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.
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.
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.
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.
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???
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder