Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • Best Small Generator

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    If you’re using, or are in the market for, gas-powered generators here’s a review by Popular Mechanics.

    Which Small Generator is the Toughest?

    Generators are an important item that should be in your emergency supplies. The generators reviewed by Popular Mechanics are all portable (an important feature!) and provide a steady stream of power.

    Thanks Instapundit for the link!


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: best small generator, gas power, fuel, storage, power, load, portable, Popular Mechanics

  • If you're just getting started in preparedness, one of the first things you'll need to think about is an emergency kit (or bug out bag). Check out the article (plus a video) linked below, where Matt talks about his first efforts with an emergency kit and the importance of customizing it to your needs.

    As I dug deeper into the topic and began assembling things I needed for the BOB (as well as Bug-IN supplies for home) it all just made sense. While Armageddon may not be at hand there are other considerations. Being stranded in a blizzard, evacuating from other natural disasters, civil unrest, deciding to get out of Dodge if some pandemic is beginning are just some of life’s cheery possibilities. [Click here to read the rest of the article "Bug Out Bag Info, & Why to Have One."]

    And while you're thinking about an emergency kit, check out our emergency kit checklist, our options for pre-assembled emergency kits, and the essential gear we sell separately so it's easy for you to customize a kit or build your own from scratch.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, emergency kit, bug out bag, 72 hour kit, getting started, emergency kit checklist, essential gear

  • Think you’re tough? Check out this kid who survived days of 104°F weather in the Australian Outback:

    The British backpacker who went missing in the Australian Outback for more than three days survived by drinking contact lens solution, his mother has said.

    Sam plans to join the army when he gets home – no doubt the grit, ingenuity, and endurance he’s developed will serve him well. 

    Click here for a link to the article, with video.




    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, contact solution, Australia, Outback, teenager, dehydration, video

  • When you hear the word “prepper,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Popular media portrays preppers as anti-social, militant hoarders who want nothing to do with the world around them. But we know better, don’t we?

    We know you, like us, are concerned about taking care of your loved ones in every situation. You want the confidence and security of knowing you can do so. There are many families, across the nation, who have established or created networks with other prepared families. It’s not unusual.

    Instead of isolating themselves, most people seek out group interaction during and after an emergency or disaster. Scientists have shown that this is a biological response– humans seek out the advice and company of others. It’s called deliberating.*

    Last Friday we talked about finding other prepared individuals and families that are interested in working together. Our first Baby Step this week is a bit of a repeat, just to make sure you’re moving in the direction of establishing a support network.

    Baby Step 1: Make a list of people who are interested in forming a group and the skills, tools, and resources they have.

    You don’t have to be best buds with the people in your network, but they should be trustworthy. You should know what they can do and let them know what you can do.

    Go to page four of our Neighborhood Emergency Plan packet to see the skills and special equipment most commonly needed. These include medical and mechanical skills, along with special equipment and vehicles.

    Don’t overlook any skill or any individual. For example, does the teenager across the road know CPR from her summer job as a lifeguard? Pay attention to skills that are valued but not considered necessary for survival:

    • A psychologist can do a lot to help those with anxiety, panic, or extreme fear.
    • A good haircut from a barber or hairstylist can lift your mood.
    • A tailor or seamstress can repair damaged materials like tents, tarps, clothing, and maybe even shoes.
    • A ham radio operator, even a hobbyist, can communicate when telephone, internet, and cell phone lines are down.
    • A nutritionist or dietician may be able to suggest alternative sources of nutrients.


    Here are a few more skills you probably haven’t considered:
    • Community organizer
    • Entertainers (like musicians or comedians to boost morale)
    • Chimney cleaners (in case this is your only source of heat)
    • Knife sharpeners
    • Undertaker, mortician, and sanitation workers
    • Runners/hikers/swimmers/cyclists/horseback riders (for transporting information and goods)
    • Engineers and people who are good at rigging stuff
    • Gardeners
    • Self-defense instructors
    • Hunters, fishermen, and foragers
    • Navigators 

    Baby Step 2: When you’ve established your network, join our group purchasing program.

    We offer discounts for group purchases, often as much as 49% off. We also offer free shipping on the entire order regardless of size once the minimum quantity of a group item has been purchased (as long as the order is shipped within the contiguous 48 states). Click here for details.

    Baby Step 3: Develop a neighborhood plan and schedule an emergency drill.

