• 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

  • Preparing Your Business for Tornadoes

    Moore, Oklahoma Tornado on Ground Fox40

    In May of 2013, a deadly tornado leveled the town of Moore, OK. While experts are calling 2015 a slow year for tornadoes so far, the unfortunate residents of Moore have already seen their fair share. Last month, several smaller tornadoes barreled through the same town—the same intersection, even!—as two years ago.


    Besides personal loss, one of the most devastating affects of a tornado is the damage sustained by a community’s economy and infrastructure. When the 2013 twister hit, Moore lost more than buildings; access to stores was cut off, inventory was damaged, services were interrupted, employees lost their workplaces (and, consequently, their jobs), and potential customers had much more to worry about than weekly sales. Not only that, but in their Disaster Impact Report, Dun & Bradstreet noted that half of Moore’s businesses were suffering financially before the tornado, compounding the struggle for stricken companies.


    Cash-nadoAll told, the Moore, OK, tornado cost $2 billion. The even more devastating tornado in Joplin, MO, the year before that cost $2.8 billion. And of those staggering losses, small businesses tend to suffer the brunt. Though more vulnerable than their large commercial counterparts, mom-and-pop operations are less likely to have disaster plans in place, with the result that 40-60% of businesses hit by a natural disaster never recover.


    So, what can business owners do to weather a tornado? Experts’ advice boils down to three main areas of preparedness:


    1. Prep your space. Clear the property of unsecured materials or dead trees. Identify the safest place in your facility, make sure it will fit employees and customers, and stock it with emergency supplies.


    1. Prep your people. Have every employee’s contact info and make a phone or text tree to account for everybody. Teach employees how to take care of customers in the event of an emergency. And remember, it’s not enough to have an emergency plan; everyone needs to know and practice the plan until it becomes a conditioned response.


    1. Prep your stuff. Back up important information, like equipment inventory, customer information, ledgers, tax and payroll information, and contracts. Also, keep a current catalog of inventory and assets to help with insurance estimates after a disaster. Iowa State University even recommends storing extra supplies or key equipment offsite in the event your location is unavailable.


    While tornado season may be approaching, other catastrophes—floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, anything!—can have the same affect on commerce. These are sensible steps for any business to take in preparation for their customers’ safety and the security of their bottom line! One of the best ways you can prepare your people is by having emergency kits handy at the job site. Check out our list of kits and find some that will suit your company’s needs!






















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  • Water Filter Essentials

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    Being able to create good, clean water wherever you are will not only wet your whistle, but also save your life.

    Filtered Water

    Water storage is very important in being prepared for the unexpected, but what if you’re far away from your water storage? Perhaps you’re out hiking. Well let me tell you, toting around a 30 gallon water barrel just isn’t going to work if that’s the case. Or maybe your living arrangements don’t allow for extensive water storage. There are many scenarios in which you might need something more. Fortunately, there are plenty of handy, portable water filters on the market that you can invest in.

    With so many water filters out there, how are you supposed to know which one is best for you? Fear not, faithful readers! I have just completed my official emergency preparedness expert Katadyn Water Filter Training, and now I’m here to pass along all my hard-earned secrets. Ready? Here we go!

    Old man and the Sea in a SkiffFirst of all, let’s talk about the why. We can find water almost anywhere. Unfortunately, very little of this water is drinkable. As the Ancient Mariner once said, bemoaning his fate as he was stuck out at sea,

    Water, water, everywhere,

    nor any drop to drink.

    That’s exactly how it can be. So much water, but most of it so very undrinkable. What makes water unsuitable for human consumption? Well, let’s just say there are plenty of nasties in the water, and it would be best for us if we didn’t invite them into our bodies. There are three main kinds of water hazards we should avoid:

    • Protozoan cysts (0.5 microns)
    • Bacteria (2-15 microns)
    • Viruses (0.018 microns)

    These bad boys can make a person sick. Fortunately, the Katadyn filters are designed to keep them out of your water. All of the filters will work great against the protozoan cysts and bacteria, since those little guys are big enough to be stopped by the filters. Viruses, however, are a wee bit too small for filters to be effective.

    Normally you won’t have to worry about viruses, as those only show up near where human activity takes place. For example, a stream, creek, or lake or something off the beaten path where people don’t generally venture forth, will be quite free of viruses. Rivers and lakes near civilization could be a problem, however. Also flood water. Don’t drink flood water.

    Lake with blue skies No people? No problem (for filters, at least)!

    Viruses can be eliminated with a tablet (the Katadyn guy prefers the Micropur purification tablets). Just drop a tablet in the water and let it go to work. It’s one tablet per liter of water. If the water is clear, you only have to wait 30 minutes before the water is good to go. If it’s dirty water, however, your wait could be up to 4 hours. But again, in the wild or away from humans, you won’t need tablets. The filters will be just fine.

    Now, I’d like to take a moment and talk about two of the filters that were demonstrated. One is a simple, reliable and totally portable personal filter. The other is great for filtering larger volumes of water for a camp, or a family in an emergency.

    Hiker ProThe #1 selling filter on the market is the Hiker Pro. There aren’t many moving parts, so it’s reliability rating is very high. It’s super light (11 oz.), so hiking with it is a breeze! It has a carbon core which also helps to improve the taste of the water. Another nifty bit with this filter is the quick release valve and bottle adapter. With this, you can quickly disconnect your hose from the filter and connect it to your bottle. It’s an easy transition, and a great way to quickly fill your water bottle. Speaking of speed, it pumps about a liter a minute. Not bad, if you’re far from a sink or faucet.

    The second filter is the Base Camp Pro, and it is ridiculously cool. For one thing, it’s crazy fast (as in 2 liters a minute), and uses Base Campgravity to do all the work. Just hang it up in a tree (or have your kid hold it and call it a workout) with its extra-large strap and watch the water flow! It holds 10 liters of water, and is guaranteed not to clog with debris and other contaminants. The coolest thing about this (for me, anyway) is that you can turn the Base Camp into a shower with the handy dandy shower adapter. Say goodbye to nasty, showerless camping trips!

    I won’t talk about every filter we saw, since we already have a great article identifying all the filters and purifiers we carry. Instead, I’ll politely send you to check that out by clicking here.

    If you’re looking for a filter for hiking, home, or just-in-case, Katadyn has some great options for all situations, so you won’t have to worry about getting caught (ahem) in the rain.

    What’s your favorite filter? What do you look for in a filter? Let us (and your fellow preppers) know in the comments!



    Posted In: Insight, Uncategorized, Water Storage Tagged With: purification, water filter

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