Be Ready with Stockpiling food and water before the next storm

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Stockpiling food and water is like buying insurance. Your household may never face a devastating earthquake, a crippling storm, a flu pandemic or other disaster, but if it does, and you are cut off even for a week from food and services, your stored food and water may be priceless to you.

Beyond Paralysis

Many of us are paralyzed by the job of home emergency planning. We have good intentions, but it's hard to plan for the unknown in any case and even harder to imagine an extraordinary event. If your money is tight, it's understandably difficult to spend it on food you might not ever need. And where will you find room for all those emergency supplies, anyway?

Fortunately, none of these obstacles is insurmountable. You don't have to do it all at once. Here are 14 easy ways to jump-start your process and get going:

1. Set a goal. Begin by deciding how much you ultimately want to store. Should you aim for three days' worth of supplies? Or three weeks? Or three months? Advice varies, depending on the kind of emergency that might strike where you live and how long you anticipate being cut off from supplies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a flu pandemic is bound to hit eventually, and so it advises stockpiling a two-week supply of food and water:
Although the flu pandemic may last several months, buy and store at least two weeks' supply of food, water, medicine and face masks. (Food and supplies may be hard to get during a pandemic.) When you have to stay home, these supplies will support your family and pets.
On the website for Latah County, Idaho, a writer calling herself "Average Concerned Mom" describes her plan for a two-week stockpile (although a six-to-12-week supply is ideal, she says) for households on a limited budget and with limited space.

2. Start small. Make it cheap and easy to get started by setting your initial goal low. Just aim at first for enough food to keep your household going for three days, for instance. When you hit that goal, you can keep going, moving the goalposts to one or two weeks. Keep it up until you've reached your ultimate goal, whether it's two weeks, three months or three years.

3. Stockpile water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says a normally active person will drink two quarts of water a day. You'll need more than that, though. The CDC recommends storing one gallon a day for each person and each pet. Set a goal of stockpiling at least a two weeks' supply of water.

If you have to choose, it's better to stockpile water than food. Both are necessary, of course. However, humans can make it for three weeks without food but only for three days without water, says LiveScience.

4. Store your water safely. "Unopened commercially bottled water is the safest and most reliable emergency water supply," says the CDC, which offers these storage tips:
  • If you use store-bought water, check expiration dates and replace regularly.
  • Replace water you've stored yourself every six months.
  • Keep a bottle of unscented liquid chlorine bleach with your water supply for cleaning and sanitizing and for disinfecting water.
  • Don't use scented bleach or types with color-safe or cleaning additives. Look for a bleach label that says the product is safe for disinfecting water.
5. Make a 72-hour emergency kit. Rebecca Mongrain, a news writer with Seattle's KOMO News, started on her stockpile by building a 72-hour emergency kit that fits easily in a compact space. She includes a useful list of nonfood supplies she put in the kit and points to the Red Cross' online store, which sells emergency kits and supplies.

6. Buy everything at once. If you have the money and space, one way to go is to purchase a large amount of commercially prepared emergency supplies. A few examples:
7. Invest in these foods. Eating from a stockpile can get boring. Real Simple lists great foods to include that are nutritionally dense, provide a lot of food value for the bulk, are tasty and need no cooking. The list includes: peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, nuts and trail mix, power bars and granola bars, dried fruit and canned meat, tuna, vegetables, chili and beans, sports drinks, sugar, pepper and salt, powdered milk and multivitamins.

8. Include seeds for sprouting. Seeds, beans and nuts for sprouting are a good addition to your stockpile. Snapguide tells how to sprout fresh greens in a Mason jar. Vegetarian Times lists seeds and nuts that make good sprouts. Noting that sprouts can become contaminated with dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, the article tells how to safely make and consume sprouts.

9. See trouble? Stock up on these items. If you see trouble coming and are able to buy fresh foods, Real Simple recommends these items that store well in a cool, dry, dark place: apples, citrus, winter squashes, unripe avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, unripe tomatoes and dry salami, which lasts up to six weeks without refrigeration.

10. Buy dried foods for the long haul. Cans and granola bars are fine for the short term. But stockpiling economically for weeks or months means you'll need to include dried grains, powdered milk and dehydrated vegetables and fruits.

Latah County's Concerned Mom's plan (on page 6 of her article) includes a list of ingredients to nutritiously feed two adults and two children for two weeks. The entire supply fits in a 66-gallon storage box, including these five groups of foods:
  • Starches. Rice, flour, cornmeal, pasta, dried potatoes and oatmeal, for example.
  • Proteins. Like beans, lentils, dried milk, canned fish and meat, seeds, nuts, dry cheese, boxed tofu, powdered eggs and powdered cheese.
  • Vitamin foods. Canned tomatoes and pumpkin, dried vegetables and fruit.
  • Vitamins.
  • Flavorings. Cooking oils, chocolate, jam, salsa, seasonings, yeast and spices, for instance.
Using this system, Concerned Mom suggests starting your stockpile by making one two-week box. As money and space permit, you can add identical boxes, building the stockpile two weeks at a time.

