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  • Complete List of 2015 Black Friday Sales

    Happy Black Friday! I hope you had some delicious turkey, pie, and a good nap on your Thanksgiving. But now it’s time to take advantage of all our Black Friday sales! So without further ado, here’s what we’ve got line up for you this Black Friday.


    Door Busters

    These are some of our hottest items at ridiculously low prices! All products are limited quantities, so get ‘em fast!


    Elementa Essential OilsElementa Collection: Nature’s First Aid (Sale Price: $124.99 – Save 58%)

    These essential oils are great for your emergency kits. Unlike traditional medications that don’t have a very long shelf life, these essential oils will last for many years. Use these oils for numerous conditions, including aiding your health, well-being, and a self-sufficient lifestyle.


    Mountain House Cinnamon Fuji Apple Slices #10 Can (Sale Price: $9.99 – Save 62%)

    Cinamon ApplesCinnamon apples are delicious, and the freeze-dried variety is no exception. These Mountain House cinnamon apples are amazing with all sorts of meals, including desserts, salads, yogurt, or just right out of the can!


    Trekker IITrekker II Emergency Kit (Sale Price: $88.99 – Save 40%)

    Everyone needs an emergency kit, and the Trekker II is a great place to start for two people. It comes with both a large and a medium day pack, loaded with the basics – and some extras – that lots of emergency kits leave out. When it comes to emergency kits, make sure you have everything you need. And for that, this Trekker II has you covered.


    Turkey Patty ChunksFreeze-Dried Turkey Pattie Chunks (Sale Price: $24.99 – Save 64%)

    Turkey is an absolutely delicious bird which we only tend to eat during special holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. With these freeze dried turkey patties, you can have a Thanksgiving meal – or any special meal – no matter the time of year! These turkey patty chunks are also a prime candidate for sandwiches, gravies, casseroles, and even just a meaty snack from the can.


    6 Month Supply of Lunch and Dinner6-Month Supply of Lunch & Dinner (Sale Price: $1,099.99 – Save 36%)

    Having a long-term food plan in case of emergencies is vital, because really, who knows what can happen? This 6-Month Supply of Lunch & Dinner is an easy way to stock up on delicious freeze-dried entrees, fruits, vegetables, and drink mixes. And, since this food is so delicious, you might just decide to break into these cans a little early. And that’s OK, too.


    Hybrid 40 Lumens Solar FlashlightHybrid 40 Solar Flashlight (Sale Price: $8.99 – Save 64%)

    Everybody needs a good flashlight in their emergency kit (or camping or night hikes or, well, you get the picture). But isn’t it just the worst when you go to use your flashlight and the batteries are dead? Mourn no more! This flashlight recharges from any light source. Yes, you heard me right – any light source. It runs for 8 hours on one full solar/light charge and will even hold that charge for years, so you can charge it up, put it in your emergency kit, glove compartment, or wherever you stash flashlights, and then forget about it until you need it. If capturing light isn’t an option, you can still use batteries as backup. With this flashlight, you need never fear about being left in the dark.


    Case of 30 Ultra WarmersCase of 30 Ultra Warmers (Sale Price: $19.99 – Save 73%)

    The Ultra Warmers are amazing. Once activated, they provide over 24 hours of heat, helping you stay warm in cold weather. Line your sleeping bag with them, pad your jacket during sporting events, or simply keep them in your car kit or bug-out bag for that much needed warmth when disaster strikes.




    72 Hour Food BucketPremier 4-Person 72-Hour Food Bucket (Sale Price: $89.99 – Save 64%)

    This bucket is the ultimate in convenient emergency food. Not only are these meals absolutely delicious, they’re quick and easy to prepare – simply add water, simmer, and enjoy! This bucket comes with 140 deluxe single-serving pouches, providing 2,000 calories a day for 4 people for three days. If you need to take three days’ worth of meals on the go without time to waste, or just prefer quality convenience, then this 4-Person 72-Hour Food Bucket is for you.


    Freeze-Dried Vegetable Combo (Sale Price: $69.99 – Save 50%)Freeze-Dried Vegetable Combo

    Everybody needs vegetables. They help round out the flavor of your meals, as well as providing you with all kinds of nutrients. Having this 6-can combo in your emergency food storage ensures well-balanced meals that will keep your family going.


