Sunday, February 28, 2010

Preparing Your Family for an Earthquake

When preparing for an earthquake, plan on having enough supplies to get you and your family through at least the first 72 hours. After a major earthquake, there's a good chance that traditional emergency response teams will be too busy to take care of you and your family. You need to prepare your home and neighborhood.

The Plan
*Stock up on at least a three-day supply of food, water, clothes, medical supplies and other necessary equipment for everyone in your family. Make sure everyone knows where to find them.

*Decide where and when to reunite your family should you be apart when an earthquake happens.

*Choose a person outside the immediate area to contact if family members are separated. Long distance phone service will probably be restored sooner than local service. Do not use the phone immediately after the earthquake.

*Know the policies of the school or daycare center your children attend. Make plans to have someone pick them up if you are unable to get them.

*If you have a family member that does not speak English, prepare an emergency card written in English indicating that persons identification, address and any special needs such as medication or allergies. Tell that person to keep the card with him/her at all times.

*Conduct Earthquake: Duck, Cover & Hold drills every six months with your family.

*Know the safest place in each room because it will be difficult to move from one room to another during an earthquake.

*Locate the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity. Learn how to shut off the valves before a quake. If you have any questions, call your utility company.

*Make copies of vital records and keep them in a safe deposit box in another city or state. Make sure originals are stored safely.

*Before a quake occurs, call your local Red Cross chapter and Office of Emergency Services to find out about their plans for emergency shelters and temporary medical centers in case of such a disaster.

*Establish all the possible ways to exit your house. Keep those areas clear.

*Know the locations of the nearest fire and police stations.

*Take photos and/or videos of your valuables. Make copies and keep them in another city or state.

*Include your babysitter and other household help in your plans.

*Keep an extra pair of eyeglasses and house and car keys on hand.

*Keep extra cash and change. If electricity is out, you will not be able to use an ATM.

General Tips

*Stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, large glass panes, shelves holding objects, and other large decorative masonry, brick or plaster such as fireplaces.

*Keep your hallway clear. It is usually one of the safest places to be during an earthquake.

*Stay away from kitchens and garages, which tend to be the most dangerous places because of the many items kept there.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Breakfast Recipes

I love breakfast! It's one of my favorite things about getting up in the morning.

Breakfast foods are usually simple to prepare and can be inexpensive. We sometimes have "breakfast" for dinner. Here are three of my family's favorite breakfast recipes:

I use 1/3 cup non-instant powdered milk and 1 cup water in place of milk. Mix non-instant powdered milk with dry ingredients, mix water with liquid ingredients.

3 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred and measured
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Beat eggs thoroughly; stir in milk, shortening, and sifted dry ingredients just until blended. Bake on lightly greased griddle. Makes 8 to 10 pancakes.

Apple Pancakes:
Stir in 1 cup finely chopped apple.

Blueberry Pancakes: Stir in 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned and drained blueberries.

I use 2/3 cup non-instant powdered milk and 2 1/4 cups water in place of milk. Mix non-instant powdered milk with the dry ingredients, mix water with the liquid ingredients.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred and measured
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup melted shortening or vegetable oil

Stir together dry ingredients. Combine eggs, milk, and shortening. Combine liquid and dry ingredients just before baking; beat until smooth. Bake in hot waffle iron. Makes 12 waffles.

8 1/2 cups 6 Grain Mix
(Rolled - Red Wheat, White Wheat, Rye, Oats, Barley and Sunflower Seeds)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mixed nuts
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups raisins, chopped dates or other dried fruit, if desired

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine 6 Grain Mix, coconut, and nuts, if desired. Stir until evenly distributed. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Pour syrup over grain mixture. Stir with a large wooden spoon until syrup coats other ingredients. Spread mixture in two 13" x 9" baking pans or on 2 large baking sheets with raised sides. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in preheated oven, stirring occasionally. Bake 10 minutes longer for a crunchier texture. Cool on racks. Stir in raisins, chopped dates or other dried fruit, if desired. Spoon into a 10-cup container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal container. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 6 months. Makes about 10 cups.