The Lowdown On Water Storage

Water is the most important resource we can have in an emergency situation. It makes up 50% of our bodies, but we need to make sure we are 100% clear how to properly store water.  It is also important to know when and how to treat water for any kind of disastrous situation.


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Preparing Through Service



September is known as National Preparedness Month and this week’s theme is “Preparing Through Service.” After a disaster, communities have rallied together to aid, support, and help each other out. One thing you can do to prepare before the disaster through service is to attend a blood drive and/or donate plasma. You can also help the community by repairing your community’s houses, parks, and rivers.

According to FEMA, you can learn more about Preparing Through Service by visiting these websites:

Essentials for a DIY Bug-Out Bag (Infographic)

September is National Preparedness Month. With this being said, it is always important to be prepared for any emergency that may occur. One of the easiest things a person can do start preparing is to have a bug-out bag.

A bug-out bag is full of food, water, and emergency essentials. Every prepper has their own idea for emergency essentials, as well as every location has a different need for emergency essentials. The most common emergency essentials are a change of clothes, matches, a flashlight, a basic first aid kit, something to put food in, a radio, and a utility knife.

To help each of our Preparedness Members start a bug-out bag, we’ve designed an infographic to help guide you through the process. It is a list of essential items to use for your “Do it yourself bug-out bag.”

DIY Bug Out Bag


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Are you missing some of the necessary items?  If so, Food Insurance® has you covered.  Click the links below to see the best emergency supplies available, at the best prices available.

Complete Bug Out Bags
Empty Backpacks
Emergency Food Kits
Water Filtration
Cooking Supplies
First Aid Kits and other Tools

Family Emergency Plan



All the preparation in the world won’t make a difference if you haven’t explained to the people you love and care about what to do when trouble strikes. For this reason, it is important to have a plan, a backup plan and practice these often, in case there is an emergency.

The first step in creating a plan is to talk about different responses to various emergencies and situations that can arise. Every person that’s a part of the plan needs to know what it is. It is probably wise to refer to this plan regularly as plans can be forgotten if they’re only mentioned once. Once this is done, you may want to take the next step of practicing.

Practicing and drilling responses for emergencies can help solidify the plan in the minds of those who are part of the equation. This will also help identify potential pitfalls and correct them before real disaster strikes. Practicing walk through plans often can make it a fun exercise for the kids. In doing this, it will help them to remember and make you feel more comfortable when a problem happens. It is the exact reason that schools have mandatory fire drills, earthquake drills, tornado drills, and other location appropriate practice runs.

It is best to have a designated meeting place where everyone should know to meet if something were to separate people in the group. In some disaster situations, this meeting place might not be safe to get to or stay at.  In that case, you should have a secondary location. This location shouldn’t be susceptible to the same concerns that the initial location you picked is. So look for somewhere at least a short distance away from your first meeting spot with different geography and accessibility where possible.

No situation is perfect, but if you can create a simple plan that will help everyone in your group know where to meet and what to do in the event of an emergency, it will help out in the long run.

September is National Preparedness Month



If you’re like most of us, you are experiencing a bit of awe that August escaped so quickly, and we find autumn just around the corner. September; that time of year when the summer fun winds down, schools start up again, and life seems to get “back to normal.”

For some parts of the country, “normal” seems to be flooding and the threat of late summer hurricanes. Other regions experience wildfires, volcanos, or tornados, or the ever present danger of living on a fault line, never quite knowing when the “big one” will come. Rather than living with stress and fear, it is better to be prepared. Thus, since its inception in 2004, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month in the United States and sponsored by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association.

Where does one start? No matter where you are on your path to preparedness, the FEMA website offers a slew of resources to help you, your family, and your community gets, and stay, prepared. The site includes helpful information, including:

  • Hazards that may affect your community, including active shooters, earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, and winter storms.
  • A list of ten ways to participate in America’s PrepareAthon on September 30, 2016.
  • Resources to help you prepare and promote preparedness activities.
  • News and stories about how America prepares!

We too want you to succeed on your road to preparedness. How can we help?

  • Visit our blog and join the discussion. Discover articles and ideas to help you and your family prepare. From family emergency plans to DIY ideas and preparedness resource lists, you’ll find plenty of “food for thought,” and action.
  • Start small if you need to. Check out our one-month and three-month food supplies.
  • Check our website often, and visit the “Special Buys” section to see what deals you can take advantage of.

Most importantly, just do something. Take inventory of your situation and take that next step, no matter how small. Peace of mind is invaluable. You owe that to yourself and your family.

