Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Preptember™ Sale Ends Today!

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    Is it just me, or has Preptember™ flown by once again? Pretty soon we’ll be taking down the water filtration tree and packing away those MRE wreaths. It’s as if the season gets shorter every year! But don’t let me put a damper on the festivities. We still have a few hours left to celebrate before the Preptember™ sales end tonight at midnight (Mountain Time).. In all your preparatory jubilation, don’t let these opportunities fall off the radar!

    You can see all the fabulous September sales here, but these are my favorites:


    Mountain House Super Sale is the absolute best deal out there! Today is the last day to order no. 10 cans of Mountain House brand freeze-dried entrees for 40-50% off the regular price. Both individual cans and combo packs are included in the sale, so stock up!

    Loads of big-ticket items are on sale as well. How about $50 off a Bosch mixer, $60 off a solar generator kit, or $80 off a Deluxe grain mill?

    Kits and packs can be an efficient way to get everything prepared in one go. Check out the sales on emergency kits as well as three, six, and and twelve-month food supplies at considerably reduced prices.


    Kelly Kettle combo - Stainless Steel

    The Kelly Kettle Large Stainless Steel Base Camp Combo (say that ten times fast) is not only on sale, it could be free! Check out the Kelly Kettle Combo giveaway before the contest ends (tonight at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time)!

    And remember, all orders over $150 get free shipping through the end of the day! Don’t wait! Brew up a little freeze-dried eggnog and make the most of the last days of Preptember™!

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Preptember™ Food Storage Recipes

    Since food storage is an essential part of any emergency preparedness plan, it’s important to help your family feel comfortable with eating items from your food storage—before an emergency hits. If you “eat what you store, and store what you eat,” your family will have a sense of security and normalcy if a disaster strikes.

    Making food storage recipes for your weekly meals now will help your family to get familiar with food storage and will also help them understand that food storage doesn’t just mean MREs, wheat, and dry alphabet soup mix. You can make many of your family favorites from food storage.

    Here are some food storage recipes that you can add into your weekly meal rotations. These recipes are quick, easy, and tasty!

    In honor of Preptember™ we cooked up some Prepper’s Pie



    Prepper’s Pie

    1 Tbsp. Clarified Butter or Olive Oil

    ½ C Freeze Dried Onion

    ½ C Dehydrated or Freeze Dried Carrot

    1 ½ C Provident Pantry Super Sweet Freeze-Dried Corn

    1 C Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Green Beans (or black beans, pinto beans, or peas; whatever sort of legume you want to throw in there)

    1 ½ C Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Roast Beef Steak Dices (or freeze-dried ground beef, Beef Crumbles, Beef TVP, or Freeze-Dried Cooked Roast Beef)

    4 C Instant Mashed Potatoes (or more if you like a thicker layer of potatoes)

    1-1  ½ C Provident Pantry Beef Gravy



    Rehydrate onion, carrot, corn, beans, beef, and mashed potatoes according to directions on the can. Sauté onion in melted clarified butter until golden and clear or slightly browned (don’t have to sauté them too long or else they will become soggy). Add all ingredients BUT the mashed potatoes in a rectangle shallow glass pan. Mix ingredients together by hand so that the distribution of items is even. Bake covered at 300°F for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the potatoes evenly over top. Return to bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. If potatoes are not golden on the peaks, top broil for a minute or two.

    Variation: Keep the gravy out of the casserole until everything has cooked, then spoon it over the top of the potatoes, or right onto the plate and place the serving of casserole on top.


    Like the Prepper’s Pie and want some more food storage recipes to try? Check out some more food storage breakfast, dinner, sides, and dessert recipes below.


    Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Bars

    Ham and Cheese Pop-Ups



    Easy Hearty Beef Stew

    Pecan Chicken Casserole



    Food Storage Pasta Primavera

    Bake Beans Western Style Recipe



    Raspberry Crisp

    Banana Oat Crumb Cake



    These are just a few recipes to get you started. Check out the rest of our food storage recipes on our Recipes page.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: freeze-dried foods, wheat, recipes, food storage

  • Baby Steps--CERT and Neighborhood Plans

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    Casual Group of People in a Row - Isolated

    Okay, ready to have your mind blown? Today’s post is a baby-steps-within-baby-steps post. Since we've been talking about CERT today, we thought it would be useful to brush up on the basics by revisiting a previous ‘baby steps’ series on the topic of preparedness networks. The articles and resources linked here are a great place to get started as you think about neighborhood networks and emergency plans.

    Step 1: Mix ‘n mingle
    The very first, most basic, and most crucial step to building a useful neighborhood network is to get to know your neighbors. Build trust, look for common interests, let them know you’re willing to help. Ultimately, you’re looking for complementary skills and resources, but none of that matters if you never speak with them.


    Step 2: Get to work
    Once you’ve built a social network, you’ll have likely identified those who would be open to participating in an emergency response network. The next step is to get it all down on paper: names and contact info; skills and equipment; lines of communication. Information overload? Organize it all in this ultra-handy neighborhood emergency plan packet. You can also take advantage of tools like Facebook groups to communicate both before and after a disaster.


    Step 3: Build your team
    With a basic plan in place, you can kick it up a notch and focus on bolstering specific elements of your neighborhood network. The ‘baby steps’ post here links to an article by a former Navy SEAL about elements of survival you may not have considered (fitness, finances, and the psychology of endurance, for example) and the importance of a strong team.

    Your own personal preparedness is vital, but enlisting the help of a supportive group of neighbors can create a pool of physical and emotional resources that might spell the difference between just surviving and thriving.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: CERT, Neighborhood Emergency Plan, baby steps, skills

  • Be CERT-ain you're Prepared with CERT

    CERT stands for “Community Emergency Response Teams.” The program was first developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985 to train civilians and private or government employees to be able to help in case of earthquakes. It was successful, and in 1993 it was made available nationally. Since then, all states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands have CERT programs. The Emergency Management Institute and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials so that they now apply to all types of disasters, natural and man-made.

    CERT Volunteers carrying an injured person

    Emergency Essentials wants you to be prepared to help yourself. We also encourage you to get involved in your community and help those around you prepare. (We also sell CERT gear, so once you're CERT-ified you can get everything you need.)


    What is CERT’s present purpose?
    CERT exists to educate people about disaster preparedness with particular attention to hazards that might exist in their area—and to train them in basic response skills, so that they can jump in and help until professional responders can get there. In any disaster, professional responders can be overwhelmed with calls for help, and their efforts are often complicated by blocked roadways, communications breakdowns, and the sheer number of injured people. People will need to help each other, and CERT is designed to prepare them to do just that.


    Who conducts CERT training, and how is it given?
    CERT teams, fire departments, emergency medical technicians, FEMA workers, or anyone who has been “CERTified” can provide the training from approved materials. The training is given in seven 2 ½-hour sessions, once a week, including classroom teaching as well as practical experience and drills. There are classes especially for teens, and online CERT classes as well.


    Who can participate in CERT training?
    Anyone who is interested can sign up to participate. The FAQ on FEMA's CERT page says, "Naturals for the training are neighborhood watch, community organizations, communities of faith, school staff, workplace employees, scouting organization and other groups that come together regularly for a common purpose. CERT skills are useful in disaster and everyday life events."

    Check in your area to see if you think joining a CERT team would be a good fit for you.


    What exactly is included in CERT training?
    Following major disasters, volunteer rescue efforts can help save hundreds of lives. Sadly, it's also true that volunteers without adequate training have lost their own lives in their efforts to save someone else. Such a high price is preventable through training in proper emergency response—and that is one of the factors that CERT training addresses. CERT aims to:

    1. Train people in what to expect after various types of disasters
    2. Teach them their responsibilities in mitigating damage and preparing to help
    3. Train them in lifesaving skills, with emphasis on decision-making, rescuer safety, and on doing the greatest good for the greatest number
    4. Organize teams to be an extension of the corps of first responders, able to give immediate aid without doing harm to themselves or others until the professionals arrive.


