Tis the season for 72 hour kits. Hurricane season. Even if you don’t live in a hurricane prone area, it is good to have these handy disaster kits for your possible natural disasters (fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.). While many of us are preparing for the possible event of evacuation, others of us are dreading the cost of putting our kits together. We may have big families or just don’t know how to get everything we need into a backpack. Luckily there are a few dual purpose cost effective items that can be put in our kits that keep them from costing an arm and a leg.
They can produce heat. They can produce light. And for the most part the are easy to store. They are good for emergencies such as black outs or when the temperatures drop. They can also be used for romantic candle lit dinners and making a room smell better. Just make sure your children know how to properly use them and that your pets stay well away from them.
I like the space age hypothermia blankets that look like they are made out of tin foil because they are compact and take up little room in a 72 hour kit. That being said, any blanket will do. They can be used to stay warm, but they can also be used to keep heat out of a room. Hang them up in a window to block out the sun.
There is a great variety of foods that come in pouches from juice and apple sauce to toddler meals. These little beauties are sealed, travel well, and take up very little space. Most come with a built in straw like devise and all you have to do is suck the contents out while you are on the go. It’s healthier than fast food on a road trip and can also mean less stops.
Don’t forget your toiletries! When you get free samples (check out Freebie Felicia’s posts), toss them into your 72 hour kit. Lotion, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, these are freebies that can easily be found and help you prepare for possible disasters.
I grew up in earthquake country. I can still visualize being a child sitting in front of the television, watching the news with my family after a huge earthquake. The big question that we heard asked, and that we asked ourselves all the time, was “Is this the ‘Big One?” It was terrifying. Although it was never “the big one,” often those quakes brought about enough destruction that, for those most affected, the question was irrelevant.
When I got married and moved out of state, I was thrilled to be free from earthquake-anxiety. BUT, now I have other concerns: hurricanes and tornadoes! Suffice it to say that the grass really does seem greener, even when it comes to natural disasters! 😉
Whatever nature tends to send to the region in which you live, you likely need some kind of emergency supplies.
Here are just a few of the basics:
According to Ready.gov, we need to plan for 3 days. I suggest planning for longer than that. Recent disasters have revealed that government help may not arrive for much longer than that.
1. Water. How much? One gallon per person per day. Be sure that you store your water in hard plastic and to make sure that you use or pour out your water and replace it every few months. If you’re going to go through the effort to prepare, make sure it’s good stuff!
2. Food. I’m all about not using canned food or any foods with preservatives, etc. However, as I have recently been making sure that we have some sort of food in case of emergency, I bought a bunch of cans of Spaghetti-Os, canned chili, canned beans and protein bars. I’m still looking for and getting deals as I am preparing. As a matter of fact, I’m getting a great deal on a couple of boxes of protein bars online. They should be on their way soon. (**Make sure you have a manual can opener if you are buying cans!)
3. Flashlight, Radio and batteries. I’m still working on this part. We have batteries. But, they aren’t the size we need for our radio. I’m also looking at getting a hand cranked radio. Some emergency radios can also charge cell phones. Otherwise, aim to get a cell phone charger; a solar charger would be ideal.
4. First aid kit.
5. Moist towelettes or wipes and garbage bags for sanitation. If you’re already a thrifty mama diva, then you’re watching for those deals on wipes anyway. Stock up if you can get them for $0.02 or less!
6. Tools, like a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
7. Local maps. I never use maps because I always get my directions online. What happens if I can’t get online. Oh, I can’t bear the thought! Anyway, I haven’t put a check mark by this box yet. But, it’s on my list!
8. Other. If you have babies, make sure you have extra diapers, wipes and whatever supplies your baby needs. Also, if anyone in the family takes prescription medication, make sure you have extra prescriptions.
I’m hoping you haven’t forgotten this item in your emergency stockpile.
I’m sure you have bottled water. Check!
I’m sure you have shelf-stable food. Check!
Now for the real question…
Do you have enough toilet paper in your household?
If you had a sudden snowstorm, or were faced with a hurricane, or any other natural disaster that is common (or maybe not as common) in your area, where you had no electricity for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, stores were not being restocked and it took weeks before normal business resumed, would you have enough toilet paper in your home for your family?
I recommend always having at minimum a 2 to 4 week supply of toilet paper in your home.
Print these coupons and stock up on toilet paper before the storm!
Save $2 off Scott Toilet Paper
A major storm is hitting the East coast. It’s being called Frakenstorm by many. No doubt, millions of dollars in damage may be done as homes are flooded, houses damaged by wind and so many other devastating effects. The Thrifty Divas are definitely praying for you on the East coast having to endure this. We’ve also got some tips to help the storm not hit your wallet so hard and some overall tips just to help you out.
1. Keep your insurance numbers/cards handy. God forbid you need them, but have them on hand for getting in touch with your insurance companies quick. As someone whose husband works in the flood insurance industry, you need to be on top of it. This storm will cause thousands of claims. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to deal with.
2. Set your refrigerator and freezers to the coldest settings. Losing food from your fridge and freezer is a HUGE waste of money. Setting it to the coldest setting will help it stay cold once the electricity goes off. Just try not to open and close it often or you’ll let the cold air out. If you can get some extra ice to store in your freezer, that will help as well. If your electric company can’t give you an estimated time for your electricity coming on, adding ice will help greatly.
3. Move your expensive items to higher levels. If you have expensive items in your basement or first level, move them up.
4. Fill up your gas tanks. Unfortunately some gas stations will take advantage of bad situations by increasing gas prices because of the demand. It’s best to try and get your tank filled before the storm hits to avoid that extra cost that could happen.
5. Have foods ready that don’t need power to make. Canned goods like tuna are great for this. Anything you don’t need a fridge for is a plus. You won’t have to open the fridge and you won’t have to cook without power. If you have an outdoor grill, that’s great to use as well.
What have you done to prepare for the storm?