11. Economize by buying in bulk. To stockpile affordably, shop around, comparing costs. Food cooperatives, buying clubs and warehouse stores all are good sources for lower prices. Shop sales and learn where to get discounts for bulk purchases. Walmart sells bulk quantities of emergency foods like mixes for bread and pancakes, dehydrated onions, powdered honey and butter and dehydrated stews.

12. Stockpile protein bars. An odd but possibly practical approach is stockpiling protein bars. They cost around $2 each. U.S. News writes about a Baltimore couple who:
... eat a Quest protein bar from GNC every three hours from the time they wake up until they go to bed. They started this habit in April, and he's lost 78 pounds so far.
They also eat Power Pak pudding once a day, which contains 30 grams of protein per can and less than 200 calories. The protein bars have 20 grams of protein and less than 200 calories. They estimate that they spend less than $400 per month on food and drinks, saving money by buying in bulk during sales.
13. Economical supplies of dried foods. Dried foods may not be the tastiest items you'll eat in an emergency, but they provide concentrated nutrition and can be purchased less expensively in bulk. They are long-lasting when kept dry and consume less space than cans.

14. Rotate stored foods. To make sure your stored food is safe and nutritious when you need it, pay attention to the shelf life of each item. Rotate foods near the end of their shelf life by using them in your kitchen and adding fresh foods to the stockpile.

Properly prepared and stored, food can last a long time. Some examples:
  • Manufactured emergency supplies. Manufacturer Mountain House, for example, says its buckets and pouches of emergency food last 12 years when handled correctly and its #10 cans last 25 years.
  • Dry staples. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), on its site encouraging stockpiling food and food safety, says staples such as wheat, white rice, and beans last 30 years when packaged and stored correctly. Nonfat milk and dehydrated carrots have a 20-year shelf life. Other foods -- vegetable oil, for example -- should be rotated every year or two.
  • Cans. "Most expiration dates on foods in cans range from one to four years -- but keep the food in a cool, dark place and the cans undented and in good condition, and you can likely safely double that shelf life from three to up to six years," says Mens Health.

White House Appoints 2015-2016 Class of Florida White House Fellow

The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships announced the appointment of the 2015-2016 class of White House Fellows. The Fellows come from diverse backgrounds, and varied professions, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service and leadership. The 2015-2016 class of Fellows and their biographies are included below.

The White House Fellows program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” This unique opportunity to work within our nation’s government is designed to encourage active citizenship and a lifelong commitment to service. The Fellows take part in an education program designed to broaden their knowledge of leadership, policy formulation, and current affairs. Community service is another essential element of the program, and Fellows participate in service projects throughout their year in Washington, D.C.

Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, and a proven commitment to public service. Each Fellow must possess the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute meaningfully at senior levels of the Federal government. Throughout its history, the program has fostered leaders in many fields, including government, business, law, media, medicine, education, diplomacy, and the military. Additional information about the White House Fellows program is available at

2015-2016 Florida  Class of White House Fellows:

Rayden Llano, Miami, FL, was Program Director of Health Policy and Economics at LSE Enterprise, where he worked with public institutions on health policy issues and conducted healthcare research. Previously, he worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Rwanda and as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Asia, where he developed a tuberculosis and migration framework providing policy guidance to WHO member states. As a Luce Scholar at the University of Tokyo, he was the lead author of a study published in The Lancetand helped secure funding for the establishment of a global health committee within the Japanese parliament that has been chaired by two former prime ministers. Collectively, he has worked on healthcare issues in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. He is an advisor to the president of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and mentors Hispanic high school and college students. A Marshall Scholar, he received an M.P.P. from the University of Cambridge, an M.Sc. in International Health Policy and Health Economics from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Maxeme Tuchman, Miami, FL, served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade and was responsible for overseeing daily regional operations for 26 staff members and cultivating $6M of private and public support in service of over 500 current teachers and alums. Prior to that, she served in Mayor Bloomberg’s bullpen managing the NYC Waterfalls, a public art installation that generated $69 million in economic activity. She also co-created the NYC Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps VISTA program that in its first three years had 448 participants hosted by 97 organizations that then were able to utilize 1.7 million new volunteers. Her commitment to educational equity began as a Teach For America corps member, teaching 480 high school students in inner-city Miami, and has led to working on educational innovation projects with organizations such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, DC Public Schools, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  She is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Miami Fellows Leadership Program. Maxeme received her B.A. from New College of Florida and holds an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.


