Monthly Archives: August 2012

  • Friends, I can’t believe it’s been so long! My summer just flew by—did yours? Well, the Preparedness Baby Steps are coming back every week, so let’s get back into the swing of things, shall we?

    This weekend let’s get some of the very basic Preparedness Baby Steps checked off our lists:

    1. Make an emergency and evacuation plan.

    A good emergency plan will cover all potential scenarios, like a flood, fire, earthquake, or other potential emergencies in your region.

    Be sure to include the following items in your emergency plan:

    • How each person will get out of the house, if needed
    • Where to meet if you must leave the house
    • Contact information for reaching the designated out-of-area contact person

    Click here to download or print a free example fire escape plan and a customizable emergency & evacuation plan.

    2. Have an emergency plan drill.

    Whether you’re creating your plan for the first time or you’ve had one for a while, have an emergency drill with your housemates or family this weekend. It should only take a few minutes.

    We suggest a three-part practice:

    1.          A quick review of the plan early in the weekend, along with designating a “drill signal” so everyone knows when the drill begins
    2.          Practice the plan at an unexpected time when everyone is home         Review the plan, then make changes and updates based on everyone’s experience and feedback

     

    3. Learn how to use a new piece of survival gear.

    Is there a piece of survival or emergency preparedness gear you bought but don’t really know how to use? Or something you WANT to buy and learn how to use?

    Take care of that this weekend.

    Me? I’m buying the Auto Emergency Kit Combo that includes an Auto Buddy™ today, and I’m going to approach a local junkyard about going in and practicing using the window spike to break car windows (stress reliever and preparedness practice in one—bonus!). Then I’ll have an idea of how much muscle I need to break a window if I’m ever stuck in my car or it gets submerged in water.

    Come back here after the weekend and let me know how it went!

    --Urban Girl

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps

  • What do you think it would take to get more people to prepare for potential disasters? Time and again, natural disasters catch people off guard. Thankfully, officials in disaster prone areas are prepared and remind us to do the same.

    An earthquake swarm (multiple quakes happening in a short period of time) continues to shake the small Southern California town of Brawley, about 130 miles east of San Diego. Since Saturday, more than 400 earthquakes occurred ranging in magnitude from 1.0 to 5.5. The quakes prompted many residents to evacuate their homes, some staying overnight in a Red Cross shelter located in a gymnasium at Imperial Valley University.[i] So far, there are no reports of injury.

    One San Diego news channel reported that the quakes led San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Assistant Chief Ronnie Hicks to issue a reminder for residents to prepare for emergencies. The SDFD cited a national study that found about one third of households have an emergency plan and that family members know of or have emergency kits.[ii] This is great news. Perhaps we could all take a cue from the SDFD and use this opportunity to think about our own preparedness and help others do the same.

    Do you know the types of hazards in your area? Are you prepared to evacuate in an emergency? Do you have a place to go? These are questions we should all answer for ourselves. Thankfully, emergency officials work hard in order to prepare for an emergency response. Still, when the time comes, how will you respond? To find out more about emergency preparedness in your state, visit BePrepared.com.

    [image source: Los Angeles Times]


    [i] http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/earthquake-swarm-prompt-emergency-declaration-in-brawley.html

    [ii] http://www.10news.com/news/31389775/detail.html

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • iStock_000011875580XSmall_jam

    Strawberry Jam

    5 Cups Provident Pantry Strawberries, Crushed

    7 CupsProvident Pantry White Sugar

    1 Box Fruit Pectin (I use Sure Jell)

    1. Prepare pint jars, rings and lids.
    2. Fill water bath canner ½ full and begin heating.
    3. I crush my fruit with a potato masher. It leaves more of the fruit intact.
    4. Measure sugar, then place into a separate bowl. Be sure to measure exactly; any changes will cause your jam to fail.
    5. Place mashed strawberries and pectin into heavy sauce pot and heat to rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) over high heat.
    6. Stir in sugar and a walnut sized piece of butter (to prevent foaming) stir constantly and return to full rolling boil for exactly 1 minute.
    7. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
    8. I let my jam sit for about 5 minutes to prevent the fruit rising to the top after I pour it into the jars.
    9. Pour into jars leaving 1/8” headspace, wipe rims and place prepared lid and ring on jar.
    10. When you have all jars filled place them into the water bath canner, be sure they are covered by 1” of water. Bring canner to full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes.
    11. When processing is complete carefully remove jars and place them on a towel on the counter to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
    12. After 24 hours the jars should have sealed. You can now remove the rings and wipe down the jars. The rings are not necessary for storage but you can put them back on if you like.
    13. Store jam in a cool dark place.

