Archive - January 2017

MRE vs Freeze-Dried Meals, What’s the Difference?

MRE vs Freeze-Dried Meals, What’s the Difference?

MRE vs Freeze-Dried Meals, What’s the Difference?

By Aaron Curley and Harry Weyandt

When you hear the term “MRE”, most people usually think of food storage, camping foods or foods that our military uses in the field.  Many mistakenly think that freeze-dried foods and MRE’s are nearly the same, which they are not. Let’s take a closer look…

MRE stands for Meals-Ready-to-Eat (“MRE”s).  They were developed by the U.S. Military as a combat ration containing a full three-course meal for troops in the field. The main entrée is a wet pack, shelf-stable food product that is much like canned foods you buy in a grocery store except they are packaged in a “flexible foil pouch” and have a longer shelf-life. The entree is fully cooked and can be eaten hot or cold anytime, anywhere. No further preparation is required. Because full MRE meals usually contain a 3 course meal, they are easy to hand out and dispense in the field or in an emergency. They are also a great choice for adding to home bug-out bags.

Some MRE’s come with flameless water activated heater rations. These simply require a small amount of water to be poured into the pouch to set off a chemical reaction with the inner heater packet to provide you with a piping hot MRE entrée in about 10 minutes. The addition of these heater packets typically adds about a dollar per meal, or $12 to a case of 12 meals.

The design of the MRE’s multi-layered foil seal pouch can be heated or warmed in other ways also such as placing the pouch on a car dash board, on a hot engine block or placed on a rock in direct sun. This is one reason why they are a favorite among hunters and outdoor enthusiast because of their ease of use, carrying and compactness.  MRE’s generally have about a five year shelf-life from date of manufacture when stored at about 70 degrees or less.

Buying MRE’s:  First, find a reputable place to buy them from. All military MRE entrees and side dishes are made for the government under massive contracts. After a holding for a period time by the manufactures, production overruns are sold on the commercially market. These are typically 6 – 12 months old when they become available. In the industry, these are considered “fresh”.

Because the variety of entrée and side dishes are constantly changing with each contract, try finding a MRE seller that offers a wide range of entrée choices per case, 12 different meals is most preferable, though most companies offer only 3 to 4 varieties per case.

If you see MRE’s on bargain sites like Ebay or Amazon, beware that surplus sellers often dump their expired old stock on unsuspecting buyers who are not armed with this information here and do not know the right questions to ask. These MRE’s often seem like great bargains at $35-$60 per case of 12, but buyer beware. These can often be upwards to four years old with little shelf-life remaining. Know the manufacture dates before you buy so you get the longest shelf-life possible.

Secondly, don’t buy on price alone, cheaper does not mean it’s a better deal. Look closely at the average calories that the meals provide (many companies conceal this and say nothing hoping you will not ask) and look at the meal choices and other side components that are included. A normal contract military MRE meal contains a main entrée, side dish, bread item, dessert, beverage drink, and spoon and compliment accessories. These typically provide 1200 to 1500 calories per meal. The actually MRE’s sold to the U.S. government are not sold to the general public. All commercially made MRE’s are usually made of both military and commercially made parts and pieces to keep the prices more affordable, but compare the individual components carefully to know if it is a deal or rip-off.

MRE’s are perfect for quick meals with no preparation and you can eat them hot or cold. They are a great addition to any short term emergency plans for your home or business. Their disadvantage is their shorter 4-5 year shelf-life which takes them out of the running for long term storage plans. For extended food storage, we recommend looking closely at freeze-dried foods.

Freeze-Dried Foods and Meals

In comparison, freeze-Dried foods have up to 99% of their moisture or water removed through a process of sublimation, or freeze-drying as most people call it. This is done through a process where the foods are prepared, seasoned and cooked then flash frozen. Next, the foods are placed inside a freeze-drying chamber where a vacuum is pulled and the chamber slowly warmed to remove nearly 100% of the moisture from the foods. This whole process can take from 24 to 48 hours to complete, but the end result is well worth it.

