Car Emergency Kit Do-Over

This week we are working on updating our car kits and our evacuation plans as part of the Food Storage Do-Over 2015. I have been working a lot on trying to figure out the best car kit situation for my family. I put together a small kit for my husband to keep in the car that he drives because we don’t usually have the children if we are driving that car. I have a much more intensive kit that we keep in the van that includes items for the entire family. I’ll show you details of each kit below.


Family Car Kit

For the basics I bought an Auto Emergency Kit from Thrive Life. Here’s everything that was included in the kit:


The basic kit comes with a little bit of water and a 3600 calorie meal bar. I supplemented with some additional snacky foods that my kids would like. The fruit pouches from Thrive Life are great snacks with a long shelf life.


I made a little coffee can heater to provide some warmth. The toilet paper goes in the smaller can and then you pour the alcohol over it and it will burn cleanly and provide a little warmth. It all stores inside the larger can.


Next I looked at all of the emergency tools and supplies. A lot of good things were included in the basic kit. I added a compass, some extra fire starter tools, an all-in-one tool, a headlamp, a couple flashlights, and a radio. I like the hand-crank items so I don’t have to worry about batteries.


For keep warm and covered we needed more than the basic kit provides. I bought enough emergency blankets for each member of the family. I also threw in some extra blankets and an old comforter in the back of the van. I have a tube tent and also a tarp and extra rope. They won’t be awesome shelters but are better than nothing! Hand warmers and foot warmers are great too.


The basic car kit had a small first aid kit. I supplemented that with a few of my own items like children’s medicines, cough drops, wet wipes, carmex, etc. I figure those things are great for those little everyday emergencies, I might as well throw them in.


Last but not least, spare shoes. My kids are notorious for running out of the house in bare feet and I sometimes don’t notice it until we are at a store, restaurant, etc. Well if there was an emergency and we had to WALK far, they would be in trouble. I went to a second hand store and bought one size too big for each child and a pair of cheap running shoes for myself. (I often am out and about in high heels and wouldn’t want to have to walk far in those). I’d like to add spare sweatshirts or jackets for each child too but I didn’t get that far yet. I also threw in a card game and an extra water filter bottle.


I put everything in a large rubbermaid bin and it resides permanently in the back of the van.

Individual Car Kit

For the basics I bought a second Auto Emergency Kit from Thrive Life, then I filled an animal cracker container from Costco with everything else. It’s a great sturdy little container and can fit a lot of stuff. Here is a list of things I added:

  • Coffee can heater and alcohol (the green chilis can in the picture)
  • Matches
  • All-in-One tool
  • Snacks
  • Water pouches
  • Basic tube tent with rope
  • Emergency blankets
  • Wet wipes

  Screen shot 2015-01-30 at 1.47.27 PM

Food Storage Do-Over Week 3: Car Kits and Evacuation Plans

We are excited to be starting week 3 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! Last week we saw more great progress from all those participating and we are excited to keep going. If you didn’t catch last week’s post you can see it here. You should also make sure to check out the amazing spreadsheet Julie put together for us all as part of her do-over.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!


In the Emergency Prep Basics section of our website we cover putting together a car kit and evacuation plans. Car kits can help provide life-saving resources in case you get stranded in your vehicle somewhere, and they can also be helpful in case of a quick evacuation if you don’t have time to grab 72 hour kits.


Car Kit

If you are BRAND NEW and don’t have any emergency supplies in your car yet, spend this week creating your car kit. Here is a list of items that you may want to consider including, modify as necessary to meet your needs.

