Storm Preparedness Giveaway

This giveaway has ended, and the winner has been notified by email. Congratulations, Verne Brown!


Without fail, the spring season brings torrential thunderstorms to parts of the country with the ability of causing widespread damage from tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Moreover, flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard.

The United States gets an average of 5.9 hurricanes, 1,000 tornadoes and 10,000 severe thunderstorms. These storms bring unpredictable circumstances and can cause immense damage. But, rather than fear the unknown, it is best to put worries aside and be prepared.

The following are some important steps for ensuring you have the tools to brave potential storms.

Before the Storm

  1. Create an emergency plan that all members of the household know.
  2. Make a checklist with essential preparedness items to help you stay organized.
  3. Store your emergency storm kit of must-have items in a reachable location. Remeber to include items such as a battery operated radio, flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food, can opener, first aid kit, list of phone numbers, prescription medications and games to pass the time.
  4. Listen to the news and local forecasts to give yourself as much notice as possible.
  5. Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  6. If a strong storm is imminent, play it safe and postpone outdoor activities.
  7. Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  8. Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  9. Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  10. Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  11. Secure a back-up generator, such as a Generac portable generator, and place it off the floor in case you experience flooding.
  12. Make sure your generator has plenty of fuel to provide alternative power in case the electricity goes out. Note: Ensure your generator is in working order by checking the oil and adding fresh fuel with a bottle of  STA-BIL Ethanol Treatment to keep the fuel fresh and combat damage from ethanol in today’s gasoline. Run the generator for a few minutes. If the generator does not start, add a bottle of Start Your Engines! Fuel Revitalizer to clean the fuel injectors, carburetor and intake valves and get the engine up and running quickly.

 Additional Tips For Preparing for a Strong Thunderstorm

  1. Obey evacuation directions in dire situations.
  2. Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep a charger with you.
  3. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to the coldest settings to keep food longer should the power go out.
  4. Fill your car’s gas tank just in case you need to drive to safety.
  5. Take out a reasonable amount of cash in case ATMs are out of order.
  6. Tie down any large objects outdoors that may get thrown during a storm (e.g. patio furniture, toys) and place valuables inside in a safe place off the floor.
  7. Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes by filling your bathtub, sinks and other large containers with water.

When a Storm is in Progress

  1. Stay indoors and away from windows or glass doors.
  2. Take refuge in a small interior room or closet or below ground if possible.
  3. Listen to the news for updates and directions on how to proceed using your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  4. Avoid contact with corded phones and devices including those plugged into electric for recharging. Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are OK to use.
  5. Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  6. Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  7. Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  8. Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  9. Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
  10. Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  11. Avoid contact with anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
  12. If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

As a bonus, to make the public more prepared, the makers of STA-BIL and Start Your Engines! are sponsoring  a Storm Preparation giveaway to a lucky winner! Simply read these storm preparedness tips and leave a comment on ways that you have prepared for this year’s string of thunderstorms.

 The Storm Prep Giveaway is a $90 value and includes:

• American Red Cross Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio and Flashlight
• 61-Piece First Aid Kit
• Potable Water Treatment Tablets
• Emergency Whistle
• STA-BIL Ethanol Treatment
• Start Your Engines! Fuel System Revitalizer

Following this post, a  winner will be selected at random on Friday, May 31. Good luck, everyone!



STA-BIL® is America’s #1 selling fuel stabilizer. Stored fuel can go bad in as little as 30 days causing gum, varnish and corrosion to build up in the fuel lines and engine. STA-BIL brand products help keep fuel fresh and protect engines from corrosion, while cleaning fuel injectors, carburetors and intake valves to ensure your equipment from generators to chainsaws, leaf blowers and more are in working order when you need them most. Visit

About Start Your Engines!

Start Your Engines!® is the easiest way to get hard-starting engines back up and running fast. It works by dissolving gas that has gone bad during storage and then moves through the fuel system to the engine where it ignites to get your equipment started quickly. Simply pour this advanced synthetic formula into the unit’s fuel tank to cure hard starting, rough idling and stalling. Visit


Disclaimer: The items featured in this giveaway were provided by Gold Eagle Co. and will be sent to the winner directly. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated for this post in any way.