    What are the seven topics covered in the classes?

    • Disaster Preparedness (localized information) plus CERT concept and organization
    • Disaster Fire Suppression
    • Disaster Medical Operations I—diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock
    • Disaster Medical Operations II—head-to-toe assessment, basic first-aid, sanitary procedures, and establishing a treatment area for the injured.
    • Light Search and Rescue Operations—planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and rescuer safety
    • Disaster Psychology and Team Organization
    • Course Review and Disaster Simulation


    Where can I learn more about CERT programs in my area?
    Go to To start a CERT training program in your community, here are the steps:

    1. Identify the program goals that CERT will meet and see what resources are available to conduct the program in your area. (You will need trained responders to teach the course.)
    2. Gain approval from elected and appointed officials to conduct the training.
    3. Identify and recruit potential participants. Contact community groups, hospitals, business and industry workers, local government workers and church groups.
    4. Train a cadre of CERT instructors who are already first responders
    5. Conduct CERT sessions (the 7-week course)
    6. Offer CERT refresher courses, drills, and exercises to keep trained “graduates” on their toes.


    To pique community interest in CERT, you can sponsor events such as picnics, barbecues, community clean-ups, simulated disaster drills, or a disaster education fair. Make the program as desirable and interesting as possible to encourage participation, and advertise widely.

    CERT publishes an online national newsletter with tips and updated information. To search for CERT materials and information, go to (Don’t confuse this with, which stands for United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (formed to improve our country’s cybersecurity!)




    Image source: FEMA News Photo

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: CERT, emergency preparedness, Neighborhood Emergency Plan, Neighbors, skills

  • 5 Myths about Water Storage

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    Since storing water is very different from storing food, there are a few things you should consider if you’re new to water storage. Water storage needs to be protected against viruses, contamination, and bacteria. So you must take different measures to protect your water from these threats than you would with food.

    Here are 5 common myths and facts about water storage that you’ll want to consider as you start your water storage reserves.

    Myth #1: Water can expire.

    Fact: Water does not expire. It can become contaminated (chemically or biologically), but it doesn’t “go bad.” Water can have a stale taste, but that taste can be eliminated by rotating your water and purifying it. If a water storage source is in ideal conditions (it started out clean and was stored in a dark, cool area, not directly on concrete or near harsh fumes and chemicals), it technically can store indefinitely. Rotate water for peace of mind or if there is a risk of contamination.

    Myth #2: It’s fine to store water in any type of plastic container I have at home.

    Fact: Water should be stored in a UV-resistant, food-grade plastic container or in metallized bags. Traditionally, water storage barrels are blue. This color limits light exposure and biological growth (bacteria and algae) and also signifies that what is stored in the container is safe for human consumption (for example, gasoline is stored in red containers).

    The safest containers to hold water in are polyethylene-based plastics, or plastics #1, #2, and #4. Our water barrels are made out of plastic #2 and, unlike some other companies, have never been used to store other items before they are sold to you. This type of plastic is good for long-term storage and is BPA-free.

    You can figure out the number of plastic by looking for this symbol on the bottom of containers:



    Other helpful tips for storing water in plastic containers:

    • Don’t use milk jugs for water storage. Since milk jugs are biodegradable, they will break down over time. Also, any live cultures in the milk that remain in your jug could make you ill if you store drinking/cooking water in milk jugs.
    • Disposable water bottles are not great for long-term storage. Water can be stored for long-term use in re-useable Nalgene bottles.
    • Soda Bottles and Powerade/Gatorade bottles can be used for long-term water storage. However, it’s important to remember that plastics absorb flavors, so your drinking water may have a cola taste. If you store water in soda or Powerade bottles, don’t use the water for cooking or else your soup might taste like cola!