  • Water (mylar pouches or cardboard boxes are best for extreme temperatures)
  • 72 hour kit food, high calorie meal bars, or other snacks
  • Cash ($20-30 in small bills and include some change)
  • Diapers/Wipes if you have kids
  • Emergency blankets/hand warmers (and/or an old spare comforter)
  • Jumper cables
  • Car shovel/pick
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool
  • First aid kit
  • Radio (hand crank or battery operated)
  • Flashlight (hand crank or battery operated)
  • Package of batteries (for flashlight and radio)
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Spare clothes/walking shoes for all family members
  • Coffee can heater

Evacuation List

In order to prepare for a quick evacuation, the best thing to do is have a list already written out with the items you need to grab in order of importance. You can get very in depth with this or just jot down a simple list and tape it near your exit door. An example of some of the things you may want to include are as follows:

  • 72 Hour Kits
  • Emergency Binder
  • Pets/Pet supplies
  • Photo albums/scrapbooks
  • Journals
  • Extra food/fuel/water
  • Camping equipment

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!


Car Kits

If you already have a good start on your car kits chances are you will need to do a little update/refresh to make sure you have everything you need and rotate food and water supplies. Here are some ideas of things you might want to check on:

  • Make sure jumper cables work (I had a set of broken ones once)
  • Rotate food items that have a short shelf life
  • Check water supplies, rotate as needed
  • Swap out kids clothing and shoes for proper sizes
  • Check expiration dates on medicines in first aid kits
  • Test/swap out batteries for radio and flashlight if necessary
  • Review some of the posts in the resources section below for other ideas on how to bump up your car kits with additional items you may want to consider adding

Evacuation Plans

If you already have your basic evacuation plan and grab list in place there are some advanced things you can do to really “Do-over” your plan. This topic can be as simple or as complex as you feel it needs to be for your personal needs.

1. Split your grab list up by person and in order of importance. Have separate lists taped up in the area near your 72 hour kits. In case of an emergency each person will grab their list and go down it until you run out of time. If a family member isn’t home someone else would grab their list and work on those items. Make sure to include tasks like “Load small children in car”, “Grab purse/wallet”, “Load pets and pet food in car”. Things you would think are automatic, you may just forget in an emergency. (ok you probably won’t forget your kids but it helps to know when in the process you will get them loaded so they aren’t underfoot and slowing you down)

2. Go through the 13 Part Evacuation Plan from This is the most in depth plan we have come across. Her plan is to have your items separated into bins so you can grab the bins based on why you are evacuating and you go in order of importance as well. I have loved working through her lists and filling in the holes in my evacuation plans. We highly recommend it!

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

Thrive Life Auto Emergency Kit
Emergency Essentials Auto Emergency Kit
Auto Emergency Kits on

Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

View our Car Kits board on Pinterest
View our Evacuation Plans board on Pinterest
How to Make a Coffee Can Heater from Food Storage Made Easy
How to Create a Mommy Emergency Car Kit from Food Storage Made Easy
How to Keep Emergency Water Unfrozen in the Winter from The Survival Mom
Assembling a Car Emergency Kit and Printable Checklist from Food Storage and Survival
15 Items for Your Car Emergency Kit from Food Storage Moms
How to Make a Coffee Can Survival Kit for your Car from Survival Life
13 Part Evacuation Plan from
Evacuation Imminent – How to be Ready from Your Own Home Store
Are You Ready for an Evacuation? from Cooke’s Frontier
Thoughts on Fire Preparedness and Evacuation from Food Storage Made Easy

Please pin and get your friends joining in too!

Food Storage Do-Over Week 3 - Car Kits / Evacuation Plans

Food Storage Do-Over Week 2: Financial Preps

We are excited to be starting week 2 of our food storage do-over! Last week we saw a lot of great progress from all those participating and we are excited to keep going. If you didn’t catch last week’s post you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!


In the Emergency Prep Basics section of our website we talk about how each family should have an Emergency Binder put together. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a death in the family, or some other crisis, every household needs a plan in order to survive, cope, and recover. By creating an Emergency Binder, you and your loved ones will be better equipped to endure unexpected adversity and enjoy peace of mind. It’s a great feeling to be prepared! Along with your emergency binder we want to look at a few other financial/legal areas this week.

If you are BRAND NEW and don’t have an Emergency Binder check out our post on how to make your own which includes compiling the following documents etc.

