Give the gift of preparedness (holiday gift ideas from some of our partners and affiliates)

November 24, 2021

Do you sometimes struggle to find a holiday gift for some people … or maybe you’d like to show family and friends how much you care about their safety? Consider giving the gift of preparedness!

The past two years have reinforced the need for people to always have some basic supplies on hand in case of an emergency or empty shelves. And there various things available that could help your loved ones when there is no power or water for a short or extended period of time.  

Preparedness is a mindset so the more you can introduce these types of tools and thought processes into conversations with family and friends, hopefully the more they will think about the “what if” scenarios that may happen where they live.

Below are some prep tools we use / like and we’d love to hear your suggestions or feedback on preferred items via email or on our Facebook page.

Please note, some links are with affiliates meaning Fedhealth may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you, but proceeds benefit the U.S. First Responders Association.

The U. S. First Responders Association’s custom Family Preparedness and First Aid ebook can help you get prepared for, respond to, and recover from most types of emergencies and disasters including floods, infectious diseases, wildfires, winter storms, active shooter scenarios and more. The 286-pg PDF ebook is only $5.00 (~ 70% off) and proceeds benefit USFRA and their programs supporting Fire/EMS, Law Enforcement, 911/Dispatch, K9s and veterans. Learn more on


A low cost and fun option is to fill little baskets, stockings, gift boxes, tubs or small backpacks with some practical items from a dollar store with items like flashlights, batteries, pocket sized ponchos or emergency blankets, hand warmers, light sticks, mini first aid kits, keychain with light or tool, mittens or gloves, socks, snacks, candy, stuffed toy, games or playing cards, first aid items and more. It’s a great way to get the conversation about preparedness started and hopefully encourages people to make full kits.


4Patriots carries a very cool Patriot Power Cell that can keep your devices ON when your lights go out. This pocket-sized “power plant” can be used every day or while camping or even during a blackout. It has a built-in solar panel, 2 USB ports so you can charge two devices at once and the ruggedized design repels water and protects against drops. Built-in flashlight to help you see your way at night and more for under $30 – or get 4 for $99 and free freight! Learn more about Patriot Power cell here … and find other power and solar products here plus RV and camping stuff, water purification, Survival Food, tools, seeds and more on


If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, you understand the importance of using a CPAP. But CPAP machines require electricity which can be a problem if you lose power during a storm or you like to camp outdoors. One option is a portable battery to power your machine, and they can run about $300 to $700+. Another CPAP backup solution is a portable battery power station that is quiet and safe enough to use indoors for under $200. MAXOAK has several clean power solutions including power stations, solar panels and more at


Poo-Pourri – We love the crap outta this stuff! RVers (and others) swear by this deodorizing toilet spray and once we tried it, we were totally hooked – esp. in our 300+ sf motorhome. Poo-Pourri has really expanded their products and scent options since we first started using it many years ago, and we have only used the Original Citrus since it works fine for us and is the most popular.

All Poo~Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray products are comprised of essential oils and other natural compounds that are scientifically formulated to trap bathroom odors before they ever begin. Spritz the Bowl Before You Go and No One Else Will Ever Know! Check out their line of festive holiday scents like Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spice, Seasons Seatings, Berry Bum Bum, Oh Spritzmas Tree and all their other toilet sprays, new home sprays, gift sets and more at


VetCare’s QuickDERM, a product that has been on the market and widely available to veterinarians for over 11 years, provides a moisture-retaining protective barrier that impacts inflammation and promotes rapid healing for ALL animals that have slight to severe wounds and skin conditions. The technology behind QuickDerm was first introduced for human health applications for hard-to-heal wounds, including burns, skin irritations, abrasions and cuts. (We personally used it after I got bit twice on my face by a black widow while sleeping 2 years ago.) Learn more about QuickDERM for your pets and livestock at


The Survival Mom’s 2022 Prepping Calendar is now available and chock-full of over 180 prepping tips and To Do tasks so you’ll know what to stock up on and how to save money on preps. TSM’s Book of the Month includes some titles that teach a survival mindset in entertaining, fictional formats. Lisa’s 2022 Prepping Calendar is available in print and/or digital format on Also visit The Survival Mom’s Thrive Life store to find tasty, healthy, convenient freeze dried food that doesn’t go bad long term at


Some other great companies that provide a wide variety of preparedness kits, water purification, food, tools, gear and more include…

American Family Safety offers Preparedness and Survival Kits, Safety and Sanitation kits and more at

