Tag Archives: emergency preparedness

  •  When Disaster Hits Home--A Disaster Preparedness Guide

    Home fires, downed power lines, and winter weather can be just as deadly as earthquakes and tornadoes. It’s important to prepare for natural disasters, but our NEW Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” is a great reminder to be ready for any crisis that may strike—big or small.

    We’ve teamed up with the Deseret News to create this free guide to help our customers and readers confidently answer the question: Am I prepared for the unexpected?“When Disaster Hits Home” can teach you and your family how to prepare for the unexpected in several ways. It includes helpful hints on how to …

    • Stay safe and prevent home fires
    • Prepare for floods (did you know floods are the most common natural disaster?)
    • Get the entire family involved in preparedness (It even includes a preparedness activity sheet for kids)
    • Build an emergency kit for school, work, home, cars, and pets
    • Survive in your car in freezing temperatures
    • Provide the basics of survival (food, water, shelter, and warmth) during an emergency

    This 12-page feature is a great resource for getting prepared whether you’re a seasoned prepper or new to emergency preparedness. “When Disaster Hits Home” will teach you things you may not have known about preparation, and statistics about natural disasters and unexpected emergencies that happen in the U.S. It even offers personal stories from people who have lived through unexpected disasters.

    Check out our new Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” online or, if you live in Utah, you can pick up a printed copy at one of our stores.  The demand for printed copies of our Disaster Guide was so high that we no longer have printed copies. If you would like to  print or download a copy, you can go to  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/16e9a228#/16e9a228/ and print a copy to put in your emergency supplies.  It’s totally free and full to the brim with great info.

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency kit, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, natural disaster

  • What would you do if you ran across wild animal tracks?

    It seems I just wrote a post about a family who went for a short mountain outing and ended up stuck in the snow for days. The last one happened in Nevada. This newest one happened in Idaho, and adds a chilling new element to an already frightening, if familiar, winter scenario.

    Friends Will Murkle and John Julian loaded up an SUV with their kids for an afternoon ride in the snow. When Will’s wife still hadn’t heard from them by midnight, she panicked. Turns out the group had gotten stuck in the snow and decided to walk to the nearest town for help.

    Which is when things got really dicey.

    “‘The scariest thing was when we came across fresh wolf tracks,’ Will Murkle said. ‘And we could tell wolves had been in the area recently.’”

    Not many of us would think to include bear spray or pepper spray in a car emergency kit, and even fewer of us would know what to do if we were to encounter an aggressive animal while stranded. The Murkle-Julian party got lucky—the tracks were as much of the wolves as they saw. So as not to rely on luck, however, here are a couple of resources to help us all avoid being eaten (or—more likely—just attacked) in an emergency situation.

    • Alaska knows a thing or two about wolves. Read their Department of Fish and Game’s article, “Living With Wolves”, then check the links to the left of that article for how to deal with other potentially predatory wildlife.

    Just because you’re isolated doesn’t mean all is lost! Know how to protect yourself and your family when circumstances are worse than you thought.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Winter, preparedness, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, wildlife

  • We often talk about making an emergency plan for your family, work, or school, but how many of you have an emergency plan for traveling from your home to your emergency meeting place? Right next to the important documents in your emergency kit, make sure you save room for your Commuter Emergency Plan.

    FEMA’s National Preparedness Community recently published a Commuter Emergency Plan that you can download and print. They suggest that the purpose of this plan is to help you come up with alternate routes for “traveling between your work and home, or other commonly visited locations in case of an emergency.”

    During an emergency, your regular routes home from work or school may be blocked by traffic or debris. The purpose of FEMA’s Commuter Emergency Plan is to help you think about that possibility and how you can get to safe destinations (like your home) using alternative routes.

    The Commuter Emergency Plan is a well-thought-out document—it takes into consideration the different types of transportation you could use to get from point A to point B. It also asks you to think about two alternative routes you can use and gives you links to public transportation systems so you can find updates on the transit systems that are still working.