Most people like freeze-dried foods because they simply taste better, much like frozen corn is preferred over canned corn. In addition, the end result is that they are super light-weight, retain their same shape, texture and flavor. These foods reconstitute fast in about 5-10 minutes by just adding hot water (cold can even be used in a pinch). No other dry food storage is faster to prepare or stores longer.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, freeze-dried foods, because of the freeze-drying process, have the longest PROVEN shelf-life of all long-term storage foods.  Mountain House® says that their freeze-dried foods packaged in metal cans or foil sealed pouches will store safely for 30 years when properly stored. They are the only company that offers a full line of real freeze-dried meals. Most of their meals are also made with real meats and not soy TVP, in both metal cans and foil pouches.  They offer a wide variety to choose from such as beef stroganoff, lasagna, chili mac, beef stew and chicken teriyaki just to name a few.

It should be noted here that the name “freeze-dried food” does not always mean that the foods are really freeze-dried. Some food storage manufactures make survival foods and call their powdered soup based blends that are sprinkled with a few freeze-dried vegetables or meats as “freeze-dried”. These are not really freeze-dried meals. Dry powdered mix blends cost much less to make than real freeze-dried entrée meals and will not store as long. Only Mountain House® brand prepares, cooks and packages their own real freeze-dried meals.

Freeze-dried meals have been a top choice for campers, backpackers and preppers for over 40 years. If you have a stove and some water, they are the perfect choice for any camping adventure or emergency food storage plan.

When looking at the differences between MRE’s and Freeze Dried foods, they both have pros and cons which should be considered before purchasing. MRE’s are a great choice for immediate short-term emergencies when you need to bug-out fast but have a much shorter 4-5 year shelf-life. On the other hand, freeze-dried foods cannot be beat for both short and long term emergencies for a wider selection of meal choices, storage compactness and ultra-long 30 year shelf-life.

We recommend having a combination of both. MRE’s for 1-2 weeks for providing instant meals and freeze-dried foods for anything longer. Whatever you decide, just do something now while it is still fresh on your mind. As always, Have a Plan, Be Ready and Be Prepared!

© Nitro-Pak® Preparedness Center, Inc. September 2016



17 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil

17 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil

17 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil

  1. Catching Fish. Grab a small piece of tin foil and wrap around the hook or the weights.  What happens is the light reflects off of the tin foil and will attract more fish.
  2. Starting a Fire. With some cotton, a battery and some foil you can make a flame.
  3. Protecting Your Hands. When burning a candle so the hot wax doesn’t drip on your skin, just simply take a piece of foil and tear a hole in the center and shape the foil into a cup to catch the hot wax.
  4. Keeping Things Dry. To keep small items dry just simply wrap your foil a few times around the item such as food or matches.
  5. Cooking Food. Simply place your food thinly inside some foil along with any seasoning and wrap a couple times around so it doesn’t leak.  Place it over the fire or in some hot coals and let it do the cooking for you.  Another idea is you could grab a branch that forks out and create a pan to cook on top of by wrapping the fork branch with foil a few items and as long as its not a heavy item you now have a cooking pan.
  6. Wind Blocker. Create a wall or barrier using a sheet of foil to protect your flames from the wind.  This would be helpful for a burner stove or a small fire.
  7. Create a Solar Oven. With a few supplies simple materials and some foil you can create a solar oven to cook in. This article will explain how to create one…..
  8. Collecting Rainwater. Create a large bowl using tin foil and collect rainwater.  You could even have it drain into a bucket to collect large amounts of rainwater.
  9. Boil Water. Start by putting some rocks into a fire.  While they are getting hot dig a hole and line the hole with foil and then fill with water.  Once the rocks are hot transfer the rocks with some tongs to the water and watch the water boil.
  10. Make a Funnel. Create several layers of foil, push a stick down the middle of those layers to create a spout, and then shape into a funnel.
  11. Make Plate ware. By using several layers of foil you can create and mold your own cups, bowls and plates and even spoons.
  12. Scrubbing Pots/Pans. Create a ball of foil to scrub those dirty pots/pans.  Remember to not scrub non-stick surfaces as this will scratch and damage them.
  13. Fix Loose Batteries. Sometimes the springs in old flashlights and radios can get too loose to hold batteries in place.  To fix this, fold up a small piece of foil and place it between the battery and the spring.
  14. Enhance Antennas. If you have an older TV or radio with a traditional antenna you can wrap a ball of foil around the ends of the antenna to help improve reception. Don’t expect it to help a ton but may be just enough.
  15. Sharpen Scissors. Smooth out a sheet of foil and fold it in half several times, then start cutting.  After a while your scissors will be sharp.
  16. Signal for Help. Use the reflective surface of foil to create a signal for help.
  17. Find Your Way At Night. Hang foil from trees at eye level along your path.  The foil with act as a reflector when you shine your flashlight and help you find your path easier.