The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 17th, 2013
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  • Our family has set up a plan. Every year we do mock run downs of an emergency’s every few months maybe even a few weeks. . However we never know the emergency till we pull it out of a hat. Then we know we don’t just choose only one we use them all and as we use one we set it aside so we never do one more then once. We are prepared for thunderstorms tornado’s hurricanes earthquakes and emergency medical issues even basic issues.. We insisted all the teens know emergency basic medical and my husband took two advanced medical trauma course’s to prepare if we have a surgical issue and no medical help nearby to stabilize someone. My husband is a Water Tec so he taught all of us to use the water system in an emergency. We have stock piled all medical generators food / All of us including the teens have survival skills for different climates and terrain.All of us are skilled on the range in the kitchen for basic prep . I do not care who you are each of us should remember no matter where you are in a car in your house at work or play anything can happen . We have become accustomed to taking our back packs with basic items in case we have an emergency not at home or caught away from home. We listen to our emergency broadcast systems when we see weather approaching to ready our train of thought . We all carry in our wallets emergency numbers and where we need to meet up in case of an emergency and a back up plan in case that area not all of us can get to. You will need to remain focused and the best way to know you can handle that is take time to learn how to relax your thoughts and your nerves because that may be the difference from someone who will panic to those that are prepared.

    • Meg Floyd

      To be honest, my family is not as prepared as we should be for the 2013 storm season, but we are gathering what we need for 72 hours to start with. We have a generator set back, and we are working on our nonperishable food supplies and water, as well as the nonfood items we’ll need for up to a month with no power. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 left my mom, my sister, and myself without power for well over a month, and I want to be prepared for that type of disaster, even if it doesn’t come to pass!

  • I have recently purchased storage containers and a Water Bob to fill out bathtub with clean water. I have also increased or nonperishable food supply and included extra food and water for our new dog we are adopting next week 🙂

  • jennifer

    We have extra food and water stored. We prepared a power outage kit including long extension cords, power strips, and a hot plate to go along with our generator. In addition to battery powered and oil powered lanterns, I also have put away a few boxes of chemical light sticks. Losing power after Hurricane Sandy was a big wake up call.

  • Jean S.

    I purchased some rubber mats for the concrete basement floor and gathered some plastic chairs to sit on if we need to retreat to the basement during a storm.  I also have pet carriers there to corral them for safety.

  • We have a NOAA shortwave handcrank radio that also runs off of solar panel or batteries. We also have a 4000w portable generataor. We keep atleast 10 gallons of gas around the house in proper storage containers. We have batteries, flashlights, candles, oil lanterns, small propane portable heater. We have a few other things, but that is the main things.

  • Once chased by Auntie Em and I still don’t live in Kansas 😉 and since then have always been prepared as well as everyone I know. Anyone that says your Bug Out Bag should be set up for 72 hours has never been in a situation where they were displaced. My hard learned ~ hands on advice. Set yourself up for at the very least 1 week if not 2. Make sure you have enough medications, ziploc bags, garbage bags, waterproof a jacket, hat, gloves, light weight blanket and pair of shoes to put into or strap onto your emergency bag. You don’t need to pack more clothes, just some basic all in one dish soap. Pack your bag and shut off the electric. Live out of your bag only for one weekend in your house ~ if you can’t handle it, you won’t make it.. and this is the time you will realize what items you forgot that are MUST HAVES.. If this chick with MS can do it there is no doubt you can 😉 Be Safe but always BE PREPARED!!!

  • M.Jepsen

    My family is just starting our Bug-out bags… and we live in Staten Island.. right after hurricane Sandy. Things might get hairy here, but we have a large closet that might fit a twin bed, so we can all sit up and sleep in there. We can easily cover the window with planks (to avoid shattering glass) and secure both bedroom exits. (Just gotta fix the hinges.) 4 adults and 1 child can easily be safe in our room.

  • Is it possible to make egg noodles using powdered eggs? I have searched and can not find an answer. also I would like to be able to dehydrate the noodles.

  • Over the past few weekends, we have been taking down trees on our property that have broken halfway up and are now leaning up against a nearby tree. We have also been trimming branches from trees that are threatening our power lines. Living in New England, we never used to have to worry about big spring/summer storms. But over the past few years we seem to keep getting nipped by the tropical storms that come up the east coast.

  • B. Hamilton

    My family and I have a plan for where to go if there’s a storm.  We have bags with necessary supplies and we have non-perishable food, stored water, a crank radio and battery operated light sources.  Working our way towards a geneartor and a large scale water purification system. 

  • Douglas Broom

    I have been purchasing items for my bug out bag such as a hand generator radio, MRE’s, water proof shoes, coats, EMT bag, water tablets, ect. I have been telling my wife to be prepared to take these items with her if there is an impending emergency. Next on my list is to get a portable generator.

