent,” Ensign, Oct 2001, 38

Church history teaches us many lessons about personal preparedness
“If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us!” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1831. While it may sound surprising, a look at Church history can teach us about preparedness for our day.

Lessons from the Mormon Battalion’s March
In 1846–47, the majority of the Mormon Battalion, an infantry unit of nearly 500 men in the U.S. Army of the West during the Mexican War, marched about 2,000 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to San Diego, California. We learn several lessons from their experiences.

Lesson 1: During a crisis we may need to leave our family to meet community needs.  On 3 July 1846, President Brigham Young, Elder Heber C. Kimball, and Elder Willard Richards began recruiting men for the Mormon Battalion. Recruiting continued until 20 July. At noon on Tuesday, 21 July, the battalion began its historic march. All this took place in the midst of the members’ migration across Iowa and left hundreds of women and children to cross the plains without these men to help them.

Lesson 2: Water-purifying pills or filters are essential. Thirsty people will drink contaminated water, if necessary. Crossing a dry stretch in Kansas, the battalion suffered severely from heat and lack of water. So thirsty were they that they drove a herd of buffalo from an insect-infested pond and gladly drank the discolored and disgusting water. “No luxury was ever more thankfully received,” Sergeant Daniel Tyler wrote. Afterwards, “many were attacked with summer complaint.”

Lesson 3: Writing materials and a camera are helpful resources.  About 20 soldiers kept diaries during the trek, using a strange assortment of notebooks and papers—whatever they could find to write on. In order to “show” what he was experiencing, one man drew sketches in his diary.

Lesson 4: Bread or other grain products are important.  In January 1847 at Warner’s Ranch in southern California, previously famished battalion men received four pounds of beef a day as their ration. Beef, however, did not satisfy their hunger. The men craved bread, which was unavailable.

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Food Storage Deals @ Macey’s

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 14, 2009

Macey’s is having a big sale on several food storage and emergency preparedness items this week.  Check out their weekly ad here.

My favorite deals:
2/$5     Dannon Spring! water 24 pk, 16.4 oz.
$2.99    5 gal. food storage bucket w/LID!
$39.99  55 ga. blue water storage barrel  (They were only $42 last fall)
$19.99  45 lb. bucket hard red or HARD WHITE WHEAT (blue chip group, good quality, GREAT PRICE!)
$2.99    Lid lifter (the green one also has the bung wrench to open the water barrels)
$9.99    Siphon hose
$.79       emergency mylar blanket
$.99       emergency poncho
I’m still comparing the freeze dried food prices, check back later for more info!

Posted in group specials | 1 Comment »

Sturdy Shoes and a Waterproof Tent

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 11, 2009

William G. Hartley, “Sturdy Shoes and a Waterproof Tent,” Ensign, Oct 2001, 38

Church history teaches many lessons about personal preparedness.
“If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us!” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1831. While it may sound surprising, a look at Church history can teach us about preparedness for our day.

Lessons from Crossing the Plains

For more than 60,000 Saints who journeyed to Utah during the wagon train period (1846–69), outdoor trail realities tested their preparation and showed what worked and what didn’t.

Lesson 1: When we ignore preparedness counsel, we can expect unhappy consequences.  Before leaving Nauvoo, members had Church-published lists of what to take with them. But when the first companies left in February 1846, several hundred members panicked and crossed the Mississippi River without proper clothes, food, or shelter. As a result, they brought suffering upon themselves, slowed down others, and drained resources from those properly prepared.

Lesson 2: Protect against nature. Trail death tolls reveal that the highest numbers of deaths were among infants and the elderly. Some pioneers became cold and wet because wagon covers and tents were not waterproof. Others suffered sunburns when they lost their hats. Their lips chapped from the dry air, wind, and sun. Many suffered diarrhea and lacked medicine to stop it. Some travelers, while dressed properly for summer heat, lacked coats and gloves for the cold mountain temperatures experienced before reaching the Salt Lake Valley. In addition, pioneers had to guard against wildlife, particularly snakes and wolves. In many campsites they suffered from swarms of mosquitoes that badly hurt children and angered horses and cattle.

Lesson 3: Be accident cautious. Accidents injured or killed many on the trail. Pioneers lamented their carelessness when they lost hats, binoculars, knives, axes, guns, watches, pans, shovels, and even horses and cattle. A few became so busy and distracted that even their children wandered away and became lost. When emergencies occur, we must be extra careful not to hurt ourselves by falls, burns, knife and axe cuts, or similar accidents. We need to be strict about putting things away.

Lesson 4: We should protect ourselves from uncaring or dishonest individuals. Pioneers learned to guard against potential theft, assault, and even kidnapping. Some were put in charge of enforcing basic rules of conduct and expelling those who would not cooperate. And, as happens in groups during major crises, pioneers had to tune out complainers, whiners, and even rabble-rousers and doomsayers.

