The Usefulness of Rubber Stamps

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This time of year has a lot going on.

For one thing, it is “back-to-school” season, and many who have children at home are in the throngs of hoarding school supplies for the upcoming year. This could be true whether their children go to a public school, a charter or private school, or if they are educated at home.

For another, it is also canning season. That, by itself, can make this a busy time of year. Many are preserving harvests from their gardens.  Others are trying to fill their pantries for the coming months.  Really, canning is one self-sufficiency skill you shouldn’t do without.

Finally, if you have been shopping anywhere lately, you probably have also noticed that the holiday season is just right around the corner.  Depending on how important the holidays may be to you, you may have gift-giving, parties, and card exchanges here shortly.

If you are anything like me, you use a computer to help organize and complete many of the above tasks. Printing labels, cards, etc. is a very easy thing to do with technology, but did you ever stop to think what would you do if technology was no longer available?

Obviously, there would be more serious survival tasks at hand to address first, but in a long term, grid-down scenario, it may be helpful to have some items around to help adjust to a “new normal” without any access to printing.  In thinking about this, I came to the realization that old-fashioned rubber stamps would be such an item to store.  To illustrate what I mean, here are a few examples:

date-stamp-picDate stamps – I use these to date food which I have just canned. Of course, you may write it out, but when I have many cans to stamp all at once, (which I often do when I can,) it is a time-saver.  Date stamps could also be used to document other projects, logs, or other records you may wish to keep for a wide variety of purposes.

stationary-stamp-picStationary stamps – There are some stamps on the market which imprint a form such as a recipe card, a lined notepad, an invitation, a gift tag, etc. These are useful for creating your own stationary.  In fact, I often use these now to make my own cards and tags just to save money.  (Not to mention, it makes these things more personalized.)

educational-stamp-picEducational stamps – This is what got me started on collecting stamps. In thinking through a homeschooling situation without technological resources, I came up with the idea to collect stamps to assist with making my own “worksheets” for learning.  Stamps come in a dizzying array of subjects, and I have found many educational topics could be illustrated with stamps. For example, I have leaf stamps to help teach botany, I have a large skeleton stamp which could be labeled for a worksheet, and I have many more topic stamps that could be used to enrich a lesson.  There are stamps available for mathematical subjects such as grids and number charts, and, of course, there is a wide variety of stamps which could be used to help teach weather, biology, history, etc.  The selection seems almost endless.

sp-occasion-stamp-picSpecial occasion stamps – These stamps are useful for celebrating holidays, birthdays, weddings, births, and so forth. Without technology, stamps could easily be used to embellish cards, gifts, and decorations.   Just as it is the case with stationary stamps, these stamps can also help personalize anything you give or make.

 

These are just a few uses for rubber stamps.  You could probably think of a few more.  Sure, stamps are not necessary to survival.  They are definitely more of an extra, and you’ll have to be the one to decide whether they would be worth the cost and effort to store.  If dried-out stamp pads come to mind, you should know that, just as you can make your own ink, you can make your own stamp pads as well.  So, ink supplies should not be a concern here, and of course, rubber stamps can last a very long time with care.  In all, even though they are not necessary, if you were ever to face a long term situation without access to today’s technology, you may find that rubber stamps may be a nice thing to have around to assist in the tasks discussed above.

Outdoor Cooking Skills

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One set of skills you will definitely need for survival is knowing how to use alternative ways to cook food without power.

Do you have any means to do so?  Do you know how?  Furthermore, do you have what you would need?

If the power goes out, what is your plan?

Thankfully, there are several ways you can cook your food without electricity.  Your job is to make sure that you have the means (and the skills) to apply several of these methods if you were ever to face this need.

There are many methods available.  Some use expensive specialty stoves.  Others use units which you can make at home for a small cost.  Some use certain unique fuels, while others use free accessible energy.  The options are wide, and many people have their own personal preferences on which to use.

Here are a few examples: Continue reading “Outdoor Cooking Skills”

Emergency Communications Plan Worksheets

(If you wish to scroll down directly to the worksheets, feel free to do so.)

Do you have an emergency communications plan in place?

If not, I highly suggest you make it a priority to create one.

If you already have one, I applaud you.  However, it is always wise to give your plans a second look…just to be sure they are adequate for any emergency.

In any case, there are several things that any emergency communications plan should account for: Continue reading “Emergency Communications Plan Worksheets”

Making Your Own Ink

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Some of you may be wondering if making ink has anything to do with preparedness.  Well, it does, although the reasons may not be so readily apparent.

Why make ink?

We need to communicate all of the time.  We speak to others by voice, we send electronic messages by computers and texts, and we even continue to write messages on paper.  In a grid-down scenario, it is still possible to communicate by all of these methods, but many will still find the old-fashioned pen/pencil and paper to be very convenient, especially if operational security is a concern.

Besides sending written communications to others, one may wish to keep their own written records, to label foods, supplies, etc., or to otherwise write down information to remember.  Home education is another area of preparedness where homemade supplies may be needed due to a scarcity of materials, and having something unique to barter with may be another use as well.  Really, for any situation that you can think that you may need to write something down, the need for something to write with arises. Continue reading “Making Your Own Ink”

An Example of a Disaster: The Flooding in Louisiana

I have often heard it said by some that preppers are paranoid fanatics who always think the sky is falling.  It is only after these skeptics experience some kind of terrible emergency that they change their tune.

The recent flooding in Louisiana is an unfortunate example of this kind of experience.

I feel sadness for those in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities in Louisiana who have suffered so much from the recent flooding.  There have been at least 13 lives lost and up to 110,000 homes damaged or destroyed.1  That accounts for roughly 31% of the homes in that community.  Surely, the need is great.  There are many people, charities, and so forth that are helping, but those affected need so much more. This all serves as an illustration for the need of personal and community preparedness.  One never knows when a disaster may strike, and I’m sure many in Louisiana were caught unprepared.  To see just how bad the flooding was, just take a look at the videos below. Continue reading “An Example of a Disaster: The Flooding in Louisiana”