Tag Archives: warmth

  • Ukraine and Your Gas Bill

    how has conflict in the Ukraine affected Natural Gas transport?

    Have you been following the situation in the Ukraine? Skirmishes on the other side of the globe seem far from our everyday worries, but some parts of the world are already considering possible far-reaching effects.

    At the top of the list is Europe’s energy supply. Roughly a quarter of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russian oil fields. Most of Russia’s pipeline transport routes cross Ukraine on their way to continental Europe. Though experts claim Europe’s reserves are in good shape, and fears of shortages or price hikes are premature, European newspapers like Britain’s Telegraph are already reporting increases in the price of oil and gas.

    Some of you might remember oil and gas shortages in our own country in decades past (is anybody going to own up to remembering the 1970s?). And within my own kids’ lifetime, we’ve seen energy prices fluctuate frighteningly. But along with shortages, embargoes, and depletions, we’ve also seen a fairly miraculous proliferation of energy technology. Just a generation ago, for example, the cost of solar power for consumer use was extremely high. Today, the average prepper can buy a portable solar generator for less than the cost of a laptop.

    Chances seem good that Ukraine’s troubles won’t affect your gas bill—but Ukraine isn’t the only country with troubles! Could you power your home if your utilities were disrupted? Do you have the tools you need to wash clothes, heat your home, or to cook? Have you considered storing fuel? Or maybe you’re looking into generators. Whatever your own energy solution, be sure to do your homework.

    Storms and wars aren’t likely to stop. But that doesn’t mean we have to sit in the dark!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: solar power, warmth, emergency preparedness, generator, emergency warmth

  • If you couldn't adjust the thermostat when temperatures dropped, how would you keep your home warm?

    We've been talking a lot lately about harsh winter weather; we expect winter weather each year, yet it’s still unpredictable. Icy roads, flights canceled, extreme cold, and disrupted water services are only a few of the possibilities when winter gets particularly vicious. Another example of winter trouble comes from North Texas, where the city of Jacksboro was almost completely without a natural gas supply to heat houses and public buildings for some 1,200 customers.

    A local CBS affiliate reports that liquid in the pipes caused pilot lights to go out and gas to build up in the lines. Whatever the cause, however, the result was a city-wide shutdown of Jacksboro’s gas supply. And just in time for below freezing temperatures.

    So if you weren't able to just adjust the thermostat when the temperature dropped to “uncomfortable,” would you know how to keep your home warm?

    Our article on emergency warmth includes some helpful tips for staying warm both at home and on the road. You can also find a great list of smart ways to keep a house warm without power at this wiki, and some safety considerations when using non-traditional heating methods from the NC State Extension.

    Your advice? What are your tips for staying warm without power?

    Here’s wishing everyone a safe and warm winter!

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency power, warmth, power, power outage, winter weather, emergency warmth, emergency heat

  • Europe Under Glass: Slovenia's Worst Ice Storm in History

    Chances are pretty good you have no idea where Slovenia is. I probably wouldn’t either, if I hadn’t been sent there more than a decade ago as a volunteer missionary.

    Nestled between Italy, Austria, and Hungary cuddled up under the Alps, and just kissing the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia is quite possibly the prettiest little place on the planet. Similar to the climate of my native Pacific Northwest, Slovenia’s weather is typically mild.  I remember a moderately snowy winter and a slightly humid summer—but I don’t remember anything like what the former Yugoslav republic is experiencing right now.

    According to Reuters, heavy ice is responsible for Slovenia’s “worst devastation in living memory.” Back-to-back blizzards and dramatic temperature changes have created a layer of ice heavy enough to bring down utility towers and strong enough to seal cars under its thick casing. No deaths have been reported, but Slovenia’s infrastructure—including everything from public transit to ATMs—is, well, frozen. Flip through this amazing gallery of western Slovenia, completely encased in ice.

     

    When we think about winter preparations, we spend a lot of effort protecting ourselves from the dangers of snow and cold. But we shouldn’t forget the havoc that half a day of above-freezing temps can wreak in the midst of blizzard season—even in the US. Here are a few other examples of the damage ice has caused here in Indiana and Texas. Check those out, and then read up on winterizing your home.

    --Stacey

    Photo Courtesy of Business Insider

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, Winter, emergency preparedness

  •  The Polar Vortex: What are the Consequences?

