Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping Locations

Q: Does your company ship outside of the US?
A: No. We currently ship only to Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and APO/FPO addresses.


Catalog

Q: Can I get a copy of your catalog?
A: We used to publish a catalog but with all the changes that we make to pricing and adding new products we now publish an electronic version in .pdf format.


Company Information

Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We started operations in 2001 and are proud to be in our 14th year of serving this great country.

Q: I have just discovered your company on the Internet. Before I place an order, how can I be sure that you are a legitimate company?
A: We understand your concern. As far as who we are, we are a family owned and operated business and have been around now for 14 years in the food storage/emergency supplies business. We are headquartered in Beaverton, OR but ship out of several warehouses depending on what you are ordering. For further information about our company, we encourage you to search for us on the internet.

Q: What type of products does USA Emergency Supply carry?
A: As part of our mission statement, we provide a direct source of food storage, emergency supplies, survival kits, dehydrated foods, and emergency-related information. We work with the nation's top food storage and emergency supply manufacturers to bring you the very best of these products. We are committed to helping you provide for your own security in time of need, prepare for an emergency, or in your every day quest to eat a healthy, balanced diet. We offer several thousand items, so we encourage you to browse our website for information relating to food storage and emergency preparation supplies. Please feel free to contact us today.

Q: Is USA Emergency Supply affiliated with the LDS Church (Mormons)?
A: We are not directly affiliated with the LDS Church although some of us that work here are LDS.


Damaged Shipment

Q: I have received my shipment and there are items damaged. What should I do?
A: If you receive a shipment that has been damaged during transport, please contact us immediately. We will certainly work with you to replace any damaged items.

Q: I received my order today and several of the cans were badly dented. I intend to keep these items stored long-term. Do these need to be replaced? What is your recommendation?
A: For the most part if it's just the side of the can that is dented than they should be fine, but it also depends on the severity. However, if it is badly dented, being more than 1/2 inch in depth at the middle or anything close to the seam, then these need to be replaced.If you receive a shipment that has been damaged during transport, please contact us today and we will certainly work with you to replace any damaged items. Also note that we would never knowingly ship out a damaged can or anything else that is damaged, but damage may occur during shipping and we'll work with you to fix it quickly.


Discounts

Q: Do you have a discount for larger orders?
A: We do offer discounts for quantity orders on many of our non-food items, but not on our food products as our margins are already extremely low. The discounts on many of our non-food items are actually programmed right into our shopping cart and can be seen once the determined quantity is entered.

Q: Do you offer any discounts on shipping?
A: We don't offer any discounts on shipping as we don't add anything to shipping - it is what it is. Since we do not add anything onto the shipping we are charged by the carrier, our shipping prices are already at their lowest. The absolute best way to save on shipping is to order greater quantities. The shipping cost per unit decreases dramatically the larger the order, and this is how many of our customers save significantly. To save money, consider putting in a "group order".


Food Storage

Q: How do I go about starting a food storage program?
A: The best place to start with a home food storage program is to begin with what you are eating right now. Look at what your family eats right now, what goes in those recipes, and how you can integrate long-term food items into that. Start replacing some of the essentials of those recipes (rice, beans, wheat, etc.) with dehydrated foods. The next step after you find out what to store is how to store it and rotate it. If you get the food in #10 cans or vacuum sealed inside buckets then it really doesn't matter what the humidity conditions are like until you actually open it. We keep a list of common food items on our site and their expected storage life. As far as how much you need to store you'll be able to figure that out over time. There are estimates out there as far as how much per person, but it really depends in the end on how much you and your family eat. Once you open them they deteriorate just like food you would purchase as the store. All items can be stored on the shelf once you open them, but again, you would need to keep the food rotated and as dry as possible so it doesn't spoil. Also, there are some items that you can find locally and just repack them yourself. Here are some instructions on how to do it, as well as the equipment you'll need to do it.As a general rule, start small and work your way into something that is comfortable for your family and you'll be amazed how quickly you can store up food and supplies and be more prepared for life's challenges. Don't forget water storage, first-aid, and other items like extra clothing, money, and emergency supplies.Please let us know if you have any questions along the way.

Q: What are oxygen absorbers?
A: Oxygen absorbers are individual packets that are used to remove oxygen from within a sealed environment, creating a nitrogen environment for long-term food storage. They protect dry foods from insect damage and help preserve product quality. They are used when dry foods are packaged in sealed containers. When used with proper packaging and sealing, the oxygen in the packaging is greatly reduced. Our Oxygen Absorbers bring the oxygen level down reliably to .01% or less.

