Preparedness Pantry

The latest posts from Preparedness Pantry

The Preparedness Pantry has a new home. Click here to see our fancy new digs. You'll find old blog posts, as well as favorites like Emergency Essentials' Prep School, recipes, and the Insight articles. You'll also find lots of new content, so make sure to change your bookmark!

We hope you like our new site as much as we do.

The new Preparedness Pantry blog looks great! 

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: April 24, 2013, 9:41 pm
Emergency Essentials has new digs!
Click here to see our new website, and a new home for the Preparedness Pantry Blog! You’ll want to change any RSS feeds, bookmarks, etc. to the new blog address so you can keep updated on the latest preparedness information and products. We'll leave this blog as a resource for you until we've transferred the full archive onto the new blog.

We’re really excited about the additional features and benefits our new website brings you. For example, you can now customize the homepage to reflect your interests. You might choose for the most popular products and articles to be displayed, or you might choose to see emergency kits, food storage, group specials, sale items, scenarios, urban prepping, or educational links displayed on your home page each time you visit the site.

Our Education section is worth spending time in. After you’ve browsed the product lines, click on our Education menu (shown below) and peruse the information there. This category includes links to our Read First article, recipes, FAQ’s, Forum, and other books and media. This is also where you'll go to find the I

nsight articles and the Preparedness Pantry Blog.

This is our new one-stop-shop. Isn't it great? We hope you’ll visit us frequently. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. We appreciate your feedback.

Don’t forget to make the necessary changes to your RSS feeds, bookmarks, etc. Oh! And check the new blog location in a few weeks for a trivia challenge giveaway. The better you know your way around our new website, the better you’ll be able to answer the questions and win.

Happy surfing!


Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:26 pm

I received this guest post submission a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you ever since. It was submitted by Kate from Missouri, and I have to say, I can’t wait to put these recipes to use. I’ve been making wheat berries since Don Pectol taught me the easiest way to use wheat, and I think I can use the same method to cook some oat groats for these recipes.

Thanks, Kate!


Oatmeal is a staple storage food for many families, and for good reason. It's easy to prepare, inexpensive, has great nutritional value, and lasts for years when stored properly.  It is also extremely versatile: oatmeal is mild-tasting enough to act as a base for hundreds of other foods. Maintaining variety in your meals is an important part of your mental health and overall happiness during a survival situation.

Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy a big bowl of oatmeal, adapted to include foods that you probably already have in your storage. Most of these ingredients are available on the Emergency Essentials web site.

Note from the Editor: These recipes will all be equally delicious using whole Oat Groats if you don’t have a mill to turn your stored oats into oatmeal. Simply cook them in a rice cooker or on the stovetop as you would rice, with 3 parts water to 1 part Oat Groats. Our notes are included in italics below.

Apple cinnamon - add some dehydrated apple slices and a dash of cinnamon sugar to your bowl of oatmeal. It tastes like those instant packets you can buy from the store...but BETTER. Use cinnamon apple chips if you want an extra punch of flavor.

Brown sugar oats - this "recipe" is as simple as it sounds. Drop a big spoonful of brown sugar in the middle of your oatmeal and let it dissolve before eating.

Creamy oats and honey - cook your oats with milk instead of water. Dissolve an additional tablespoon of milk powderinto 1/4 cup of milk, then heat this "cream" until hot. Pour over your bowl of oatmeal, and add a drizzle of honey.

Chocolate peanut butter - stir a packet of MRE chocolate peanut butter into your bowl of oatmeal. OR, if you want a verylong-term storage option: mix together a scoop of powdered peanut butter, a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of white sugar. Stir into your oatmeal.  This one is a hit with kids!

Tropical oats - Rehydrate a few pieces each of freeze dried pineapple, banana, mango, and orange.  Stir into cooked oats, and top with a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Banana bread oats* - rehydrate 1/4 cup of freeze-dried banana slices. Mash them with a fork, and mix with 1/2 cup dry oats, 1tsp cinnamon, 2tsp white sugar, and 2/3 cup milk. Cook as usual.

Mock Muesli* - Muesli is a breakfast food that is very popular in Europe. Mix together 1/2 cup dry oats, 2Tbsp raisins, and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup of milk, and eat like cold cereal.

* To adjust for oat groats, simply add the same ingredients to the cooked oats; start with 1/3 cup milk and add more as needed to achieve your desired consistency.

Homemade granola** - mix together 2 cups of dry oats, 1/2 cup raisins, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, and a dash of salt. In a separate bowl, mix together  1/3 cup oil and 1/3 cup honey. Pour liquids over the oat mixture, and stir well.  I usually bake the granola at 200 degrees for an hour and a half, but you could try using an alternative method. Campfire granola sounds pretty cool!  Eat with cold milk, or dry for an on-the-go snack.

**This recipe is best with oatmeal, not groats.

These are just ideas for oats you can eat in a bowl. You can also make pancakes, muffins, cookies, and breads from my favorite grain! Oats can be ground into flour and used in conjunction with wheat flourin many recipes.  As an example, here's my basic oatmeal pancake recipe (best made with oatmeal, not groats):

Basic Oatmeal Pancakes 


1/3 cup oats

1/2 cup milk, reconstituted from powder

1/3 cup oat flour

Dash of salt

1 egg, reconstituted from powder


Soak oats in 1/2 cup milk while you prepare the dry ingredients. Mix oat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla powder in a medium bowl. Stir the oats and milk into your flour mixture, and add the reconstituted egg. Place an oiled skillet over medium heat. Pour pancakes, and flip to brown both sides. Serve with honey or brown sugar.


Try some variations! Mix dried fruits into the batter, use cocoa powder to make chocolate pancakes, boil some sugar to make homemade syrup….you're only limited by your imagination.

Storing oatmeal and a few of these add-ins is an easy way to ensure that your food storage won't ever get boring. I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning for YEARS, and I still look forward to them because I change the ingredients so often. Experiment with your favorite flavor combinations now so that you can stock up, then enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have months of inexpensive breakfasts stored in your pantry. 

--Kate, MO

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 8, 2013, 11:39 pm

Even if you won’t be affected by this weekend’s nor’easter Nemo, it’s a good idea to build up your knowledge about winter storms.

This Baby Steps post will help you know where to go to get reliable information on weather patterns, storm updates, and how to prepare.

Baby Steps 1: Subscribe to our Twitter feed @bepreapred_com. 

We try to keep our followers updated by retweeting feeds from FEMA, The Weather Channel, NOAA, CNN, and other storm-watch centers. If you don’t have a smartphone you can still get updates on your computer, or other mobile device, as long as you have access to the internet. Click here to get started.

Baby Step 2: Find out what FEMA region you’re in. Visit FEMA’s website

The FEMA website is full of reliable information. There’s so much information that it’s a little overwhelming at first. You might find it a bit difficult to navigate, but don’t give up. To find out what FEMA region you’re in click here and scroll down to your state. Click on the map of your region and you’ll be taken to specific information about FEMA in your area.

Baby Step 3: Bookmark these sites for updates

Here are the websites we use for up-to-date information about predicted and current storms.

Baby Step 4: Read these informative pieces from our archive

Baby Step 5: Contact us with any questions you have.

We’re here to help so do not hesitate to get in touch with us! We’d love to answer your questions, swap ideas, point you to products, and help you prepare in anyway we can. Here’s how to get a hold of us:

For our readers in Nemo’s path, be safe this weekend! 

