• When the Well Runs Dry

    What Happens When There’s No More Water?


    Do you have more than one water resource?

    Bob Marley once said, “You ain’t gonna miss your water until your well runs dry.”

    When Abelardo’s well ran dry nearly a year ago, he feared the worst. On fixed income and in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California, the four-year drought threatened to force the 81-year-old man to move away from his home. Hundreds of others are in the same situation, as the water shortage in California drags on. Fortunately for Abelardo, help came to him by the aid of a non-profit organization that dug him a new, much deeper well.

    As ground water levels drop in California, farmers pump more and more water out of the ground to try and save their crops. This causes the water levels to drop even further, drying up wells. Reservoirs are low, and there is far less snow in the mountains this year than there were last year. All these factors threaten to make the drought in California much worse this summer.

    The state of California pumps over 10 billion gallons of water per day. That’s an average of 258 gallons of water per day per person. That’s a lot of water! Now take into consideration that less than 1% of all the water on our precious Earth can actually be used by people (everything else is salt water or frozen solid). As a comparison, take flushing the toilet. Each flush uses about 3.5 gallons of water. So if you flush the toilet five times in one day, you’re using 17.5 gallons of water. That means if everyone in California flushed their toilet 5 times a day, that would use over 650 million gallons of water. So you can see how quickly water can go, well, down the drain.

    There are other ways for ground water to become unusable or inaccessible. What might happen if the power grid goes down? The municipal water facilities won’t be able to supply your home with water. What then?

    Polluted Water image Drinking water won't always be readily available.

    Or how about chemicals and other contaminants that can penetrate our precious ground water? Ground water gives over half of the total U.S. population its drinking water, and it helps grow 64% of our crops. Septic tanks or gasoline and oil storage tanks – all kept underground – may leak and spill their contents into the soil and water. This leads to contamination containing bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Even road salts can find their way underground. Landfills also give us other hazards, from leaking battery acid, paint, and other abandoned products.

    Think about how much water you use in a day, from bathing, cooking, drinking, washing, flushing, and all other things we use water for. How desperate would you be without that essential liquid? Personally, I’d be hosed (too soon?).

    As you can see, there are more reasons than just drought and overuse that can keep us without water. Fortunately, we have a way to prepare against such calamities.

    By building up your water storage, you’re preparing yourself for all of these unforeseen disasters. There are a lot of different options for storing water. There are large, 160 gallon water reserves available, which can even stack on top of each other, thus maximizing storage space. However, that may be a tad too large. If you’re like me and live in a small apartment, you might need something a little smaller. Boxed water kits and smaller 5 gallon jugs might be the only option you have, and that’s OK. Heck, if you have an extra bathtub, we even have a storage product that converts your tub into a 65 gallon water storage container!

    From bathtub to water storage!


    Essentially, water is important. Without it, life wouldn’t just be hard, it would cease. That’s why preparing for water shortages of any kind is vitally important.

    Now we want to hear from you! What are some other ways you have for storing water? What unique situations are you in that makes storing water more difficult? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Insight, Planning, Water Storage Tagged With: water pollution, water shortage, drought

  • Emergency Essentials and Mountain House: Partners In Preparedness

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    Emergency Essentials:
    Proud to Bring Mountain House to You

    Did you know that Mountain House is the number one, premier brand of freeze-dried meals on the market? And did you also know that through the whole month of March we’re offering all Mountain House freeze-dried meals for 25-50% off? And did you further know that we guarantee the lowest prices on Mountain House in the country?

    I know I just blew your mind, but stick with me. I had the chance to speak with our President, Matt Nettesheim, about the Emergency Essentials-Mountain House relationship and why he feels so strongly about providing this kind of quality product to our customers. He gave me about a gazillion more reasons to love this brand.

    soldier Mountain House has been feeding our soldiers for almost 50 years.

    So, what’s so great about Mountain House?

    “They’ve been doing this for a long time,” Matt says. Since the Vietnam War, to be precise (check out the company’s fascinating origin story here), and that history shows. As Matt explains, Mountain House’s work with the US military has resulted in freeze-dried, shelf-stable food that meets extraordinarily rigorous quality specifications. Not only that, but Mountain House continues to conduct scientific testing on factors like shelf life—so when the company claims their #10 can will last 25 years, it’s legit.

    All those things are important, in a label-reading kind of way. But what’s the real distinction?

    One word: taste.

    “They have taken just-add-water meals to a new level,” explains Matt. “A lot of places might take a freeze-dried meat, add a dehydrated sauce blend and some dehydrated noodles. All the ingredients are there, but they were never together until they were put into the can.” By contrast, the savory portions of most of Mountain House’s meals are completely prepared, ingredients fully mixed and flavors blended, prior to freeze-drying. Then, just as you pour sauce over noodles or rice at home, the freeze-dried meats and sauces are poured over instant noodles or rice and sealed in pouches and cans. “That process has set Mountain House apart for being able to provide fast and easy meals that are also as good as homemade,” says Matt. “Millions love ‘em."

    But I’ve already got basic ingredients in my food storage. Why do I need Mountain House?

    I may have a varied and impressive array of ingredients in my food storage. But the harsh truth is that in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, while my children are frightened and the future is uncertain, the last thing I’m going to want to do is cook.

    As Matt points out, needs and priorities vary. Everything from personal taste to culinary skill to financial constraints come into play when we consider an emergency food storage. “Gathering the basic pieces—wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables, those kinds of things—is probably the most economical way of doing things, but it also requires the most time and effort from the consumer.”

    openPouch All you need is hot water and a fork.

