Thursday, October 23, 2014

72 Hour Kits: Task 2 - Food

Now that you've found some containers for your 72-hour kits, we're going to start filling them... ever so slowly. If you were to look at my 4 page list of items, any sane person would be overwhelmed by it. It is a lot of stuff. But, if you and your family were living on your roof (if there was a flood) or camping in a parking lot down the street (you never know... ), you would probably need a lot of stuff. Hence the comprehensive 72-hour kit. Mind you, I'm not a crazy "the sky is falling, the world is ending" type of person. I'm pretty much the opposite of that. In fact, maybe it's in part because I have a pretty good storage of emergency items, that I don't think of those kind of dire emergencies, or world-ending catastrophes at all.

We are going to break this down into do-able tasks. And now that you have finished Task 1, you're ready to roll on to the next task. My 72-hour kit is made up of three separate containers: a five gallon bucket with a lid, a good-sized rolling cooler, and a small-ish duffel bag. When we had kids in the home, their items were kept in their own large school backpack. You can read more about containers (Task 1) here.

Task 2 will involve the food for your 72-hour kit. Now, I basically have two different 72-hour kit lists. One is for each of the kids' items, which are kept in their own backpacks. And the second list is for Bob and I. Even when we had kids in the home, Bob and I kept our food items combined with the main 72-hour kit (instead of us also having to carry backpacks for ourselves). I hope that makes sense. For those of you without kids in the home, you won't have to worry about a list for your kids' items. For those of you who have others living in your home, you'll want to keep up on both lists.

On to Task 2. I keep all of Bob's and my food items in the 5 gallon bucket. Again... when we had kids in the home, their own food items were kept in their own backpacks.

For the parent(s), the food items that are kept in the 5 gallon bucket are as follows:
-hard candy (1 package of something like Jolly Ranchers or Lifesavers)
-water bottles (4)
-chunky soup (4 cans)
-chili (2 cans)
-tuna (4 cans)
-granola/cereal bars (12 bars)
-peanut butter
-fruit leather (12)
-roasted, salted almonds (1 pkg)
-crackers (2 pkgs)
-beef jerky (2 pkgs)
-salt and pepper

For the kids' backpacks, the food items are as follows:
-hard candy (1 package of something like Jolly Ranchers or Lifesavers)
-water bottles (2)
-chunky soup (2 cans)
-chili (2 cans)
-tuna (1 can)
-granola/cereal bars (6)
-fruit leather (6)
-roasted, salted almonds (1 pkg)
-cracker/cookies (2 pkgs)
-beef jerky (1 pkg)

There will be some nay-sayers out there who think that this is too much or too little, or who think that we should be using dehydrated food so that it lasts longer and is lighter to carry. You can and should adjust this list for what you think your family might need. I try to keep in mind that we don't have to eat like kings for the 72 hours. We all will just need to survive, which I think we can do with this list. I don't like the idea of dehydrated food for my kits, because I don't want to have to rely on a stove to cook the food. All of the food in my kits can be eaten out of the can without warming it up, if needed. It may not be our first choice of how to eat it, but we could do it in a pinch. Part of our 72-hour kit is a little propane stove (which we'll get to later on), so we definitely could warm our food, but we wouldn't have to.

So, adjust this list to what you think you'll need for your family. And when you have a good list, start working on accumulating the items. It may take a couple of weeks to gather it. You could take from the stocks you have on your shelves, but be sure that the expiration date is at least a year away, so that you can rotate through the food when you check it next year. Put the items you need on a grocery list, and when you are at the store in the next couple of weeks, pick up the items. Once you have them, divvy them out to either your 5-gallon bucket, or your kids' packs, wherever they belong.

This is also a good time to figure out where you will keep your 72-hour kits. It should be in a place that is easily accessible for an emergency grab. A coat closet or pantry or some such place works nicely. We have ours in a closet right by the door leading out to our garage. We all know where it is, and it would be easy to grab during an emergency. Be sure to clear the space now and keep your containers there as we fill them.

Start working on Task 2. We'll give you a good couple of weeks to complete this task, and then we'll move on to Task 3.

To read each of the posts about the 72-hour kits, or to find instructions on how to receive an email with the complete 72-hour kit lists, click on the tab above. 

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