T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Emergency Preparations - Part I

Two years ago...

T Rex was fast asleep and T Rex Dad and I were enjoying the long summer night (during the summer months it does not get dark until 9:30/10:00). We were also busy getting ready for work the next day. I recall my boss was coming to town to work with me and also give me my mid-year review.

Then a friend of mine called and asked if we were leaving our house. "Why?" I asked. She then told me there was a fire right by the house. We walked to our back yard which overlooks the valley and saw nothing. We went back to our preparations for the following day. Then another friend called asking the same thing. She was a lot more insistent that we should leave. We decided to sit for a moment and consider our options.

Honestly, with T Rex being asleep, we really did not want to bother him but we thought it might be wise to gather a few things just in case. Then someone began frantically ringing the doorbell. We answered, a girl came by saying the fire department said we should start packing our things. Then the phone started ringing non-stop. We would answer by saying, "We're heading out the door." As we were loading the car with our bags, dogs, child, and fire safe, the police were coming by ordering the evacuation. We were mostly prepared, but there were still a few things we were wishing we had had.

We went to some friends' house and waited it out. It was the most eerie feeling that night wondering if we would have a home to go return to. We returned the next morning. Several homes in the neighborhood burned to the ground. There was massive property damage. One person died. We were spared. I did meet with my boss that day who was completely impressed that I was working that day despite the ordeals of the preceding night. He gave me a glowing review and a raise! (He insisted it had nothing to do with the fire.)

I've been watching similar storms roll through our area, much like the one that started that fire two years ago. It's reminded me that it is time to post what we are doing for emergency preparations in the way of our 72 hour emergency preparedness kits. Those were what we used for our evacuation. To our knowledge, we were the only ones in the neighborhood with such preparations. The only thing we could have had more of were diapers, but aside from that, we were prepared.

This week...

I updated the kit with fresh supplies and appropriate clothes for the kids. This kit is specifically for my car and for the kids and myself (T Rex Dad carries his own pack with him at all times). The kit remains in the car in case we are away from our home. The intent is two-fold - tie us over if we have to leave our home in an emergency or tie us over until we can get back to our home, in case of an emergency.

Here is what we have:

Food and Water: Water pouches (we also carry 2-3 bottles of water in the car at any given time but these are separate and specific to the kits ) 8 total, water filter, Emergency food ration bar (9 complete meals), MREs (1 full meal and 5 snacks), Fruit strips (for T Rex), Freeze dried yogurt melts (for T Rex), Freeze dried strawberries (for T Rex) 2 packets, apple sauce pouches (for T Rex and T Rex Princess when she's on solids) 6 total. T Rex Princess still gets most of her nutrition from breast milk so as long as I am eating, she will be, too. Important to pack food your kids will eat.

Emergency sleeping bags - 4 total (very center in above photo)

Other miscellaneous items: sun screen, sunglasses (for kids and me), soap, bug spray, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, hand sanitizer, hand/feet warmers.

Other items not pictured: Flashlight, pocket knife, clothes/PJs for kids and myself (including underclothes, socks, and shoes), protectitive sun hats and coats for all of us, baby carrier, blanket and burp cloth, first aid kit, trash sack, and diapering supplies. (I'll post my cloth diaper emergency pack in a later posting.)

Everything fits nicely in the back of the car.

It is all mostly contained within the crate. We don't yet have a bag that fits everything but we're working on that. Right now, the crate is just fine. Plus, there is plenty of room for the dogs and/or stroller. I still need to have a functioning area in the back of my car. But this way, we are always prepared. Prepared for emergencies or prepared in case we did not pack food for the kids, run out of diapers, need a change of clothes, or simply want some comfortable walking shoes.

Stay tuned...more posting on diapering the baby, canning, short term food storage, and long term food storage. In the side bar I've added some links we refer to for our various emergency preparations.

What's in your 72 hour emergency kits?


Jason and Claire said...

We have a ton of emergency preparedness stuff and I haven't worried about it for the last few years. Reading this I realize I need to go through those kits again and update them. I LOVE your idea of having them in the car. It's such a simple idea. I can't believe I've never heard of that before. Thank you!

Emily said...

Wonderfully informative post! I learned one thing...for sure. We need a bigger car! :)

Thanks for being so inspiring!

mitchsmom said...

I need to refresh/ re-do ours, but our individual ones last year were labeled as below (I figured out that no one really went for the beenie weenies so that will get changed this time :/ )

We also have other stuff similar to yours in our backpacks... some camping/survival-ish stuff... can't remember exactly what all at the moment. We don't really have to worry about cold weather so that helps. Also, we have access to water all around us so I just figure as long as we have a way to purify it, so I know we have water purification stuff and lighters/matches/flint (my middle boys is on a big camping/survival kick right now so he's been buying a bunch of this kind of stuff... he and his brother just got back from a sleep away week long outdoor adventure summer camp where they go their hunter safety cards (even though we totally don't hunt LOL)... they loved it.

72 Hour Kit Contents List

Day 1 Breakfast Chrystal Lite/Cocoa
Oatmeal 1c.
Lunch Beenie Weenies
Fruit Roll-up
Dinner 1 granola bar
Beef Jerky
Hot cocoa
Snack 3 pcs. Gum
3 pcs. Candy

Day 2 Breakfast Milk
1 granola bar
Lunch Lipton soup
Dinner Raviolis
Fruit Roll-up
Snack 3 pcs. Gum
3 pcs. Candy

Day 3 Breakfast Chrystal Lite/Cocoa/
Oatmeal 1c.
Lunch Lipton Soup
Dinner Spam
Fruit Roll-up
Snack 3 pcs. Gum
3 pcs. Candy
• This kit requires a 2-liter bottle of water to
reconstitute the foods included.
• Mix ¾ c. water with Chrystal Light and hot cocoa.
• Plastic spoon and matches/flint/lighter included.
• Save and reuse Beenie Weenie or Ravioli can if bowl needed.
• 3 (2-liter) bottles of water are suggested for each person.

Name: __________________________________

Date Packed: _____________________________
(Use within 1 year)

septembermom said...

This is so helpful. I really need to put stuff together for us too. Thank you for doing this post.

Jenners said...

Um...I don't have one. I guess I should think of that.

Kim said...

Wow! This is such a great idea.I'm going to send this post to my husband at work so he can read it. I think it's so important to be prepared but I've never actually done it. Great post!!

zombiemom said...

When we lived in our other house I had kits ready for all of us. We actually took them with us when we were evacuated for a flood.
Since living in the new house I've been slack.
I am putting this down on my to-do list.
Thanks T Rex Mom!

Julie Kieras said...

My husband and I each have a RoadWise II Emergency Backpack kit from EmergencyEssentials.com - it has tons of stuff in it - I know we probably could've put together our own but it might have been more expensive to piecemeal it and I was unsure what to pack so we just bought the kit! :)
Great ideas though here! I need to update our kits soon too!

lizhasalife said...

Awesome! We have an Emergency Kit in our house with food and water, etc (we live in an area with Tornados!) but I don't have one the in car! I need to get a couple back-packs together with stuff! Thanks for this post!!!