    Despite sounding like a setting from an episode of Doctor Who, the polar vortex that is affecting parts of the US brings with it some serious consequences. This winter phenomenon has caused several travel delays, school closures, disrupted business and farming, and anywhere from seventeen to twenty-one deaths have been reported.

    A polar vortex is a technical name for the “gigantic mass of swirling dense air” that normally sits at the North Pole.  The polar vortex has moved further south than usual, causing Midwesterners to get an actual artic experience.

    In fact, according to Nick Wiltgen from the Weather Channel the term ‘artic outbreak’ is a more accurate term than ‘polar vortex’ to describe the dramatic cooling effect the Midwestern and eastern portions of the U.S. are currently experiencing.

    For an even better explanation of what a polar vortex (or artic outbreak) is, take a look at this ABC news clip.

    Also, check out the Reuters article, “Polar Freeze Grips United States, Disrupting Travel and Business" to see exactly how cold things are.

    Even if you don’t live in an area affected by the polar vortex, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start thinking about ways to stay warm in extreme winter weather. Our insight article, “Emergency Warmth” gives great ideas for keeping warm in an emergency, whether at home, outdoors, or on the road.

    In my part of the country, the post-Christmas stretch of winter can be the harshest. What about you? Are you prepared for real cold?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, Winter, emergency preparedness, winter weather

  • Six Survival Structures to Help you in a Disaster

    Having a practical survival structure option is crucial in an emergency. This is why the Dutch non-profit organization INDEX recently held a structural design contest (structural design refers to the creation of buildings, homes, furniture, etc.) that asked contestants to create structures that could meet the growing global challenges that we face daily—one of these challenges being natural disasters.

    INDEX’s mission is to find the best designers who can create structures to improve the quality of life and to make daily tasks easier for all people. Each year, INDEX holds one of the largest design contests in the world.

    The CNN article, “In the Middle of a Natural Disaster? These Designs will Help You” highlights six survival structure from INDEX’s 2013 contest—designs that pay particular attention to helping people alleviate the impact of natural disasters in their lives.

    According to CNN, these projects “include a broad range of devices designed to save lives by helping rescue workers or giving people caught up in the aftermath of a natural disaster a way to help themselves.”

    The most interesting survival structure to me was the “Eliodomestico”. Its  structure is similar to a water well system, but it has a “futuristic” twist. The “Eliodomestico” gathers and distills sea water using the power of the sun to make it clean and safe to drink.

    Check out how the Eliodomestico works by watching this video.

    The other designs range from thin skyscrapers used as housing for victims of natural disasters to inflatable rafts that can be used as furniture. Take a look at the other five designs that CNN highlights by checking out their article, “In the Middle of a Natural Disaster? These Designs will Help You”.

    How useful/functional do you think these structures would be in a flood, tornado, or tsunami? Let us know in the comments.

    --Angela

    Image Source: http://www.nominateforindexaward.com/Presentation/read/id=MTc0MQ==

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, skills, shelter, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness

  • We elves here at Emergency Essentials have taken it upon ourselves to make sure you have yourself a merry little Christmas. We can’t actually hang your mistletoe for you or attend your office Christmas party in your place, but we do have one or two ideas about how make the season’s festivities even festiver. Ten ideas, to be precise.

    1. Keep your nights merry and bright, and avoid accidents in the dark. Never go caroling without our handy 12 hour Light Stick.


    2. Nothing’s cozier for the holidays than a crackling fire in the fireplace. Make sure you’ve got some fuel and fire starter on hand.


    3. It’s going to snow, and the kids are going to want to be outside. They may or may not remember to put on gloves, but you can stash our Hand, Pocket, and Glove Warmers in their coat pockets.  They’ll thank you for it later.



      10 Ideas to Make Your Christmas Easier



    4. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a little Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and (sniff!) It’s a Wonderful Life. Have you checked your popcorn supply? If you had a Superpail full, you wouldn’t have to.


    5. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping baking supplies on hand during the holidays. And if I have to make one more late-night grocery run, I swear I’m going to mow down a reindeer. Solution: Provident Pantry Whole Egg Powder, Butter Powder, even Imitation Vanilla Powder! Use them for your Christmas baking, and never run low again.