WARNING: The “3 G’s” of Survival are Rising FAST!

What are the “3 G’s” of Survival?

  • Rising Gold & Silver Sales
  • Rising Gun & Ammo Sales
  • Rising Emergency Food Sales (Groceries)

These three “G’s” are always linked together with growing economic fears and uncertain times. In the past week we hit new record sales and this week sales are RAPIDLY increasing even more for emergency food and survival gear. Our new Signature Elite food reserves have been hugely successful the past two weeks. There is simply nothing else like them and invite you check them out.

We see this as a new rising trend and if the current pace keeps going shortages will soon occur. In today’s uncertain times, now more than ever, the need to be better prepared is rising. Don’t be caught unprepared!  GET IT DONE NOW while supplies are available and prices still affordable!

How Prepared Are You?? Time get it done…NOW!

In today’s troubling and GROWING uncertain times, it is becoming more and more apparent that each of us MUST be better prepared to weather the storming times ahead. I know many of you have called over the past two weeks telling us that you have had this “prompting” to get you and your family better prepared with emergency backup food supplies and survival gear. We have sold more emergency food reserves and supplies this week than we have seen in the past year. Change is in the air. You “feel” it and others have too and are acting on those prompting.

Preparedness is just that, being prepared before the need arises. When crisis strikes the time to prepare is over, sort of like trying to buy fire insurance when the house is on fire. You MUST be one minute too early than one minute too late. Please, get started now. I fully anticipate as crisis events continue to increase and election fears heighten, food storage supplies will be in HIGH DEMAND and SHORTAGE will occur. As always, Have a Plan, Be Ready and Be Prepared!

Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak Founder and President

Best of State Winner for 2016

Nitro-Pak VOTED the Best Preparedness Food

And Supply Company AGAIN for 2016!

HEBER CITY, UT– On April 10th, 2016, the “Utah Best of State Committee” announced this year’s Best of State Award Winners in over 200 different business categories. This year’s winner for the Preparedness Food and Supplies category, Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., was once again voted #1 again for the fifth time to receive this coveted award.

To be honored even once for this prestigious award is a high honor. To win it now for the fifth time, four times more than any other competitor says volume’s about Nitro-Pak. Their Founder and President Harry R Weyandt responded saying “Wow! I can’t believe that out of all preparedness companies we have here in Utah, that Nitro-Pak would once again be voted to receive this highly prestigious award. Our employees deserve all the credit for making this happen. I couldn’t be prouder of them!”

When one considers how many other emergency preparedness supply, food storage sellers and food storage canning & bucket food manufactures that are based here in Utah (it is estimated Utah has somewhere over 100 different companies in this industry) it is quite remarkable that since the Best of State organization first introduced the Preparedness Food & Supply category in 2011, Nitro-Pak was won this coveted award four straight years in a row!

Award winners will be recognized at the “Best of State Award’s Black-Tie Gala” banquet. It is humbling to be rubbing shoulders among the very best businesses in Utah. Some are mega billion dollar “Fortune 500” companies who were selected winners alongside many small businesses winners like Nitro-Pak. Each is recognized equally the same as exemplar examples as leaders in their respect fields.

When asked about receiving this award again for the fifth time, four times in a row, Mr. Weyandt enthusiastically responded, “After being in business now for over 30 years, I’m still excited to be in business! Every day I get to live the America Dream. Yes, “the dream” is still alive in America and my wonderful wife Vickie and I are living proof of that, but we did not get here alone. We recognize that no business ever rises to the top without exceptional and caring employees. These are our front line warrior’s. Our employees are the real winners of this award and we sincerely thank each of them.

In addition, we thank our loyal customers that have allowed us the opportunity to serve them and provide products that bring a little more peace-of-mind and security in their lives.
Lastly, but most importantly for Vickie and I, is to humbly thank and express our thanks to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ for our chance to be here on earth to experience all we have. He has blessed us with five wonderful children that we are so very proud of along with their spouses and for our ten grandchildren whom we love and adore. These are our real treasures in this life.”

It is easy to see why this exceptional company continues to lead the field and chosen number one again.

About Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center

Nitro-Pak was established in 1985 and has helped over 10 million Americans with their emergency food and preparedness needs. Customer service is their passion. They offer a wide range of freeze-dried meals and food storage packages as well as a whole host of emergency survival kits and other related preparedness gear. To learn more, please visit their website at

WARNING, Current Uncertainties Causing Delays & Huge Shortages!

WARNING, Current Uncertainties Causing Delays & Huge Shortages!

Dear Friend and VIP Customer,

I’ll get quickly straight to the point. As one of our loyal customers, I wanted to give you a quick update of something that is currently affecting Nitro-Pak and the entire preparedness industry.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago in an email I sent out, we are seeing a huge increase in orders from across the country buying our emergency food reserves and preparedness gear that we have not seen in over 3 years. Our order shipping times have increase upwards to 10 business days or more, especially for our food reserves. Some of our competitors are quoting times outwards to 3 weeks or more.

We are scrambling like mad to fulfill orders as quickly as possible, but supplies are drying up FAST as I write this. Please do not think for a moment that this is some “scare” tactic. Far from it! This is the real thing my friend. I know you like to know when we see changes, so you are hearing about it first.

I literally ordered TODAY all the food I could secure for our customers from our supplier warehouses. Many have told me that they are already out of stock on many items, which means 6-8 weeks before we will possibility see them back in stock again, but we still were able to lock in loads of others that we fully expect to will sell out fast.

I’m giving you the same “insider” information I am telling my closest friends and family, ‘get your order in NOW while we still can get inventory’. No fluff. No bull.

As current economic & political uncertainties are RISING across the country, I believe that we are only in the first wave of people stocking-up, but I fully expect to see a TIDAL WAVE of new buyers to hit when the word gets out on blogs shortly after this email goes out. Being prepared means getting prepared BEFORE the herd all hears about what’s going on. For those guys, it will be kind of like trying to buying fire insurance when the house is on fire. Too late!

If you have “felt” the need to add to your emergency supplies (you would not be alone if you did), it’s time get off the fence and secure your place in line NOW before the balance of our foods and gear vaporizes like we saw when the Japanese earthquake hit in a few years ago! TRUE FACT: It took us six months afterwards to get re-supplied with enough foods and gear to fulfill all our orders and backorders. I fear it will happen again this time around also. My gut feeling and 30 years of experience says that we may very well in the beginning stages of another stampede.

As always, Have A Plan, Be Ready and Be Prepared!

Harry R Weyandt

President & Founder

Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc.

How to prepare for a wildfire

How to prepare for a wildfire

How to prepare for a wild fire

Wild fire is coming ARE YOU READY?

With more and more people building closer and closer to woodlands and forest settings, while these areas provide beauty and serine environments they come with a very real danger, that danger is called wildfire.

Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy home, business, infrastructure, natural resources and agriculture. It is important to prepare and protect yourself and your home and property.

The federal suppression cost typically range from 1 billion to nearly 2 billion each year. The destruction caused by wild fire depends on the size of the fire, the landscape and the amount of fuel in the path of the wildfire.

  • Wildfires can cause death or injury to people and animals.
  • Structures may be damaged or destroyed.
  • Transportation, gas, power, communications, and other services may be disrupted.
  • Flying embers can set fire to buildings more than a mile away from the wildfire itself.
  • Smoke can cause health issues for people, even for those far away from the fire.
  • Extensive acreage can be burned, damaging watersheds and critical natural areas.
  • Flash flooding and mudslides can result from fire damage to the surrounding landscape.
  • Wildfires can affect the land for many years, including causing changes to the soil that increase the risk of future floods.

When wildfires do hit there are homes  that burn and homes right next door that don’t burn, the homes that do survive do so because of their owner has prepared for the wildfire it’s said that ifs it predictable it’s preventable.

Wild fires start at random, unintended campfires, lightning strike, or accidents. Wildfires spread quickly so preparing when you see smoke it’s already too late. So now is the time to meet with your family and decide what to do and where to go in such an event.

Here are a few things to do to help prepare your home and property for a wildfire.

  • Make a family bug out plan.
  • Make a disaster supply kit ( bug out Bag)
  • Design your landscape around your home with a wild fire in mind
  • Make sure you regularly clean out your gutters.
  • Inspect your chimneys and clean out at least once a year.
  • Have a latter to reach the roof of the home.
  • Make sure you have your smoke alarms working, and one on each level.
  • Remove piles of wood, clear dead wood of off the trees.
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home.
  • Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump incase power is cut.

