7 Day Challenge: DAY 2 (THURSDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

day2

Your state has undergone a complete financial meltdown. For now, electricity is still running but public water services have been shut down temporarily until a resolution can be determined. It may take a few days before a stop-gap measure can be put into place to restore service.
Goal: Practice living with no running water

Today’s Tasks:

  • Go and shut off your main water line in case it is not purified when services are restored (review this post if you don’t know how)
  • If you have any empty water containers … you have ONE HOUR from the time you read this to go and fill them all up, then you can use them as a resource for today
  • Prepare all your meals without running water
  • Clean all of your dishes using only stored water (practice water conservation tricks)
  • You must find a way for you (and your family if applicable) to bathe or shower today
  • Find the nearest source of fresh water to your home, bring some home and purify it to conserve some of the water you have stored
  • Do a load of laundry … without running water!
  • Calculate how much water you used today, how long can you live on what you have stored?
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – This will be important later this week!

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share your experiences on what you think was the hardest task for you.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use running water at all, make sure to do task #1 to keep from accidentally turning it on.
  • You can’t flush toilets unless you use up your precious stored water.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Sewage plants have been shut down as well, no flushing toilets even if you use stored water
  • Assume services have been off for a while, you have used up all of the stored water in your home
  • Your car is in the shop and you must go collect water without a vehicle

resources
Helpful Posts on This Topic:

Helpful Products for This Topic:

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!

7 Day Challenge: DAY 1 (WEDNESDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

day1

A massive ice storm has stuck your town over night. The drastic shifts in fall temperatures caused a freezing rain. Ice has accumulated on the power lines causing major damage and knocking out power across the region.
Goal: Practice living (and cooking) without power


Today’s Tasks:

  • Keep your family warm (or cool) as furnace blowers and A/C will not work without electricity
  • Cook and clean up all of your meals without power
  • Do an inventory of your fuel storage, how many meals can you cook with your stored fuel?
  • Before dark, locate flashlights, candles, or other light sources. Assess your battery supply.
  • Plan a fun family activity tonight with no electronic devices (board games, ghost stories, shadow puppets, be creative!)
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – This will be important later this week!

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture of something you are cooking or an activity you are doing without using electricity. (It’s ok to use a computer or phone ONLY for sharing purposes!)

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • DO NOT USE POWER AT ALL TODAY (even if you have a generator, it helps to practice!)
  • No laptops, ipads, phones, etc. (even if you have a way to charge them, don’t!)
  • The food in your fridge has gone bad, but freezer food is ok still

Advanced Tasks:

  • Make bread- from start to finish with no power
  • Assume all your freezer food has gone bad too
  • The weather outside is still horrible, you must cook all meals indoors

resources
Helpful Posts on This Topic:

Helpful Products for This Topic:

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!

Last minute hints and tips — 7 DAY CHALLENGE

It’s the middle of September and disaster hasn’t struck yet. What does that mean? The 7 Day Challenge is PROBABLY going to be starting SOON! (That was a big fat hint, wink wink) So knowing that you are about to get hit with the worst (and best) week of the year, what are some ways you can hurry and get a little more “prepped”?

Don’t know what we are talking about?
Click here to learn about the 7 Day Challenge and SIGN UP.

7day-coming-soon

Tips for the 2014 Challenge

Follow our Facebook page:
Go to http://facebook.com/foodstoragemadeeasy and make sure to “like” our page. Sometimes facebook doesn’t show all of the posts in your newsfeed so during the challenge days, make sure you bookmark that link directly and check back frequently. We love to have readers post pictures of THEIR adventures, but they are hard to see on the page. We’ll do our best to repost fun things so everyone can see them. Each day we’ll post a status where you can share your experiences that day and upload pictures directly in the comments. You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to read through these.

Follow us on Instagram
If you have an iPhone or iPad you can follow us on Instagram, our username is “foodstoragemadeeasy”. We will be posting LOTS of pictures there throughout the challenge week, and we would love if everyone could post their pics and use the hashtag #7daychallenge and tag us too. That way we can see your pics and all our readers can see what everyone else is doing there.

Fill your gas tanks and stock your fridges
The challenge rules are no spending money, no eating out, no grocery shopping, etc. for the WHOLE WEEK. You do not want to get the email stating that the challenge is starting on a day when your tank is EMPTY or you have zero milk in the house.