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 8, 2013, 8:09 pm

February is all about sharing the love. If you’re lucky enough to have a group of like-minded friends and family you probably already have a group account with us. If you’re flying solo, look for preppers in your area. Preppers benefit by banding together to make large purchases; we offer discounts to groups who buy in bulk. We’re serious about getting you the best deal possible so we’ll give you free shipping if you meet the minimum purchase order. Click here for details.

Feeling the love for group orders? Check out the February group specials:

  1. Freeze-DriedStrawberry Slices. Buy at least 12 cans and get 26% off. This is one of our most popular fruits and works well in drinks, smoothies, baked goods, and salads. It can also be used a natural sweetener! On sale for $14.00 each.

  2. 18 Pack of MRE Pears. A great addition to your emergency kits and food storage. Buy at least four 18-packs and get 32% off. These MRE Pears will sell quickly at $22.00—and once they’re gone they’re gone! This item is scheduled to be discontinued so buy yours now.

  3. Evriday Low-Fat Cinnamon Almond Granola Bag. This re-sealable, 7 pound bag is on sale for only $20. At least six bags must be purchased to receive the discount.

  4. Why not stock up on some
    Fresh and Go Travel Toothbrushes? At $1.50 each (when you buy at least 36), these toothbrushes go the distance. The handle is filled with toothpaste and lasts for up to 30 brushings! This item is 49% off – you won’t find it cheaper anywhere else. 

  5. It's warming up in some parts of the U.S. but it's still a good time to stock up on Hand and Body Warmers. Each warmer lasts up to 18 hours and costs only 60¢! Pretty good deal for handy comfort, eh? 

Reminder: Group orders should be placed by February 21, 2013.

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 8, 2013, 3:30 pm

As a potentially severe Nor’easter (dubbed Nemo) threatens the East Coast states, FEMA is encouraging those who may be affected to prepare now for blackouts by gathering supplies for keeping warm, hydrated, and fed. They also suggest getting a radio with a NOAA weather band for staying updated on the latest developments related to the storm.



Some items to think about for keeping warm:

NOAA-capable radios to stay informed:

Kaito Green Voyager On sale for $49.95

If you live in the Northeast, it would be a great idea for you to follow @FEMARegion1 on Twitter for frequent real-time updates.

The National Weather Service feed @usNWSgov is another reliable source of information. 

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 7, 2013, 9:58 pm

As usual, Emergency Essentials is offering great deals on valuable items. This month we’re emphasizing food storage, so look for sales on our combos and long-term supplies. With these deals, you can't help fall in love with food storage! 

We think you’ll love these February specials: (Click here for all February sale items.)

Gourmet 14-Day Food Supply
  1. We’ve created a new combo! The Gourmet 14-Day Food Supply includes a full 2000-calorie per day and a pre-planned menu. You’ll get breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees as well as side dishes and drinks. For $239.99, the Gourmet 14-Day Food Supply is a convenient way to get your basic food storage. 

  2. Our new Meat Essentials Combo
    We also have a new Meat Essentials Combo, on sale for $229.99. We’re excited to offer turkey in this supply of freeze-dried meats. This combo includes one #10 can of turkey, two #10 cans of ground beef, two of chicken, and one of roast beef.   

  3. For the meat lovers in your family we have a new line up in our Deluxe Supply of Freeze-Dried Meats. Turkey joins the roster of favorites like Italian Meatballs and Sausage Crumbles. It’s not on sale this month, but its normal price is only $499.95.

  4. My Choice Freeze-Dried Vegetable Combo
  5. We haven’t left the vegetarians behind!  The MyChoice Freeze-Dried Vegetable Combo is on sale for $27.99. With six #2.5 cans of summer vegetables you can keep the vitamins coming in, all year round. 

  6. Premium 1600 One-Year Supply 
  7. The most exciting sale is on our Premium 1600 One-Year Supply. This handy combo is a lot like you. It’s a versatile, quick adaptor with good taste that makes life easier for your family, especially during an emergency. The amount of baking and cooking ingredients that come along with the Premium 1600 give you the option to cook from scratch as well as prepare just-add-water meals. It even comes with a can of Garden Seeds! It really is a great deal, on sale for $1749.99 this month. Join the thousands of families who can rest a little easier knowing they’ve prepared. 

February is a great month to fall in love with your food storage, or if you don’t have any, to start building up your supply. We’re here to help so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. You can post a comment below, or call our Customer Service reps at 1-800-999-1863.

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 7, 2013, 3:30 pm

Food storage might not be your go-to resource for foods you love to eat. But that's likely because you haven't spent much time using it—maybe you're intimidated or you feel that you're too busy. So that’s why this month we’re making it our theme to help you fall in love with food storage. All month long we’ll be featuring food storage sale items, our best-loved food storage recipes, and tips for incorporating food storage into your everyday meals.

To get you started, here are three of our favorites:

Sale Item: Year Supply of Basics (on sale for $749.99; regularly $910.50)
This is a great way to establish the foundation of your customized food supply. This combo feature staples that you can rely on; two kinds of wheat, rice, oats, lentils, 8 different kinds of beans, peas, popcorn, milk, honey, sugar, salt, shortening powder, and (my favorite for added versatility) garden seeds.

Recipe: Food Storage Breakfast Casserole
This breakfast casserole is a hit with several of the finicky eaters in our office. We’re confident it’ll be a hit at your house. It’s made completely from food storage items so be prepared to fall completely in love after your first bite.

Tip: Prep Daddy’s Easiest Way to Use Wheat
In this post from our archives Prep Daddy prepares wheat in the easiest way possible. I used to make this when I was on a student budget and MAN it’s tasty! I didn’t even need to add sweetener because I felt the wheat had a honeyed flavor of its own. Click here for more tips.

Check out these three and let us know what you think. Keep coming back all month for more great ideas on how to fall in love with your food storage.
Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 6, 2013, 7:54 pm
Are you prepared for an earthquake? Check out the Great UtahShakeOut insert created by the Deseret News, Emergency Essentials (go team!), Be Ready Utah, and the Utah Division of Emergency Management. It has loads of tips, information, and games that will help individuals and families prepare for earthquakes or other emergency situations.

The insert is available online below; you can also get free printed copies at our Utah store locations. The Great Utah ShakeOut is happening on April 17th at 10:15 a.m. Register today, and click the link below to learn how you can prepare.

View the GreatUtah ShakeOut 2013 insert here. (The link should take you to a page that looks like the image below. That will be page 1 of the 12-page insert.)

Not in Utah?

Did you participate in your state’s ShakeOut last year? Have you registered for this year’s ShakeOut? Clickhere to see if/when a ShakeOut is happening in your area.

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 5, 2013, 11:54 pm
It turns out that it’s not too early to teach your toddler what to do in an emergency. Today’s guest post shares several solid ideas that will help you teach your child about crisis situations.
Teaching small children how to reach emergency services is less of a practical challenge and more of an emotional one, though there are some ways to simplify the process even further to make sure that they gain this much-needed skill.

You’ll definitely want to read the whole post here: Let us know if you’ve tried these techniques at home and if you have any other suggestions.

Two other helps: 
  1.  Click here to download our Emergency Information for Caregivers. It’s a great way to inform and prepare your babysitter.

  2.   Even if this does nothing more than prove to your kids that you can’t get any nerdier, incorporate this song into your discussion. Have fun! 