✓ Birth certificates
✓ Passports
✓ Immunization records
✓ CASH – keep small bills
✓ Copy of your will
✓ Medical information
✓ Military and church papers
✓ Diplomas and transcripts
✓ Marriage certificates
✓ Adoption papers
✓ Current pictures of family
✓ Pet records
✓ Proof of citizenship
✓ Homeowners insurance policy
✓ Auto insurance policy
✓ Life insurance policy
✓ Medical insurance policy
✓ Pictures and lists of all your personal belongings
✓ Contact information for insurance agents
✓ Copies of your credit
✓ Bank statements
✓ Retirement statements
✓ Social security statements
✓ Internet passwords
✓ Utility statements
✓ Work/tax documents that would be difficult to replace
✓ Deeds to properties
✓ Titles to cars, boats etc
✓ Warranty information

We recommend storing your binder in a portable waterproof/fireproof safe. You can grab it and run in an emergency but it will be safe in case your home burns or floods while you are not home. It’s also a great idea to make photocopies or electronic copies of all the contents and store it off-site in a safety deposit box or at the home of a trusted individual.

If you get your binder finished, consider looking at some of the “other” suggested tasks in the DO-OVER section below.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!


Emergency Binder

If you already have a good start on your Emergency Binder chances are you will need to update it. Here are some things that require frequent updates:

- Password lists for all your financial accounts (Facebook thread on managing passwords)
- List of bills you pay, and how you pay them (auto-draft vs. check etc.)
- Wills
- Medical records
- Insurance paperwork
- Financial account statements
- Go over your plan with anyone in your family that needs to know this information

Other financial/legal tasks to consider this week

  • ONLINE BACKUP: Do you have a plan for backing up your computers and other devices? It’s always a good idea to have multiple backup options. We recommend backing up to an external hard-drive while also using an automatic online backup service such as Mozy, Carbonite, or Crashplan.
  • LEGAL MATTERS: A basic will should be included in your emergency binder but there are also other legal documents you may want to explore. We shared our learnings from a class on estate planning given in our church in this blog post that explains about wills, trusts, power of attorney, etc. Review that post and consult a lawyer if you think it is something you need to work on.
  • BUDGETS/RETIREMENT PLANNING: Preparedness planning includes being financially stable and planning for your future. Take a look at your monthly budget and see where you can cut any expenses. Look at your retirement accounts and commit to contributing a little more each month. Dave Ramsey has some great BabySteps to follow to really get your financial life under control. We recommend his book The Total Money Makeover.

    Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

    Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

    View our Emergency Binder board on Pinterest
    How To Create An Emergency Binder: Food Storage Made Easy
    Planning For Your Family’s Future: Food Storage Made Easy
    Basic Family Binder Printables: Thirty Handmade Days
    Assembling a Red File:
    Facebook thread on managing passwords
    Financial Planning Advice:
    Prepare My Life Emergency Planner
    Fireproof/Waterproof Safes to store your binder in
    External Hard Drives for computer backup
    The Total Money Makeover

    Please pin and get your friends joining in too!


72 Hour Kits: Jodi’s Do-Over

This week we’ve working on 72 hour kits during our Food Storage Do-Over 2015. If you haven’t signed up to do the Do-Over with us it’s not too late! Today I wanted to share a little of my thought process as I work on the tasks this week, hopefully it helps you as you go through your OWN do-over!

1. Evaluate my needs
I talked through a few potential evacuation scenarios with my husband. In our situation I need to be prepared to evacuate quickly with a high probability of him not being there. This means I need a complete bag for myself and can’t depend on being able to have him carrying anything. I can put a few “non-essentials” in my bigger kids’ packs but they may be at school and unreachable temporarily so again I don’t want to depend TOO much on that.

Each individual bag will have clothes, food, water, and warmth items for that specific person. It should also include a current picture, contact info, and an emergency whistle for signaling in case we get separated. My kids are all big enough to be able to carry their own packs now, hurray!