Why You Should Watch The Pot


In light of hurricane season, it is becoming more and more essential that we know how to fend for ourselves and our families.  When it comes to survival, drinkable water should be a number one priority.  Being cut off from an adequate water supply can leave you defenseless against otherwise easily preventable problems such as dehydration and fatigue. People have managed to survive without food for weeks. The same cannot be said for water, however. The most a person can hope to live without water is 3-10 days depending on the circumstances, such as the person is in good health and only exposed to mildly cool temperatures (70 F and below). In an extremely hot climate (120 F), even a healthy individual cannot hope to live longer than two days without water.

There are several methods to combat these problems, one of the most common methods being boiling and evaporation techniques. Boiling is considered the best methods for purifying water. When done correctly, boiling will kill microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoans. Basically, there are a lot of situations that range from unpleasant to unbearable that can be avoided if you take the time to boil your water in emergency situations where there is a possibility of water contamination.

The Right Way to Boil off the Bad:

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for one full minute (three minutes in altitudes > 6,562 feet)
  • Allow to cool to room temperature naturally (do NOT use ice to cool)

Although boiling is probably the most effective way to treat water, it is not always a practical possibility.  In many emergency situations, electricity will not be available. When preparing for any type of emergency situation, it should never be assumed that electricity will be accessible. In fact, in more times than not, that will not be the case. In natural disasters such as a flood, fire starting will also not be an extremely likely option. The odds will not always be in your favor, it is smart to have an alternative solution to treating unsanitary water. Another good option in these situations is water filtration.

Certain kinds of water filters can remove pathogenic organisms and dangerous chemicals from a water supply. However, most portable water filters cannot purge the water of viruses. Thus, the filtration method often requires a two part system. After filtering the water, the water supply can be further disinfected by way of a chemical disinfectant such as iodine. Iodine tablets, or radiation pills, can be used to further rid the water of infecting agents. When using such tablets, you should follow the manufacturer’s included instructions. When the water is cloudy, the tablet dosage doubles. If the water is extremely cold, strides should be taken to heat it as much as possible.

When accessible, boil your water. However long it may take, watch that pot until it boils hard for at least one full minute, and then let it cool. Boiling water is the easiest, most efficient way to treat water. However, you cannot count on your stove to be working in the midst of a natural disaster. Because of this, you should keep a proficient water filter and chemical disinfectants (such as iodine) handy. Your otherwise dehydrated (or extremely ill) future self might thank you someday.




Water Purification Methods



When it comes to purifying possibly contaminated water, there is no such thing as being too careful. Untreated water could contain sewage, bacteria, diseases, viruses, parasites, pesticides, heavy metals, radioactivity, chemicals, or even poison. Without drinking water, death will occur within three to ten days. If a person drinks water that has not yet been purified, they can become mortally ill with dysentery, cholera, typhoid, and other painful or potentially fatal sicknesses. Even water that you’ve stored ahead of time should be treated with some of the most basic ways to purify your water. To truly be prepared, you will need multiple types of water purifiers.

Filters – Before treating your water, pour it through coffee filters, cheesecloth, or paper towels. If you don’t have these supplies on hand, you can even soak a t-shirt in water, then wring it out into a bowl. Professional filters can also be purchased in various emergency preparedness and camping stores. It is recommended that you buy nice filters as well as a type of simple, do-it-yourself filter. Filtering your water first will rid it of any large and obvious sediment, as well as some bacteria and fungi contaminates.

Bleach – Bleach is the most basic emergency preparedness supply for treating your water. Small amounts of bleach will kill many of the organisms living inside of water. Only use bleach that has sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient. Avoid colored bleaches or bleaches with fragrances. Bleach also loses its strength the older that it is; make sure you rotate out this supply every year.

Heat – Boiling your water is the next basic way to purify it. Once the water comes to a boil, keep it there for thirty minutes.  The high temperature will rid your water of most bacteria. It is also the safest way to treat your water because you are not adding any extra ingredients that could be harmful if too much is ingested. It does not do away with some chemicals and heavy metals, so combine this method with another type of water that you did not store.

Iodine – Iodine comes in crystals, tablets, and 2% tinctures. The crystals are the most effective, as they will kill algae, bacteria, viruses, and amoebae. Crystals also have the longest shelf life and can treat the largest quantity of water. However, ingesting even one crystal is fatal – you are only supposed to mix it with the water and then filter it out. Crystals can also be difficult to find, but can be available in chemical supply stores and pharmacies. Tablets are a common stable of emergency supplies. Although they are effective, they are quite sensitive to warm temperatures, light, and exposure to air, making them very high-maintenance storage items. Of the three types of iodine, tablets will taste the best. Tablets containing tetra glycine hydro periodide prevent the abortion of some radioactivity into the body, making it an important supply in preparing for nuclear attacks.  2% tincture of iodine is a household item often found in first aid kits. It also needs to be stored in an opaque bottle, and it has a short shelf life.

