March 7, 2011

If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very serious about food storage and emergency preparedness.
It scares me to death how MANY people do not take it seriously.
I am going to decide this post to anyone who needs a push to get started!
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I gained a very strong testimony shortly after Matt and I were married. We had been married about 9 months and I kept getting the urge to start one my emergency preparedness. I lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment in NY that had one closet, and I knew that NY was only our home until graduation. Logically it seemed silly to store things I would just have to pay to move in 2 years. Still, I felt very strongly that I needed to start.
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So, I jumped on the wagon of collecting information and supplies to do our 72 hour kits. Less than 3 months later, I had them all but done.
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Then one morning, I dropped Matt off at school and headed to work. A little after 9 a.m. a gentleman told me that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers in the city. A few minutes later, another. Within an hour my entire world was turned upside down. People were in chaos. Terror was in everyone's eyes. I was pregnant with my first baby and in a place far far from home. I was terrified of the unknown. I left work early and bought the last few things for my 72 hour kits and sat at home watching the horror on t.v. that I know we all remember. Living in NY was just THAT much scarier and unknown.
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Our Bishop called every single family in the ward and asked us if we were prepared for what could continue to be more and more emergencies striking our state and country. I felt a calming overwhelming peace that I would be ok. I had a month supply of food and I had our backpacks in case we had to flee suddenly.
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THANKFULLY we have NEVER had to use them. But I assure you, living only a half hour away from a terrorist attack solidified that even though we may never be in a true emergency, we will be blessed for being prepared. Even if it is just the sweet peace that Heavenly Father allows us to feel knowing we have done what we have been asked.
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It has been my tradition ever since to rotate our 72 hour kits during general conference in April each year. My kids think it is fun to empty them out and eat all the snacks, and it is a fun way to keep them excited about General Conference. Plus, it helps to have the time to sit and do them while listening to GC. This year, I tore them apart a little early because our family situation has changed and I felt very uneasy that Judd's would be outdated due to all of his newfound allergies and I never want to be found unprepared :)
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So I started by emptying out all the packs!!
When I was getting started, the HARDEST part was always the meal plans.
Seriously what in the world can you eat without all the wonderful luxuries of running water and a microwave anymore. It took some contemplating...but here is our daily meal plan!
I try to keep it simple. Remember, in an emergency, you don't want to go hungry but its not super likely that you will be sitting around bored waiting to be fed either. I try to keep it simple, nourshing when possible and most of all, LIGHT. Remember you have no idea how long or far you and your little ones will be lugging their things.
I put everything possible into gallon sized baggies to keep them protected and dry.
Each person has a toiletries bag, a clothing bag, a bag with plates and utensils etc and a bag with their own emergency supplies such as mylar blankets, waterproof matches, tent, candles, flashlights etc.
If you really want a full list you can just lemme know :)
After I purchase all the food, I divide it into gallon baggies labeled
 Day One, Day Two and Day Three
I have always done this so that if you were in a situation, you would know how to ration your food to make it stretch for 3 solid days. I also print out the above meal plan and laminate it for everyone, so each individual knows what to eat and what to expect to find in the bag.
Here is a photo of our kitchen supplies. Plates, bowls, collapsible cup, utensils and can opener.
Don't forget the can opener or all your planning is a bust haha
I also include several garbage bags in the kitchen stuff. Just in case ;)
Each of our kids has basic first aid such as bandaids and neosporin, but this year I finally just added an extra backpack filled with 2 complete first aid kits and lots of extra water.
Again, if you need help with ideas, just lemme know!
We also have lots of battery operated lanterns,
flashlights and each a set of scriptures in our kits.
Here is a shot of our emergency baggies. Hot hands, poncho, blankets, tent, fire starters, swiss army knives, medial masks, gloves and a few other things. Gloves are one of my highest priorities. In an emergency, you have NO CLUE what you would be facing. These to me are just as important as shelter and blankets.
Lastly, your clothing and toiletries. I give each member of our fam their own stuff. Each has shampoo and conditioner, soaps and washcloths, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, floss etc.
Each person also has a pair of undies, socks and a long sleeved, long pants outfit. You could always cut them to be less if its warm, but you can't add more if its cold :)
Lastly, the kids have a bag filled with crayons, playdoh, coloring books, reading books and gum. They may very well need to be entertained and you need things without batteries. A world they've never known haha
It took me a few days, but ultimatly it didn't cost much money at all to redo our kits. This year we redid all the food, batteries and clothes and I switched to backpacks on wheels for the kids (Just in case). I still was able to do all that for about 40 dollars (because I am such an avid couponer).
I found this quote by the prophet, President Monson, that really helps me stay motivated:

 “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food … and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”

I have also been told on several occassions that the general authorities are not really telling us much about the need for our emergency kits and supplies anymore. They feel that 100 years of preaching it was enough, and we need to step up to the plate.
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I am FAR from perfect in my preparedness. But I have a strong testimony that if we are prepared, we shall not fear. I hope this helps inspire a few of you to make a pack to atleast get started. The blessings of blind obedience are always such a strong powerful source for good in my family and I know that the faithful are truly blessed!
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As always, I am more than happy to help any of you! And you few couponers I have inspired must know by now how much further those dollars stretch when you are working at it! Please let me know if I can help any of you. The more of us who are prepared, THE BETTER!!!



Missy said...

It is funny that you posted this because this has been on my mind alot. We are doing a 72 hour kit class for RS next week because of it. Your packs look great! Thanks for the extra tips too!

Missy said...

Hey dear SIL would you mind emailing me your full list?

notes4missy (at) gmail (dot) com

Thank you!!!

Casey and Britt said...

You are my idol amanda! this seriously is awesome, where did you get your backpacks on wheels and how much were they? would you mind sending me your detailed list? I've really been thinking about this lately and want to get it done because I know I will feel alot better about it. seeing yours gives me motivation and it doesn't look as overwhelming the way you've broken it down. please send the list! love ya