    Check out FEMA’s Commuter Emergency Plan below, print one out, and start thinking about the alternate routes you’d use to get to safety in an emergency.

    commuter emergency plan

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, emergency preparedness

  • Learn how to plan a preparedness fair to share your knowledge of prepping with your community

    Like the proverbial elephant that must be consumed one bite at a time, planning a major event like a Preparedness Fair is best done one step at a time. Follow these simple steps for a successful fair:

    Decide the purpose of your Preparedness Fair.

    Are you trying to educate your community on the general advantages of thinking in terms of preparation? Are you hoping to encourage the employees of your company to get emergency kits to keep at work or in their cars? Or do you live in an area where severe weather is a constant threat, and you’re trying to help people prepare for that? 

    Decide who’s hosting the Preparedness Fair.

    A school, church, hospital, business, city or county jurisdiction, emergency services, or any combination thereof could participate in hosting the event. If your group is small, you may want to partner with another.

    Know your target audience.

    Will it be the general public, your church, club, or civic group, extended family, or employees of your company? The answer will dictate the size of the venue, number of presenters, and budget. If you’re trying to attract as many people as possible, you’ll need a large venue such as a community center, hospital lobby, or multipurpose room at a college. If you’re planning several presenters who will repeat their classes, you’ll want a building with classrooms as well as an open area. A local church might be ideal for that. (Remember: free is good!)

    Choose a goal or theme.

    Unless your fair is enormous, it’s usually better to have a central theme rather than trying to cover all aspects of preparedness.  Examples:

    • “Family Safety” with topics such as “Smoke and CO2 Detectors,” “Avoiding Risky Behavior,” “Hidden Dangers in Your Home,” and “Planning to Meet After an Emergency”
    • “Bringing in the Harvest” with classes on gardening, composting, fruit and vegetable recipes, and food preservation methods
    • “Making Your Own Emergency Kits” emphasizing car kits, first-aid kits, 72-hour survival kits, and baby bug-out bags
    • “Water Storage,” covering topics such as ways water can be contaminated, appropriate storage containers, and water purification techniques
    • “Keeping a Weather Eye,” with classes on earthquake, storm, fire, or flood preparedness, evacuation procedures, and how to turn off utilities.
    • For more ideas, browse our website, blog, and Insight articles.

     

    Select presenters.

    Decide if you want commercial booths and vendors or strictly informational presenters. (Remember, if your fair is hosted by a tax-exempt organization, then your presentations will need to be informational only.) Will your presenters expect pay or do it as community service?

    You could have several classes going at a time and let your audience rotate between them, plus have an informational video repeating in the main room along with several booths. Choose presenters who will be well-prepared and professional with up-to-date, practical information. Handouts are helpful. (See the “Education” tab on our website and look through our blogs and insight articles for materials you can use.)

    You may be able to get representatives from FEMA, CERT, or your local police and fire department. If you happen to be in Utah, you can schedule a representative from Emergency Essentials for your event. Just email preparednessevents@beprepared.com for information.

    Select a Crew.

    In addition to your presenters, you’ll need people to set up and take down booths, tables, and chairs; provide technical help with microphones, computers, projectors, etc.; contribute and serve refreshments; man a booth with kid-friendly activities; be greeters; and direct visitors to classrooms. Unless you can get volunteers to do these things, remember to figure staffing expenses into your budget.

    Advertise.

    Some good advertising methods are flyers, posters, community radio spots, word-of-mouth, email messages, yard signs, church or business announcements, Facebook notices, and newspaper article. Be sure all ads give the date, time, and location of the preparedness fair. Include a couple of “hooks” like refreshments or door prizes, and use the back of the flyer to detail activities and presenters.  The more people you involve in some aspect of the fair, the better your attendance will be—they’ll come and usually bring others with them.

    Good luck! Having followed the above guidelines, you should be all set to have a great Preparedness Fair. We hope your event is so successful you’ll want to do it again.