    ASAP Silver SolutionASAP Silver Solution – 16 oz. (Sale Price: $19.99 – Save 54%)

    Sometimes your immune system needs a little help. The ASAP Silver Solution delivers nano silver particles to boost your body’s immune system. This supplement is more effective than traditional colloidal silver, and is the #1 choice of thousands of doctors, medical professionals, and families. A must-have in any emergency kit of home medicine cabinet.


    Aquamira Water Bottle with Filter (Sale Price: $9.99 – Save 66%)

    This water bottle is more than meets the eye. It’s also clean filtered water on the trail or in an emergency. Simply fill this water bottle with water and the built-in filter will reduce chlorine, bad taste, and odors, while also certified to remove more than 99.9% of Giardia and Cryptosporidium – the two leading causes of waterborne illness. This is definitely a great addition to your outdoor gear, and fits well in standard cup holders or bicycle cages.


    Neapolitan Ice CreamFreeze-Dried Ice Cream Slices – Neapolitan (Sale Price: $14.99 – Save 55%)

    This is the stuff dreams are made of. Literally. Astronauts even eat it! Freeze-dried ice cream is the delicious, dry form of the frozen treat you fancy so well, and the best part is, you can chill with it in the sun without ever worrying about it melting! It’s been packaged to last as part of your emergency food storage long-term, so no matter what troubles life heaps upon you, you can always have that comforting taste of ice cream, anytime, anywhere.


    High Uinta Gear 13-Function Knife (Sale Price: $1.99 – Save 71%)13-Function Knife

    Everyone needs a knife in their emergency kit, so why not get one that has multiple functions? This knife includes a 2” stainless steel blade, phillips and standard screwdrivers, reamer punch, nail file and cleaner, sewing eye, 2” double-cut saw, spring loaded scissors, scaler and hook remover, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, and key ring. That’s a lot of stuff for just two dollars! Again, you need a knife. Might as well go with something that offers you even more options, just in case.


    Creamy Alfredo Pasta #10 Can (Sale Price: $17.49 – Save 50%)Creamy Alfredo Pasta

    Alfredo pasta is just straight up delicious. This rich and creamy entrée is pretty much every emergency food storage’s dream addition. Fortunately, this low price makes it easy for that dream to become a reality. Enjoy it any day of the week as a quick and easy meal, or save it for emergencies when you could use something to sooth the stress away.



    Black Friday Deals

    Aside from door busters, we have tons more deals chosen specifically for you! From water storage to entrees and from lighting to emergency kits (and everything in between), we’ve got just what you need at a price that can’t be beat.


    Fruit Picks ComboFruit Picks Combo (Sale Price: $79.99 – Save 57%)

    These aren’t just any fruits randomly selected. Nope, these fruits constantly receive 5-star ratings from our customers (shout out to you!) that deliver a sweet, fresh taste – just like the day they were picked! Freeze-dried fruit is absolutely delicious, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Once I start eating freeze-dried fruit…I can’t stop! It is essentially the healthiest candy you can get. The sweet, fresh taste is packed with all kinds of nutrients you and your family needs to stay healthy. Without a doubt, these fruits will keep you happy and healthy (and with a price this low, you may want to pick up a few of them…).


    Dry MilkInstant Nonfat Fortified Milk (Sale Price: $9.99 – Save 54%)

    Milk. You love it, but come an emergency, you may not be able to find it in the stores. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Our Instant Nonfat Fortified Milk gives you bone-strengthening calcium and is fortified with vitamins A and D, making it a healthy drink or baking and cooking ingredient. And, unlike some powdered milks, this one gives you a fresh, straight from the store (or cow) taste, not that burnt aftertaste that is so common among powdered milk. Our customers love it, and so many people can’t be wrong. Now’s the time to stock up on milk.


    Auto Emergency Kit (Sale Price: $17.99 – Save 57%)Auto Emergency Kit

    Don’t be caught stranded on the side of the road without the essentials. It could take a long time for help to show up, and by that time, temperatures could drop drastically or you could end up being very thirsty or hungry. This kit provides you with food rations, water, first aid, warmth, light, and shelter – all in a sturdy box that fits nicely in your car. If you don’t have an emergency car kit, now would be a wonderful time to get one.