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 5, 2013, 4:00 pm

Hi, friends!

How did January go for you? Did you save any pennies towards prepping gear or food storage?

I started off with the existing spare change I had in my jar and spent this month adding my leftover cash to it. There wasn't much to spare this month, but here’s the breakdown:

Starting balance (what was already in the change jar):  $5.48
What I added in January: $2.22
New Total: $7.70

So, with $7.70 available to spend on preps, I decided to get some things that I’ve been meaning to buy for a while:

First, I got an SOS 3600-calorie food ration barto put in my car emergency kit. I’ve got a whole car kit put together, but until now I’ve just had some granola bars in there—which is better than nothing, but not great.

The SOS bar will stay safe and edible even in extreme temperatures, so I can leave it in my car during the freezing Utah winters and hot Utah summers and it will still be in good condition if I ever need it. It provides one person with 1200 calories per day for three days.

I also got two single-dose packets of Burn Free Gel. I love this stuff. I got a terrible sunburn a few years ago (when I thought sunscreen was lame—little did I know!). I tried everything I could think of to help the burn and to deal with the pain, but nothing was really helping. The burn was so bad that I missed two days of work—my legs were so burned and swollen that I couldn't bend them to drive or sit at my desk.

A friend who worked at Emergency Essentials told me to get Burn Free gel and promised me I wouldn't regret it. Boy, was he right. The gel helped almost instantly with the pain, and helped dissipate the burning feeling quickly. I wish I would have known about Burn Free on day one instead of day three or four.

If you've never tried Burn Free, drop everything and get some now. Whether you get a burn from cooking, curling your hair (ladies, you know what I mean), working on the car, or not using enough sunscreen, Burn Free will help soothe and heal your burn. It’s better than anything I’ve ever used, hands down.

So, that's what I bought with what I've saved so far. That left me with $1.01 in my jar, and my goal for February is to add at least $5 to my prepping jar. We’ll see how it goes.

How much did you save in January? Are you going to spend it right away, or save up for a few months to buy something a little bigger?

--Sarah (a.k.a., Urban Girl)

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 4, 2013, 5:31 pm
It is possible to run out of tasty treats, especially on Super Bowl Sunday. Your food storage might save the day in this kind of "emergency".

We've selected some game-day favorites from our recipe archives.

Navajo Taco 

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 2, 2013, 4:05 pm
It’s February and before we kick off this month of falling in love here are three super simple, super small baby steps for you to breeze through this weekend.

1. Learn the difference between dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods.
   Dehydrated= most of food’s water is removed naturally or via heat

   Freeze-Dried = food is flash frozen, placed in a vacuum chamber and sublimated

   (Sublimation= ice is changed directly from a solid to a gas and removed)

   What's the difference? Dehydration is the best way to get rid of moisture for grains, legumes,
   baking mixes, and some fruits and vegetables (like carrots). Freeze-drying retains much of 
   the foods' appearance, flavor, nutritional value, and it stores longer.   

   Read up on the difference in our 15 Tips for Food Storage Shopping.

   Bonus points for someone who tries either a dehydrated or freeze-dried food for the first time!   
   Click here for recipes suggestions then tell us about your experience in the comments below.

2. Add one month’s worth of these non-perishable items to your supply:
Toilet paper

Personal toiletries like diapers, baby wipes, adult 
briefs, sanitary napkins, tampons 

ReadyBath Wipes (These are pre-moistened 
            antibacterial washcloths for bathing.) 

3. Learn how to shut off the gas and water to your home.
DON’T actually turn off the gas though, ‘cause no one wants to wake up to a cold shower. Plus in your area you might have to pay the gas company to come turn it back on. (Might be good practice for using some of your other prepper gear though...)

Click here for instruction from The Family Handyman

Make sure you have these tools and hang them where they’ll be used.

                Bung wrench
                Emergency Gas Shut Off Wrench

Easy, right?

Which one are you going to do? 

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: February 1, 2013, 3:30 pm

Hosting a big Super Bowl Sunday extravaganza? Still trying to figure out what to feed a house full of football fans?

These dips will be a big hit with your crowd. Plus they’re easy to make and 100% of the ingredients are from food storage (so you can party even if the power goes out)!

Steph and I created these recipes in the Emergency Essentials Test Kitchen this week, and they got great reviews from our coworkers--especially the Taco Dip (yum... that one was my personal fave, too).

Happy dipping!


Bacon and Cheddar Dip

1 cup water

Note: All ingredients should be added dry unless otherwise noted.
Combine all dry ingredients except cheddar and bacon. Stir in water until the dip base is smooth. Add the cheddar and bacon, and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until bacon bits are softened. Add additional water as needed to achieve your preferred consistency.

This dip will thicken as it sits, so you may need to add liquid just before serving (water, milk, or additional beef broth)

Variation: Omit potato flakes, reduce water by 2 Tbsp. Add liquid as needed before serving.

Serve with pretzels, crostini, crackers, or chips.

Tomato Bacon Dip

1 ½ cups water

¼ cup Freeze Dried Tomatoes + just enough water to cover them in small bowl

Note: All ingredients should be added dry unless otherwise noted.
Combine all dry ingredients except tomato dices and bacon bits. Mix until smooth. Add tomato dices and bacon bits and mix until fully incorporated into the dip. Add water as needed to achieve desired consistency before serving.

Serve with pretzels, crostini, crackers, or chips.

Taco Dip

1 tsp. Provident Pantry Taco Seasoning (or to taste)

1 2/3 cups water

1 cup Freeze Dried Tomatoes + enough water to cover

Note: All ingredients should be added dry unless otherwise noted.
Combine all dry ingredients except the Taco Mix, cheddar, and Tomato dices. Add 1 2/3 cups water, and mix until smooth. Add Taco Mix and cheddar; set aside.

Put dry tomato dices in a small bowl and add water until the tomato dices are just covered. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until hydrated.

Pour off about 1/3 of the water from the tomatoes, and add the tomatoes and remaining water to the dip. Mix well. Add liquid before serving as needed.

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Author: Emergency Essentials
Posted: January 30, 2013, 10:36 pm
Super Bowl XLVII is just around the corner. Here’s a list of 47 ways that we think prepping relates to the Super Bowl. Make sure to click on the links.

