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Family Communication Plan Part One

Family Communication Plan Part One

Family Communication Plan Part One Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Family Communication Plan Part One Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Family Communication Plan Part One

After we began focusing more on prepping as a family, we knew communication would be a key in being ready.

Communication means so much more than a cell phone, even today…

When the family is scattered…

While most of my extended family is on the West Coast like we are, my husband’s family is not.  His family is on the East Coast and some in the Mid-West.

My sibling and parents live near us.  My aunts, uncles, and cousins are all over the country.  Some live close to us, others do not.

His one sibling lives near us.  The other sibling lives in Tornado Alley.  His parents and grandparents all live in Upstate New York.  His aunts and uncles live throughout the United States.  Same with his cousins.

Select an Out-of-State Emergency Contact

The books I’ve read have mentioned creating your own Family Communication Plan.  The suggestion is to select an out-of-state relative (or trusted close friend) who lives on the other side of the country.  (Or lives far enough away not to be instantly affected by a disaster in your area.)

Once you decide on who you would like to be your out-of-state emergency contact, please call the person and discuss it with them.  If the person is not willing or unable to be your contact, you need to know before disaster strikes.  (A person who may be unable to serve as your out-of-state emergency contact is one who has memory issues, struggles dealing with stress, or would not handle hearing about your situation while it was happening.)

For now, my in-laws are our designated Out-of-State Emergency Contact.  We do need to remind them of this and see if they are still willing.

Family Communication Plan Part One Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Family Communication Plan Part One Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Responsibilities of an Out-of-State Emergency Contact

The person acting as your Emergency Contact needs to be willing to relay messages to and for you.  As long as you have told everyone who might want to know where you (and your family members) are during a disaster, they will not call you. They will all call your Emergency Contact.

Why?

  • Past experience has shown it is easier to make phone calls out-of-state during a disaster than locally.
  • By having local people call out-of-state, you decrease the strain on local calls.  This allows EMS and 9-1-1 Services to get to those needing help, faster.
  • Cell towers may be down or overloaded – especially for local calls.  Go long and call out-of-state.

When a local person calls your Emergency Contact, your Contact will relay a message from you (if you have been able to communicate).  Your Contact can also have a list of people to call after you communicate your status.

When a disaster happens, how will you communicate with your Contact?

Many people think their cell phone will allow them to communicate 24/7 and 365 days a year.  During a disaster, cell phones may work for a long time or for only a few minutes.

Cell towers are powered by electricity so when the power grid goes down, the towers will last only as long as the batteries.  Once the disaster has occurred and people begin trying to make phone calls, this is when cell towers and phone lines get overloaded.  EMS and 9-1-1 Services begin to struggle to keep calls on the line and have a line to talk.

Amateur Radio Operators (Hams)

Currently, three out of the six of us have our Ham licenses.  Hubby has his Extra.  Our oldest son and I have our Technician Class.  We are studying for the General Class License Exam.

When a disaster occurs, we will be able to communicate with each other.  This is our plan.  As long as we have a handheld Ham radio or are near a mobile or base Ham radio (in our vehicles or in the home), we will be able to communicate.  (For more information on Amateur Radio, please visit A.R.R.L.)

Part II coming soon…

How do you communicate during disasters?

~Adrienne

Photos of Grandma Pease’s Cookies

Photos of Grandma Pease’s Cookies

These photos are part of the Foodaplenty’s August Food Blogger Challenge.

The challenge for today is to take multiple photos of the same food item.  Then post the photos for fellow challenge participants to look at and give suggestions on how to better our photos.

Photo #1:

 

Grandma Pease's Cookies 1 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Photo #2:

 

Grandma Pease's Cookies 2 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies 2 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Photo #3:

 

 

Grandma Pease Cookies 3 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies 3 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

 

Photo #4:

 

Grandma Pease's Cookies 4 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies 4 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

 

Photo #5:

 

Grandma Pease Cookies May 2015 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies May 2015 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Photo #5 is my favorite of all of them.

Which one do you prefer?  Why?

Thanks for helping me look at my food photography.

~Adrienne

5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals

Steak Dinner photo for 5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Steak Dinner photo for 5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals

Since going Gluten Free in 2001, we (my husband and I, specifically) have discussed the Gluten Free lifestyle with hundreds of people.  One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How do you cook gluten free?”

We are also asked, “How can you possibly eat anything if you don’t eat gluten?”

Preparing Gluten Free meals may take a bit more planning and time when you are new to the Gluten Free lifestyle.  If you are cooking Gluten Free for a family member or friend, these tips are to help you as well.  It will get easier to learn how to cook and bake Gluten Free.