     

    Peach Jam

    4 Cups Provident Pantry Peaches, finely chopped

    2 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice

    5 ½ Cups Provident Pantry White Sugar

     

    1. Prepare pint jars, rings and lids.
    2. Fill water bath canner ½ full and begin heating.
    3. Measure sugar, then place into a separate bowl. Be sure to measure exactly, any changes will cause your jam to fail.
    4. Place chopped peaches, lemon juice and pectin into heavy sauce pot and heat to rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) over high heat.
    5. Stir in sugar and a walnut sized piece of butter (to prevent foaming) stir constantly and return to full rolling boil for exactly 1 minute.
    6. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
    7. I let my jam sit for about 5 minutes to prevent the fruit rising to the top after I pour it into the jars.
    8. Pour into jars leaving 1/8” headspace, wipe rims and place prepared lid and ring on jar.
    9. When you have all jars filled, place them into the water bath canner, be sure they are covered by 1” of water. Bring canner to full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes.
    10. When processing is complete carefully remove jars and place them on a towel on the counter to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. After 24 hours the jars should have sealed.
    11. You can now remove the rings and wipe down the jars. The rings are not necessary for storage but you can put them back on if you like.
    12. Store jam in a cool dark place.

    Grape Juice for Jelly

    1. You need about 3 ½ pounds of grapes per batch of grape jelly, I use concord.
    2. Place them in a steam juicer and process according to your steamers’ directions.
    3. When you have 5 cups of prepared juice then you can begin making your jelly.
    4. I usually make enough juice for several batches of jelly all at once. This saves time and space on my stove.

    Grape Jelly

    5 Cups Prepared Grape Juice

    7 Cups Provident Pantry White Sugar

    1. Prepare pint jars, rings and lids.
    2. Fill water bath canner ½ full and begin heating.
    3. Measure sugar, then place into a separate bowl. Be sure to measure exactly, any changes will cause your jelly to fail.
    4. Place prepared juice and pectin into heavy sauce pot and heat to rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) over high heat.
    5. Stir in sugar and a walnut sized piece of butter (to prevent foaming) stir constantly and return to full rolling boil for exactly 1 minute.
    6. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
    7. Pour into jars leaving 1/8” headspace, wipe rims and place prepared lid and ring on jar.
    8. When you have all jars filled place them into the water bath canner, be sure they are covered by 1” of water.
    9. Bring canner to full rolling boil and process for 5 minutes.
    10. When processing is complete carefully remove jars and place them on a towel on the counter to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. After 24 hours the jars should have sealed.
    11. You can now remove the rings and wipe down the jars. The rings are not necessary for storage but you can put them back on if you like.
    12. Store jelly in a cool dark place.

    --Dawn

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • I always get so excited when I see the fruit on my trees begin to ripen and weigh down the branches or my grapes begin to get that deep purple color. These are the unmistakable signs that jam- and jelly-making season is just about here. Jam is also a great way to get started if you are new to canning. It is very simple and the processing times are much shorter. The basics for canning apply here but these are some specific tips to making perfect jam and jelly.

      1. Always use the best fruit; slightly under-ripe is better than slightly over-ripe. Pectin levels are higher in slightly under-ripe fruit.
      2. Table sugar is just fine for making jam or jelly. Preserving sugar is only necessary if you choose not to use pectin. Fruits have naturally-occurring pectin and will set on their own, but it will need to be boiled much longer (sometimes over an hour). This lengthy process can cause the fruit to taste scorched; it will also look darker.
      3. I always use store-bought pectin. This one little box will ensure that your jam or jelly sets perfectly and decreases the amount of time that you need to boil your fruit.
      4. Dissolve the sugar completely. If you don’t, the jam or jelly will be grainy. You can test this by stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon then pull it out and look at what has coated the back of the spoon. If it is clear and you don’t see any grains of sugar then it has dissolved completely. I usually do this a couple of times just to make sure.
      5. Only make one batch at a time. Never double the recipe, the fruit will not set up.
      6. When your fruit is boiling a foam or scum will form on the top to keep this down just add a walnut sized pat of butter and it will disappear. Skimming the scum works but you end up losing too much of your fruit.
      7. Let your jam settle before bottling for about 15 minutes. This will prevent the fruit from rising to the top.
      8. Jams and jellies tend to spatter when cooking so wear an apron or old shirt and always use a long handled spoon for stirring.
      9. An easy way to test the “set” on your jam or jelly is to keep a couple of spoons in a glass of ice water near you. When you have boiled your fruit for the suggested time drop a teaspoon full onto one of the cold spoons. If it gets wrinkly or forms a skin on top then it is ready. If not just boil for 5 more minutes and test again.
      10. Like any canning you do, be sure to have everything you need together before you begin. Also read your jam or jelly recipe entirely before you start just to make sure you are ready; once you start cooking you can’t stop or walk away.
      11. Always process in a water bath canner. It only takes about 5 minutes but will make sure that your jam or jelly is safe to store.
      12. Last but not least, always remember that if your first try doesn’t quite work out a thin jam or jelly always makes a great topping for ice cream, waffles, pancakes or a little something special to add to a smoothie.