    Feedback: Have you hosted or attended a preparedness fair or expo that included some great ideas you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.

    Resources for your event:

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, preparedness fair

  • The Yellowstone Super Volcano is even bigger than we thought

    Yellowstone Volcano More than Twice as Big as Expected

    A sleeping giant lies gently snoring in the northwestern quadrant of the United States—the Yellowstone Super Volcano. Researchers from the University of Utah recently determined its magma chamber to be 2.5 times larger than previously thought, measuring at least 55 x 20 miles and running between 3 and 9 miles below the surface of the earth.

    Professor Bob Smith of the University of Utah was surprised by these findings. Smith states, “We’ve been working there for a long time, and we’ve always thought it would be bigger…but this finding is astounding.”

    Unlike the traditional cone-shaped mountains of Mt.St. Helens and the Lassen Volcano—the two most recent volcanoes to erupt in the 48 contiguous United States —the Yellowstone Volcano has a wide, slightly bulging area. However, its surface is rising at the rate of about three inches per year, and according to Professor Smith, seismic activity in the area is increasing.

     

    Impact of an Eruption of the Super Volcano

    If Yellowstone really blew its top, scientists estimate that much of the United States and western Canada would be uninhabitable. Lava, poisonous gases, and a potential ten-foot layer of ash would cover the ground up to 1,000 miles away. Living in much of North America would become unbearable.

    The eruption would drastically affect climates in various parts of the world, just like after the 1816 eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia. This eruption was the main cause of crop failures throughout the northeastern U.S. and much of Europe. 1816 became known as the miserable “year without a summer.” Sheep and migratory birds died of the cold—in June.

    For more details about the Yellowstone Super Volcano, check out the New York Post article, “Beneath Yellowstone, a Volcano that could wipe out the U.S.

    Although scientists predict that the Yellowstone Volcano will not erupt for at least another 60,000 years, realizing that events like volcanic eruptions can cause food shortages suggests that it’s important to prepare before an emergency hits. Since disasters are unpredictable, we encourage building a supply now.

     

    In addition to storing food, having an emergency kit would give you an edge on survival if any natural disaster or emergency happens in your area and you need to evacuate. If you’re not sure of potential dangers that may exist where you live, do a little research so that you can be as prepared as possible for any event.

    Photo of the "Crested Pool Hot Spring" at Yellowstone in same area as the Super Volcano

    Photo Courtesy of the New York Post

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, emergency kit, emergency preparedness, natural disaster

  • In November, Emergency Essentials worked with the disaster relief organization CharityVision to send supplies to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. With the help, support, and donations from our customers and vendors, CharityVision gathered supplies and flew 14 members of their team to Leyte to construct several makeshift medical clinics.

    Recently, the CharityVision team sent us an update and a few photos of the work they’re doing in those clinics to help those affected by the typhoon.

    This photo was taken outside of Ormoc City. CharityVision set up a clinic in this town nine days after Typhoon Haiyan and saw 1,000 people that afternoon.  If CharityVision was able to help this many people in just one day, imagine how many more they have helped in the few months they have been there!

     Update from the Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan

    Currently, CharityVision has raised an estimated $10,000 between donations from Emergency Essentials customers during our CharityVision drive and from several of our product vendors who have donated supplies.

    Although Typhoon Haiyan happened several months ago, there is still much to do to help the people recover from its impact. CharityVision’s volunteers are working hard to give medical attention to those affected by the typhoon.  If you’d like to help, there are several organizations accepting donations and supplies to help those in the Philippines.

    Make sure to check back on our blog for more updates from CharityVision. And in the mean time . . .

    Check out the Insight Articles and downloads below to learn about how community involvement can help yourself and others prepare for natural disasters.

