Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tutorial Tuesdays! Being Prepared

Hitting close to home, disasters that occur miles away can and will make our own lives and comforts displaced. In order for our family to feel secure, safe, and self reliant we need to become prepared.

Insurance companies can and will 'put you up' in a motel for an average of three weeks. (If your home burnt down would it be rebuilt in three weeks?) Not the four seasons, a motel... the cheapest motel they can find in your area, meaning within a half hour of your home. After three weeks it gets sketchy. FEMA; well just think Katrina and understand that they too try hard, but fall short of being a real help to 99% of people in a disaster. Recent studies tell us that scientists, fire fighters, and government agencies believe that 99% of major earthquake victims will be doctoring/rescuing each other rather than official agencies do to their limited resources. Do you know how to rescue yourself and others?

The following is a 12 week program that can help us begin to store and build a 72 hour emergency kit for each member of our family. Thor and I were able to gather all these supplies (and even more!) with little or no money, just squirreling away items we were able to find in the house already and setting them aside. (at the very bottom of the page is a list of items for a very BASIC 72 hour survival kit in a #10 can... think survival kit.)

We each used a back pack, and then combined some items in a new large paint barrel with a sealed lid that we purchased for $3.00 from our local paint store. In addition to these 72 hour kits, we also made minimal basic 72 hour kits in a #10 can to be stored in the car and office in case there is a situation that causes us to live in on of those for a few days.

Twelve weeks to a full kit:

Week 1: BACKPACK - a duffel bag, rolling suitcase, bucket, whatever! Some form of storage for each member of the family.

Week 2: WATER: One gallon per person per day, plus water purification tablets. (think about the water in Louisiana after Katrina, plenty of water, just none you want to drink - also make sure to calculate and provide enough formula and water for the baby and or pets)

Week 3: FOOD & MESS KIT: Cereal, peanut butter, oatmeal, dry soup mixes, MREs, jam, juices, fruit cups, energy bars, dried fruit, nut crackers, PLUS a mess kit or utensils to cook with, manual can opener, ziploc bags. (Again, remember the baby/pets/special diets and provide whatever those may require.)

You should store with meals in mind, however, BASIC meals for survival, not 'company/sit down' feasts. Store extra water if you are storing meals that need water in a recipe, such as soup. Store only those things you currently eat. If you don't eat MREs on a weekly basis don't store them. Also if you can find canned goods with the pop tops, that illuminates the need for can openers.

Week 4: FIRST AID KIT: alcohol, wipes, band aids, neosporin, moleskin, tweezers, nail clippers, medications, Rx meds. if you can, flashlight with batteries, sunscreen, bug repellent, sunglasses, etc. (Talk with your health care provider about storing one prescription ahead and rotate that out so that you always have a fresh dose. Special needs diets also will need consideration. Are there appropriate substitutes that you can store for an immergency?)

Week 5: CLOTHES & COMFORTS: 2-3 socks, underwear, change of clothes, t-shirt, pants, windbreaker, hat , sturdy shoes, (Thor and I packed all these plus sweat pants/shirt for layering. I put in our old used shoes that were still in good condition. They're broke in already and won't cause blisters.) , Comfort items: Scriptures, books, games, favorite toys, paper, pens/pencils/ crayons, music, etc. (um, I packed M&Ms and tootsie pops!)

Week 6: SNACKS: Cookies, crackers, hot cocoa, gum, hard candy, granola bars, fruit snacks. (maybe cheerios or other baby snacks)

Week 7: PERSONAL SANITATION: Soap, toothbrush, wash cloth, comb, hand towel, mirror, feminine products, toilet paper, hand wipes, shampoo, lotion, razors (I think if you have a baby you may want diapers and trash bags to keep the soiled ones in.)

Week 8: TOOLS: gloves, crescent wrench, ax, shovel, 1/2in coil rope, hammer, pliers, screw drivers, duct tape, pocket knife, sewing kit, etc. (Thor and I also have the instructions for shutting off the utilities..he may know, I may know, but whoever else is there may need the info., also a scout handbook comes in handy! Small camp tools are great and much easier to store than regular sized tools. Don't stress, just do what you can.)

