Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • Baby Steps: Add a Map to Your Prepping Supplies

    iStock_000016393748XSmall_family camping

    When you think of your prepping supplies, what are the most important items for your survival? To me, food, water, and a fully stocked emergency kit are pretty high up on the list. However, a printed map displaying alternate routes to avoid traffic and congested areas could be equally important to your survival as a #10 can of food!

    This week we came across a great article from Commonsense Homesteading that gives advice on how you can use a map in your prepping gear to keep you out of harm’s way during an emergency. This article gives tips for how to use your map effectively if you live in the country, city, or the suburbs.

    Here are some helpful tips for using a map in an emergency:

    #1. Print out a map of your area, laminate it, and put it with your prepping supplies (you might not be able to rely on Google Earth, Mapquest, and GPS on your phone or in your car during an emergency).

    #2. “Know your exit routes, map them.  Have multiple exit routes, don’t plan on just one.” Depending on the emergency, some common routes may be unusable or totally congested. You’ll want to know what your alternatives are.

    #3. Get to know your neighbors. If you live in the country, map out where their homes are within a five mile radius on your map, how long it will take you to get there, and what resources you could potentially share, trade, or sell to them in the event of an emergency. If you live in the city, get to know your closest neighbors and get their contact info. Have the contact info for local authorities.

    *As our recent "Hurricane Sandy: Neighbors to the Rescue" post suggests, those who get to know their neighbors and work together with their communities are more likely to get through an emergency situation than those who do not.

    #4. Know the Terrain and high-risk areas including rivers and other waterways or flood zones, bridges (which could be vulnerable to collapse), or highways prone to fog or ice.

    #5. Map out routes to your family or friends for shelter. Also map routes to storage units or other places you might have supplies waiting.

     

    For more information, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of printed maps during an emergency, check out the article at commonsensehome.com 

    For more information on evacuating during an emergency, learn how to build a car emergency kit and practice your family evacuation plan

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency binder, Survival, Emergency plan, emergency kit, baby steps

  • Customer Review: Emergency Essentials Food Storage “Delicious and Easy to Prepare”

    I recently received this review from Deborah in Oklahoma. Thanks for sending it, Deborah! It’s always great to hear when we win over a teenager with food storage!

    (How about you? Are your kids fans of the food storage meals you've made? Or are you working to help them get over a food storage phobia?)

    --Sarah

     

    My husband and I went on a 3 day camping trip with our 16 year old niece. I thought it would be an excellent time to field test some of our freeze dried foods from Emergency Essentials. I also wanted to get my niece Kayla's opinion. She has never eaten freeze dried food before so I was curious to see her reaction. We used our Emergency Essentials foods for breakfast each day.

    We made sausage & egg breakfast burritos with the freeze dried eggs & sausage crumbles. They were wonderful!!! The last morning of the trip, we had French Toast and Yoders canned bacon. I used the freeze dried egg & freeze dried milk powder reconstituted to dredge my bread in, then grilled it in a skillet. It was so good!! We used the Emergency Essentials milk pitcher to mix the milk and it worked beautifully!! The Yoders bacon was great!

     Breakfast Burritos with Emergency Essentials Food Storage

    We really enjoyed all our Emergency Essentials food. Even our niece gave it a thumbs up. That’s saying something when you can impress a teenager! The Emergency Essentials food made the trip so much easier. I didn't have to worry about refrigeration for the eggs, milk and sausage. The food was delicious and easy to prepare. I highly recommend Emergency Essentials products!!

    Sincerely,
    Deborah White

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: bacon, Milk, freeze dried food, Customer Reviews, food storage

  • The REAL Signs of Drowning

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    Mother and daughter swimming in pool with inner tube

     

    “Help! Help, I’m drowning!”
    That’s what most of us expect from a drowning person, along with splashing and waving arms. These are signs of “aquatic distress,” in which the person recognizes that they are in danger—but they are not yet drowning. Actual drowning is a much quieter process, and can happen within feet of other swimmers without them even noticing. In fact, a drowning person can appear so calm and quiet that we think they’re just fine!