2. Look at what I already have
I had a big hodge-podge of stuff in my kits from various times I’ve re-organized them in the past. Sometimes I decide I want real food, then other times I decide I don’t want to rotate the food (see this post for why) so I get a bunch of meal bars, then I discover my kids hate them so I try to add food back in (see my daughter pictured below, lol). It’s a vicious cycle! I decided to dump it all out and go down the list we posted for week 1 and make sure I’ve got all of the tools loaded into MY pack, extras loaded in my husband, and a few bonus items in my big kids packs. Then I evaluated food and water needs AGAIN.


3. Packs
I have purchased inidivudal 72 hour kits from Thrive Life and Emergency Essentials in the past to get a bunch of the basics tools/supplies all at once. I love their sturdy RED backpacks. I use those for my husband and I since our kits are the heaviest. For the kids’ packs we just use random old backpacks from around the house. We seem to have no shortage of those. They pick the one they want to use so it’s easy to remember whose is whose.

72 Hour Kit Re-Do

4. Tools/Supplies
Matching up my actual supplies with the list posted earlier this week helped me find a few things I need to get. Some of the ideas in the Do-Over Facebook Group also added to my “to-buy” list. I put this list in my phone and started checking things off and sticking them in the packs as I got them purchased.


5. Food/Cooking
As mentioned above, I do have enough 3600 calorie bars for each person (needed to buy one more for my youngest child). I decide what I would like to have is one cooked meal per day plus three meals worth of foods plus snacks that don’t require cooking. I used lots of the ideas found on this post to make my master shopping list. I bought my meals from Thrive Life (they are the best tasting and most filling of the ones I’ve tested) and the rest of the food just from Wal-Mart. I made sure to add in a cooking container and fuel to cook the meals.

6. Clothes
Here is where my biggest fail was. While I had gone in and messed around with food over the years, I hadn’t swapped out kids’ clothes for about two years. My kids had a big giggle trying on the old clothes from their kits. We decided to go to a second hand store and buy two outfits for each kid in one size too big (we also grabbed a pair of shoes to keep in our car kits while we were there). That way I don’t have to feel bad wasting outfits in a kit that will never get worn. In the spring when I rotate my kids again I will hit a second hand store again and move those two outfits into their wardrobe since by that time they should actually FIT.

To finish up I am going to type up a contents list of what is in each bag so that when I am looking for a specific item in an emergency I can know where to find it. I haven’t made it that far yet but I’ll share it here when it’s done!

How is YOUR 72 hour kit do-over going???

8 Tasks to Help You “Prep” For Winter

Fall is the perfect time of year to get your yard, vehicles, house, and preps ready for winter. Here are eight tasks you can do to get ready for the change in seasons.

8 Ways to "Prep" for Winter


Clean Up Your Gardens

Harvest all remaining vegetables. Pull up all plants and add to your compost pile. Add compost/mulch to your garden beds. Prune all fruit trees and bushes. Plant garlic if desired. Bring in potted plants for the winter. Plant decorative bulbs.

Rotate/Winterize Your 72 Hour Kits

Rotate food and water as necessary. Check/rotate matches and other fuel supplies. Swap out seasonal clothing and shoes. Update kids’ clothes to correct sizes. Rotate baby supplies (diapers in correct size, formula expiration dates, etc.). Check batteries for flashlights and radios. Check medicine expiration dates and supply levels. Update pictures and medical information for each family member. Update emergency contact information. Click here for more on building 72 Hour Kits. Click here for some pre-made kit options.

Rotate Your Water

Whether you have treated your stored water or not, it’s always a good idea to at least CHECK your water every six months. Fall is a good time to pull out each container and rotate if necessary. Click here for more tips on water rotation. Click here for some storage containers that help reduce the need for frequent rotation.

Add Winter Gear to Your Car Kits

Make sure to add extra clothes, good winter boots, warm blankets, simple heaters, tire chains, etc. to your emergency car kit. Swap out food items that need to be rotated. Click here for more resources on car kits.

Clean Out Your Pantry and Freezer

Go through your pantry and freezer and throw away expired foods. Update your three month supply inventory list and replenish to be fully-stocked with all of your chosen meals.

