As a pre-Project Noah goal, I had decided that the month of January was a good time to inventory what I had in our emergency kits. Well, I didn’t really get around to that. The weather has been horrible and half of the kits are in our car. No one wanted to drag all that stuff into the house (up 3 flights of stairs) to inventory and I didn’t want to do it halfway. Thank goodness, I remembered I had inventoried them last year and saved the list.
So I feel like I cheated a bit but it lead to an epiphany – I am always picking up someone’s plan to become more prepared for emergencies. I always feel like the work I have done is inadequate. I am practically obsessed on one hand and really want to put my head in the sand on the other.
As I was digging through all of the information and trying to figure out why I can’t get anything done, I realized the problem stems from how I am approaching the problem. I have this need to be perfect. I tell myself it’s not really that important and being perfect should never be the goal but it’s there in the back of my mind. Perfect looks different to different people.
In this case, I, secretly, want to have the ultimate kit. I want to be the one with all the stuff that makes everyone else green with envy. Okay it’s not that bad but there is this deep internal need to be fully prepared. I think it’s sort of a PTA mom issue – I want our time in the disaster to be accented with heart shaped cookies (personalized, of course), throw pillows and mochas. We are going to breeze through the emergency as if nothing has happened and our lives continue.
My life is not like that – not at all. My family is lucky if I get the cookie dough into the oven before it’s all eaten, let alone frosted and decorated. And throw pillows – are you kidding me?
I was going to drop everything and start all over with a new plan but then I realized that the Project Noah plan is not a bad one and it gets me thinking. One reason I was drawn to the plan is not the easy way to build a kit but the lessons they encourage you to take. One month they have you focusing on how to treat a broken bone. There’s important reminders in there. But I’m going to revamp how I approach this project.
I have so much more to share but this is going to be a terribly long post if do. So let’s focus. With my inventory, I came up with an idea to figure out where my weaknesses were in my kits. Every kit should cover the basics – Food, Water, Heat, Light, Health/Sanitation, and Shelter. Some e-preppers strongly believe that stress relievers fall into basics as well. I tell you that I have a fairly stress free kit but we’re going to starve. My weakest area was food and water. We know how to forage but that only helps for less than half the year. I do have iodine tablets and water containers but no water plan for my jump kits and very little water stored for home. I did make some food bars but I didn’t make a note of which kit those went into. So maybe we won’t starve completely.
Knowing what I have and what I desperately need has helped me determine how I am going to approach the rest of the project. With the jump kits, I need 72 hours of food. For the “home” kit, I am going to focus on 3 months (can we live on what we have in our house for 3 months without buying anything from the store).
1. Pre-Disaster Preparation: Water Storage – Goals
• Begin by storing some water this month
• If you have some already stored, review & refresh; add more
2. Non-Food Items: toothbrushes and toothpaste – Goal
• Determine how many your family will need for a year
• Shop for the best prices and buy what you can afford
• Make a “dental supply” stash
3. Short Term: Three Month Food Supply and Menus
• How much food do you use on an everyday basis?
• How much is enough for 3 months?
• Goal – Make a weekly menu and use these meal plans
• Shop for meals for two weeks using your plan and selected menus
I will reveal how I did with these goals at the end of the month but I want to share with you some information before I sign off.
- Water storage – when planning for emergency water, plan 1 gallon of water per person per day. If you have pet, plan appropriate water for them. Since we have a cat, I am planning 1 gallon every two days for him. I didn’t find a specific amount but I know he won’t go through more than that and he doesn’t have the same needs as we do. It is recommended that you have 10-30 days worth of water storage in your home. (I am starting with 3 days and working up to 10.)
- Toothbrushes – this is an easy yearly goal (at least for me) because you only need 4 toothbrushes per person for a year. I am going to invest in dollar store toothbrushes. They have a set that comes in a holder (which can double as a cup) which has 6 toothbrushes. 2 sets and I have my family covered ($2 and done).
- Toothpaste – this is really important because I did so much research and now you don’t. I had no idea how much toothpaste a person uses in a year or how many servings a tube of toothpaste is supposed to carry. So I researched (thank you internet). Come to find out that a travel sized tube is designed to be 14 days or 2 weeks worth of toothpaste. Depending on your use, it could be more or less. But using that amount, I figured out that 22 ounces of toothpaste should be a year’s worth. A regular sized tube of toothpaste can have between 4 – 8 ounces of toothpaste. (At the dollar store their largest was 6 ounces.) I’ve figured that 12 tubes of 6 ounce sized toothpaste will cover my family for a year. If I can get that at the dollar store (I can order a case of 12 online), it’s $12. For under $15, I have a year’s supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
What isn’t included in the plan is floss. We always get floss from our dentist and I save that for the emergency kit. Dental floss is not only good for your teeth but it has a number of other uses that make it a necessity for all kits.
That’s a lot but I promise I made this as brief as possible (well for me). I’ll return to the subject at the end of the month to talk about how I did and what is in store for Month 2. You may hear from me earlier than that on various e-prep topics because I’m going to be digging into those kits and figuring out how to make them more efficient.