What Food To Pack In Your 72 Hour Kit
There’s no denying that the past few weeks has made everyone think about how prepared they are for emergencies! Where I live right now, I don’t have to worry about hurricanes, but an earthquake or fire is a real possibility, and really, we never know what kind of emergency might take place! One of the simplest and most important things you can do right now is to make sure each member of your family as an up-to-date 72 hour kit.
Each kit is going to look a little different, depending on what area you live in and special needs of each individual (e.g. diapers, glasses, allergy medication). However, one thing that everyone needs in their kit is enough nonperishable food for 3 days. I don’t know why, but this seems to be the most daunting part of putting together a kit to me. Even with food, it seems that there are several different ways to approach putting together a kit- dependent on food allergies, cost, personal tastes, etc. I’ve been researching some different food ideas for 72 hour kits, and thought it would be helpful information to pass along!
Obviously, the first thing to think about is water! You want to have enough water for 1 gallon per day per person, so a total of 3 gallons per person. That is a ton of water to haul around! Some options to think about- pack a couple water bottles in everyone’s bag, and pack a water purifier to help cover the rest. I don’t love the idea of not actually having the water with me, but this is a great option if you have little ones that really can’t carry their own water. Another option is to pack a few water bottles in each pack, but then store a case of water near your 72 hour kits that you could grab as well. This wouldn’t be a problem if you’re able to take your car with you in an emergency, but wouldn’t be ideal if you had to hurry away on foot. It’s important to think about the area you live in and what disasters could potentially happen.
When it comes to the actual food part of a 72 hour kit, I really liked an article I read (it’s listed as the first source below) in which she not only gives a detailed menu plan, but her reasons for choosing the foods that she did. She’s looking for items that are cost-effective, high in calorie without sacrificing the nutrition, and something easy to carry and simple to eat (no heat or utensils required). I also like that she brought up that you probably want to pack things that you and your kids will actually eat- just because it’s an emergency doesn’t mean that your kids will suddenly stop being picky eaters ;). And if your kit is full of nasty food, are you really going to rotate it? Probably not!
This was her suggested list:
Breakfast: Oatmeal to Go Bar, Annie’s Bunnies, Yogurt Raisins
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Animal Crackers, Fruit Leather
Dinner: 4 Slim Jims, 2 Chewy Granola Bars, Fig Newtons
Day #2 (not pictured)
Breakfast: Soft Baked Breakfast Bar, Annie’s Bunnies, Craisins
Lunch: Trail Mix, Annie’s Bunnies, Fig Newtons
Dinner: Peanut Butter and Animal Crackers, Crunchy granola bar, Yogurt Raisins
Day #3 (not pictured)
Breakfast: Breakfast Cookie, Animal Crackers , Applesauce
Lunch: Tuna & Crackers, Goldfish, Fruit Snacks
Dinner: Bag of peanuts, Animal Crackers, Yogurt Raisins
She also chose to add a few extra bags of nuts, slim jims, small chewable candies to supplement these meals if needed. I definitely appreciate the work she put into this list, but I also feel that you could save money by buying store brands rather than name brands if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed!
Some other suggestions of items you could swap out in your kit:
*Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey bar
*Cliff energy bars
*Hard candies like root beer barrels
*Fruit roll ups
*Hot chocolate mix
My initial thought when researching different food ideas was that these lists contained a lot of processed foods that aren’t necessarily healthy! However, I did take a step back and realize that in a true emergency, I’ll be grateful for whatever food I have on hand, and honestly- my kids are more likely to eat all the processed stuff anyway ;). I mean, that’s why you’re making a kit, right? Not to eat fresh, healthful food, but to stay alive!
Whatever you decide to pack in your kits, make sure you consider everything you might need to go with whatever foods you pack. Do you need a way to heat the soup/water? Do you need a can opener? Utensils? Will the food easily be crushed or pop open? Everyone’s kit is so different- it’s important to stop and think what’s going to be important to you and your family.
I’d love to hear what food items you have in your 72 hour kits. If you haven’t put yours together, what are you planning on putting in yours?
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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