    How does drowning happen, and what are the real signs?
    Drowning happens as a response to water coming in contact with the larynx, or voice box. After an initial gasp, the person holds his breath and the larynx goes into spasm. With no breathing occurring, the oxygen levels in the bloodstream quickly deplete and the body becomes highly acidic, which in turn causes cardiac arrest and a lack of sufficient oxygen to the brain. The victim may or may not aspirate water into their lungs, depending upon whether the larynx remains in spasm or relaxes, allowing water in.

    Signs that should alert you to possible drowning:

    • Head low in the water, with mouth at water level
    • Head tilted back, mouth open (a child’s head may fall forward)
    • Body vertical in the water
    • Eyes glassy, unfocused, or closed
    • Hair over eyes or face
    • Hyperventilating, gasping, or not breathing
    • Trying to swim but making no headway
    • Trying to roll onto back

    Drowning swimmer

    What’s happening to cause these signs?
    In order to cry out for help, the victim must be able to take a deep breath and expel it through the voice box—and with the larynx in spasm, no calling or talking is possible. In the final stage of drowning, the victim has little or no voluntary use of their arms—they may appear to be pressing down on the water in order to lift his body above the surface. For this reason, they can’t reach out and grab a lifesaver, rope, or floating object even if it’s right beside them. Their body will be upright in the water, with little kicking or leg movement. Their mouth may be momentarily above the surface, but not long enough to exhale and inhale before going under again. This stage lasts from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

    What are the most dangerous conditions for drowning?
    We think of deep water, a strong undertow, whirlpools, and heavy seas, but the fact is, drowning can occur in only a few inches of water, as with a child in a kiddie pool or bathtub or an unconscious person face-down in a puddle. Do not leave small children in any amount of water even for a minute or two! Make sure other responsible people with you also know the signs of drowning. Even good swimmers can drown; cramps, a sudden blackout or seizure, heart attack, or a simple aspiration of water from an unexpected wave can start the process.  Be vigilant!

     

    Sources:

    www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/family/2013/06

    www.medicinenet.com/drowning/article.htm

    www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drowning

    www.rd.com/advice/parenting/8-quiet-signs-of-someone-drowning

    Posted In: First Aid and Sanitation, Insight

  • Check out our NEW Online Catalog

    Do you love getting your Emergency Essentials catalog each month, but feel like you just don’t have enough time to sit down and read it? Well, we’ve got the perfect solution for you! Now you can shop at home or on the go with our NEW Online Catalog. Waiting in line at the bank? Waiting for your waiter to bring you your check? Hop online and check out the latest from Emergency Essentials.

    Simply go to BePrepared.com, and on the left-hand side of the homepage, look for the “quick shop” heading. Click on the “online catalog” link.

    If you click on any of the pictures below, they will take you to the online catalog. (Note: The online catalog works best in Google Chrome or Firefox)

    The online catalog has the same layout as the printed version. Here’s a sample page from our July catalog:

    Online catalog actual 1

    If you are familiar with our old online catalog, you might notice that we’ve added some new features to this version. Here’s a quick run-down of the features you should know about.

    #1. The Zoom

    You can enlarge the printed text of the catalog (a plus sign will show up if you hover over a blank area of the page).

    #2. Add to Cart

    Click on an item in the online catalog, and its product page comes up so you can learn more or add it to your shopping cart. With this option, you can now buy products instantly without having to call in, or fill out an order form and send it in.

    yoder's bacon

    #3. The Scroll Bar

    At the bottom of the online catalog, there is a scroll bar that allows you to skip to specific pages if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Once you scroll to the page you want, click on the mini “preview” version and it will take you to the full-size page.

    online catalog actual 3

     

    #4. The Tool Bar

    At the top of the catalog is a toolbar with icons for home, search, Facebook, and download options (arrow pointing down). These options allow you to search the catalog for specific items (search results are highlighted in blue), post pages of the catalog to Facebook, or download pages of the catalog onto your computer. Also, if you are scrolling through the catalog, the home icon lets you go back to the cover page.

     

    Online catalog image

    These are just a couple of highlights to get you started on your online shopping journey! Now it’s your turn to test it out. Go onto BePrepared.com and try out the NEW online catalog and tell us what you think.

    Will I Still Get a Printed Catalog?

