Tag: water

Time for a new start!


Staying at home has stopped so many of our ordinary activities!

At the same time, it’s opened the door to new activities.

Have you started exercising in new ways? Are you learning – or teaching! – in new ways? What about finding time to reflect on what’s really important?  And have you found new ways to be help meet needs of people outside your immediate family?

So at the same time that staying at home feels like everything has slowed down, it has also been a . . .

Time to start or re-start some new activities.

Here are a few that we’ve been focusing on.

Start calling.

Our communications with family members, particularly younger ones, seem to have become ever shorter. In fact, many of the digital messages I get are made up almost exclusively of a photo, abbreviations and emojis!  So we’ve started telephoning much more frequently. We’ve also started participating in more Zoom calls. My calendar is filling up with calls!

Start your car.

Even if you are not a member of a “vulnerable population,” you may not be going out regularly.  In fact, some of our neighbors haven’t budged for weeks, now. So for them and maybe for you, it’s time to start and run your car! (Take it up to 50 mph on the highway; don’t just creep around the block.) If you don’t, a car website called Drifted says:

  • Your car battery could lose its charge.
  • Tires can develop flat spots.
  • The gas tank can develop moisture.
  • Animals can build comfy nests in your car. (Rats particularly like the rubber on electrical wires.)

You can check out recommendations for “cheap drifting cars” at that website, too! (If you haven’t ever drifted, well . . . you have missed out on one of the most exciting things ever!)

Start exercising.

You can walk and walk inside the house but that’s not the same as exercising. Now if you have room and energy you can bounce around as part of a YouTube exercise class. (There are great ones there. Just type into your browser: “Best exercise videos for _____ ” (kids, seniors, etc.)

But everyone can do simple modified squats in front of a chair, using the arms of the chair for extra support (and then turn around and sit down to rest when you’re done!) Or try simple push-ups. You don’t have to get down onto the floor. Do push-ups against the wall, or use the edge of a sturdy table or even the kitchen counter to make push-ups easier! The point is to get your blood moving!

Start the water.

You know that if you don’t use a shower at home for a while, the drain can start to smell. What about in your business? With the business closed, water is sitting in pipes, in the toilets, in the refrigerator and air conditioning systems. Still water can allow sediments to build up, chemicals to dissipate, rust to develop and germs to spread!  Refresh the water supply in your home and your business at least once a week. Here’s a link to more info.

Start preparing for summer.

Spring has been pretty much of a blur for us – with one day blending into the next (and still no payment from the government). But warnings are becoming more frequent.

  • Time to start preparing for fire season. Clean up dead branches, leaves and debris around your home. Clean out gutters and get branches off the roof. If you live in a suburban or rural area, clear out underbrush and “ladder” fuel – low bushes that allow flames to climb up into trees. Here’s more on preparing for fire season.
  • Prepare for hurricanes by installing shutters – either permanent shutters or the hardware that allows you to quickly install stored shutters. Pack evacuation supplies. Review evacuation routes. (More below.)
  • Floods can happen any time. In fact, some 90% of damage from natural disasters comes from flooding! What could cause flooding in your neighborhood? Flash flood from heavy rains? Hurricane surge? Tsunami? What is your “flood” plan? Does it include flood insurance?

Start improving your level of emergency preparedness.

 If you’re here at Emergency Plan Guide, you will have seen that we are constantly trying to spread the word about preparedness. You could call it a passion of ours! We do it in a variety of ways, and our current project is to develop a series of small, cheap, one-topic booklets. We call it the Emergency Preparedness Q&A Mini-Series, and we’re now up to 8 titles, with another one coming on line over the next few days!  (It always takes a while for Amazon to get everything listed and linked.)

This week we published Evacuate! So many people have questions: when to leave and where to go? But because there are never easy answers, those same people never get around to thinking it through before it happens!  If you live in parts of the country where hurricanes or wildfire make evacuating a possibility, please get and go through the questions in this little book!

(Next week we’re coming out with Emergency Cash. Also difficult to be specific about – but hardly anyone has enough. We hope this will help put a number on your need – and the booklet has ideas for options other than cash, too.)

