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 late 2012 when it was sold.
Besides selling emergency preparedness and food storage online, Emergency Essentials also has a number of retail stores in Northern Utah, something that is not typical for most preparedness retailers. Their house brand Provident Pantry has recently been 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 monthly mail order catalog and as mentioned before a number of retail stores for those in Utah.
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 years we’ve ordered from Emergency Essentials on numerous occasions via the website and in-person. For the most part we’ve had good experiences when dealing with their customer service team. You can contact them via email and phone, and via chat. The times we have had a question about an order we have been helped quickly.
One thing to keep in mind when shopping from emergency preparedness retailers is if there is a spike in orders (likely due to certain events causing panic or worry) your experience will not be as positive. You’ll likely wait longer for your order to arrive. You”ll probably have to wait longer to hear back from customer service. This is a common issue for all preparedness companies as the industry is incredibly volatile and sales can increase 1000% in the matter of hours which causes problems for these small businesses that can’t ramp up proportionately to compensate.
PRICING – score: 10/10
Emergency Essentials has a huge product offering and generally speaking employs 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. Their national catalog that’s mailed frequently has specials that match what is seen online. The company also offers promo codes and coupons from time to time for extra savings. Check out our page where we list Emergency Essentials Coupon Codes and highlight the best deals (updated monthly).
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
Overall we find Emergency Essentials to be one of the best, if not the best when it comes to product prices.
FOOD STORAGE – score: 10/10
Emergency Essentials carries two brands of food storage, Mountain House and their own brand named after their company. 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.
They also package foods in a wide variety of options. Mountain House can be purchased in 2 and 4 serving pouches as well as the very popular #10 cans. With their 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, over the years they have updated the site to make it easier to browse. In our original review their website was one of our biggest frustrations as it seemed they were stuck in the 90s but thankfully they have updated it and done a great job. Read the Website section below for more details.
Nonetheless the company has one of if not the best product selections in the industry. They are always launching new products so the offering doesn’t become stagnate.
PRODUCT QUALITY – score: 9/10
We have tried a wide variety of different food storage products and found them to be of good quality. Freeze dried fruits have always been great as have other food items. When we lived in Utah we were fortunate to live near one of their retail stores so we could sample product. We’ve probably eaten 50 different items from the company and outside of the occasional MRE we’ve been really happy.
One thing you have to watch with Emergency Essentials (as well as a few other preparedness companies) is the quality of the survival items, especially in the lower priced 72 hour kits. Often the components are not up to my standards so instead I look at what type of items are in the kits and buy higher quality equivalent items on my own. It costs more but the end result is better bug out bag.
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 pretty good information. The company offers giveaways on social media which is nice to see. They also have a recipe section with over 150 recipes.
Outside of the resources found on their site, the Emergency Essentials YouTube channel has some quality videos covering recipes and general preparedness information.
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. Overall they’re 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.