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Monthly Archives: September 2012

  • Food Costs Rising Worldwide

    Drought conditions are increasing the price of food

    On average, the cost of food in the US rises 4% a year. This year because of drought conditions and other factors, global food prices went up 10% in July, and may increase more depending on how successful harvests are this season.

    From June to July this year, corn and wheat prices each rose by 25% while soybean prices increased by 17%, the World Bank said. Only rice prices decreased - by 4%.

    “The [World] Bank warned countries importing grains will be particularly vulnerable [to increasing costs]… The organisation is urging governments to bolster programmes to protect their most vulnerable communities from the increase in the cost of food.

    "We cannot allow these historic price hikes to turn into a lifetime of perils as families take their children out of school and eat less nutritious food to compensate for the high prices," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.[i]


    Most of us have enough to feed our families and at least think about putting up extra food for an emergency. Few of us have had to pull our children out of school to help earn extra money to feed the family.

    If you have extra resources to share, consider making a donation to a charity that provides help for families and children who don’t have enough to eat. Choose one whose mission you believe in, whether it’s a local soup kitchen or something on a national or international scale.

    Another thing to think about is stocking up on crucial grains that are packed for long-term storage or buying heirloom seeds that will allow you to raise your own crops in coming years.

    Have you noticed rising costs in your area? How are you planning to mitigate the effects of rising costs?


    --Urban Girl


    Photo Courtesy of BBC

  • Goal Zero Saves the Day

    Yesterday we had an unexpected event at Emergency Essentials’ corporate office.

    The power went out. Not one of those little blips where the power goes off for thirty seconds. The power went OUT—and we sent everyone home. A power pole nearby had caught on fire, interrupting service completely until the power company could address it.

    It seemed like everything was under control—except for one major issue. One of our server computers was in the middle of updating, and there wasn’t enough backup battery power to keep it running long enough to get updates installed properly.

    I’m no IT genius, but I asked our head IT guru what the consequences would be if a server died—and it involved taking the server elsewhere to get all the files downloaded onto a new server and re-installing the operating system so everyone in the office could get to their saved files.

    Of course we have backup files saved, but since it’s better to keep the server to keep running, guess what we did? We got a Goal Zero®Yeti™ generator (which we ship fully charged—so luckily it was ready to go), and had all the backup power we needed to keep things running.

    Have you thought about what you would do if your business was without power for an hour? Four? Twenty-four?

    Take stock of what your needs would be, and start planning to meet those needs so you’re not caught unprepared.

  • Life-saving Cockroaches?

    Could a cockroach save your life?

    If these researchers have anything to do with it, then it absolutely could.

    Could a cockroach save your life?

    The researchers have found a way to direct a cockroach’s movement by sending wireless signals to its antennae with a tiny back-pack like device strapped to its back.

    “The trick is to fire wireless signals at a roach’s antennae and other sensory organs to guide it to a desired destination. What we do is similar to riding a horse…They use their antenna as touch sensors, so stimulation on one side directs these insects towards the opposite direction.”[i]
    -- Alper Bozkurt, Assistant Professor, NCSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    What does this have to do with you? Because cockroaches can fit into such small spaces, researchers believe that by controlling a roach’s movement, they can send them into compromised buildings and rubble after a disaster to find victims.


    So maybe it’s a good thing cockroaches are so… resilient. (Maybe.)


    --Urban Girl



    [i] http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/09/10/remote-control-roaches-seek-out-disaster-victims/

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