    Neighborhood Emergency Plan” (downloadable pdf)

    Planning for an Emergency

    Preparing by Developing your Skills

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness

  • Several of the Mountain House Entrees on sale this month include rice. If, like me, you’re fond of rice-based dishes, you’ll definitely want to try these! Mountain House produces some of the most popular, best-tasting entrees in the business. Most of these meals are fully-cooked before they are freeze-dried, not just made of separately freeze-dried or dehydrated ingredients tossed together during the canning process. Here are a couple of my favorites:

    New Orleans Style Rice with Shrimp and Ham (Sale price $22.12, regularly $39.49)

    Reminiscent of Creole Jambalaya, this spicy entrée includes black beans and flavorful seasonings along with shrimp, ham, rice, and vegetables. This dish is a quick, hot meal to make on a cold winter evening!

    Mountain House Rice Entrees: New Orleans Style Rice with Shrimp and Ham

    Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice  (Sale price $27.75, regularly $39.49)

    Pork, rice, onions, green and red peppers, all in a delicious pineapple sauce—yumm, a taste of the islands! We just sampled this yesterday, and the flavors blend beautifully. The pork is in small-enough pieces that it reconstitutes quickly and completely, and the pineapple and peppers balance each other nicely. The “sour” part is just right—not overwhelming.

    Mountain House Rice Entrees: Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice

    Other rice-based entrees include

    • Rice and Chicken, which combines bites of chicken with perfectly-seasoned rice and bits of pimiento.
    • Mexican Style Rice and Chicken, which features scrumptiously spicy chicken, brown rice, tomato, kidney beans, olives, peppers, and onions, as well as a wealth of spices to warm up your winter.
    • Chicken Teriyaki with Rice, including bamboo shoots, mushroom, bell peppers, peas, and onions in a tangy teriyaki sauce which one reviewer said “passed the picky teenage daughter test.”

    These are just a few of the great Mountain House products we have on sale this month. Check out all the Mountain House cans at beprepared.com. You can buy with confidence, knowing our satisfaction and low-price guarantees are there to back up your purchase.

    I’m planning to stock up this month—how about you?

    --Sharon

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, mountain house, preparedness, sale, emergency preparedness, freeze dried, #10 cans, freeze dried food, emergency cooking, Rice dishes

  • The Ocean City Boom

    The Ocean City boom makes us ask if you really were caught in an earthquake, what would you do?

    When a loud boom, violent shaking, and tremors rattled Ocean City, MD in early Feb., the city’s residents were confused. Most suspected an earthquake, but within hours geologists confirmed that wasn't the case.

    The Baltimore Sun reported the event, and by Thursday evening, signs pointed towards supersonic jets flying from the Patuxent Naval Air Station. Two jets took off over the Atlantic coast at the time of the rumbling. It’s likely that weather conditions allowed the sonic booms to travel further than normal.

    Although geologists were satisfied when the Navy confessed to planning two supersonic flights Thursday, many citizens wondered “if there wasn't something more mysterious” at hand.

    “We've had sonic booms in town before,” said one firefighter, “but this seemed different. It was more sustained, and then there was a pause for about a minute and then it started again.”

    Others agreed, having experienced similar rumblings every three to six months, but this particular boom was the most intense so far.

    “We've never got one like today,” Bart Rader, a resident who felt the boom as it rattled a 50 lb. sculpture in his home, said.

    Read the Baltimore Sun article, "Boom, then rumble leaves Ocean City puzzled” to learn more about this mysterious boom that has everyone talking.>

    Those in Maryland were lucky it wasn't ruled as an earthquake, but if it was … would they have been ready to face it? Would you be?

    Natural disasters are often unexpected and destructive; many people find they are underprepared. As disasters occur around the country and throughout the world, we should each be asking ourselves the same question: are we really prepared?

    Check out some of our Insight articles to help you prep for an earthquake:

    Earthquakes

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: Easy Steps to Take Before the Big One Hits

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do during an earthquake

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do after an earthquake

    Or browse the other Insight Article categories

    Sources:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/oc-blog/bal-earthquake-ocean-city-20140206,0,3754031.story

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: disaster, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, Earthquake, MD, Maryland, Baltimore, Sonic Boom

  • Why Ice Fishing Could Save Your Life

    Compared to hundreds of years ago, ice fishing in the 21st century is more of a competitive sport, pastime, or hobby than a means of survival. Today, anglers come to the ice riding ATVs equipped with electric augers (a tool to drill holes in the ice) and sonar systems to identify approaching fish.

