Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bug Out Bags

Yesterday I gave you a few links to lists of things you can put in a 72 hour emergency kit.    I wanted to show you what we did.

Years ago, we got these backpacks on sale somewhere.  We got one for each of us [4] and we've used them for years to carry toys and books and things as entertainment kits for the kids when we travel.  They're not very big, but they are pretty sturdy and they're very manageable. The kids are bigger now and don't need them, so I collected them all and put them in a closet for a year.   Or so.  I honestly can't remember.  

Then last week, I found them again and decided it was time to either use them or get rid of them.    They're perfect for 72 hour kit storage and so I put them to use.

First, I did my research and got a list of stuff we wanted to have in the kits.   Here's the government list.  See yesterday's post for more lists.

Then I cleaned my house and collected all the emergency stuff I have done over the years and which has gotten shoved to the back corners, tippy tops and bottoms of the closets and cupboards over time.
It was awesome.  

Don't get me wrong.  It was a mess.   Stuff everywhere!...but by the end of the day I had three packs full of supplies and one empty to be filled with food.  Plus, my cupboards were way more organized and I had a lot more space because I had removed all the expired junk for disposal.   [There was a lot of expired junk.]  

This is what I put in our four bags:
  • food
  • first aid
  • toiletries
  • other stuff
Then I made labels for each bag of the stuff that went in them.   I laminated the labels and put them on with those plastic thingies that you use for luggage tags.   I did a tag for every important thing we'd want to locate fast and if I decide to put that thing in a different bag, I can move the tag to the new bag easily.  

This bag is empty right now because we'll want to bring new food and food that gets put in preparedness kits tends to expire and be forgotten about.   I know this for a fact.   I'm still thinking about what to pack in there.  Rumor has it that MREs are pretty good eating these days, but it's 'illegal' to sell them, so the ones you find online are generally not new.   They start out being store-able for 5 years, but by the time they're offered on Amazon or Ebay, they're a lot older.   Caveat emptor. 

First Aid
I decided to leave a couple of boxes of bandaids and pain killers in the cupboard and pack all the rest of the gauze, tape, splints, ace bandages, etc, etc, etc in the 72 hour kit Bug Out Bag.   I included an unopened bottle of ibuprofen.   If we get a first aid book [on my wish list for Christmas], it'll go in there. 

This bag has all the stuff we need so that we don't smell too bad, etc.
  • toilet paper [It was the first thing I put in.]
  • nail clippers
  • tooth brushes and toothpaste
  • soap
  • deoderant
  • hand towels - which can double as wash cloths or bandages
  • cotton swabs
  • lansinoh
  • shampoo, etc. 
  • extra matches

This is the bag where I put the rest of the stuff we might find very useful.
  • buddy burner.   Here are two links that show you how to make one if you want to.  Yes, You Can Grill   and   Root Simple.
  • #10 can, cut to use as stove over buddy burner.   I put the burners inside the can for storage.
  • matches
  • flashlights
  • headlamp
  • extra batteries for lights
  • hand crank flashlight
  • water purification tablets.  [This is Indiana, we don't have to worry about finding water out here, just good water.]

Our kits aren't perfect.    I need to put some large plastic bags in there and something to hold water in so that it can be purified.   I need to pack the food bag.    We need to think about portable tools, shelter, etc.  I'm getting a headache just thinking about everything that we might need in case of....whatever.

But here's the deal.   There is a much higher probability of our needing to survive At Home or nearby in an emergency than there is that we would have to bug out.    We can survive out here with no power for a very long time.   In addition, and just as important as food storage, we have established good relations with our neighbors.   If The Big One happens, we're not bugging out - we're going to check on all of our neighbors first.   We'll combine resources and do what we need to keep everyone safe right here.  

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