    55-Gallon Water Barrel and Filter Kit Combo (Sale Price: $139.99 – Save 47%)

    WS_B715_image_1Water is one of the first places to start when getting going on – or updating – your emergency prep. Because, you know, we all need water. It’s pretty much life. That’s why this 55-gallon water barrel combo is so important. It makes it easy to always have good, clean drinking water on hand, no matter what’s happening outside. This kit also provides you with a filter pump to get your water out and filter it at the same time, as well as water treatment drops, a water bottle, and of course, a 5-gallon collapsible jug to store your clean drinking water. If you’ve been hemming and hawing about what to get for your water storage, this is it. If you haven’t started thinking about that yet, then you no longer have to. Just go out and get this and be prepared!


    Freeze-Dried Green Peas (Sale Price: $9.99 – Save 50%)Freeze-Dried Green Peas

    Green peas go with everything. Casseroles, soups, stir fries, side dishes…you name it. And, these freeze-dried greens are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as a good source of protein, vitamin A, and iron. Tell me that’s not a good looking list of nutrients! These peas are essential for your emergency food storage. It’ll be music to your ears when you hear your little ones saying, “More peas, please!”


    72 Hour Food Bucket1-Month Lunch Bucket (Sale Price: $89.99 – Save 50%)

    126 single-serving pouches of lunch entrees gives you, fair shopper, an entire month of lunches in easy to prepare (and enjoyable to eat) meals. Of course, if it’s not just you in your household, this would still give you a week’s worth of lunches for 4 people, so that’s not a bad option, either! No matter what your situation, though, you’re going to need food, and these entrees are both delicious and a quick fix – the perfect emergency meals or dinner when you just don’t have time to cook.


    3 Month Supply of EntreesMountain House 3-Month Supply of Entrees (Sale Price: $499.99 – Save 33%)

    24 cans, 17 different Mountain house entrees, and food for 3 months. That right there is reason enough to go for this, but the price itself practically begs to come join your emergency food storage. These meals aren’t just your run of the mill eat-or-else-you-starve meals. These are pre-cooked, gourmet entrees that taste just like Mom’s home cooking. Add that to your ability to still customize your own sides, drinks, and desserts, this 3-month supply of entrees is just too good a deal to pass up!


    Freeze-Dried Meat Basics Combo (Sale Price: $229.99 – Save 33%)Meat Basics Combo

    I don’t know about you, but a meal without meat is hardly a meal at all. The meats in this combo are all your favorites – ground beef, roast beef, chicken, and white turkey. This is the good stuff, folks. Meat you’ll actually eat during an emergency. It’s also great for camping or even everyday meals when you just don’t have the time to prepare anything special. Meat is also an excellent source of protein, yet one more reason to have these meats alongside your emergency food storage.


    Barebones Safari Outfitters Deluxe Combo (Sale Price: $3,999.99 – Save 18%)


    CT_T555If you haven’t seen one of these tents in action, you’re missing out. This comes with everything you need to sell your house and live comfortably out in the middle of nowhere practically forever. The Barebones Safari Outfitter tent is massive, roomy, and hold up even in high winds. But as amazing as the tent itself is, this combo also comes with front and side awnings, a Goal Zero Yeti 150 Power Pack to charge your electronic devices, and three Barebones Pendant Lights, so you don’t have to go to bed when the sun does. Best of all, though, is sleeping like a baby in your Canvas Bedroll Sleeping Bag atop your Cam-O-Bunk XL Cot.

    Don’t worry about roughing it during your next camping or hunting trip. In fact, you might not even realize you’ve left home! Yes, this Barebones Safari Outfitters Deluxe Combo is that awesome. 18% might not seem like a lot, but that’s almost $900 in savings! Put in perspective, that’s like getting the Canvas Bedroll Sleeping Bag and both Awnings for free! Cheers to free things!


    Chicken and Beef Entree ComboMountain House Chicken and Beef Entrée Combo (Sale Price: $114.99 – Save 37%)

    Three cans of entrees made around chicken, and three cans of entrees made around beef. Simple as that, but more delicious than you could imagine! These are some of our most popular Mountain House chicken and beef entrees, and with good reason: they taste like the real deal, and unopened, they last for up to 30 years! When emergencies come calling, you’ll be happy to have some good meals to keep you on your feet.


    Homemade Year SupplyHomemade 2000 One-Year Supply (Sale Price: $1,379.99 – Save 37%)

    Having a year’s supply of food is a goal for many people, and thanks to Black Friday, you can get yours for a whole lot less! This year supply gives you all the ingredients you need to make your favorite meals, sides, and desserts – it even comes with a large can of heirloom garden seeds for producing your own food at home! At 2,000 calories a day for an entire year, this is a manageable, cost-effective supply of food you just have to have in your emergency food storage.


