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  • Winter Has Arrived: 4 Ways to Prepare for the Next Storm

    On November 17, 2016, Utah experienced its first snow storm of the year. Sure, it mostly just accumulated on the grass because the roads were too warm. But there was snow!


    The winter weather that Utah experienced was the tail end of a larger storm passing over the Northern Plains. Utah was only under a winter weather advisory, but parts of Minnesota and South Dakota faced a Blizzard warning. On November 18, 2016, however, Winter Storm Argos continued to blow powerful winds and dumped over a foot of snow as it made its way through South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.



    Winter, it would seem, has finally arrived.

    While the snow may still melt, we can take this as a warning that more winter storms will be coming along. That means it’s high time to get out your winter gear. But what, exactly, should you be prepared with?


    1. Warmth

    One of the biggest threats winter weather brings is cold temperatures. Fortunately, with a little planning, this can be countered rather easily. If you’re in your home, you most likely have access to warm clothing, blankets, and perhaps even a generator and heat lamp to counter any power outages.

    mr-heater-lifestyle-image-ck-h800 Winter Storm ArgosBut if there is a power outage, there are still ways to get extra heat, even without a generator.

    Portable propane heaters provide reliable heat that that are even safe to use indoors. This image shows off the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy connected to a propane tank. But you don’t necessarily need a tank that large. Instead, smaller one-pound propane cylinders provide up to 6 hours of heat.

    Hand and body warmers are a smaller, more space-friendly alternative to larger heaters. Once activated, they produce heat for up to 18 hours. These are ideal for your car’s emergency kit, since they don’t take up much space but can help keep you warm while you wait for assistance should a patch of ice force you off the road. (Of course, keeping blankets, gloves, and hats in your car is also a good idea during the winter months.)


    1. Shelter

    Shelter plays a big role in keeping warm, and it will also keep you out of the elements, including snow and wind. Shelter could range from your home, a tent, or even just a tarp. In fact, your car can transform into a warm shelter by lining the interior with reflective blankets. That way, your body heat will be trapped inside. It would take a number of blankets, but the idea still shows that anywhere can be warm if you’re prepared.


    1. Food and Water

    Ice Storm (CNN) Winter Storm ArgosWinter storms can dump huge amounts of snow and leave the roads slicker than an ice rink. When this happens, there’s a good chance you could be trapped in your home. We posted an article back in May, 2015 about how one family from Kentucky was trapped inside their home for a couple of days because of a storm that knocked out power and iced the roads. They were stuck indoors, wrapped in blankets, and cooked with a portable propane stove.

    Whenever a huge storm of any kind is expected, grocery stores run low on the essentials, including bread, eggs, and milk. But if you have food already stored, you won’t have to rush to the store only to find empty shelves. Likewise, having extra water stored can help in a pinch if your water pipes freeze over or water is otherwise unavailable.

    Once you have food and water, you will still need an alternate method to cook, just in case. In the example above, the family couldn’t use their stove or oven because it ran on electricity. Fortunately, they had a way to cook. Many people, when the power goes out, will not. Your alternate cooking options range from small gas powered stoves to flameless cookers. Small cookers don’t take up much space, making them ideal for emergencies (and camping and hiking, too!).


    1. Lighting

    Flashlight Reading Winter Storm ArgosThe thing about winter is, it gets dark so early! Many places in the country will need to turn on the lights even at 5:00 in the evening. If the power goes out, you’ll most certainly want some extra light sources. Flashlights are always a good option, but the can become a nuisance if you have to hold on to it for hours on end while you get things done around the house.

    One option is a flashlight that charges in a base that plugs into a wall outlet. As soon as the power goes out, the base lights up, not only illumining the room, but also helping you find your flashlight so you can reach the rest of your prep in other darkened rooms. Lanterns are also a good option, since they provide light while standing or hanging on their own.


    Of course, books and board games are also necessary when you’re trapped at home, and anything else you and your family would enjoy (like snacks and blanket forts). But before the next storm comes, make sure you’re prepared with these basic necessities to see you though cold days and even colder nights.


    Winter_Storm_Blog_Image2 Winter Storm Argos


    Freeze-Dried Vegetable Chef Combo Giveaway

  • Trump Elected President, Stocks Plunge (and Everything will be Just Fine)

    Donald Trump - President Elect

    The race to the White House was always going to be close, regardless of what the polls suggested. And no matter who won, there would inevitably be mourning from the opposition. It’s just the way things go.

    Along with that, fears of an imploding nation crop up.

    Donald Trump

    People thought Bush would shatter America. Obama was supposed to destroy the Constitution. If one looks at Twitter for more than a few seconds, they will find that

    many people fear Donald Trump’s presidency for various other reasons. Now, unless I’m mistaken, America still stands, and the Constitution is still intact. Sure, they initiated certain things that the opposition didn’t particularly care for, but America still stands strong. Perhaps we won’t implode with Trump, either.

