Tag: food storage

Utah Dump Fire

Just thought I would update all of you non-Utahans on the scary turn of events that happened for many Utah residents just 20 or so minutes from my apartment.  Thursday morning the fire was sparked by two target shooters and quickly spread to a current 6,023 acres burned.  Authorities believe the fire was started when a bullet hit a rock setting off a spark.

We’ve had such a dry year and the high temperatures and winds made the ground ripe for a blaze.  There are actually 4 fires in the state of Utah right now but the other 3 are located in less populous regions. The estimates on people and homes evacuated have run the gambit but most of them say around 2,300 homes and in Utah that’s a lot of people!  Mia Love says over a 1/3rd of her city Saratoga Springs is evacuated.

As I watched the reporting yesterday one of the FEMA reps said the response of evacuees in Utah was much more organized and orderly than in Colorado and other areas that have recently been affected by fire.  I have to give some of that credit to my church that regularly focuses on emergency preparedness, having a years supply of food and a 72 hour kit ready to go. For us it isn’t just a good idea but doctrine to live by.

For more information on emergency preparedness go to:

http://www.providentliving.org/

http://www.lds.org/family/family-well-being/emergency-preparedness?lang=eng

Also at the LDS Distribution Store you can purchase food storage at very reasonable prices.

I was also impressed with how quickly the Red Cross, community businesses like Walmart and the Home Depot, The State of Utah and organizations from many churches gathered together to take care of evacuees and firefighters.  I hope I can find a way to help out. The American Red Cross is a particularly amazing organization.  Seemingly instantly they had a shelter set up with donations and food.  It’s comforting to know that if the worst happens your community is ready to support you and get you through it. I love living in Utah.

There were even organizations that quickly came to provide refuge for pets (which are not allowed in Red Cross Shelters).  An animal sanctuary of exotic animals was a great concern but all the animals are safe.

It was also great to see the calm of the evacuees.  I was impressed that so many interviewed weren’t anxious about their possessions but grateful for safety and hopeful that things would be ok. I’m sure they put a brave face before the cameras but still it was impressive.

Anyway, last I read about 30% of the fire was contained but winds were kicking up dust and making it more difficult.  The smoke is palatable.  I live in Draper about 30 minutes away and it is difficult to go outside for any time period.  My friend was hiking up Bell Canyon and had ash fall on her. Same thing happened to friends swimming in the Great Salt Lake. A guy on the news yesterday said he could see the smoke in Park City and some reported smoke as far away as Evanston, WY!

I am not really a gun person but I generally support those who want to own a gun to have that right.  That said common sense and reasonable regulations are appropriate.  Just as a snowboarder is not allowed to go out in avalanche conditions because of the danger to himself and the natural disaster he could cause, gun enthusiasts should be required to follow sensible rules to keep themselves and all around them safe from fire.  This is the 19th fire this year in Utah from gun related spark!  People around here freak out at any kind of gun regulation but why not go somewhere else that isn’t so dry and susceptible to fire?  Is that asking too much?

Anyway, hopefully homes and lives will continue to be protected from the fire.  My thoughts and prayers are with the evacuees and with the brave men and women who are fighting the beast of a fire.

All of these photos are from the Daily Herald.

Could see this smoke as I was driving home from Orem yesterday. Quite dramatic!

You can see how hazy and smokey everything is

Food Storage and Taxes

Here is my food storage organized by type- milk, tomatoes, meat and beans, and fruits and vegetables

With my saving and gathering together my funds I found a way to pay my return without borrowing a dime! A miracle!

One of the principles that the Mormon church teaches is called self reliance and part of living that principle is having food set aside for a rainy day.  These days that rain often comes in the form of financial difficulties.  For me it is a heavier than expected tax bill.  When you are self-employed you have to pay an added self-employment tax on top of the normal income taxes that everyone else pays (you think they would encourage entrepreneurship, not punish it!).  This can easily be over 40% of your income taken out in taxes.  This year I thought I had made a bigger dent with my estimated payments and then was shocked with a high bill last Friday.  Now I have 2 weeks to scramble together all of my savings, call in money owed to me and work my but off logging hours.  I think with concerted effort I will squeak by and make the bill.  Now I know I should have planned better and been saving more but one thing I am glad of is that I have slowly been acquiring a little food storage for myself over the last year.  This consists of canned vegetables, fruit, milk, pasta, meat etc.  I also have a freezer full of various proteins and vegetables.   My new goal is to try and spend no extra money until April 15th.  I will be eating my food storage and forgoing all extra expenses such as going to movies or the theater.

I am certainly not asking for sympathy on this front.  I know many people who have lived off their food storage for a year or more.  It is definitely going to be a challenge as I am used to cooking with fresh food and trying new recipes.  I also love eating out but I’ve been trying to cut down on that so this is a nice excuse to eliminate it entirely. If any of you have good food storage recipes that you wouldn’t mind sharing that would be great.  Today I made pork tacos using salsa and some pork I had in the freezer.  It wasn’t quite as good without any cheese or normal fresh condiments but oh well.  If I can make it to the 15th and have the money for this payment it will all be worth it.  Then my goal after that will definitely be to continue saving so this type of crisis doesn’t happen again.

Regardless, I don’t think I will be traveling any time soon.  As sad as that makes me it is a reality and it is certainly better than going into debt (something I have managed to not do.  I am completely debt free at 29 and intend to remain so!).  I will sorely miss my Hawaii this year but alas that is the situation. (I know- poor me.  I don’t get to go to Hawaii for the 4th time in 4 years but it does make a me a little sad. I love it so much.  The thought of the lovely island chain often helps me get through the bad, stressful days.)

One website that has been helpful in preparing my food storage is http://www.providentliving.org/.  There are lots of companies you can buy food storage from, but I just made small purchases at Costco, All-a-Dollar, Walmart and Macys (a low-cost Utah based grocery chain).   I also focused on buying food that I enjoy such as pasta, sauce, canned chicken, fruit etc.  On the other hand, I did not buy spam or spinach because I don’t like either.  Its funny because most single people do not have food storage but last year I felt a prompting to get a little saved.  Now I am so glad I did!  I am always amazed at the little ways Heavenly Father takes care of and guides me.

Seriously send me those food storage recipes!  Thanks.

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