Activated Carbon/Charcoal – Activated carbon is what you will find in your commercial water filters, such as Brita. Because the charcoal is so absorptive, it removes bad tastes and odors, as well as chlorine, chloroform, hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, chemicals, and heavy metals. It only partially removes bacteria and viruses, and will leave behind fluoride, nitrates, salts, and asbestos fibers. Because of its ability to improve taste and odor, this may be the last step you want to take in purifying your water. Activated carbon/charcoal should absolutely be used along with another purification method.

Halazone Tablets – This method is still sometimes recommended by experts, though it has decreased in popularity. This is because, though effective, halazone tablets have a very short shelf-life. They are commonly used in developing countries. Halazone tablets are made out of chlorine.

Ultraviolet – Ultraviolet lights are recommended because, again, there are no added chemicals. This method is quick and fights against microbes that are resistant to chemical treatments. Ultraviolet lights can be extremely expensive (around $500-1,000 on the higher end, around $100 for smaller water bottles with UV lights). Ultraviolet lights will require either batteries or electricity.

Our extreme filtered water bottle filters out biological contaminate, bacteria and sediment. In addition, the extreme filter will also remove radiological contaminants including Gross Beta, Radon 222, Alpha Radium 226, Plutonium, Uranium, and Cesium 134 & 137. You can buy it here:

Do It Yourself Lights Out Kit



What is a Lights Out Kit?

Simply put, a Lights Out Kit is a small container consisting of items that will help aid you in the event of a power outage. This would include candles, oil / solar lamps, matches, lighters, flashlights, and anything else that would provide relief in a no power situation.

Why Should I Build a Lights Out Kit?

There a many situations where power outages can occur (weather related, tree limbs falling, car accidents, construction mistakes, etc.) and 90% of the time they are out of our control. Power outages can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks in some severe cases, but what you can control is how you handle these situations. You might have your Bug Out Bag all prepped for you when you have to ditch out, but do you have a Lights Out Kit?

How to Build a Lights Out Kit

A Lights Out Kits doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Chances are you probably already have most these items lying around the house. How accessible these items are to you in a power outage situation might need to be re-evaluated. We suggest the following items for a basic Lights Out Kit:

  • Flashlights (w/ spare batteries)
  • Candles & Crayons (a crayon will last about 30 min)
  • Glow Sticks (inexpensive and entertaining for the kids)
  • Headlamps (w/ spare batteries)
  • Oil / Solar Lamps
  • Fire Starter (w/ fire starting material)

Here is a suggested kit for under $20:

  • Storage Tub w/Lid – $2.99 (Target)
  • (2) 3.5″ LED Flashlights – $2.99 (Harbor Freight)
  • Headlamp – $4.97 (CostCo)
  • AAA Batteries – $4.99 (Harbor Freight)
  • Light Sticks – $1.97 (Home Depot)
  • (4) Tea Lights – $1.00 (Target)

Where to Put Light Out Kits

We recommend building 4 Lights Out Kits and placing them in strategic locations around you house. Here are two suggestions:

  • Place a Lights Out Kit on every level of your house
  • Place a Lights Out Kit in each major bedroom of your house

If you’re looking for a fun project to do with the family that will add to your preps, build a Lights Out Kit!

72-Hour Kits For Babies




Most instructions you will find on creating 72-hour kits, bug-out bags, or other evacuation supplies leave out an important family member: your baby or infant. If your child is under two years old, they require many special supplies on top of regular 72-hour kit supplies. Planning for their needs should take a little more time and thought than other older family members.

Start out by creating or buying a regular 72-hour kit first. Some supplies you may not feel are necessary for your baby’s kit, such as can openers or pocket knives. However, many supplies that your baby will not specifically need should also be in their kit: extra batteries, flashlights, etc. These are extra items that should be kept with the baby in case you run out. Think about weight distribution – your baby will not be carrying his or her own bag, so this is very important to think of in comparison to your own 72-Hour Kit. What you will include will be up to you and your individual situation. Assign one family member to grab the baby’s emergency kit and put it in your evacuation plan.

Thinking about the supplies you will need in your child’s emergency bag is often tricky because infants go through their stages so quickly. What your baby needs now is not what they will need in six months. The best solution is the plan ahead as well as being diligent about cycling out every year. Include the supplies your baby needs now and what they will need in six months. If you think that you won’t remember to replace supplies every year, maybe think ahead even more than six months.

