Updating the 72-hour kits
This week I updated our 72-hour kits. It wasn't in my plans, but on a whim, I bought enough food to update everything during my last grocery trip.
It's a good thing I did! When I opened the kits to re-fill them, one had no food at all. Two others had some pudding and applesauce that expired in 2009. And Tiger Lily's kit had diapers and formula.
As I replaced the food, I made a document with the expiration dates and wrote when to replace them on my next year's calendar. Granola bars will go about six months; the rest I'm going to let stretch to a year (except the cans, which will last longer). I checked the expiration dates at the store to make sure I was getting the ones that were as far out as possible.
Here is our menu:
Breakfast: Two granola bars (the kind packed with nuts)
Lunch: A packaged kit with tuna and crackers
Dinner: A can of baked beans, beef stew, or spaghetti rings with meatballs
Snacks: Raisins, fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, mints
As for clothes, I recently went through all the kids' old clothes and kept enough to make an outfit in each size. I put these in gallon zipper bags so I can easily change them in and out of the kits. I kept the baby supplies and disposable diapers from Tiger Lily's kit in case we ever need them again. Or in case I'm ever watching a friend's kids and need a diaper. It's so strange—and wonderful!—to think that both my kids are out of diapers.
I have a few things left to buy: another can opener, an emergency blanket, some larger clothes for Red Chief. Also I need to figure out an effective method of carrying a few gallons of water apiece (if you have any ideas about this, I'm all ears!).
There is always more you can do to be prepared for emergencies, but I'm glad I've got this one small thing under control for now.