Gluten Free Mall offers hundreds of brands and items to choose from including baking mixes, frozen meals, snacks, cereals – they even carry select vitamins, personal care items, and household cleaners. Best of all, it’s all guaranteed gluten free! Visit

Legacy Food Storage provides families and individuals with high quality, freeze-dried foods that have up a 25 year- long shelf life, along with various types of survival gear at

Practical Preppers carries many preparedness and off-grid items including Big Berkey and other water purification options , long term storage foods, sanitation, medical, cooking and other products at 

Survival Frog has the handy Lifestraw and other water purification tools , Backup power and radios, food, gear and much more at

Consider giving the gift of preparedness this holiday season and year round with our preparedness and basic first aid book or ebook – learn more at

Repurposing things for container gardens

May 16, 2021

One thing 2020 hopefully taught a lot of people is having extra food and supplies on hand can really help families during an emergency or disaster.

Also growing your own food can help supplement dietary needs, plus gardening will get you outdoors so you can soak up some vitamin D.

We are fortunate enough to live on some acreage so we have several in-ground gardens, but we also made a few raised / container gardens this year repurposing some things around the property.

Temperatures have been nice and cool this spring so the lettuce we planted in an old truck box is doing great. The box used to hold several kinds of flowers but, after the February snowpocalypse with subzero temps hit Texas, we lost those plants (and many others) and decided to use the truck box as a container garden for vegetables.

The raised garden required more work to build using some leftover metal roofing sheets and steel poles (and lots of free mulch from our local preserve), but the finished product makes it so much easier to work and harvest without having to bend over.

raised garden

The 14’ x 4’ container garden also can be tightened with turnbuckles on top in case the mulch and soil starts to settle and tries to push out the sides. And we can use poles and wire to throw some shade cloth over the sides and/or top during hot summer months, or to help insulate winter crops when temperatures drop, if needed. The goal is to can, freeze and dehydrate foods from the raised and in-ground gardens to complement our stored preps.

Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow vegetables and herbs in small tubs or pots on your patio or indoors by a sunny window.

And if space is limited, consider vertical gardening … or learn how to grow microgreens or sprouts.

And if you like flowers, look into edible flowers and realize some varieties also have edible shoots, leaves, and tubers.

But back to repurposing things – check out some cool repurposed garden container ideas here and here, and share pics of your gardens and/or container suggestions in the comments.

Happy gardening ~ j & B

Creative ideas and projects for National Preparedness Month

August 26, 2013

npm2013-squareSeptember is National Preparedness Month (NPM or #NATLPREP) sponsored by the FEMA’s Ready Campaign.

Fedhealth is once again proud to be an NPM coalition member and we are encouraging businesses, organizations and families to take the pledge, join the team and help your community get better prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.

We’ve compiled some creative NPM projects and ideas that some other agencies and organizations are doing (or have done) in case these could benefit your preparedness campaigns.

A key goal is to come up with fun and educational ways to get kids and adults involved..!

30 Days, 30 Ways

logo-30days30ways30 Days, 30 Ways is a disaster preparedness game that started in 2010 by the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) in Vancouver, Washington.

Each September, during National Preparedness Month, they post one simple readiness task each day and a daily winner is selected from among the participants.

The CRESA team has incorporated in current trends, a variety of social media tools and some very cool themes for the Preparedness Challenge. Check out this year’s promo video below…

In the past, 30 Days, 30 Ways relied on community donated prizes which came in all shapes and sizes. This year, they want to reward players with Amazon Gift Cards which are easier to share across the globe and don’t require shipping costs to CRESA. If you’d like to help sponsor 30 Days, 30 Ways and be listed as a Game Sponsor for 2013, visit their GoFundMe campaign site between August 1-31, 2013.

Learn more about the 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Challenge at or follow them on Facebook or Twitter @30days_30ways or #30days30ways.

Emergency Kit Cook-Off

logo-kitcookoffThe Emergency Kit Cook-Off is a National Preparedness Month activity inspired by the contents of the 72-hour emergency food kit; it asks you to vote on ingredients and then create a recipe using those ingredients.

In 2011, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) partnered with the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale to design this unique cooking challenge. They have since teamed with additional partners, including the CDC Foundation and the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.

Starting Monday, August 19, and during the next 2 weeks the public can vote for the Featured Ingredients for this year’s Emergency Kit Cook-Off. Help pick the 5 Featured Ingredients for this year’s Kit Cook-Off at

Voters select one ingredient from each of the five categories: protein; fruits and vegetables; starches, grains and nuts; beverages; and “comfort” foods. The Emergency Kit Cook-Off challenges you to:

  1. create a recipe that highlights at least one Featured Ingredient and uses only nonperishable pantry items, including (but not restricted to) seasonings, condiments, sweeteners and potable water. … AND …
  2. use manual appliances (e.g., can openers and hand whisks) instead of modern appliances (e.g., microwaves) where possible.