Prepare your property

Creating a defensible space around your home is essential to improve your chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create its recommended that you have 100 – 300 feet around your home. There are steps you can take to reduce the danger.

  • Rake dead leaves off the grass.
  • Remove dead braches around the property.
  • Remove branched that extend over the roof.
  • Ask the power company to remove branches around power lines.
  • Remove vines from walls of home.
  • Stack firewood at least 100 feet away from your home.
  • Store gasoline in approved safety containers, and in safe places.
  • Review your homeowners insurance to include fire protection.
Wild Fire Safety

Safety Zone around house for wildfire


Safety Zone around house for wildfire

Safety Zone around house for wildfire

During A Wildfire

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take your disaster supply kit, lock your home and choose a route away from the fire hazard. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke. Tell someone when you left and where you are going.

If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.

If you are not ordered to evacuate, and have time to prepare your home, FEMA recommends you take the following actions:

  • Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area in case you need to evacuate
  • Wear protective clothing when outside—sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face
  • Gather fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel
  • Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains
  • Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat
  • Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft
  • Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen
  • Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source
  • Connect garden hoses to outdoor water faucet and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water
  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks, and leave the sprinklers on, dowsing these structures as long as possible
  • If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready

If asked to evacuate:

  • Place a ladder against the house in clear view to aid firefighters
  • Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out, and close all garage doors
  • Place valuable papers, mementos and anything “you can’t live without” inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure
  • Any pets still with you should also be put in the car
  • Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool or pond
  • Move flammable furniture into the center of the residence away from the windows and sliding-glass doors
  • Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke


Sources / references


Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency Phone Numbers

The best time to prepare for an emergency is before one happens. Make sure your family knows emergency phone numbers and your kids know how to place a call for help.

Need-to-Know Numbers

During an emergency, it’s easy to become disoriented and upset, so you need to have all important phone numbers readily available ahead of time.

Write each phone number clearly in large print so it will be easy for kids to read. Use a pen with dark-colored ink or type it on the computer because pencil or light-colored ink can be harder to read when you’re in a hurry or if lights are dim.

Because accidents can happen in any part of the home, make copies of the completed list and post one near every telephone in the house and on the refrigerator. Be sure to carry one with you when you are out of the house, and keep one in the car as well.

Also, consider programming emergency numbers into your cellphone. And make sure that people who come to the house to watch your kids (babysitters or relatives, for example) familiarize themselves with the list. If a babysitter is taking the kids out, make sure he or she also carries the list of numbers.

Make sure the list includes these numbers:

  • emergency medical services: In most places this is 911, but your community may have its own number.
  • poison control center: 1-800-222-1222. This toll-free number will put you in touch with the poison control center in your area.
  • hospital emergency room
  • fire department
  • police department
  • your child’s doctor
  • parents’ work
  • parents’ cellphones and/or pagers
  • neighbors and/or relatives
  • pharmacy

Your list also should include known allergies (especially to any medicines), medical conditions, medications taken by family members, and insurance information for all members of the family.

If you are calling 911 from your cellphone, the dispatcher may not have enough information to pinpoint your location so be prepared to give details about where you are (for example, address, city, cross streets, major highway, and nearest exits).

If you have a home alarm, make sure you and others in the home know how to use it to activate local emergency services (ambulance, police, fire station).

If you’re planning a trip to another country, make sure you know how to get help if the need arises. It’s better to be prepared and keep a list of international numbers. Lists of international emergency numbers are available online and from embassies of each country.





The Proper Use of Potassium Iodide

The Proper Use of Potassium Iodide

The Proper Use of Potassium Iodide

If you are seeking to learn more about potassium iodide uses, the first thing to understand is that iodine and potassium iodine are two very different things. Iodine is an essential trace mineral that is necessary for maintaining good health. Potassium iodine is used for specific medical conditions and under specific circumstances. Potassium iodine uses vary, but the most well-known use is for emergencies, in particular, nuclear accidents.

Potassium iodine is highly effective in helping to protect the thyroid from damage when exposure to radioactive iodine-131 occurs. The thyroid is particularly vulnerable to exposure to radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide essentially floods the thyroid with iodine so that when radioactive iodine enters the system, the thyroid does not absorb it. If the thyroid absorbs radioactive iodine, cancer can result. It is important to note that these cancers may not manifest for many years.