Lots to do these days even though we are staying at home! Hope you are feeling that you’re getting things accomplished.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

April – Month of Action

Summer Water Shortage


What I really meant: Summer Water Shortage Storage

Here in California, we’ve had drought conditions for 4 years. Throughout the state, people have cut back about 25% on water usage – sometimes voluntarily, mostly as a result of cost pressure.

But using less water for the landscape doesn’t mean we should drop storing water for an emergency!

So again, I want to promote . . .

The best water storage solution: the 4-item 55-gallon water barrel kit.

The kit has four components. You need all four!

You can buy them separately or all together, at Amazon, Walmart or at Costco or wherever you find the best price. In doing my research today I found that by shopping carefully I could get the same four items for a low of about $100 to a high of about $150.

The image shows a kit with the four items that need to be on your shopping list — the barrel, the bung wrench, the pump and the water preserver. You can click on the kit image — or any of the images below — and go directly to Amazon. But before you go there, learn more about each of the components so you know what you’re looking for.

1 – The 55 gallon water barrel

What you want is a standard blue polyethylene plastic food grade water storage barrel with a sealed top. (I’d want a new one. Even if it’s brand new, give it a good rinse with a diluted chlorine-bleach solution – one part bleach to 10 parts water. Of course, use non-scented bleach that contains no soap.)

What to watch out for:

When it’s full, your barrel will weigh 440 pounds so you won’t be able to move it by hand!  Pick the spot where you want to store it, lay down some boards or pieces of wood to keep it up off the ground or the floor, and set it in place. (Make sure your floor can hold this weight.)

2 – A “Bung wrench” to open the plugs in the top of the barrel

The stopper in a barrel is called a “bung” and you’ll need a special wrench to remove it. You can get a metal or plastic wrench like the red one in the photo to the right. Often, the wrench will be designed for a second function, like being able to turn off gas at your meter. Bung wrenches seem to go missing on a regular basis. You may want to fasten it to your barrel (tape?).

3 – A Pump to get the water out of the barrel

 These water barrels are designed with openings only at the top, so to get the water out you need to insert a pipe down through one of the bung holes and then pump the water up and out. Since this is for emergency use, you need a pump that operates by hand! Be sure your pump is BPA free since your drinking water will be flowing through it.

What to watch out for:

An inexpensive siphon hose can work but may take a lot of effort to get started. Other hand siphon pumps have a hand-operated sliding action and larger tubes, and are more efficient. The image shows the “vertical manual action” of the pump shown in the kit.

Once you get a siphon pump flowing, it will continue to flow until you stop it, so be sure you know how to start AND stop the flow. (Hint – you unscrew the cap at the top to break the vacuum.)

Here’s a great video from Robert Canning that shows just how to install and use a hand siphon pump.

There are also hand pumps with a lever that pump a certain amount with each press of the lever – best if you want to remove just a small amount of water.

4 – Water preserver liquid

We have written before about using 1/8 cup of plain bleach in your barrel full of water to keep the water clean for long-term (i.e. year-long) storage. You can also use a water preserver concentrate that will keep water clean for up to 5 years. Follow the directions on the bottle to get the right amount into your barrel.

And now, the question we overlooked . . .

How to get the water INTO the barrel? Three options.

If you’re like me, I want the barrel tucked out of the way, so it turns out not to be close to a faucet. So how do I fill the barrel?

Naturally, you’ll think about using the garden hose. But wait. That hose has probably been sitting around for who knows how long, getting dirt on it, spraying pesticides or soap, and gradually disintegrating. I wouldn’t want to use it to fill MY barrel!

So what are other options?

One way is to use new bottles of water or simply carry water from the kitchen in a clean container and pour it into the barrel. Works fine, takes many trips!

The other option is to purchase the right length of food grade, white plastic drinking water hose at an RV supply store and run it from the tap.

And finally, store the barrel properly.

Some hints:

  • Label the barrel with the contents and the date you fill it, so you’ll know when it’s time to empty, refresh and refill.
  • Store in a cool dark place, out of sunlight; keep it clean.
  • Camouflage the barrel to prevent someone from stealing your water. Cover it with a tarp or canvas, turn it into a workbench, whatever.