Here are my 5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals

  1. Know which foods and byproducts contain gluten.
  2. Check the label on each item every time you purchase.
  3. Use non-contaminated cookware, utensils, serving ware, and equipment.
  4. Focus on naturally Gluten Free foods like produce which you can eat.
  5. Keep it simple and work your way up to making more difficult dishes like Beef Wellington.

Cooking and baking Gluten Free does not become second nature overnight.  At least, it did not for me.  It took me a long time to become used to not relying on the gluten-containing foods to make meals taste good.

Gluten Free foods (cooked and baked) can taste just as good – if not better – than their gluten-containing counterparts.  It depends upon ingredients and techniques used as to how well Gluten Free foods turn out in your kitchen.

For more details on how my family and I began living the Gluten Free lifestyle, please read my book, The Gluten-Free Way:  My Way (available in print and digital from Amazon.com and BN.com).

I would love to know about your experiences preparing Gluten Free meals.  Please share below in comments.  I answer each comment (except for the spam ones).

~Adrienne

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book pic

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book – A Review

Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my Disclaimers for more information.  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  My opinions are my own.

I applied to review this book.

Why?

My husband and I used a friend’s pressure cooker once.  Read about our experience.

The experience with an older pressure cooker scared me.  I had no idea what to expect.  There was no way to tell the exact pressure it was currently cooking at any point during the process.

When I saw the opportunity to review a book on pressure cookers from Blogging for Books, I applied immediately.  I wanted to read about pressure cookers from people who used them.  I wanted to know what experts on pressure cookers had to say.

I was thrilled to receive The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

This book calmed my fears about using Pressure Cookers.

I loved the detailed information and explanations in the front of the book.  After reading the Introduction, I felt so much better about using a pressure cooker!

When at the store with my husband the other day, we looked at pressure cookers.  I was able to discuss what I had in this book.

Two types of Pressure Cookers

There are two types of Pressure Cookers.  The first type is a Manual – like the one we borrowed from a friend.  The second type is digital which we saw on store shelves the other night.  This book includes directions for both.  No need to purchase a new one to use the recipes in The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book.

500 Recipes included in The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book

I knew a Pressure Cooker could be used for canning or cooking food faster.  I had no idea of the variety of foods one can cook in a Pressure Cooker!

Recipes include dishes for

  • Breakfast
  • Soups
  • Meat dishes
  • Poultry dishes
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Vegetables, Beans, and Grains
  • Desserts

Desserts in the Pressure Cooker?!  Wow!  I know I want to try using a Pressure Cooker now.  I have my eye on a digital one.  Why?  I will feel more comfortable seeing the pressure at any given time.

Have you used a Pressure Cooker?

I would love to hear about your experiences using a Pressure Cooker!  Please share in the comment section.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for this opportunity to review The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book.

~Adrienne

Programmable Pressure Cooker

Programmable Pressure Cooker
7-in-1 Multi-function Programmable Pressure Cooker

A Programmable Pressure Cooker:  Gear for your Prepping Needs

When it comes to being prepared, a Programmable Pressure Cooker such as this one can do many things with one pot.  So, you can potentially reduce the number of small appliances in the kitchen.  With the extra new space, perhaps some additional food storage can go in its place.

My husband and I borrowed a pressure cooker a couple of years ago.  It was an older one and had a gauge on the lid.  No digital programming.  We were new to using one and our session did not go well.  We decided if we were going to purchase one, it would have to be programmable.

Uses for a Programmable Pressure Cooker

This particular item is a 7-in-1 multi-function Programmable Pressure Cooker.  In addition to pressure cooking, it can make yogurt, steam, warm, cook rice, saute/brown, and act as a slow cooker.  Wow!  Talk about a multi-tasker!

Do you have a Programmable Pressure Cooker?

We have not purchased a Programmable Pressure Cooker.  It is still on our wishlist of items to research and potentially purchase.  I have not used programmable one, yet.

I do have a Pressure Cooker cookbook which is filled with detailed instructions on how to use a pressure cooker and 500 recipes.  After reading the instructions in this cookbook, I am less hesitant to purchase and use one.

Today Only Sale on Amazon

If you are in the market for a Programmable Pressure Cooker, check out the sale today on Amazon.  For more details on the sale and the pressure cooker, please visit my friend Christy’s site, Thrifty and Thriving.  This sale is good for TODAY ONLY.

I would love to hear if you have one and how you like it.  How do you use your Programmable Pressure Cooker?  What features do you like or wish it had?

~Adrienne