Even if your baby is currently breastfeeding, pack formula in your baby’s bag. During an emergency, it is possible that your child will be separated from his or her mother for any amount of time. Pack enough water to mix with the formula including the extra water for your baby to drink separately. Toddlers need about 32-40oz of water a day. Include three days worth of baby food. Once your child is eating solid foods, take the baby food out and replace it with food that better matches his or her daily diet. It is important that your child is used to the emergency food you pack – a change in diet, especially during a stressful situation, can cause your baby to have stomach aches, diarrhea, and other similar health concerns. If it is not possible to convert your child’s regular diet into durable emergency food, then have them sometimes eat your food storage food before an emergency strikes so they are used to it.

Other items to pack include bowls, spoons, and bottles. You can buy nipples and spill-proof spouts that attach to regular water bottles at various baby stores. Store all of these items in sealed plastic bags. Bring hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes to keep everything clean.

Packing clothes for your baby is another difficult item to plan for. Prepping mothers encourage packing clothes that are too big for them, about six months beyond their current size. It is better for your baby’s clothes to be too big than too small. Choose sweatpants, sweatshirts, pajamas, and other clothes that will be comfortable, warm, and easy to move around in. Blankets are great for keeping your child warm and for comfort. Some mothers include a small square of a larger blanket that their child uses daily. If you are evacuating during the winter, grab your child’s coat and boots before leaving home, but keep hats, socks, and mittens in the 72-hour kit year round.

For diapers, pack current sizes, a size up, and a few cloth diapers. If you run out of disposable diapers, you will have to resort to diapers you can clean and reuse. Bring extra plastic bags to keep dirty diapers in.

Also pack burp cloths, bibs, sunblock, soap, lotion, washcloths, Tylenol and Motrin for infants,  hand warmers, toothbrush and toothpaste, any prescriptions, bulb syringe, saline, gas drops, baby carrier or sling, teether and teething gel, small container of dish soap, Kleenex, and toys or books. These supplies can get expensive, so try buying some of them from consignment stores or Salvation Army, but wash them in bleach after purchasing. Also, keep an eye out for sales and coupons.

On top of all the other items, put a current picture of your child with his or her identification. List his or her allergies, your contact information, and the places where you are planning to go if you evacuate. Put a current picture of your entire family with these items, and place all of it in a sealed plastic bag or laminate them. If your baby gets lost, the first responders who find him or her will be able to use this information to return them back to you.

Cooking Without Electricity



Food is without a doubt one of the most important resources during any type of emergency.  So naturally, we put a large focus on building up an ample supply of emergency food storage.  But how often do we think about how we are going to cook and prepare that food?  After all, electricity is often one of the first resources to be lost during an emergency, which many homes rely on to run their stoves and ovens.  Even if your home stove and oven are gas-powered, there is still a possibility that it will also become unusable during an emergency situation.  It is important to be aware of alternative methods to cook and prepare foods because it doesn’t matter how much food you have if you don’t have any way to prepare it.

The cheapest alternative cooking method is fire.  Make sure to build a fire pit to keep the fire contained in one area, and have an adequate supply of tinder (small flammable objects such as wood shavings and crumpled paper), kindling (small- to medium-sized sticks), and fuel (larger pieces of wood) so that the fire will keep burning long enough to be of use.  If you decide to construct a fire pit, make sure it is away from your home or other potential fire hazards such as low hanging tree branches.

Probably one of the easier methods to cook without electricity is to use a gas grill.  Most gas grills use propane fuel tanks and are easy to use.  However, it is important to remember to not store propane fuel tanks inside the house, as they do present a potential risk for explosion if accidentally ignited.  Gas grills are especially useful for grilling and roasting food items.

CampChef stoves also provide a good alternative for cooking without electricity.  There are a variety of stoves available, including stoves that run on propane and other types of liquid fuel.  These stoves are also relatively lightweight and easily transported (they are designed for camping, after all), and could prove especially useful in a situation where your family has to leave your home.

Another interesting option is solar-powered ovens.  Solar ovens do not depend on high outdoor temperatures or sunny weather to cook, rather, they rely completely on ultraviolet radiation to cook food.  This means that even on cloudy winter days, a solar oven can get hot enough to properly cook food (some can even get up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit).  Solar cookers work best between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and when the UV index is 7 or greater.

Having multiple options available for properly preparing your food during an emergency is crucial to your family’s ability to cope with any crisis.  Examine your emergency plan and budget to determine what methods would work best for your family’s situation.  Being prepared to cook without electricity will make a big difference in how well you can provide for your family in an emergency situation.