Catch up on house-keeping
Some of the challenge days don’t allow you to use water or power, don’t procrastinate on those jobs like laundry and dishes in case you wake up and are not allowed to use your utilities that day!

Print out recipes and other important information
Many of the days require you to do hard things and we don’t let you use a computer. Make sure you have some resources to help you if you can’t hop online to check a recipe or figure out how to use your Volcano Grill. Now would be a great time to put together your own recipe binder.

Get your family and friends involved!
We have SOOO much fun doing this together and getting our friends and family to join in too. We encourage you to have your friends/family sign up to participate, but at least post about what you are doing on your social media, blogs, etc. We all want our loved ones to be more prepared and this is a great way for them to see some of the reasons WHY you do what you do and it might teach them a little something too.

7 Day Challenge 2014 is COMING SOON!

  • Have you ever wanted to test how truly prepared for an emergency you really are?
  • Do you want to find the gaps in your food storage plan?
  • Would you like a way to connect with others who are prepping at the same time?

ARE YOU READY to join the Seven Day Challenge?

The Seven Day Challenge is our way of celebrating National Preparedness Month in September. The Challenge is a week long series of mock emergencies with daily limitations and tasks to help assess your level of preparedness. On a surprise day in September, all participants are notified that the Challenge has begun. Sign up at the link below if you dare!

Click here to learn more and to SIGN UP today!

August "Get It Done" Challenge

This month we want you to focus on doing some basic things that will help prepare you for the challenge come September. Here’s a list of “hints and tips” to get you started!

FOOD STORAGE MADE EASY EBOOK BUNDLE

A great way to make sure you are prepared for real life, AND the challenge, is to use the checklists and over 100 pages of information found in our Food Storage Made Easy eBook Bundle. The eBooks are downloadable files, so you can purchase the bundle today, and get started RIGHT AWAY! Quit worrying about HOW to build your food storage, and just get started- we’ve done the hard work for you.

DON’T FORGET

  • The more you participate in the challenge, the more you learn. Actually doing each task really helps you learn much more than just going through the thought-exercise
  • You’ll have to modify some of the scenarios for your own family depending on diet, work schedules, marital status, kid status etc… We’ll try to be generic, but just relax and adapt
  • Don’t skip out on work, or neglect important things just because you are doing the challenge, we can’t write “doctor’s notes” and excuse you from stuff. Do the best you can!
  • Make sure to fill out the questionnaires each day as you go through the exercises. You may think you’ll remember everything later but it’s best to do it right away.

Hopefully we will see you join us in SEPTEMBER!!!

Food Storage Made Easy Birthday Bash

6 years ago, we were two young moms who started a blog to help us organize our thoughts on building our food storage and being prepared for … something. We didn’t know what, but we knew we needed to do it. We posted a few things but didn’t want to share it with anyone until there were more than just a few posts on there :) We officially launched July 1st, 2008 but wrote for most of June so we want to celebrate out 6 year blogiversary this month with all of you! Make sure to scroll down and see our special eBook sale that only happens twice a year!

facebookparty

While we have learned a lot over the last 6 years, we still have so much we want to figure out. We never expected how much we would enjoy this adventure, and are thrilled at the many friendships we’ve built, and things we have learned from YOU our readers! So today, we’re celebrating with all the typical things you would celebrate with at a Birthday Party, and hope that you enjoy the party with us :)


What would a food storage blog be without the FOOD? We each picked a favorite recipe to share:
Julie: ENCHILADA PIE – I love this because I can make it a variety of ways to practice different food storage skills and using shelf stable ingredients or make it the “easy” way for a quick, delicious, and healthy dinner.
Jodi: BLACKBERRY PIE – I just planted a bunch of blackberry bushes and love making fresh blackberry pie for special events. I love this recipe because I can use freeze-dried blackberries to make my husband’s favorite pie any time of year.

BRAND NEW RECIPE PAGE

We are excited to announce that to celebrate our blogiversary we have consolidated our recipe pages into one Master Recipe Index separated by meal type. You can see all the recipes we’ve posted for 6 years at one glance. It follows similar formatting to our Food Storage Encyclopedia which we launched during last year’s birthday party :) Check it out and try something new this month!