  1. Nawlins is ready, are you? 
  2. Prepping, like Super Bowl 47, is a family affair
  3. Modify one of these checklists to prep for your Super Bowl Party.  
  4. Check the weather report.
  5. Check the hurricane status
  6. Make sure you don’t run out of meat on game day. 
  7. How to watch the game if the electricity goes out
  8. Have back up tuned and ready to go.
  9. Cook up a mean Shrimp Jambalaya.
  10. Or Creole Corn Casserole.
  11. Superpails for the Super Bowl.  
  12. Stay warm during the tailgate parties. 
  13. Paracord for your own Harbaugh “Do Not Cross” line. 
  14. To complete your outfit as Sourdough Sam click here and here
  15. Make some noise for your team. 
  16. Blind the guys cheering for the other team. 
  17. For just about everything. Including opening cans and bottles
  18. To get into the mood: New Orleans Flavored Rice with Shrimp and Ham
  19. If you run out of your famous Tuna Casserole click here
  20. Cause you’ll want flavor.
  21. So he’ll never have to leave the TV.
  22. Happy toes, happy Super Bowl. 
  23. So that you can pretend you’re in the stadium. Even though it’s a superdome. 
  24. To help you feel like a real 49er.
  25. Mountain House Chili Mac. ‘Nuff said.  
  26. If you run out while making your Super Killer Double-Decker Bowl Brownies. 
  27. Black Bean Brownies. Sounds weird but he’ll eat anything today. 
  28. If your Poe costume needs wings
  29. Because people will be thirsty. 
  30. Because people will be really thirsty
  31. Easiest Bowl food ever.
  32. Know what to do if the levees break. 
  33. When you root for your team are you more this or this 
  34. In case a fight breaks out.
  35. ‘Cause the hospital will be busy.
  36. For marking your house as the Ravensdome
  37. For those rooting for the 49ers
  38. For the day after.
  39. When your trash talk gets you burned.
  40. Just in case a rival “accidentally” drops yours in the toilet
  41. For when you lose that bet and they make you drink something weird.
  42. It ain’t over till the Spicy Refried Bean Dip is gone.
  43. Spouse cheering for the other team = you sleeping on couch? Have this on hand.
  44. Because you never know who’s going to lose it. 
  45. Cause it bites and stings when your team loses.
  46. For when your spouse passes out from joy. Or agony. 
  47. Parting gift for the losing team’s wounded hearts
    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 30, 2013, 12:47 am

    One of the most meaningful resolutions you make this year might be to spend more time with your family. Research shows that people with satisfying family interactions are healthier, not to mention happier and more successful.*

    We’re not psychologists but from our preparedness perspective we’ve come up with some good ways for you to spend more time with your family and friends.  

    1.     Make more meals from food storage.

    You’d be surprised at the versatility and flavor that you can get out of a #10 can!  We sell a lot of products that are very easy to prepare. Buying a just-add-water entrée can save you hours in the kitchen. Next time you’re hankering for a hearty, delicious meal but don’t have the oomph to cook it, whip up a Preparedness Pantry meal. Even if you prepare something from individual ingredients all you have to do is heat water and stir. And though we say so ourselves, our Beef and Barley soup recipe is pretty darn good. Click here for recipes.

    2.     Plan and execute an emergency drill.

    What’s that old adage? The family that plans together sticks together? Going through an emergency drill, for any emergency scenario, can teach you a lot about your family. You might learn which of your kids has a knack for knot-tying, your wife may turn out to be a dab hand at fire starting, or you might find that your husband needs to spend a little more time practicing his first aid. Click here for help planning.

    3.     Build an indoor shelter.

    Nothing says “cozy night in” like cuddling under a shelter made of couch cushions and blankets. Knowing how to build an indoor shelter may help keep you warm in a winter crisis. The point of this tiny heat shelter is to maximize your body heat to keep you warm. The important thing is to only leave enough room for each person. This pretty much leaves you with family discussion for entertainment. Ask for your family’s favorite vacation memories, or their favorite birthday. Tell funny stories, like the time Uncle John made you laugh so hard your sides hurt. Get Mom to do her best Dad impersonation, and see how long it takes Dad to start snoring. See our post for instructions on how to build the shelter.

    4.    Practice your survival skills on a family camping trip.

    The trick here is to figure out what you know so you can work on what you don’t know. Can you build a fire? Can you cook more than hot dogs and s’mores over an open fire? Do you know how to pitch a tent? Can you hang a clothesline so that it won’t fall? Can you identify poisonous plants? Do you know what to do if someone gets a puncture wound? Do you even know what a puncture wound is?

    If your family thinks roughing it is what happens when you sleep in a hotel, start out easy. Try spending the night in your back yard, or pick a campsite that you can drive to. Make sure to include foods that your family likes, and think of some games that will help them learn skills and have fun. Click here for a list of skills.

    We would love to hear how these activities worked out for you, your family, and your friends. Personalized experiences are always the most memorable so we’d also really like to hear about any preparedness-related activities that you’ve come up with. Most of all, if you get to spend more time with your family and friends let us know in the comments below!  


    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 28, 2013, 8:15 pm

    Thanks for your responses to our first February giveaway. You guys are troopers! We read about you pushing your van in the rain, running out of gas in the mountains, and a boulder stopping your 300 foot drop. (See our Facebook Page Jan 11, 2013 and our blog post.) Here’s one that stuck with me.

    During the winter of 1998 I was living in Northern Virginia and owned a historic VW bus. One evening after leaving work at 10 pm, I was driving too fast on iced over roads and slid off the road in a rural area. The bus traveled down a snowy hill and smashed into several trees. I broke the tibia bone in my leg and lost conscience for several hours after hitting my head on the solid metal driver’s door. I awoke around 3 am and tried to walk away from the accident, but couldn't because of my leg. I decided my best option was to stay put and had two blankets in the van to try and stay warm. The only food I had was some left over fast food from the previous day that were destined for the trash. It was half a burger, a handful of fries and three packets of ketchup. I ate everything. A driver passing by at 8 am saw the van and stopped to investigate. If he hadn't, I don't think I would have been found for another day or more. I realized that I wasn't prepared enough for that situation. I share what happened to me with all my friends and family in order to prepare them as well.”

    YIKES!! We’re glad you survived! Your story really got me thinking. What I would I have done? Thanks to your stories I’m convinced to spend this weekend prepping. I’m getting an emergency car kit for sure. No more procrastination.

    Baby Step 1: Buying an emergency car kit. But while I’m waiting for my order to arrive, what can I put together? What do I need in order to survive in my car? In addition to the standard car maintenance items of course.

    Uh oh. The standards. Do I even have those? 

    Baby step 2: Make sure I have basic car maintenance items.  These include a tire pressure gauge, a jack, a lug wrench, a spare tire, and jumper cables. (Note to self: buy a spare tire this weekend!) If you don’t have the tools included in the Auto Tool Kit then consider buying the kit. Winterize your car too – stop at your mechanic’s or a lube shop if you need help.

    Third Baby step: Figure out which “extras” I already have at home. Extra backpack to hold everything – check. Extra blanket – check. Extra gloves – check. Extra hat – check. Extra sleeping bag? A tarp or mat (to kneel on when changing the tire)? Flashlight, food...

    … What food have I got at home that I can put together tonight? Some dried fruit, nuts – but those won’t last me long-term. Some granola bars? Those have a lot of sugar for quick energy boosts, but not enough calories to sustain me. I really need one of these high-calorie food bars. They don’t take up a lot of room and they’re sturdy enough to withstand extreme temperatures. It’s no steak dinner, but it’ll keep me alive if I’m stuck in my car for a couple of days. 

    And what do I do about water? If I keep water in the car it’ll freeze. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to keep liquid in my car without it freezing? Should I keep a filter or purifier and try to use snow instead?

    Fourth baby step: Get a map and find alternative routes for my normal drive. If you’re going into the city this weekend, or traveling around your state, take a little time to explore a road you wouldn’t normally take. Even if I’m not stranded, knowing alternate routes will be a big help when freeway traffic is at a stand-still.

    From Google Maps Jan 24, 2013

    If you’ve already done these baby steps, well done! You’re obviously ready to baby step on a more advanced level. Read through Craig’s story again. What would you do if you were stranded and had no means of communication? (i.e., you don’t have a phone, you can’t get service, or it’s dead.) How would you signal for help? Do you have a bright-colored flag or banner? Do you have some kind of whistle or other attention getter (flares, flashlight)?