    So is ice fishing a practical survival skill to learn if you don’t have all the gadgets? Is it even worth it?

    According to Survivalist magazine, winter survival diets thrive on protein and meat to give you the energy and strength to survive in the cold. If you don’t feel confident hunting, and if edible plants are hard to come by, fish may become a crucial source of protein.

    But how do you ice fish? What do you need? What should you know?

    First: Gather your Supplies

    Let’s say you have to evacuate your home in winter and all you have is your emergency kit. These items in your kit could help you ice fish:

    • An Axe—to cut a hole in the ice
    • A Shovel—to skim slush and ice chunks out of the hole (some recommend even using a rice skimmer or ladle to do this)
    • Emergency Rope—to create a set-line or to tie around yourself and have others hold the end while you check the thickness of the ice (safety precaution)
    • Paracord—for fishing line
    • Pliers and Cutting Tools
    • SOL Origin Survival Pack—includes a mini fishing kit
    • Tape measure—to measure thickness of ice
    • Bait—you can find worms and other bugs in hollow logs. You can also use small pieces of meat, if you can spare it, or smaller fish. You could even make a jig (a decorated weight that looks like a fish that you move around in the water)
    • Fishing Hooks—Sense of Survival suggests to use different sized hooks that you can make from sticks, bones, and other naturally growing fibers.
    • Powerbait—a neon colored play-doh-like bait.

    The list above gives you some last minute options to use if you decide you need to ice fish for survival and don’t have the tools. But if you’re planning on ice fishing as a method of survival and want to have your emergency kit packed, consider purchasing more specialized equipment. The following supplies will help you to ice fish using basic supplies that you can carry with you in an emergency.

    • Auger—there are both hand powered and electric augers to drill holes in the ice
    • Ice Chisel/Pick—used to clear out slush from hole
    • Fishing Pole

    -          Tip-UP Pole- can be made with wood or plastic. It has a long stick with a reel and trigger device. A flag is placed at the top of the stick using a spring. When a fish bites, the flag will bounce up and down (kind of like a bobber).

    -          Jigging Rod— a two foot pole that looks like your smaller, traditional fishing pole. You bounce the jigging rod up and down every few seconds to get the fish attention. Can be used with a jig.

    • Bucket or Chair—so you can sit comfortably on the ice

    Second: Test the Ice

    • Four inches is a safe ice thickness for ice fishing (five inches is safe for an ATV or snowmobile, 8-12 inches is safe for a car or small truck)
    • Survey the ice before stepping out on to it. Are there cracks or breaks? Flowing water near the edges of the ice? Has water thawed and refrozen? Is there white ice? These are signs the ice is weak.
    • Test the ice thickness by using your ice chisel, axe, or other sharp object to break the ice and make a small hole. Then measure the ice thickness with a tape measure.
    • Just because your ice is four inches in one spot on the lake, doesn’t mean that the whole ice surface is four inches or safe to go out on. Ice may be two inches thick and unsafe only 150 feet away from you.

    CAUTION: Be careful on the ice. Slipping and breaking a bone during a survival situation is far from ideal. And be careful of exposure—the reflection of the sun on ice or snow could cause sunburns, and [hypothermia] is always a risk in winter weather. Make sure to dress in layers that you can take off if you get too hot.

    Third: Make a Hole

    When making your hole, make sure it is 6 to 8 inches in diameter (this is where your tape measurer comes in) and no more than 12 inches across. If the hole is larger than this, you may put yourself or someone else at risk of falling in.

    Use your axe or ice chisel to chip away at the ice to make a hole. Make sure you make sure you have a strap or something to tie the axe handle or ice chisel to your wrist so you don’t lose it in the water when cutting the hole.