    Download our Neighborhood Emergency Plan to help you organize your group’s efforts. Once your plan is in place, hold an emergency drill to practice the plan. The practice will help you figure out what works (and what doesn’t) so you can adjust your plan accordingly. If you’re planning a drill, let us know. We’d love to hear how the experience goes for your neighborhood, and we’d love to share your pictures and video with our network.

    Here’s another tip: After an emergency strikes, hold a swap meet. The idea here is not necessarily to pool resources. It’s more of a barter-for-what-you-need deal. If, like me, you have 14 cases of tuna and no mayonnaise, this is the venue for you. By exchanging goods and services it’s possible to cover gaps in your emergency and food storage plans. 

    Read more here: Emergency Swap Meet


    *Amanda Ripley in Surviving Disaster, PBS Documentary (link)


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps, Preparedness network, group purchasing, emergency drill, Neighborhood Emergency Plan

  • Customize Your Homepage

    |4 COMMENT(S)

    Did you know that you can customize the Emergency Essentials homepage? You can select what you want to see most and that’s what will show up first when you go to the EEL website. Here are the nine options; click on any of the images below to go directly to that customized home page.

    1. Sales

    The website is set to automatically show you the current sales. This is the default option, so if you don’t select one of the other customization options, this is the homepage that will always come up. If you select another customization option, and later want to reset your customization to Sales, you’ll find the option fifth in the drop-down menu.

    2. Most Popular

    This customization option will show the most popular products, education pieces, blog articles, and recipes on our website. If you'd like easy access to any of the above, this is the homepage for you. Clicking on any of the images on the Most Popular homepage will take you directly to that product, article, or category.

    3. Emergency Kits

    Choosing to customize your homepage for Emergency Kits will show you a variety of kits. You'll also see several options for products to supplement your kits, emergency-kit related articles on our blog, shipping and other general information.

    4. Food Storage

    Foodies, this is the customization choice for you! By setting your homepage to Food Storage you'll always be able to see some of our popular food storage items and items that are on sale. On this homepage there are also several links to important articles about food storage and a link to our Food Storage Analyzer.

    5. Group Specials

    Updated monthly, the options on this homepage will keep you in-the-know about our group specials. This is the perfect customization choice for Group Leaders and other people interested in buying in bulk. One benefit this homepage has, that the others don't, is that it provides a link to our Facebook page where you can receive exclusive offers. By liking and following our Facebook page you'll get the word on promotions that we don't offer anywhere else. As with all of our excellent homepage choices, in addition to featuring products, this homepage provides links to educational materials. It doesn't get easier than this!

    6. Urban

    If you live in a crowded metropolis, or are interested in urban preparedness, customize your homepage using the Urban option. This homepage is chock-full of links to information on how to prepare for a disaster or emergency for your particular situation. We also promote products we think work well for people with limmited space for food and water storage and emergency kits.

    7. Outdoors

    The Outdoors homepage customization features gear that we think lead a great double life; one in your backpack and one in your emergency kit. Clicking on any of the product images will take you to detailed information about that product. Once there, you can always click on the outdoors tab to view more products under specific categories like sleeping bags, backpacks, and cook stoves.

    8. Scenarios

    If you're looking for information on a specific scenario this is a great customization option. Here you'll find links that will take you educational pieces on disasters like tornados, earthquakes, and even how to survive unemployment. Most exciting is the link that will take you to information on natural disasters that commonly occur in your state. This is a great option if you've just moved to a new area or if you are new to preparedness.

    9. Education

    Our Education homepage will keep a lot of valuable knowledge a mouse-click away. The only products featured here are books and other educational materials. The most popular links on this page take you to our Prep School curriculum and other insightful articles on our blog. This customization will also connect you to information about our company's programs, videos on our YouTube page, and the Emergency Essentials Forum where you can communicate with other preparedness-minded people.

    Choosing to customize your homepage to see the products and information you want most will save you a lot of time by minimizing your searches. If you do customize your homepage you'll always be able to search for products in the cream-colored box on the top, right-hand corner of the page.

    We love all the options our new website offers and hope this article helps you tailor the website to work for you.

    Happy customization! 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, emergency kits, group specials, homepage, customization, sale, outdoors, scenarios, most popular, urban, education

  • Hi, friends!

    Urban Girl here with a little hint to help you navigate our new site.

    With the launch of our new website, we also launched a great feature that allows you to customize your home page to better suit your specific preparedness needs and interests.

    One of the custom options is Urban Preparedness, which is obviously dear to my heart . Take a look at the Urban Preparedness customized home page here for articles, tips, related blog posts (from yours truly and others), etc.