Give Your Furnace a Tune-Up

Vacuum any dust from around your furnace. Wipe off any dust on the blower fan. Change your furnace filter now and once a month during the winter. Light your pilot light if necessary. Consider getting a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t already have one.

Winterize Your Sprinkler Systems

If you live in an area where the ground freezes below the levels of your sprinklers, you’ll want to make sure to get all of the water out of your system to avoid frozen/cracked pipes. Click here for some helpful tips.

Swap Out Seasonal/Outgrown Clothing

Go through your children’s clothes and remove anything that doesn’t fit any more. If you store seasonal clothes elsewhere, bring in the winter clothes and box up the summer items.

Happy Prepping!

8 Ways to "Prep" for Winter

30 Days of Preparedness Day 13: Practice Living Without Electricity

September is National Preparedness Month and is something we celebrate every year with our 7 Day Challenge (have you signed up yet???) This year we are also participating in a little blog hop called the 30 Days of Preparedness. You can check out each day’s post over at the Prepared Bloggers Network site and get a crash course in emergency preparedness this month. We will be featured on September 13th but you get to have a sneak peek of our day today!


Our post is DAY 13 which is an ACTION DAY! You get to practice living without power on this day. It will be a good warm-up if you plan to join in the 7 Day Challenge coming on a surprise day sometime in September. So let’s turn off that power and get started! Here are 5 action items to do to participate today:

It’s very easy to accidentally flip on a light switch when you are supposed to be practicing living without power. There are a few ways you can “turn off” the power to practice today. You can turn off your main circuit breaker but that will cause your fridge to turn off too which you might not ACTUALLY want to do. So we recommend going to your circuit box and flipping the breakers on all the switches except your fridge circuit. If you don’t want to mess with your breakers you can tape duct tape over all the switches and sockets and unplug everything just to keep you “honest”.

2. Cook all three meals using the powerless cooking methods from day 10
Cooking is one of the biggest immediate concerns when the power goes out. You may have a barbecue grill or camp stove but there are other options you should consider as well. We did a powerless cooking class showing a variety of options you can use ranging from free/inexpensive tools to more substantial tools useful for long term powerless situations. You can also view DAY 10 of the 30 Days of Preparedness series for more ideas!

3. Don’t use your fridge or freezer foods
Even if you haven’t actually turned off the power to your fridge, it’s a great way to practice by only using items that are shelf stable or from your pantry. It’s nice to have freeze-dried or canned meats to add some bulk to your meals, but there are lots of meatless recipes you can make too. Use our Shelf Stable Cookbook for lots of ideas on pantry meals you can cook.

4. No electronics!
In a technological society it may be harder than you think to go without your electronics for even a day. Today will be a good day to practice unplugging. That means no tv, no cell phones, no computers! This may especially be a struggle for kids who may not understand the benefit of “practicing” this. Plan fun activities that don’t involve electronics. We like using a crank lantern and telling ghost stories at night. Candlelight board games are fun too. Be creative and have fun.

5. No air conditioner or furnace
One of the hardest things about having no power is the lack of heating and cooling devices in our homes. It’s good to practice days like this in extreme weather to know how you will manage in a true emergency. If you don’t have a fireplace, you’ll want to have some other powerless means of providing heat. If you live in extremely hot areas it will be equally as important to have a way to stay cool. We put together a list of 50 ways to keep cool when the power is out to help with some ideas.


Thanks for joining the Prepared Bloggers as we work our way through 30 Days of Preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month so you will find everything you need to get your preparedness knowledge and skills into shape.

Take one post each day, learn as much as you can about the topic and make it a part of your preparedness plan.

Day 1 – Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 2 – The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 3 – I’m Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama
Day 4 – Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home
Day 5 – Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 6 – The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 7 – It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 8 – It’s a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness
Day 9 – Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival
Day 10 - Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz
Day 11 – The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness
Day 12 – The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness
Day 13 – Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy
Day 14 – How We Choose The Right Gear – (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness
Day 15 – Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 16 – Food and Water for a 72 Hour “Go Bag” from Homestead Dreamer
Day 17 – 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris
Day 18 – Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper
Day 19 – Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 20 – Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer
Day 21 – Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm
Day 22 – Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 23 – KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper

50 Tips to Keep Cool When the Power is OUT

My air conditioner was broken for a few days this summer and it was pretty miserable around our house. It got me thinking about what I would do in a long term powerless situation to keep our family cool. We posed the question on our Facebook page and got tons of great ideas from our readers. Here is a summary of the best ones!


