Thursday, September 25, 2008

72 hour kits

As General Conference is approching, we are getting ready to go through our stuff for 72 hour kits. As I was looking for a few lists to make sure we are on the right track, I discovered a web site with some interesting information. I also got some feed back from some others out there that I hope will help us all out. Thanks to all for sharing these ideas and things with us.

My brother and I have both had problems with mice getting into 72 hour kits in the last year. I found out that mice have no trouble chewing through juice boxes, in spite of the tinfoil layer. Couldn't figure out where all that liquid dripping down my shelves came from! They also like trail mix quite a bit. We revamped our 72 hour kits, putting everything not in cans into plastic gladware type containers to keep the vermin out. We are having to plan for new allergies also, so most of our old 72 hours kits (and much of our year supply - sigh - all that wheat) is now useless to us, except for barter. My brother's experience with mice was far more amusing. They got into the m&m's in his 72 hour kit in the garage, and painstakingly carried them all into a stash in the oil pan of his car. Next time he took his car in for an oil change, they paged him and made him come back so that he could see the oil pan full of m&m's!

We use the pop-top fruit cans and have never had a problem. I don't think those cans of fruit are supposed to be stored that long (more than 2.5 years), and it's possible that they were stored in some extreme temperatures. I have had candy melt before and not just Jolley Ranchers. I think any hard candy that is a bit translucent will melt. I've learned to just stick to hard peppermint candies. We rotate our 72 hour kits (they are in 2.5 gallon paint buckets) every General Conference, though sometimes we leave some things untouched (i.e. MREs and water bottles) if they haven't been stored very long. I do recommend replacing tuna fish, or similar every 6 months at the longest! And always store something in the original packaging. Trying to buy a big bag of pretzels and separating them into smaller packages (even with vacuum-sealed bags) is asking for a yucky snack later! We learned that the hard way.


I put my 72 hour kit into a large heavy duty plastic container with cover and handles. I keep in in our closet under the stairs, so we can grab it quickly. No bugs have ever gotten into it (but then again we do have pest control). Every so often I open it up to update the items and take out things my kids no longer would find "fun" to do or eat. I usually put food items that will last a year into it. I check the dates on the cans at the supermarket to make sure items will last. I have spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital lately and haven't been able to check my kit which makes one feel uneasy during hurricane season here. Luckily my Mom (non-member) came to help and checked things for me. I do have friends that keep their kit in the same plastic containers in their garage with no problems. Of course since we live in Florida we don't put things likc chocolate or items that will melt in the garage. You can keep a goody storage container inside the house but make sure it is out of sight. :) In Florida we don't have basements either so we have to make good use of space. We have to get pretty creative. Like putting plastic containers with food storage under the bed. One can even decorate boxes or baskets with storage items inside and place a little plant by it. I also keep all important papers in a zip lock plastic bag. All family photos are stored in my closet in a ready to go plastic container.
P.S. I also keep dog food and toy in our 72 hour kit for our dog

Something that was told to me a long time ago about 72 hour kits is that you want to put them in some type of backpack.
The reasoning behind that is if you have to walk because roads are blocked and you can't drive anywhere, carrying something
in your hands can be very tiresome. I don't know if you have gone hiking holding on to something and about 30 minutes in
you wish you had put it into a backpack, but I have and frankly, I don't know if I would want to carry a big plastic bucket full
of cans. We use MREs, which I must admit aren't the most tasty, but they are nurtritious and store very very well.

Just an idea,


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