    Fourth: Fish!

    According to Survivalist, the goal of survival ice fishing is to collect more energy in the food you catch than you expend to get it. In a survival situation, you’ll need energy to help yourself or your family to survive.

    The best way to increase your chances and to save your energy is to have a number of hooks in the water at once. You can use set-lines (lines with multiple hooks on them) that you can leave unattended and come back to later. Having multiple hooks out in the water can increase your chances of catching a fish.

    To learn how to make a set-line, check out the iceshanty.com article, [“Scientific set-lining for more Pike”]

    If the set line’s not working for you, you can construct a rod and reel system and use jigging or bait or try your hand at spear fishing (but you need really good aim . . .) for survival situations.

    Have you ever gone ice fishing without technology? Do you think it would be worth it to ice fish in a survival situation?

     

    Sources

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html

    http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/tips/post/ice-fishing

    Survivalist, Issue 14: Jan/Feb 2014

    http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/snow-sports/ice-fishing2.htm

    http://www.wikihow.com/Know-When-Ice-is-Safe

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, emergency kit, emergency preparedness, emergency preparedness supplies

  • Venison can be used for a variety of delicious, flavorful meals.

    One of the first meals my husband-to-be ever made for me was a deer roast (followed closely by elk sloppy joes). I had never had venison before and was leery of anything acquired outside my trusty, sanitized grocery store meat department. But this boy I was dating had killed the deer himself and he was as anxious to impress me by cooking as I was to impress him by eating it. I didn't tell him at the time, but I was shocked to find I liked it. And years later, I've learned that pretty much anything he brings home and puts over hot metal is going to be delicious.

    While I didn't know it at the time, deer is a fairly tricky meat to get right. Naturally very lean, a deer’s low fat content can make it drier than a nice, fatty steer. And because hunters prize large racks, most kills are older (read “tougher”) bucks. On the hunting end, there are ways to ensure better-tasting venison. Young females are fattier and more tender. A quick kill minimizes the adrenaline in the muscles, which is largely responsible for the bitter, gamey taste of deer. And the longer the carcass sits in its skin before it’s cleaned and processed, the tougher it’s going to be. (Read here for more!) Whether you’re looking for a wall trophy or a way to stock your freezer, there are a few ways to get the best culinary bang for your (ahem…) buck.

    First, save the very best cuts for steaks. Backstrap (also known as “loin” or “tenderloin”) is considered the prime cut of venison. While it’s the most tender cut, venison steaks still require some tenderizing, like a marinade or a few quality minutes with a meat tenderizer.

    The second best cuts—usually the rump and the round (leg muscles just below the rump)—should be reserved for roasts. Slow cooking in liquid, whether in a crock pot or covered in a roasting pan and cooked at low temperature, infuses venison with much-needed moisture and results in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

    After roasts and steaks, the rest of the meat is—in my hunter-husband’s expert opinion—best put to use as summer sausage. Venison’s natural toughness makes deer jerky hard to chew, and ground venison (while yummy) can only be preserved frozen. Summer sausage is already cured, which makes it far longer-lasting than any raw cut in your freezer. Summer sausage also tends to mold, rather than spoil, minimizing the risk of eating contaminated meat. And, because it’s cured, it stays palatable and safe outside a refrigerator longer than other meats, making it a great choice for hiking, camping, and food storage.

    My husband’s favorite preparation is fairly basic: cover a venison roast 2/3 of the way with beef broth in a crock pot, add a packet of onion soup mix and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and cook on low for 6 or 7 hours. If you want to get more adventurous in the kitchen, you can check out HuntingPA’s extensive recipe list or Hank Shaw’s fantastic gourmet site, honest-food.net.

    However you prepare it, venison can make an exciting variation to your food storage—and knowing how to prepare it can be a useful tool in your prepper skill set.

    Tell us about your favorite venison dish!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, skills, preparedness, emergency preparedness, venison, meat

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