Potassium Iodide Uses and the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Incident

During the Chernobyl nuclear incident in 1986, potassium iodide was given to millions of people in an effort to protect those living in irradiated areas. This turned out to be an extremely prudent step, as many years later it became clear to researchers that the need to protect the thyroid was, in fact, more pronounced than originally believed. The World Health Organization has documented that there was an increase in thyroid cancer up to 500 km from the Chernobyl accident site.

Other Potassium Iodide Uses-Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

More recently in 2011, the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant resulted in a large, ongoing and potentially unknown level of radiation being released into the environment. This has left many people wondering if they should take special precautions, such as potassium iodide.

It has been since reported that U.S. Navy personnel within 100 miles of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were instructed to take potassium iodine tablets as a precautionary measure. Many of these crewmen are reporting illness.

Nagasaki and Thyroid Disease

The effects of radiation exposure can be profound, complex and confusing. A good example of this can be seen in the survivors of the Nagasaki blast exposure. Over 40% of the survivors of the Nagasaki exposure have thyroid disease.

Potassium Iodine Must Be Used In a Safe Fashion

The nature of radiation exposure is such that it is extremely difficult to know if one will be impacted and how. The effects of exposure can take decades to manifest themselves. But one thing is certain; exposure should be avoided if possible.

Potassium iodine can be used to protect the thyroid from iodine-131, but it is not a cure or safeguard against all radiation exposure, nor should it be seen as such. Potassium iodine plays an extremely valuable role in protecting the thyroid from damage, but overuse can actually lead to thyroid damage. In other words, potassium iodine should be used when it is clear that there is an urgent and verified need. The potential side effects of using potassium iodine are such that the drug should only be used when there is a clearly and undeniable risk of exposure.

Why a Car Emergency Kit is Essential

Why a Car Emergency Kit is Essential

Anyone can get stranded and for a variety of reasons. It is important to realize that there is no one single reason that you could get stranded. People get stranded every day due to everything from car failure and other events out of their control to sudden shifts in weather conditions. Sometimes it just comes down to good old-fashioned bad luck.

Getting stranded while traveling with your family is, of course, a very serious situation. If you are traveling with children, then having a car emergency kit is even more important. Planning ahead may just save your life and the lives of your family! The National Weather Service has concluded that 70% of the weather related deaths occur inside of cars.

Don’t Forget to Check the Weather

A simple errand could turn into an unexpected ordeal due to a quick shift in the weather. When the weather turns, we are all at its mercy and the only thing you can really do is be as prepared as possible.

When heading out for any trip, especially a long one, it is prudent to check the weather conditions before your trip. If your trip is taking more than one day, be sure that you check the weather each day. That check should include not just the area you are currently in, but also all the areas you plan to travel to during your journey.

Make Sure You Never Run Out of Gas

Running out of gas is something that you simply shouldn’t allow to happen to you. Some locations, such as Wyoming, have considerable distances between the different gas stations that you will encounter. So when you’re on the road, pay attention to how much gas you have and how good your access to gas will be along the way. As a simple rule don’t let your gas tank get lower than half a tank.

What if You Do Get Stuck?

If you are stuck on the road, then that means you’ll have to take care of every aspect of your being and welfare. In short, you’ll need to handle your own food and water, sanitation, warmth and shelter, emotional well-being and security.

What Should Go in Your Car Emergency Kit?

Water is a major concern. People can’t survive a long period of time without it. You can function for weeks without food, but after just a few days without water, dehydration sets in. As a result, your mental function will become severely impaired. The average person needs about 4 quarts of water a day, with some of that water coming from food. However, during the summer or a heat wave, this number could be even higher.

Other key essentials for a car emergency kit include such items as food, snacks, a first-aid kit, flashlight, toilet paper, flares, winter clothing and winter boots and blankets. A cellphone and cell phone charger is an exceptional idea. If you travel a great deal you may want to even consider a satellite phone so that you are truly never out of range.

Finally, remember that your chances of being found are greater if you stay with your car then if you begin walking in an attempt to reach help. Roll down the window in your car to prevent carbon monoxide buildup if you keep your car running for an extended period of time. Additionally, if you are using your car’s heater to stay warm in the winter, it is advisable to only run your car for about 15 minutes at a time. While a car emergency kit and all of the tools highlighted here are invaluable, the greatest tool in a time of crisis is your mind, so use it wisely.