Welcome to Emergency Essentials!

Catalog Request


  • Health in Hydration: Tips for Avoiding Dehydration

    Health in Hydration


    Summer or winter, spring or fall, staying hydrated is essential to maintaining good health. After all, water makes up the majority of our body weight. Countering dehydration is the best way to treat it, but before we get into that, let’s take a look at how dehydration can come about.


    How Dehydration Occurs

    Sweating, going to the bathroom, and even breathing are all contributing factors to losing water. Basically, the more that leaves your body, the faster you’ll become dehydrated. For example, diarrhea and vomiting can bring about rapid water loss. Hot climates and being physically active will also speed up the dehydration process. When losing water, be sure to replace it with more.


    Symptoms of Dehydration

    Dehydration Headaches are one sign of dehydration.

    Dehydration is more than just being really thirsty. Learn these symptoms so you will always know what your body is telling you, and when it’s time to take immediate action.

    • Dry mouth
    • Little/no urine, or darker than normal
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue


    Dangers of Dehydration

    Staying hydrated has many benefits, which means the adverse is also true. The National Institutes of Health has identified many ways in which dehydration hurts you.

    • Physical performance
    • Cognitive performance
    • Delirium
    • Gastrointestinal function
    • Kidney function
    • Heart function


    For more information regarding the dangers of dehydration, you can read the full study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

    Some people are more prone to becoming dehydrated than others. The elderly are especially at risk, since as people age, they may not be able to recognize or sense the signs of dehydration. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also be careful to remain hydrated. Others who are at greater risk of dehydration are people who are exercising, have a fever, or are trying to lose weight.


    Tips for Staying Hydrated

    Health in Hydration Dehydration

    The amount of water needed for proper hydration varies from person to person, but Ready.gov recommends about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily for normally active people. Use that as a baseline and adjust depending on age, health, climate, and physical condition and activity.

    Sometimes you may need to be more conscientious about your water intake. If you find you have difficulties staying hydrated, try out some of these tips from the CDC and FamilyDoctor.org.

    • Don’t wait until you’re thirst – drink water constantly!
    • Avoid alcohol or sugary liquids
    • Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day
    • Add a slice of lemon to your water – this improves the flavor and can help you drink more
    • Drink water when you’re hungry. Thirst can be confused with hunger, so try water first


    It’s more obvious that you need to be more careful about staying hydrated during the hot summer months, but you can still become dehydrated during the colder times. No matter what time of year it is, pay attention to what your body is telling you and take the necessary steps to always remain hydrated.


    What steps do you take to remain hydrated?


    Health Banner Dehydration

    Katadyn Hiker Microfilter Giveaway

  • 7 Ways to Beat the Heat Without Electricity

    Beat the Heat - Anomalies NOAA

    In extreme temperatures, power companies sometimes struggle to meet demand, resulting in outages and blackouts. About 55 million people in the northeastern U.S. and Canada lost power on August 14, 2003 after a sagging high voltage line hit a tree. Some places didn’t get power back for two days.

    High temperatures cause about 175 deaths in the United States every year. A 1980 heat wave killed more than 1,250 people. Of all natural disasters, only winter’s cold is more deadly.

    “In the U.S., extreme heat may have greater impact on human health, especially among the elderly, than any other type of severe weather,” said NOAA’s “Heat Wave: A Major Summer Killer.”

    Here are seven tips that will help you beat the heat and stay cool should you find yourself without power.


    Stay in the coolest part of the house or in the shade

    Beat the Heat - ShadeWhen it got really hot outside and her power went off, Barbara Benson used to stay in her basement.

    “You really had to,” she said.

    If you don’t have a basement, the north side of a larger building will be cooler than the south side, according to FEMA’s Ready.gov/heat. Uncarpeted rooms will be cooler. Keep an eye on the temperature inside. It can become warmer than outside.


    Use the windows

    FEMA suggests covering windows during the day. Cardboard covered by aluminum foil or a reflective blanket works as an inexpensive sunlight reflector. We even have reflective blankets that would also do the job nicely.

    If there’s a breeze during the day, open windows across from each other and put a wet towel in front of the windward side window, suggests Angela Paskett, who writes an emergency preparedness blog. Also open them at night so the draft can cool the house.


    Dress cool

    If you’re in the sun, wear a hat. Sunburns can severely diminish the body’s ability to get rid of heat. Your clothes should cover as much skin as possible and be loose and light colored. Natural fabrics like cotton breathe better than synthetic ones like polyester.


