The first preparedness challenge in February is to add food and water to your 72-hour kit and make an evacuation list. Always plan to evacuate on foot to an evacuation shelter (typically a school or church), and hope you get to go in your car. Imagine the worst-case scenario; you have a broken leg and are lugging your kit, with two kids on your hips on “the perilous journey through blistering cold and scorching desert, traveling for many days and nights, risking life and limb” to reach the church down the street. A little Shrek humor there. Let’s get to work.
Food and Water
- Food and water should last for three days. 72-Hour Kit Food Pack Example.pdf (2022 prices)
- Choose items with a shelf life of at least 6 months to 1 year. If not, you will change your food packs more often.
- Try to find items which are lightweight, but have high calories. Stressful situations burn more calories. Each adult should try to get up to 2000 calories per day.
- Include some type of comfort food or candy.
- Consider the strong odors of the foods you are storing. Even though it is high in protein, beef jerky can make everything smell horrible.
- It’s impossible for one person to carry 3 gallons of water in a backpack. Put water you can carry in your kit and keep extra water next to your kit in case you can evacuate by car. Store bottles of water in bags to prevent accidental leakage.
- Store your kits inside your home and never in a garage where heat will damage your food.
Emergency Contact List
- Phone numbers change often, so update your emergency contact list every 6 months. I like to laminate this to protect it from water damage. Even though these numbers are in your cell phone, if don’t have your cell phone, a paper copy is useful. We have the same copy in every kit.
Family Emergency Communication Plan
- Go to Ready.gov/plan to work on your communication plan. You can fill it out on your computer and print it out. Love that! Laminate it or put it in a plastic bag in your kit to prevent it from getting wet.
- A current photo is useful for identification and if someone gets separated. Use the school picture ID card your kids get with new pictures.
- Keep cash in small bills like 1’s, 5’s and 10’s in a waterproof container and well hidden.
- Perhaps carry enough money in an adult pack for a night at a hotel and some food. You may only trust your teenager with a little less. Consider the fact that Mom and Dad may NOT evacuate together during a disaster.
Create a Grab and Go List
- Print and fill out my Grab and Go List. Prioritize what you would grab now while you are calm and collected. Work on this before the adrenaline rush comes and you can’t remember the name of one of your kids in an emergency.
- This handout will help when you have 5, 15 or 30 minutes to evacuate. Put the most important items in the 5 min. section and so on. If you did this last year, update it. Hang a few copies inside cupboard doors in your house. Make sure your teen knows where it is.
These tasks may take several weeks to complete. Just do the best you can with the time you have.
Best wishes and stay healthy,
The Food Storage Organizer
Purchase my food storage and emergency preparedness items in my Etsy shop.