Building Your Family Ark Blog

Practical preparedness principles and provident living skills for real people.

Washday, Twist a Knob and Push a Button – Kathleen Kay

Our friend, Kathy Kay, relives the days before electricity when washing clothes was an all day chore.  Thanks for the insight! 

"Have you ever sung the jingle:  This is the way we wash the clothes, wash the clothes, wash the clothes.  This is the way we wash the clothes so early Monday morning?  It went on:  This is the way we iron the clothes, iron the clothes, iron the clothes.  This is the way we iron the clothes so early Tuesday morning.

Doing the laundry was a big deal.  It required two days out of the week to complete.  For thousands of years one of the most drudgerous and tiresome jobs that a woman was required to do was the laundry.  To begin with women often took their clothing and linens down to the creek or river and pounded and rubbed them on smooth stones.

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All Is Safely Gathered In -- By Kathleen Kay

Many great lessons can be learned by listening to the stories of those with years of experience.  Our friend, Kathy Kay, shares childhood memories of what it used to mean to prepare for the winter.

"I was once sitting in the company of my husband and Herman and Alice Young.  They were reminiscing about an old gentleman—one of Herman's relatives—who once lived where the Olivers live now.  Apparently he was a pretty laid-back old guy.  They were laughing about how he had trained his old horse to kneel down when he kicked its knee.  The old gent could then climb on his horse and ride up town. 

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Emergency Sanitation – The Scoop on Poop

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck your area.  All utilities have been interrupted and it may take months to restore them.  An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) has crippled our country leaving most without basic utilities.  A pandemic has incapacitated a significant portion of the population, crippling the infrastructure due to lack of manpower and leaving you without utilities for the duration.  Pick a scenario or create your own.  The result is the same.  What are you going to do without water, sanitation, and garbage pick-up?  The leading cause of illness and death in both natural and man-made disasters is inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene practice, and contaminated and insufficient water supplies. 

In this post, we will focus on critically important sanitation practices.  Due to the nature of this subject, or perhaps because we have become spoiled, we often neglect thinking and planning for sanitation needs in our preparedness efforts. Yet, it just might make the difference between life and death.  Consider the following information as you plan for the sanitation needs of your family:

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Sometimes Bad Things Just Happen

Our world is a dangerous place, full of difficult unforeseen events.  In a matter of a few precious moments, life can change dramatically.  During a large scale crisis, those faithful emergency response teams we depend upon will be so overwhelmed they will probably be unavailable to assist you and your loved ones.  Hospitals and clinics will suffer from staffing and supply shortages.  They will be inundated with numerous serious casualties.  You may need to depend on yourself, your family, and neighbors to make it through the initial crisis or even longer. Are you ready?

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EMP: Ready or Not?

It is a cold January evening.  You are working late at the office, frantically trying to complete a major project when your computer crashes and the lights go out.  Fumbling through your desk you locate a flashlight you had stashed “just in case”.  With the aid of a little light, you make your way to the windows hoping to see the extent of the outage.  Your frustration turns to despair as you look out and see nothing but the wind driven snow in the moonlight.  The entire city is in a state of complete darkness. 

You decide to call your family to tell them you will be even later than expected.   Dead silence is all you hear from the phone and your heart sinks.  “Stupid phones!” you mutter as you drop the handset back in the cradle.  Puzzle pieces begin to come together as you sink back into your chair.  You grab the radio you use while walking to work each day and run through the presets.  Hoping to hear music or even commercials, your worst fears are confirmed as you hear nothing.    Panic grips your heart as the last puzzle piece drops in place.   Grabbing your coat, you bound down three flights of stairs and run the six blocks home.

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