Lesson 5: Protect against discouragement. Our best protection against discouragement during a crisis is to maintain our health by not becoming overly exhausted, which can lead to sickness and bad judgment. Some unwise pioneers were afraid to ask for help when they needed it, thereby bringing suffering upon themselves and those they cared for. Most wagon train travelers, in order to keep up their spirits, made friends with fellow travelers, held dances, sang together, and helped those whose wagons broke down or who became ill.

Lesson 6: Be creative and adaptive in difficult times. Pioneer women took advantage of the bumpiness of the wagons and filled tubs with soap, water, and dirty clothes. By day’s end the clothes had been agitated clean. Some women also put cream into containers hung underneath the wagon and let the jostling churn the cream into butter.

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Maybe, Maybe NOT

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 8, 2009

Our January Wheat Watchers meeting was going to inform ward members about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team, ask me about it!) and the block captain program.  I’m hoping to have our ward utilize and easliy coordinate with these two programs and incorporate them into our family emergency response plans and the ward emergency response plan.

However, (did you sense that coming?) due to the recent major additions to our ward boundaries (of which I’m ever so glad to still be included) and members alike.  We’re re-grouping and will hopefully be able to address this soon (FEB?)  There MIGHT still be time for a Wheat Watchers meeting in January so watch for notification to be posted.  You’ll be surprised with the chosen topic (as will I!) but it will be something REALLY good . . .
There is a neighborhood CERT meeting on Wednesday, January 14 @ 6:30pm and ALL neighborhood residents are invited to attend even if you are not CERT trained!  There is much work to do and there is something for everyone to participate in.

Posted in Meetings | 1 Comment »

The Earthquake Lady

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 6, 2009

A quick reminder that “The Earthquake Lady”, Maralin Hoff, will be giving her presentation this Thursday, Jan 8 at the Geneva Heights Stake. If you missed her presentation in our Stake last August, this is a fantastic second chance for you!

She gives a lot of information about earthquake preparedness, 72 hour kits and general home safety. There are handouts and displays for everything she talks about. Go early to peruse the goods before the presentation. I thought it was well worth my time to attend and she sparked the thought to build the 72 hour kits and “Luggable Loo’s” we assembled last October.  I hope you can fit it in this week!

Posted in Meetings | Leave a Comment »

Hip Collaboration

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 5, 2009

Today a fantastic new resource was launched.  Three food storage blog sites have developed a networking site to pool their talents and resources to benefit YOU (and me!)  I haven’t looked at all they have offered on their new site but you should check them out as well.  Their individual sites are fun and informative.

Get Started TODAY!

Posted in Meetings | Leave a Comment »

What can I do now?

Posted by imawheatwatcher on January 4, 2009

One of the great things about Ensign articles is that though the world may change, and sometimes direct applicability changes, the concepts we’ve been taught through the articles are timeless.
While I usually continually strive to be better throughout the year, a new year does bring with it an opportunity to mark time and reflect upon the recent past.  In that tone of self-evaluation, please take a few moments to read this article (below) found in the May 1986 Ensign.  Give yourself a few pats on the back for the good things you’re already accomplishing, you might also find something you’d like to improve upon this year.

(“Some Personal and Family Welfare Goals: What Can I Do Now?,” Ensign, May 1986, 85.  no author attributed)
1. Learn principles of individual and family well-being.

  • Am I learning principles of welfare—such as work, self-reliance, provident living, giving, and caring for the poor—through studying the scriptures (see the Topical Guide in the LDS edition of the King James Bible), general conference talks, and Church publications?
  • Am I learning to apply welfare principles through attending Church meetings and classes, fulfilling Church callings, and participating in service activities?
  • Am I teaching these principles to my family in home evening
  • Are we planning ways to implement welfare principles through discussing them in husband/wife councils and family councils?
  • How well are we applying the things we are learning?

2. Become self-reliant and live providently.

  • Am I praying individually and with my family to seek the Lord’s help in taking care of myself, my family, and others?
  • Am I managing my finances wisely?
  • Am I producing and storing food and other necessities?
  • Am I maintaining good physical health?
  • Am I working to develop social, emotional, and spiritual strength?
  • Do I have a good education? Could I improve it
  • Have I prepared adequately for a successful career? Should I upgrade it?
  • Am I prepared for emergencies?
  • Do I accept responsibility for my own and my family’s support and well-being?

3. Increase my fast offering donations for the needy.

  • Am I giving a generous amount of fast offerings?
  • Should I give more?

4. Consistently be involved in compassionate service to family, neighbors, Church, and community.

  • Have I prayed to seek direction from the Lord on who and how to serve
  • How can I better serve my family members?
  • What can I do for my neighbors?
  • Who can I help in my ward or stake?
  • What can I contribute to my community?

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