  1. Wear light-colored clothing, dark clothes absorb heat
  2. Use a damp cloth to wet face, arms and legs
  3. Find a cool breeze to sit in (especially after getting wet)
  4. Make a paper fan and fan yourself
  5. Hang out in the basement of your home
  6. Install attic vents to release the hot air that rises
  7. Sleep on the porch between wet sheets
  8. Relax during the hottest hours, do heavy chores/cooking in the morning and evening
  9. Do your canning and cooking outdoors
  10. Take an afternoon nap
  11. Use a buckwheat pillow, it won’t hold on to your body heat
  12. Close all blinds and window coverings (don’t let the sun in)
  13. Open all the windows at night to let cool air in
  14. Lie down on the floor in the lowest level of your house
  15. Keep a window open upstairs to pull hot air up and out
  16. Wet your hair
  17. Put white sheets over furniture, it will reflect heat instead of absorb it
  18. Wrap a wet towel around your neck
  19. Plant or find shade trees
  20. Take cool baths
  21. Make sure your home is well insulated, it will keep the heat out
  22. Drink lots of fluids
  23. Use a spray bottle and spray yourself down
  24. Hang wet sheets in open windows that have a cross breeze
  25. Keep babies in a light onesie (not naked) for when you hold them
  26. Dip feet in cool water
  27. Keep your body covered (in cool clothes) to shade it from the sun
  28. Don’t wear polyester, it makes you sweat
  29. Sit still, moving around makes you hotter
  30. Make recipes using mint/peppermint to cool the body
  31. Brush mint against the skin to cool you down
  32. Wear loose-fitting skirts
  33. Use battery-powered fans (like these ones)
  34. Put wet rags over a batter powered fan to make a “swamp cooler”
  35. Give the kids squirt guns and have a water fight
  36. Buy some evaporative cooling bandanas. These look so neat!
  37. Eat cold meals
  38. Eat spicy foods, they increase perspiration which cools down the body
  39. Buy some cooling towels/cloths
  40. Wear a large-brimmed hat to shade your face
  41. Spray your house down with a water hose for a temporary cool down
  42. Keep ice packs in your freezer and then use them for relief
  43. Go around naked (if appropriate)
  44. Use silk or satin sheets and pillowcases, they feel cooler
  45. Hang up bedding in cool areas of the house or shade during the day
  46. Get a waterbed, it will absorb heat and feel cool on hot nights
  47. Build porch awnings to provide shade
  48. Have a generator to plug in electric fans
  49. Make a homemade air conditioner or swamp cooler if you have a generator

Save for later!

If you want to save this information for later, feel free to use this image to add it to your pinterest boards.

50 Tips to Keep Cool When the Power is OUT

How to Create a Mommy Emergency Car Kit (Gift Idea)

I’ve been working on re-arranging my car kits after I saw a #10 Can Car Kit on Pinterest. I thought fitting it into cans made a lot of sense and would be sturdy and a good way to use up old cans. It’s still a work in progress and I’ll post about it when I have them completed. BUT, it also gave me a great idea for a different type of emergency car kit also using an empty #10 can.

How to Create a Mommy EMERGENCY Car Kit.  Perfect baby shower gift idea for a new Mommy!

My two little sisters both got pregnant with their first babies at the same time and I wanted to do something special for them on their first Mother’s Day. After having 4 kids myself, I’ve learned a few things like “always keep a spare diaper and wipes in the car” because your mental capacity decreases over time and you start to forget your diaper bag more often than you remember it when you are herding 4 children out the door. I decided it would be great to give them a MOMMY emergency car kit that contains small sizes of things they will most likely keep in a diaper bag, but can save them in an emergency where they forget it at home.