    Holiday Red 115-Hour Plus Emergency Candle (Sale Price: $3.79 – Save 57%)115-Hour Plus Candle

    When the power goes out, you know what to do…Light it up! These emergency candles burn clean, odorless, and smokeless, making them a great option for indoor use during power outages. Each candle burns for 115 hours straight, and since you won’t need it during the daytime as much, these candles will last you a very long time. The perfect addition to your emergency kits.


    WS_B110_image_115-Gallon Water Barrel Filter Kit Combo (Sale Price: $119.99 – Save 35%)

    Just like the 55-gallon water barrel, only it doesn’t take up as much room (or hold as much water). This makes it an ideal water storage container for smaller homes or when there just isn’t much room. This kit also includes an emergency pump which filters the water as it comes out, as well as water treatment drops, a water bottle, and a 5-gallon collapsible jug to store your clean drinking water.


    Instant Chocolate Pudding Large Can (Sale Price: $13.29 – Save 55%)Instant Chocolate Pudding

    Mmmm…pudding! Having desserts on hand is more than just important; it’s a necessity! This instant chocolate pudding is quick and easy to make, and a delicious snack whenever you have that chocolatey craving, and that includes during emergencies!


    Emergency Essentials Entrée Favorites Combo (Sale Price: $119.99 – Save 45%)FS_V500_updated

    These are your favorite meals. No really, they are! They’ve been proven by our customers time and again as their all-time favorites. So when we you get these six cans of entrees, you’re not just getting meals, you’re getting home-cooked comfort that even your pickiest eater will love! So go ahead, bring your favorite meals into your emergency food storage where they belong.


    Gourmet Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate (Sale Price: $16.99 – Save 36%)Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate

    Real Dutch cocoa, refreshing mint taste…this is the hot chocolate you need this winter (and the next, and the next…). Combat winter’s cold winds and falling snow with this rich blend of delicious hot chocolate.


    Ultra Warmer (Sale Price: $0.75 – Save 69%)Ultra Warmer

    These warmers provide more than 24 hours’ worth of constant heat. They are safe to use and environmentally friendly. Line your sleeping bag with them, tuck them in your jacket during sporting events, or just have some ready to use in an emergency by keeping them in your emergency kit in your home or car.


    Sensor Deluxe Power Failure Flashlight (Special Price: $12.49 – Save 53%)Deluxe Power Failure Light

    These nifty little flashlights are exactly what you need in your home to prepare for power outages. While the power is on, the flashlight sits in its dock, charging so you can use it when you need it. But, when the power suddenly goes out, these lights power on, giving you light to see by. Keep these plugged in to the outlets around your home so you can stay safe from harm when your home turns black.


    Trekker Kelly KettleTrekker Kelly Kettle Combo (Sale Price: $89.99 – Save 22%)

    The Kelly Kettle is more than just a kettle – it’s a water purifier, food rehydrator, and cooks your meals! Faster than a speeding bullet, it even boils 19 ounces of water in minutes while simultaneously acting as a stove! And the best part is, it uses fuel you can find everywhere! Twigs and wood chips, grass, leaves…if it’s flammable, it’ll work. This combo comes with the Trekker Kelly Kettle, a cook set, pot support, and some FiredUp! Fire starter fuel. An excellent new stove and kettle system to add to your camp kitchen.


    Cheesy Lasagna (Sale Price: $13.99 – Save 60%)Cheesy Lasagna

    There’s a reason Garfield the cat loves lasagna so much. It’s loaded with cheesy pasta and tomato sauce in a delicious, easy to rehydrate freeze-dried meal! There’s not much else to say about this other than this is one meal your family will ask for again and again.


    Yoders Bacon (Sale Price: $14.99 – Save 34%)20130910-_MG_2766_ccs

    BACON. Packaged for long-terms storage.

    Did I mention it’s bacon?


    WS_B405_image_130-Gallon Water Barrel Filter Kit Combo (Sale Price: $129:99 – Save 34%)

    When 15-gallons is too small and 55-gallons is too big, this 30-gallon Water Barrel is Goldilocks’ water barrel of choice, because it’s “juuuuust right!” Included in this combo is, of course, a 30-gallon water barrel, water treatment drops, an emergency pump that doubles as a filter, a water bottle, and a 5-gallon collapsible jug for easy water storage and transportation.


