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.


  1. Fantastic idea...
    ALSO great idea for keeping the diapers and stuff. One Time ,I kept a friends baby [and I can't remember why or how, it was an all of a sudden thing, its been years ago]..well, we run out of diapers, and I had to make diapers out of pillowcases,ha.

  2. For moms: Keep a set of maternity clothes to pack. Whether you lose or gain weight in the coming years you'll probably be able to wear them.
    Also, pack pull-ups for kids up to 5 or 6 years old. In times of stress, kids sometimes regress in their potty training.
    The next time you get a new road map, pack the old map of the state or region in a parent's backpack in case you have to evacuate.
    For older children, we used to include a sheet of directions for them in case they were alone. This reminded them to leave a note indicating where they were going and who they were with, giving them permission to take a car if necessary, and to grab a cell phone and charger, money, winter clothing, etc. if there was time. On the same sheet were telephone numbers, including contact information for out-of-state relatives.

    1. That is a great idea to keep the pull-ups. I still have some left from Tiger Lily, so I will bag them up and keep them with the kits.

  3. My bookcase of cans is shorter now, because we were eating the soups immediately before and immediately after the trip. Everything still fits on it, though. Stuff like this really comes in handy. I'm glad I learned all the things I did about "being prepared". I started learning because of hurricane Ike, and it has helped with so many things besides hurricanes (which we haven't had since Ike).

  4. Oh man, I really need to do this too. Way to go at getting it updated!