Back to the food storage grindstone

All right, campers, let’s get back to business with our weekly food storage item. We’re going to veer a little off course for the next month or so to work on our 72-hour kits. Before you start groaning, and getting ready to move on to the next blog in you queue, let my remind you of all the tornadoes, floods, wildfires, massive winter storms and hurricanes of 2008. It was a crazy year! Even if you have 72-hour kits for your family, read through the items I will have listed each week to make sure they are as great as possible.

Kits can always use a little replenishing. Case in point: I got my 72-hour kits completely done a couple of years ago (I even made one for the baby I was pregnant with–gotta be thinking ahead!) and left them in the garage so they’d be ready to roll when the time came. A few months later when we moved to Texas I got the kits out and they had been completely overrun by mice! Ewww! There was mouse poop and crumbs and general nastiness everywhere, so I salvaged what I could (ponchos, flashlights, etc.) and threw the rest out. Even the backpacks, because mouse poo stinks (or maybe it’s the urine that stinks. I don’t know. They were revolting!!!)

72-hour kits are tricky to put together because it’s hard to anticipate the situation you might be in. The 72-hour kit you’d need if you ended up at a Red Cross shelter following a tornado is going to be different than the kit you’d need if you were stranded on your roof because of a flood. We’re going to cover as many bases as possible.

Step 1 for this week is going to be getting your backpacks. You may have a few discarded packs around your house. If not, D.I. or Goodwill has tons of them for about $2-3 each. So make sure everyone has a backpack. Put a name on each one so nobody gets confused. Even if one of your kids is a baby, give them their own pack. Backpacks are much easier to transport than big plastic bins. If you had to leave on foot, a plastic container is going to get heavy and hard-to-carry fast.

Step 2-Make a list of all important phone numbers of relatives/ward members/neighbors. You may have your cell phone with all its stored numbers. But chances are it’s not going to last for 72 hours without the battery dying (if you’re like me, the battery is almost dead most of the time anyway.) You will probably need to use land lines and pay phones to keep in touch with people. It’s a good idea to have a contact person in another state that everyone an check in with. Plus, if you’re like me, your brain goes completely blank during stressful times.

Step 3-Money! Have some small bills and coins in your kit. (At least $20.) Split it between adults in case people get separated. You might have to use the pay phone or need some little supplies (gas? water?) along the way. Don’t count on credit cards or people being able to make change.

That’s all for this week. You might not even need a trip to the store! Reply back to this post when you’re done (please don’t make me search through every single one of my posts to find out who did their assignment.) Next Sunday night I’ll post the names of all the people who got their assignment completed.

You can do it! Don’t put it off!

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13 thoughts on “Back to the food storage grindstone

  1. Oh this is fantastic. I was just thinking that I needed to update ours, because now we have another toddler and not a baby. I have all the backpacks, and I am going to make out the phone lists right now while the kids are going brain dead in front of Kung Fu Panda. So count me in. I feel surprisingly excited about this.

  2. We’re good for this week…I need to change the food in ours, so this will be a good way to do it! I just need to add the phone numbers. I think I might put a copy of each in each backpack in a ziploc bag…you never know with the flood what will get wet!

  3. Nicki and I have been lurking and been following the regimen, but I think it’s time to step out brave and be accountable.

    We’ve already got awesome 72 hour kits, but I’ll circulate the stuff in them. We too keep our backpacks in the garage, but haven’t had mice problems.

    Interestingly enough, the only thing different between my 72 hour kit, and the gear I need for a 3 week boy scout trek, is extra food.

  4. Do you think they should be light enough for kids to REALLY carry easily, because then I would have to take a lot of stuff out. I wonder if I’m more likely to be on foot or in a car?

  5. Done! We assembled ours a few months ago per a challege from our home teacher. I will, however, be adding a list of phone numbers – that was a great thought!

  6. I’m glad you’re doing this because it is one thing I have felt horrible about not having any of. Actually, I have two food 72 hour kids that I bought from the Relief Society about 5 years ago. I have no idea what is still good, if any of it. As for the rest of the 72 hour kit, I have nothing. I am SO going to do this this week! (Do you think I can load my giant camper backpack instead of four small ones? Then I would just have to grab one thing in an emergency. What do you think?)

  7. “Rotate food in 72 hour kit” has been on my list since the beginning of hurricane season (last May). Good thing we didn’t need it, because we would have had to eat stale crackers. So, I’ll join in and get around to that with you all. So, I pulled out 4 old backpacks and we already have the cash and phone numbers set aside. I’m looking forward to being able to cross this off my list!

  8. Got my backpacks at Goodwill this week and my phone numbers and small change is inside. THANK YOU for motivating me to do this.

  9. I’ve got my backpacks ready w/ the stuff! (i’d set them aside 2 years ago! and boy, it took a long time to type that phone list! $ also all ready to go, though i doubt we’d get far…)

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