    Emergency Gas Wrench (Sale Price: $2.99 – Save 70%)

    Gas leaks can be very dangerous, and they can come about by earthquakes and other disasters. If there’s a gas leak in your home, you need to shut the gas off right away, since gas leaks are a fire hazard. Keep this emergency gas wrench near your gas valves so you’ll always know where it is when you need it.


    Emergency Whistle (Sale Price: $0.35 – Save 53%)Emergency Whistle

    Jiminy Cricket hit it right on the money when he said, “When you’re in trouble…give a little whistle!” Having an emergency whistle with you can make a huge difference in getting help. Attach the lanyard to your hiking bag, camp gear, or in your emergency kit, so when you’re in trouble, this little whistle can help others find you.


    6 Gallon Bucket with Lid6-Gallon Bucket with Lid (Sale Price: $5.99 – Save 53%)

    Buckets are great for storing food. They’re high quality, food-grade, and stackable – everything you want (and need) in a good food bucket for your storage! You can store bulk grains, cereal, flour, sugar, and basically anything else that fits! Save storage space by stacking these buckets on top of each other. Dump in your food, toss in an oxygen absorber, and cap it off with the included lid and you’re good to go!


    Steak Seasoning Supreme (Sale Price: $8.99 – Save 55%)Steak Seasoning

    Every steak needs its signature seasoning, and this is the perfect one to go with your emergency food storage or kitchen pantry. Season you meat for a most excellent taste you will be renowned for.


    Dehydrated Drink Mix ComboDehydrated Drink Mix Small Can Combo (Sale Price: $17.49 – Save 50%)

    Everybody needs to drink, even in emergencies! Sometimes, however, that emergency water has been sitting around for too long and the water just doesn’t taste good anymore. This can happen after filtering water, too. Or, maybe you just want a tasty drink at your picnic! No matter what the reason is, these drink mixes add flavor to your water, and are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamins A, D, E, B6, B12, and other nutrients. Perfect for camping, emergencies, or just at home for a quick treat.


    Freeze DryerHarvest Right Freeze Drier Stainless Steel (Sale Price: $3,799.99 – Save 11%)

    Harvest Right Freeze Drier Black Finish (Sale Price: $3,399.99 – Save 12%)

    Having your very own freeze dryer can save you lots of money. Freeze-dry your own food, including leftovers, to keep them for years down the road. Easy to use, easy to set up, and is just what you need to get yourself started in preparing your own long-term food storage.


    Goal Zero Venture 30 BundleGoal Zero Venture 30 Recharger with Special Gift! (Sale Price: $99.99 – Save 28%)

    You’ve got the power (quite literally at that)! Take this recharger with you everywhere you go – camping fishing, hiking, your bug-out bag – and keep your devices charged and active. What good is a GPS if it’s out of juice? How can you jam out to your tunes without a charge? Never fear, because the Goal Zero Venture 30 Recharger will keep your devices powered. And, as a bonus, this bundle comes with a Micro Boom Bluetooth Speaker, a high-quality, powerful speaker that connects to your devices via Blutooth. Perfect for taking to the great outdoors!


    Pantry Replenishment ComboPantry Replenishment Combo (Sale Price: $34.99 – Save 61%)

    You cook, you bake, and you use your spices and ingredients. Why not take the time now (while the price is so low) to stock up your pantry with those baking essentials? Home-baked food is a necessity and comfort when disaster happens and situations are uncertain. Of course, it’s also a necessity and comfort on Tuesdays, too. And Wednesdays, Thursdays…and every other day of the week.


    Klymit KSB 0 Synthetic Sleeping BagKlymit KSB 0 Synthetic Sleeping Bag (Sale Price: $99.99 – Save 50%)

    Sleep soundly in warm comfort on your next camping trip. This sleeping bag is designed to keep you warm and comfy during cold nights sleeping under the stars. The food box is overstuffed to keep your feet warm, and let’s be honest, that’s a problem with a lot of other sleeping bags. The bag is sewn in a way that it eliminates air movement, yet still allows you to move and shift within the bag. There’s even a mummy hood to minimize heat loss during especially cold nights!


    Optimus CruxOptimus Crux Canister Stove (Sale Price: $39.99 – Save 27%)

    This little stove is so compact and lightweight that the fact that it’s a powerful 10,200 BTU burner will surprise you! Thanks to an innovative folding burner head and the convenient protective bag, the Optimus Crux packs down to store in the empty base of an 8 ounce fuel canister. Quickly boil water or simmer food without spot burning. A great basic stove that takes up very little space.