The KitCookOff team is not looking for gourmet cuisine, but they’re also not looking for simple peanut butter and crackers. Get creative and submit your recipes during National Preparedness Month or any time year-round. Learn more at or follow Emergency Kit Cook-Off on Facebook or Twitter @KitCookOff or Pinterest

APHA Get Ready Preparedness Photo Contests

APHA-Thirsty CatAPHA’s Get Ready campaign helps Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies.

In 2012 APHA held a Get Ready Preparedness Cats Photo Contest to coincide with National Preparedness Month as a fun to promote preparedness lessons.

They received over 200 photos and the judges selected 23 winning shots for their 2013 calendar. From cats in bathtubs and sinks to kitties hiding in boxes and under rugs, the photos show that preparedness and cats go hand in hand (or paw in paw)!

   APHA-hypnotic cat

Check out the 2012 winners in APHA’s cat photo gallery and download and print APHA’s 2013 calendar in PDF = Full size (images and months, on separate pages) .. or .. Small size (images and months on single page). And find more Get Ready Cats on Cheezburger

APHA’s 2013 Get Ready Pup Preparedness Photo Contest recently stopped taking submissions since they plan to announce winners during September National Preparedness Month. You can view some entries in their Dog Photo Gallery and check back in September when they post the winners! Learn more about APHA’s Get Ready Campaign at or follow them on Twitter @GetReady

Fairfax Prepares: Prepare 30 Ways in 30 Days

logo-30-in-30-calendarFairfax County OEM‘s Prepare 30 Ways in 30 Days is utilizing a new social media tool called ThunderClap to help encourage preparedness and influence people via their social connections. Fairfax County Emergency Information’s blog explains… “while it’s often perceived as a huge effort, it’s the little things you can do that add up to being better prepared for any type of emergency. And preparedness should be year round, too! In that spirit, we offer these 30 ideas for you to consider in 30 days, 1 week or all in 1 day! Your dedication to preparing your home and family helps build a stronger, more resilient community.”

Learn more about Prepare 30 Ways in 30 Days and read a great post called “Social Pressure: Can it work for Disaster Preparedness?” on idisaster 2.0.

Disaster Kit photo contest

itunes-gift-cardSouthwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) is preparing for National Preparedness Month with a Disaster Kit photo contest. Youth (ages 8-18) in the eight-county district can participate by creating a disaster kit for their family, submitting a photo of themselves with the disaster kit, a list of supplies and an explanation of their kit. Four winners will be selected to receive a $50 iTunes gift card.

Find contest rules and entry form on and follow SWNPHD on Twitter @swpublichealth.

Use customized books as giveaways or fundraisers

IAD_custom_books-smFedHealth discounts our 266-page disaster preparedness and first aid manuals 50% to 75% off list (or as low as $3.50 US) so agencies, businesses, organizations and families can use them as gifts for employees, volunteers and local communities. And books (or CDs or flash drives) can be customized at no additional charge to include logos and special messages to recipients.

A great way for volunteers, schools and youth groups to participate in National Preparedness Month (and year-round) is to use our IT’S A DISASTER! book as a fundraiser while educating local communities.

Also, some Federal grants and budgets close out September 30th so if your agency or nonprofit has dollars that need to be spent before a deadline, consider using IT’S A DISASTER! books to commit those funds. The book qualifies as community education under most grants and provides almost a $4-to-$1 return on match.

Learn more about our book and programs or call Fedhealth at 520.907.2153.

Get Involved

If your agency, CERT, MRC, business, Church or group has not registered to be an NPM Coalition member, visit to learn more. Individuals are also encouraged to register since we all can make a difference by helping others get prepared. Also consider joining FEMA’s National Preparedness Community forum and download their 2013 NPM Toolkit.

Another way to support your community is to join a local Citizen Corps or CERT or Medical Reserve Corps … or call your local Emergency Management, Fire, Police, Health or Sheriff Department and ask about volunteer opportunities.

Or talk to your local Salvation Army or Red Cross office … and get involved!

Please share these ideas with others .. and .. if you’d like us to highlight your National Preparedness Month project, contest or event on our blog, email us an overview and/or link to or call 520.907.2153. Stay safe, j & B

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