Answers to some of your most asked questions about long-term food storage, including the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried food.
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for
With the holidays right around the corner, if you haven’t already started purchasing gifts you are probably starting to make some lists in your head. There are so many awesome ideas for all ages that can easily fall into the emergency preparedness category. This gift guide for emergency preparedness is full of items in all price ranges and will give you the satisfaction of helping loved ones get what they need.
I’m breaking this down into a few different categories: stocking stuffers, 72-hour kits, food storage, and general emergency preparedness.
**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
- Thrive Life Pantry Can – These handy smaller cans are always a favorite. Great for a quick on-the-go snack or to try some food storage items before purchasing the bigger cans. Most of them have a shelf life of 25 years, so they make an ideal snack for 72-hour kits as well!
- Compass/Whistle/Mirror/Waterproof Match Holder/Fire Starter/Necklace Thing – Let’s call this one ‘the tool you didn’t know you needed.’ Great for a teenager’s car, camping, 72-hour kits, and so much more!
- Pepper Spray – For the runner, the Uber driver, or the teenager walking to and from their car at work. Not only for protection from people, but also animals.
- Power Bank – My very favorite power bank. It comes with a case, plugs right into the wall to charge, has 3 cords built-in. Love It!
- Dice / Yahtzee Scorecards – It’s nice to throw something fun into your 72-hour kits, and dice are a crowd pleaser for all ages. Pair them with these free Yahtzee printable scorecards, and you’ve got yourself a pretty spiffy gift/activity for 72-hour kits!
- Hand/Toe warmers – These are such a great value. I keep 5 packs of each in every family member’s survival bag of their 72-hour kits, as well as in my baseball wagon for when we’re heading to those early morning spring games!
- Mini Screwdriver Set – Super small, lightweight and inexpensive. I keep a set of these in each of our 72-hour kits (this is especially important if anything in your kit requires a screwdriver to open the battery compartment, like a flashlight, lantern, or mini fan). These mini screwdrivers come in handy for emergencies as well as everyday use. I actually keep a set of these in my kitchen and in my car!
- Addalock – for the frequent traveler, the college student, the teacher, or even the mom of an escape artist toddler … this extra lock can be used on any common inward-opening door. Great for added security in hotels, dorm rooms, classrooms, etc.
- Car Flashlight/Seatbelt Cutter/Glass Break Tool – Anyone who has a car should have this tucked away somewhere within reach while they are driving! So whether it’s a teenager or a spouse (or yourself), be sure this makes it in those stockings this year! If you’re looking for one that is solar-powered, so you don’t have to mess with batteries, this is a great option.
- Mini Flashlights (with batteries) – You cannot beat the price. Love the small size and the different colors. I know a few 6 year olds who absolutely loved getting these in their stockings. Great item to keep in a nightstand drawer!
- 72-Hour Kits for Families Video Course – For anyone who needs some guidance on creating 72-hour kits, this course I created takes the guesswork out of it. Simple, easy to follow steps that you can do at your own pace. Comes with a printable guide, links, and videos to walk you through the whole process! When you purchase a gift certificate for this course, you will receive a customized gift certificate that you can print out and wrap up for the recipient.
- LifeStraw Water Filter – I like these because they’re small and can filter a lot of water for how small they are. They are highly effective at filtering out most things.
- Pop-Up Privacy Pod – Really awesome for privacy, should the need for a bucket toilet ever arise or if you want to change clothes on the fly.
- Ruff n Ready Kit for Dogs – This is THE cutest kit for dogs. I love the look, durability and functionality of this bag. It gets you started with the basics for your furry family member. Use code PlanForAwesome10 for 10% off your order.
- Survival Blanket – This is so much better than the little foil blankets you usually think of. These combine the quality of reflecting body heat with the durability of a thicker blanket.
- Water Pouches – I really like these for slipping into a 72-hour kit because they don’t take up much space. Any extra water you can squeeze into those packs is going to be helpful!
- Foldable Stove with Canned Heat – This is a great option for cooking indoors when the power is out. The fuel is safe for indoor cooking, and it is SUPER compact and lightweight!
- JetBoil – Boils water SO FAST! Great for 72-hour kits and/or backup cooking method for power outages.