    Making jam and jelly is one of my favorites. I just love seeing all of those jars filled with beautiful colors lined up on my shelves. It’s food storage gold!

      <p >--Dawn

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Sometimes customers love our products for reasons we didn't expect. Check out this great review of our applesauce from Karen in Colorado. --Sarah

    PRODUCT NO:

    FS F105

    PRODUCT NAME:

    Applesauce - 30 oz



    The only kind of applesauce we like is a brand that contains HFCS [editor's note: High Fructose Corn Syrup]. Wanting to get away from that I decided to try this and was extremely pleased. The texture is a bit different so put it in the blender with a bit of sugar and some cinnamon. Delicious...even my picky husband liked it. I will be buying this as my main source of applesauce from now on.

    -Karen, CO

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • These unsolicited emails came to my inbox this week, and they made my day—I thought I would share them with you.

    First, from Penny…

    Why I Only Buy from Emergency Essentials

    1.   Easy checkout - first time, every time!
    2.   Unmarked boxes - security in shipping
    3.   FAST response!  I order... 2 minutes later I get my confirmation.
    4.   Reliability.  Quality products, I know I don't have to contact you with problems.
    5.   Huge selection... important in "rounding out" my storage. And finally... your email specials. :)

    Sincerely,

    Penny

    …and Anonymous in California said…

    “I’ve placed several orders through this site and I’ve never had any problems with any of their products being fresh, tasty or arriving in a timely fashion. All of their DH and FD products are packed full of flavor and have a long shelf life. I did receive some of the canned water in a previous shipment and several of them were dented pretty badly but they replaced them and I got to keep the dented cans. This is a top notch company which sells quality products and stands by what they sell unlike some other companies. For instance, I had a problem with a competitor’s products being shipped late with dented products and they would not replace them nor hear my case. I would never order from that company again but I would definitely order from Emergency Essentials (beprepared). Like I said this is a wonderful company and I can’t say enough nice things about them or the products they sell. Thank you Emergency Essentials.”

    –Anonymous, CA

    We love feedback from our customers, and this is the type of experience we want everyone to have when they interact with Emergency Essentials—whether it’s online, by phone, or in our stores.

    --Sarah

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Image Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSBRE86U0C520120731#a=1

    India experienced one of the biggest power outages in history from July 31 to August 2 leaving over 700 million people without electricity for several hours. An outage of this scale seems unimaginable in the U.S., but only one month before India’s blackout, storms knocked out power for over 3 million customers in the Eastern and Midwest U.S.[i] We’ve all experienced power outages of a few minutes or hours, but what about a few days? Are you prepared? Despite the scale of the India blackout, those with alternative energy sources were virtually unaffected. As one news story informs us, “Five of India’s biggest electricity users generate 96 percent of their requirement.”[ii] These companies collectively spent billions of dollars building their own private power stations. [iii]Even though the average person lacks the funds to build a full scale power plant for his or her personal use, having a backup portable generator is in reach for most of us.

    One village in India was unaffected by the blackout because they were completely off-grid. Meerwada is a remote village that received electricity for the first time last year, generated by a solar power station.[iv]  With the price of solar panels dropping each year, having some solar power is a real possibility for many of us. Solar powered generators like the [GoalZero™ Yeti 1250 Solar Generator] store enough power to run larger appliances like refrigerators and freezers and don’t use fuel. Goal Zero™ also makes smaller [solarpowered battery charging devices] that can power smaller devices and charge rechargeable batteries and cell phones. Large or small, some type of solar backup power could prove invaluable in a power outage.


    [i]http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/01/us-usa-weather-storm-idUSBRE85T02U20120701

    [ii]http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-02/ambani-tata-islands-shrug-off-grid-collapse-corporate-india.html

    [iii] Ibid.