This water can keep you alive in a crisis, so consider this big purchase as a gift to the family for the summer!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. You will likely want to have smaller containers of water, too, so you can store them more easily, move them, pour out just a glass of water, etc. Here are a two more articles from Emergency Plan Guide you may find useful as you consider how to store the water YOU need:

Message in a Bottle — For Your Neighbor


We are currently exploring a “shock” method to get our preparedness message across to our neighbors. We wrap a letter around a one-liter bottle of water. It explains that . . .

Message in a Bottle“We cannot store enough food and water to be of help to you in an emergency, but here is a bottle of water to show our good faith. We hope you will recognize the need to be prepared and – using the list on the back of this letter – make sure your entire household is protected.”

Why go to this trouble for your neighbor?

Even here in our neighborhood, after all our meetings and trainings and articles, the reality is that as many as 35% of our neighbors simply don’t take responsibility for their own safety and security.

Yes, this is better than nationwide averages, which put the unprepared at closer to 50%.

But because these people haven’t personally experienced an earthquake or serious storm, or had to survive for any longer than a few hours in a post-emergency situation,

. . .either the risk doesn’t seem real to them or

. . .they mistakenly believe that the government will provide for them.

So the Message in a Bottle is just the next step.

Our Emergency Response Team will be meeting next week to roll the letters and fasten them to the water bottles with rubber bands. Then they’ll set out and deliver a bottle to the doorstep, if not directly into the hands, of every person in their assigned area.

When the emergency hits, we don’t want neighborhood slackers coming to us for help, and forcing us to either share our precious supplies or turn them away. The letter makes that clear — in a nice way.

We want everyone to be prepared and working together!

I’ll report in on what kind of response or reaction we get to this campaign!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Sign up here so you don’t miss any neighborhood training ideas!

P.P.S. If you’d like a copy of our letter with the checklist on the back, just let me know.

Community Cache of Emergency Supplies


At a recent CERT update meeting here in our town, a police officer was asking questions about our neighborhood preparedness. Not our individual preparedness, but what we have done for the neighborhood.

The question about supplies from the police.

Emergency supplies

Enough for the whole neighborhood?

“I assume you guys have pulled together supplies, like food, for everyone?”

As it turns out, we’ve been working hard to get our neighborhood aware and organized, so we were proud to be able to describe what we’ve accomplished.

The answer about supplies from our group.

“We have NOT taken on gathering and storing supplies for the whole neighborhood!”

Our motto is “Shelter in Place with your OWN supplies.”

Here’s why.

1. Human nature. If people think someone else is doing the work for them, they stop doing it themselves.

2. Incentive. If not everyone participates, then the “good citizens” who store food and water will be penalized when their unprepared neighbors start knocking on their door for help. We remind people that if they are unprepared, they are not likely to be welcomed when the disaster actually hits.

3. Money. Buying and storing food supplies for hundreds of people takes a big financial investment, not to mention specialized knowledge.

4. Space. Storing food supplies for hundreds of people also takes a big and ongoing investment in storage space, maintenance, security, etc.

We are a volunteer organization. Our membership waxes and wanes as people move away or move in. Fortunately our members can get good local CERT training, but some of the best neighbors don’t have it yet.

Now, we’re also fortunate to have a small monthly budget thanks to our Homeowners’ Association – and that allows us to purchase carefully-selected pieces of equipment that we will have ready for an emergency. (You can read more about our equipment purchases here.) But our budget doesn’t extend to the thousands of dollars that would be necessary for purchasing and storing food.

So we’ve decided to continue to stress “Make sure you have your own supplies of food you like and the medicines you need. And don’t expect your neighbor to welcome you with open arms when you run out.”

What decisions are you making in your neighborhood?

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

I’d really like to hear! Please send comments!



“Water, water everywhere . . . nor any drop to drink”


Ice in plastic containers

How many containers of frozen water would fit in your freezer?

This well-known quote comes from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” written in the mid-1700s by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His poem tells of a ship becalmed whose crew dies of thirst. In a big storm or other emergency, we are not likely to find ourselves in the middle of a salt-water ocean, but we certainly could find ourselves facing serious thirst with only questionable or clearly dirty water available. So once again, I want to address the issue of where to find drinking water. By now you know that you can live for days without food, but not long at all without water.