RECIPEPOST


What would a party be without gifts? Here are two of our favorite gift ideas:
Julie: Birthday Baggie Surprise – My sister loved my ezekiel bread but didn’t have all of the ingredients to make it herself, so I put this together for her birthday to make it easy for her to make a few batches after she just had her new baby.
Jodi: Mommy Emergency Car Kits – My two little sisters are expecting their first babies at the same time this year. I made a cute kit for each of them with baby essentials in case they forget their diaper bag.

GIFT FOR YOU: EBOOK SALE!

We only put our ebooks on sale twice a year so if you’ve been holding off on making a purchase, this is your chance to get them ON SALE. Save $10 on our 3-Part eBook Bundle for the entire month of JUNE! Learn to build your food storage, or see where you need to fill in the cracks. We walk you through the process step by step. Don’t forget to tell your friends about the sale too!

EBOOKSALE


If you have learned something from our website over the last 6 years, and want to continue to hear from us, we encourage you to “RSVP” to our party by following us on one of our social media channels. You can post about this party, or just see what we are up to with our food storage these days :) We’d love to connect with you and see what you are doing too!

Facebook: Click to get notifcations or add us to your interest list to make sure and get our updates
Instagram: Tag us @foodstoragemadeeasy if you post something preparedness related
Twitter: Do you use twitter? We try to be there for those that do :)
Pinterest: Let the pinning party begin!
Google+: We are still trying to figure this one out, if you’re here, give us a shout

pinterestparty

PREPAREDNESS SPRING CLEANING ZONES

Spring is in the air… and with that comes spring cleaning. I admit I buy into the spring cleaning frenzy. I love clearing things out of my house. Recycling, de-cluttering, donating things, and throwing things out makes me happy. Today I wanted to talk about Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Spring cleaning!

A few Saturdays ago something happened in our schedule that never happens. We had NOTHING scheduled. Well I got giddy with excitement, pulled out some post-it- notes, and started on a rampage. I wrote down every project I wanted done. I got started working through the projects on my post-it-notes one by one. I placed all of them on my fridge and as I completed a task I pulled the note off. I still have a few more post-it-notes to get to, but I feel awesome. These areas weren’t related to my food storage and eprep specifically but the concepts apply.

FSZONES

I realized all the post-it-notes were certain areas, closets, or piles. Of course this is applicable in eprep and food storage. Why not spring clean your eprep and food storage areas using this method. Let’s talk about the areas or ZONES of preparedness that you can tackle this spring. You may not have the same physical zones as these, but they are universal concepts and areas.

PANTRYANDCUP

  • Throw away any expired foods
  • Donate any foods you aren’t going to end up eating after all
  • Move foods you know you should get around to eating to the front
  • Make foods you use more frequently more accessible
  • Install cansolidator rotating shelves to make rotation easier
  • Combine like foods that you may have more than 1 bag open for (pastas, cereals, etc)
  • Sweep out the bottom of the floors and wipe shelves down
  • Keep smaller containers of grains you use less frequently in your pantry to save space
  • Store multiples of the same foods on your food storage shelves if you have a separate area to save space in your pantry
  • Check to see if some of your containers are empty and just taking up space
  • Create granola or trail mixes with foods you have just a little bit left of
  • Clear out old tupperwares with missing lids and old dishes you no longer use
  • Go through baking cupboard and consolidate foods and combine like items

FOODSTORAGE

  • Combine like foods on shelves (fats, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes etc)
  • Date foods with a sharpie so you know when you bought them if they don’t have expiration dates on them
  • Move older foods to the front, and newer foods to the back
  • Inventory what you have on your shelf for your Three Month Supply and for your Long Term Food Storage
  • Make a purchasing plan for what you need
  • Assess your non-food items (this one is easy to forget)
  • Wipe down any shelves that may need it (dust,spills, dirt)
  • Move foods close to expiring to your pantry to encourage and remind you to eat them
  • Have your kids help

EPRPEKIT

  • Review your 72 hour kits (part 1) (part 2)

  • Rotate 72 hour kit foods by using them for a camping trip or snacks
  • Swap out clothes for kids that have become too small
  • Check batteries in flashlights etc
  • Look over our Emergency Prep Guide to see if you are missing anything
  • Review your emergency protocols with your family
  • Update eprep plan with new phone numbers for family members etc
  • Update your evacuation list with any items that may be new or obsolete
  • Rotate water in your kits
  • Assess and update your Emergency Binder