    [iv]http://ibnlive.in.com/news/as-power-grid-collapse-solar-village-shines/277841-3.html

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Image source: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/index.php

    Right now, Northern California and Idaho are the areas of the U.S. hardest hit by wildfires. How do I know this? Did I hear it on the news? Not exactly. I went to activefiremaps.fs.fed.usand looked at the Active Fire Map. This useful map is run by the USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC). Using satellite technology, this map plots the locations of major fires in the U.S. and Canada.

    If you’re like me, you want to know your family members are safe, wherever they may be. Not long ago, my brother-in-law who lives in Utah went mountain climbing in Colorado. The day of his climb we heard news of wildfires in Colorado. Of course, we were all worried about him, but didn’t know the exact location of the fire. Thankfully, the fire was far from his location. If we’d known about the Active Fire Map we would’ve avoided a lot of worry. With so many wildfires in the U.S. the Active Fire Map is a useful tool. Learn about wildfire safety at BePrepared.com.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • After reading through Dawn's tips in Dehydrating Basics, are you ready to get started?

    In addition to drying plain fruits and veggies, or making plain fruit leathers, check out these dehydrating recipes Dawn loves. Let them inspire you to make dehydrated foods that are perfectly suited to your taste.

    iStock_000010279954XSmall_smoothie

    Creamy Fruit Leather

    6 Cups Fruit – Apples, Strawberries or Peaches (You can use any fruit you like or even a combination)

    1 Cup Yogurt – Choose a flavor that complements your fruit

    Puree in blender of food processor until smooth.  Spread on fruit leather trays and dehydrate until leathery.  You want them to be pliable but not too sticky.

    Teriyaki Beef Jerky

    4 Lbs. London Broil

    Marinade -

    2 Cups Teriyaki Sauce

    ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce

    1 Tbs Liquid Smoke

    1 Tbs Onion Powder

    1 tsp Garlic Powder

    Mix marinade ingredients together in a measuring cup and set aside.  Slice the London broil, crosswise to the grain to desired thickness and place in a large container.  Pour the marinade over the meat and toss to coat.  Cover and place it in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

    The next day drain the marinade off of the meat.  Before placing the meat on the mesh liners in the trays of your dehydrator quickly place them on top of some paper towels to remove the excess moisture.  This will help prevent dripping.  Dry at 150 degrees until the meat has dried out.  If you like it to still be a little soft just remember that it won’t store as long and may need to be put into the refrigerator.

    Tomato Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce “Roll Ups”

    This recipe might need a little explanation.  I take either tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce and spread it on my fruit leather trays.  Dry it just like a fruit roll.  It is finished when it is still pliable but not sticky.  I use these for camping and back packing.  I roll them up and put them in zip top bags.  They are very light and take up very little room in my gear.  I just add hot water and they re-hydrate perfectly.  This way we can enjoy spaghetti on our outings without adding extra weight or having to carry out an empty can or glass jar.  It’s super convenient!

    Salt and Vinegar Chips

    2 Large Baking potatoes

    Vinegar Powder

    Salt

    Scrub potatoes, you can peel them if you like and slice thinly.  Place sliced potatoes into a large bowl of cold water with ¼ cup lemon juice.  Let soak for 5 minutes.  Drain potatoes and pat dry.  Place sliced potatoes onto mesh liners on trays and sprinkle with vinegar powder and salt.  Dry at 140 degrees until crunchy.  Times vary based on the thickness of your slices.  These are much healthier than the fried version and very yummy.

    iStock_000015274686XSmall_PotatoChips

    Happy dehydrating!

    Want to make dehydrated foods, but don't have any recipes? Check out our chicken jerky, tomato sauce leather, and unstuffed peppers recipes for tips and steps for making your own dehydrated treats.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: recipes, dehydrating food, preserve food, dehydrating, preserving food

  • A new earthquake warning system  at Cal Tech detected two 4.5-magnitude earthquakes near Yorba Linda, California on August 7 and 8. It was the first time any device detected quakes before they hit. Sound great, right? Who wouldn’t want a service like that? But the warning system detected the first quake a mere nine seconds before the ground shook. The second warning came four seconds before the quake. Even though this breakthrough shows that earthquakes can be detected before they happen, nine seconds isn’t much of a heads up. That isn’t enough time for anyone to prepare. Maybe this prototype earthquake detection technology will lead to systems that predict quakes in enough time to make a difference. In the meantime, make sure you’re prepared if you live in an earthquake-prone area. Learn more about earthquake preparedness at beprepared.com.

     


    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/08/08/yorba-linda-quakes-detected-by-new-early-warning-system/

    Posted In: Uncategorized

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