    Myth #3: If I have a water barrel, I’m set for every emergency I’ll encounter.

    Fact: You can’t solely rely on the barrel for all the situations you may encounter. If you have to evacuate, you won’t be able to carry a water barrel with you. Also, if you only have one barrel or one water source you may run out of water given the number of people in your family and the number of days that you will be without water. Remember that the average amount of water to store is one gallon per day per person for a 2 week period.

    Store water in various sized containers and plan for different situations (grab-and-go, shelter-in-place, extra water for cooking, etc.). You can siphon the water from your barrel into other containers and refill it before emergencies arise.

    Myth #4: To save space, I can stack water barrels on top of each other.

    Fact: Most water barrels are not built to stack on each other. If you want to stack your water because you don’t have room, use water containers with grooves on the bottom for stacking like our 160 Gallon Water Reserve, Aqua Pak or Aqua Tainer.

    Water barrels are safest if they are stored standing. However, do not store your barrel directly on cement or on the floor in your garage. Plastics absorb flavors and odors from gasoline, liquids spilled on the floor, and chemicals used to create the concrete. These chemicals and odors will make the taste of the water unbearable to drink. Instead, place your water barrel on top of a wood board or cardboard so that odors and chemicals do not leach in.

    Myth #5: If I have a water purifier, I don’t need a filter.

    Fact: Water purifiers like Chlorine Dioxide will kill 99.9% of all microorganisms (like protozoa, bacteria, and viruses) in your water. Chlorine Dioxide is excellent for sheltering-in-place, and also great for treating water from your barrels or water you collect from streams or rivers while hiking.

    However, purifiers alone won’t remove turbidity (dirt, silt, “floaties,” and chemicals) from your water, so we recommend using a purifier and filter together to make sure your water is clean (especially if you are collecting water for drinking and washing, but turbidity is ok if you use soap while washing.)

    If you’re a first time barrel buyer remember that you’ll want to buy a water storage combo. Each combo includes a bung wrench, replacement bung (a bung is the white cap on top of your water barrel), siphon hose, and water purifiers for maintenance.


    These are just 5 myths about water storage. But if you’re new to water storage and want to learn more, check out these articles for more tips:

    "Not all Barrels are Built the Same

    "Water Storage Overview

    "Water Storage Options

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Making Water Drinkable: Ways to Filter and Purify Water You Have on Hand

    |3 COMMENT(S)


    Water is so vital to our lives and well-being that it’s a number-one concern during emergency situations. It's even more important than food for the first few days when dehydration could set in and cause illness, confusion, and even death.

    You may know this and have emergency water storage. But maybe you have some old stored water that has a strange odor to it—or maybe you aren’t sure that your city’s water supply is really clean. You may have to get your water from an untested source such as a private well or spring, or bring water from a lake or river into your home during an emergency.

    So what are the dangers of drinking untreated water and how can you be sure it’s safe?

    What could be in the water?
    Out hiking or camping, we may come across a cold, running stream with clear, sweet water; it’s safe to drink, isn’t it? Well, it may be—or not. We can’t always see, taste, or smell the tiny pollutants that may be present. There could be anything in the water, from mud and chemicals to animal waste and decomposed matter to microorganisms like viruses, harmful bacteria and protozoans. Many a camper has brought home Giardia as a souvenir from a camping trip, and suffered from the severe digestive upset that results. So how can we avoid getting sick from questionable water sources? There are several ways to filter and purify water that can give you peace of mind about the sources you have access to at any given time.

    Often when a community water supply has been compromised, officials will issue a “boil order,” advising everyone to boil water (a full, rolling boil) for at least one minute before using it to drink, cook, wash dishes, wash the face, or brush teeth. Boiling water from a natural source is effective, too, killing both bacteria and viruses. (This can take longer in high elevations where water boils at a lower temperature.) If you don’t have gas or electricity, either in an emergency or on a camping trip, the boiling can be done over an open fire, on a grill, with a Kelly Kettle, or even in a solar oven set in bright sunlight for six hours.

