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Archive for the ‘Preparedness’ Category

Costco

I’ve managed to go through all of my Red Plum coupons.  I still need to go through my Smart Source and P&G coupons.  With the Red Plums, I threw away any coupon flyers that didn’t have any coupons that I need.  I kept the ones with coupons that I would possibly need, and I listed those coupons in my Excel coupon spreadsheet.

I went through the weekly ads and made lists by store of sale items that I need.  When the Sunday paper comes out tomorrow, I’ll do the same with the new pharmacy ads.

I went to Costco today and stocked up on frozen chicken breasts, frozen mixed veggies, instant oatmeal, Ritz crackers, bagels (much cheaper than going to the bagel shop), Bisquick, chocolate chips, thyme, hot dogs, cheese slices, and a few other items.  I like getting things in bulk, because I don’t have to worry about constantly replenishing them every week or so.  The items I get from Costco are usually ones that have better deals than my local grocery stores.

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Our 72-Hour kits have been on my mind lately.  We had a storm pass through recently.  We didn’t need our 72-Hour kits.  We didn’t even get them out, although we did ask each other if we needed them.  Last month, we knew of some people (and their neighbors) who lost their home to a wildfire.  When I was told of their loss, the person telling me said that they didn’t even have a toothbrush.  If only they had prepared 72-Hour kits!  Thus, I wanted to make sure that our 72-Hour kits would have enough things to keep us somewhat “comfortable” if we ever needed them.  I knew that they wouldn’t put us in the lap of luxury, but at least they would satisfy some basic needs (toothbrush, clean clothes, food).

We have two backpacks for our 72-Hour kits.  Each backpack had bottled water, but one had food and the other had everything else (matches, ponchos, first aid kit, etc.).  I really wanted to add a change of clothes for each of us, because it would be helpful to have dry clothes if you got soaking wet or muddy (or just plain stinky after wearing the same clothes for a few days).

First, I emptied the backbacks and sorted everything into two piles.  I split the food and water evenly, included a set of clothes, and tried to split everything else as best as I could.  One backpack has the flashlight, matches, batteries, radio, work gloves, etc..  The other backpack has the toothpaste, first aid kit, mess kit, etc.  Both have a poncho, an emergency blanket, a toothbrush, Kleenex, toilet paper, etc.  I made a list of contents for each backpack and put that in the front pocket.  I used a piece of duck tape to label our names on the outside of each backpack, along with, “Always take both packs.”  That way, you wouldn’t just take the one with your name on it and be without a pocketknife (because it was in the other backpack).

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Dust masks, mess kit, toothbrushes, clothes, AM/FM radio, etc. This is a pic from before I split everything into two groups, one for each backpack.

I sorted the food into each day's meals and then put them in 3 baggies.

I sorted the food into each day's meals and then put them in 3 baggies.

These are the 3 days worth of food for one person.  I’m tempted to add more chocolate…  I’ve got a bowl of instant oatmeal for the first day.  After that, I have instant oatmeal packets, assuming that you would reuse the bowl from the first day.  These meals can either be eaten cold or put in the microwave, with or without water added.  I’ll check the food in about 6 months to replace anything that will be expiring soon.  Today, I replaced the granola bars with fresh ones.  I’ll eat the ones I took from the kit this week.

The water bottles are in zip bags to keep them from falling all over the place.

The water bottles are in zip bags to keep them from falling all over the place.

To see the post from when I first made my 72-Hour and Emergency Car Kits, please click here.  After originally making my Emergency Car Kit (with the backpack in the post listed in the previous sentence), I found a carry-on suitcase (small and cute) to use instead.  That way, I was able to use the backpack for one of our 72-Hour kits.

I’ve definitely been replacing the water bottles in my car kit on a regular basis, because I often take them out to drink!  There was a time recently when my friend M. and I needed a flashlight.  We were going to go hiking and wanted to take it with us, in case we were still out hiking past sunset.  We searched the car, including the emergency car kit, but couldn’t find a flashlight.  I told myself either my husband or I must have taken it out of the car at some point.  A few days later, I found it in the glove compartment.  Oops.  When I later added water to my car kit, I found that I had written, on my car kit’s inventory list (which I put in the small pocket of the car kit bag), that the flashlight was kept in the glove box.  Oops.

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emergency-binder-1

Food Storage Made Easy has a great post on how to set up an emergency binder.  Emergency binders hold important information that you would need in a disaster (have to leave your home, fire, etc.).  Basically, when you grab your 72-hour kits, you also grab your emergency binder.

Food Storage Made Easy recommends using sheet protectors and filing information such as insurance policies, bank statements, immunization cards, etc.  I added a section for bill statements as well.  They recommend using dividers, but I just labeled each sheet protector.

Emergency binder 2

Emergency binder 3

Are you prepared with an emergency binder?  Leave a comment to share how you do your emergency binder.

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Fun with Food Storage

Click here to check out the new Fun With Food Storage Network!  I’m so excited about this new blog!  Three sites have teamed up to help you build, gather coupons for, and cook your home food storage.

The three partner sites are:

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Cansolidators stacked in a cabinet

Cansolidators in a cabinet

I’ve been working on building my food storage to a 3 month supply.  Today, I looked at various can shelving units and found Shelf Reliance Cansolidators.  I would buy them right away, but we’re renting our current residence and Cansolidators are expensive.  To purchase them to fit our current shelving and move at some later date would be a waste of money.  If I do buy any Cansolidators, I would buy sizes that could be used in any home.  I have shelving and cabinets, but I would prefer to use Cansolidators in closed cabinets.

Does anyone use Cansolidators?

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I made my 72-hour and emergency car kits today.  Yeah!  This is a picture of my car kit.  Jumper cables, hand sanitizer, and a flashlight are already in my car.  In this picture, you see the following items:

  • backpack
  • list of items in pack, along with date the items were last replenished/replaced
  • bottled water
  • heating packs (to keep you warm)
  • first aid kit, duct tape, pocket knife, and ibuprofin
  • tissue, ponchos, silver emergency blankets
  • glow sticks
  • granola bars

To learn more about emergency kits, I watched videos on YouTube, and did an online questionaire on www.shelfreliance.com.  After making a list of what I needed (for basic kits), I went to Target, Academy, Wal-Mart, 3 Goodwill stores, and REI.  A pleasant surprise at REI was that I had a dividend that I hadn’t used yet.  I put the items for my car kit in a backpack that I found at Goodwill.  My 72-hour kit (for 2 adults) is in a large duffel bag from my closet.

Instead of using 2300 calorie bars for food, I used granola bars in the car kit and a variety of food that we would actually eat in the 72-hour kit.  Here are some of the items in my 72-hour kit:

  • peanut butter singles
  • corn singles
  • chopped carrots singles
  • oatmeal cups
  • pudding cups
  • Spam singles
  • granola bars
  • individual meals – turkey and pasta, beef and potatoes, etc. (heat 90 seconds in microwave)
  • ponchos,emergency blankets (the silver ones), and a flashlight
  • bottled water
  • first aid kit, waterproof matches, and a pocket knife
  • silverware packets and a mess kit
  • toothpaste and toothbrushes

I’m considering adding clothing, baby formula/bottles/pacifiers (for others, not us), and additional items to the 72-hour kit, but I’m still thinking about it.  As my husband said, “We’re more prepared than we were before.”  As for the shelf life of the food, we plan to make a meal of items as they get close to their expiration dates next year.  Then, if they taste good, we’ll add more to the kit.

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