Here are  four more ideas for where to find water in an emergency:

1. Buy and store water that comes in regular commercial containers. You can buy water in all-sized bottles, cans, and foil packets. Store as much as you can, and refresh regularly. Avoid storing water in plastic directly on cement. According to the LA County Dept. of Public Health, cement can pass through the container into the water.

2. Capture water from alternate sources.

  • Your water heater holds 40-80 gallons, and if you have kept it reasonably clean by regularly draining off silt and calcium build-up at the bottom, it can be a life-saver.
  • The toilet tank (not the bowl) can be another source of water, it you haven’t used chemicals or colors in it.
  • A swimming or decorative garden pool might give you water for washing or even flushing the toilet.  Don’t drink it without treating it first.  (See below, number 4.)

3.  Still more ideas for storing water.

  • Freeze water in clean plastic containers and fill in spaces in the freezer, as shown in the photo.  Ice will keep your freezer cooler, save energy – and provide a source of clean water as the freezer defrosts in a power outage. Don’t use plastic that has had milk or meat products in it. And leave space at the top of the container for the water to expand. (I take mine out once in a while and dump the ice in a flower bed, then refresh the water supply.)
  • Buy large storage containers that fit the space you have available. If you can put a barrel outside, get a 55-gallon drum with spigot. If you don’t have that option, consider “WaterBricks.” An 8-pack of these 3+ gallon blue plastic containers stack and connect for compact storage of 28 gallons.  (Lying flat, they might fit perfectly under a bed.)

4. Don’t forget agents to turn dirty water into drinkable water!

  • The LifeStraw is a personal water filter that would allow you to drink from a puddle or stream.  Simple, light, easy to store, filters over 250 gallons of suspect water. Get one for every person, and every survival kit, particularly your car kit.
  • Water treatment tablets or drops are widely available. They take about 30 minutes to purify contaminated water. Be sure to follow instructions exactly.

Let us know YOUR good ideas for storing water for emergencies.  Just drop them into the comment box to share!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

Subscribe below so you don’t miss any of these good ideas. One of them could save your life!  

Collapsible Water Bottles: Indispensable to Survive a Disaster


You know by now: you can live without food, but not without water.

collapsible water bag

2 gallons, carryable, collapsible

The recommended amount of water to sustain a person during an emergency is a gallon a day.

Basic 3-day emergency preparedness thus takes 3 gallons per person.

How big is your family? Storing enough water for all family members for at least three days means having space for a lot of bottles!

Emergency water storage options

Realizing that water storage is the biggest challenge, we’ve recommended a number of options.

If you can, buy a 55 gallon drum. Fill, store at home. Full, the drum weighs around 460 lbs. so you need to consider where to keep it and how to get the water out. (Typically, you get a hand pump that fits the hole of the drum.)

The next best option for you may be to store individual bottles that can be spread around the house and rotated regularly. This is usually the choice of apartment dwellers, given their limited storage space and their need to haul supplies up and down stairs.

A third option is to store as much water as you can, but supplement with a water filtering device and collapsible containers that you fill as the storm approaches!

Don’t overlook a LifeStraw water filter.

As we were putting together our recommendations for our custom survival kit, water was clearly the toughest item to store. We looked for a way to improve on the water supply stored in the kit. The first choice was to add a LifeStraw – the one-person water filter that can make found outdoor sources of water drinkable. It costs around $20, and you’ll want one for each member of the family.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness

Add collapsible water bags or bottles to supplement your supply.

The second choice is to supplement your stored water with collapsible water bottles that you fill immediately with whatever clean sources of water are still available. Our research led us to consider:

* Carrying handle. Frankly, carrying water is very difficult. You know this if you’ve ever filled a five-gallon pail and tried to carry it any distance at all! So, we looked for some sort of closed container that is easy to fill and that has a carrying handle.

* Weight of the container when full. A full five-gallon plastic jug weighs nearly 50 lbs. Too much for me! (and most people) to carry for any distance, or up and down stairs. So, we looked for a smaller container, holding 2 or 2 1/2 gallons.

* Sturdiness of the container. Of course, reusable rigid plastic jugs are very sturdy, almost unbreakable. However, our goal was to find a collapsible bag that would be filled only when needed. Remember, the very thing that makes the collapsible bag convenient means it’s not as sturdy as you might want.  We reviewed a number of manufacturers and selected the one with the best reports for durability.  Don’t expect perfection — so buy more than one bag.