  • Go Dark For a Day - Practice Your Prep

    Ice storm forces residents to go dark. via CNN

    The North American ice storm in January, 2009 left 1.3 million people without power across six states. Kentucky was the hardest hit, with over 100,000 homes left powerless for over a week. The ice storm made running water a limited commodity. No power meant not being able to cook or heat up food. Some folks were trying to buy anything they could eat cold. Many had to drive over 15 miles just to get groceries; they were the fortunate ones that could leave.

    The Jenkins family, including my wife Jill, was caught in that storm. Living near Louisville, Kentucky, they experienced the worst that storm had to offer. They were stuck indoors, wrapped in blankets and cooking with a portable propane stove. Jill’s friend was visiting when the storm hit and had to stay for a couple of days due to the ice factor. When Jill and her family were finally able to leave, they all went to stay with friends who actually had power.

    This was a very personal example of how we can be caught unawares, suddenly unprepared for a widespread disaster. Fortunately for Jill’s family, they had a way to cook food, but a heater would have received a warm welcome, and a generator would have really lit-up their spirits.

    How would you and your family fare stuck without power for a week? Would you be safe and warm spending a few nights without heat or power? How would daily life be challenged when it comes to cooking, cleaning, moving about the house, or communicating with others next door, across town or far away?

    Although we may not know what disaster will hit us, or when, we can still prepare for them by practicing our preparedness. And one fun way to do this is to go dark for a day, go dry for a while, or go outside for the night. Gather your family, choose a day this month, then emulate the effects of a disaster.

    Here are some suggestions:


    Turn Off Your Power

    Practice Your Prep - Go Dark For A DayThis is a good chance to test out your emergency lights, generator, and other alternative power sources. Spend the day charging up that power pack with your solar panel so when night comes you’ll still have light for your family. Children especially need light to feel safe and protected.

    What other things are you going to have to do without? TV, video games, computers, and other tech won’t work (unless you have a generator or some power source that powers bigger devices like that). Your refrigerator won’t be cooling things off anymore, either, so if you need something out of it, make sure you close the door promptly to keep as much cold air inside as possible.

    Without power, you might not be able to cook. Do you have an alternative method for cooking? Some sort of portable stove or grill? The sun is always a fair bet for cooking in a solar oven. And what about fuel? There’s all kinds of things to think about that we normally don’t when life is fine and dandy and full of power.


    Turn Off the Taps

    Practice Your Prep - Water OffJust as the ice storm of 2009 made water a rarity, your emergency prep practice might include shutting off your home water (this way you won’t be tempted to cheat a bit…). Will you have enough water to get through your experience? What if it were to last longer than just a day? Check your water supply and make sure you’d be OK in the event of a disaster. Cooking also requires water. Even if you have an alternative cooking source, if you don’t have water to cook with, you might not be eating very well tonight.

    Water is used for more than just human consumption. Think about sanitary issues, such as bathing, washing, and cleaning. You might be able to go a day or two without showering, but your family won’t appreciate it very much. And of course, don’t forget the dog and cat.


    Backyard Camp Out

    Practice Your Prep - Backyard CampingCamping and surviving are synonymous. Do you have a tent? Why not take your family camping in your back yard for a night or two? If, during a disaster, your home becomes unusable (due to flood, tornado, earthquake, etc.), you can see how good your shelter is by testing it out first. And, since you’ll be only a few meters away from your back door, there’s no risk if you realize you don’t have the necessary tools after all.

    Once you’re out in the back yard, what will you do? Try out your new camp stove and cook up some grub from your emergency food storage. Have your kids help you set up the tent, cook dinner, and do other outdoorsy things like starting fires (maybe move away from the house for this one) so they can learn those important survival skills, too.


    What other things won’t you be able to do without power and heat? You’ll discover what they are quickly enough if you just use the emergency prep that you have already acquired, and see how it goes from there.

    If it goes well, congratulations! If not…well, perhaps it’s time to take inventory of your emergency prep and identify the areas in which you can improve.


    Did you practice your prep? How did it go, and in what areas do you need to improve?


    Practice Your Prep

  • Preparing Dads for Disasters

    “Everyone had one thing in common… they all love their kids and were all equally concerned about being prepared for future disaster.”

