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Emergency Essentials Blog

  • Prepping for the Presidency: How to be Ready for What the Election Brings

    voting place election 2016

    The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election is right around the corner. We generally shy away from political posts, but this time of year (every four years, of course) is always pertinent to preppers. After all, the future of the country is being voted on. Will the majority choose the best candidate for the job? Or will the country fall apart either way? These are just a few thoughts going through the minds of many.

    Election years are notoriously uncertain, and this one seems to be especially so.

    donald trump election 2016

    Headlines from news agencies promote woe and gloom, accusing each candidate of some form of atrocity or another. Whether it’s about a “big, dirty secret” on one candidate’s tax returns, or the other candidate’s ongoing email scandal, there is certainly reason to worry for the future, no matter who you favor. These headlines aren’t exactly the most comforting thing to see, especially this close to Election Day. So what’s a person to do when, as the headlines hint, both candidates are going to usher in World War III?

    hillary clinton election 2016

    Basically, you do the same thing you’ve always done: prepare, prepare, prepare!

    But how does one prepare for a new president, you ask? Just as you would for a tornado, earthquake, economic crisis, job loss, power outage, and any other disaster.

    First, stock up on the basics.

    That includes food, water, medical supplies, and necessary gear for warmth, cooking, and other necessities. suggests having enough food, water, and other supplies to last you 72 hours. Having supplies for three days is a fantastic start, but some emergencies may last longer.

    Once you have the basics, start adding to it. This includes investing in outdoor gear like sleeping bags, tents, cooking stoves, and other things that will make your life easier should the need arise. This also includes stocking up with more emergency food.

    If the stock market crashes, food prices may spike, and could remain high for months or even years. Having a well-stocked supply of food is an investment that will pay off during events like this, among other crises. For long-term preparation, we recommend having a year supply of food. Whether you get it all at once or in stages is up to you. But if you’re planning for a disaster without an end in sight, a year supply is the way to go.

    No matter the election result – whether your candidate wins, your opponent comes out on top, or it’s a lose-lose and nobody is the victor in your books – you will always be on the winning side when you’re prepared.

    Now it's time for us to give our endorsement. Of course, there could only be one winner, and that winner is...



    election_buy_supply_blog1 election day

  • Natural Disaster Seasons are Scheduled Year-Round

    When isn’t there a warning of some imminent natural disaster? It seems like some sort of devastation or disaster is scheduled each month, ready to knock us off our feet. Knowing when each disaster is more likely to strike can help us be better prepared, and with better preparedness comes greater safety.

    The following is a list of natural disasters the United States can expect on a yearly basis, along with applicable dates in which they are “scheduled.”


    Tornado season disaster seasonTornado Season: March – July

    Technically, tornado season differs for various regions. For example, the Southern States are in peak tornado season from March to May, whereas the Northern Plains and Midwest experience their tornado season around June and July. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that tornadoes can occur during any time and any month.

    To learn more about tornadoes, click here.


    Hurricane season disaster seasonHurricane Season: June – November

    Half the year is taken up with the Atlantic hurricane season, beginning June 1 and continuing through November 30, according to NOAA. Just like any of these scheduled disasters, some may arrive earlier than June or even after hurricane season has long since ended.

    To learn more about hurricanes, click here.


    Fire Season: October – January

    Fire Approaching House (NY Times) disaster season fire seasonFire season is a fickle thing. It depends on outside factors, such as recent precipitation and heat. But, October is generally the start of fire season and, depending on which part of the country you reside, could last through January.

    California, while still following these same guidelines, tends to be in the danger zone year round. “Where there’s drought, there’s fire,” says Slate. California has been in a state of drought for many years, making fires a likely threat.


    Earthquake Season: January – December

    Christchurch, New Zealand - March 12, 2011 disaster season earthquake season

    If you thought you had at least February off from any imminent disaster, this will come as bad news. Earthquakes happen every month of the year, in every state, and can happen at any time of the day or night. As of yet, earthquakes are unable to be predicted.


    There is no day or month that is immune from natural disasters. Because of this, being constantly prepared is vital. Sure, some natural disasters can be better predicted during certain seasons, making it easier to prepare, but remember, these disaster seasons aren’t always followed exactly. Hurricanes can come before or after hurricane season, tornadoes can form outside of tornado season, and fires can certainly happen year round. Also, there are other disasters, such as earthquakes, that simply can’t be predicted. Combined with blizzards and severe thunderstorms, there’s a full year of scheduled disasters waiting to strike.