The best collapsible water bag? StanSport’s 2-gallon Water Bag.

Our search led us to the 2 gallon Water Bag manufactured by StanSport. The photo above shows Joe with a full bag.  A collapsed bag is in his other hand.

Stansport 2-Gallon Water Storage Bag

We have several of the bags. We tuck a couple into the Survival Kit, and have another in the glove compartment of the car.

If you click on the link or image, you’ll be taken to Amazon, where you can order. If you combine your order with another item – for example, the LifeStraw – you’ll get free shipping from Amazon. (You can also buy the water bag from other sites, including StanSport’s site – cheaper at first, but when you add shipping costs, they all come out about the same – without the convenience and speedy delivery.)

Do you have a favorite water storage container? Or a water storage story? We’d like to hear it! We are constantly on the lookout for better water storage options for surviving a disaster.

Virginia and Joe
Your Emergency Response Team
Other resources you may want to take a look at:

Emergency food and water supply

Power Outage

Apartment Survival


Home ownership, the standard

Most descriptions of preparing for disaster seem to focus on a single family home and how its residents should prepare. These descriptions include making changes to the building itself, like installing braces or safety glass or reinforcing the chimney or roof. Some families go so far as to fortify their homes or to build totally separate disaster shelters.

Naturally, the family stores large quantities of water and food and perhaps invests in emergency equipment like solar panels or generators. The family also is reminded to include emergency preparations for pets.

Highrise apartment buildingBut what about renters?

But if you are one of the 35% of all households that live in rented homes and particularly in apartments, options may be different – and limited. You probably have far less square footage to start with. You are not likely to have outside area where emergency items could be securely stored or easily accessed. And you certainly would not be allowed to make any structural changes to make the building any sturdier or safer.

What can apartment dwellers do differently?

1. Be efficient!

Your requirements are every bit as important as those of a family living in a single family home, but you will definitely have to be cleverer in order to store even the basics. The smart apartment dweller will become an expert in high-nutritional-value, low-bulk food and in multi-purpose tools and equipment. Instead of investing in a generator, the apartment dweller may need to invest in storage containers that can be hidden under the bed, stacked 8 feet high in a closet, or converted to use as an end-table.

2. Be creative!

Whereas someone with plenty of space outside can store emergency water in a 55 gallon barrel, you may have to make do with a variety of individual bottles, supplemented with a supply of expandable bottles, to be filled at the last minute. Given your limited ability to store water, you may be putting your filtration equipment to use immediately as you are forced to supplement your original water supply.

3. Make friends!

In an apartment setting, neighbors can make all the difference. A group of people can cooperate in assembling and storing food, tools, and other essentials. (For example, two families could share one stove.) One neighbor may have handyman skills and tools; another might have medical training; a third might be a competent cook. Sharing the burdens and responsibilities may serve the entire community better than each person trying to fend for him or herself.

For a whole lot of ideas about organizing your neighbors, check out Emergency Preparedness for Apartment Communities. It discusses getting your own preparedness act together and then helping neighbors get prepared, too.

Emergency Supplies List


If you’re looking for a checklist, you’ll find many, many of them online. FEMA offers up a 26-item list; the American Red Cross has a 36-item list, and different commercial companies (selling tools, pre-made kits, insurance, dried food)  have their own lists, some of which extend to hundreds of items.

Different lists serve different purposes

Comprehensive checklist

Page One of list

Over the years we have created or used different lists for different purposes. For example,

* At an introductory neighborhood meeting, you may wish to distribute a simple, one-page list with items that apply to everyone and that won’t appear too intimidating.

* In a community where people have had some training, a more comprehensive list would be a good idea. (We wrote earlier about the “door-hanger list” that we created for our community.) Naturally, adding items appropriate for the geography would make sense: rain gear, for example, or cold-weather gear.

* In a senior community, a list might focus on items that apply to older people: 14-day supply of medicines (and how to get your doctor to give you extras), extra eyeglasses, batteries for hearing aids, etc.

* A community with pets needs a completely different set of reminders. (You can get a copy of our Emergency Pet Supplies Kit here.)