    Preparing Dads - FishingThat was the scenario in Ohio at a disaster preparedness training for fathers as put on by the U.S. Office of the Administration for Children and Families. It was designed in preparing dads for the unexpected. As Father’s Day fast approaches, perhaps it’s time for fathers – and father figures – to sit down and think about what more we can do to help prepare our families for disaster.

    Now, I’m not a father just yet (although I will be by Father’s Day), but when I think about all I need to do to help my growing family be prepared, it can be a little bit daunting. I want to make sure they have food, water, and shelter if a disaster hits. In fact, there are 12 areas of preparedness that fathers can prepare their family with: water, food, shelter, heat, light, power, sanitation, first aid, communications, cooking, tools, and planning. This post will address each area briefly and what fathers can do to help their family prepare.



    First on the list is water. Without water, we can only survive for about three days. Kids and adults alike need 1 quart of water (about 0.25 gallons) for every 1,000 calories eaten. Storing water is pretty easy. You can start by filling pop bottles with tap water and storing in your basement or somewhere out of direct sunlight. You can also find water in cans and pouches, or use larger jugs, barrels, or large reserves. No matter what your living conditions are, there’s always room for at least some water storage.



    Preparing dads - FoodFood is next. We can last longer without food than we can with water, but again, without food, we’re still in a heap of trouble. I might be able to skimp on meals here and there, but kids are going to need to eat regularly – and in good amount – to stay healthy and growing. Food storage was once regarded as old, musty food stuffs like raw wheat, dehydrated milk and bags of sugar stacked in dark corners in big metal canisters. Well, today is nothing like your great Aunt Ruth’s cellar. Freeze dried fruits and vegetables are actually good enough to eat anytime, even right out of the can. Just-add-water meals include whole entrées like Fettuccine Alfredo and Beef Stroganoff. And even powdered milk is made with processes that perfectly preserve flavor. And, freeze-dried food is packaged to last up to 25 years, so it’s going to last until you need it (unless you get the munchies and pop open that can of freeze-dried strawberries). Today’s kids can be picky eaters. Fortunately, food storage isn’t what it used to be.



    Preparing dads - ShelterHaving a good shelter can really make post-disaster life so much more enjoyable. I’ve actually written some great articles about shelter (if I do say so myself), so I’ll just link you to those. The first one is called 4 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Shelter, and provides information as to what shelters protect you from (hint: it’s more than just rain). This next one explains how tents became the go-to after the Nepal earthquake, and what that means for us. In a nutshell, shelters are right up there in importance with food and water. In short, shelter is not only a great way to keep yourself and your family out of the elements, also provides a feeling of family safety and security, a comfort to your children.



    Even in the summertime, nights can be cold. In the winter, every time can be cold. Making sure your family stays warm is an essential part of emergency preparedness. If the power goes out, how will you stay warm? My wife has told me stories of a time when she was a teenager, living in Kentucky. They had a crazy ice storm that knocked the power out for days. After a couple days of cooking food with a small, propane stove and bundling up in blankets, they decided to abandon ship and stay with friends who actually had power, and therefore heat.

    Thinking back on her experience, I want to make sure that if we lose power for an extended period of time that my family will have the resources to stay warm. Having something like an indoor-safe propane heater, or other alternate heat source, would have been a welcome relief to my wife and her family during that ice storm.



    Family of four outdoors with solar panel, portrait, elevated viewThe stove cooks the food, the fridge keeps the leftovers cold and the microwave nukes leftovers back to life. There are lights, heat, computers, phones, tablets…and all of it works only when they power is on. When it’s gone, everything changes. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to get power when you need it.

    Solar panels are getting to be a lot more economical to have around as an alternate power source. Other sources to consider are battery-powered devices (make sure to stock up on batteries, though), power packs (big or small), or hand-crank battery packs. Then, of course, are the full-fledged back-up generators. Any of these options can help you through a power outage.



    Speaking of power outages, light is one important thing we are without when power goes down. And if that outage is due to a nighttime disaster, you will be left in the dark in the very moment you need light most. Kids need light for all sorts of things: doing homework, reading Harry Potter, not to mention, just to feel safe. After all, isn’t that what night lights are for? Having light when you otherwise wouldn’t can provide your children (and you) with comfort. Candles, rechargeable lanterns, and outage-sensing emergency flashlights are all inexpensive and easy to keep around the house and in your emergency kits. Then, when your child turns on a flashlight, you can tell him, “You light up my life.” Awww, such a tender moment. I’m glad we could share that together.



