Monday, June 30, 2008

Totally Lame

I haven't posted here nearly as much as I had planned. Life happens. And its about to happen again. I just wanted to let my reader (dare I hope there's more than one) out there know that I will be returning in about six weeks. I am hoping to get the rest of the 72 hour kit information posted and that is my whole goal. So, don't leave me forever. Come back when my summer classes have ended. I am brainstorming more ideas than I have time to bring to fruition. So stay tuned.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Final verdict

Well, pimento cheese is.....not good. It is a very odd food and so therefore not a good item to buy even if it is free. My children refused to eat their sandwiches after one bite. I myself, couldn't get past the shreds mixed up in the goop. I will add this to my lessons learned file and never speak of it again.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Third Month

1. Water! Water! Water! Can't live without it, at least not very long. The great advantage to stored water is that you can rely on it to be suitable for drinking. The amount recommended for drinking, food preparation, and other limited uses such as brushing teeth, washing hands and dishes, is three gallons per person for the 72 hours. If the warer purity is questionable, take along some means of purifying it. There are lots of choices for purification. Iodine, bleach, boiling are just a few. The EPA has a good explanation of purification. I have used juice bottles and soda bottles for my storage. You have to be pretty careful with reusing bottles. Make sure they are super, super clean. I have opened bottles that smell awful. You can add two drops of bleach when you fill the bottles and be sure they are clean but a warning...too much can kill you. Do not use: milk jugs, jars that have held alkali or acid based products, and containers that held food food, like mustard, ketchup etc. There are great places to pick up water containers. Walton Feed has them, Emergency Essentials does also.

2. Cooking utensils and supplies: Since in month one and two you put your food in your containers, now you need to add any items you might need to prepare it. You can include pots, utility knife, can opener, mixing bowl with a lid, wooden or metal spoons, container for mixing drinks, cleaning supplies like soap, scrubber, towel, and a stove if you need to heat water. Many of these items are easily accesible at thrift stores or garage sales. We have a little thing that fits together with one can of propane. Its enough to heat water for our oats and hot chocolate. I might add to this but for now it is sufficient for us. Look at what you have and gather your supplies.

Pimento Cheese update

Still haven't opened the containers. The expiration date is like the next millenium. I have to be honest....I'm SCARED! What if I grow a third eye...oh wait that would be COOL. What if my children get green hair...oh wait that's probably the chlorine Ok, I guess, I will try some amazing wonderful pimento cheese sandwiches for lunch. I promise, I'm going to do it. Will let you know the verdict. If you don't hear from me its because the EPA has shut down and quarantined our home due to the highly toxic levels of weird cheese in our systems....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pimento Cheese

What the heck is this stuff? I have two giant containers of it in my fridge. It was a free after coupon purchase. Now, granted I haven't made many of these types of errors. I try always to use my coupons for things we will eat. I had good intentions with the pimento. It sounded like something cool to try. Does anyone know what to do with it? Please help so I can maintain my solid recommendation to only buy what you will eat!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Second Month

1. Plan your lunch and dinner menus. Foods chosen for your kit should be nonperishable, and not need refridgeration. Try to choose foods that your family is comfortable with, an emergency situation is not the best time to introduce a whole new diet. Also take into consideration weight, bulk and water usage. Make sure the choices that you make for your lunch and dinner food will fit into your allocated space in the containers you chose in step 1. Some ideas for these foods include:

canned meat and fish
tuna helper
vegetables, canned or dry
soups, canned or dry
dehydrated dinners
honey or jam
fruit, canned or dry
peanut butter
boullion or other flavoring
powdered milk
drink mixes
granola bars
fruit leather
macaroni and cheese
candy bars
canned stew, chili or pasta
juices, canned or boxed

Including items for dessert is fun and can add to the "camping" feel in an emergency. It is also a good idea to think of things you would eat while camping. If you have camping equipment, include this in your thought processes as you plan your menus.

2. Obtain lunch and dinner food. After selecting your menu items, go shopping.

3. Attatch a copy of your complete menu to your kit. Having a menu attached to the lid of your kit can help you refer to it easily and in an emergency help you to not be so frazzled.

First Month

1. Find a suitable container for your kit. Many containers are appropriate, inluding a backpack, suitcase, trunk, box, bucket or garbage container. Backpacks for each family member (even young children) are probably the easiest way to transport supplies. You also need to decide if you need more than one container. A bucket can easily be utilized as a toilet or water carrier or other tool for a variety of situations. Consider this as you plan your container.

2. Pack your clothing for each family member. Every family member needs appropriate clothing for three days. Make sure to include socks, underwear, outerwear and shoes. These items can be stored in plastic storage bags to keep them dry in your container. Also make a note on your calender to check your kit every six months to make necessary size adjustements.

3. Plan your breakfast menus. Food chosen for your kit should be nonperishable, canned, powdered, or dried. Look for items that require no cooking (or minimal as in hot chocolate) and no refridgeration. Take into account special diet requirements, infant needs and family preferences. If you choose to include items that need minimal cooking make a list of cooking tools and utensils you will need. Some ideas include the following:

drink mixes
instant hot cocoa
powdered milk
canned juices
granola bars
instant oatmeal
dry cereal
nutritional drinks (like carnation instant breakfast)

These are just some things to get you started. There are many prepackaged items that are healthy and long lasting available.

4. BUY the food. Once you select your items purchase them. Good intentions do not satisfy hungry bellies.

Friday, June 6, 2008

More on 72 hour kits

I recieved a question from a reader (dare I say I have a reader?) She asked about the difference between premade kits and ones you build yourself. I'm not a big fan of MRE's. Most of the ready made kits I've seen contain loads of them. At Emergency Essentials right now, a one person kit runs about $60. This isn't bad I guess. Its convenient and easy. However, I have four kids with varying degrees of taste preference, age, and nutritional needs. My two oldest children need more calories than the babies and Abby doesn't even have any teeth! So, for our family I feel it works for me to build the kit slowly over time using canned food and other items that can be easily stored and are familiar and comforting. One thing I feel really strongly about with regard to preparedness is that during times of stress and worry and fear is not a good time to introduce a whole lot of brand new food. For families who do not have the same kinds of concerns this may not be an issue. But for me, if I have to evacuate my family and my children are terrified of being hurt of losing our home I don't want them to not eat. So far, food wise I have purchased a box of instant oatmeal ($3) and hot chocolate ($2) and I have five cans of tuna and chicken which I have worked into my CVS deals for free. Buying large packages of things and breaking them down works too. I might get a case of beef stew at Costco next time or a large box of gummy bears. In this way, I feel like it eases my budget and I can get things that are fun and tasty. Another thing I add a little at a time is first aid items. Most of the other things that you would need in an emergency like clothing and toiletries you probably have in your home right now, they just need to be gathered. I have started with a prepackaged first aid kit and then added to it, items that I think we might need (like antacid). I will be adding to the lists in the side bar as time goes on for more ideas of things to include in your kit.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another awesome blog~

Just found this way cool site with lots of recipes and food storage tips. Head on over and check her out.