    Happy Prepping!

    --Urban Girl

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Urban Girl, Urban Preparedness, Urban Prepping

  • Our Best Friends

    This February we’re highlighting all relationships, including the friendship you share with your pets. In the past we’ve discussed how you can help your pet during an emergency. (See links below.) Today we’re taking a new look at the topic in a guest blog post from Nancy Orlen Weber, R.N.



    Years ago I had the great pleasure of speaking with a woman who survived breast cancer.  She not only survived, she thrived. Susan attributes her peaceful state and the ability to thrive in a scary situation to a bear. That’s right. A bear.  Susan’s large, grassy yard was surrounded by woods. This female bear took to spending time on Susan’s property and over months they became acquainted. One day while Susan was on the porch, and the bear about 20 feet away from her on the lawn, a large male bear appeared out of the forested area. The female bear turned to Susan and they both got up and growled at the same time! The male bear took off running. Susan never laughed so much in her life. The female bear later gave birth, introduced her babies to Susan, and as the story goes lived happily after that as a family. 

    Now we may not all love bears, but we do love cats, dogs, horses, birds, fish, ferrets, gerbils, and more. What is the connection? What is the great gift these animals offer us? 

    We forget that these companions are kindred souls clothed in fur, feathers, scales and more. Similarities abound between humans and all other species. Most are not loners, though some are. The majority of companion animals desire love, affection, and interaction with others. They too will have “pets”. I worked with a racehorse that had been passed around from one owner to another because of poor performance. I introduced the horse to a goat and he nuzzled it right away. The goat ended up sleeping in the stall, walking and playing with the horse outside; they became best friends. Within the first day the horse’s performance dramatically improved on workouts and continued to improve weekly.

    We’ve all read the stories about dogs that never bark suddenly yelping to save the lives of those they care about. We’ve heard how cats that would normally run away from fire instead climb on the bed and yowl until the folks awaken, only running away after they’re assured that the humans understand the danger. 

    Surviving any tough times in life depends on a variety of factors. The gifts pets offer us to improve our quality of life are numerous; here are three:

    The power of love. Caring about someone, like a companion animal, helps humans “stay in the game”. Caring for others, including animals, can help bring a person out of dark times with the simple light of love. 

    Studies show that petting any companion animal may lower abnormally high blood pressure and slow the pulse and heartbeat when too rapid. (It does not seem to affect normal blood pressure or heartbeat.) 

    Many companion animals will nurse us through difficult times by offering comfort. Even the tiniest companion animal can be strong for someone else’s benefit.  A two pound dog resting peacefully in the arms of a very needy, ill person, looking up at them as if no one else matters—how powerful is that? 

    A companion animal that is bonded to a child or an adult has been known to risk its life to save theirs. How important to our survival is that?! 

    Companion animals help kids learn responsibility. Having children learn the responsibility of feeding, walking, and grooming a pet can bring out a previously hidden strength in children. Knowing they are capable gives children a sense of accomplishment and self-respect and that can open doors for them in times of need.



    Animals don’t discount their instincts. This “knowing” helps keep them safe. A companion animal may be able to warn us of oncoming danger. Here are two accounts people have shared with me of how pets helped save their owners’ lives.

    I met Vinnie, a Vietnam veteran with PTSD, several years ago. He told me that he owes his life to two stray dogs. The dogs adopted Vinnie and he adopted them. Vinnie brought the dogs home, fed them, pet them, and in general hung out with them.  He felt a bit less terrified with these friends at his side. One day Vinnie was attacked and left for dead. The two dogs not only stayed by his side, they brought him food, slept on either side of him, and when he would pass out, they would lick his face and nudge him to wake up. With tears in his eyes, Vinnie said that these two dogs not only kept him alive, but they kept him safe and wanting to live.

    The second story was told to me while I was in the green room at an NBC studio waiting to go on a show.  A man sat with a beautiful Rotweiler and told me his story. 

    As a fireman, this man one day saved the life of another fireman. This friend gifted him with a female Rotweiler as a thank you. He already had a male Rotweiler. On his days off he would take the dogs hiking in the California hills. One day, half-way up the mountain the female sat and refused to go further. Thinking she had a problem, the man turned around and headed back to the car and drove home. Upon entering the house he had a coronary and collapsed. The female got the cordless phone and brought it to his face. He was able to dial 911—the EMTs came. The dogs kept him awake by licking his face and pushing his body. The dogs, wanting to protect him, refused to leave his side. They wouldn’t let the paramedics take him until he gave them the command to let these people near him. They saved his life. 