    What about first aid? Small first aid kits don’t cover broken bones; what do you keep in your car that could help? Could you use a long ice scraper as a splint? Do you have something to secure it with?  What will you do for using the toilet if you can’t move?

    Staying warm and dry is a big deal, especially when injured. Craig had extra blankets, what do you have in your car?  

    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 25, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Hi Folks,

    I’m a new copywriter/blog editor at Emergency Essentials and I’m pretty enthusiastic about prepping. My parents have always followed the core principles of preparedness, like staying out of debt and keeping food storage. My dad toughened up his kids by taking us hiking and camping, making us sleep on the ground (UGH!) and feeding us MREs. I’ve learned a lot of habits and skills from them. Every summer I would spend a week in the mountains learning bush craft like lashing, fire building, cooking, first aid, and orienteering. (Incidentally, even though Sarah’s an Urban Girl now, she did this too.)

    I’ve lived in Honduras where I took bucket baths, India where the electricity went out frequently, and Bulgaria where people lived off their summer canning.  I’m no stranger to thriving in a difficult environment. I’m interested in gadgets and gizmos, delicious food, and eco-conscious approaches to life, so I’ll likely be blogging about the coolest (and latest) prepper technology, recipes and rotating your food storage, and how to recycle-reuse-reduce.

    I love post-apocalyptic movies and books – not because I enjoy disaster, but because I LOVE the ingenuity that humans show during tough times. I know that the stories are fictional, so that’s why I’m eager to hear more of your first-hand experiences. I think problem solving and coming up with low-tech, affordable solutions is exciting.

    Having said all that, when I finally built up my food storage a couple of years ago, I ended up with 4 cases of tuna, a three-year supply of personal toiletries, 5 gallons of water, a tarp, a mosquito net, and 25 feet of rope.

    I have a lot to learn.

    Stay posted to read about things that I learn, cool stuff that I find, and other emergency essentials. I want your input so don’t hesitate to comment on posts!

    Looking forward to our interaction,


    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 24, 2013, 4:00 pm
    Update 1/24 - Giveaway ends January 29th.

    Yesterday Steph posted about eating better and included the Beef Barley Soup recipe we tried out last week (it was delicious). We think you should try it—or experiment with other recipes so you know what you can make with your food storage items.

    In fact, a customer named Jan posted this on our Facebook a few days ago:

    I made enchiladas with a recipe I found at Emergency Essentials with Provident Pantry Freeze dried ground beef (cooked) that I bought at Emergency Essentials and it was delicious! My whole family liked it. Thank you for not only the good products but recipes that you can use the product in. Now I think I am brave enough to use it in a regular recipe because they were great enchiladas!

    Want to try those recipes? Here you go:

    Beef Barley Soup (scroll to the bottom for the recipe)

    To get you started, we’re giving away a #10 can and a MyChoice™ can of Provident Pantry™ Ground Beef. That way you’ve got a MyChoice™ can to experiment with, plus a #10 can to put straight into your storage!

    To win, just comment below or on our Facebook post letting us know what recipe you’ll try out, then fill out the form below (so we can contact you if you’re the winner).

    I can’t wait to hear what you’re going to make. Good luck!


    P.S. If you’re interested in trying out food storage recipes and getting FREE food storage, keep your eyes peeled for a great contest we’ll be launching in the next few weeks. (Hint: It might also be a good idea to brush up on your photography skills in the meantime... but you didn’t hear it from me.)

    Loading... The winner will be contacted via email. If you are the winner and do not respond to our email within 3 business days, you will forfeit your right to the prize and another winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified.
    Contest is open to all customers with a US shipping address; however, free shipping of the Giveaway is included for the winner to the 48 contiguous United States only. For any locations outside this area, the winner is responsible for arranging and paying their own shipping costs. If you purchase a Giveaway item during the giveaway and win, we will send you an additional item or issue you a refund for the product you purchased—whichever you prefer.

    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger or Pinterest. Your entries are going to Emergency Essentials and not to Facebook, Twitter, blogger or Pinterest. Facebook, Twitter, blogger or Pinterest is in no way responsible for any part of this giveaway.

    Employees of Emergency Essentials, Inc. and their immediate family members are not eligible for the giveaway.
    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 23, 2013, 10:09 pm

    I know. I know. You’re groaning, “I make this resolution every year and never keep it.” So let’s broaden the scope. Better doesn't have to mean that you cut calories. What if your resolution to “eat better” combines nutrient-rich food with flavorful food AND uses items in your food storage?  Wouldn't that count as way better? Here are three suggestions for eating better in 2013.

    1.     Sprouts

    Sprouts are awesome. In fact, sprouts are really awesome. Sprouts can grow without dirt or light*, in a very small space, in a few days, without a lot of equipment or time. They can be your fresh vegetable source during an emergency. Sprout seeds can be stored long-term. Most sprouts are packed with nutrients. Some scientists believe that sprouts are powerful cancer fighters, help minimize the symptoms of menopause, and may prevent heart disease.C

    If you’re new to sprouting check out the Kitchen Seed Sprouter (on sale for $10.99). This kit has everything  you need: it comes with draining trays, two sprouting trays, a crisper lid, instructions, and one ounce of certified organic Alfalfa seeds.

    You might also be interested in our new  4-Tray Seed Sprouter. It’s made out of reusable, PBA-free plastic. Your purchase comes with a pack of Alfalfa seeds but look into the Organic Sprouting Seed Combo (radish sprouts are zesty and delicious!). With the 4-Tray Seed Sprouter you can sprout multiple varieties at the same time on separate trays.

            2. Vanilla Powder

    Buy a can of MyChoice™Vanilla Powder and eat better tastingfoods. (Imitation vanilla costs $8.49 and pure vanilla costs $19.99.) Use vanilla powder exactly as you would use liquid vanilla (so 1 tsp of powdered vanilla equals 1 tsp of liquid vanilla). You can add this to so many things – cobblers, cakes, muffins, sweet bread, smoothies, etc. One benefit of vanilla powder is that it’s less expensive. If you buy liquid vanilla in a grocery store you’ll pay about .22$ per teaspoon. When you use MyChoice™ Vanilla Powderit costs you .06$ per teaspoon. That’s a big savings! 

          3.    Pearled Barley and Ground Beef Soup

    Here’s a great recipe that we came up with based on Diana Rattray’s recipe. We used only food storage items and some of the ingredients (beef and barley) are on sale now. Check out our website for pricing.

    Photo by Stephanie Gasser, Emergency Essentials LLC
    Makes approximately ten servings


    2/3 – 1 cup Provident Pantry freeze-dried chopped onion (I really like onions so I put 1 cup)

    1-2 cups Provident Pantry freeze-dried tomatoes(depending on how much you like tomatoes)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    16-18 cups of water (depends on how brothy you want to make it, add more if 18 isn’t enough!)


    ¼-1/2 tsp lemon pepper or

    Pinch of cinnamon or

     1 bay leaf

    ¼ cup minced parsley to garnish

    Put water in the slow cooker, solar oven, or whatever cooking equipment you’ll use.  We used a slow cooker. Let the water heat while you’re gathering ingredients. (If you need to add water during cooking, boil the water first if possible; adding cold water will slow down your cooking time.)  Sort and rinse barley; add to cooker. In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Add to cooker and stir.