    There are filters and then there are microfilters—and it’s important that you know the difference. A regular filter blocks the larger (but still tiny) impurities in water, improving the taste and color—but a microfilter can block both impurities and microorganisms that cause illness.

    Katadyn Vario Water Filter from Emergency Essentials


    Filters are commonly made of three materials:

    • Ceramic—filters out impurities of 0.2 microns or larger
    • Pleated glassfiber—filters out impurities of 0.3 microns or larger
    • Activated carbon (or charcoal)—which filters out impurities of up to 2 microns.

    For perspective, consider that a human hair has a diameter of about 100 microns, so we’re talking really tiny (but powerful) particles!


    There are two basic methods of purifying water—UV Purification and Chemical Purification.

    • UV Purification works by killing the microorganisms with shortwave germicidal ultraviolet light. This light (invisible to us) works by disrupting the DNA of the little pests so that they can’t cause illness. UV purifies 99.9% of all microorganisms in just seconds. See our Steripen™ Ultra purifier and our Steripen™ Sidewinder purifier for a couple of great purification options.
    • Chemical purification also kills 99.9% of microorganisms, but it takes a while longer—about four hours. Chlorine Dioxide is the preferred chemical for water purification. Pure chlorine does not kill Cryptosporidium in amounts that would allow the water to be drinkable, nor does iodine, as the Crypto organism is iodine-resistant—but Chlorine Dioxide takes care of it, and improves the taste of the water. (Iodine, even if it worked, would give the water a foul taste.)



    What are the specific microorganisms to worry about, and what works to get rid of them?

    • Viruses (Hepatitis A, Norwalk, Rotavirus) are the smallest particles to worry about (.018 microns); they need purification, not just filtration. They are less common in U.S. natural water sources than in other parts of the world, but they can exist here.
    • Bacteria are .5 microns and up, and include such “bugs” as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. Either microfiltration or purification is effective in getting rid of these.
    • Protozoans range from 2 to 15 microns and include Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Both filtration and purification are useful against these. The EPA reports that 95% of the world’s natural water supply contains protozoan cysts.
    • Turbidity is the name for “gunk” in the water—floaties, waste, insect, dirt, silt, and chemicals. These affect the taste and the drinkability of the water. Filtration is the method to remove the first five, and activated carbon can remove some chemicals, but not all—so that it’s always important to find the cleanest source of water you can before treating it.


    Not only is it important for you to store good, clean water, but also to know how to and have the means to filter or purify the water you have at your disposal at any given time, be it from your tap or from a natural source such as a river or spring. Learn more about water filtration and storage in our Water Storage Insight Articles.



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: water purification, water filters, water

  • Water, Water, Everywhere: The Importance of Water Storage

     brunette woman drinking water from a bottle on a warm day

    Every cell in our bodies contains water, and we need a constant supply to stay alive and healthy. We can do without food for a surprising period of time if we must, but we survive only a few days—3 to 4 in hot weather—without water. When we are dehydrated, our kidneys begin to shut down, our heart races, our body temperature rises, and our electrolytes get out of balance, causing fuzzy vision and thinking (making it even harder to find sources of water).  


    How much water do we need to store?
    Whatever kind of emergency arises, we soon realize that clean, drinkable water is the most important substance we need. At least one gallon per person per day is recommended—not only for drinking, but for cooking and hygiene. It’s wise to store at least two weeks’ worth (14 gallons) for each person in your household.