    But are you a purist?—you love the feel of a book in your hands; you live for turning its pages. If you are on our mailing list, you will still receive a printed copy of our catalog!

    I Want to Subscribe to Your Catalog Mailing List (for Printed Catalogs)

    If you aren’t on our mailing list and would like to get a printed catalog each month, just click on the tan box at the top of the BePrepared.com homepage that says “request a catalog.”

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: online catalog, Emergency Essentials, preparedness

  • Power Outages in Tulsa May Last Several Days

    |3 COMMENT(S)

     Fallen Power Line

    Last night and this morning, the Tulsa, Oklahoma area got hit with some pretty strong winds and lightning. This morning more than 100,000 customers had no electricity— and it could be several days before power is restored. Read more here.

    What have you done to prepare your home and family for a power outage? Here are some items we suggest you have on hand for those “so-rainy-and-blustery-it-knocks-out-the-power” kinds of days.

    Emergency lights and Flashlights
    Candles
    Lanterns
    Light sticks
    Solar Power
    Battery or solar-operated fans to cool down
    An indoor-safe heater that doesn't require electricity
    Hand and body warmers
    Wool blankets
    Emergency bivvy or sleeping bag
    Games or other entertainment to help pass the time and keep young children calm (make sure activities are easy to do by lantern or candlelight)

     

    When was the last power outage in your area? How long did it last? Were you prepared ahead of time?

     

    Emergency Essentials 100 hour candle

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency light, Blackout, emergency preparedness, power outages, warmth, solar power, emergency power

  • Lightning--The "Strikingly Beautiful" Danger

     

     

    iStock_000004387298XSmall_storm clouds and lightning in field

    According to NOAA, as of July 1st, 2013, there have been 9 lightning fatalities this year. And while researchers at National Geographic suggest that “the odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000,” on average, 54 people die each year from a lightning strike while participating in outdoor activities.

    Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and swimming; it’s also the perfect time for thunderstorms. Since we are in the heart of summer, consider learning how to protect yourself from lightning during a thunderstorm.

    What’s the relationship between thunder and lightning??

    Thunder doesn't exist without lightning! This is why you should never say, “it’s just thundering and there’s no lightning, so it’s okay to stay outside.” Thunder’s shock wave can hurt people and property if it’s close enough. To determine how far away the lightning is, figure about one mile for every five seconds between the flash and the report. Don’t assume you’re safe if the storm is several miles away—lightning has a long reach!

    What attracts lightning?
    Discovery Channel’s “How Stuff Works” site suggests that objects on Earth—water, trees, steeples, towers, metal, and you and I!—all send up climbing surges of positively-charged electricity known as streamers. Tall, pointed objects send up the longest streamers around, attracting any available lightning bolts and sending them harmlessly into the ground.

    These streamers create a channel that the electrical charge passes through, “inviting” the lightning (which follows the path of least resistance). When lightning comes within 150 feet of Earth, it latches onto a convenient streamer and follows it to the source—and zap! You have a lightning strike.

    Where are lightning strikes common?
    According to weather.com, Florida is the United States’ lightning capital because of warm, moist air from the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. However, more people are struck by lightning in wide-open spaces (imagine the Arkansas landscape!). Since lightning strikes the tallest objects in its path, people, horses, and even cattle in a wide-open space are vulnerable, especially if no other tall objects (like a building or water tower) are in the area.

    How do you protect yourself in the open?

    • If you hear thunder or see lightning, go inside or get in a car with the windows rolled up. DO NOT touch any metal.
    • If no shelter is available, crouch or sit in as compact a position as possible with your head down—but DO NOT lie flat or allow your head to touch the ground!
    • DO NOT shelter under a tree.
    • DO NOT stay in or close to water. Electrical current spreads across the water’s surface.
    • If you’re caught in a boat, make yourself as small as you can. (Remember that streamer you’re sending up? It becomes longer the taller you are. Make it as short as possible by crouching down and lowering your head.)
    • AVOID golf-carts, trees, light-poles, picnic pavilions, and port-a-potties.

    What do you do if someone is struck by lightning?
    Victims of lightning strikes may suffer burns, coma, residual weakness, numbness, paralysis, sleep disturbance, or memory loss.