    6. And while we’re on the topic, have you tried the Provident Pantry hot chocolates? My personal recommendation is the Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate with a candy cane stirrer.


    7. In order to make sure Christmas morning isn’t a disappointment, we highly recommend Goal Zero Rechargeable Batteries for all Santa’s toy assembly duties.


    8. Hosting this year? Impress guests with yummy appetizers from your Volcano Dutch Oven. Check out this fun blog for Dutch oven recipes, starting with a Queso Fundido that is making my mouth water as I type this.



      10 Ideas to Make Your Christmas Easier



    9. Gingerbread houses are a must. But save your stirring arm and let the Bosch Universal Mixer with Cookie Paddles and Metal Whip Drive handle the dough and the frosting.


    10. Finally, make your holiday shopping a pleasure with easy-peasy Emergency Essentials gift cards. Perfect for everyone on your list, and guaranteed not to wilt, shrivel, or settle during shipping.

    Stay safe, have fun, and don’t forget to leave us some figgy pudding!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, Winter, preparedness, holiday, christmas

  •  

    Kelly Kettle combo - Stainless Steel

    A few weeks ago, we purchased a Kelly Kettle Stainless Steel Base Camp.  This purchase was made after many trips to the store to look at it, and some hours spent researching it on the internet.  We purchased the kit, which includes the kettle, pot stand, cooking set and fire starter.

    Our main purpose for the purchase was to use it for camping and hiking.  We take many day trips, and it’s perfect for heating the water for camp meals or coffee.  The first time we used it on our back patio, just to try it out.   We boiled water in about 4 minutes, which I thought was awesome, considering the fact we were using the kettle in a blocked area, with not a lot of airflow.

    After using it just once, you realize just how amazing this product is.  The great thing about it is you don’t have to carry any special type of fuel.  All you have to do is round up some sticks and twigs and you’re ready to go.  We have access to pine cones, so we use small ones.  Not only is it good fuel, but it smells great too.

    After using the Kelly Kettle, and thinking about it a bit, I realized that it has many uses other than just camping.  Earlier this summer, an auto accident caused the power to go out at our home for about 24 hours.  Now, we have electric appliances, so, making meals during this time required some creativity.  If we would have had the kettle, we could have easily made emergency meals since we keep them around for camping and hiking trips.

    When hiking, you can also get your water from a lake or stream, especially if you carry a water filter system as we do.  Not to mention you are boiling the water anyway.  This will save you from packing water around.

    Give the Kelly Kettle a try; it’s an awesome product.

     

    Jeff W, UT

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, guest post, water, Survival, Customer Reviews, emergency cooking

  • _MG_5121_crop

    Round here, at what some like to call the “North Pole” Santa’s little helpers are getting pretty stoked about the coming holidays. In fact, try as we might, we haven’t been able to restrain them from singing carols and obsessively checking the Naughty/Nice list.

    The bad news? Reindeer droppings in the office. The good news? Early deals on great gift ideas.

    Two of our favorites are the holiday gift combos. No wrapping paper? No time? No problem. These little babies come with 10-12 gifts, along with the same number of gift bags and bows. You can have the perfect little present assembled in seconds, with zero time spent hunting through red and green bins for bits of ribbon or tissue paper. Buy in bulk and you can check neighbors, teachers, co-workers, the bus driver, and the mail lady all off your gift list in one fell swoop. Genius!

    Right now, we’ve got two holiday gift combos available. Get one of each, and spread twice the Christmas cheer!

    Hotspots Holiday Gift Combo 

    Caroling, sledding, snowball battles—all our favorite winter outdoor activities are more fun when we can feel our fingers. Give the gift of warmth with 10 [Hotspot heat packs]. The packs are reusable and stay warm for up to two hours. Great for emergency storage and seasonal use—and the cheery color scheme looks so festive with our transparent gift bags and bright green bows! The Hotspots Holiday Gift Combo comes with 10 Hotspot heat packs, 10 gifts bags, and 10 holiday bows—each gift only coming to about $2.50!

     HotSpot Gift Combo

     

    Emergency Candle Gift Combo

    Need something a bit more substantial? How about 100 hours of peace of mind for that special someone? These smokeless, odorless emergency candles not only look snazzy in red, but lend themselves to all sorts of sentimental metaphors (“light of my life,” “you light my way,” “I’ll be your candle on the water…”) (Too much?). A thoughtful gift that can be used in an emergency or for every day, the candle gift combo comes with 12 candles, 12 gift bags, and 12 bows—and it’s currently more than 40% off the regular price! Each one of these candle gifts you give your loved one only costs you about $4.20.

