God, Hope & Helping Others
Sunday, April 05, 2015 by: Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) In early March 2015, a late winter storm surprised everyone by dumping large amounts of snow in many states from Texas to Maine. 4,000 flights were cancelled, schools closed, and in Kentucky, where nearly two feet of snow fell, hundreds of drivers found themselves stranded on interstate highways for up to 24 hours. The governor of Kentucky declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard to assist with relief efforts.
Many of these drivers ran out of gas while stranded, leaving them with no food or heat in their cars and forcing them to forage for food in nearby woods.
This type of emergency is a good illustration of how quickly things can go sideways and why you should always be prepared for the unknown -- whether in your home or traveling.
If this were to happen to you -- finding yourself stranded in a snowstorm with no heat or food -- would you know what to do? Would you have the knowledge and the right emergency supplies at hand if you were stuck on a highway in two feet of snow?
Many preppers keep a bug-out bag in their cars at all times -- you never know when you'll need one, and those who were prepared in this particular situation no doubt spent a much more comfortable night in their vehicles than the ones who were not.
Even if you don't have the space to keep a fully stocked bug-out bag in your car, you should at least consider carrying some water and some non-perishable emergency food supplies, such as a few cans of whatever you don't mind eating out of a can (in a case like this, even SPAM will taste good, I promise). You should always carry at least two or three gallons of bottled water in your vehicle, though you should opt for BPA- and BPS-free options.
If you have limited space in your vehicle, you can pack a coffee can survival kit containing items that will come in handy in just such an emergency. You should think in terms of small tools, basic sustenance and protection from extreme weather.
Essential items that can fit into a large coffee can survival kit include fire-making materials, a poncho, thermal blanket, energy bars, portable camp stove and fuel, pen, compass, flashlight, knife, multi-tool -- try to pack things that will be useful in the particular region you live in or may be traveling in.
A kit like this is ideal for helping get through an emergency such as the one drivers faced in the Kentucky snowstorm.
If you were stranded in a snowstorm and hungry, would you know how to forage in the nearby woods? Do you know what to look for and where, and do you know which plants are edible?
Learning the basics of winter foraging could save your life, or at least make life a little more comfortable in a scenario like the one in Kentucky.
There are many edibles to be found in the forest -- even in deep snow. Steph at WebEcoist.com lists 10 wild winter edibles that are easy to find in the cold months. Rose hips, cattails, freshwater clams, watercress and more can be found throughout the U.S.
Commonly found and easy-to-recognize edible plants that can be foraged in the winter also include dandelion, wild onion and many nuts, such as pecans, hickory nuts, walnuts and even acorns. Acorns must first be soaked in hot water to remove the bitter taste; then, the shelled nuts can be ground into a flour.
Another informative and entertaining post about winter foraging can be found at EatTheWeeds.com. In it, Green Deane relates some childhood memories about winter while imparting useful information regarding foraging in the cold months. The Maine environment he describes offers an abundance of wild foods, including freshwater clams, frozen cranberries, turtles, radishes and wild mustard greens.
Cab at Downsizer.net has posted his own top 10 edibles list along with how to identify and prepare them. Among his picks are oyster mushrooms, nettle, chickweed and crab apples. Many of these wild foods can be found throughout the U.S., but it's important to learn what grows in your own region or specific area. The more you know about your local environment and what foods can be found in the wild there, the better you'll be able to weather an emergency.
Armed with this information, you'll have the knowledge to survive and thrive in the case of a winter survival situation. Don't be caught unprepared like so many of those drivers in Kentucky were. Educate yourself and make preparations -- you never know when you'll need it.