    What kind of containers are best?
    Water is heavy—8 lbs. per gallon. It’s great to have a couple of 55-gallon barrels for sheltering in place—but once filled, they can’t be moved. If you had time in an emergency situation, you could siphon some of that water into 1 or 5-gallon containers to take with you. We suggest, however, that you store some water in small, portable containers that you can grab and go in case of an evacuation order. Keep some in your car for unforeseen situations. Here is a list of the types of containers that work best for water storage:

    Small Containers

    • You can purchase water in small boxes—AquaBlox or Datrex metallized (Mylar-type) pouches for total convenience.WS-P100
    • Be sure that whatever containers you choose are BPA-free, Polyethylene-based plastics or those numbered #1, #2, or #4, or “Mylar” are safe for water storage. It is true, however, that plastic is porous (even though it doesn't appear to be), and eventually allows the water to absorb odors and tastes from the environment. Because of this permeability factor, we do not recommend using plastic milk bottles or similar bottled-water plastic gallon jugs for long-term water storage. Another reason is that they usually allow light through, and light encourages growth of any microorganisms that might be present. It’s difficult to get all bacteria out of a milk jug, for example.
    • For your personal water bottle that you carry with you, be sure it also is BPA-free. If it’s marked with a #1, “PETE,” or “PET,” it should be fine.

    Water Barrels and Combos

    • Large, shelter-in-place storage containers start with the 160-gallon reserve. It is made from an enhanced plastic which is BPA-free, UV resistant, and non-permeable, and which has a faucet for easy access. These can be stacked two-high.
    • Our water barrels (55-gallon, 30-gallon, and 15-gallon) are made from thick, durable food-grade plastic, blue in color to limit light-exposure and discourage bacterial and algae growth.
    • You will need a siphon and a bung wrench to fill and access these barrels. For both the barrels and the 160-gallon reserve, it’s advisable to place them on a wooden pallet rather than a cement floor, and away from sunlight.

    Siphon water from larger containers into portable containers

    Portable water containers and Aqua pods

    • Several other portable water containers are available as well, including 5-gallon Mylar-type bags which are good for short or long-term storage, and jugs with handles and spouts which are useful in case you must carry water from your large container to your kitchen or fetch water home from another source such as an emergency relief truck.
    • A unique, temporary water storage device is the AquaPod Kit—a giant bladder that fits into your bathtub and holds 65 gallons of clean water. This is excellent when a hurricane is threatening, or when you know ahead of time that your water supply is going to be cut off a while for repairs.

    How long does water keep?
    Since water (unlike food) does not “go bad” or expire, you can safely store it for an indefinite period of time in clean, appropriate containers. It can, however, become contaminated if chemicals or microorganisms get in, so there are ways to treat and purify it—see our next blog on that subject! If it makes you feel better, you can rotate your water supply every year or two to be sure it’s still good. Any “stale” taste in stored water can be quickly overcome by pouring some back and forth between glasses or pitchers to re-introduce oxygen into it.


    However you choose to store water, it’s a gift to your present peace-of-mind as well as a protection against possible dehydration—and in any emergency situation in which your water supply was disrupted or contaminated, you and your family would be very glad for your foresight!

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Delicious Homemade Yogurt from Instant Powdered Milk

    iStock_000015929976XSmall_yogurt with blackberries

    Customer Louise Joseph wrote us about her success in making delicious yogurt from our Provident Pantry Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, and we decided it was something we needed to try! Here is her recipe:

    • Mix two quarts of powdered milk according to directions and blend in 1 carton plain, unflavored yogurt that has live, active cultures (be sure it says so on the carton!)
    • Pour into jars, cover, and do not disturb for 24-48 hours in a warm place--about 110° F. (Some people use a shorter time; five hours is the minimum.) The longer you incubate the yogurt, the thicker and more tart it will be.
    • Test for flavor and consistency.
    • When it’s the way you want it, refrigerate and use it within 2-3 weeks.

    Louise says, “Flavor with brown sugar, honey, Emergency Essentials dried fruits, or granola—totally delicious, inexpensive, easy, and healthy!”

    We had a few questions:

    Does it matter whether you use plain or fortified instant nonfat dry milk?