Jeb Bush fired back when questioned about his use of the term “anchor baby” at a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire on Thursday. “You give me a better term and I’ll use it,” Bush told reporters, when asked if he thought the term, used to refer to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants, was offensive. The Republican presidential candidate used the phrase during a radio interviewWednesday while talking about birthright citizenship. The former Florida governor said he doesn’t think the phrase is offensive, but also that he believes in birthright citizenship. Republican rival Donald Trump has called for repealing birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment as a part of his immigration plan

Florida House passes redisticting baseline map

Florida Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, looks at a map for proposed changes in Congressional districts during a Senate committee meeting on reapportionment, Wednesday Jan. 11, 2012 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The full House on Tuesday passed baseline congressional maps impacting a handful of incumbents and, in the process, re-ignited a tension with the Senate that dominated much of last spring’s legislative session.
Lawmakers are in the final week of a special session needed to redraw congressional lines after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the current lawmaker-drawn districts were drawn to favor Republicans, something at odds with state anti-gerrymandering provisions.
To begin the special session, the Legislature used maps drawn by staff—without any input from members—to insulate the new maps from partisan influences.
The House passage of that baseline map came on a 76-35 vote, with nine Republican voting against the plan and nine Democrats joining with the GOP majority.  
Many of the Republicans opposing the plan resented what they deemed judicial overreach.
“I am not going to agree with the Supreme Court that I broke my oath,” said state Rep. Doug Broxson of Gulf Breeze.
In the wake of justices tossing the lawmaker-drawn maps, some Republican members have called for legislation during the 2016 session that takes aim at the court.
“Whatever ideas that are out there, I think we should listen and hear what they are,” Charles McBurney, a Jacksonville Republican who chairs the chamber’s judiciary committee, said after the House grudgingly approved the baseline maps.
Some Democrats came to the defense of the courts, saying the Republican-led Legislature, not the courts, violated the constitution.
“We’re not here because of the courts. We’re here because of the former leadership of this chamber,” said House Minority Leader Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach.
Whether or not to pass the baseline maps is where the newest rift between the two chambers emerges. The House decided to pass the map unchanged, while the Senate has passed at least one amendment to the baseline map and could consider more.
In a vocal jab at the Senate, Republican state Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach said the Senate should not have changed the map, and was also critical of its decision to settle a separate lawsuit that challenged the state Senate maps.
As part of the settlement, the Senate acknowledged its maps were drawn at odds with the state anti-gerrymandering provisions. Because of this, Gaetz said, the Senate has no leverage to redraw the maps or be critical of the judiciary.
“When you have legislators confessing to unconstitutional conduct … I don’t know if that’s the time to be critical of another branch of government,” he said. "They are tinkering with the maps … the nerve."
Gaetz was specifically angered that, as part of the settlement, the Legislature gives up its “constitutional presumption of correctness,” which assumes legislation passed by the Legislature is legal until proven otherwise. It means when lawmakers return to Tallahassee in October for a special session to redraw the state Senate maps, lawmakers will have the burden of proving any changes they make are legal.
“The House made a mistake by not objecting to that position, in my opinion,” Gaetz said.
The relationship between the two chambers has been acrimonious after a political slugfest during the regular legislative session over health care funding led to very vocal feud. That, in part, derailed the regular session and forced lawmakers into legislative overtime to pass a state budget.
The fight was most fierce over Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The Senate wanted to draw down nearly $50 billion in federal money over eight years, while the House refused to pass a plan that used additional federal funds for coverage.

Until this point of the special session, any residual tension has been rendered moot because each chamber had been working on its own plan. In fact, members have been reluctant to discuss the process with anyone out of fear it could prompt another rejection by the courts.
“I don’t think anyone is talking to anyone right now,” state Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon said Monday.
For the House and Senate to work out differences in their plans, however, the map-drawers in both chambers must now work together.
So, will tension rule during the final days of special session?
“I hope not,” said Senate redistricting chairman Bill Galvano of Bradenton. “That is certainly not the perspective I bring to the table, and don’t have any indication other member of the Senate, including the president, have that perspective.”
He said the state Supreme Court’s ruling faulted both chambers for allowing political consultants to impact the map-drawing process.
“Whether you agree with that or not, we are in this together,” Galvano said.
The unchanged baseline map impacts a handful of incumbent members of Congress from both parties.
It puts Republican Rep. Dan Webster of Orlando in a seat that becomes much more Democratic-leaning. His 10th Congressional District is now nearly impossible for a Republican to win, and has already prompted high-profile Democrat Val Demings, the former Orlando police chief, to get in the race.
The new map also forced Republican Rep. David Jolly to run for U.S. Senate. His Pinellas County seat gets an influx of Democratic voters under the new plan, which makes the swing seat a likely easy pickup for Democrats.
In North Florida, Democrat Gwen Graham of Tallahassee is now left in a seat that picks up large swaths of conservative North-Central Florida, a change that has stoked rumors she will either move or run for U.S. Senate.
The political realities for those members are not altered greatly in the Senate’s plan, which will be considered for the first time by the full chamber on Wednesday.
Its version’s biggest change removes Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key from Hillsborough County, decreasing that county’s splits from three to two. It was a top priority of Lee, who authored the amendment that was passed Monday by the Senate redistricting committee.