Q: How many oxygen absorbers should I use?
A: We've created a table that you can use to get an idea of how many oxygen absorbers you might need for different size storage containers.*Please note that these are average amounts. You may need more or less depending on your individual conditions and the remaining residual volume of air. There is no danger in adding too many.

Q: What is the size of an individual oxygen absorber packet?
A: An individual Z100cc oxygen absorber measures 1 1/2 in. x 1 3/4 in.An individual D500cc oxygen absorber measures 2 in. x 2 3/4 in.

Q: How can I figure out how much food fits into a storage container?
A: Here is a chart that will help you determine how much food will fit into your storage container.

Q: What size mylar bag should I use?
A: Here is a chart that will help you decide what type and size of mylar bag you may want to use.

Q: How do I heat-seal a mylar bag?
A: We recommend using just a regular non-stick or metal bottom clothing iron on the "high" setting. The mylar bags are made to seal wherever you apply heat. Just be sure you can at least a 3/4 in. seal and try to avoid getting any seams by keeping it as tight and flat as possible when you seal them. Here are some instructions on how to pack your own food that you may find helpful.

Q: Do I need a food-saver machine to heat-seal the mylar bags? If so, do you sell them?
A: You can purchase a separate heat sealer (and we will be carrying them on our website in the near future) but you really do not need any special equipment to heat-seal the bags. We recommend using just a regular non-stick clothing iron on the "wool" setting. The mylar bags are made to seal wherever you apply heat.

Q: Can I just use a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber inside a non food grade bucket without worrying about chemicals leeching from the bucket? Does the mylar bag prevent leeching?
A: We wouldn't recommend putting food in non-food grade buckets that have had chemicals in them. The mylar bags do not let much get through, especially oxygen which is what they're designed for, but they're not a perfect barrier. We would hate to tell you it would be okay and then have spoiled food that is potentially dangerous years from now. Best bet is to use only food-grade storage buckets with your food sealed inside a mylar bag with the appropriate number of oxygen absorbers..

Q: I have sealed my mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, but it looks as if they are still full of air after several days. Are they okay?
A: They may still have air in them but all the air may be nitrogen, which is just fine. The first thing would be to check the seal and make sure the bag is airtight. If it's different types of food you may want to recalculate how much oxygen you need to absorb. But the absorbers will only absorb 20% of the remaining air. So the rest of the 80% is just fine to have. It doesn't need to be free of air to be stored properly just free of oxygen.

Q: Do the ziplock mylar bags seal just as well as the heat-seal mylar bags? Which type do you recommend?
A: Heat sealing is the best method for long-term storage. The ziplock bags were designed to get in and out of quickly - and are just as effective 99% of the time, it's just that 1% that'll bite you. They do use a heavy ziplock that is rated to be air/moisture/contaminant proof and approved for food storage. However, we always recommend that you use the ones that do require heat sealing for storage of over 1 year. If you're storing something less than 1 year feel free to use just the ziplock - they work fine in many cases. The nice thing is that the ziplock bags that we carry have enough room to seal the ends above the ziplock if you wanted to. We have had many customers tell us that this makes it even easier to seal above the ziplock as it keeps everything shut during the process. And, when you're ready to open them you can just removeor cut off the heat-sealed part and you still have the ziplock right below available to open and close the bag.

Q: Can items like pasta in cardboard boxes and crackers in plastic be put directly into mylar bags and then stored in a bucket. Does this sound like a reasonable plan?
A: Since we are not familiar with the type of plastic/paper that the food comes in, it is hard to say whether or not it would degrade over time. Most times these type of items are packaged for safe transport, but are not meant for long-term storage. With the pasta and crackers, you may want to fill a few smaller mylar bags with them so you don't have to open an entire container down the road. We would recommend trying the smaller 10 x 16 bags mylar bags or smaller. View more information on our food storage equipment, including mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.Also, you may be interested in reading more about packing your own food. If so, we have a lot of great information on our website.

Q: Do any of your plastic products (mylar bags, food-grade buckets or gamma seal lids) contain PVC?
A: All of our mylar bags are PP (polypropylene), not PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC isn't stable enough to use in food applications, so no, they do not contain PVC.

Q: Do any of your plastic products (mylar bags, food-grade buckets or gamma seal lids) contain BPA?
A: Our food storage buckets, gamma lids, mylar bags and anything else plastics related are made from FDA-approved polyethylene and contain no BPA.


