10 Free Projects for National Preparedness Month + a Giveaway

September is National Preparedness Month in the United States, and I think it is the perfect time for it.  Most of us take a bit of a break over the summer and I love getting back into the swing of things in September after my kids are back in school and we are more settled into a routine.



This year, I would like to do something that I hope will help motivate you all to get just a bit more prepared and celebrate National Preparedness Month with me!

10 projects

Below I’ve listed 10 projects that you can do this month that will help your family get more prepared without costing you any money.  Some are easy.  Some are a bit more involved.

A Giveaway

UPDATE: The winners have been chosen randomly via random.org.  A big congrats to Marilyn, Cyrus, and Sharmaine!  Check your email for details on how to get your Thrive package!

I really want you to try some of these projects and get your family a bit more prepared this month.  So, in order to motivate you, I’m going to give away some free food storage to three of you that participate in the projects!

I will to give away three Taste of Thrive packages. This package provides a good sampling of nine of Thrive Life’s best foods as well as recipes and a guide with tips for using all sorts of food storage.

Taste of Thrive11

How to Enter the Giveaway

You get one entry into the giveaway for each project that you complete.  Let me know you’ve completed a project by commenting below and telling me (and others who are participating) how it went and what you learned.

I will select three winners randomly on October 1st!


UPDATE: The winners have been chosen randomly via random.org.  A big congrats to Marilyn, Cyrus, and Sharmaine!  Check your email for details on how to get your Thrive package!


10 Free National Preparedness Month Projects:

1 – Take a video inventory of your home.  Walk around and video tape each room and the contents.  Pay special attention to more expensive items like pianos, jewelry or televisions.  Keep a copy of this video on a hard drive as well as a cloud (such as dropbox)

2 – Print out copies of (at least) 5 of your family’s favorite recipes.  You will want copies of these if the power goes out!

3 – Camp in the backyard.   If your house is not immediately safe to live in after a natural disaster, you may still want to stay nearby – near family, friends, your supplies etc.  Practice living near, but not in your home for one night.

4 – Cook something without electricity.  Use whatever you have – a camp stove, a bbq grill, a HERC oven, a Sun Oven, a rocket stove – anything.  The only requirement is that you can’t use electricity.

5 – Turn off your running water for 24 hours.  I’ve done this (for 48 and 72 hours) and it is so eye opening!  You will learn a lot and fill in some gaps in your family’s emergency water plans.

6 – Learn how to change a tire.

7 – Learn how to use a fire extinguisher

8 – Complete (or update) your grab and go binder.  Find free printables HERE if you need them.

9 – Create a family evacuation plan (and practice it).  Would you know what to do if told you had 30 minutes to evacuate?  10 minutes?  Moments?  You can read our family plan here.

10 – Add a first aid app to your phone.  You can find my favorite one HERE.

11 – Bonus – Take advantage of Preparedness Sales this month.  This one isn’t free, but if you have the budget for it, National Preparedness Month can be a great time to get good deals on Preparedness Items.  You can find some HERE.


There you go!  Get to work!  And then come leave comments and tell me what you do and how it goes and what you learn.  I’m excited to see what we accomplish this month and can’t wait to give away from food storage!



142 thoughts on “10 Free Projects for National Preparedness Month + a Giveaway”

  1. I know how to change a tire and have lived for 24 hours without electricity or running water so I chose to learn how to use our newest fire extinguishers. Simple, but what a mess!. I know it might have been easier to mimick the actions of engaging it but there is nothing like actually using an item to build the best memory. We ordered a replacement immediately afterwards.
    BTW, I also printed out the recipes, and downloaded the Red Cross first aid app. I already had an app but the more info I have quickly at hand on the road etc, the better

  2. Added the first aid apps to my cell phone, Home inventory completed, Camped in the backyard and cooked breakfast and dinner over the fire pit! Just now printed up 6 recipes. Already had fire extinguisher training aka requirement at work. Updated our to go binder that took two days in was out of date and we create our evacuation plan (and practice it) but still need to work out a few bugs. I’m learning how to change a tire this weekend! We only have one more thing to do and that is turn off the water for 24 hours and see if we are as prepared for that as we thought we where!

