Category Archives: emergency preparedness

A Few Reasons to Prep (Plus the winners announcement)

The term “prepper” evokes images of wild  eyed wanna be commandos in fatigues with guns slung over their shoulders, muttering about the government takeover perpetrated by a secret society.  While there’s nothing wrong with holding these beliefs (I entertain them myself from time to time), that pervasive image turns off many people from emergency preparedness.  This is a huge problem because emergencies can happen at any time, without warning, and don’t have to be of epically catastrophic proportions.  Everyone needs to have some sort of back up plan because s8&^ happens, even it doesn’t hit the fan. And it ranges from the personal to events on a global level.

Job loss-  The economy being what it is, job loss is not an uncommon event.  If you have a stocked pantry, you will have one less bill to worry about.  Speaking from experience, I can tell you it will be a blessing to be able to feed your family regardless of whether you have a regular pay check.  In 2013, I was maneuvered into resigning my position teaching.  (It’s a long, dastardly story that I won’t share right now).  My teaching salary had been a major portion of our income.  Matt had his tree business and hoped to pick up the slack.  Unfortunately, his partner left the business, taking the chipper with him, limiting the jobs Matt could do.  Then, the economy took another hit, and the calls quit coming.  During this period, cash became more and more scarce.  However, all we had to do for food was go to our huge pantry downstairs or one of the freezers.  We had more than enough to see us through.  If we hadn’t had that stockpile, I’m not sure what we would have done.

Loss of a spouse-  This event is far more unsettling to consider, but it must be done.  If you are part of a couple who depends on two incomes, you need to think about what you might do if they passed away suddenly.  If you have food stockpiled, you wouldn’t have to worry about a grocery bill.  Moreover, you wouldn’t have to drag yourself into the public, grocery shopping, when you should really be at home, taking care of yourself and children if you have any.

storm

Natural disaster- As many of us watched, during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, people were grossly unprepared for living without electricity.  Potable water became a precious commodity as the emergency progressed.  If you live on the east coast, hurricanes are a very real threat, but other parts of the country have their own natural disasters.  Considering they are difficult to predict and often strike without warning, it is best to keep supplies on hand at all times.

Governmental collapse- I hesitated to put this reason in here, since it sounds so crazy.  However, if you have been paying attention to places like Greece and Valenzuela, it’s not that far out of the realm of possibility.  Okay, some of you may think my crazy is showing, and maybe it is, but I”d rather throw this out there than not. Better for you to have supplies and me be wrong, than the other way around.

This list is just a few reasons to start your own stockpile of supplies.  You can start small and work your way up, but just get started.  It’s better to be proactive and feel like you’re doing something rather than feel helpless later.

Giveaway

I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the winner of our newsletter drawing.  In a very scientifically random fashion, we put all the names on a slip of paper and put them in a pickle jar.

Our very scientific method
Our very scientific method

When we went to draw a name for the 72 hour kit from Patriot Pantry, the boys fought over who got to draw.  In order to keep the peace, we decided to add a bonus drawing.  The grand prize winner will get the 72 hour kit while the runner up will win some homemade soaps.  And the winners are…. drumroll please…..

For the homemade soap:

Dan Shortridge! You've won two bars of our homemade soap!
Dan Shortridge! You’ve won two bars of our homemade soap!

And the 72 hour kit goes to…..

Marie Miller, you're the winner of the 72 hour kit.
Marie Miller, you’re the winner of the 72 hour kit.

 

Congratulations to our winners.  If you’d like to be qualified to win occasional giveaways and other goodies, sign up to be on our newsletter.

Join our list. We’d never sell your address. Scout’s honor. (Matt used to be a Boyscout, so that’s totally legit.)

* indicates required




72 Hour Kit Review and Giveaway!

Here is what all four packages look like after they are removed from the larger package.
Here is what all four packages look like after they are removed from the larger package.

Prepackaged Kits and You

Getting started with emergency preparedness can be a daunting task.  There are so many different issues to consider that many folks give up, even though they know that they should be doing something.  While I do not advocate making it the only part of your emergency preparedness storage, prepackaged kits can be an easy way to start.

