January Emergency Kit Challenge!
I’d like to issue you a challenge. Yes, You! Can you put together a reasonable preparedness kit that will keep your family going for a minimum of 3 days? Better yet, a week?
Can you spread out the tasks and budget and end up with a complete kit in 6 months? How about 3 months? Yes, it is better to do it all at once, but to have something together is better than nothing, and breaking down the task into smaller pieces makes it more approachable.
First questions you might ask – what is a “reasonable” kit? I’m not talking hundreds of dollars of dried meals reminiscent of the battlefield, or your school’s reconstituted lunch menu. Mostly everyday items, gathered together in one easily attainable spot.
Your mission for January- the basics; Food, water.
- Find a location in your home that is easily accessible to everyone in the house to store your supplies. A front closet? Bottom shelf of a linen closet? Behind the sofa? Bedroom closets? Wherever it works for your household. Avoid the garage, it’ll get buried behind that thing you meant to fix/throw out.
- Find or use a storage container, duffle bag, old suitcase, or ice chest to start storing your kit.
- You’re going to need water. A minimum of 3 gallons per person per day. For a family of 4 that is 12 gallons per day, 36 gallons for 3 days. Daunting? Not really. You have your water heater, that’s what 20 to 40 gallons? You will want to filter it though, since there is sediment at the bottom of the tank. Don’t forget your pets in the equation as well.
You will also want to have containers of water, in case your water heater is damaged or the water becomes contaminated; they are also portable if you have to evacuate. I have several 5 gallon jugs for my family, and then have some 1 gallon containers that are much easier to handle. One thing to keep in mind is the weight. If it’s too heavy to lift, it won’t do you any good. You can reuse 2 liter soda bottles after they have been washed and fill from your tap to save money, but these will need to be rotated out more often.
- Food – go to your kitchen cupboard or pantry. See the canned soups? That ramen that’s been there since your college days? Pack of spaghetti, jar of spaghetti sauce or cans of tomatoes. (You won’t be making gourmet meals during an emergency, put the truffle oil back). A couple cans of tuna and/or chicken, and that can of beans. Grab a couple cans of veggies. You have a good start on your food supply. You can add to it through the months. Try to get as many food groups as possible.
Carbs: dried pastas and rice to keep up energy
Veggies for nutritional value
Meats and beans for protein
Dairy- powdered milk, canned cheese
Fats- shortening or other cooking oil (olive, vegetable, corn, safflower)
You’re also going to need a non–electric can opener; Pull that one out of the camping gear, back of the kitchen drawer, or pick one up at the dollar store.
Total cost for January: $1 for that can opener.
Gina Stone – Founding Contributor 2BeeReady.org