Saturday, April 05, 2014

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Putting together a bug out bag with what I already owned

I found a much used gym bag in a closet that is now the Emergency Bag.

Sorry for not being around much lately.  There are weeks getting computer time on Hubby's desktop can be difficult to come by as he is quite busy.  Sometimes it is just the inability to comment on blogs of friends but this week I could not post anything on my own blog (except for a link to the Storyformed Conference).

He is in the midst of two big projects but I demanded asked for time to post this weekend.  With a lot of pretty please with sugar on top.  :)

Soooo... my goal was to begin putting together what I call an emergency bag but what the world calls a bug out bag.  The only rules I gave myself was to do it with what I had on hand already. 

This turned out great exercise in preparedness, I wish I'd done it long ago.  I now have a bag in the coat closet but I also know what items are needed.  For instance, priorities include a package of men's athletic socks (they would fit both of us), a small transistor type radio with ear buds, additions to the First Aid kit, and some kind of protein (beef sticks perhaps?).

There were great comments on last week's post and if anyone wants to add what they view as important, feel free to do so.  I absolutely loved the anonymous comment about keeping essential documents in the kitty carrier because they know they would not forget their cat!

Well, if you remember we had to call the fire department when we were hit by lightening and then a week later when there was a natural gas leak (caused by the earlier lightening hit).

Each time I took my beloved Victoria not the file box with essential documents!  So I typed out the above reminder (and added purse and camera!), printed it out, and it is going to be taped on the kitty carrier!  The documents are still in their file box but I will not forget them if God forbid... there is a next time I need to evacuate the house.

This is the kind of box we have the essential documents in but for security reasons, this is not the actual box.  I actually borrowed this idea as a newlywed from what my parents had done when I was growing up and we have continued it for 30+ years of marriage.

The box contains our wills, our car title (before we had to borrow to purchase the new-to-us van, birth certificate's, my husband's military records, our newborn son's death certificate and his information, etc.

If we had extra cash we would keep some in here.  But we never have enough extra cash on hand to do so.  In a perfect world, this would be a fire proof safe but it is not a perfect world.

I still plan to type out a list of emergency phone numbers, etc. and print it out.  

The above is the First Aid kit we keep on a shelf in the linen closet in the bathroom.  I took a few items out of it to place in the bag but I also realized this needs some attention.

It was kept up to date when we had kids in the house but it has declined woefully.

The above is what I put together from what I had in the house and garage that could go into the bag.  It includes an inexpensive flashlight (I would also include batteries for the flashlight as a priority), toiletries, disposable towelettes, tall kitchen garbage bags,  a teeny tiny First Aid kit, emergency blankets, and an emergency light stick.

Since the bag is kept in the coat closet where I keep our best flashlights, they could also be tossed in the bag at the last minute.  This will definitely be a work in progress as I think of items to add to it.

As a Type 1 diabetic, I keep carbs handy in the car already for low blood sugar issues.  High blood sugar can kill you over years but low blood sugar can be sudden and deadly if you take insulin.  So I had plenty on hand to put in the bag.

I need to add some forms of better protein but I already had on hand the protein bars, crackers, Nutella "to go", and those small packets of peanut butter.

Everything went into either Ziploc bags or a similar plastic bag.  All food items in one, toiletries and safety items in another.

There were some smaller items added in other plastic bags later, such as some NutraGrain fruit bars and a collection of plastic forks and spoons.  I also added a roll of TP.

I need to put some of Victoria's kibble in a Ziploc bag immediately, while I'm thinking of it.  I also plan to add a small New Testament with larger type than those I have on hand. 

Just a reminder, it is best to purchase "Strike Anywhere" matches when they are available.  That way if you transfer them out of the box (unlike "Strike on Box" matches), they will light when struck against a rock, etc. Now to be honest, perhaps the Strike on Box matches can, too.  I've just never bought them and tried it out.

Four small boxes of matches were placed in a snack size Ziploc bag to keep moisture out of them.  By placing items in the plastic bags, it not only protects them but also makes them easier to take out and update from time to time.

This did not take much time at all last week.  It took longer to photograph everything than to put it together.  I encourage you, if you have not done so, yet, to look around your home and see what you have already to put together!.

Mine is far from complete but having one started shows me the exact areas where items are needed to make it a more complete emergency bag (aka: Bug Out Bag).


Rain said...

This is a great idea. Thank you. I will be putting one of these together this week. I may need a bigger duffle bag to accommodate 8 people.
BTW I will be attending the conference that your daughter is putting together. I'm really looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good idea. I would suggest adding some copies of photographs as well. Someone we know who lost her house to a fire said that the worst loss was the irreplaceable things like treasured old family photos.

Vee said...

This post has made me rethink a few things. the first is how well stocked the first aid kit is...not very I am afraid. Also, I think the cat carrier might be better stored in the garage rather than the basement. Hope that Mr. CTB and Me gets his projects done in a timely way and that you have the chance to be online more often. Are we praying for a computer fix or replacement?

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

This is something I've been meaning to do. With our tendency to have tornadoes and just general bad storms it would be good to have a bag at the ready.

We had heavy rains a few days ago and my neighbors had a huge oak tree (healthy) fall on their home and they had to evacuate in the middle of a rain/wind event!