  3. Yay, i completed three projects! Well two, but i double checked my first-aid app and played around with it so I know how it works! My daughter loved camping and thought we should do it every night! At least on the second night she got cold to allow us to go inside. Not good, but we were happy. We also went over fire extinguishers and the PASS method, which led us to find out we only had one for our whole property! Good to know before an emergency, we now have a couple more!

  4. I have done all of them . EXCLUDING number 3 . 9. and 10. I am too old to be camping out , I should say “WE” Evacuation ? It would have to be a nuclear bomb, but even then, where would we run to ? No fear of floods fire or earthquakes, Tornado is very rare. An Last,. I dont own a smart phone. I do have a “FIRE KINDEL” That has all my emergency info stored in it.. This contest has me excited,

  5. Hi Misty. Great list, thanks. I don’t have a video but I took inventory pictures on my camera. I’ve been revamping my recipes and so far I’ve printed out about 40 of them. And I cooked burgers on the bbq. Doesn’t sound like much but I’ve never done it before – my son always does it when he visits 🙂

      • Unfortunately I never thought to take pictures :(. But I’m almost all the way through my recipes. Then I am going to combine all my lotion and salve recipes, my soap recipes, my emergency plan binder and my dehydrating course materials into one binder. Would be much easier to grab and go if it were ever necessary.

  6. Once I finished everything, I went back and revised a couple of things in our bug out packs. One of them is from the ’80’s, is really stuffed, and is more like a book bag, so I went ahead and ordered a new one. It should arrive soon, and then everything will be in order, and I will be able to give it a rest for awhile. Whew!

  7. Misty, I bought Thrive foods about 5 years ago. Since that time, I have gone through a divorce and am living in a small cottage. My house is for sale, and the foods are stored there for the time being. I am concerned about putting them in my storage unit due to climate changes throughout the year. I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains (3500 ft). Will that affect the foods? I spent about $600 for everything and don’t want it to spoil.

    • It will affect it Diane. It won’t spoil quickly, but the shelf life will be shorter. I’d just make sure to rotate through it often and you should be fine!

  8. I just took a video inventory of things in my house, but had to do a massive clean up before I started (best not to have a record of mess and disorganization…boy do I feel better!!) Discovered I am not really attached to my ‘stuff’ so my video has stuff in it, but really nothing very valuable. Nice : )

  9. I’m going to order some sample size essential oils for our 72 hour kits. (Butterfly express has free shipping this month and their oils are very high quality!)

  10. Hi Misty! I LOVE your website. I have learned so much from you and have done so many emergency preparedness things because of you!!

    My sister and I were driving to Arizona with my 3 kids and my tire went flat. With no hubby around, we got out the manual, and popped that tire off and changed it our selves!! Never thought I could do it, but now I know I can! #6

    Yesterday I wrote out 5 of our families favorite recipes and have started a little recipe box with our favorites in case I can’t get on my computer. I actually like it better, because I don’t have to go to go look them up. #2

    I have updated me grab and go binder since having my 4th baby now. It is something I feel very prepared having and I don’t know where I was storing all of this important stuff before putting this together! I know I feel less stressed and chaotic knowing that I have these things in order. I also didn’t realize how much had changed on our important phone numbers page since making 2 years ago. So glad I updated! #8

    I just downloaded the first aid app on my phone! Way cool. Thanks! #10

    Still working on others.


    • Ya-hoo! Way to go Shar! Changing a tire in a real situation is very different than in the garage with your husband / father looking over your shoulder. That is impressive!

      And thanks for your kind words! I’m so glad you like the site. It is good to know that I’m reaching people!