My Patriot Supply sells 72 hour kits for getting started, along with many other kits.  This kit in particular has four serving packages of each: Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice, Liberty Bell Cheesy Potato soup, Traveler’s Stew and Granny’s Homestyle Potato soup. They use non-GMO ingredients and their food is made in the USA, in case that stuff is important to you. (It is to us, but I know that’s not a priority for everyone.) If you go to their site and sign up for their newsletter, you will be privy to the many sales that they have which make it easier to build your food stockpile for less money.  Who doesn’t like a deal?

Taste Testing

Prepackaged food conjures images of disgusting, tasteless, unidentifiable gruel.  I’ll be completely honest: even I did not have high expectations when I ordered the 72 hours kit from Patriot Supply.  I thought that at best it would be passable freeze dried food that we could keep that would be light weight, easily transportable and long lasting, since the mylar sealed bags can be good for up to 25 years.  Taste good, though?  Seemed too much to ask.

Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice

With trepidation, I cooked up the Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice.  It required 20 minutes of cooking at a simmer, so you will definitely need a heat source to cook it, not just add boiling water.  (Not to worry, we plan to cover that topic in another post.) At first, I despaired of it thickening up and thought perhaps we would end up with soup.  Not such a bad thing, except the temperature was 95F so the last thing we wanted was soup for dinner.  However, after I cooked it and let it cool as the directions state, texture was similar to the flavored rice from Rice-a-Roni or some other prepackaged mix.  But that’s where the similarities ended.  Patriot Supply’s rice was so creamy and delicious that it tasted practically homemade.  We ate it as a side with some cold chicken we had, but I ate some of the rice cold the next day (for testing purposes, of course).  It was just as fantastic as the day before.

When they said creamy, they weren't kidding!
When they said creamy, they weren’t kidding!

Matt gives it two thumbs up.  As an avid outdoorsman and all around adventurer, even having hiked the Appalachian Trail for six months, he has eaten a lot of instant meals: MREs, C-Rats, K-rats… (Maybe some other acronyms but I kinda started to space out.)  He too was surprised and thrilled by the flavor and texture of the rice.

Liberty Bell Cheddar Potato Soup

After such an excellent first experiment, I was eager to try another meal from the 72 hour package.  I selected the Liberty Bell Cheddar Potato soup, because, hello, potatoes and cheese.  I followed the instructions, simmering the soup on the stove, while stirring frequently.  I learned the hard way, do not abandon your soup, you will scorch the bottom.  Fortunately, I caught it before too much damage was done.

I added the parsley garnish from my herb garden out front.
I added the parsley garnish from my herb garden out front.

After letting the soup cool, I ladled it out into dishes.  For this dish, my guinea pig was my mother in law, who was a great sport about it, considering the high had been in the nineties again that day.  Taking a spoonful, I was not disappointed.  .  I had figured that the soup would be basically a thin compilation of potato flakes and powdered cheese. Instead, the soup had a very creamy and cheesy base with shreds of potatoes in it.  My mother in law noted that the cheese did not have the “fake cheese” flavor that is common to many premade mixes.  It was delicious and we practically licked our bowls clean, much to the dogs’ lament.

Recommendation

It is without reservations that we recommend these products from Patriot Supply.  No, we have not received any compensation from the company.  They are just that good.  We intend to purchase a few kits to give away as Christmas gifts to certain family members and friends who would appreciate them. Also, they are fairly slim and compact, a boon for putting in a five gallon bucket 72 hour kit or in a Bug Out Bag.  (Also stuff we’ll cover in other posts)

Giveaway!

Now, for the exciting part, we will be holding a drawing for all folks who join our newsletter, with the prize being your very own 72 hour kit.  We will hold the drawing on July 31, 2016,  so use the link to join our newsletter.  Not only will you get a chance to win, but we will be sending out freebies and updates that are only available to our subscribers.   Come join in the fun!

 

Subscribe to our list to be entered in our giveaway. We’ll never sell your email. Scout’s honor. (Matt used to be a Boyscout, so that’s totally legit.)

* indicates required



Email Format