I saw this sign on Pinterest and had a good laugh. Prepping can be a real downer sometimes (Just watch The History Channel’s After Armageddon or Red Dawn – maybe that could qualify for Preparedness Principle #2? :) ) so to keep things light today we’ll talk about things in terms of Zombies. More SciFi, less reality.
I was at the Grocery Store today in the bulk section, scoping out the trail mixes to vacuum seal for our 72 hour kit when a nicely dressed woman, with her grandson about the age of my son came around the corner. We had crossed paths several times throughout the store up until this point, our littles sharing 4-year-old-boy conversations (er…grunts). She mentioned that we kept seeming to find each other and asked me if I had tried any of the trail mixes myself. I mentioned that I was getting some for our 72 hour kits when she asked for some clarification. “Oh your emergency kits!” She concluded, “I just wanted some trail mix for the car ride, but I’m gathering emergency kits for all my kids for Christmas – what do you have in your kits?” We had a great conversation about it and I gave her some websites to check out. But I also thought it would be a great topic to cover here.
There are 1000 ways to make a 72 hour kit and everyone has their opinion about what to include. You can create your own or purchase them already put together, but either way I think it’s smart to customize it to your family and region.
Creating Your Own
Ready.gov puts out this list from FEMA and if you’re going to create your own kit this is a great way to start. Many of these things can be found at Walmart, Target, your local camping/fishing/firearms stores – as well as online (see my list of resources here). A few of the benefits of making your own kit are:
- You can start small and add to it each month – no big up-front cost.
- The supplies you purchase individually are most likely a better quality than the items that come in the pre-packaged kits.
- You can customize the food to your family’s needs – babies, picky toddlers, dietary restrictions, etc.
Since we have small children, I created our kit myself. I used a couple of different resources – a random list I found online (probably very similar to FEMA’s), with the food kit instructions from foodstoragemadeeasy.net. Though this food kit may be subject to ridicule from die-hard preppers, it is super kid-friendly with real food that kids normally eat. Because of that, however, the shelf life is not very long and you have to continually rotate out the food. I keep track of expiration dates on a sheet of paper and check it each time I go to the store so I can rotate out as needed. Also, each “kit” fits in a milk jug so each family member can carry their own. Here are some pictures of ours from when I first put them together.
Since then, I’ve moved the contents into grocery bags, which are far easier to access when it’s time to rotate out the food. The gals at Foodstoragemadeeasy.net are AMAZING – if you’re interested in moving beyond 72 hour kits, sign up for their FREE Checklists Emails for instructions for taking the next step.
If you want a more shelf-stable food source, there are many websites to purchase food kits from. However, I recently received a sample from myfoodstorage.com. It was super easy to make (just add water) and definitely edible – my husband and I ate the Savory Stroganoff one Sunday afternoon for lunch and decided with some pepper on top and accompanied with some home made bread, it would make a great meal!
They sell a 72 hour food kit, which has a 7 year shelf life, as well as longer term food storage pouch meals with a 25 year shelf life. Like I said, there are lots of places to purchase something like this, but I mention this only because I’ve actually tried it and liked it.
Purchase A Ready-Made Kit
Just Google 72 hour kit and you’ll find unlimited resources! Here are some I’m familiar with:
These kits are great because they save time. If you are busy or just starting out and just want to know you’re covered while you are learning more about prepping, this is one way to start. However, I would encourage you to personalize even the ready made kits with items pertinent to your family. Think about what you would want/need if you had to leave your house for a few days until the earthquake debris had been cleared, the power came back on or the zombies had all been rounded up. If you have kids, what comfort items would make that time away from home easier? What activities would keep you all sane (travel card games or coloring books/crayons)? Starbucks has some amazing instant coffee, I’m just sayin’! Be familiar with the contents and the purpose for them being there. And lastly, have everything in a accessible and mobile container, in climate controlled (if possible) area to maximize food shelf-life.
I hope this gives you some ideas and direction. If you have any questions, please feel free to post below. Now get started!