    Note: Because you’re making a soup you don’t need to rehydrate the ingredients before use. (That’s why this recipe has so much water. ) The ingredients will float until hydrated – so don’t worry if they’re bobbing around. They’ll settle down and turn into a delicious, hearty soup.

    Cook time for slow cooker: Cook on high for 2.5 hours, or until barley is tender.  

    Conventional (on the stove):  Bring to a boil then let simmer for 1 hour or until barley is tender.

    You can easily make this a vegetarian recipe. Just substitute lentils for the beef and vegetable broth for the beef broth. (Note:  Our beef broth is vegetarian broth with beef flavor, so technically you can keep this ingredient.)


    * If you grow your sprouts in indirect light, or darkness, expose them to sunlight to develop the chlorophyll. That will pack your spouts with even more nutrition. Check out The Sprouting Book for more information.

    The International Sprout Growers Association cites The Annual Review of Nutrition, Cancer Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 22, 2013, 4:18 pm

    By Don W. Pectol, Emergency Preparedness Expert (ret.)

    Partner, Emergency Essentials, LLC

    Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important it is for mankind to be a brotherhood and work together. I would like to take four principles from the following two quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. and apply them to emergency preparedness.

    “But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world–wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.” – Where Do We Go from Here (1967)

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.”-- Strength to Love (1963)

    Principle #1—The ability to “stay awake”

    There is a humorous saying that goes like this: “Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen, and some wonder what happened.”

    There are many people today who are wondering what is happening. They are just awaking to the fact that the world is different today. There are more natural disasters and the news seems to bombard us with stories of political, social, educational, and cultural challenges. With this constant flow of information, we sometimes become desensitized to the tragedies that occur. But we need to “stay awake” and recognize that each of us must prepare for the unexpected. By becoming prepared we need not live in daily fear.

    Principle #2—The ability to “adjust to new ideas”

    The idea of preparing for an emergency is a new idea for many, in fact almost a strange one. It was only a few centuries ago that people living in an agrarian society literally lived off the land and needed to be prepared for not only each year but for each season.  It is simple wisdom that we already accept in many areas in our lives already.  For example, almost every car in America has a spare tire.   Why? Because there is always the possibility that one of the four tires could malfunction or be damaged.  If you are willing to take precautions with your car, should you not consider even more carefully the care of your own family?


    Principle #3—The ability to “remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change”

    The word vigilant means “keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.” When a person awakes to possible dangers and prepares for them he is becoming vigilant.  Imagine you are going on a river rafting trip.  Before doing this it is wise to gain a degree of education and even experience before heading down the rapids. By doing this you are aware of the dangers, and better able to enjoy the journey!

    Principle #4—The ability to “live as brothers” and to become a “true neighbor [who] will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.”

    In 1955 a serious flood hit my little town of Blue Lake in Northern California. I was 6 years old. I remember my father putting me on his shoulder and walking to the bank of the creek next to our home. I remember seeing the water almost ready to flow over the bank and flood our home. He then carried me to my grandparents’ home where we were sheltered and fed. This experience has since become symbolic to me. As he hefted me onto his shoulders, I saw my father putting my life above his, as if he was saying to me, “I will drown before you.” I believe that we will need to be “true neighbors” as Martin Luther King, Jr. said and be willing to “… risk [our] position, [our] prestige and even [our] life for the welfare of others.”

    That is the true spirit of America. We have a beautiful history of being a generous nation and of coming to the aid of others in need.

    I remember talking to a woman soon after the upper Mississippi River flooded in 1997. She was asked by the leader of her congregation to invite other women with food storage to bring it to their church and provide meals for those evacuated in the lower part of town. The women were happy to share their food storage to bless those in need. Their unselfish service united a town and many friendships grew from that experience.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us over and over again that we are a community of intertwined individuals.  We are in need of an awakening.  We must be aware of the world around us.  Prepare your family now, and should an emergency arise be prepared to call everyone family.  

    Author: Emergency Essentials
    Posted: January 21, 2013, 4:10 pm


    We’re glad you are here.  If you are new to preparedness or “prepping”, this is a great place to start.  Please keep reading. 

    Here we’re going to discuss the whys for getting prepared, and recommend some ways to get started.  It can feel daunting, but with a little insight and direction, we hope to arm you with the information you need to move forward and make the preparations that fit you and your situation.

    If you’re a more experienced “prepper” and are looking for specific information, follow the links below to lots of articles, blog posts, and other sites that are brimming with prepping principles, knowledge, tips, and ideas.

    Why prepare?

    If an emergency happened right this minute, how would you fare? Think about how much you depend on an ever-present supply of electricity, water, food, heat, the ability to travel and communicate, and a place to lay our head.  What if—due to circumstances beyond your control—any one or two of those were lost?  What if they all were?

    Most threats come from Mother Nature.  Depending on where you live, earthquakes, hurricanes, ice storms, flooding, or tornadoes can play a major role in people’s lives and plans. Everyone is susceptible to fires, power outages, economic changes or disruptions—and often on a very personal level: job loss, divorce, or physical disability due to accident or illness all too often turns the lives of individuals and families upside down.

    It is Emergency Essentials’ goal to offer products and information that will help you take care of yourself and those who may depend on you should the conveniences we rely on every day be taken away or lost.

    By making the necessary preparations, you can have the confidence of knowing you and your family will have their needs met in an emergency, whether it is an economic, man-made, or natural disaster.

    All of our recommendations are based on several “what ifs”.  What if your water was cut off? Or what if your electricity was cut off?  We’re not talking the occasional thunderstorm or power line maintenance everyone experiences, but something longer lasting, like the 4 million people from Virginia to Ohio that lost their electricity for several days and up to a few  weeks in July of 2012?

    What if your home were so damaged from an earthquake you had to evacuate?  What if your entire community had to evacuate due to flooding such as happened August 29, 2005 in New Orleans? As a result of Hurricane Katrina, everyone had to leave their homes and evacuate via the routes out of town that weren’t already cut off by damage. Those evacuees had to seek temporary shelter for weeks—even months.

    It’s easy to say to yourself, “But it won’t happen to me.” And that may or may not be true—there’s no way to predict what will happen when or where. But consider the following statement by Richard Gist, psychologist for the Kansas City Fire Department:

    “Do not put off the improbable for the unthinkable. […] If there is a one in a million chance of something happening to you then it is happening to 300 people in this country right now.”

    The bottom line is: unfortunate things happen all the time—and you’re the first and best defense for caring for yourself and your family.

    Why Emergency Essentials?

    Emergency Essentials has been helping people prepare for over 25 years.  Our supplies have been there for families and agencies across the nation for a long time.  Our food and gear have provided relief and security for people across the country.  We strive to provide not only quality products but also a “Low Price Guarantee.”

    We think our Mission Statement says it all:

    "To help people prepare. To serve our customers, fellow employees, business associates, etc. in exactly the same way we would want to be served. To use the resources that we have been given to serve, build, and inspire our community."

    So, what does it really take to be prepared, anyway?

    First, you need a plan. Then, some water, followed by an emergency kit, some food, and finally some skills and other supplies.


    Having a plan is fundamental in emergency preparedness; a plan is your road map for navigating the unknown issues that can arise. You and your family should make a plan together and practice it regularly so everyone knows exactly what to do in any emergency. You can download a FREEcustomizable emergency and evacuation plan at Fill it out, give it a whirl, then talk to your family about what worked and what didn’t. Practicing your plan gives you an idea of what is realistic, what steps are unnecessary, and how well each member of the family can follow the plan without help.