Contents List:

Here is everything I included. You can feel free to add or subtract items to fit your needs. Some suggestions from readers are a onesie, or nursing pads and snacks for the mommy.


  • Wet wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Diapers
  • Bottle
  • Formula
  • Binkie
  • Nail clippers
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Band-aids
  • Baby lotion
  • Baby powder
  • Diaper cream
  • Baby wash
  • It was cheaper for me to buy enough items to make 6 kits since I could buy 3-packs of bottles and binkies, and I could split a whole package of diapers and formula packets into 6 kits. It ended up costing about $16 for each kit including the decorating materials. Now I have 4 more gifts ready to go for future baby showers!



  • Clean out an empty #10 can
  • Stuff it full of the items from the contents list above
  • Use cute scrapbook paper to cover the outside of the can
  • Wrap a strip of ribbon around bottom and top of can
  • Tape a circle of matching scrapbook paper onto the lid
  • Print out labels with a contents list and title for the top
  • Feel free to use my printable downloads below:

    - Printables in Word Format (customizable)
    - Printables in PDF Format

    And here are my cute sisters on Mother’s Day with their new car kits :)

    How to Make a Mommy EMERGENCY Car Kit.  Perfect baby shower gift idea for a new Mommy!

    APRIL: “Get it Done” Challenge

    It’s a new month and we are excited to announce the “Get it Done” Challenge for April. Have you been procrastinating getting your 72 hour kits put together? Do you have kits but haven’t opened them for several years? Would you like to expand on your kits and make them better? Well this month’s challenge is for you!

    APRIL: Get it Done Challenge -- Swap those kits

    Having spare clothes for your kids in a 72 hour kit won’t do you any good if they are 4 sizes to small. Having food that is expired and/or inedible won’t keep you alive for very long either. While either of those options is better than not having a kit at all, it’s probably best to update yours! Your April challenge is to do at least one of the following THIS WEEK:


    1. Create a 72 hour kit for each member of your family
    2. Swap out seasonal or outgrown clothes and replace food items in your 72 hour kits
    3. Find a few ways to supplement what you already have in your 72 hour kits

    Download our complete Emergency Preparedness Plan for a basic guideline on what you should include in your kits.

    Also, our April newsletter contained TONS of tips on how to build, rotate, or expand on your kits. Check out the newsletter at THIS LINK and make sure to subscribe to our BabySteps Checklists if you want to receive all of our newsletters.


    The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Edith Kincade who won the Pocket Socket!

    Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 10.36.18 PMOur giveaway item this month is an awesome product we just heard about that is perfect for 72 hour kits. It’s called a Pocket Socket and is a hand-powered generator that charges electronics with a crank. You can charge phones and rechargeable batteries with this, anything that uses less than 10 watts of electricity. The pocket socket is one of Thrive Life’s monthly specials in April!

    To be entered to win, SHARE THIS POST on Facebook with your friends, and then leave a comment there letting us know you shared and the date you commit to have the challenge completed by.

    Here are some bonus ways to earn entries or in case you don’t use Facebook:

    - Post a picture on our Facebook fan page
    - Post a picture on twitter and tag our twitter username @foodstoragetips
    - Email us a picture at

    Winner will be randomly selected and notified Tuesday, April 8, at 10:00 pm MST.

    Emergency Preparedness Plan: Whats New?


    Last week for our 5th year Blogging Anniversary we introduced our brand new Emergency Preparedness Plan. Today we wanted to talk a little bit more in depth about the plan.

    Here are some of the main differences and additions:


    • The three main sections are still the same: Family Plan, Disaster Kits, Evacuation Lists.
    • There’s still room for you to fill in emergency contact info and other important components of your family plan.
    • We still give a menu of food for you to put in your 72 hour kits (and other necessary items for cooking, etc.)
    • We continue to talk about the necessities needed to keep your car stocked and having a game plan for things you would grab in case of an evacuation.