    This is one many people don’t generally think about. Sanitation is vital for maintaining good health. Options for personal necessities should be planned for when access to the bathroom is not possible. Also, with kids running around, playing in the dirt and getting into who-knows-what, keeping hands and faces clean might be a tad more difficult than you might think. Give sanitation and hygiene some thought and minimize health issues.

    I recently posted another article about how good sanitation can save your life. It’s a good read (again, tooting my own horn), and should provide you with important information on how to stay sanitary.


    First Aid

    Not to be confuse with Second Aid, which is much less effective than First Aid. Even just knowing how to respond to cuts, sores, and other owies can prevent additional harm and prevent infections. First aid prep can be as simple as having band aids (preferably of the Star Wars variety) to having a complete medical kit. Check out fema.gov for a list of things you should have in your first aid kit.



    Preparing dads - CommunicationsHaving a way to stay connected to the world around you will help you know what the situation is like, when you can return from an evacuation, and just letting your family know you’re OK. We can’t predict earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, or other horrendous disasters, but we can prepare our families to cope and survive as best as possible. By knowing what communication options are available to you before and after a disaster, you’ll have more confidence that you can know how to protect your loved ones. Confidence can be contagious, too, so that’s never a bad thing to have in an emergency, especially if you have children. They need to see their father and mother confident that all will be well.

    Be sure to establish a meeting place where family members can meet up after a disaster or in case of an emergency. A local school or church are usually good options. Or, if for some reason you can’t all gather together, find someone you can all call or text, so you can all be accounted for and know each other is safe.

    It is important to note that if you’re all separated, this common third-party person you will contact should live outside the affected area. After all, if you choose someone who lives within the affected area, they may be having just as many problems as you are. And, if you’re trying to get in contact with someone, it’s always best to text. During an emergency or disaster, phone lines can be tied up or even down. Text messages have a tendency to get through when phone calls can’t.

    Having communications equipment will help you stay in touch with your family and the world. Walkie talkies are always a good idea to have on hand. Emergency band radios are also something to consider. These radios will keep you in tune with other radio stations so you can know what’s going on, where help is, and other vital information following a disaster. Some emergency band radios, such as the Kaito Voyager Pro, can even notify you when there is a severe weather warning in your area. Definitely a good source of information, and information can be a total game changer in an emergency.



    Preparing dads - CookingRemember the story I told about my wife and their ice storm? Do you remember how they had to cook their food? It definitely wasn’t their stove or oven. It was a portable propane stove. What might have happened to my dear sweet wife had her parents not been prepared with an alternate source of cooking? In reality, they probably would have abandoned their designs of holding the fort a lot quicker. But still, what if that ice storm had made it impossible to leave? Things could have been very different for them.

    Having an alternate source for cooking is another great way to prepare your family for disaster. Be prepared with an alternative way to cook, such as a portable stove, kettle, sun oven, grill, or anything else you can think of that works for you and your family.



    Have you ever been in a situation where you needed a certain tool to fix something but you don’t have it? That’s happened to me, and it sure is annoying to have to go out to the store and pick one up. Needing a tool you don’t have during an emergency won’t necessarily end as well as just going to the store. I like to keep a 4-in-1 Mini Folding Shovel in the trunk of my car for the next time I hit the ditch and have to dig my car out of the snow. Tell you what, the first (and only) time that happened all I had were my hands. I don’t recommend it. Having other tools, such as knives, screwdrivers, gloves, duct tape, and anything else you can think of can be the difference between a quick fix and a long wait for help.



    Lastly (but certainly not leastly) is planning. Planning is one of the most essential parts of emergency preparedness, because without a plan, implementation might never happen. The Journal of Family Psychology suggests that “parents have an important role in disaster preparedness through individual and family disaster planning and by addressing the concerns their children experience in anticipation of disasters.”

    That’s smart talk for “Parents, plan ahead so when a disaster happens, your children won’t freak out.” Although planning is down here near the bottom of this post, it should really be one of the first things you do. Remember Benjamin Franklin’s wise words: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”


    These the 12 areas of preparedness are what every father should plan for. Your family is counting on you to keep them safe. Your role as a husband and father is more than just going out every day to work and bring home the bacon. Among other things, it’s to prepare and protect them from the disasters that are coming, so they will be safe, healthy, and happy. And don’t worry if you haven’t started preparing. There’s always today! If nothing else, just jot down a simple plan to help get you going.



    What is the most important thing you prepare for with your family? Let us know in comments!


    Practice Your Prep

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