Today's food storage/emergency prep items are:
October Week 4: Stay Warm and Dry! - Wool blankets, emergency reflective blankets, rain ponchos, hand warmers
These should be items that you won't have to replenish every year. All of these items can be purchased at an online store such as Emergency Essentials, or you can also find most of the items at stores like WalMart.
I like the wool-blend utility blankets I got from Emergency Essentials. They were somewhere around $15 and measure a good-sized 60X80 inches. I also have some wool Indian blankets that I will keep in the stack in my emergency supply room. This is what Emergency Essentials has to say about their wool blankets:
Stay toasty warm with this fire-retardant, economical wool blend blanket. Comfortable, soft, and breathable, this blanket will keep you warm without trapping condensation or sweat against your body in cold weather. It measures 60 x 80 inches, and is 65% wool and 35% polyester. A great addition to any emergency or car kit.
The rain ponchos are $3.50, so very affordable. I think I will add a few to my supply so that I have enough for each of my family members, regardless of whether they live here at home or not. Just in case...
The PVC Poncho with Hood is a full-size cut and is made out of waterproof PVC Material. Keep one in your car and in your emergency kit, so you won’t be caught unprepared in bad weather. Lightweight and reusable. Each emergency poncho includes an attached hood. One size fits most.
The reflective blankets are very affordable, too. They're under $2.00, and can be critical in keeping body heat in. This is what Emergency Essentials has in their description about them:
This lightweight and compact blanket fits in any emergency kit or bug out bag. The Emergency Blanket’s unique reflective material maintains up to 80% of your radiant body heat to help preserve crucial warmth. The emergency blanket is large enough to cover from head to toe (84" x 52") or to wrap around the upper body front to back. Small enough to fit in a pocket. It's lightweight and waterproof. Thicker material than other reflective blankets of this size and price range. With an Emergency Blanket you’ll have a powerful pocketful of warmth.
I think I'll get a few more of those, too. Can't hurt to have plenty of them on hand.
And of course, hand warmers. If you've ever used these beauties when your fingers feel like they are so cold they'll fall off your hand, then you know they can really come in handy. Here in Utah, we get cold winters, and I can imagine how useful handwarmers might be in some wintery situations:
These hand warmers provide up to 8 hours of continuous warmth—in any place, at any time. Keep several on hand in emergency kits, camping gear, and the trunk of your car. The Hand, Pocket & Glove Warmers heat up in minutes. Ideal for winter sporting events, outdoor activities, camping, fishing, and other outdoor situations. Invaluable as an instant heat source in emergency situations. Environmentally safe and disposable. Inner contents are biodegradable.
Decide what you and your family might need in an emergency situation. This is aside from your 72 hour kit, remember. Just imagine that your family is without heat, or without shelter for some time. What can you provide, in your emergency supply, to help your family through a catastrophe? If you have extra blankets in your home, you can stack those on the shelves, too. Make sure they're plenty warm and optimally have at least some wool in them.
Once you have decided what you think you'll need, start collecting the items. Purchase what you need either online or at a store. Get the items on your shelves and update your inventory sheets, and feel at peace that you have provided warmth and comfort for your family for an emergency situation.
If your budget doesn't allow you to purchase all of the items at once, begin with one or two of the items, and get them on your shelves. As your finances allow, add to your storage, or next year, when this week comes up again, finish up the list. Just be sure to do something this week, even if its just putting a few blankets on the shelves, or buying a couple of reflective blankets for a couple of dollars each.
If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.