Week 9: PERSONAL ITEMS: Copies of important papers (download to a thumb/zip drive), including i.d. cards, insurance papers, birth certs. passports, photos of the family, phone numbers, cd. of genealogy. You will also want cash in coin and bills (at least $20.00, but having as much as $500.00 will make you feel much more secure. No ATM machines? You'll need bills under twenty, and coin change.), a cd player with batteries or tape player. (a few years ago I video taped each room in the house, garage, and shed for insurance purposes. I opened closets, drawers and doors, to expose exactly what would need to be replaced in case of fire etc. I put that on a dvd and keep it with the kit. Keep your laptop charged and ready to go every night if you have to run out without notice.)

Week 10: WARMTH & SHELTER: waterproof matches (you can make your own by dipping regular wood matched into melted wax and allowing them to dry), tent/tarp (a plastic shower curtain can even be used as a ground cover), emergency reflective blanket (you can get these at camping stores), wool blanket/sleeping bag, poncho camp stove, fuel, pan/spoon, industrial strength garbage bags (these can be used as ponchos, potties, trash, or insulation among other uses. ) Buddy burners. (Odd to think about, however a fresh unused cotton tampon is a great fire starter; wrapped, small, contained and flamable!)

Week 11: COMMUNICATION: battery operated radio, whistle, maps (gps if you have one, and also a permanent black marker. This is creepy, but writing your ssi# name and other info on your arm is a good idea for i.d.-ing in the event of disorientation, being lost, or even death. Write this info on the backs of small children, just below their neck.)

Week 12: PET SUPPLIES: food, water, feeding bowls, leash, etc.

Like I said, most of these items we were able to just pick out of the cupboards. Others we had to go out and purchase. I decided not to take the entire 12 weeks to compile all of this stuff, but just get it over with! Even at that, it took a couple of days. So prepare!

Below are several websites that dedicate themselves to helping us prepare and get self reliant. PLEASE check them out and find out what is best for you and your family.

Provident Living The church website with great ideas and information.

Get Prepared The Red Cross website.

Plan Ahead The FEMA website, that yes, they weren't as prepared as they could have been during the whole Katrina disaster, however, they DO have great information that YOU can prepare with.

Project Noah This is a website developed to help a family prepare and store a year of supplies for under $5.00 a week over a years time. If you begin now, by next year this time you will have a YEAR of supplies!


Prepared items that can be stored in a #10 aluminum can, sealed, and set aside in a car or office, etc.. The items would provide sufficient nutrients and calories to sustain life over a three day period, minus fresh water. Sorry, couldn't find a way to get enough water in that can. All in all the items were gathered, and for $8.00, one could have a minimal survival kit of food. We're not talking luxury dining, but the very basic necessary for survival.

You can use a large coffee can, or any #10 can with a rubber or plastic lid. You can use packing tape to seal the seam and it should be "safe", if not the most fresh without a professional form of sealing.

Here's a list of what went inside:

Day one:
Morning: 1 hot cocoa, 1 bag of trail mix
Noon: 1 small can of tuna, 1 apple sauce
Evening: 1 granola bar, 1 cracker snack pack
Snack as needed: 3-5 pieces of hard candy

Day two:
Morning: 1 instant oatmeal, 1 apple cider drink
Noon: 1 dry fruit roll, 1 can Vienna sausages, 1 lemonade drink
Night: 1 granola bar, 1 beef jerky log
Snack as needed: 3-5 pieces of hard candy

Day three:
Morning: 1 bag of trail mix, 1 hot cocoa
Noon: 1 cracker snack pack, 1 nut mix pack, 1 beef jerky roll
Evening: 1 granola bar, 1 apple sauce
Snack as needed: 3-5 pieces of hard candy.

This menu requires four cups of water, and provides vitamin C, fiber, carbs, fats, and sugars. We also strongly urged the families to have water stored, enough for each family member's daily requirements.

We also suggested adding a pack of chewing gum to the outside of the can for tiding hunger pangs. We secured a small can opener to the top of the can, and added the menu and expiration dates of food items on the side of the can.

add to sk*rt

1 comment:

Rachael said...

This is so useful! My family got evacuated three times this summer because of wildfires, once in Colorado while we were camping, and it would have been nice to have at least the basics already gathered instead of having to run around like chickens trying to find the important stuff. Luckily, our house didn't burn, and we learned a lot for next time. For example, the portable safe is now accessible instead of buried in the back of my parents closet.