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Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • Quake, Rattle, and Roll: Easy Steps to Take Before the Big One Hits

    Be prepared for an earthquake any time of the year

    Earthquakes can occur at any time of the year, and assistance from local fire and police departments may not be available immediately following an earthquake because the disaster affects the entire region. Advance planning can reduce your family’s chance of death, serious injury, and property damage. Anything you can do to prepare now will help you during and after the earthquake.

    You may need more than the traditional 72 hours’ worth of food, water, and supplies after an earthquake. If possible, plan on having enough supplies and other necessary equipment to last for two weeks.

    This checklist will help you start an earthquake emergency supply, most of which is applicable to other emergencies. Or click here for a comprehensive checklist.

    • Emergency kits (one for each family member)
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Adequate supplies of medications that you or your family are taking
    • Crescent, pipe, and bung wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies
    • First aid kit and handbook
    • Flashlights with extra batteries, and extra bulbs if you have older flashlights
    • Portable radio with extra batteries
    • 1 gallon of water for each family member per day for two weeks
    • Water purifiers, water filters, purification tablets, or chlorine bleach to purify drinking water from natural sources like rivers, lakes, and ponds.
    • Canned and packaged foods, enough for several days
    • Can opener
    • Pet food
    • Camp stove or grill to cook outdoors (store fuel out of reach of children)
    • Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal


    Before The Earthquake Strikes

    1. Find out if your area is at risk from earthquakes. Talk with your insurance agent or local government resources. Or click here to see which natural disasters might occur in your state. Regarding insurance, know that different areas have different requirements for earthquake protection. Study locations of active faults, and if you are at risk, consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
    2. Pick "safe” places in each room of your home. A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely you will be injured. Injury statistics show that people who move (even as little as 10 feet) during an earthquake's shaking are most likely to be injured. Also pick safe places in your office, school, and the other buildings you are frequently in.
    3. Practice ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold-on’ in each safe place. Turn it into a game for your kids. Inform guests, babysitters, and caregivers of your plan. Everyone in your home should know what to do if an earthquake occurs. Assure yourself that others will respond properly even if you are not at home during the earthquake.
    4. Get training and keep your training current. Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher through your local fire department. Training and practice will help you to keep calm and know what to do when an earthquake occurs.
    5. Discuss earthquakes with your family and establish a meeting place away from your home. Discussing earthquakes ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together.
    6. Establish an out-of state contact and make sure everyone in your family knows the contact’s phone number and email address. During an emergency it’s often easier to reach a contact that is outside of the affected area than it is to make calls within the area. If your family is separated you can report whereabouts to this contact who can keep other family members informed.

    Earthquakes never come with a warning ahead of time, but with the information above you can make sure your family isn't caught completely off guard. Check back over the next two weeks to read During an Earthquake and After an Earthquake, which will teach you more about crucial skills like ‘Drop, Cover, Hold-on’ and how to deal with the additional dangers earthquakes can cause.

  • Baby Steps: Soil and Sun

    This week’s baby steps are in the same vein as last week: getting your garden ready to plant. Here are three more things you’ll want to know before you start planting. 

    1. Know when to start planting.This great page from Mother Earth News will give you a list of vegetables you can start in April (and other months), and separated by region. What a great resource! First select your region, the month, and then scroll down to see the lists of what to plant. 
    2. Learn a little bit about soil. Knowing what kind of soil you have is important because you may need to “tweak” the soil to provide your plants the most fertile growing possible. Read this article to learn about 10 types of soil and when to use each. Here’s a brief article with photos from HGTV about soil types and soil acidity. 
    3. Observe how much sunlight falls on your growing area. Knowing which areas get the most light (or the most shade) will help you know where to put specific plants. That’ll guarantee your vegetables are situated to grow their best. Read slides 7 and 8 of this article Here’s a general tip about sunlight. “Vegetables that produce fruit (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash) need full sun.” Leaf and root veggies are ok in the shade. Click here to read more.  

    Take these three baby steps and soon your garden will be off to a great start! In case you missed last week’s Baby Steps, click here to read about finding your climate zone, knowing what to grow, and buying seeds. 

    More articles:

    Preparing a New Garden 

    Three Basic Soils 

    10 Types of Soil and When to Use Each

  • Solar Oven Cook-off: In the Snow and Cold

    We are putting the Sport Solar Oven to the test every Saturday during March at our retail stores. Here’s our report from Saturday March 23rd.

    When we arrived early to prep, we saw there was SNOW! Luckily, the weather can change within minutes in Utah. The clouds cleared out for a few of our store locations, but the temperatures hovered between the high 20’s and lower 30’s.The stores that had limited sunlight put their plan B into action. They pulled out a Volcano Stove and whipped up sweet and sour pork chops and au gratin potatoes. We won’t let our customers go hungry!

    At the stores that did have sun we put the solar ovens out and got to work. This time most of the ingredients we used were food storage items. (See list below.) We made bread, pork chops with veggies, cinnamon apple crisp, and a cookie.

    Despite the snow and cold, the ovens still reached the 250 degree mark inside. The pork chops took 3.5 hours to cook and the desserts and bread only took about 2 hours to bake.

    We will be testing the solar ovens one more time this coming Saturday (March 30th).  Contact our Emergency Essential stores for more information. Click here to read about how the Sport Solar Oven works.

    Here’s what Christa Kendall from Utah has to say about the Sport Solar Oven that she got at Emergency Essentials:

    "I bake my bread in the solar oven. It comes out fabulous, so moist and fluffy. I let them rise in the house, then throw them in.  They brown up perfectly! I highly recommend a solar oven.”

    What do you think about the Sport Solar Oven? Tell us below!


    *Food Storage Items Used in the Solar Oven Cook-off

    Solar Oven Pork Chops: Freeze dried (FD) Pork Chops, FD Green Beans, Chicken Broth, Spaghetti Seasoning, and minced garlic.

    Apple Crisp: Apple Slices (rehydrated), quick oats, cinnamon sugars, butter powder

    Au Gratin Potatoes: Dehydrated potato slices, sour cream powder, cheese blend, and a few other spices.

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