    Both work, but the fortified seemed to take a little longer and had a little more separation of curd (semi-solid) and whey (liquid). The consistency was softer than we expected—rather like soft custard—great for smoothies!

    What size carton, or how much yogurt is needed to culture 2 quarts of dry milk powder?

    About ½ cup of commercial yogurt, or a small carton. Mix gently but thoroughly.

    What is the best place/method of incubating yogurt for a consistent temperature? (There are commercial yogurt-making kits, but most people find they’re not necessary.)  Here are some suggestions:

    1)      Electric oven—may be warm enough with the oven light on. If not, use a “warm” setting, or set it a third of the way between “off” and 200° F. (Our first batch failed because the “warm” oven setting was too warm. Just using the light worked well. We let our yogurt work for 34 hours.)

    2)      A gas range oven with a pilot light.

    3)      A pot of warm water with jars of yogurt standing in it. Keep adding warm water as it cools.

    4)      On top of a warm radiator or over a heat vent in cool weather.

    5)      On top of a heating pad set on low, with a folded towel between pad and jars and an inverted deep bowl or pot to hold in the warmth

    6)      In a covered picnic cooler, with yogurt jars set between jugs of very warm water. Change and refill jugs with warm water every few hours.

    Can you use some of your homemade yogurt as a culture for another batch?

    Yes, for 3 or 4 batches, then begin again with a new start.

    How do you make thick Greek-style yogurt?

    Drain yogurt in the fridge until it reaches the thickness you like. Use a drainer/colander and several thicknesses of cheese cloth, a coffee filter, or a clean handkerchief. Another way to thicken yogurt is to use extra powdered milk to begin with. Instead of using 2/3 cup dry milk powder to make a quart of milk, use 1 cup. Some people also add gelatin, pectin, cornstarch, tapioca starch or agar. It can attain the consistency of pudding or even cream cheese!

    If you love the tangy taste of yogurt but aren’t ready to commit to making it, try our delicious Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Yogurt Bites. Small, melt-in-your-mouth wafers of strawberry, banana, blueberry, caramel or raspberry-flavored real yogurt are a nutritious anytime treat. They’re great in trail mix, and kids will think they’re candy!




    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Preparing for a "Once in a Lifetime" Flood or Storm


    Throughout the past few years, storms of all strengths and sizes have swept through the United States, leaving destruction in their wake.

    In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed over 100 Americans during her tirade. Those who survived were forced to continue on despite the destruction of thousands of homes, and the fact that millions were without power for weeks. Even still, a year after Hurricane Sandy exploded across the East Coast, 26,000 people are without homes.  In Sept. 2013, Colorado residents were shocked when a year's worth of rain poured down in just two days, causing flooding almost 200 miles wide. With these once-in-a-century storms that seem to be growing more frequent, what should you do? The answer: prepare.

    In fact, this is a lesson that one of Emergency Essentials’ founding partners, Don Pectol, learned as a boy living in California in the 1950’s. As a survivor of both a once-in-a-century and a once-in-a-thousand-year flood, Don (along with his family) learned a powerful lesson about the importance of emergency preparedness.

    In the Lessons Learned article “I Survived a Once in a Lifetime Flood Twice,” Don shares what he took away from those two devastating events:


    "The influence this flood had on me and my family was a powerful reminder of the principle of preparedness. We knew floods could happen where we lived, but not like this! We moved to higher ground. Higher ground is not just a physical location; it is also a state of mind and a way of life. Being prepared for emergencies is ‘moving to higher ground.’"


    Hear more of Don’s story straight from Don himself in this 30 second Emergency Essentials TV Spot:

    Don provides a great reminder that if you’re prepared, you’ll feel a sense of safety and security. Your levelheadedness and preparations before the storm could make all the difference for you and your family as you’re able to rely on yourself to provide for your most basic needs.

