• 3 Steps for Preparing Your Family For Calamities

    Caring MotherMothers have got to be the best nurturers around. They’re loving, caring, and all they want is what’s best for you. They prepare their children for all kinds of things: school, bullies, the cold, cold winter…you name it. But when it comes to catastrophes…well, less than half of parents out there have prepared their family for an emergency? Now, I’m not a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a very good ratio of preparedness..

    We might think, “The odds that such a disaster will affect me is 1,720 to 1” (which, ironically, is the same odds as successfully navigating an asteroid field, according to C-3PO). We think that because the odds are in our favor, we shouldn’t have to worry about it. But that’s where we’re wrong.

    Wendy Sue Swanson, MD (2011) recounts in her Parents Magazine article why it really is important to prepare, even if we don’t think we will be affected:

    “‘Although disasters are rare, prepping for them is one of those crucial 'just in case' precautions, like having smoke detectors,’ explains Parents adviser Irwin Redlener, M.D., director of the Center for National Preparedness at Columbia University. Planning for a catastrophe also makes you ready for a less severe event like a fire or a local power outage.”

    Smoke Detector 01We all have smoke detectors. They help prepare and alert us. We never expect to burn our house to the ground, and yet we all have smoke detectors so that if such a disaster could happen, we can stop it from becoming even worse. Essentially, we have smoke detectors to protect our family.

    The same can be said of preparing for emergencies and disasters. Smoke detectors are a “just in case” precaution, as Swanson noted. Perhaps a reason why smoke detectors are so widely implemented is their relative ease to buy, install and maintain. Well, following three preparedness activities are just as simple, and once you’ve done them, your family– especially your children – as that much better prepared for an emergency


    1. Create a communications plan

    PhoneTeach your children your phone number. Dr. Swanson suggests that children are able to memorize a 7- or 10-digit number by age 5. She councils to “practice with your child and turn the phone number into a song, like a modified version of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’”

    Having a designated meeting place for your family will help you gather together during an emergency. There are certain circumstances – such as a fire or an earthquake – where your house may not be the best meeting place. Find a location away from your home, like a nearby school or park. Go there with your children, so they know how to get there, too.


    1. Create an emergency kit

    K7 A400 Emergency KitRemember the smoke detector example? We use those in our home, “just in case.” So, then, we should have emergency kits for the same reason. Do your kids have one? If not, now’s the time to get them one. If you need some ideas, follow this link to learn more about what you need in an emergency kit, with links to checklists and pre-built kits.

    As your children grow, so will their needs in their emergency kits. For example, they might grow out of diapers or other clothing. Having an updated emergency kit will definitely make their lives more comfortable. Swanson also suggests making some “refresh” cards, taped to each kit. These cards will detail “which items need to be replenished,” says Swanson, “or which info needs updating, and when.” For example, food bought for the kit five years ago will surely need to be refreshed (unless it’s properly prepared and packaged for long-term storage).


    1. Know your neighborhood

    NeighborhoodKnowing the area in which your children live and play can protect them from unforeseen dangers. Look for dangers that your kids might not recognize. Swanson suggests using the fire department as a resource by asking them “about specific threats to your neighborhood such as unstable trees, streets prone to flooding, or transportation challenges.”

    She also encourages working with your neighbors. Don’t know them yet? Well, now’s as good a time as any! Everybody has unique skills and talents, and working with your neighbors during an emergency can bring all those skills together, so everybody can benefit. It’s best to work with them before something happens, so you’ll be ready when it does.

    By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to providing the protection your family needs. Preparing for calamities doesn’t have to be difficult. Just take it step by step, day by day.

    As Dr. Swanson admonishes, “Don’t freak out. You can do this.”

    If you ever have any questions as to what more you can do, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to talk with you. Our number is 1-800-999-1863. Or, visit our website at beprepared.com. We’re here to help you be prepared for any situation. And remember, if Han Solo can successfully navigate an asteroid field, you can prepare your family for that unforeseen disaster. We believe in you!


    What steps have you taken to prepare your family for emergencies? Let us know in the comments!




    Swanson, W. (2011). “Are You Prepared For an Emergency?”. Retrieved on April 22, 2015 from http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/emergency-preparedness/.

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Emergency Kits, Food Storage, Planning, Uncategorized Tagged With: family plan, Preparing your family, Mother's Day, Emergency

  • Are You Ready?

    Are You Ready ?


    Are you ready? Have you already prepared for the storms, floods, fires, or earthquakes that may be coming your way? And what about the personal set-backs that strike closer to home; are you ready for a job loss, an injury, or an illness that could shake your ability to take care of your family?

    The future can be a scary thing, unless you’re ready for the hardships it can bring. Being “crisis-ready” brings peace of mind in good times while making the tough times easier. With emergency kits packed and ready to go, an ample food supply in store, and evacuation plans made, even the aftermath of a disaster will include good meals, shelter, warmth, light, and security…everything you need to be safe and happy with your family.

    And if your catastrophe is more personal, like a lay-off, divorce, or long-term illness, you can still find comfort knowing all will be well while you ride out the storm.