Larry Wilmore busts Jeb Bush for pretending the Iraq War was a “success”

Larry Wilmore smacks down Jeb Bush for pretending the Iraq War was a “success”

The Nightly Show” crew has been spending a whole lot of time in the last few weeks discussing the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders — which is why, on Thursday night’s program, Larry Wilmore decided to check back in with Jeb Bush. His findings: Jeb — or should we say, Jeb! — is still backpedaling on his support for the Iraq war under his brother’s administration.
Prompted by a “Revisionist History” alarm sound, Wilmore rolled a clip of Bush explaining that “it was a success!” and that the withdrawal from Iraq caused a void which ISIS filled. “Where was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in all of this?” he went on to ask.
“So George is gone and this is all Hillary’s fault?” Wilmore fired back.
The “Nightly Show” host  concluded that Bush must have been living in some sort of “distorted reality” — “Back to the Future” style.
Watch the clip courtesy of Comedy Central below:

At-Risk Youth in Miramar Celebrate Summer During Hangin’ with 5-0

– Visits to the beach, field trips and an animal show were just a few of the activities enjoyed by more than 80 at-risk youth in Miramar that attended the Hangin’ with 5-0 summer camp, sponsored by the Miramar Police Athletic League, the City of Miramar, Sunbeam Properties and the Miramar Park of Commerce, the largest locally owned and managed Business Park in South Florida.

“Seven years ago, budget cuts were looming and this program was about to be eliminated. But thanks to the generosity of Sunbeam Properties, we were able to keep it going. Every year since then, they have stepped up to support us. We can’t thank them enough,” said City of Miramar Police Officer and Miramar Police Athletic League Executive Director Scott Hadley. “The kids love it and look forward to it every year. We have activities that really keep them busy.”

The 11 to 15 year-olds in the Hangin’ with 5-0 six-week summer program are identified by their school’s resource officer and guidance counselor. The students participate in a variety of activities throughout the program. Each day, breakfast and lunch were served and the program concluded with a pizza party.

“Hangin’ with 5-0 is a tremendous program and we are thrilled to support it,” said Maridee Bell, vice president of Sunbeam Properties, developer of the Miramar Park of Commerce. “The program meets a need in our community and certainly brightens the summer season for so many students.”

In addition to Hangin’ with 5-0, Sunbeam Properties and Miramar Park of Commerce tenants support many community activities, including Habitat for Humanity. The Park also has been the site for supply drives for America’s Moms for Soldiers and a food drive for the United Way of Broward County, orchestrated by Sunbeam Properties.

About Miramar Park of Commerce
Since breaking ground in 1984, Sunbeam has developed the Miramar Park of Commerce into the largest locally owned and managed Business Park in South Florida, with over five million square feet ofoffice/service, laboratory, pharmacy, light manufacturing and distribution space. The world class Park is home to more than 10,000 employees from more than 160 national and international companies including GE, Siemens, American Express, Tommy Hilfiger, Neiman Marcus, Humana, Quest Diagnostics, Toyota, Rolls Royce Commercial Marine, Stanley Black & Decker, Pepperidge Farm and Nissan. Flex/office space, corporate build-to-suits as well as a limited number of second-generation spaces are available in the Park. For more information, contact Ryan Goggins ( or Maridee Bell ( at 10212 USA Today Way, Miramar, FL 33025 or call 954-450-7900.

Photo 1: Ray Black, Miramar Chief of Police; City of Miramar Commissioner Yvette Colbourne; Maridee Bell, Sunbeam Properties and the Miramar Park of Commerce; City of Miramar Police Officer and Miramar Police Athletic League Executive Director Scott Hadley
Photo 2: Caleb Jaehrling; Gemika Duboisson; Kaden Jaehrling
Photo 3: Joahna Byars; Gemika Duboisson; Breanne Adams; Isaiah Brutus
Photo 4: Deondric Hardy; Jalen Williams; Darrele Gibson; Jacob Freyre
Photo 5: Ali Mansa; Deniece Jones; Anjuné Byars
Photo 6: Jazmin Masten, Cheryl Hubber
Photo 7: Darrell Gibson; Yury Joseph; Karon Gilbt