Tuesday, January 6

Our 24-Hour Emergency Bag: The Basics

I have wanted to put together an emergency kit (as well as establish some food storage) for a long time. LDS Church leaders have encouraged all members “to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings." Because I have witnessed the words of our wise Church leaders prove to be true multiple times, I trust them on this and believe in the importance of acting on their advice. 

I am pretty sure we are supposed to be striving to establish emergency kits that will last at least 72 hours, but because I just made a spur of the moment decision to put together a kit today with only items we already own (nesting and moving on the brain--plus I had no car), ours is more of a 24, maybe 48-hour variety. But it also contains most of our camping supplies which will be convenient for when we eventually go. 

Anyway, first I grabbed my old backpack that had been sitting in the back of a closet. 

Next, I gathered up our camping supplies (besides our sleeping pads and tent) and a few random items. I have insect repellent (obviously more of a camping thing but who knows), our binoculars, a poncho, some rubber gloves, a mess kit, a matchbox and candle (in the baby food jar--there's a better pic in a minute), some duck tape, chapstick, lotion, a pen and pencil, a mini first-aid kit, a working flashlight, and a pocket knife. 

I also added some unopened peanut butter, black beans, and tuna (which I hate, but in an emergency I'd totally eat it) as well as an extra pair of socks for me and Dalin. 

In the baby food jar, I stuck a little tea-light candle (the only type of candle we own) and a box of matches. Maybe someday I'll raid the laundry room for lint to add to the jar to use as a fire starter in an emergency.

The backpack has two water bottle-sized pockets, one on each side, so I stuck a bottle in each. 

Inside the backpack is a little pouch at the back for a laptop. I used it to store one of our large, but fairly thin and less-used blankets. 

Here is what the front pocket looks like with everything inside. 

Let's face it, this isn't much and if this were Walking Dead, we'd be in big trouble (though according to one of those stupid Facebook quizzes Dalin and I would last about 6 months so that's somewhat comforting). But it's a start, and for us, it's better than what we had before. 

Obviously, I have a few things in mind to add to this bag, including: 

a roll of toilet paper
tin foil
a couple of plastic bags (of various sizes)
more food (canned, nonperishable items)
water purifying tablets (or something similar)
copies of our IDs and important documents
a small radio, compass, or watch
space blankets
extra contact lenses, cases, and solution for Dalin and me (we both have terrible eyes and wouldn't last an hour without contacts)
A copy of The Book of Mormon (because you never know)

I think though, if an emergency did come up and I had time to grab this bag and the kids, I'd also take two seconds and grab some of these items from our apartment and a change of clothes for each of us. I think it would be worth the risk because otherwise we wouldn't be surviving very long anyway. 

(In case you can't tell, I've watched a few too many episodes of The Walking Dead and though it wouldn't have to be that extreme of a situation for us to use this kit, it definitely gets you thinking about worst-case scenarios). 

Now just for fun, here are the five personal things I would grab (besides my family members) for myself if I knew we were never returning to our apartment:
  1. My journal. I've written in a journal since I was 13 and it would be one of the only sentimental things I think I would take with me. Unfortunately, it would be impractical to take the other 30-something I've already filled. All those years...wasted.
  2. My scriptures. I think we'd need something to read and comfort us if we were to experience the trial of having to leave our home. Plus, if nothing else, I would want my family to be spiritually strong in such circumstances--particularly if there was a chance we could die. 
  3. My digital camera and charger if there was electricity. I would want to be able to see photos of my family members. If I wouldn't be able to charge it, I would grab one of our photo albums.
  4. My phone and charger--but only if I knew I would be able to use it to contact my far-away family members. If there was no electricity then I wouldn't bother. I'd take my little army knife (which I use all the time) instead. 
  5. I'm torn between saying a pillow and our emergency savings (assuming food and toilet paper were going to be available to us already). Obviously if things were going to go back to the way they were I'd want our savings, but if the world was forever changed, then forget it--I'm taking my pillow. And if it wasn't so inconvenient to carry, I'd specifically take my new full-body maternity pillow which Dalin bought me for Christmas. I could sleep anywhere with that thing.
What personal items would you take (besides family) in an emergency if you knew you were not returning home?
What other emergency items do you think I really need to add to our kit?

Thanks for reading! I hope this got you thinking about your own emergency prep or that it entertained you if nothing else;)

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