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  • A Prepper's Valentine: Give the Gift of Preparedness

    Valentine Flower Power Give your loved one power over emergencies this Valentine's Day

    When I was in college, every Valentine’s Day I wore a button: “Flowers wilt. Candy melts. Send money.”

    Since then, I’ve realized that money goes away even faster than flowers or candy (actually, the rate at which my money vanishes is proof of both black holes and the existence of faster-than-light travel).

    So what’s a Valentine’s Day gift with staying power? How about a gift that shows your concern for your loved one’s well-being: the gift of emergency preparedness.

    Here are some gift ideas from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Many of those ideas can be found here at beprepared.com.


    • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    • Books, coloring books, crayons, and board games, so kids will have something to do.
    • Personal hygiene comfort kit, including shampoo, body wash, wash cloth, hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
    • An emergency kit, like a waterproof pouch or backpack, that contains such things as a rain poncho, moist towelettes, work gloves, batteries, duct tape, whistle and food bars, as well as any of the above items.


    Also, when you’re having your lovey-dovey conversations, consider what readycolorado.com calls the one of the most important: developing an emergency plan for your family.

    First, develop a family communication plan. Ready.gov has templates for communication plans. They tell ways to communicate during a disaster, including family, physician and school phone numbers and out-of-town emergency contacts. Each family member should carry a copy.

    Second, identify types of disasters your household might experience, and plan emergency meeting places for each type, including by your home, in your neighborhood, outside your neighborhood and outside your area.

    Third, schedule times to practice what you’ve discussed.

    “A gift to help prepare for emergencies could be life-saving for friends and family,” said FEMA Region V acting regional administrator Janet Odeshoo in a release. “These gift ideas provide a great starting point for being prepared for an emergency or disaster.”

    So while flowers are nice and all (until they wither and die), perhaps a better way to say "I love you" is to show them how much their life really does mean to you by helping them prepare for emergencies. After all, flowers wilt, candy melts, but emergency preparedness is a meaningful, practical gift that will last much longer.

    - Melissa


    February - Power Banner - Valentine's Day

  • Need a Mother's Day Gift?


    Mom works hard all day, every day. Here are four suggestions for celebrating Mother’s Day without breaking the bank (or your back).

    1.      Treat her to a dinner of Provident Pantry Sweet and Sour Noodles with BeefNo, this is not a subliminal message about your mom. This is an easy way to make Mom something special without spending all day in the kitchen. This gift is especially helpful if your mom has ever told you that you’re helpless when it comes to cooking. Surprise her with this tasty freeze dried entrée!

    2.      Start her day off right with a delicious breakfast. If serving breakfast in bed is more your style, tempt the mother you’re honoring with an extra hour of sleep. With any of the Mountain House pouches (all on sale!!) you can whip up a meal without dirtying a lot of dishes. There are several breakfasts to choose from; my favorite is Scrambled Eggs with Ham and Red and Green Peppers. Your mom might prefer Granola with Milk and Blueberries. Each packet of freeze dried food has two servings so Mom doesn’t have to dine alone.

    3.      Get Mom a grain mill. Is your mom the type that spends her money on everyone but herself? If so, she’s probably been eyeing one of these grains mills for a while now. Both the Nutrimill and Wondermill are on sale this month. In fact, we’ve permanently dropped the price on our Wondermill grinder to $239.95. This really is a great time to give your mom this durable gift. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll be so excited to use it that she’ll make you a fresh loaf of bread. I almost hate to say it, but it’s a wonder you hadn’t thought of this earlier!

    4.      Last but not least, gift your mom a Byte headlamp. It might seem like a weird gift, but this little ray of light is great for a couple of reasons. One, if your mom loves to read in bed, she can read without waking up dad if she has a Princeton Tech Byte headlamp. Two, could it be that mom really just wants some peace and quiet on the road? She can keep this headlamp in the car and pass it on to the kiddos when the sun goes down. Then they can keep themselves busy reading, coloring, or playing games. Voila! Peace, quiet, and one happy mom!

    This Mother’s Day get Mom something unique. Not only will she love your thoughtfulness, but it will also help her be prepared!

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