    So, are you ready for whatever comes your way? We are, and we’re standing by, ready to help you.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • ShakeOut Camp - Surviving Well

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    Tank TruckOn April 16th, 2015 Emergency Essentials participated in The Great Utah Shakeout with Be Ready Utah. This is a state-wide readiness program where Utah businesses and families practice their earthquake preparedness for “the big one.” Evacuation plans, communications strategies, pre-earthquake precautions, food and water storage and a dozen other areas of disaster preparedness are rehearsed. Most other states and a few countries have “Shake-outs” scheduled for October. Why Utah chooses April for our event is uncertain, but lucky for you, it let’s us preview for you how your family, office, city and state might participate.

    For our part, we set-up tents, creating a little camp to show what living might be like following a devastating earthquake. As luck would have it, we had our largest snowfall in four months the day before the Shake-out. While it made setting up tents and trudging across the open field a bit slushy, it also seemed quite appropriate, since Salt Lake City receives snowfall from October to May. Odds are good that, when that long-predicted “significant seismic event” occurs, we will have snow on the ground.

    In our ShakeOut camp, we set up three tents of various sizes, a canopy, and a little privacy shelter for a makeshift restroom—the type of evacuation encampment that will likely spring-up when homes have been rendered uninhabitable due to structure damage, flooding, fire, or natural gas leaks. As you can see, these tents weren’t just any ordinary weekend warrior, go-out-and-spend-a-day-observing-nature varieties. These were tents a whole family could live in – comfortably – protected from the elements and offering many of the comforts of home.

    Let’s take a stroll through our camp and look at all the ways we were able to prepare for this earth-shattering earthquake.

    Camp Pano

    TrunkOur first stop are the vehicles. Inside the trunks we had displayed emergency kits that fit nicely in the back with the rest of your gear. You never know when an emergency will happen or when your car will break down and you need some extra food and gear. Having an emergency kit in your car can be a real life saver!

    Next up we have the Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent and Portable Privacy Shelter. This tent is small, light, and great for short camping trips or an easy shelter to carry with you during an emergency or mandatory evacuation. It’s small enough to tote around and will fit about two people. When all else fails, you’ll be glad to have something like this for shelter.

    You’ll be glad to have a privacy shelter if you’re stuck camping with all the other people who had to evacuate. These shelters are easy to set up, and offers you privacy as a restroom (try our Tote-able Toilet!), a shower, or even just to change clothes in. Of course, these shelters are great for beach parties and camping, too. Emergencies just make us appreciate our privacy that much more.

    BarebonesNext up we have the ridiculously amazing Barebones tent. These Barebones guys really know how to make a tent. They come in two sizes, the smaller Little Bighorn Tent (which will sleep 2 people) and the larger, camping-will-never-be-the-same Safari Outfitter Tent (sleeps 4-6). When I say these tents are amazing, I mean it just as much as when I talk about the new Star Wars trailer (and oh my word, that trailer is amazing!). People can actually live in these things. Well, I think I’d miss running water and some good, ol’ fashioned plumbing, but if I had to make do without, this would not be a sacrifice. These tents are built to last, too, so you really could live in one for quite some time if you had to.

    Barebones PanoThe ceiling on these thing go up to 9 feet high with a 28 degree pitch roof, which sheds snow like Chewbacca sheds fur. When we had our Barebones tent set up, the winds were raging, but these tents are built for harsh conditions, so it wasn’t even an issue. And when you’re packing up to go, don’t even worry about drying off the canvas or brushing off the snow. These guys just roll it and pack it up – still wet – and weeks later when it emerges from its cocoon, it smells fresh without a hint of mold. It’s incredible.

    Speaking of incredible…

    Let’s make our way to our last shelter we had set up – the GeoShelter.

    GeoShelterThe GeoShelter is like the king of shelters. We had a good dozen or more people inside of one with three different conversations happening all at once – and there was still room to move around and nobody was in each other's way. In fact, there were even a couple kids playing around in the hammock. There were enough boxes sitting in the mesh loft to provide enough food to last three months. And with the stove inside of it, cooking that food wouldn’t be a problem, either.

    The workmanship of the stove is high quality, and the build of the dome itself is strong, durable, and will definitely hold its own against the elements. Oh, and did I mention they can join together? They can! You can connect multiple domes together, creating a little village if you wanted! Just think of the fun you can have during family reunions! Or, if your house becomes unlivable because of a disaster, at least you’ll have a big, roomy tent to live in. In fact, you might just decide to live in the tent indefinitely! Just think of all the money you’d save on rent or mortgage!

    Geo Pano


    Believe it or not, there is a point to all this besides talking about how amazing these shelters are. The point is, when disaster strikes, you can still be prepared to live well and take care of your family. I understand that some options might not be as viable as others, but there are still ways to prepare so that when a disaster does happen, you will be prepared. Start small and keep working up until you have what you and your family need to be safe and protected during emergencies.


    For more information on earthquakes and how you can be better prepared, visit beprepared.com/earthquake.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

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