Monday, August 11, 2008

Peace of mind...

A few nights ago I had a dream, no, a nightmare. One of those nightmares that was so scary that you wake yourself up. In any case, my family was in a situation where I knew it was not safe and I knew we had to leave immediately. I was in a panic because our 72 hour kits were not complete. We were not as prepared as I wanted to be.

I woke up with the determination to complete our 72 hour kits. We had most of the stuff we needed, but I needed to assemble it all. On Saturday (and then finishing up today) I put those together and I must say I feel so much better. I think the reason I had not finished those up was because I was overwhelmed. There have been many an enrichment night on the topic and I have also done research on the web and it was almost too much. Then when I was at my parent's house this spring my mom gave me a list that Ann Shelton had assembled. It was basically one page long -- that I could do. Now I just needed to figure out how best to adapt that to our family.

I ended up doing a smaller bag/backpack for each of the kids with just the basics. It contains food kit for 72 hours, water bottle (I know they would need more, but I figured that is what they could carry), t-shirts, sweats (they could be easily cut off for shorts in the summer), underwear, socks, and shoes. I made a little bathroom kit (hand towel that has a tie to go around their waist with little pockets) for all the bathroom stuff like soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, brush and comb, shampoo, and lotion. Then I put in a quart size ziploc, a safety whistle, solar blanket, wind-up flashlight, tealight candles and lighter, small rain poncho, hand/foot warmers, hand sanitizer, tissues, and chapstick. I also printed out a recent family picture, printed their name and birthday and circled their face in the picture. On the back I listed Ken's name and cell phone number, my name and cell phone number, and then taped a copy of their insurance card. I laminated that and a list of family phone numbers and put it in their bag. I thought that information could be helpful if, heaven forbid, we were separated.

Ken and I have a similar bag with all the above mentioned stuff and in addition we have a family bag. In this rolling duffel bag I put a regular blanket, coloring books for the kids, card games, notepad and sharpie, insect repellent, sunscreen, first aid kit, batteries, more candles, water tabs, plastic sheeting, extra garbage bags and ziplocs, clothes pins, duct tape, hammer and nails, screwdriver, pliers, leather work gloves, and braided cord. I also I have another bag of extra food to supplement our 72 hour supply (I especially liked the individual cups of peanut butter and the tuna pouches). I am sure other things that I will continue to add, but I think this is a pretty good start. The last part of my project is scanning in all our important family documents and burning a CD for our kit (and another for a safety deposit box).

So in case of having to quickly evacuate our home we could just grab our 72 bags, a couple cases of water, our emergency cash, and our external hard drive and we could be on our way. I feel so much more at peace. I am grateful for church leaders that encourage us to be prepared. I testify of the words in the scriptures are true. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

9 comments:

Becky said...

Way to go! That sounds like fantastic organization. I'd expect nothing less, of course! Did you use your labeler? I've been wanting to finish ours too, instead of having bags of supplies all over that I've been collecting for awhile...

Alison said...

I was thinking about this during the tornado warning last week. I finally bought little backpacks for the kids--now i've got to fill them. I like the sweats idea.

Marie said...

that's awesome! I have been thinking and thinking about doing the same thing... really wanting to, but just not knowing where to start. This can be where I will start... with backpacks. Love it! Thanks!

Jolayne said...

Wish I was done like you. We have lots of stuff all over, some stuff to get and some to redo. Wish those girls would just quit growing!

Chris said...

You forgot to mention the three bags that will hold your books, plus the trailer to tow it all behind the van! Kudos for getting it done. Now I know who to go hold up in case of an emergency! :-)

Kerri said...

Carli,

You probably don't remember me, but I am an occasional lurker on your blog. It is fun seeing how your family is growing! Anyway, I too have had a recent sense of urgency this summer to update our 72-hour kits. For some reason I hadn't thought about including pictures and especially contact information. I think it is extremely important. Thank you for the great idea!


Carolyn Stevenson

shelly said...

Carli that is AWESOME! I am so proud of you for following through on this, you are such a great example!

Rebecca said...

Dang, I thought I was doing great with ours, but the family picture thing.... that's brilliant! I console myself with the thought that I have scanned all the documents and those are in our 72 hour kits. Thanks for the good idea.

Kristin said...

I have to thank you so much for this post! We have 72 hour kits that are pretty much ready to go, but you gave me some great new ideas. Plus it made me think about getting ours out and reviewing them again.

Great job!