  11. I have completed all 10 of your preparedness projects.
    I love the grab and go binder. It is our go to for all important papers and makes it easy to remember where everything is.
    I made recipe books for my girls of their favorite family recipes. They were always calling me for the recipes , now they have them.
    We love BBQing and so we made a complete meal on the BBQ. It was a fun thing to do. Dessert was interesting as I had not done that before.
    We made a 10 min plan. We went over what really mattered if we had to evacuate. What we would take, how we would do it and where we would go. It put a lot into perspective.
    We all now have a first aid app on our phones.
    This worked out great because I was just asked to teach an emergency perparedness class in my ward and I will be using some of this. I am also teahing how to make good food out of food storage. I love Thrive and the great taste it has. Now I just need to stock up on stuff I will need to teach my class in Oct.

  12. Hey Misty,

    2. I already have a binder at home with a lot of our family favorite recipes as I had them on my tablet and it broke and I was up the creek so that was the first thing that I did.

    3. We are family that likes to camp so we have that down packed

    4. We always cook on the fire pit or use propane when we camp and if you haven’t ever done that it is a little tricky at first. My goal it to learn to bake while camping, that will help out a lot.

    6. I have learned how to change a tire for years but we are teaching out 2 boys to make sure that they know how.

    8. I have started our grab and go binder, which I have to say is an awesome idea

    9. I have added the American Red Cross app to my phone and plan on doing others.

    I actually work for a company that is all about dealing with emergencies from doctors, to ambulances, to government contract, to billing for the emergency services. We are having a company wide contest to make emergency preparedness kits which is totally up my alley.
    Thank you so much for these projects as this will help me help others start preparing that are newbies.

    • Great list Rebecca! Way to go. Sounds like you could teach us all some great stuff too. Have you tried baking in a dutch oven while camping? It is fun and not too hard!

  13. Misty,
    We had a real evacuation just 2 years ago. There was a wild fire in the woods behind the house and we were lucky the next door neighbor is a volunteer fire fighter. So he came over to help us. We had just finished doing a record of our documents because we purchased a prepaid funeral. The funeral director gave us a book to fill up for our documents which he has a copy of for when it is needed. Also I am an emergency department registered nurse, although retired, so I have extra training. We are in our 70’s so we have put much thought for the future.
    Keep up the good work of your blog, it must have helped many people prepare.
    Anna Marie

  14. 2. I have printed copies of our favorite recipes. 4. I’ve cooked something not using electricity. Also, we have a Saratoga Jack’s thermopot that we use regularly. 5. Sadly, when our power goes out, we have no water so we practice this regularly also. Even with a generator, sometimes it doesn’t kick in, which makes it even more of an exercise in preparedness. 6, 7, 9, and 10 are done also!

  15. How do I enter?
    I have
    2. printed recipes,
    3. Camped,
    4. Cooked without electricity,
    5. Had the water off (ok, it wasn’t for practice but for a broken faucet)
    6. I know how to change a tire. Every time we get a new car, hubby makes me take a tire off and put it back. Did with kids too when they were teens.
    7. I learned to use fire extinguisher in CERT training,
    9. Have evac plan,
    11. Bought on sept sales

  16. Misty, I’m not trying to brag but I’m a 70 y/o widow working on my preparedness (about a year now). I roughly have my yr + supply of food, camping gear and 4 types of power out cooking (including a sun oven that I have tried), and a closet + of various camping gear & supplies, 2 auto kits and one big grab and go back pack. The only thing I’m missing is my tent … just can’t find one that I’m willing to pay for that will make it thru 4 seasons. My most recent purchase was a Pick up truck that I’m in the throws of out fitting for “me”. I’m currently looking for a reasonably price tool chest that will fit in the bed of my truck and can be secured down. I plan to put my vehicle emergency stuff in it and my big grab and go pack & maybe some of the camp gear. Then all I’ll have to load it the food and remaining camping gear.


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