- 5- Gallon Emergency Bucket Toilet – Funny name, but way better than digging a hole in the ground. Sometimes ya just don’t have time for that. Plus, you get a place to store emergency supplies;)
- Flecks of Gold Journal – If my house was burning down and I could only grab one thing (after family members, of course), this would be it. I didn’t know I could love a journal as much as I do this one. Use code PLANFORAWESOME for 10% off your order!
72-Hour Kit Gift Pairings
Something like the Plan for Awesome 72-Hour Kits Workbook & Video Bank is something that is SO valuable, but I also know that it’s fun to give a physical gift to open in person. Here are some ideas for pairing it with a physical gift!
Food Storage (and Non-Food Storage)
- Pantry Cansolidator – These are so so great for maximizing your pantry or cabinet space while keeping track of rotating your canned goods. It is so important to be using your oldest cans first, and this makes rotating your cans a breeze!
- Force of Nature Cleaning System – Hands down, the BEST. I’m a germaphobe and was super skeptical, but I will shout from the rooftops how amazing this is. Great for every day cleaning and super efficient for your emergency supply, because the capsules are SO SMALL and easy to store! There’s almost always a coupon code available in a banner across the top of their website, so be sure to look for that. If you’re purchasing this for multiple people (for instance, all of your adult children), place separate orders and have them shipped directly to their homes to save on shipping!
- Digital Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer – Super handy for knowing if your food has spoiled during a power outage, because you know the temperature of your food without having to open the fridge/freezer door, letting out cold air. Also awesome to use if you’re storing food in a cooler.
- Case of Freeze-Dried Food – Help them grow their food storage or add an essential. I personally love gifting cases of the chopped onions. I’ve been told it’s a life-changing gift;)
- Battery Daddy – This is such a great gift for everyone, but definitely put it on the list for college students and newlyweds! It’s one of my all-time favorite things.
- Yeti Ice Pack – Not trying to be a brand snob here, but this really does stay colder longer than others. It’s huge and stays frozen for days! This is a great ice pack to have in your freezer when a power outage is on the horizon, to either help keep your freezer colder longer, or to put in your refrigerator to help your fridge food stay colder longer, or to keep in a cooler with some food.
- Glass Milk Jugs – Have you ever wondered what you’ll mix up your milk powder in, if you ever need to use your milk from your food storage? These are my favorite (and I’ve tried several)! They are sturdy, dishwasher safe, and not too heavy when full of liquid.
- Swingaway Can Opener – I am confident this is a great add for anyone with #10 cans in their long-term food storage. It gets around the large diameter of a #10 can so much quicker than a regular can opener does!
- Mylar Bag Kit – Get your loved one started on food storage the cheapest and easiest way – by DIYing it at home! All you need is a kit from Wallaby Goods because they come with the mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and labels! Use code AWESOME5 for $5 off.
- 52 Weeks of Growing Your Food Storage – This is such a great way to take the stress out of adding to both long-term and short-term food storage. Weekly emails, written and video format telling you exactly what to purchase and how much to spend on it. Perfect for Christmas, because it starts the first week in January! When you purchase a gift certificate for this program, you will receive a customized gift certificate that you can print out and wrap up for the recipient.
Food & Non-Food Storage Gift Pairings
General Emergency Preparedness Gift Ideas
- Utility Shut-Off Tool – the tool you didn’t know you need, but you’ll be super grateful to have it if the need arises! Trust me, I needed it. *Note: this is not a one-size-fits-all, so make sure you measure before purchasing. For more details, see #2 below – it’s Day 1 of the Challenge!
- Quick & Easy Preparedness Challenge – Twenty 15-minute high-impact activities for families. Knock out all the most basic emergency preparedness tasks. How fun would it be to give this to all your siblings and/or adult children and all go through it together after the holidays?! You could even help out the receiver of this gift by pairing it with the utility shut-off tool (#1) or a fire extinguisher (#6). When you purchase a gift certificate for this challenge, you will receive a customized gift certificate that you can print out and wrap up for the recipient.
- Lanterns – These are my favorite. They are small, inexpensive and only take 4 AA batteries. They even have a convenient handle on top so you can hang them on a hook. They’re also magnetized on the bottom (we keep some on the side of our fridge, too).
- CPR Certification Course from Thrive Training Institute – Such a great way to get CPR certified. Do you have a teenager who babysits or wants to start? Maybe gift a new mom some peace of mind. I can think of so many reasons why this would be a great idea for pretty much anyone and they don’t even have to leave their house. Use code melanie10 at checkout.