    Welcome to Alberta - Donald Trump

    But before you start packing your bags and relocate to Canada (great place, mind you), sit down and take a deep breath. Things are going to be ok. If you’re a Trump supporter, you will no doubt already be feeling that. If you support Clinton or a third-party candidate, things might be a little bit more difficult for you. And that’s ok. It’s natural. Not all is lost.

    Now that I think about it, there is one fool-proof method to feeling better.


    Food is good. Food makes you happy. But most importantly, food sustains life and provides energy. Regardless of result and “would be’s” and “could be’s” of this election, the importance of preparedness remains, and emergency food is a huge part of that.

    During the election coverage, I saw the Dow Jones plunge 750 points. I wasn’t too worried. Knee-jerk reactions like that tend to happen with the market during pivotal events. The day after the election, the Dow Jones climbed at least 200 points the morning after the election. See? Things are already looking up!

    I bring up the financial market as an example of why it’s important to always have food on hand. Sometimes, stocks drop and food prices go up. Other times disasters strike and food just isn’t available in the stores. And then you have a new president elected and you just don’t know what will happen.

    But that’s life, isn’t it? You never know exactly what will happen. By preparing ahead of time with food, water, and gear, you’ll be prepared for anything, whether it’s expected or not. The election isn’t going to usher in the end of the world (knock on wood), but it still brings uncertainty (just look at the stock market). That being said, “fear” isn’t a word we like to use here. Instead, we prefer “hope.” Hope can come in many shapes and sizes, but one particular method of feeling hope is by having shelves stocked with emergency food.

    That way, no matter what chaos breaks into your life, fear will be replaced by food, which will leave you with the pleasant aftertaste of hope.


    election_buy_supply_blog1 Donald Trump

  • Daylight Saving Time: A (Dark) Reminder to Prepare

    Smoke Detector Daylight SavingIn Norfolk, Va., less than two weeks ago, a fire gutted a home and killed two pets. Yet the four people in the home all survived. The home had working smoke detectors.

    In Spokane, Wash., at the end of last month, a fire killed a 3-year-old and the child’s dog. Parents and three other children got out. The home had smoke detectors, but the batteries weren’t working and had been removed.

    Daylight Saving time ended yesterday.  But you can still take a few minutes to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and do a few other semi-annual tasks to prepare for home evacuation emergencies like fires.

    In the United States, according to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), three out of five deaths from home fires occur in homes without smoke alarms or working smoke detectors.

    Synthetic materials now used in home construction and furniture catch fire at a lower temperature. Their smoke is also more toxic. While 30 years ago you had 14 to 17 minutes to evacuate from a house fire, you now have two to three minutes, Underwriters Laboratories Consumer Safety Director John Drengenberg told This Old House. (This Old House has a great piece that breaks down the steps a fire goes through from small grease fire on a stove to a home fully engulfed.)

    “If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape,” according to

    Daylight Saving

    So, while you’re setting back those last few clocks you keep forgetting about, change smoke detector batteries, and do a few other things too.

    Count smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace any that are more than 10 years old, suggests the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Also replace any that don’t go off when tested. Every level of your home should have at least one, and the USFA suggests putting a smoke alarm in every sleeping area.

    You should test detectors monthly, a brochure from Energizer and the IAFC says. But if you’re like most of us and forget, test them now. Same with cleaning dust and cobwebs off. Go ahead and do that now, too. Test them when family members are around so they can learn to recognize the sound.

    Twice per year – Daylight Saving time is a good way to remember – get with family members and review home evacuation plans.

    Ready.govFire Alarm Daylight Saving gives the following tips:

    • Find two ways to get out of each room. You’ll need a second way out if the primary route is blocked by smoke or fire.
    • Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
    • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened. Make sure all family members old enough to do so can open locked or barred doors and windows.
    • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
    • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, and teach them to stay low when trying to evacuate.
    • Also, make sure you’ve got a family meeting place away from the home.

    Change batteries in other home safety and comfort devices, like thermostats and security systems. Many smart appliances use batteries.

    Keep flashlights by each bed, the brochure from the IAFC recommends, to help family members find the way out and signal for help. Change flashlight batteries around Daylight Saving time, too, since kids will have used them for reading, searching for lost items under the bed and playing flashlight tag.

    Get out 72-hour kits, and replace products that will expire in the next six months. Remember to check non-food items – batteries have an expiration date, too. Also, be sure to keep copies of important documents in a fireproof container or, even better, offsite or in cloud storage.

    Every year, home fires kill more than 2,500 people and injure 12,600 in the U.S, according to Whether you like Daylight Saving time or think it should be abolished, it can be a great reminder to protect your home and family from fire.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Daylight Saving

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