    Drink lots, Eat Cool, and Cook Outside

    Beat the Heat - Fruit Fruit is a great way to beat the heat

    If you don’t have to cook, don’t. Well-balanced, light meals with lots of fruit and vegetables are easier to digest, which produces less body heat and decreases water loss, according to NOAA. If you cook, do so outside.

    Drink water even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and lots of sugar. Those can cause greater thirst.


    Use water

    To keep her grandchildren cool, Benson built a “Kid Wash,” a PVC pipe contraption with holes punched in overhead pipes. Water flows into the pipes from a hose and drips out like a shower.

    “(My grandkids) love it,” she said.

    Paskett’s blog recommends four ways to use water to stay cool:

    Get in a tub or pool.

    Put a wet towel anywhere you check a pulse.

    Wear wet clothes.

    Use a water-filled spray bottle.


    Check on vulnerable family and friends

    Older people, young children, and people with chronic illness or obesity are at higher risk for heat stroke and death, according to FEMA.

    “Heat cramps in a 17-year-old may be heat exhaustion in someone (age) 40 and heat stroke in a person over 60,” according to NOAA.

    Ready.gov suggests getting to know neighbors to be aware of those who live alone and might be at risk.


    Recognize heat-related illness

    Humans get rid of heat by sweating and sweat evaporation, pumping blood closer to the skin and panting. When the body can’t get rid of enough heat, or has a chemical imbalance from sweating too much, it goes into heat exhaustion.

    WebMD lists signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion: confusion, dizziness and fainting, dark-colored urine, headache, cramps, nausea, pale skin, profuse sweating, and rapid heartbeat.

    To treat, get the patient out of the heat, give them plenty of fluid and try cooling with water and fans. If symptoms haven’t improved in 15 minutes, emergency medical help may be necessary because heat exhaustion can become heat stroke.

    Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature control breaks down. Core body temperature rises above 105 degrees. Other symptoms include fainting, nausea, seizures and impaired mental state. Heat stroke can kill, so if you feel you’re at risk, call 911 immediately and try cooling strategies like wetting the patient or applying ice packs.


    No matter what happens this summer, make sure you find ways to stay cool and well hydrated.


    - Melissa


    How do you beat the heat? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Cooking and Preserving Rabbit Meat

    Last month we wrote about raising rabbits as food storage. We noted that you’ll quickly have a lot of rabbits on your hands. Do you have plans for those rabbits? Here’s a post about canning rabbit (and chicken) meat. You’ll definitely have enough meat to eat fresh and to store.

    For ideas on how to prepare rabbit, check out Food.com's rabbit recipes. Livestrong.com also recommends rabbit as a tasty, lean meat. Click here for recipes on how to bake, barbeque, or stew rabbit meat.

    For putting up your own rabbit meat, you might consider salt curing, brining, smoking, or pickling the meat. Or you can try one of these more common techniques:

    Can it

    Granny Miller has a lot of information on how to can rabbit and other small game. Step-by-step instructions give you background, and then walk you through the process. She also gives you some good tips like this about what to do with giblets,

    "can the livers in their own jar because the liver taste will transfer to the other giblets. I always save the livers, kidneys, hearts and other bits when processing harvested animals. Even if I don’t eat those parts, my dogs and cats will."

    Make jerky.

    Backwoodsbound.com has a brief post on turning rabbit meat into jerky. You’ll need a food dehydrator, or a reliable oven that will maintain a temperature of 150-200° F for about 8 hours.

    Freeze it.

    You should probably use frozen meat within a few months; it might last longer if you vacuum pack it. Here are some guidelines on "shelf life" of frozen meats, from eHow.com.

    "Label and date each package with a permanent marker. Then practice FIFO - first in, first out - which reduces the risk of freezer burn and spoilage. Plus you'll know what's in the package. Even when properly packaged, frozen meats have only several months of shelf life. For quick reference: chops, 6 - 12 months; ground meat, 2 to 3; roast, 6 to 12; steaks, 6 to 9; and stew meat, 2 to 3. A whole bird will keep up to 12 months; pieces up to 9 months."

    We’re interested in hearing about your experiences preserving meat. What kinds of meat do you preserve, and what method do you like best? Let us know in the comments.


1-3 of 4

  1. 1
  2. 2
Back to Top