After taking some time off from the preparedness challenge we are back into it this week. We have always had an emergency bag packed and ready to go. Or at least I have always had one for myself...When I was in MT one of the VISTA projects that was started via Homeland Security was the creation of emergency bag kits for people across the state. It was the summer of 2002, 9/11 was fresh in everyone's head and emergency bags were all the rage. I had come out to MT with one already packed- it was my camping bag and it had been packed and repacked multiple times since 9/11. You see I was at college in MA for sept. 11. I could do nothing to help and it made me sad and angry and want to get as far away as possible. I was an Resident Advisor in college, and my boss expected me to be help everyone else through their grief, I couldn't do it. I could not be in the housing office with the tv news on 24/7, listening to people with no connection to the place or the people who died cry about how upset they were. So I packed a bag. So I bought a plane ticket to Washington State with another friend who was in the same mood as me. We got the hell out of Dodge. When we wandered out of the woods, the first news report we heard was that we were now at WAR.
My bag stayed packed. It was like my escape pack. If things got to insane for me I would take it and head into the woods to clear my head. I figured "Hey running away from the problem is better then drinking them away"......
The bag stayed packed for my time in MT, it stayed packed when I moved back to NY. It stayed packed when I got married. I just quietly added the husband's things to it. When we had Joe I added the baby things to it. When we had Jude I restocked again...
And now it is springtime, the boys are bigger, we are in a different area and they need to be redone. We need more cold weather stuff, we need more survival outside stuff. Living in NYC it would have been easier to obtain clothes and food as there are simply more stores. Here in the Hudson Valley we are not close enough to a real metropolis to survive that way (I sure as hell am not going to walk to poughkeepsie or even newburgh if I don't have to in an emergency situation)
So this wee for the challenge I repacked our bags. I should add that we use two large camping bags. The hubby carries 70% of the weight, I carry 30%.
WATER: we live near a number of creeks and streams so we packed a 32 oz nalgene for each person as well as water purification tablets
FOOD: I am still trying to figure this out. I did pack a large jar of dried fruit and nuts. Food is stumping me a little. When I camp I bring real food, and I think this could work in an emergency as well, except do we want to lug the camp stove? rely on campfire? we could do either but right now I am at a standstill with food.
CLOTHING: Everyone got clothes consisting of jeans, soft pants, wool lined jeans; tshirt, long sleeve, wool sweater; rainjacket; hat (both sun and wool winter), mittens. Everyone gets 4 pairs of socks that are woolen. Boots. (I want to add snow shoes and quickdry water shoes when we can)
HYGIENE/FIRST AID: we have a small first aid kit that has everything in it from a snake bite kit to ace bandages to any creams and otc meds we might need. Everyone has a ziplock with toothbrush, toothpaste, camp soap/shampoo, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and tissues. My ziplock includes a diva cup, sanitizing wash for the diva cup, sunscreen, chapstick and bug repellent.
SHELTER: we have a tent and tarp (but need to upgrade to 4 season tent), 2 giant sleeping bags (they zip together so we all fit in, when the boys are bigger we will readjust this), fire kit.
MUST HAVES: for each person we have a copy of vaccines, birth certificates, deed for the house, marriage certificate, banking info, insurance stuff, roll of quarters. And it sounds weird but we also carry copies of the church records I guess that would be akin to putting that you are catholic or whatever on your dog tags, just in case I guess... and various maps including trail maps and an Appalachian trail guide.
COMFORTS: we have a pack of playing cards, some family photos, paper and pencils, 2 hanks of wool (about 1k yrds) and knitting needles, a survival manual, battery operated radio, extra batteries.
OTHER: camp shovel, one pot, one pan, a jar with coffee, a stack of tea bags, a small jar of sugar, batteries, flashlights, glowsticks, small jar with matches.
I still need to fine tune these bags and of course as the kids get older/bigger we will be able to all have individual bags.