Emergency Essentials is one of the longest tenured emergency preparedness and food storage companies around. They have been in business for over 25 years. For customers up and down the Wasatch Front in Northern Utah they have 4 retail stores to go along with their presense online. The company was family owned up until later 2012 when it was sold .
Besides selling emergency preparedness items online, Emergency Essentials also has their own food product line which they have packaged locally. The name of the brand was Provident Pantry but recently changed to the name of the company. The brand has a variety of just-add water meals, freeze-dried fruit and vegetables, as well as dehydrated goods to round it all out.
Emergency Essentials differs from some of its competition in that it has a strong mail order catalog program and a number of retail stores. While some food storage companies have annual catalogs, Emergency Essentials sends them out monthly.
CUSTOMER SERVICE – score: 9/10
As we often state in our food storage company reviews, a company is only is as good as the service they provide, which is why we examine service first when reviewing a vendor. Over the past 5 years, Shawn and I have ordered from Emergency Essentials on numerous occasions online and in person and have had very good experiences when dealing with their customer service team. You can contact them via email and phone, and through their forum but we would have liked seeing an online chat feature like some of their competitors. Getting instant gratification from a live person beats emails in our book and most people in our country don’t live within driving distance of their stores to talk to an employee in person. Overall though each time we have had a question about an order we have been helped quickly.
So far we have not had any complaints with Emergency Essentials. After reading up on their 30-day unconditional Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, we have no reason to think we won’t be helped just fine if a problem comes up. Our only complaint is ship times can often be longer than others and some items can be out of stock more often than other companies.
PRICING – score: 10/10
Emergency Essentials is the Walmart of the emergency preparedness industry. They have a huge product offering and employ an “Everyday Low Prices” pricing strategy. While some competitors may have lower prices when they have a sale you can almost always use Emergency Essentials as a low price benchmark to see if those other deals are really good or not. For someone that doesn’t want to fuss with promotions they are a great option.
Now this doesn’t mean Emergency Essentials won’t have sales and promotions, they do and sometimes you can score some pretty amazing deals when items are on sale. For those that receive the catalogs, there are deals in the catalogs which are mailed to homes across the country. Check out our page where we list Emergency Essentials discounts each month in order of biggest discount to lowest to help you save time shopping for the best deals.
Lastly it’s important to look at shipping rates to get the full pricing picture. While we prefer free or flat rate systems that are easy to remember their tier system is very competitive. The shipping system works like this:
Order amount up to $60.00 = $6.00 shipping fee
Order amount between $60.01-$120.00 = $9.00 shipping
Order amount of $120.01 or more = $12.00 shipping
FOOD STORAGE – score: 10/10
Emergency Essentials carries two brands of food storage, Mountain House and their own brand named Emergency Essentials (was named Provident Pantry previously). Unlike some companies that only carry their own brand or only carry Mountain House (a national brand), Emergency Essentials carries both brands which is nice, having options is rarely a bad thing. Between those two brands, almost every food you can think of is covered, whether it is freeze-dried or dehydrated.
Aside from the two brands, they put foods in a wide variety of packaging. Mountain House can be purchased in 2 and 4 serving pouches as well as the very popular #10 cans.
In the ir in-house product line you can buy food in a #10 can, MyChoice cans (1/4th the size of a #10 can), combos (6 #10 can varieties), and SuperPails which are 6 gallon buckets with food put in a sealed mylar bag. All packaging it designed for long term storage.
Emergency Essentials also carries a variety of food storage kits. They vary from just add water complete meals to components you have to cook together to make a meal.
PRODUCT SELECTION – score: 10/10
As we mentioned earlier you will feel like you are in a mega-super store when shopping at Emergency Essentials. They have over 1,000 products on their site. The product selection varies from MREs, cook books, water storage, 72 hour kits, and a wide variety of emergency supplies suited for grab-n-go situation as well as sheltering in place. What sets them apart from most online retailers of preparedness goods is they offer so many different types of items to get you prepared.
The enormous variety of products means you will be spending some serious time on the site, which is our only real knock on the company, the website isn’t intuitive and easy to shop as others (update March 2013, they have re-done their site which we will cover below).
PRODUCT QUALITY – score: 9/10
We have been buying from Emergency Essentials for a half a decade now and in that time we have tried a variety of different food storage products and found them to be of good quality. As with a couple of their competitors, we are fortunate to live near their 4 retail stores and have tasted samples and played around with demo products to know that most of the items are of good quality.
One thing you have to watch with Emergency Essentials (as well as a few other preparedness companies) is the quality of the items in the lower priced 72 hour kits. Often the components are not up to my standards so instead I look at what’s in the kits and buy higher quality equivalent items on my own. Surely that costs more but I feel I have a better survival kit in the end.
WEBSITE – score: 9/10
Previously our biggest complaint by far was the Emergency Essentials website. Things have changed though with a big update in 2014. Now the site has easy to understand main categories along the top. Down the side resides a variety of popular links. Below the rotating slideshow are a variety of items that are on promotion.
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Once you click through to a product page you are met with ample information that is relevant to the product. On older versions of their site you had to click around for a lot of product related details but now a lot of it are on the pages in clear site. Reviews, nutritional info, additional details, videos and more are there to be referenced. The amount of details sometimes are still lacking or vague. For example not having shelf life information on the page is annoying. They refer you to read a long article on shelf life instead, hoping the product you are interested in is mentioned with a little more detail.
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Their website search capabilities work well. With so many items and types of categories you are going to benefit from one of the better search experiences in the preparedness industry, a real important feature when you sell so many items.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – score: 9/10
Emergency Essentials has a variety of other resources to help inform and educate the customer. Their website has insight articles that are full of good information. The blog is updated from time to time and has some really useful articles. There are frequent giveaways there and on social media like Facebook that are fun to enter (still haven’t won though!). They also have a recipe section with over 150 recipes. We found the forum to be slow moving and unused, we assume that will be shut down any day now.
Outside of the resources found on their site, they have a bustling Facebook page where again there are links to articles and free product giveaways. The Emergency Essentials YouTube channel has some quality videos but they are few and far between with only a handful of videos as of the writing of this review. Hopefully they make more soon since they are pretty well done and educational.
OVERALL SCORE – total score: 66/70 – 94% – FINAL GRADE: A
Emergency Essentials consistently has some of the best deals around. Aside from the great deals they have, they have probably the widest selection. While their website may not work well on a mobile phone or smaller tablet it is easy to navigate on a computer or large tablet. Overall Emergency Essentials is one of the top vendors in the industry as they get so many things right as seen below in our scoring system. This concludes our Emergency Essentials review!
Click here to visit the Emergency Essentials website.