Friday, September 18, 2009

72 Hour Kits: Week #1: Food

With General Conference quickly approaching, I decided that I must finally get my 72 hour kits together. I am thankful for great friends who have shared ideas, lists, and support to get these off the ground. It is great to have friends doing the same things at the same time! For the next 7-8 weeks, I will post what we are doing to have a complete kit to last our family for 72 hours in the case of emergency.

In 1983, my family's house was hit by a mudslide. We had no emergency plan, or 72 hour kit. My dad and brothers were gone sandbagging my dad's business, so it was just my mom and a sister and brother at home. Our whole neighborhood was forced to evacuate immediately. My Mom grabbed a ham out of the fridge and some silverware. That was all we had! We went to a nearby high school to wait for further instruction. We had no way of contacting my dad and letting him know where we were. We were blessed that we knew a police officer who would relay the message to the rest of the family where we would be. Luckily, we had family in the area to stay with until we could live in our home again. If an emergency hit my family today, I hope to be much more prepared, with a disaster plan, and 72 hour emergency kits.

Suggestions for food kit:
  1. Food for your 72 hour kit should take little preparation, and require no refrigeration. In the event of an emergency you may have been evacuated to another location. This will be a stressful time. Cooking facilities may be at a minimum. Please keep this in mind while preparing your food kit.
  2. Pick foods that your family enjoys. While putting together our kits, my kids kept saying "This is so cool! You never buy these things!" They can't wait to eat them.
  3. Rotate your food. Make it a rule that every general conference you eat and replace the food in your kit. This way, in the event of an emergency, you will always have fresh food. I can't think of anything worse than being in a stressful emergency situation, and opening up rotten food!
  4. Don't forget to pack a can opener if needed, plastic bowls and plastic utensils. Due to space limitations, these items will be in our backpack pockets.
  5. If possible, use what you have. There is no reason to spend a fortune.
  6. Pack enough water. The general guideline is 1.5 gallons per person per day. We will be using 5 gallon jugs. I will also have a water bottle labeled by name carabeenered to each backpack. They sell water bottle fasteners at Wal-mart for $1 each in the camp section.
  7. A few reminders: Jolley Rancher candies can melt and make your kit all sticky. Unopened Beef jerky should be double wrapped in a ziplok bag so all of your food doesn't taste like jerky. Be careful about packing gum. Hot temperatures can make the gum all sticky and gross, and the flavor will also permeate the other food. If you pack gum, double wrap the unopened packages in ziplok bags.
This list is merely a suggestion. Tailor your kits to fit your family. I decided to put the food portion in a food safe bucket (2 gallon). I purchased the buckets at the grocery store for $1.99 each. This way, each family member can grab their food bucket, and their backpack and be ready to go. This also makes it easier to rotate.

For printer friendly pdf, click here.

Meal Plan:

Day One

Breakfast: Snack pack cereal, shelf stable milk (or powdered milk), applesauce cup, box of O.J.
Lunch: Can of tuna, crackers, pudding cup
Dinner: Progresso soup, oyster crackers
Snacks: Jerky, raisins

Day Two

Breakfast: Instant oatmeal, fruit roll-up, box of apple juice
Lunch: Protein bar, cup of fruit, beef jerky
Dinner: Beef stew, crackers
Snacks: Cereal bar, 2 fruit snacks

Day Three

Breakfast: Snack pack cereal, shelf stable milk (or powdered milk), box of juice
Lunch: Spaghettios, applesauce, beef jerky
Dinner: Chili, saltines, pudding cup
Snacks: Trail mix, granola bar

Shopping List for meal plan for family of 6:

12 boxes snack pack cereal
12 boxes of milk
12 applesauce bowls
6 boxes O.J.
6 Progresso Soup
1 bag oyster crackers
6 boxes raisins
12 fruit snacks
6 oatmeal packets
6 boxes apple juice
6 fruit roll-ups
6 packs gum (package separately)
6 cans tuna
3 sleeves Ritz crackers (or other)
6 protein bars
6 fruit cups
18 beef jerky (1-2 large bag)
6 cans beef stew
6 cereal bars
6 granola bars
6 boxes grape juice (or other)
6 trail mix (or large bag)
6 spaghettios
6 cans of chili
3 sleeves saltines
12 pudding cups

Other food ideas include: Corned beef hash; ravioli, cookies, canned milk, cheese and crackers, vienna sausages, bread sticks, peanut packages, beef sticks, hot cocoa mix

1st layer in bucket (Chili, Beef Stew, Spaghettios, Progresso soup, raisins, 3 capri suns, smarties, cereal bar, fruit roll-up, granola bar. Note: On 3 of the kits, I put a sleeve of saltines (to share) where one of the capri suns are. I moved the capri sun to the top layer.

Top layer in bucket: 2 fruit cups, applesauce (stacked on one another), puddings, trail mix, cereal boxes, crackers, protein bar, oatmeal, beef jerky. You can't see the things that were stuffed in any available space: fruit snacks, powdered milk etc.

The finished product: I printed off the meal plan and put each person's name on a bucket. These will be stored next to each child's backpack and a family tote.

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  1. This is a wonderful idea. Thank you very much for posting this!

  2. OK, Sister - I am truly impressed again. Are you using Gamma lids on your food storage buckets? Or are you including a lid lifter in your kits? Thanks for the great ideas.

  3. Katie- What a great idea to post. LOVE IT! This is my project list to do next. Thanks for the ideas! Amy S.

  4. Depending on what is in your bucket, the gamma lid might work great. I didn't buy them because they cost $5.99 a piece, so that would have been an extra $36 for my family. In addition, our buckets were REALLY full. I wondered if a gamma lid would fit, as that type of lid sits down in the bucket a little bit more than the standard lid. Yes, a lid lifter will be included in the kit. It will be posted on the equipment list :)

  5. I was wondering what size bucket you used. Are they 2 or 3 gallon? Thanks!

  6. I used the 2 gallon size. Things were tight, but they all fit.

  7. How much did the buckets weigh once full.

  8. Really informative and useful information.
    emergency preparedness supplies