a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#11 What If . . . Putting Together a "Grab-N-Go-Bag" or. . .

  • backpack 
  • duffle bag
  •  wagon
  •  fisherman's vest
  •  5-gallon bucket  or
  • whatever works for you

It is likely that sometime you'll be in a situation*  where immediate help of some kind will be needed over a wide-spread area. 
    *Earthquake *Flooding *Tornado *Wildfire *Act of War. . .

It usually takes three days for official assistance to arrive. That could be a life-threatening or, at the very least, miserable 72 hours!

A Grab-N-Go-Bag is a quick and reasonably priced "insurance" for each member of your family. And, just like any other type of insurance, hopefully it will never be needed.

The toughest part of assembling a 72 hour kit is deciding what items are ESSENTIAL.

It would be much easier if we could know what the emergency will be, the time of year, whether we are confined to our home or whether we have to leave our home and area, and if we have to leave---will it be on foot or vehicle. We have to do the best we can without that knowledge.

Please be up to the challenge and prepare now because "when the time of need has arrived---the time of preparation has passed."

I, and many places on the Internet, can give you things to consider and suggestions but the deciding is up to you---and your individual family situation.

Things to consider

  • Your family situation---ages, health, specific needs if any--- 
  • Physical abilities of the different members of the family --- how much can each carry/will some need their supplies carried or, will someone need to be carried---
  • Does your household include infants or elderly or pets---

Suggestions for Basic Bare Minimum Food to SUSTAIN one person for 72 hours: 

  • Water! A MINIMUM of 6 liters  is recommended
  • Tang powdered drink  -- 1/2 cup (divided into two servings)
  • Instant Oatmeal* -- two packets
  • 2 granola bars
  • Cocoa mix -- 1/2 cup (divided into two servings) or 2 packets
  • 1 single serving stew or pasta with "pop top" lid
  • 10 sticks of chewing gum
  • 9 pieces of hard candy
  • 1 single serving can of beanie-weenies or similar with "pop top" lid
  • 3 fruit roll ups
  • 2 envelopes single serving noodles
  • 1 one-ounce package raisins
  • 2 one-ounce packages of beef jerky
  • 3 plastic spoons
  • 1 package matches
  • 4 snack-size zip lock bags for divided Tang and cocoa mix
  • wing stove or similar to heat water and fuel for same 
Menus using above
Day 1: Breakfast: Tang, oatmeal, 
            Lunch: Beanie Weenies, 1 fruit roll-up
            Dinner: 1 granola bar, 1 beef jerky, hot cocoa
            Snacks: 3 pieces hard candy and 3 pieces gum
Day 2: Breakfast: hot cocoa, 1 granola bar
            Lunch: soup and raisins
            Dinner: stew/pasta, 1 fruit roll-up
            Snacks: 3 pieces hard candy and 3 pieces gum
Day 3: Breakfast: Tang, oatmeal
            Lunch: soup
            Dinner: 1 beef jerky and 1 fruit roll-up
            Snacks: 3 pieces hard candy and 4 pieces gum
  • The above menu requires 2 liters of the bottled water.
  • Save and reuse the Beanie Weenie can to heat other foods if no other container is available.
  • Mix 3/4 cup water each with the Tang and hot cocoa mixes.
* Homemade Instant Oatmeal packets
     3 cups quick cooking oats - divided
     snack-sized zip-lock baggies
  1. Put 1/2 cup oats in a blender and blend on high until powdery. Set aside in a small bowl and repeat procedure with an additional 1/2 cup oats. If you are using a food processor you can do the one cup of oats in one batch. 
  2. Into EACH baggie, put the following ingredients: 1/4 cup un-powdered oats, 2 Tablespoons powdered oats and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
You can make a variety of flavors, if desired, and store the filled baggies in an airtight container.
To serve: empty packet into a bowl. Add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir and let stand for 2 minutes. For thicker oatmeal use less water, for thinner, use more water.

Note: I often eat commercial instant oatmeal by just tearing open the package and stirring in a little room-temperature water to the consistency I want--it works fine!

Variations are limited only by your personal tastes and your imagination. Artificial sweeteners can be used in place of sugar if desired, although I would recommend it for the 72 hour kit unless real sugar is a dietary problem. The measurements are what you add to the above recipe for each packet.
  • Sweetened Oatmeal - 1 T sugar
  • Brown sugar-cinnamon - 1 T brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Apple-cinnamon - 1 T sugar, 1/4 tsp and 2 T very finely chopped dried apples (I use a blender)
  • Raisins-brown sugar - 1 T packed brown sugar and 1 T raisins
  • Health Nut - 2 T wheat germ, any type
  • Fruit and Cream - 1 T powdered non-dairy creamer and 2 T finely chopped dried fruit
  • Confetti - 1 tsp decorative cake/cookie sprinkles
  • S'More - 6 mini marshmallows and 1 T milk chocolate chips
  • Cookies 'n Cream - 1 crushed Oreo (or similar) cookie and 1 T powdered non-dairy creamer
  • Exploding - 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp 'Pop Rocks' candy. (This one is fun for birthdays and other celebration days)
 Homemade (civil defense recipe) survival ration bar 
Each bar contains 1000 calories and will provide sufficient food for a one day ration.
2 cups whole grain cereal (oatmeal or wheat flakes)
1 cup white sugar
2-1/2 cups powdered milk
3 T water 
3 T honey
1/2 of a 4 ounce package of orange gelatin

Combine first three ingredients and set aside. Combine honey and water and bring to a boil. Add gelatin, stirring until dissolved and then add to the dry ingredients.

Mix well, adding up to 3 more Tablespoons water as needed. Shape into four 1-inch thick bars. Dry in 200 degree oven for two hours. Turn over and dry another 2 hours. 

Make sure the bars are completely dry so they will not sweat and mold. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Then wrap again in aluminum foil, and store. They should keep indefinitely. They can be eaten dry or cooked with about 2/3 cups water.

After Christmas I will continue with other items to consider for your 27 hour kit.  

These would be a fantastic Christmas gift for your loved ones, a great start in preparing for a New Year. Please consider getting started now because. . .


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