Monthly Archives: January 2013

  • Food Storage Party Dips

    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

    ½ cup Taco Mix (TVP)

    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.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Super Bowl, party, recipes, food storage

  • How to Use Your Prepper Gear During the Super Bowl

    Super Bowl XLVII is just around the corner. Here’s a list of 47 ways that we think prepping relates to the Super Bowl. (Be 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

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Resolve to Spend More Time with Family

    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! 




    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Baby Steps: Build Your Emergency Car Kit

    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.

    Baby Steps: Build Your Emergency Car Kit. Emergency Essentials Blog.


    “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?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency kit, baby steps, Car Preparedness

  • Meet Stephanie

    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,


    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • "Eat Better" Giveaway

    |143 COMMENT(S)

    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.)

    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.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Resolve to Eat Better

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    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 tasting foods. (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 Powder it 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.

    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.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

    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 vigilan
    t 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

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • New to Prepping? Read This First

    |9 COMMENT(S)


    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.


    Damaged House from Tree

    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."


    What does it really take to be prepared?

    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 FREE customizable 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.

    brunette woman drinking water from a bottle on a warm day

    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.

    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 [emergency kit checklist], or by purchasing [a ready-made emergency 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.

    Emergency Kit

    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.

    Big food still-life

    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] (link to insight food storage category) 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.

    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.”

    The depth of your practice can range from quick and short basic skills to more
    intense survival situations. It's up to you and your family to determine what types of practice will work best.
    As your family masters the basics, you can then move to more complex tasks

    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:




    Prep School:




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    Posted In: Emergency Kits, Food Storage, Planning, Water Storage

  • Resolve to Stay Hydrated

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    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 IIwhich 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. 

    Posted In: Uncategorized

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