Thursday, January 19, 2012

72-Hour Kits

Today I was overtaken by a wild hare and started cleaning out the hall closet... Ok, so it wasn't so much a wild hare as the thought that I might want to use this space differently so all the stuff that lives there now has to be re-homed somewhere else.  More on that in a future post.

One of the things I pulled out was the old 72-hour kits.  Part of them was a small packet of food items designed to keep you from starving during the scramble in the first 3 days following a disaster.  That's what I want to talk about today - the food you need to pack in a 72-hour kit.

Mine is just a little overdue to be renewed by now so I have been snacking my way through it.  And "snacking" is a term I'm using generously here.  In all honesty, so far I've gagged down 1 can (out of 3) of the gelatinous goo called Spaghettios and wrinkled my nose eating the M&M's that absorbed the flavor from the Juicy Fruit gum.

What's in this 72-hour food kit?
1 pack of gum
2 fruit and cereal bars
3 envelopes of hot chocolate mix
2 granola bars
1 pkg fruit snacks (2.5 oz)
10 pieces of hard candy
2 envelopes hot apple cider mix
3 beef jerky sticks (individually wrapped)
3 envelopes cup of soup
3 cans Spaghettios/Ravioli (7.5 oz)
1 packet peanut butter filled cheese crackers
2 pkgs plain M&Ms
4 single-serve boxes of raisins 
Yeah... not the most healthy sounding food is it?  But it was meant to be eaten in an emergency situation and is intentionally high fat and high sugar to provide maximum energy output.

What I liked about this kit was that it was pre-portioned, mostly ready to eat, convenient (pop top cans), very portable (a 12 x 15-inch mylar packet) and intended to be familiar and comforting foods.   What I don't like is the food choices that were made but that's easy to change as I'm purchasing the items to renew my kit during the next week or so.  I'll definitely be looking at other options for the Spaghettios and raisins!

I will also include a plastic spoon and a small metal cup (non-breakable).  Also thinking about adding some packets of instant oatmeal and single-serve drink mixes.  And since I don't have easy access to the mylar bags and a sealing machine, I will be packaging it differently.

Obviously this does not take care of all your needs during that first 72-hours following a disaster.  You still need to think about clothing, bedding, shelter, medication, sanitation, personal hygiene and, perhaps most importantly... WATER.

Along side the packaged food kit I have accumulated some bottled water, water filtration jugs, a small sewing kit, a first aid kit, space blankets and hand warmers into a convenient tote.  It's not all that I need or want to grab and go should I ever be faced with an evacuation/emergency... but it's a start!

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