03 October 2010

Happy Planning

So, about a year and a half ago, I was diligent and finally put together 72 hour backpacks for all 5 of us - clothes, food, water, mess kits. I felt really good about at least that part of my food storage beginnings. I couldn't really do much beyond that because we had moved from our house to a small student apartment, so storage was tight, but the backpacks were great to store under the beds. Plus, it was a HUGE weight off my shoulders.

When we moved to our present home, I figured we should go through them and update the clothes and the food kits. L's bag still had pull-ups in it and 2T clothes! :) So, I figured, since Fall Conference was coming up, we'd use that weekend, every fall, to update our backpacks. So, every October, during Conference Weekend, we would eat the food from our 72 hour kits, take out the old clothes, put in new clothes and make new food kits!! :)

The food kits were so easy because they are super basic, enough to sustain life, not provide a full course meal. Besides, they have to be portable. The meal ideas I took from a Stake Preparedness activity a few years ago and just times by 5 and added a few small things because there was room.

Oatmeal, hot chocolate, drink boxes, granola bars, fruit roll-ups (don't use fruit snacks, they will become hard) cheese and pb crackers, tuna, ramen, suckers, hard candies. I made a meal plan chart but I can't get the format to copy here but if you're interested, let me know and I can email it to you. Otherwise, take these ingredients and make 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 diners out of them. The suckers and candy are for snacks, and to keep saliva in your mouth to keep from getting too thirsty.

I splurged for the tuna packets just so I didn't have to worry about a can opener and packed two per bag just to have extra protein. Also, I packed an extra hot chocolate packet. For the hard candy, at the store I found Tootsie Roll pops and thought that would be an nice treat so bought enough for 1 for each day, plus some wrapped hard candies. The pack I made a while back had raisins and trail mix, which sounds like a good idea, but they ended up like tiny boxes of rocks :) so we passed on the raisins and upped the cheese and pb crackers! Plus, I wanted to maximize the protein and calorie intake.

These are all just suggested food items. Feel free to add or take out whatever you'd like. All of these items, when grouped for one person, will fit into 1 gallon sized ziplock bag :)

Like I said, super simple but pretty taste! I guess we'll find out next year, hoping we don't have to actually use them before then :)

Also, I just wanted to make a note of how I organized the backpacks. Hopefully assuming we are all evacuating or leaving together, the 72 hour items are distributed as follows:

D's bag: extra water, small cooking source, extra fuel, 2 mess kits (his and mine), emergency blanket, hygiene kit, hand warmer, flash light, radio, first aid kit

My bag: is actually a small rolling suit case because it has both mine and D's clothes and both our food kits, another emergency blanket, glow lights and hand warmers (plus, I will probably be carrying L's bag so I needed another form of transporting the stuff I needed to take)

J's bag: his clothes and food kit, his mess kit and a roll of tp, an emergency blanket, 1 bottle of water, a glow light and hand warmers

E's bag: her clothes and food kit, her mess kit and an extra hygiene kit, an emergency blanket, 1 bottle of water, a glow light and hand warmers

L's bag: her clothes, food kit, mess kit, an emergency blanket, another roll of toilet paper, 1 bottle of water, a glow light, hand warmers and a package of baby wipes (can never be too clean in an emergency)

It wasn't really practical for L to have to carry as much as J, so I divided the essentials up. D gets the heavy stuff :) If we have more than a few minutes to grab stuff, we have the packs now stored with our camping stuff so we can grab sleeping bags and a stove with out taking more time. I know there are things, too, over time that I think, Oh, I need to add that to our packs! Like more hand warmers and glow sticks (great buys during Halloween clearance)! Also, I just remembered I need to put games and activity books or coloring books into the packs! The kiddos will need something to keep them occupied while out and about!!

Just thought I'd share my learning experience so you can know, it's not as overwhelming as it seems. Once you have all the food arranged, you can get it all put together in just a few hours! Happy Planning :)