    Taking care of a companion animal can have great benefits.  Animals support our needs far more than we ever imagine.  Animals may need rescuing from abuse or other situations, but many times they rescue us.  Our best friends’ souls are clothed in a variety of beautiful outer garments, different from ours, yet their hearts are filled with love, compassion, and kindness.


    By Nancy Orlen Weber, R.N. 

    If you’d like to read more about Nancy’s work, visit her website You’ll find more stories of healing, animal news, information on holistic pet care, as well as literature on her work. 

    To read more on how you can prepare for your pet click the links below:  

    Pet Preparedness Decal, Kits, and Tips 

    Emergency Plan for Pets 

    Emergency Preparedness Tip for Pet Food

    From Dawn: Pet Preparedness


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: pets, preparedness, kits, friends, animals, relationships, friendship

  • We've got relationships on the brain this month. Having a friendly relationship with your neighbors can be a crucial survival tool. Ideally every individual and family is prepared, but it’s almost impossible to gather all the information, knowledge, skills, and equipment you’ll need for every possible scenario. This is where building a neighborhood group or a network of prepared people can help.

    Once you’ve got your basic short-term survival kit and food storage taken care of, take a look at other prepared families and see how you might help each other. The idea is to find like-minded, trustworthy individuals who have differing skills, and are willing to work together in a crisis.

    To make sure your support network is in place before disaster hits, follow these baby steps.

    Baby Step 1: Make a list of your skills and resources.

    Think of services you can provide and what equipment you have.

    Baby Step 2: Make a list of skills and resources you need.

    Some of the most valuable resources are people with skills and equipment that are common, yet specialized. Here are some commonly needed skills:

    • Paramedic, nurse, other medical workers
    • Construction workers (with access to a backhoe, jackhammer, or crane)
    • Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, or masons
    • Mechanics, drivers, or people with a HAZMAT license

    Baby Step 3: Meet your neighbors.

    Borrow a cup of sugar. Yeah, it’s an excuse… but if you need a reason, this one is as good as any. To thank them, make a batch of something sweet and when you take it over, chat for a bit.

    If you’re not the outgoing, introduce-yourself-in-person type, no problem! Diane Schmidt at has a great idea.

    “I once wrote a note and attached it to a jar of homemade jam and left it on a neighbor's porch. I introduced our family, said where we lived, and that we were around if they needed anything. It was simple and brief and in return, we found some really great friends.”

    Baby Step 4: Get to know your neighbors better.

    Invite your neighbors over for a backyard hot dog roast, a mid-winter wassail party, or multi-family game night. The event doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact, you’ll enjoy it more if it’s casual, low-key, and fun.

    • Play games based on specific skills: knot tying, communication, problem solving, first aid, etc.
    • Play a get-to-know-you game: Write questions on cards and use them as prompts.

                            Given a specific situation (stranded in your car, lost in the woods, etc.) what would you do?

                            Have you ever survived a natural disaster?

    If your neighbors don’t respond enthusiastically, don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of people in town who are interested in prepping. They may lay low, but you’ll find them.

    Baby Step 5: Reach out to people in your area via our Forum.

    Our forum is a virtual network across the U.S. Contributors actively discuss topics and answer each other’s questions. You’ll find that there is a wide range of participants, from beginners to seasoned preppers. Click here to visit the Emergency Essentials Forum.

    You may also consider posting a note on the message board at a local outdoor supplier, hunting and sporting goods store, or on the American Prepper Network.

    Always use caution when communicating via the internet. Don’t post any personal information like your home address or phone number. If you are going to meet someone you’ve been introduced to online, meet in a public place, tell someone you trust where you’re going, who you’re meeting, and when you plan to return.

    Build up a network before a disaster hits your neighborhood!

    Check back next Friday for a list of skills you’ll want in your support network but probably haven’t considered.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: resources, skills, baby steps, dinner, Networking, Neighbors, tools, party

  • If you haven’t got your ducks in a row for your Valentine's Day dinner yet, don’t worry—we’ve got an Anti-Disaster Valentine’s Menu for you. If you've got the following food storage items in your prepared pantry you in luck! Not only is the food going to be delicious, but you won’t have to spend the rest of today frantically chopping, peeling, dicing, and who knows what to prepare the food. We've even got two menu options for you. Check ‘em out:


    Menu 1- Veggie frittata, green salad, and vanilla ice cream with an apricot and strawberry compote.

    Treat your sweetie (or your sweet family) to a delicious Food Storage Veggie Frittata and some green salad; then finish with some vanilla ice cream smothered with a tangy and sweet compote.

    Maybe you’re not familiar with frittata and compote, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty: a frittata is basically an omelet that’s baked instead of cooked on the stovetop, and a compote is basically fruit that is mixed with sugar, then cooked on the stovetop until the fruit is stewed and the fruit juice and sugar have created a sweet syrup (translation= it’s awesome, and you want it on your ice cream).



    Veggie Frittata (makes 4 servings)

    Preheat your oven to broil on low.

    Combine all the vegetables in a medium bowl and add enough water to completely cover them. While they are reconstituting, mix up the eggs and have them ready. When the vegetables are tender, drain them well and add them to the egg mix. Add the cheddar (do not reconstitute). Mix all the ingredients well, and pour into a cast iron (or other oven-ready) skillet.

    Cook over medium heat until the bottom of the frittata is set, then place the skillet under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until fully set and golden on top. Watch closely so it doesn't burn!

    Note: you can also cook the frittata entirely in the oven, without using the stovetop. Just preheat the oven to 350 F, and place the skillet into the oven. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the frittata is just set in the center. 

    Fruit Compote Ice Cream Topping (makes 4 servings)

    In a medium bowl, reconstitute the fruit, then drain.

    Add fruit and a small amount of sugar to a medium saucepan. Stir to mix well. Stir continually until the fruit has stewed and the juices have combined with the sugar to create a syrupy-looking liquid. Adjust the amount of water and sugar as needed to get your preferred consistency.

    Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly (or completely if you prefer).

    Serve over ice cream. Garnish with crushed vanilla cookies (optional). 


    Menu 2 - Pork Chops, green salad, and a fudgy brownie sundae with peanut butter sauce.

    Veggie frittata not your style? Looking for something with a little more… well, frankly, more meat? Check out these variations you can use to make the Mountain House Pork Chops (which, I’ll be honest, I loved, and I’m not usually a big fan of pork in general).

    Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Chops

    Option 1)     Reconstitute the pork chops as directed—and treat them as you would raw meat.

    Once they’re ready to cook, heat your pan on the stove top and add some oil to prevent the chops from sticking. Sprinkle the chops with salt, pepper, and brown sugar on top, and place top-side down into the pan. Sprinkle again with salt, pepper, and brown sugar before turning. The sugar will give the pork chops a nice hint of sweetness and (even more important, in my opinion) a gorgeous caramelized color.

    Option 2)     Follow the directions above.

    In addition to the brown sugar, add some reconstituted freeze-dried raspberries to the top of the pork chop after it has been turned. (You can sweeten the raspberries if you like—I prefer the contrast of the sweet brown sugar glaze on the pork chop against the tangy raspberries).

    If you don’t already have the Mountain House Pork Chops, you should snag some while they’re on sale this month. There are limited quantities, so they may sell out any time. And believe me… if a nice pork chop is comfort food to you, then you want these in your food storage.


    Fudgy Brownie Sundae with Peanut Butter Sauce

    How can you go wrong with chocolate, vanilla, and peanut butter together? You can’t. Everything about this combination is right—like you and your Valentine.

    There are two ways to make this dessert happen. And they’re both from food storage. (Except the ice cream, although we do sell that.)

    Option 1: No baking required

    To make the Peanut Butter sauce, just reconstitute the Peanut Butter powder so it’s thinner than you would normally make it for spreading. Add vanilla and sugar to taste, and pour over the brownie and ice cream.

    Option 2: Some baking required (a.k.a., hot, gooey brownies fresh from the oven for your sundae. Mmmm…)

    Make the brownies according to the directions. You could also reconstitute a bit of extra Peanut Butter powder and drop it into the brownie batter by the spoonful, then swirl, back, and serve with ice cream and sauce on top (if you want a double punch of peanut butter.)


    We hope these recipes can help you avoid a Valentine's Day disaster! Enjoy!





    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: veggie frittata, green salad, apricot and strawberry compote, pork chops, Valentine's Day, dinner, disaster, menu, recipe

  • At Emergency Essentials, we have always valued your feedback about how we can better serve you. We know that you have input and opinions to share, and we would love to have you share them with us today.

    Please take some time to look around the new website. Explore a bit and see what you find. We would love it if you would then come back here and answer the questions below.

    Then if you include your email address, you could be one of 10 people who will receive a thank-you prize for participating!

    Posted In: Uncategorized

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