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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#16 What If . . . Non-Food Considerations for Grab-N-Go Bag

What If . . . #11 was the initial post on Grab-N-Go Bags, 72 hour kits, or whatever you choose to call them. The names are as varied as the containers and the ingredients but they all have the same single purpose:

To have at the ready ---- a portable container of essentials if you had to leave your home immediately in the case of an emergency.

Years ago I was told there where only three kinds of people in the world---regardless of their locations and circumstances. 

  1. Those who make things happen
  2. Those who watch things happen
  3. Those who wonder what happened

As I noted in What If . . .#11, the hardest part of putting these kits together is deciding what should go into them----what are absolute necessities, what would fall in the handy extras category, and how to keep them light enough so you can transport them if transportation is not available.

Unfortunately there is no single list telling exactly what you need but there are a zillion Internet sites to give you suggestions and ideas.  I don't think I'm exaggerating, at least by much.

Post #11 gave you a preparedness site's recommendation for an absolute minimum menu for 72 hours but that isn't etched in stone either. WATER is a must! The remaining items are recommendations or suggestions and ideas to get you started.

There are sites that report what the first 100 items to disappear from grocery shelves are but they each differ somewhat. Looking at these lists give you "oh, yeah, I didn't think about that" ideas.

There are Internet sites by those who have experienced earthquakes, tornadoes, and they are great resources

What We Know:
It is important to be prepared for an emergency!
More and more government agencies and communities are preparing and encouraging us to be prepared.

What We Don't Know:
Everything else!
We don't know why, when, or what the emergency may be.

To be creative, determined, and up to the task---to be one who makes things happen!

Things to Consider:
  • How many in your family?
  • How many will be able to carry their own pack (or at least part of one)?
  • Are their babies or elderly or disabled --- or others with special needs?
  • Are prescription or special medications a part of your life?
Things to Ponder:
  • Since you never know when an emergency may take place you have to consider climates and seasons  --- and, if you live in an area of extremes---you must change the clothing items seasonally.  
  • How often should you exchange the contents of your kits --- because of outdated foods or outgrown size?  Don't laugh, it can happen. We had suitcases in our garage that still had diapers and baby food in them when our youngest was about four. Every six months is about right to check them. It is wise to put a reminder on your calendar! Some families make a special activity out of the checking --- having a picnic with the old -- then restocking with the new.
 Over the years we have considered and tried many different ways to contain our 72-hour supplies. Some have been more successful than others --- and as the years and our circumstances change so has our methods.

It is suggested that each member should carry as much of their own supplies as they are able. 

Over the years we have, or have known those who have, put their supplies in
Don't just stand there ---
Keep plodding along and you will be the winner!
Start where you are and build as quick as you can.
The only way you can lose is if you never start!
  • suitcases (ones with sturdy wheels are great)      
  • 5-gallon buckets
  • a variety of different types/sizes backpacks
  • wagons
  • trashcans with wheels
  • duffel bags
  • sports bags
  • various plastic containers
  • cargo type pants and jackets

I read recently of a sweatshirt "backpack" kit. The hem and the wrist were sew together with dental floss to securely close those openings. The body of the sweatshirt was then filled and it could be carried, or tied "fashionably" around the waist or around the shoulders. It could also be cut open and worn should the weather call for it. 

Now that Dave and I are older, we have modified ours "carriers" once again. Ours are actually in parts to balance the items all over our aging bodies. They are listed in need-to-have through helpful-to-have order.  (And the containers can be taken or left behind as the situation and means of transport allows.
Each of us has
  • a fishing or photographer vest with the absolute necessities. 
  • a web belt with grommets for essential items that can hang. 
  • a small bucket with additional food, water and helpful to have items
  • a backpack
  • a duffel bag

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