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  • Christmas Shopping for Emergencies

    It’s possible to build an emergency kit on a budget, said Maralin Hoff, nicknamed the “Earthquake Lady,” from the Division of Emergency Management in the Utah Department of Public Safety

    “We think an emergency kit is going to cost an arm and a leg. No. It’s a shoestring. It’s that easy,” she said.

    Stockings - Christmas ShoppingIf you’re looking for last-minute Christmas gifts, emergency kit supplies can make great stocking stuffers.

    “I’ve started a new tradition. Every Christmas, I give my children and grandchildren … something new to add to their emergency kit,” Hoff said at a 2010 emergency preparedness expo shown on YouTube.

    That’s how Shelly Robertson, of American Fork, Utah, built her emergency kit.

    “Really, it’s all about having a budget,” she said, adding that she asks for emergency supplies for Christmas gifts.

    At the emergency preparedness expo, Hoff showed emergency kits built almost entirely of items from dollar stores.

    Robertson found small bottles of medicines like acetaminophen and Ibuprofen, glow sticks, trash bags, hand sanitizer, and travel size toiletries at the dollar store.

    Dollar whistles are useful gifts, Hoff said. They’re louder than shouting.

    “Every [emergency] kit should have a whistle,” she said.

    Trekker II-  Christmas ShoppingRobertson looked for Christmas sales for more expensive items. For example, she found mess kits on sale at a recreation outlet store. She found many items discounted during Emergency Essentials’ Black Friday and December sales. There, she bought an emergency radio that she loves at a discount.

    “I highly recommend it,” she said. “The most expensive thing was the radio. Everything else was $5 or less.”

    Among her $5 or less purchases:

    Emergency reflective sleeping bags. She prefers them to emergency blankets because there aren’t edges to deal with.

    She also loves our New Millennium energy bars because she wants lightweight emergency food her children will eat.

    “They taste kind of like cookies,” she said.

    Hard candies: she says they’re nice for when children are sick.

    Flashlights and batteries. She puts fresh batteries in every year and uses the old ones.

    A $5 cook stove with heating tablets. She thinks that was a gift.

    “Mostly, just take a look around at what you already own, then buy a few specialty items,” she said. “There’s a lot you can pick up for very cheap, on a very limited budget. Think about what you need, and what you can substitute for it, and just go for it.”

     

    What emergency items are you getting (or hoping to get) for Christmas?

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner - Christmas Shopping

  • Stacey's Double Apple Crisp

    At our house, Christmas celebrations revolve around traditional treats that different family members have been perfecting for decades. My mom’s pie crust is legendary. My dad’s truffles, fudge, toffee, and peanut brittle are requested annually. In recent years, we’ve added my husband’s mouth-watering peppermint-chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies and a friend’s grandmother’s recipe for old English boiled cranberry pudding We do manage a dinner in there somewhere, but if I’m honest, our holiday is basically a sweet fest.

    My job is baking. The breads, the cookies, the cobblers all fall to me, which suits me just fine (me, who couldn’t find my way around a candy thermometer if my life depended on it!). The only problem is that from mid-November onward, I end up having to make semi-weekly pilgrimages to the grocery store just to stay stocked up on eggs, butter, and brown sugar—not to mention the fresh fruit and cream that I only ever need in miniscule portions and which spoil after five minutes in my fridge. But this year, I found a secret weapon!

    Are you ready?

    I don’t think you’re ready.

    Okay, fine. It’s egg powder. Seriously, I have a pumpkin bread recipe that calls for six eggs. Do you know how fast I go through those huge cartons? But already this month I’ve made pumpkin bread, sugar cookies, and two batches of gingerbread, and I haven’t even made a dent in my can of egg powder. I love it! And it makes me think I should be raiding my food storage for other basics, and maybe even the not-so-basics.

    In that spirit, I want to share with you one of my favorite seasonal treats. I found this fantastic apple crisp recipe years ago and have been tinkering with it every winter until it’s become, quite simply, the best thing ever. And it can be made almost entirely out of food storage items! Good to know you could still have luxuries like apple crisp, even in the midst of a crisis. Bon appétit!

     A Dish Of Apple Crisp made from Food Storage

    Stacey’s Double Apple Crisp

    1 ½ cups Provident Pantry White Flour

    2 cups Provident Pantry Regular Rolled Oats

    2-3 tsp MyChoice Premium Cinnamon

    1 tsp ground nutmeg

    1 tsp ground cloves

    1 ½ cups packed Provident Pantry Brown Sugar 

    1 ½ cups (3 sticks, or 24 tbsp) reconstituted Provident Pantry Butter Powder

    6-8 cups reconstituted Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Cinnamon Apple Slices

     

    1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

    2.      Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly (this works best with fingers!)

    3.      Put half the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and pat down.

    4.      Cover crumb mixture with reconstituted apple slices, then sprinkle apples with remaining crumb mixture.

    5.      Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve hot. Top with ice cream.

    Um…I might need to go make this right now.

    --Stacey

  • Happy Holidays!

    Happy Holidays!

    Merry Christmas! We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with family, friends, and loved ones this holiday season!

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