    • The file is a pdf file now. You can print it out easily even if you don’t know how to print from excel without all the extra spaces and lines.
    • We changed the Disaster Kit titles to include the words “72 Hour Kit”, and “Emergency Binder”. The new titles are more descriptive of what is included in each section. We also added the word “Car Kit” to the Evacuation section
    • We included tips and facts throughout the whole plan to help you in your planning and purchasing processes. These tips are things we have learned ourselves as well as reader suggestions that have helped us.
    • Instead of giving you just the one menu plan for the food in your 72 hour kits, we included several lists of menus depending on varying diets. We also included meal planning worksheets for you to make your own custom menus.

      After finishing the new plan, we decided to give it a test and printed it out before going through our 72 hour kits that needed rotating. The plan flowed very well, and we’re confident it will help you rethink (or start) your plan. Here are some additional tips to think about when putting together your plan and kits. A lot of these are included in the plan, but we thought since we had your attention we would share them here too.

      PURCHASING: After you’ve come up with everything you still need to buy for your kit, break it up into a purchasing schedule. Purchase just 1 or 2 things each week for however many weeks it takes you. The point is you’ll be making progress, even if you can’t buy it all at once.

      GRAB LIST(S): Instead of having just one grab list (things you would grab if you have to evacuate) have multiple lists- one for each family member. Tape those lists up on the inside of your front closet door. When it comes time to evacuate, anyone who is old enough can get their list and hurry. This will save time deciding who is going to grab what.

      INDIVIDUAL KITS: For anyone old enough, make them their own kit. Have food, water, and clothes in each kit so in case of separation everyone will have their own stuff. Divvy up the remaining supplies among all the kits. Put the heavier stuff in the stronger family members’ kits. Use backpacks or rolling bags that are easy to transport. Lugging around big rubbermaid bins is HARD.

      TRIAL SIZE TOILETRIES: There are sample sizes of shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants etc. you can purchase for the kits. They are in the regular personal hygiene aisles at the store. No need to lug around big containers of those things. Another idea is to save the samples you get at hotels and put those in your kits. They always get thrown away anyways if you only use a small portion!

      THRIFT STORE CLOTHING: It can be inconvenient and kind of wasteful to store regular usable clothes in your kits that stay stored in a closet while children outgrow them. Consider purchasing outfits at a thrift store for your kits. That way you wont have to feel bad about not using whole outfits while they still fit.

      COLD WEATHER BAG: There are a lot of items you might want in your 72 hour kit if it were cold- but you wouldn’t want if it were warmer weather. Store all the stuff you would need in colder weather in a separate bag or container that you would grab and go in case of emergency during the winter. If it happened to be warmer, you could just leave it behind.

      PUT FRESH FOOD ON GRAB LIST: If time, circumstance, and space allow – grab any fresh food you may have and throw it in a cooler on your way out (if you are leaving in a car). You may really appreciate fresh produce in the first 24-72 hours of a crisis.

      DIAPER BAGS PACKED: This goes for evacuations OR everyday emergencies. Do your best to ALWAYS have your diaper bags packed with extra food, clothes, and diapers. If you’re in the habit of doing this all the time it could really save you in a REAL emergency (like those don’t happen daily with babies on the go).

      IDEAS FOR ROTATION: Depending on how often your kit needs rotating (the foods you chose will dictate this), make it a habit to change them out at the same time each year. Whether it be Halloween (where you use some of the extra candy as comfort food), Spring cleaning week, April Fools Day (we did that last year so we wouldn’t be fools- we know it was corny) or any other time of year, get in the habit of rotating and re-evaluating them.

      COMMUNICATION: If in case you are evacuating and you expect your house to be in tact when you return, it’s wise to maybe leave a note about your where-abouts on a door. That way when people come looking to see if you are safe – they will know you are elsewhere.

      And now, I’ll leave you with a picture of part of my kits sprawled out all over my family room floor. Dumping and pouring your kits out is a sure way to MAKE YOURSELF rotate the food and clothes in there. The food got older, and my kids got bigger since I did this last. Oh and yes, that’s our NEW PLAN printed out on the floor in front of everything. I used it to guide myself through the task :)