* A quick reminder card, useful for teaching, might have only a half-dozen items or a specific, focused list of supplies (for example, what you need in your first aid kit).

Our Emergency Supplies List

The Emergency Plan Guide has prepared its own comprehensive list. We have found that breaking it into three sections makes it easier for people to focus on. The three sections are:

 17 basic items for a 3-day emergency

 11 more categories for managing an extended, 14-day emergency

 10 essentials to take if you must evacuate

What’s important is to get your list, and then take the time to see what’s missing from it based on your family’s needs. Add those items to the list, and start assembling!

Like many families, you may need to prepare not only for the three situations listed above, but you may also want to put together specialty kits to carry in your cars, for students away from home, or for the office.

Get started now!

There is no time to assemble emergency supplies after the earthquake, after the storm has hit, after the fire has forced you out of your home.  Action item:  Download the Emergency Supplies Checklist and get started.

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S.  I am not called the “Queen of Lists” for nothing!  Stick around Emergency Plan Guide and you will discover a number of them. Lists help me think, and keep me on track.  I hope you’ll find them useful, too!


Easy Water Storage Plan


Bottles of water

Essential to survival

Our bodies are made up mostly of water . . . something like 98%! That means that access to drinkable water following a major earthquake or other cataclysmic event is your most important link to survival. Unfortunately, many of the so-called “survival packs” of potable water are going to prove inadequate or distasteful in an emergency.

The 3-Day Water Window

Again, not to be boorish or monotonous, but we are not in the long-term survivalist camp. We’re focused on the 3-day to two-week window that it will take first responders, FEMA and relief organizations like Red Cross to get organized to provide real assistance to a distressed population. Therefore, we recommend a conservative approach to emergency preparations.

Weekly Rotation

Calculate the amount of water your household needs per day (don’t forget the pets), add 25% and set up a rotating supply of drinking (&/or cooking) water that you use and replenish on a weekly basis. That way, your water supply never gets old or stale. In our household, we keep three cases of bottled water on hand and we refill and rotate the plastic bottles on a regular schedule.

The Inconvenience Factor 

You may find this inconvenient and we wouldn’t argue with you. But, there’s nothing convenient about living through a tornado, an earthquake or any major calamity. And, there’s nothing convenient about being stuck across town or out of state for several days or a week or more and not knowing if your children at home have enough water to survive on.

We’re focused here on water for short-term survival. It’s so easy to ignore but procrastination is a lame excuse.

Joe Krueger
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. Storing and finding water is a recurring theme here. You may want to check out these Advisories about water, too:

Heat Wave Kills


Since we live in California, we are always thinking about earthquakes.  But the recent heat wave in the middle and eastern part of the US. reminds us that there are other emergencies, too – and they can be just as deadly.

Heat waves and storms go together.

Big differences between temperatures and air pressure create climate “events” that bring down electric power lines.  That stops electricity to refrigerators, to air conditioners, to fans. That’s what happened last week and that’s what killed some people.

Could they have done things differently?

Some of them could probably have found safer places to ride out the storm.  But most had no defense against the ultimate killer – the heat!

At night, no electricity means no light.  Unless you have flashlights or lanterns.  You can’t read, watch TV, cook, or repair things.  You are pretty much stuck where you are, not moving.

During the day, no electricity means no air conditioning. . . for day after day after day, and at night, too.

  • At home, you simply swelter.  Meanwhile, all your food goes bad because your freezer and your refrigerator are off.
  • Freezers and refrigerators at local stores are off, too, so they run out of supplies very quickly.
  • And roads, the lifeline for supplies, may be blocked by downed trees and power lines.

What would YOU have done?

Whether it’s high winds or heavy rain that took out the electric service doesn’t matter.  What does matter is whether people had water.

Water saves people two ways.


  1. When it’s hot, you need to drink.  Steadily, and a lot.  You can tell if you’re getting enough if you have to pee often, too.
  2. When it’s hot, you can spray or sprinkle yourself (your children and your pets) with water and let evaporation help keep skin temperatures down.

A couple of the people who died were hit by debris from the storm, or crashed because of rain.  But most of the casualties simply succumbed to too much heat and too little water.

Don’t let this happen to you!  Make sure you have water supplies at home and at work and enough to save someone else besides yourself. It’s the simplest preparation of all!