Monthly Archives: January 2014

  • The Long, Hot Winter: the Impact of the California Drought

     The Long, Hot Winter: The California Drought

    While the Northeast and Midwest shiver through one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent history, other parts of the country would trade their palm trees and avocados for just a little rainfall. Earlier this month, California’s governor declared an official drought emergency. Ten other states have also been labeled as “disaster sites” by Federal Agriculture officials.

    Parts of Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah are all facing historically low water levels. The lakes and reservoirs losing water in these states have led to decreased water supplies in the West. This prolonged dry spell has even contributed to several wildfires.

    According to NBC news, Governor Brown believes this is the worst drought California has seen in 100 years. He’s asking Californians to cut their water usage by 20 percent.

    Since everyday services (like gas and electricity) are not affected by droughts, it can be hard to think of a drought as an emergency situation. However, it still doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Having a ready supply of home water storage will help you during a drought. See our water storage products  for more great options to beat a drought or another emergency.

    For helpful tips on how to save water in a drought, check out’s  list of water conservation tips. Also, this “Water—Use it Wisely” infographic illustrates 100+ ways to conserve water you may have never considered before.

    Learn how to conserve water by taking our “Water Challenge: One Gallon of Water for One Day.” You’ll be surprised at how much water you use in a typical day, especially when you only have one gallon for your cooking, drinking, and sanitation needs. Use this challenge to determine how much water to store for your family’s home water storage. Most people find that they want the "luxury" of a few additional gallons per day.


    --Stacey and Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: drought, water storage, water

  • Living Off the Grid —Could You Do It?

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    Roscoe Bartlett living off the grid

    If you live in the city, there are many luxuries to enjoy—power with the flick of a switch, grocery stores or shopping malls less than five minutes away, constant communication with everyone via cell phone, internet, or radio. So . . . could you ever find yourself living off the grid?

    After 20 years on Capitol Hill, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has taken himself completely off the grid, retreating to a secluded property in West Virginia. We came across Politico Magazine’s article via Instapundit and, whether or not you agree with Bartlett’s political views, we think there are some interesting things he’s done as a prepper that make this article worth reading.

    Bartlett lives without a phone, without a link to outside power, and without municipal plumbing. He has developed quite a few skills that will help him if he gets into an emergency.

    For the past few decades, Bartlett spent his free time up at this property, prepping it for the day he’d go off the grid. He built five cabins by himself, then wired solar panels and ran pipes from freshwater springs to each cabin.

    Living completely off the grid, he rises at dawn six days a week in order to maintain his power sources, food, and way of life. He spends about 10 hours a day cutting logs, gardening, and doing other tasks around the land.

    “People ask me ‘Why?’” Bartlett said in an interview with Politico Magazine. “I ask people why you climb Mount Everest. It’s a challenge, and it’s challenging to think what life would be like if there weren’t any grid and there weren’t any grocery stores. That’s what life was like for our forefathers.”

    Read more of Roscoe Bartlett’s experience living off the grid (and why he chose to do so) in the Politico article, “The Congressman Who Went off the Grid

    What changes would you have to make to your lifestyle if you went completely off the grid? Would you do it?

    Photo Courtesy of Politico Magazine

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: off the grid, emergency preparedness, Survival, skills, solar power, emergency power

  • Can you brave the winter storms?

    Thousands of commuters in the South were stranded en route Tuesday and into Wednesday because of  snowy conditions during an unexpected winter storm. 

    Many spent 10-12 hours in their vehicles, trying to conserve gas, power, and warmth. Others took shelter with nearby strangers, who generously opened their homes; and some (like the 5,300 students in Alabama) were even forced to camp out in school buildings or sleep the night in buses.

    CNN reported the panic that spread when what was supposed to be a light dusting of snow turned to chaos. A thin sheet of ice and 3-10 inches of snow on the roads (depending on location) left thousands of people stranded in their vehicles during their commute home.

    As one woman went into labor, she set off for the hospital only to find gridlock after gridlock blocked her path. She called the paramedics, but they, too, had no clear route to reach her car through the disorder that Tuesday’s winter storm blew in, leaving her stranded on the road.

    The weather was also a factor in over 1,000 fender benders, five deaths in Alabama, and another 23 injuries.

    The traffic problems began when schools, businesses, and government offices sent people home at the exact same time due to the weather.

    According to Yahoo! News, “as people waited in gridlock, the snow [built up], the roads froze, cars ran out of gas and tractor-trailers jackknifed, blocking equipment that could have treated some of the roads.”

    Winter storms catch the South by surprise

    The desperate situation brought many people together to help stranded motorists. Residents near the highway opened their homes to strangers who needed food, water, and a warm place to stay. Others offered their services, as well, including a police officer who helped deliver a daughter to the pregnant woman stranded in her car.

    "There was a sense that we are all in this together,” said Mira Lowe, a CNN editor who watched as people left their vehicles to help others.

    Check out stories from other stranded drivers here

    Read the rest of CNN’s article “Atlanta mayor blames poor coordination for storm snafu
    Read Yahoo! News’ article “Helicopters search for stranded Southern drivers

    Do you know what to do in a snow and ice storm? Having a car emergency kit can definitely help by giving you food, water, warmth, and other needed supplies.

    Check out these articles for more ways you can stay safe in the cold:
    Emergency Warmth
    Stuck in the Snow? How’s your Emergency Car Kit?
    How to Winterize your Car


    Video Courtesy of CNN
    Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! News

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: South, winter preparedness, natural disaster, emergency preparedness, Survival, emergency kit, Winter, winter storms

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