    Water is probably the most important thing to consider as you make emergency plans. If water is cut off in an emergency, you’ll need to have water on hand for drinking, cooking, cleaning, first aid, and sanitation. If you had to make the choice between storing water or food, choose water. Without a good source of clean, drinkable water, you simply won’t survive very long. You can last for weeks without food, but much less without water.

    FEMA recommends storing a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day for two weeks.  One gallon will only provide enough water for drinking and light sanitation (e.g., a sponge bath and brushing your teeth), so it’s wise to store more if you have the space.  For comparison, the average person normally uses 70 gallons per day.

    You will need to store portable water designed to take with you in an emergency and permanent water in case the emergency allows you to stay at home. Besides this stored water, you will also need ways to purify and filter water. Should your regular supply become contaminated or run out, you’ll need to find alternate sources, which may or may not be safe to drink without filtering and treatment.  With a good way to filter and purify water, you can use water from local rivers, lakes, or other water sources if necessary.

    (we need a link here to take them to our water pages)


    The next vital part of your preparedness is having an emergency kit to meet your needs during the first days of an emergency.  That means food, water, light, communication, first aid, shelter, warmth, clothing, money, medications, and any other items you need on a day-to-day basis in order to survive.

    You can build your own kit using our kit checklist (available at, or by purchasing a ready-made kit (

    Your kit should be light enough to carry if you have to evacuate on foot, yet comprehensive enough to ensure you can meet your needs.

    Your emergency kit will see you through the first few days of an emergency if you’re unable to stay at home.  FEMA and other agencies used to recommend a 3 day kit, but after Hurricane Katrina, it was obvious that folks waited to get help for much longer than 3 days.  Now the recommendation is to prepare for as many days as is reasonable, considering that you may have to carry your supplies with you.  The main idea is to have what you’ll need until help arrives.


    The next item on your preparedness priority list should be food. In an emergency you’ll need to keep up your strength and energy more than ever, and building up a good supply of food storage is crucial in making that a reality. The basic principles of food storage are the same as with water—your first step is to get enough for the first several days of a crisis as a minimum supply, and increase your supply from there until you have enough for a week, two weeks, and finally up to 3 months of the normal food you eat. Then add the basics: grains, legumes, salt, milk, sugar or honey, oil and garden seeds until you’ve accumulated a year supply. Once you have these basics, add other dehydrated and freeze-dried foods to complete your supply.  While building this supply, think about how many calories each person will need on a daily basis, and plan to meet those requirements.

    Don’t forget to include some cooking equipment in your emergency supplies. At minimum you’ll need a way to boil water, since most food storage requires water for re-hydration. Think about the foods you have (or will have) in storage, and add cooking methods that will best suit your supply and your cooking style.

    Many people have additional worries about food storage—whether they’re doing it right, whether they’re getting quality products, whether  they’re getting a good deal—and they need some extra direction.

    Food storage is the most expensive part of emergency preparedness, so knowledge and research will pay off in significant ways—not only in cost savings, but ensuring that you have food storage that works for your lifestyle and nutritional needs.

    Gaining this knowledge can seem tricky or overwhelming. That’s why Emergency Essentials created the 15 Tips for Food Storage Shopping. These tips will give you a great knowledge base about food storage, so you will know what to look for, what questions to ask, and what items will be the best fit for you and your family. Find the tips here.

    The EEI Difference Emergency Essentials has been a leader in the food storage industry for 25 years—we know what works and what doesn’t, we have established relationships with vendors that allow us to get the best deals for you, and we think it’s important for you to make informed decisions when you shop for food storage. The 15 Tips for food storage are helpful no matter where you buy your food storage, but we think that once you’ve got the 15 Tips down, you’ll see that Emergency Essentials—from our wide selection and great value to our low price guarantee and flat-rate shipping—is the best resource to “Help You Prepare.”

    Other Supplies

    Once you’ve got a 3-day kit, a water supply, and a food supply, you’re well on your way. But there are some other supplies you’ll want to consider in case of an emergency:

    ·         Shelter and bedding (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc.)
    ·         Cash, coins, and an emergency debit or credit card
    ·         A well-equipped First Aid kit
    ·         Medications needed on a daily basis by members of your family
    ·         A way to charge electronics like cell phones, tablets, radios, or other items if the electricity is out
    ·         Candles, lanterns, headlamps, and/or flashlights – plus plenty of extra batteries
    ·         Replacement items for crucial equipment—contacts, glasses, medical equipment, cooking equipment, fuel, etc.
    ·         Items that will help family members relax and stay calm during stressful emergencies: music, games, art supplies, paper and pencils, books, etc.


    Having kits, water, food, and other items stored for an emergency puts you way ahead of the curve. While you’re working on gathering and storing all these supplies (most people can’t do it all at once), also take time to learn some skills that will be useful in an emergency.

    Below are just a handful of skills that would be valuable in an emergency. Think about conditions in your area, and consider what kind of skills might be useful if you had to survive there during different times of the year.

    ·         Knot-tying
    ·         Foraging your local plant life for food or first aid remedies
    ·         Starting a fire
    ·         Cooking from scratch
    ·         Gardening
    ·         Canning and dehydrating foods at home
    ·         Navigation with a compass
    ·         Basic auto repair skills
    ·         CPR and other First Aid skills
    ·         Emergency non-traditional communication skills (like Ham radio operation)

    So, can you do it? Of course you can. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way. We’ve been helping people prepare for 25 years—that’s what we do.

    For more preparedness resources, including products, tips, recipes, and articles, visit us on any of our online pages:

      Happy prepping!

      Author: Emergency Essentials
      Posted: January 18, 2013, 8:17 pm

      During an emergency it’s more important than ever to keep your New Year’s resolution to stay hydrated. You, being a handy, prepared sort, can pull out your trusty Katadyn® and save the day! Katadyn® water filters and purifiers are the real, water-purifying deal—with a Katadyn® filter you can drink water from almost any source.*

      Katadyn’s® headquarters are in Switzerland—and you know how precise the Swiss are. Katadyn®developed a 0.3 micron glassfiber cartridge that removes all sorts of evily-weevilies from water. It takes out sediment, bacteria, spores, cysts, algae, and protozoa. The carbon core improves the taste and odor of your filtered water. If you are hiking, camping, or stuck with nothing to drink but dirty water, this is the filter for you.

      This month the Katadyn®Ceradyn Drip Filteris a great value for $249.99. The trick is to let the Drip Filter do all the work; all you have to do is add the water. It uses three .2 micron ceramic filters (with granulized silver in the core) and the power of gravity to purify water—no pumping required. The Ceradyn holds 2.5 gallons of water, and will filter 39,000 gallons, which makes it great for large-scale water purification. For the amount of water it purifies, the Ceradyn gives you clean water at less than a penny a gallon.

      Ceradyn Drip Filter

      Are you storing water? If not, get cracking! In an emergency situation—say the water main breaks, or a contaminant leaks into the city’s water supply—you will need water. You need water to drink, but also to brush your teeth, wash your hair, prepare meals, flush the toilet, wash clothes, and—heaven forbid—for first aid. That adds up to be a lot of water. On average, one adult needs to drink one liter of water per day in order to survive. If you store enough water for each adult to use one gallon per day, that leaves you just over two liters of water to do everything else.