Large Volume/Freight Orders

Q: For orders larger than 1200 pounds, your website does not calculate a shipping cost. How will I know what my shipping costs will be?
A: For orders over 1200 pounds we need to work up a freight quote for you. It normally takes 24-48 hours to hear back from our freight manager. We normally get 3 or more quotes from companies to find out what's the best way to go. We will need to know if your order is going to be sent to a residential or commercial address. In addition, we will need to know if you have access to a loading dock, or will require a liftgate on the back of the freight truck. Normally it's around $120 more to include a liftgate but having it delivered to your home with a liftgate to lower the food to the ground may save you a lot of time and your back trying to transport it back home.


Modify An Existing Order

Q: Am I able to make a change to my order after submitting it?
A: Yes. However it will depend on the timing of your request. If you contact us immediately at either contact us and we will do our best to make the change to your order. Please keep in mind our shipping timelines, as we are unable to make modification for orders that have already shipped. Our food storage equipment (mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, etc.) can ship within one to two days - so we will need to know your changes as soon as possible to accommodate them.


Obtaining Order Status

Q: I recently placed an order with USA Emergency Supply. Will I receive any type of communication regarding the status of my order?It has been over one week and I still have not heard anything about the status of my order shipping.
A: Yes, you will receive an email with the shipment tracking information included.Make sure to review your receipt for important information about the shipping timeline. We use several different vendors that have different shipping schedules. One of our largest suppliers "Rainy Day Foods" can take up to 4 weeks to fill your order. For your food storage equipment, we at USA Emergency Supply keep these items in stock at all times and do our best to fill your orders in 1-2 days.If you still have questions, please contact us to inquire about the status of your order.


Placing An Order

Q: I would like to place an order. Can you tell me how to go about it?
A: You can place an order with us either through our secure online website (at www.usaemergencysupply.com), by fax, or through the mail. In addition to accepting all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and PayPal) we also accept both bank checks and money orders. However, with a check we will need to wait until it clears before shipping your order. If you need assistance with placing an order, please contact us today.

Q: Can I only place my order online?
A: We encourage our customers to shop on our website using our online shopping cart. In addition, you can also fax in an order, or mail in an order.

Q: Can I fax in an order?
A: You can fax in your order, by placing your order online with us at www.usaemergencysupply.com and completing the required information. Once you have completed the customer information page, you can press the "Fax Your Order" button at the bottom of the page. That will submit a fax to us.

Q: Is there any way I can obtain your product via bank check or money order rather than use a credit/debit card?
A: Absolutely. In addition to accepting all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover) we also accept both bank checks and money orders - however, with a check we will need to wait until it clears before shipping your order.You can send us your check or money order to us at our P.O. address at: USA Emergency Supply, P.O. Box 909, Colfax, NC 27235

Q: What method do you use for shipping?
A: Most orders to the continental US are shipped UPS Ground unless otherwise noted. Orders outside of the continental US 48 would have to go USPS Priority International.

Q: The website did not calculate shipping costs for my order. Why not?
A: The cart does not calculate for Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico. These all need to be sent via the USPS. You will be notified by email of the shipping costs if any, which you can then authorize.

Q: Do you ship to...?
A: Anything outside of the Continental US would have to go USPS Priority. We currently do not ship outside of US and US territories. For specific mailing inquiries, please contact us today.


Out-of-Stock Items

Q: I recently made a purchase from USA Emergency Supply and there were items out-of-stock. Will you contact me when they are back in stock?
A: We automatically place items that are backordered (out-of-stock) on our backorder list and should notify you when that becomes available again, but you may want to check in from time to time if you don't hear from us first.


Pricing Information

Q: differences for the exact same item - for example, a 50lb. bag of hard red wheat (item number W001 vs. 02-101). Are they the same thing? Why are they priced so differently?
A: We do ship items from different vendors that have different ways to charge for shipping. Some of the more expensively priced items have a flat shipping rate of $4.49 for your entire order (Honeyville Grain), where as some of the other lower priced items (from Rainy Day Foods and Azure Standard) ship based on your location and the total weight of the order. Some items can be purchased from all three vendors, whereas some are specific to only one vendor. You can tell if the products are from different vendors either by the different colored "shipping icon" next to the name of the product, or by placing the item in your shopping cart online. The shopping cart will break-out the different items by vendor.We recommend that you go on to our website and add the items that you are interested in into your shopping cart. Several of our vendors carry similar items and you can use the shopping cart to compare how much the real difference is when you take shipping into account. The shopping cart will also tell you how long it'll take to ship and where it's coming from. Once you are ready, you can get a shipping estimate by typing in your zip code and then clicking on the "click for shipping estimate" button. This will give you a shipping estimate for UPS Ground without having to actually place your order.

Q: Will USA Emergency Supply price match with other companies? Will you match rebates, etc.
A: We will match published prices on anything but not in-store coupons or mail-in rebates.


