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Voting for Emergency Kit Cook-Off Ingredients Opens Friday

Emergency Kit Cookoff
Last year’s Cook-Off featured an Arizona chef, and this year the campaign has expanded to include representative chefs from the Four Corners states.

In anticipation of National Preparedness Month in September, the American Red Cross encourages Coloradans to join in a fun, friendly, multi-state “Emergency Kit Cook-Off” that will test home cooks’ creativity while educating participants about disaster preparedness.

The Emergency Kit Cook-Off, which was the brainchild of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) and debuted last year, challenges chefs and members of the public to create recipes utilizing ingredients that might be found in a 72-hour emergency kit.

Although Preparedness Month is in September, Emergency Kit Cook-Off activities kick-off tomorrow: Starting Friday, Aug. 17, the public can vote on the ingredients they want to cook with, nominating two items from each of the five categories: protein; fruits and vegetables; starches, grains and nuts; beverages; and comfort foods.

Last year’s Cook-Off featured an Arizona chef, and this year the campaign has expanded to include representative chefs from the Four Corners states. In honor of Four Corners culinary traditions, this year’s grocery list takes something of a Southwestern slant. Potential ingredients include cinnamon candies, taco shells, chipotle peppers and salsa. Visit or scan our Quick Response (QR) code to vote. Voting on ingredients closes Sept. 3.

Voting results will be announced in early September, after which the public will be encouraged to submit their own gastronomic creations.

• Recipes from the public will be posted to the Kit Cook-Off website, and everyone who submits a recipe through the web site will receive a free “Recipe for Preparedness” packet from the Red Cross, with information on how to prepare your household and build a 72-hour kit.

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

•Chefs from each state will be announced in September. Each chef will prepare his or her own Emergency Kit Cook-Off concoction and will champion the importance of all-hazards emergency preparedness.

Ultimately, the Kit Cook-Off is designed to raise public awareness and inspire proactive preparedness planning. As part of National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross is also encouraging the public to download its free Preparedness Apps for iPhones and Android phones. The apps provide disaster-specific advice for actions to take before, during and after disasters, and come with tools to create household emergency plans, as well as other resources.

Updates from the Kit Cook-Off, including recipe submission guidelines, will be posted to the Cook-Off website. We’re also using social media and using the Twitter hashtag #KitCookOff. Information on the Red Cross preparedness apps can be found at or by searching “American Red Cross” in your mobile app store.

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 or join our blog at