    The trade-off that Matt refers to here becomes powerful when we compare the equipment required to make use of traditional food storage ingredients (pots and pans, portable stove, oven, utensils, wheat grinders, etc.) versus Mountain House’s freeze-dried meals (hot water, fork). I’m especially enamored of the Mountain House pouches that act as their own serving dish. Truly, when ease, convenience, and speed of the essence, there’s no better option.

    Okay, I’m convinced. But how do I rotate these babies? Are they good for anything other than disaster relief?

    When I asked Matt if Mountain House meals worked well for eating at home, he said , "We’d have Mountain House at home all the time…if I was in charge of dinner.”

    Mountain House is a huge favorite for outdoor meals. Mountain House is a huge favorite for outdoor meals.

    Matt’s wife may be a gourmet, but as for me? This harried working mom thinks he may be onto something. Late meeting? Overlapping activities? Pinterest recipe fail? I can think of a million reasons I’d appreciate a quick weeknight meal that doesn’t come wrapped in paper with a cheap toy.

    A little more seriously (okay, I really was serious about that Pinterest thing), Mountain House is the preferred meal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. Lightweight and with minimum gear requirements, the pouches are ideal for backpacking and car camping alike. In fact, Matt tells a great story of bringing Mountain House meals on a large group canoe trip: while everyone packed their own meals, by the end of the trip, the others were throwing their pre-packaged food away and begging for Matt’s leftovers. A dozen hungry Boy Scouts can’t be wrong!

    Matt’s picks?

    “Beef Stroganoff and Noodles and Chicken—those are probably my two favorites,” Matt gushes just a little. And the Breakfast Skillet, which he eats in MRE tortillas like a breakfast burrito. “Oh, and the Granolas and Blueberries! Oh, and…!”

    There you have it. Matt’s personal endorsement, the highest endorsement we can give. And if you don’t want to take Matt’s word for it (though he really is a nice guy), there’s no better time to try Mountain House for yourself. Cans, pouches, kits, and collections are on sale all month—hop on over and find your favorites!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: taste, preparedness, mountain house

  • The Best Winter Ever!

    If you have friends in the Northeast, your Facebook and Instagram feeds have probably been saturated with images of snow piled disturbingly high on sidewalks and in yards, or buried cars and blocked doorways. And yet, somehow, these images are not complaints. This may be the one of the snowiest winters on record, but New Englanders are no strangers to harsh weather. And while some of us get twitchy just reading about school closures, our friends under several feet of snow seem to be having a pretty good time of it.

    If you’re one of those soft Westerners who cancels park days when it’s cloudy, take a page out of New England’s handbook, and consider the…

    Top 10 Reasons 2015 is the Best Winter Ever

    1. busesSnow days. You’re eleven years old, and you have a book report due tomorrow that you haven’t started. What could possibly give you more joy than to watch heavy, fluffy flakes falling outside your window? While the rest of the country suffers through math quizzes and cafeteria lunches, untethered children all over the Northeast are sledding through a winter wonderland. (Public service message: don’t forget the hand and foot warmers!)
    2. Snow angels are cute. Snowmen are fun. Snow forts are awesome. But full-scale snow castles are epic.
    3. Community spirit. Boston’s mayor Martin Walsh recently noted, “The residents of the city are very special. Just watching everyone help each other, that’s what I love seeing about the snow.” Mayor Walsh was referring Boston, but he could have been talking about any of the dozens of cities covered in snow right now—especially Crewe, Virginia, where Tommy Adam’s good deed got him noticed nationwide.
    4. Glen in Tennessee finally gets to use his generator. A post on Instapundit.com points out that “preparedness pays.” Two days after Valentine’s Day, Glen Reynolds reported that the “power’s out, but the generator kicked in and we have heat, lights, Internet and TV. Here’s to hoping that it comes back on soon, so that other folks aren’t stuck in the dark, but right now Helen, who was slightly dubious, is very pleased.” See, Helen? Haven’t we been saying this for years?
    5. shovelSnowExercise. I mean, real exercise. Like, three straight weeks of full-body cardio.
    6. Florida never looked better. In fact, the good sports over at the Ithaca, NY, tourism board agree. Rather than trying to entice people to head north with promises of igloo rentals and Yeti sightings (like some people in Boston are actually doing!), Ithaca’s tourism website officially—and hilariously—“invites you to visit the Florida keys this week. Please come back when things thaw out.”
    7. Food storage rotation. What better time to eat your way through all that 2014 canned food than several weeks without a clear route to the grocery store?
    8. Slow the pace. Isn’t it kind of nice sometimes to have a break in the routine? Or, at least, to have an excuse to slough off all the errands you keep meaning to do and just sit next to the heater vent and drink hot chocolate all afternoon? A friend of mine from Maine has finished approximately seven full-sized quilts since the snow began to fall. (She’s also predicting a New England baby boom round about September of this year.)fabricPatterns
    9. creaturesRare creatures are stirring. And no, I’m not talking about MIT students whose labs are closed. An anonymous Twitter user has adopted the moniker, “the Boston Yeti” and is posting mysterious photos of him-/her-/itself all over the region. (Another public service message: If you’re going to don a one-piece costume and traipse around town in a blizzard, I’m really serious about those hand and foot warmers!)
    10. And finally, pandas. No kidding, if you haven’t watched the National Zoo’s Bao Bao frolic in the flakes, you haven’t really experienced this winter.

    So, how’s your winter going? What are you loving about the weather in your area? It goes without saying (but I’ll say it again anyway…), if you’re sufficiently prepared, you can enjoy any kind of weather. So, what kinds of preparations are you making so that you can enjoy the extremes in your local weather including the odd whiteout?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Winter, food storage

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