    Fortunately, getting the basics can be quick and easy. Make sure you have what you need before disaster strikes. Prepare today for tomorrow’s emergencies.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner disaster season

  • War of the Worlds: A Lesson in Preparedness from the 1938 Martian Invasion

    On October 30, 1938, radio comedy ventriloquist Edgar Bergen was trying to tell a ghost story on NBC’s The Chase and Sanborn Hour as his wooden dummy, Charlie McCarthy, and the rest of the cast interrupted him. The comedy sketch ended, so some listeners twisted their radio dials to CBS just in time to hear a piano concert interrupted.

    “We are bringing you an eyewitness account of what’s happening on the Wilmuth farm, Grovers Mill, New Jersey. (more piano) We now return you to Carl Philips at Grovers Mill. …

    Crash landed UFO with Martians walking in the forest.

    “Wait! Something’s happening! … A humped shape is rising out of the pit. I can make out a small beam of light against a mirror. What’s that? There’s a jet of flame springing from that mirror, and it leaps right at the advancing men. It strikes them head on! Good Lord, they’re turning into flame!”

    Over the next 20 minutes, CBS listeners heard eyewitness reports as Martians destroyed the world from New Jersey to New York and beyond.

    They were, of course, listening to the Mercury Theater on the Air’s dramatization of The War of the Worlds.

    That is, if they bothered to listen to the whole thing. Radio stations, newspapers, and police offices were inundated with calls asking about the Martian invasion. Some people actually fled their homes, though not nearly as many as initially reported, and there were anecdotal accounts of attempted suicides. Fortunately, no one was injured because of this Halloween prank, though one woman sued CBS for “nervous shock.”

    Why were people afraid?

    Martians attack

    The Invasion from Mars (1940), a study of peoples’ reactions to the broadcast by Princeton University professor Hadley Cantril and fellow researchers, suggested one main reason was insecurity. The U.S. was just beginning to come out of the Great Depression. War was raging in Asia and threatening in Europe. People weren’t prepared for another disaster.

    “Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters,” a FEMA brochure said.

    What preparation could have prevented people from being scared by a radio program that night?


    First, education

    Cantril’s study suggested people with more education – of any kind – were less likely to be fooled by the broadcast.

    “Persons with higher education … had acquired more generalized standards of judgment which they could put their faith in. … The greater the possibility of checking against a variety of reliable standards of judgment, the less suggestible a person will be,” he wrote.

    Consider learning additional skills that can translate into side jobs for additional income or to help get out of debt, like teaching piano, suggested Kayleen Chen, a peer mentor at the University of Utah’s Personal Money Management Center.


    Second, corroboration

    All people had to do to check if the broadcast was really true was turn the dial to another station. Yet many didn’t or they checked by other means: looking out the window, for example.

    “No cars came down my street. Traffic is jammed on account of the roads being destroyed, I thought,” was the excuse one of Cantril’s interviewees used for their fear.

    A battery-powered or hand-cranked weather radio can provide information from official sources, so you won’t have to rely on neighbors or window-watching for emergency information.


    Third, financial and physical preparedness

    The radio play’s Martian invasion condensed daylong events into minutes.

    An attack of 7,000 National Guard troops advancing on the Martian cylinder became, within two minutes, “One hundred and twenty known survivors. …  Highways to the north, south and west are clogged with frantic human traffic.”

    Patricia - Trees BlowingA study by Rice University educators showed that people who prepared for Hurricane Ike, which hit Houston in 2008, were calmer and less likely to evacuate in advance of the storm. Those who lived outside the recommended evacuation zone stayed off the road, allowing those at greater risk to leave more quickly and reducing auto accidents, the study’s authors wrote.

    Cantril’s study suggested much of the anxiety that caused people to overreact to The War of the Worlds broadcast came from their financial insecurity.

    “The depression had already lasted nearly 10 years. People were still out of work. Why didn’t somebody do something about it? … Again, what would happen, no one could tell. Again, a mysterious invasion fitted the pattern of the mysterious events of the decade,” he wrote.

    So, be prepared. And, as Orson Welles said at the end of the broadcast, “That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. It’s Hallowe’en.”


    Other sources:

    Koch, Howard. The Panic Broadcast. Avon Books, New York, N.Y., 1970.

    Maltin, Leonard. The Great American Broadcast. Dutton, New York, N.Y. , 1997.

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