Product Questions

Q: Can I get a sample of your product(s)?
A: Thanks for your interest in our products. Unfortunately, we do not send out samples. However, we do have some great sampler packs for our most popular selections.

Q: I would like nutrition information on a specific product. Can you provide that for me?
A: We do our best to provide product descriptions with each item on our website. Look for the (ingredients - nutrition information) link next to the item. We also have a section on our website that contains most of the actual product labels. You can find this directly on the product information page. .If you still can't find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us today.

Q: Does USA Emergency Supply offer any Kosher products?
A: The only Kosher products that we carry are some of the Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP). The TVP from "Rainy Day Foods" is certified Kosher from the manufacturer but when we repackage it, it loses the certification. However, Honeyville Grain's TVP is Kosher certified.The only other product is the Rumford Baking Powder that is certified Kosher by the Orthodox Union.

Q: I see items listed in #10 cans. What is a #10 can?
A: A #10 can measures 7 inches tall and is a little over 6 inches in diameter, which is roughly the same size as a large coffee can that you'd find in the store. The metal can comes with a lid on the sealed can. All of our food products that are stored in cans include Oxygen Absorbers so that are already prepared for long-term storage.

Q: I see items listed in #2.5 cans. What is a #2.5 can?
A: A #2.5 can is about the size of a small baking soda can. The metal can comes with a lid on the sealed can. All of our food products that are stored in cans include Oxygen Absorbers so that are already prepared for long-term storage.

Q: I see items listed in a "SP". What is a "SP"?
A: If it reads "SP" then it is a Super Pail food-grade bucket with the product vacuum-sealed inside a Mylar Bag with Oxygen Absorbers inside the bucket.

Q: I see items listed in a "RB". What is a "RB"?
A: If it reads "RB" it is a Regular Bucket food-grade bucket and is vacuum-sealed with Oxygen Absorbers with no Mylar Bag inside the bucket.

Q: Do the Gamma Seal Lids fit the Food-Storage Buckets that you carry?
A: Yes, the gamma seal lids will fit our 4.25, 5, and 6 gallon buckets. There is a range that the gamma seal lids fit into, which is right around 12". According to the manufacturer, they state it will fit most 3.5-7 gallon buckets although we've only tested them with our buckets.

Q: Can I make substitutions to the contents of the Year Supply of Food kits?
A: The Year Supply of Food kits are already discounted and have a savings built into the price structure. Because of this, no modifications are allowed to the actual products included. You can see that it would cost a great deal more if you were to put each item individually into the shopping cart and build a kit yourself.


Return Policy

Q: What is USA Emergency Supply's return policy?
A: Full refunds or exchanges will be given for damaged and defective items, with no additional cost to the customer. Any errors made my USA Emergency Supply will be corrected and paid for by USA Emergency Supply, with no additional cost to the customer. USA Emergency Supply will provide as much information as possible regarding product descriptions, packaging, nutrition information, warranty information, etc. on all products offered. However, ultimately it is the customer's responsibility to ensure that they are purchasing the correct item. USA Emergency Supply cannot be held accountable (and therefore will not incur the costs) for these type of customer returns. The customer will pay shipping costs for any return shipments for products not wanted. A 15% restocking fee will be charged for all non-food returns. No food items can be returned. Please refer to our "Return Policy" for more complete information.


Shelf-Life

Q: How long will dehydrated foods last, if stored properly?
A: You can find average shelf-life times by going here on our website.Of course these all depend on how the food is stored - considering the four factors of temperature, moisture content, container atmosphere and the storage container. All of the food that we carry are meant for long-term storage.

Q: Once opened, how long will my food last?
A: As long as you intend to use it up within a year, just about any kind of dry food will remain in good condition as long as it is kept dry and cool. Make sure to always securely reattach the lid after opening before putting it back in the pantry, etc.If you are planning on keeping the remaining opened food around for several years, then you will want to re-pack the newly opened food following the instructions under our "Packing Your Own Food".


Shipping

Q: Is there a price point where I can get a discount on shipping?
A: We don't offer any discounts on shipping as we don't add anything to shipping - it is what it is. Since we do not add anything onto the shipping we are charged by the carrier, our shipping prices are already at their lowest. The absolute best way to save on shipping is to order greater quantities. The shipping cost per unit decreases dramatically the larger the order, and this is how many of our customers save significantly.

Q: I see that your company is located in North Carolina. Can I pick up my order in North Carolina to save on shipping costs?
A: We ship from various locations around the continental U.S. depending on the item you need. The best way to find out what you can pick from us directly is by contacting us today.