     Emergency Candle Gift Combo

    We’ll keep you posted as more fantastic gift-giving deals become available…but right now, there’s an elf stuck in the Xerox.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, gifts, emergency preparedness, emergency lighting

  • Make your own emergency kit

    Emergency kits come in all shapes and sizes, filled with all types of food, water supplies, shelters, and tools. But what is the right type of emergency kit for you? Building your own emergency kit is as simple as one, two, and three. For $10 or less apiece, you can arm yourself with the right products to help you meet your most basic needs in an emergency.

    1. Food & Water

    • Survival food packages like the Mainstay 3600 calorie bars work well because they are lightweight, compact, and delicious—they taste like cookie dough. Unlike traditional energy bars, these are formulated to withstand extreme temperatures and still last for 5 years. Keep them in your car, boat, RV, or inside your emergency kit at home. For only $7.50, these bars give one person enough calories for 3 days, or three people for a single day. 


    • Purified water in compact sizes can also be a good fit for adding to a backpack. Bottled water is a popular option, bottled water packages are prone to leaking and require frequent rotation. The 8 oz. Aqua Blox comes in sturdy packaging that is designed to keep your water safe for 5 years with the convenience of a juice-box-style package and straw. The water also comes purified, not just filtered, so it is contaminant free. Six of these blox would be sufficient drinking water for one person over 3 days for about $5. 


    • Filter Straws can treat natural water sources that you come across to allow you to find and treat water rather than carrying it. Simply suck water through the filter straw to remove common germs. If the source is frequented by humans or livestock, however, this filter would likely not provide the required protection. Cost is about $10.

    2. Shelter

    • Emergency ponchos pack up tight and are lightweight, yet provide substantial coverage to keep more of your body dry. Staying dry dramatically increases our comfort, making the emergency poncho an affordable and practical (about $1) addition to any kit. 


    • Portable Tents are another way to provide shelter—or even just to mark an area as your own. Unlike traditional tents, a tube tent is inexpensive, lightweight, and packs incredibly small to fit inside of your kit without forcing you to leave other items out. It is so light because of its simplicity – no poles, no stakes, just a tent wall. The tube tent is an 8 ft. long tube that shelters two people for about $4.

    3. Warmth

    There are two simple ways to stay warm in cold weather: 1) keep more of your own body heat, and 2) generate heat around you (campfires or heaters).

    •  Many of us use blankets and sleeping bags to retain more of our body heat.  Emergency sleeping bags are made of a high-efficiency reflective material that retains up to 90% of your body heat. They can be stored in very small spaces and only cost about $4. I’ve experienced a night in one of these bags and was very grateful I had it. 


    •  Having portable heat sources can keep your body from shutting down from loss of warmth. Disposable body warmers (larger versions of commonly-known hand warmers) provide heat for up to 20 hours and take up very little space. Their small size (and price – about $1 each) allows you to add several to your supplies. 


    •  Even if you aren’t a boy scout, you can start a fire with Emergency Essential’s various offerings of matches and strikers. One of my favorite options is Stormproof matches. Unlike conventional matches, these stay lit much longer to help you start a fire. Even if the matches get wet or the weather is windy, Stormproof matches will get the job done. You can buy a box by itself (about $4), or with a weather proof case for about $6. Check out the video on the link to see how amazing they are.

    See? Easy as 1-2-3. We have even set out to help you get started with the Basics Emergency Kit. This pre-made set includes many of these basic items and costs just about $20. This kit includes food, water, a poncho, 3 body/hand warmers, an emergency sleeping bag, a whistle, a lightstick, and an 18-piece first aid kit.

    With these basics, your emergency kit is off to a great start and can help protect you in a crisis. As your kit continues to grow, you can add more durable items to your supply, expanding it to prepare you for whatever the future may hold.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, shelter, preparedness, emergency kit, water, Survival, emergency preparedness, food, Emergency Essentials, survival gear

  •  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 power, solar power, warmth, power outages, emergency preparedness, Blackout, emergency light

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