- Fire Blanket – While I don’t recommend these taking the place of a fire extinguisher, they are a great option to try first if the fire is small enough. They’re lighter, easier to handle, and don’t leave a mess of chemicals after using them!
- Fire Extinguisher – One for every floor of the house, one for the trunk of each car. This is another great gift to pair with the Quick & Easy Preparedness Challenge (#2)!
- N-95 Masks – I know. Weird, right? Who gives disposable masks for Christmas? I’ll tell you who. Someone like me who has been in an area where schools were closed due to air quality from wildfires. When that happens, you cannot find masks. Anywhere. Even Amazon runs out. I’m not talking about Covid masks. I’m talking about N95 masks – the ones that filter out particulates from smoke.
- Crank/Solar Weather Radio/Flashlight/Phone Charger – My family has this one and we are totally happy with it. It comes pre-loaded with all 7 weatherband channels and you can set alerts for your area. It has a battery, solar AND crank-powered option. Also, USB port to charge electronics. AND a flashlight and red blinking light built in.
- Information Hub – THE most helpful gift for absolutely anyone. Think emergency binder, but WAY better. Digital, fillable pdf and printable. All the important information you can possibly think of, in one place. Everyday life, check. Estate planning, check. Quick reference for social security numbers, license plate numbers, insurance policy numbers, student ID numbers, and any other numbers you ever need, check. When you purchase a gift certificate for the Information Hub, you will receive a customized gift certificate that you can print out and wrap up for the recipient.
- Fireproof, Waterproof File Box – Losing important documents is not something anyone wants to deal with. If you’ve gotten married and had to change your name or had a baby and needed to get a passport or social security card for them, then you know just those basic tasks are super time-consuming. Keep all those things safe!
General Emergency Preparedness Gift Pairings
- Quick & Easy Preparedness Challenge & Fire Extinguisher or Fire Blanket or Utility Shut-Off Tool
- Information Hub & Fireproof, Waterproof File Box (if you have someone who loves organizing and bright-colored office supplies, add some cute folders to seal the deal for them)
- Crank/Solar Weather Radio/Flashlight/Phone Charger & Lanterns
- CPR Certification Course from Thrive Training Institute & Keychain CPR Shield
Big Spender or Treat Yourself Ideas:
- Generator – I know they’re pricey, but keep an eye out for sales. This is one of those things you’ll be SO happy to have it when the time comes to need it. Especially if you just made a trip to Costco and there’s an extended power outage.
- Water Tank – We have a 500-gallon water tank for our home water storage. If you are able to stay in your home during an emergency situation, having water storage is essential! For more info on water storage, see this post.
- Thrive Life Can Organizer System – Quite possibly my favorite thing I’ve ever purchased. Such a great way to organize your food storage if you have the space for it.
- Berkey Water Filter – We use this EVERY day in our home and love it, but it’s also our emergency water filtration plan. I call this #winning when something can double up with everyday use and emergency use. Use code PLANFORAWESOME for 10% off.
- Jase Medicine Kit – use code PLANFORAWESOME to get $10 off. No more stressing about having important medications if things go awry! It’s like food storage but for antibiotics and other medications! **Black Friday Promo: Use code BFCM for $25 off through 11/30/23.
- Haircut Box – Uhh, remember 2020 when salons shut down? Some of us got really shaggy and others learned how to give awesome haircuts at home. The Haircut Box does exactly that. Each box comes with photo instructions for several different haircuts, including QR codes for video instructions. I just love this so much! Use code AWESOME to get $15 off any box. **Black Friday Deal: 11/13-11/20 $20 off ALL boxes, 20% off all add-ons + free shipping and a free white scissors case for orders over $50 with code BLACKFRIDAY
- CASH – Any amount of cash is great to have. You can not always depend on credit card machines in stores or ATMs being functional during a natural disaster, especially one that involves a power outage.
Big Spender Gift Pairings
Some of these bigger things may make more sense to have shipped directly to the recipient’s home, but I also know that it’s fun to give them a smaller physical gift to open in person. Here are some ideas for those situations!
All the best options for long-term water storage for families with pros and cons to each water storage solution, including water tanks, water barrels, water jugs, water bricks, water pouches, water boxes, etc.
If you live in California, you are probably wondering where to start to get prepared for the planned public safety power outages this fire season.