Q: Why is the cost for shipping so different? Why do you not offer flat-rate shipping like some other companies?
A: We do ship items from different vendors that have different ways to charge for shipping. Some of the more expensively priced items have a flat shipping rate of $4.49 for your entire order (Honeyville Grain), where as some of the other lower priced items (from Rainy Day Foods and Azure Standard) ship based on your location and the total weight of the order. Some items can be purchased from all three vendors, whereas some are specific to only one vendor. You can tell if the products are from different vendors either by the different colored "shipping icon" next to the name of the product, or by placing the item in your shopping cart online. The shopping cart will break-out the different items by vendor.We recommend that you go on to our website and add the items that you are interested in into your shopping cart. Several of our vendors carry similar items and you can use the shopping cart to compare how much the real difference is when you take shipping into account. The shopping cart will also tell you how long it'll take to ship and where it's coming from. Once you are ready, you can get a shipping estimate by typing in your zip code and then clicking on the "click for shipping estimate" button. This will give you a shipping estimate for UPS Ground without having to actually place your order.

Q: Why can't my entire order be shipped together?
A: Please keep in mind that we have many different suppliers and certain items ship from different suppliers. We have several food suppliers, first-aid suppliers, and food storage equipment suppliers. Therefore, your order will be broken into separate shipments (with shipping costs calculated based on each part of your order).

Q: Do you have free shipping on any products?
A: Several of our Grain Grinders come with free shipping. You will see "Free Shipping" noted in the product description.

Q: I just realized that I made an error on my shipping address. What should I do?
A: We will be glad to correct your address at any time prior to your order shipping. However, once your order goes out for delivery (most likely by UPS) we are unable to make any changes to your shipment. However, as the recipient, you are able to contact UPS at 1-800-PICK-UPS (742-5877) and notify them of the correction to your address. Please reference your tracking number that we send to you via email. UPS should be able to have it corrected so that it accurately gets to you.


Shipping Timelines

Q: How long will it take my order to be delivered?
A: Our online shopping cart will break out the items by vendor and will provide you with a delivery timeframe. Each of our vendors have a different timeline for shipping out your order (that vary from 1-2 business days, up to 2-4 weeks for delivery of large bulk orders). Please refer to your receipt for specific details.Please keep in mind that these timelines are for the length of time it takes to ship out your order from the warehouse and does not include the additional amount of time it takes to deliver your order. UPS or FedEx ground can take an additional 3-5 business days for delivery. Please consider this timeframe when placing your order, so that you will have a clear expectation of when you will receive your order.You can always check the status of your order by entering your order number and email address in our "Customer Order Tracking System" on our website. You can find it here on our websiteAs part of our service to you, we email you the UPS/FedEx/USPS tracking numbers as soon as your order ships (assuming that you provided us with an email address as part of your order). This way you can track the status of your order on the appropriate website (www.ups.com, www.fedex.com, or www.usps.com) and obtain specific delivery date information.If you have any questions on the status of your order, please feel free to contact us.


Expedited Shipping Requests

Q: I would like my order shipped faster than the regular ground rate, for example "overnight". Can you do this? A:If you will need your order in a more expedited manner (overnight, etc.) please contact us and we can work with you on an express shipping option (at an additional cost which you can choose to either approve or decline). Please make sure to contact us as soon as you place your order so that we can start working on the expedited shipping quotes to present to you. Most of our vendors have an early morning cut-off time to be able to accommodate same-day requests. Most orders will ship out the next day. Not all of our suppliers are able to handle expedited requests so we will let you know as soon as possible if your items are eligible for expedited shipping.Please note that we are unable to process any order that just states "will pay whatever the extra fee is". We will need to get direct authorization from you on the specific charge before processing the amount on your credit card.


Website Security

Q: How secure is your website?
A: We guarantee that every transaction you make at USA Emergency Supply.com will be safe. This means you pay nothing if unauthorized charges are made to your card as a result of shopping at USA Emergency Supply.com. We take precaution though to remove all credit card info from our server after the order ships and do not make permanent backups. For more information please see our "Safe Shopping Guarantee".

Q: Please do not share or sell my personal information with anyone else.
A: With regard to your personal information, please be assured that we never share or sell information from any of our customers or contacts. Credit card information is removed from the server after the order ships. No permanent backups are made. We are very aware of security on our site and make every effort to secure things properly.


Allergen Information

Q: What about allergens in my food order?
A: While most of our food products are processed in plants that handle dairy, milk, wheat, egg, soy, peanuts, and tree nut products, some of our foods are allergen free. Please contact us for information regarding specific products.