I have been thinking a lot about emergency preparedness lately. I suppose many of us have been in light of recent natural disasters around the world. We have been trying to increase our awareness and preparedness a little bit at a time over the past couple of years. But, it's a slow process. It was not feasible for us to afford to go out and get our year's supply of food, 72 hour kits, and everything else all at one time. So, we have slowly but surely been trying to prepare a little here and a little there.

We have put together our year's supply of food in our cold storage room. We have a years supply of rotatable foods as well as a year's supply of 5 - 25 year storage items. There are some gaps in these supplies, but for the most part we have what we need in that department.

We also acquired a generator this year. B still needs to adapt it to use propane rather than gasoline. But, there is a certain amount of comfort in knowing we could generate enough electricity to heat our home and cook our food in an emergency. And hopefully we would be able to bless the lives of others with supplies we have collected. And if we cannot generate electricity, we also have a sun oven. I have no clue how to use it yet, but we have it. So, in the event we aren't personally destroyed in an emergency and only suffer the lack of available food, water, and electricity...well, we should fare well enough.

Here in Utah it really isn't a matter of if, but rather a matter of when we experience an earthquake. So it never hurts to be prepared. Trust in God, but also be prepared.

But, with all the earthquakes and disasters occurring in recent months, I have been very much concerned about our 72 hour kits. What do we grab if we need to evacuate the house in 10 minutes...or ten seconds? Where do we put these things? How do we decide what to put in them? Well, I set a goal to get a better handle on our 72 hour kits, and the following is our solution. We devoted one entire closet in the house to be the home for our most basic emergency supplies. We now have our packs full of emergency supplies that would provide emergency food, water, shelter, and first aid supplies for at least three days. We just acquired the MREs to put into our packs, and I feel much better now knowing we have the food and water part taken care of. Here's a look at the closet and our packs. Ah...beautiful, but HEAVY!

(This picture kind of makes me think of the story of the three bears, in our case, four bears...Once there was a closet filled with 72 hour kits. The papa bear's pack was too heavy. The mama bear's pack was, well, too heavy as well. The Sister bear's pack was far too heavy for her (she was just a skinny little bean!), and the baby bear's pack just wasn't filled yet. Ah, those poor little bears! It will be a challenge to scamper out of their house under those packs, but they'll be glad they have them!)

And here are some of our MREs. I took them all out of their boxes, labeled them, and packed them into Zip-lock bags. We could get a lot more in our packs that way. We tasted a few of the meals, and I have to say that they weren't as terrible as I was thinking they would be. In an emergency, I would be perfectly happy to have them.

Now we still need to round up all of our sleeping bags, extra flashlights and candles, tent, extra fuel, and clothing and shoes. Other things I need to fill the closet with are diapers, wipes, and a few more foods I could get a one-year-old to eat. Additionally, we would like to get all of our important documents reduced and put into one small photo album. So, even though we have quite a lot done for our 72 hour kits and emergency preparedness closet, we still have a lot more to do. So, that is one of my new goals...finish that closet! Any ideas?

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