Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

Be Prepared.

Almost every time my family goes on a trip I am the last person out of the house. I stop and look around, just to make sure I am not forgetting anything. I want to be totally prepared for whatever we might encounter. Do I have extra water bottles? It never fails that a mile or two down the road Monkey will be "so thirsty!" Did I remember to pack the toothbrushes, the hairdryer, and extra socks?

Preparation is so important, no matter what we are doing. In order to do something right, we need to have all of the proper tools. One of my Grandmother's sayings was "Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance." If we didn't have something fully planned out and it showed, she would say, "PPP!" And we knew what she meant. And she really had a point!

I recently read an article that recommended starting with an emergency water supply and a 72-hour Emergency Kit.  That really is common sense stuff, so why hadn't I thought of it that way?  The most important thing we will need in an emergency is water, then food and other emergency supplies.

The earthquake in Japan yesterday just drove home that point to me.  If there was an earthquake, fire, or any other kind of disaster (Katrina ring a bell?), are we prepared to evacuate our home on a moment's notice?

We have 72-hour Kits.  They are stashed in the hall closet.  Each of the kids has a backpack with supplies, food, clothes, and water.  We go through them twice a year and rotate the food out, packing new items in their place.  There are ready-made kits available, but ours are morphed together from my original Emergency Kit that my parents had for me and things that we've added along the way.

Some things we have in the kids' packs:
  • change of clothes and shoes (shoes can be tied onto the outside of the backpack to save room)
  • small first aid kit
  • toiletries including:
    • small bottle of shampoo
    • small bar of soap
    • toothbrush and paste
    • toilet paper
  • whistle
  • flashlight with batteries packed separately
  • waterproof matches
  • emergency blanket
  • poncho
  • food to last 72 hours*
  • a book and a coloring book and pens or crayons
  • multi-tool or pocket knife
  • some hard candy or fruit snacks (in an emergency you need something feel-good, too!)
  • several water bottles, plus two 2 liter bottles of water
*The food we pack is VERY simple.  I buy boxes of Protein bars at Costco and divy them out.  I'll also add things like trail mix, fruit leather,  regular granola bars and jerky.  I even have cans of peanuts, cans of sardines and small tins of beans and franks (they have pop tops to eliminate the need for can openers.)  I try to keep it to food that does not need to be cooked.  We've packed hot cocoa mix and oatmeal packets, but those would require hot water to prepare them properly, even though they could actually be eaten cold or even dry.  I don't think beggars will be choosers. I also like to keep a combination of carbs and protein to keep energy up.  If there is an emergency, chances are calories will be burned with the adrenaline that is pumping!

Some things I want to add:

  • a rope
  • garbage bag
  • plastic spoons
  • a paper or tag with contact information and phone numbers for home, cell phones, and family in another area that may not be affected by the emergency.
  • travel pack of baby wipes (always handy, especially when you don't have a lot of water available)
  • a couple of matchbox cars for the little boys
Other things to pack for young children (of which I have none anymore):
  • diapers
  • baby food/formula
  • medications
  • small toys
  • extra extra clothes
  • receiving blanket 
Can you think of anything else that should be added to a Kids Emergency Kit?

I hope we never have to use these, but I feel better knowing they are ready and available.  And I don't want my grandma shaking her head and saying, "PPP!"

Here are some more links for 72-hour Emergency Kit information:

The American Red Cross

Article from


mormonhermitmom said...

So right you are. We have 72 hour kits for all our kids too. I found though that the water part makes the packs very heavy for young kids. We have our water stored separately out by the car.

I love your grandma's quote!

Over from MMB

Morgan -Ing said...

Our food for the 72 hour kit comes from Costco. They sell emergency kits in a bucket. I love it! I do need to repack clothes and diapers for everyone, since it's been a while! Thanks for the reminder.

Giggles said...

I love that you mentioned that there is a coloring book in your kids' kits. It's important to not forget that they are kids even in emergencies.

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