    When widespread emergencies (such as flooding and storms) occur, it's better to be able to rely on yourself when everyone else is relying on governments and relief agencies (who can take days—even weeks—to get set up). During Hurricane Sandy and the Colorado floods, relief resources were stretched thin because of the huge numbers of people relying on these agencies.  In widespread or large-scale emergencies, relief resources can run out quickly, leaving citizens on their own.

    We hope the possibility of these once-in-a-century storms gives you more incentive to start your preparations now, even if disasters haven’t increased in your area quite yet.

    For help getting prepared, check out the resources below.

    -          Start with a good emergency kit

    -          Checkout our emergency survival gear

    -          Look at emergency food and food storage options

    Learn how to prepare for a flood or hurricane.

    Read more about disaster preparedness on our Read First page, our blog, and our Insight Articles.


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: flood preparedness, flood, emergency preparedness, video, storm

  • Mountain House Entree Review

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    In light of the jaw-dropping sale all this month on all Mountain House number 10 cans (you have seen that, right?), I’ve been asked to taste test and review a number of the entrees. It’s a rough job, but…

    Actually, to be completely forthright, my expectations were not high. I spent enough years as a single college student to develop a serious aversion to pre-prepared, pre-packaged, conveniently shelf-stable, preservative-laden meals. And when I was tipped off that Mountain House brand had been tested as edible after 20+ years, I was convinced something must be wrong.

    So imagine my delight when my week of experimental, freeze-dried lunches turned out to be some of the most enjoyable and satisfying meals I’d had all month (note: this is in no way an aspersion on my admittedly dismal culinary skills).

    What was so great about the Mountain House entrees I tried? Let me break it down for you.

    Taste – Bland? Salty? Chemical-y? None of the above. The first shock was how real it all tasted. The Mexican Style Rice and Chicken had a spicy little kick. The Beef Stroganoff with Noodles had the unmistakable tang of sour cream. And there’s an easy explanation: the ingredient list is full of real ingredients. Cream, spices, beef, vegetables, rice, pasta—all the stuff you’d use if you were actually making this stuff in your own kitchen. In fact, the first step in the production process of Mountain House’s freeze dried entrees looks a lot like what goes on in your kitchen. According to Outside Magazine’s Steven Rinella, “The company prides itself on the fact that its food is first prepared as a ready-to-eat dish before it is freeze-dried, which leads to what it calls the ‘homemade taste’ of its offerings.”

    Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce

    Texture – For my money, there’s nothing worse than the rubbery meat of a ready-made meal. So it was with some hesitation that I dug into the Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce. But whether it was ground beef in the lasagna, shredded chicken in the Mexican rice, or Sweet and Sour Pork, it all felt like meat. And no mushy pasta or cardboard veggies, either. Something about the magical process of freeze-drying, which Mountain House (part of Oregon Freeze Dry) has been perfecting since the 1960s, preserves food at the moment it’s frozen. That means, when reconstituted, your meal looks, tastes, and feels almost identical to how it did when it was first prepared. (Want your mind blown? Read about the freeze drying process.)

    Variety – Here’s some fun history: during the Vietnam War, Oregon Freeze Dry was approached by the Department of Defense to develop portable meals that “tasted better, weighed less, and were easier to prepare” than the bulky canned rations servicemen had been toting around since WWI. The Mountain House line was the result, which means that the company has been experimenting, refining, and expanding their repertoire for more than four decades.

    Mountain House Pasta Primavera

    At any given time, Mountain House offers 20-25 different entrees, ranging from pasta dishes like Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Turkey Tetrazzini, and Pasta Primavera to down-home favorites like Chili Mac with Beef and Chicken Stew. The four I tried were all winners, which makes me think I could really brighten up a protracted emergency situation if I were to fill my shelves with all 20.

    And, of course, as icing on an already super palatable cake, the Mountain House meals are extremely light, store easily, require only boiling water, and (did I mention?) last for 30 years! This is one reformed skeptic who will be stocking up.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: long term food storage, survival food, freeze dried, Food Storage Entrees, freeze-dried foods, mountain house

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