      Storing water can be tricky. It’s heavy and can take up a lot of space. We can’t change the weight of your stored water, but we can help you maximize the space in which it’s stored. Our water storage barrels provide a space-efficient way to maintain your stationary water storage supply. You can choose a 15, 30, or 55-gallon barrel. These barrels are made of food-grade plastic and they restrict light to help prevent algae growth.

      You’ll need to have a way to access your water, so don’t forget to store an Emergency Siphon or drinking-water-safe hose, and a Barrel Buddies II which opens the barrel (and shuts off your gas!).

      Water is the most important element of your emergency supply. It’s possible to live with little or no food for several weeks. If you don’t have access to clean drinking water your health will decrease rapidly. With a reliable supply of stored water, and a great water filter, you can stay hydrated and weather the most difficult of emergencies.

      * Do not attempt to purify flood water or water that may be contaminated with harmful chemicals. 

      Author: Emergency Essentials
      Posted: January 16, 2013, 6:10 pm

      Steven Stuckey, @geocaching_ham, asked a great question via Twitter.

      “Having a hard time finding anything with low sodium do you have any suggestions?”

      Yes we have suggestions!

      For starters, if you’re in the market for low-fuss, lower-sodium meals, here are four tasty options from Mountain House: Chicken Alfredo (260 mg per serving), Chicken and White Bean Chili (260 mg per serving), New Orleans Style Rice with Shrimp and Ham (290 mg per serving), and Lasagna with Meat Sauce (300 mg per serving). With these meals you get the just-add-water convenience and a lower sodium option in one!

      Here’s something to consider: a lot of food storage is taken from meals originally created for people with active lifestyles; take for example MREs and LRPs. These ready-to-eat and just-add-water meals were created to sustain soldiers in the field. Because soldiers are expending so much energy these meals were specially designed to replace lost calories and sodium.

      MREs and LRPs are a great option for your emergency supplies, so don’t rule them out. Just remember that they are designed to replenish vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs when you’re expending a lot of energy. You won’t want to rely on MREs or LRPs for your entire food storage, but they can be an integral part of your broader strategy.

      Other ready-to-eat meals were created for backpackers and outdoorsy people who are hiking and trekking and climbing all day long. Also consider that in an emergency situation it’s likely that your body will be working overtime to keep you calm, warm, and functioning. You will probably need more sodium to compensate.

      But if you need to be on a low-sodium diet for medical reasons, or have a family history of heart disease and diabetes and are being careful, there are still options for you. (According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, if you have high blood pressure or diabetes you should not consume more than 1500 mg of sodium daily.)

      Meals made from scratch are usually lower in sodium than ready-to-eat meals. Instead of relying on just-add-water or ready-to-eat meals, make staples like whole grains, freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables, and fruits the foundation of your food storage. 

      I’m not a food scientist, but by comparing nutrition labels I’ve figured out that cooking from scratch does make a difference. Making spaghetti from scratch will save you about 220 mg of sodium over preparing freeze-dried spaghetti. Sure it’s not as convenient, but it fits your need. With little effort you’ll develop the skills to create low-sodium meals from your food storage. Click here for recipes.

      If part of your food storage is canned goods, next time you’re ready to make a purchase choose the low-sodium option. You may also consider rinsing your canned food before using it. Draining the juice and rinsing the food can do a lot to decrease the sodium. This works really well with foods like beans and vegetables, especially when adding them to soups or casseroles. I do this all the time and haven’t noticed a decrease in flavor.

      Speaking of flavor, did you know that you can “trick” your body into wanting less salt? When you use more herbs and spices on your foods, you won’t need as much salt because your taste buds are busy savoring other flavors. Some of my favorites are garlic, pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice – ok I could go on forever. I loveflavor.

      If you really need to cut the sodium out of your diet, start substituting vegetables for meat. Mushrooms are a popular substitute, as are lentils and beans. These hearty foods will help fill you up and are much lower in sodium than meats like ground beef.

      The most important thing to remember is that you can make your food storage work for your specific needs and lifestyle. There are always options

      We love getting these kinds of questions! To ask your questions, tweet us at @BePrepared_com. We’ll respond to your tweet and post longer answers here on our blog.

      Now, here’s a question for you:

      How do you use your emergency supplies to make healthy, low-sodium meals for your family? Feel free to share recipes too!

      -- Steph

      Author: Emergency Essentials
      Posted: January 11, 2013, 5:19 pm

      Have you ever been stranded (even in the middle of your own city) with a broken down car in less-than-ideal weather? Or stranded on the freeway? What about a back road?

      We’ve talked about winter travel and winter safety before, so for this week’s giveaway we want to give you some specially selected items that will help you stay warm, dry, and fed if you have to deal with car problems in rain or snow.

      These items were chosen because they can give your current auto emergency kit a boost—or give you a jumping off point for putting a kit together. (Don’t have an auto kit yet? The Roadwise Emergency Kit is a great option.)

      Whether you already have a car kit, or you’re still working on it, this will give you some great items to round it out and keep you safe, warm, and fed if you get stranded on the road.

      These items were specially selected just for this giveaway (and most are on sale this month!):

      Auto Tool Kit - $14.99 in January ($31.69 value)

      Includes locking pliers, an adjustable wrench, a 6-in-1 screwdriver, long-nose pliers, leather/canvas gloves, and emergency tape.

      3600-calorie bar- $5.69 January only ($7.95 value)

      These food ration bars have a nice flavor and are high in calories to give you the energy you need while waiting for help.

      Sportsman HoodedBlanket/Poncho- $12.99 this month (normally $14.95)

      Keeping warm while stranded in the winter will require staying dry. This hooded blanket/poncho can help keep you protected from the elements.

      Warmth Emergency Kit - $11.95 (valued at $14.92)

      These hand and body warmers will help keep you warm until help arrives. 172 hours of total warmth.

      Glow Stick – on sale this month for $2.99 ($6.49 value) – available in Red, Blue, Green, or Multi

      This glow stick can help provide light without worrying about matches, and will flash for over 200 hours—a great option for signaling your location to rescuers if you get stranded in the dark.

      Enter to win one of two ways (one entry per person). Just answer this question in the comments below or on our Facebook post about this blog post:

      Have you ever been stranded on the road and had to wait for someone to rescue you—whether it was a tow truck, a stranger, search and rescue, or your own family? Tell us a little about it in your comment.

      Your comment must be on the blog or Facebook before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 13th 2013.

      We will pick and announce the winner on the blog and on Facebook on Monday the 14th, so check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

      If you are the winner and do not respond to our announcement on the blog and Facebook within 3 business days, you will forfeit your right to the prize and another winner will be chosen.

      All entries will be verified. Contest is open to all customers with a US shipping address; however, free shipping of the Weekly Wednesday Giveaway is included for the winner to the 48 contiguous United States only. For any locations outside this area, the winner is responsible for arranging and paying their own shipping costs. If you purchase a Weekly Wednesday Giveaway item during the giveaway and win, we will send you an additional item or issue you a refund for the product you purchased—whichever you prefer.

      This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger or Pinterest. Your entries are going to Emergency Essentials and not to Facebook, Twitter, blogger or Pinterest. Facebook, Twitter, blogger or Pinterest is in no way responsible for any part of this giveaway.

      Employees of Emergency Essentials, Inc. and their immediate family members are not eligible for the giveaway.

      Author: Emergency Essentials
      Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:14 pm

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