  • Ryan

    Living in Florida we’re always weary of hurricane season. Fortunately I’ve built up a steady supply of water, food, batteries and other disaster essentials over the past year and a half. Storing extra fuel is something I’ve been wanting to accomplish but have continually put off over the past year. Great read, thanks for the contest!

  • We have our emergency bug out bag and a plan to evacuate if need be. I am most proud of my new solar generator for back up power. Also, I scanned all important documents, i.e. insurance policies, birth certificates, passports and even my dog’s medical records, then emailed them to myself. If these things are destroyed in a storm, I will have access to them at a later date.

  • It’s always nice to see a website that has useful info on these subjects !

  • I have bought a new generator for my little camper trailer but to double for a storm and have prepped the generators for my home and the one I gave my mom so they are ready to roll. I have a hurricane kit with essentials including water, propane (for the grill), batteries, crank radio, and dog supplies for my furry friends and I have extra gas for all of the generators. My neighbors usually bring their frozen foods to place in my freezer because of my generator and I have a power cord ready for my elderly neighbor in case they need some power.

  • In California we are pretty much out of the storm season, but that doesn’t mean our preparations have stopped – plenty of other potential threats like earthquakes and fires. Pretty much use common preparations for all these basic contingencies such as making sure back-up lighting is handy, first aid supplies are current, monthly rotate food stocks, etc. Each day I try to evaluate where my preps are and what needs to be focused upon next.

  • Rachel

    We are now looking into an inground storm shelter.  As a result of this article and the recent happenings in my home state nof Oklahoma, I will also add a whistle to our current tornado shelter.  I never considered before this week that getting out might be just as important as getting in.  A whistle would be a great aid if trapped post tornado. 

  • We have purchased equipment and cooking utensils that will enable us to prepare meals even when there is no power. We have also stocked up on food and medical supplies.

  • Jeanie d

    We haven’t really done anything yet

    • Jeanie,

      You could use some of the suggestions in this post and get some preparations together. Getting a radio, flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food, can opener, first aid kit, list of phone numbers, and any prescription medications wouldn’t take long at all. It’s worth it!


  • Sue

    The first weekend we were in our new house in the country we had a massive thunder storm.  With the lights flickering, my husband told me to start filling containers with water.  This city girl did not understand why.  As the power went out (for 20 hours) I understood that we had no way to pump our well water or flush the toilet.  We had not unpacked candles, flashlights, or oil lamps.  We did not know the name of the electricity provider.  We are campers, so I was not worried, but I knew I had a lot to learn.
         I started building our water supply by filling the empty milk cartons. We are purchasing larger containers as we are able and now have enough water stored for 30 days for each person. 
         I organized the matches and candles and emergency radio, but did not tell my hubby how.  When he needed them, he did not know where to find them. 
       I cannot get him to keep the truck topped off with gas, yet, or store more gasoline.  He doesn’t think “large” enough for me, but we are working on it. It isn’t enough to have a chain saw, we must also have the means to repair it and keep it running.  We have enough food stored for a month, and now have an extra propane tank for the grill so we can heat our newly canned foods.  I am trying to can what is in the freezer since we have no emergency generator yet to keep the freezer, furnace, and water pump working.  We did get a wood stove this year – a major investment and important part of the system here in the 6-month winter area.
         Plans are important, but they take step-by-step implementation.  Decide what inexpensive things you can do while saving up for the big purchases.  Anyone can be prepared.
    Being prepared is not just doing a couple things to get ready, it is having a plan, which we had not created yet.  As we talk through situations, it is clear that we have a lot to learn. 

  • Sheila morse

    Have a grab&go pack ready !!

  • Donna Vernon

    We have a well stocked basement, water, canned and dried food products, with a wood cook stove, and candles. We also have hammocks and sleeping bags. We camp out often with the bare necessities, so I know we will be okay. I know lots of people have ever item known to man to use in an emergency, but with common sense and the basics we can all get by nicely.

  • Jeremy W.

    We are still working on preparedness.  We have about a month’s worth of food for our family of six.  We have lanterns and fuel for the lanterns. We have basic camping gear and extra small propane cylinders for the camp stove and little buddy propane heater. We used our tax return last year to buy a big berkey water filter set-up but I’m not confident it lives up to it’s claims. 
    I need to work on bug out bags and emergency scenarios among many other things.  

  • Christina

    We live in the country so when a storm is approaching I fill up the bathtub with water for flushing or washing hands. I fill containers with drinking water, make sure everyone has showered. We have plenty of food in pantry. For winter storms I get milk and bread a dayor two befobeforehand. 

  • We purchased radios for our kids families, lots of candles and oil lamps, food and water.  Still working on our plans

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