* If you don’t have 2 weeks of food, PLEASE, do that immediately. This can be easy. Hamburger Helper, pasta and spaghetti sauce, Mac and Cheese, beef stew with an extra can of beans and corn, Fish sticks, 2 cans of chili and hotdogs (that can go in the freezer), whatever. Get 14 meals that you can stick under the bed (or in the freezer) and not use. Please, do this soon.
* I planted my peppers. They are now hanging out in the kitchen with the tomatoes.
LONG TERM FOCUS: Oats
Oats are just one choice for storing “whole grains.” Other choices include amaranth, barley, rice, corn (cornmeal, popcorn, etc.), quinoa, rye, spelt, and wheat. Whole grains contain fiber and other nutrients. A good goal is to have 1/2 of the grains you eat be whole grains. “The protein in oats is higher than that in wheat or rice. The protein in oats is nearly equal to meat, milk, and egg protein.” (Food Storage Powerhouse, Orgill, p34) Oats also provide vitamin B1, phosphorus, manganese, biotin, and other vitamins and minerals. This is one reason it’s a good storage choice. If you store oats in an airtight container and use either a dry ice technique, oxygen-absorbing packets, or food-grade diatomaceous earth, the oats will last 30 years or more. If you can store oats inside, in a closet, protected from water or rodents, they will last several years – long enough to rotate them.
Oats, in general, include: rolled oats, steel-cut oats, whole oats (they look very much like wheat and can be sprouted or cooked as is), and ground oats (like flour) can be used to make pancakes or other bread type items. I practiced making oats in a thermos once. I added the oats, salt (just a pinch), and boiling water to a thermos. Then I let it sit overnight. In the morning, the oatmeal was perfect—a little milk and brown sugar and yum.
SHORT TERM FOCUS: breakfast cereal
My husband eats a lot of breakfast cereal. Me? Not so much. It’s not that I don’t LIKE breakfast cereal. I’d rather have leftover spaghetti, or enchiladas, or goulash for breakfast. Over the years, I’ve learned that
* Cereal is not a LONG term item.
* The bugs really like it.
But, I like having it on hand so that we have a backup if we run out. AND, I really like Rice Krispie treats, so I try to keep Rice Krispie’s on hand.
I currently have 5 open boxes of cereal in plastic containers that we eat out of. I have 7-8 cereal boxes stored, dated, and ready when needed. When I bring the boxes home from the store, I use packing tape to tape the top and bottom shut. That way, no bugs can get in, and if there are eggs in the glue (which I have heard can happen), they can’t get out. Once I started doing this, I have not had any problem with pantry flies in the cereal. (I have read, however, that this is not absolute. I’m only saying that it works for me.) I date the boxes with month and year of purchase, then stick them up on the highest shelf – out of the way. I only buy new cereal to replace what I take off that shelf. All the cereal I had that was two years old, or more was stale, and I threw it all away.
Watch for cereal to go on sale, then pick up 2-3 extra boxes. Stick them aside.
72 HOUR KITS: backpacks
Before backpacks were popular, we carried our books to and from school in our arms. Yep, that was a thing. LOL Then, in the 1970s, bookbags were popular. So, when I wanted to make individual backpacks for my kids, there really was no such thing. Hiking packs were super expensive. So I used old jeans. I tied a string around the pant leg openings, then folded the legs up and tied the closed openings to belt loops. That was their backpack. I just used a piece of rope to close the waist opening. Each child’s backpack had a change of clothes (buy these at a thrift store), some dried fruit, a flashlight, and I can’t remember what else.) We kept them in the garage. Despite your “purpose” for having a 72-hour kit, you have to start with something you can carry, wheel, or throw into the car. Maybe you want to use 2 or 3 Lowe’s buckets. Maybe you want to use a rolling suitcase. Doesn’t matter, but get something. Think about that this week and try to come up with a plan. Then you can add to it over the next several months.
Can you keep bottles of water in the car for long periods of time? Here is a good place to look for an answer: Is It Safe to Keep Your Plastic Water Bottle in a Hot Car?
Bottom line: In a study of 20 bottles of water, kept at 158 degrees for several weeks, ONE of the bottles showed a small number of chemicals from the plastic. The FDA considers small amounts of BPA safe. A bigger risk is drinking from a bottle, then letting it sit in a hot car where bacteria can grow. A video on this site shows how the sun can be magnified by the water and burn the upholstery.
Here is another site with some good ideas for keeping water in your car. How to Store Emergency Water in Your Car – Super Prepper
I DON’T keep water bottles in the car. But if I wanted to throw a few in there for a trip, they would be safe to drink. Just keep them out of the sun.
You should have water that you can put in the car if you have to evacuate. Individual bottles of water are perfect for this: second choice, 1-gallon jugs from the store. Whatever you buy, you have to rotate. Trust me on this one.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPE:
I’ve made this recipe several times and really like how it turns out. But it makes a lot, so I usually cut it in half.
7 c. oats
1 c. chopped almonds
1 c. wheat germ
1 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Mix wet ingredients together in a pan. Melt, but don’t boil. Pour over oats. Spread mix on 2 oiled cookie sheets. Bake 325 degrees 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and add
1 1/2 c. raisins
These are great in the summer because you don’t have to turn on the oven, which doesn’t heat the kitchen.
In a saucepan, add:
1/2 c. milk
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/4 c. cocoa
Mix together and boil for 1 minute.
Remove and immediately add:
3/4 c. peanut butter (let it melt a little to cool off the chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. oats
Stir. Drop by teaspoons on parchment or tin foil. No need to bake. Just let cool.
LIST OF LINKS:
This link is titled, “Is It Safe to Drink Bottled Water Left in a Hot Car.
This one is How To Store Emergency Water in Your Car