Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wrapping up our 72 Hour Emergency Car Kits

You may recall this blog post I did back in February regarding the 72 hour emergency kits that I decided to make.  I got a good start, but failed to remember that putting these things together takes time and money.  The kits for our main vehicle (the minivan) and the Cobbler's Taurus then proceeded to sleep for six months on the floor of the laundry room.  

Around April, our laundry room flooded and I got to see how resilient our kits really were --- not very.  Of course, a lot of the stuff that was in boxes (granola bars, medicine, etc.) was soaked so I had to go through and toss all the boxes and put everything in Ziploc bags instead.  My intention was to put it all back in the duffle bag it started in once it dried.  Fast forward to September --- all of the stuff for the kit was in a clear plastic bin under the sofa table in our living room, the long since dry duffle bag was still in the laundry room, and the Ziploc bags had been gnawed on by the cats.  It was not a good scene.  Inspired by all the mayhem brought by Hurricane Irene and all the terrible storms and power outages we've experienced this summer, I finally bought the remaining items for the kit last week and was ready to finally finish.  

In the time that I had from when I started until now, I realized a duffle bag probably isn't a good choice for the main kit.  First of all, this stuff is HEAVY.  I eliminated a lot of the canned goods for weight reasons and replaced them with dry mixes, but even with the canned goods out it all adds up.  I had an extra rolling carry on bag in our upstairs closet that I never use so I brought that downstairs.  It makes so much more sense to have it roll instead of carrying it.  If we have to abandon our vehicle for some reason, we can still take the stuff with us without too much trouble.

Here is my final list of what's in our emergency kits.  If the Cobbler's kit has a different amount (or nothing, e.g. no kids' medicine is in his car) that is noted in the parentheses after the list item for those of you interested in what the husband's vehicle got.  The Cobbler has a slightly smaller kit because his car for the most part only gets driven to the office which is two miles from our house.  His kit is more for the chance that he gets separated from me and the kids in an emergency situation.  I still need to add a separate bag filled with a change of clothes for each person and some small bills and change.

Food/Cooking---All cans have pop tops so we don't need a can opener.
4 canned pasta and meatballs (1)
4 small canned fruit in heavy syrup (1)
16 packets of Gatorade powder to mix with water (8)
12 granola bars (4)

18 individual packages of raisins (0)
4 packets of tuna (0 - Cobbler hates fish.  He has 1 package of beef jerky instead.)
10 packets of instant oatmeal (2)
10 envelopes of dried instant noodle soup mix (2)
8 packets of hot cocoa mix (2)
4 packages of gum (1)
1 Ziploc bag full of individually wrapped Lifesavers
3 - 1 gallon jugs of water (1) - these are outside the actual kit and on the trunk floor.
reusable silverware for each person
Magic Stove and refills

1 full size Clorox disinfecting wipes (1 trial size)
3 rolls of toilet paper squished flat to fit in a gallon Ziploc (1)
1 box of tissues (1 small box)
1 roll of paper towels
pads and tampons enough for 1 cycle (0)
hand sanitizer
toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
hair brush
1 full size package of wipes (1 trial size)
1 bar of soap
10 pack of water purification tablets

First Aid
First Aid Kit (bought at Target for around $10)
Super Glue
Children's Benadryl (0)
Children's Ibuprofen (0)
Nail Clippers

8x10 tarp
5 pack of dust masks
Duct tape
4 rain ponchos (1)
waterproof matches
2 flashlights (1)
extra batteries for flashlights
4 glowsticks (1)
hand and toe warmers (a couple per person)
4 emergency blankets (1)
1 pair of work gloves
1 package of bungee cords
nylon rope
safety pins
2 heavy duty trash bags
sewing kit
paper and pencils
folding shovel (0)
binoculars (0)
emergency radio (0)

Other stuff
1 deck of playing cards
1 deck of Uno cards
read aloud books (I packed Charlotte's Web and Little House on the Prairie)

After getting the rest of the stuff into the cars, I'm moving on to making a binder with all our essential paperwork we would need to take with us in an emergency.  Hopefully that won't take me another six months to get finished!

The cars are loaded.  Did I get it right this time?  How have you prepared your family for an emergency?

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