Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seventy Two Hours

I like listening to NPR.  We don't have a television, so I don't watch the news, occasionally Jeremy will pick me up a paper from school, but most of the time if I want to have any clue of what is going on in the world--my source is NPR.  There's been so much going on in the world lately that I've been listening to it quite a bit.

I drive a minivan which means I have three sets of little ears behind me that are also listening to NPR, and recently the oldest pair has been commenting on the things he's hearing.  I don't want to shield him entirely from knowing what's going on in the world but I do feel a little guilty when from the back seat he says, "Mom, that's so sad that that mom and that dad got killed, now the children don't have any parents. . ."

So last night we got together as a family and read:

"Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land.

[. . .] but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:29-30)

Our church stresses provident living, or looking forward and being prepared for the future--whatever it may involve for us on a family level, national or even globally.  Proverbs 31 speaks of a virtuous woman and says "She is not afraid of the snow for her household."  In other words she has made preparation for times of adverse weather conditions (it was hailing here yesterday), power shortages, political or societal unrest, or her husband hurting his back and being unable to go to work for three weeks. 

Our church leaders along with national leaders and American Red Cross recommend having a 72 hour, or three day kit, filled with emergency essentials and nonperishable food.  So, in light of recent world political and natural disasters, we decided to update our dwindling supply of random cans and assorted pantry hodge-podge masquerading as a 72-hour kit. 

There's lot's of really "cute" ideas for 72 hour kits out there, but as nice as it is to have comfort and convenience food there's something to be said for simplicity (and reliability).  For example, my brother recently discovered that after a little too much time in storage what once was a "cute and fun" addition to a 72 hour kit was now missing the whole point of the 72-hour kit which is: "life sustaining in an emergency."

He titled this photograph: That's not Peanut Butter.

So I decided to go for a basic pre-handisnacks-era list found in the classic resource Essentials of Home Production and Storage handbook from 1978. It was nice and simple.

72 hour kit: *supplies 2100 calories and essential nutrients
Canned tuna fish or pork and beans(1/2 lb per person)
Nonfat dry milk (1/2 lb per person)
Graham Crackers (1 lb per person)
Dried Apricots (1 lb per person)
Canned orange or tomato juice (46 oz per person)
Peanut butter (1/2 lb per person)

Also include:
1 Gallon of water per person per day

Here's how it turned out for us.

Mostly I went off the list, but I made a few substitutions We swapped out half the poundage of graham crackers for granola bars because -wow- that's a lot of graham crackers.  (For future reference the hard crunchy granola bars have a significantly longer shelf-life than the ones with a "chewy" texture--I'm going to have to swap those out.)  We got a variety of juices but all 100% juice with 100% DRV vitamin C.  We also got a variety of dried fruits and some apple sauce and a few can's of fruit instead of just apricots. Oh, and we bought a bag of hard candy--y'know--for the kids. 

We finally splurged ($8.88) and got a fancy water cube.  We have old juice bottles filled with water under our sink, in the pantry and in the basement--but sometimes it's nice to have the "real" things too.

As far as non-food supplies go--make your own list.  It all depends on what kinds of camping supplies you already have.  (And don't forget about the diapering needs of any wee ones.)  We needed a new first aid kit since we'd pillaged all the band-aids and useful supplies out of the last one, so we got that.  Plus we bought a chapstick to go in it, some extra candles, matches, and randomly a folding shovel--you know-- something interesting to keep Jeremy the kids excited about shopping.

Sometime's I really outdo myself.  I got this little clipboard for Owen recently so I made him a list with boxes to check off all our supplies as we did the shopping.  Awesome.  And after the first two items were checked off he had already broken the lead of the pencil so it would no longer write, and was whining to me that his job (carrying the clipboard and checking things off) was too hard for him.  So he dropped it off in the cart and climbed in himself and proceeded to tell me "no" he didn't "like that" to all the varieties of dried fruit I suggested buying. 

So yeah, successful evening. 

Today we'll assemble most of it into our rail trip backpack, but we will be waiting for Owen (I guess I forgive him for being a punk.) to come home from school before we do that.   For whatever reason the "everything in a backpack" concept is the most exciting for him. 

And as parents we will be sleeping a lot easier this week.  It's nice feeling--to be prepared. 

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