GARDEN

  • Clean out weeds or old plants from garden beds
  • Make your 2014 garden plan
  • Refill gardens with new compost if needed
  • Prune fruit trees and bushes as necessary
  • Plant vegetables (check out this guide to when you can plant each type of vegetable specific to your area)
  • Rotate water storage by watering your gardens
  • Check water filters

SUPLIES

  • Inventory your fuel supplies
  • Make sure your fuel is still good for powerless cooking
  • Test your powerless cooking tools to ensure they are in good working order
  • Store extra or old dishes cleared out of your kitchen with your supplies instead of buying new ones

KNOWLEDGE

ADDD
We would love to see this list grow. Please leave a comment with any other ideas of things you do when spring cleaning your food storage. We will add them to the main post and make this list as comprehensive as possible!

Jodi’s 2014 Food Storage Resolutions

Last week, Julie shared her 2014 Food Storage Goals with you, and now it’s MY turn. I have always loved setting goals, but definitely struggle with the follow-through. So this year I’m going to be using these cute worksheets to help me come up with steps to start working on them asap and to really detail WHY I am doing these goals. I hope this will help me to keep referring back to them and working on them throughout the year.

  • Try one new recipe per week. Sometimes I get in a cooking rut. I actually LOVE to cook and love to try new recipes. But I HATE how stressful it feels with four little “helpers”, busy busy afternoons, and picky eaters. It sort of zaps the fun out of it so I resort to a lot of “easy dinners”, or just making the things I know the kids will eat without complaining. This year I want to focus on trying new recipes, especially ones that use food storage foods. I figure planning it once per week on a day I know isn’t too busy and making sure I have the right ingredients for it in advance will make it easier to follow-through on this. I’m also going to not let picky eaters dictate what we eat. I WILL make them try something new once a week, that won’t kill them right?
  • Get my gardens and fruit trees installed. We moved into a new home last year and spent the summer working on getting a functioning sprinkler system and a lawn and we didn’t get any of our gardens in :( This spring I am planning to be READY. I have my garden plan laid out and the garden area is ready for an irrigation system to be installed. We will be planting 9 fruit trees, three large garden boxes for smaller veggies, a flat garden bed area for corn and sprawling veggies, and three smaller garden boxes for some fruit bushes. I know it will be expensive and time consuming to get it all installed so we are saving up for it now and will be making a schedule of when to get it all done so we don’t miss out on another garden season!
  • Implement my three month supply rotation plan. I have a lot more space upstairs in my new house so I end up keeping a lot of food upstairs and don’t use my downstairs supplies as much. This becomes a problem when I think I have things in the basement but I don’t. So my new plan is to do my meal plan at the beginning of the month (including my one new recipe per week as per my goal above). Then I will “grocery shop” from the basement for all pantry items that I will be needing that month. Then I’ll go to the grocery store and buy all the fresh ingredients I need as well as whatever pantry items were on the list. When I come home I will take those items immediately to the basement. So I will always have a three month supply of those pantry items downstairs, but I will constantly be rotating and restocking them without worrying about depleting them. I am crossing my fingers that I can keep up with this plan. I think it will ease my stress a lot!


What are YOUR food storage goals for 2014?

Julie’s 2014 Food Storage Goals

I guess this is old news at this point but HAPPY NEW YEARS! We hope you are all doing well and motivated for another great year of building and using your Food Storage.

We were pretty quiet here and on facebook, as we spent some extra time with our families who were home from school and other obligations. Now that we’re back into the swing of things we wanted to start off the year by sharing our 2014 Food Storage goals with you. It’s become somewhat of a tradition on the blog and it provides us with a road map of things to work on for the year. Today Julie will be the one sharing her goals, check back later this week for Jodi’s goals.

  • Be smarter about meal planning. If you’ve followed us for awhile you know that I’m the one who likes to wing it with recipes and meal planning. It’s always worked for me, so why not? Well I’ll tell you why not. I now have 3 growing boys who are in sports and are eating faster than I can cook. I need to find meals and recipes that I can rotate through that feed hungry boys, without me being in the kitchen all day. I’m hoping to use my food storage foods to do this. We were guilty of eating out more than I would have liked to last year so this is a good goal for our family.
  • Understand purification and filtration better. I have a lot of water stored. I have some really great tools for filtration and purification stored as well. The problem is, I couldn’t explain exactly how those tools work very well to someone without using my notes. I would like to understand them well enough that I have complete confidence in my understanding of how they work.
  • Find 5 go-to Freezer Meals I know this feels like my first goal, but it’s not the exact same. I want to find 5 meals I have tried and tested to know work well frozen and reheated. I think giving myself a number to shoot for is a good idea. Since I’ve got a decent handle on gathering my food storage my goals are heavily focused on using it apparently!


