Coloradans Invited to Submit Emergency Kit Cook-Off Recipes

Chef Rohs, Denver Cook-off

The polls are closed, the votes are tallied and the ingredients for this year’s Emergency Kit Cook-Off are decided. Now, in commemoration of National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross encourages Colorado residents to don their aprons and their thinking caps and come up with a culinary creation inspired by the Emergency Kit ingredients.

Ballots were cast by people in communities throughout the Four Corner states and from as far away as Nantucket, Mass., and Columbia, S.C., and the Cook-Off ingredients chosen by the public are:

Proteins: canned or packaged tuna; pinto beans

Beverages: vegetable juice; coconut water

Starches, grains & nuts: corn chips; mixed nuts

Fruits & vegetables: canned green chilies; canned pineapple

"Comfort" foods: trail mix; canned or jarred cheese sauce

The public has until 11:59:59 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, to submit a recipe at www.EmergencyKitCookoff.blogspot.com that highlights one or more of the kit ingredients. Water and other non-perishable pantry items, including seasonings and spices, honey, sugar and condiments, are also fine too use. Participants are encouraged to use manual appliances (e.g., a can opener) in the preparation. Recipe submissions and pictures will be shared on the Emergency Kit Cook-Off site.

Red Cross chapters in Colorado will “battle” the Arizona Department of Emergency Management and American Red Cross chapters in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to get the most recipes submitted on behalf of their state in a competition for bragging rights.

Celebrity chefs representing each of the Four Corner States will invent recipes to inspire submissions from their neighbors. Chef Stephen Rohs, chef/owner of Painted Bench Catering and former executive chef of Painted Bench Restaurant, will represent Colorado in the friendly competition. Painted Bench and Chef Rohs received numerous accolades, including 5280's Top Chef Award, Westword's Best of Denver, and one of America's best bistros in Bon Appetit.

The Emergency Kit Cook-Off is a National Preparedness Month activity inspired by the contents of the 72-hour emergency food kit. Every good emergency kit should contain three days’ worth of water (one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene) and non-perishable foods, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, a flashlight, first aid supplies and those items that sate the unique needs of your family; for example, prescriptions, baby formula and pet food.

As part of National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross is also encouraging the public to take a moment to make an emergency plan. Plans should include designating a meeting place right outside the home (in case of a sudden emergency like a fire), an out-of-area emergency contact person and a location where everyone should meet if they can't go home. All members of the household should work together on the emergency plan and each person should know how to reach other family members.

Helpful tools for making your plan and compiling your kit are built into free Red Cross Preparedness Apps for iPhones and Android phones, available now. The apps provide disaster-specific advice for actions to take before, during and after disasters, including check-lists and an interactive tool to notify emergency contacts.

For more information about the Cook-Off, visit www.emergencykitcookoff.blogspot.com or follow the Twitter hashtag #KitCookOff. Information on the Red Cross preparedness apps can be found at www.redcross.org or by searching “American Red Cross” in your mobile app store.

Media Contact:

Patricia Billinger, Red Cross Mile High Region

(303) 607-4766| patricia.billinger@redcross.org

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.