    In the event of a lightning strike, call 9-1-1 immediately then give first-aid to the victim, who will probably be unconscious. Check for breathing and heartbeat, and let those with First Aid training or experience perform CPR. Don’t be afraid to touch the victim— they won’t retain the electrical charge—but if you have to move them, be careful. If possible, move the victim to safe shelter. Continue first aid measures until professionals arrive.

     

    To read more about Lightning check out these articles:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0623_040623_lightningfacts.html

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/features/trend/lightning-fatalities-avoid-bei/68706

    http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/fatalities.htm

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/lightning.htm

    http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/lightning-profile/

    http://www.uwec.edu/jolhm/EH4/Lightning/Lightning/how_lightning_works.htm

    http://www.weather.com/safety/thunderstorms/top-5-lightning-prone-states-20120509

    http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm#near

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Banana Oat Crumb Cake Recipe

    _MG_0495

    This week we baked Banana Oat Crumb Cake using food storage. Since it was a hit with everyone in the office and smelled absolutely delicious as we baked it, we wanted to share our recipe with you. We left out the walnuts so it would be 100% food storage, but if you've got them, throw them in for a little extra crunch and some additional nutrients.

     

    Banana Oat Crumb Cake

    ½ C Butter, Softened

    2/3 C Packed Brown Sugar

    2 Eggs (4 Tbsp Whole Egg Powder + 6 Tbsp Water)

    1 C Freeze Dried Banana Slices, Mashed

    1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Powder

    ¾ C All-Purpose flour

    1 1/3 C Dehydrated Rolled Oats

    ¼ tsp Salt

    1 tsp Baking Soda

    ¾ C Rolled Oats

    1/3 C Packed Brown Sugar

    2 Tbsp Butter or Clarified Butter

    2 Tbsp Walnuts (optional)

    ½ tsp ground cinnamon

    Sift together flour, 1 1/3 cups of oats, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream ½ butter with 2/3 cup brown sugar. Beat in eggs, then bananas and vanilla. Beat flour mixture into banana mixture. Turn batter into a greased and floured 8 inch square pan. Mix ¾ cup oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, melted butter, walnuts, and cinnamon together until crumbly. Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

     

    Tips and Tricks to making an awesome Banana Oat Crumb Cake:
    According to Urban Girl, if you only have dehydrated bananas in your food storage, you’ll want to crush them into smaller pieces to speed up the reconstitution process. Unlike freeze-dried bananas, dehydrated bananas seem to take a bit longer to reconstitute.

    Place your dehydrated bananas in a zip-top bag, and crush them into smaller pieces. Dump the small banana pieces into a bowl and then add piping hot water to begin reconstituting. Once the bananas are fully reconstituted, drain and mash them.

    Urban Girl also left a few pieced un-mashed, which was delicious. You may prefer a smoother consistency—and if so, you just mash away to your heart’s content.

     

    If you have a Sweet Tooth:
    Bake the cake and set aside to cool. After making your topping, bake it in the oven by itself, instead of on the cake, to make it extra crispy. Coat the cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle your baked crumble topping all over.

    Just imagine how heavenly your house will smell while it’s baking. Imagine how good it will taste. Just writing about it makes me want dessert right now. . .

     

    To see what else has been going on in the Emergency Essentials kitchen check out our post Personal Pizzas on the Volcano Grill, and see what other recipes we’ve been cooking up!

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Solar Impulse: Traveling the World in a Solar Airplane

    iStock_000018415962XXLarge

     

    On July 6th, 2013, the Solar Impulse—a solar powered airplane designed by Swiss engineers, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg—completed a trans-American flight that departed from San Francisco and landed in New York’s JFK International Airport.
    The Solar Impulse is the first airplane that can travel day and night without using fuel.

    This 3511 mile journey took a total of 105 hours and 41 minutes, flying at a speed of about 31 mph. The plane made stops in Dallas, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. before completing its last leg of the trip to New York. The only issue that the Solar Impulse faced was an 8 foot rip on the fabric of the left wing. However, this rip was not deep enough to end the trip.

    So, what’s the next goal for the Solar Impulse?—travel the world by 2015!