What are YOUR food storage goals for 2014?


7 Day Challenge 2013 Recap (New Podcast)

We are so glad to be through this year’s 7 Day Challenge. It is such a fantastic learning experience every year but it sure is exhausting! We appreciate everyone who joined in the fun and participated whether it was through actually practicing the scenarios each day, or thinking through them and still discussing on facebook or on the blog comments.

We did a new podcast episode talking about our experiences with the challenge and highlighting a few of our favorite things from others who were going through it. You can listen to it by clicking the banner below!

DAILY SUMMARIES

Day 1: Economic Crisis – “Meal Prep and Planning”

Day 2: Terrorist Attack – “Water Contamination”

Day 3: Natural Disaster- “Tornado Strikes”

Day 4: Emergency Prep – “First Aid Basics”

Day 5: Everyday Emergency – “Circuit Breaks”

Day 6: Health Benefits – “Vegan Visitors”

Day 7: Economic Crisis – “Trucking Strike”

Sign up to join

While we won’t be running another challenge again until next September, you can sign up at anytime to be included on our 7 Day Challenge email list.


The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 7 (SUNDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

day1title

Truckers across the nation are striking and it looks like it will last for at least several months. No food or fuel items will be coming into your town at all in the near future. It’s time to get organized, assess your supplies, and make a game plan for the next few months.
Goal: Do a food storage inventory and make a future plan

Today’s Tasks:

  • Organize your kitchen pantry and any food storage areas in your home
  • Inventory your long term food storage items (you may use our calculator)
  • Inventory your three month supply items (you may use our worksheet)
  • Determine how long you will be able to survive without buying more food
  • Make a complete list of what you would still need to buy (long term AND three month supply) to complete your storage goals
  • Take a look at your supply of non-food items, how long would your toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. last. Make a list of all the items you buy on a regular basis at the store and tally it up. Use your daily report card to make lists of what you want to stock up on and how much you would need
  • SHARING TIME: Take before and after pictures of your pantry or food storage room and share them on our Facebook page or on Instagram (use tags @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge) or write up a summary of your activities in the blog comments or on our Facebook discussion thread today.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants … UNTIL YOU ARE FINISHED!

Advanced Tasks:

  • Make cute labels for your buckets, shelves, etc. (label tutorial | bucket labels)
  • Review all of your week’s report cards and compile them into one list of future things to do/buy


Make sure your fill out today’s Report Card to see how well you did, to keep track of areas you can improve, to remember things you need to do, and things you need to buy. Use the data to make a game plan to take you to the next level of preparedness, whatever that may be.

DAILY GIVEAWAY

Remember — This year we are going to be offering the chance to win daily PRIZES for people who are participating in one of the following ways:

  • Commenting or posting pictures on our Facebook page
  • Loading pictures on your instagram tagging @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge
  • Commenting on today’s blog post with how you did
  • Submitting pictures/stories to us via email at info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net

day6prize

TODAY’S PRIZE
2 Cansolidator Pantry Organizers from Thrive Life (great for organization and rotation in your pantry)

TODAY’S WINNER: AB , who commented this on the blog

Uncle! I saw this challange and thought, great I already inventoried my long term storage and organized my pantry just recently, this should be easy. I started inventorying my regular pantry at about 8:30 it’s now ten of 4 and I’m about half way done. (Ok I could be done if I wasn’t trying to mark down expiration dates, but then it’s less useful.) I’m going to cheat and go for a latte while my cell phone recharges. (I am using a free app to do the inventory.) On the bright side several about to expire items have determined what we are having for dinner. My husband is being his usual button pushing self and said he removed 5 items from the pantry and I have to guess which ones. I think our storage is at about 6-9 months depending on calorie requirements. Thanks for the challenge. Hopefully I will do better next year.

Please email us to make arrangements to get your prize at info @ foodstoragemadeeasy .net