    To see the Solar Impulse in Action and to get updates on the progress of their 2015 world tour, check out the Solar Impulse website

     

    It’s no secret that advances in solar technology are on the rise. Amazing feats in solar technology aren’t just stopping at the Solar Impulse:

    • College students in the Netherlands recently unveiled a solar powered family car that fits four passengers and runs through solar energy

    • In June, AT&T launched a pilot project, installing several solar powered cell phone charging stations in New York, using Goal Zero technology.

    • Researchers at the University of California are studying various ways that we can use solar energy to its full potential. Check out info on solar windows, better batteries, and secondhand daylight

    And if you’re interested in using solar technology, check out how solar energy could make your everyday tasks like cooking, powering your home, and even showering . . . a little bit easier using the Sport Solar Oven, Solar Spray Portable Shower, and Goal Zero products.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: solar technology, solar energy, solar power

  • Don't Miss Out on This Special Offer: Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit

    Yeti Special Offer

    Great News! Our Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Kit special has been extended. Now until August 14th, when you purchase a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Kit, you will receive an extra Boulder 30 Solar Panel (a $240 value) for free!! This extra solar panel means that you can charge your Yeti form the sun even faster, allowing you to power your devices in less time and with less waiting (while also saving on your power bill).

    This special offer includes all of the benefits form the regular Yeti 1250 solar generator kit. Each generator kit includes:

    • 1 Yeti 1250 Solar Generator
    • 3 Boulder 30 Solar panels (the third panel is free for a limited time)
    • 1 Fabric Carrying Case for Panels
    • 1 Roll Cart

    The Yeti 1250 Solar Powered Generator stores 1250 watt hours of power to run multiple devices. It can charge your smartphone up to 100+ times and can run 12 v lights for up to 400+ hours of use. The Yeti is also great for powering laptops and tvs and can even run a refrigerator (note: these averages are based on the most popular brands of these devices).

    Order your Yeti 1250 Solar Powered Generator today and receive an extra solar panel for free. Don’t miss out on these great savings! Remember to purchase your Yeti 1250 kit by August 14th, 2013 to take part in this limited time deal.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • When Lightning Strikes

    |3 COMMENT(S)

    iStock_000003506509XSmall

    Thunderstorms are common any time of the year. They can occur without much warning. One minute the skies could be blue, with fluffy white clouds scudding across them, when all of a sudden a big black thunderhead could come rolling in, bringing with it rain, wind, and lightning.

    Weather experts report that lightning strikes the earth 100 times each second somewhere in the world, and 16 million thunderstorms hit the earth every year. It is estimated that more than 100 people are killed and approximately 250 are injured annually by lightning.

    As illogical as this may sound, lightning can strike miles away from the cloud source. Keep your eyes on the skies, and make sure when a thunderstorm suddenly arrives, you are prepared for it! The following tips will help you keep safe and sound.

    If you are caught outdoors when a lightning storm hits, get away from the following entities, which are prone to attract bolts of electricity:

    Open bodies of water

    Metal objects (including vehicles, fences, pipes, rails, etc.)

    Crowds of people

    Trees

    Telephone poles

    Go to the lowest--not the highest point on the ground. For instance, don't stand on a hill; seek a ravine or valley. Make sure you are not the tallest object around. If you are trapped in an open field without adequate shelter when a thunderstorm comes calling, drop to your knees and bend forward, with your hands on your knees. Contrary to popular belief, you should not lie flat on the ground. Be especially cautious if your hair starts feeling like it is "standing on end." This could be a warning that lightning is about to target YOU!

    What to do if lightning strikes a person

    If someone is electrocuted by lightning, administer first aid immediately. You will not receive an electrical shock from the victim. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR may be necessary if the pulse is weak or absent and you cannot detect breathing. The victim may actually be burned from the electricity, especially if any metal such as belt buckles, watches, or jewelry are worn. Optimally, someone trained in emergency procedures will be nearby.

    To find out about classes teaching CPR procedures and emergency first aid, call your local Red Cross office. Take it to heart and it may save a life!

    Learn how to protect yourself during a Thunderstorm with these great tips from the Red Cross

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Insight

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