Sunday, May 07, 2006

What's In The Hurricane Box...And What's Not

Today is May 7, so we have about 3 weeks before the official start of hurricane season, June 1st. As stated in an earlier post, I have started preparations earlier than in the past.

My previous preparations went more like this, "Dang, those trees are really whipping, I think I'll run down to the store for some extra Campbells soup and some cheese crackers."

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After the '04 season here, and the '05 Katrina/Rita wollop only about two hundred miles away, I've gotten more serious.

Yes, a worst case bird flu scenario is in the back of my mind, but I'm not running around in circles screaming ala Sponge Bob. Remember all the goofballs who went to ground over Y2K? ( Sorry if you were one of them, I hope you're better now)

We call our small supply stash, "The Hurricane Box", but you could substitute Bird Flu, Small Pox, Oil Embargo, etc for hurricane. A week without power from a hurricane is the most likely use for these supplies in my opinion. No matter what the event is, the two real adults (sorry Katie...18 don't make it so) are responsible for the lives of 3 precious children and this is a simple thing really.

It's actually kind of fun. It's a good excuse to poke around Sam's looking for a big container of something everybody likes, doesn't have to be refridgerated, and can be prepared in powerless conditions.

The Hurricane box is strictly for food or food related stuff. Other needed items are kept separate. My wife is a nurse, so we have a good medical/first aide box as a regular part of our household. She is also THE first response coordinator for our county and is usually on duty and away from the house when disaster strikes.

The box is a large grey Rubbermaid box that sits in my closet, tucked in the corner. It's big enough to hold alot, but not too big to fit in the car if we had to bug out. Here's what's in it so far:

1 5lb bag of Krusteaze Pancake Mix...just add water.

1 brick of need for a caffeine withdrawal headache during a disaster

1 box of Earl Grey Tea...she drinks that.

1 huge cannister of's loaded with Vitamins and it was good enough for John Glenn and Alan Shepherd.

1 giant Peanut Butter container.

4 Family sized Campbells soup cans.

1 package of 70 assorted Nature Valley granola bars...oh, they whine about that one, but just wait 'til they're starving.

1 big can of baked beans...ever have a baked bean sandwich?

Matches, hand crank canopener...we don't have an electric one.

2 five pound bags of rice.

1 one pound bag of black beans.

1 two pound bag of pinto beans.

That's it so far. There are still things we can add...a good multivitamin comes to mind as well as some other foodstuffs. You'll notice I'm not going the expensive individually wrapped MRE or backpacker freeze dried meal route. Just good nutritous food that can be prepared simply and stores well. Remember KISS?

No mention of water because I'm not storing it ahead of time. There's always enough time to fill containers before a storm and I have a pond if I really get thirsty... ("Daddy, there's a tadpole in my Tang!"..whiners)

Nothing in that list will be wasted, even if the storms and other things that go bump in the night pass us by. We're only buying things we like to eat anyway and as time goes by, we'll enjoy them as we replace them with something fresher.

Hmmmm...looking back at the list, ...maybe I should throw in a bottle of Beano.


Mrs. S said...

Bah! Kids these days! The nature valley granola bars would go first in our house - disaster or not. We'd also have to include a pack of "fruit to go" fruit leather sticks - they keep forever and they are yummy and I think there must be vitamins in there somewhere?

Oh... and tums.

Luckily, we don't live in a place where any of this is necessary. If "the big earthquake" they all speak of comes, we'll be in the ocean wondering what happened with our food supplies well out of reach.

Hmmm... maybe we should move, eh?

Rexroth's Daughter said...

We haven't put together our avian flu survival kit yet, or our pacific northwest earthquake survival kit. But we've been reading what others are doing, and it's inspirational. We've gotten as far as the talking about what we would put in ours, and then somehow the urgency to get it done passes. Oh, I do think we probably have enough wine to see us through the worst of it.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

You can add some functionality to the disaster kit by using the Rubbermaid container in the same way that Tjilpi uses his ammo box - as a "field bidet".

Wayne said...

Good job! I was surprised at the amount of low-level anxiety relieved by creating an emergency stockpile of food and essential hardware.

I've also been surprised that the trips to the store have been cut in half. The stored food is meant to be used, after all, and must be rotated anyway. So there's never any compelling reason for every trip to the store. I just keep a list of what needs to be replaced and do so the next trip. (At least for us it's a significant savings in gas - the nearest store is 10 miles away.)

Floridacracker said...

Mrs S,
Earthquakes we don't worry about, the 'canes are enough. I never got into the fruit leather, but my kids used to eat it all the time.

I'm not truly worried about Avian still has some serious mutating to do before it shows up on my worry radar. It is predicted to show up (in birds) on your coast first tho. Being without power in hurricanes is reality, not a maybe...

I'm afraid I'll pass on that one. It was an interesting twist on the uses for ammo boxes.

It does feel good and like you said, it's really meant to be used, so nothing is wasted.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

"Daddy, there's a tadpole in my Tang!"

You are such a joker...I wish I had a science teacher like you. I bet you keep your kids laughing all the time with your humorous nature.

We only worry about disasters in the winter...Ice storms...and winter's over.
OH...I forgot about tornados. I better stop eating my disaster box.

kevin said...

Isn't that a "baked bean sammich"?

Floridacracker said...

I am surrounded by comedians here.

I need to get my spell checker checked.

Tjilpi said...

You seem, in your post, not to have included a bottle or two of LPG and a stove top for heating water to make coffee.

Literary omissions only??

Floridacracker said...

I didn't include some things that we have around here anyway. I have an endless supply of cut wood and a large grill, plus every redneck home has a propane tank and a deep fryer. It's the law.

I also have a dead truck in the back yard.

John Cowart said...

Mosquito repellent make a handy addition to our hurricane kit last year.

Leslie said...

Don't know how you feel about Velveeta but it's a dairy product that doesn't require refrigeration until you open it. Some dairy might be nice after a week or so without. Also Ragu and spaghetti noodles are good for your kit. And maybe some Spam or tuna or some of that bacon that you don't have to refrigerate.

Floridacracker said...

You make a good point and I've got a small case of it left over from hurricane handouts last year.

You're right, Velveeta would be a good addition. I do plan to add some pasta also, the kit is still evolving. Actually all your suggestions were good and items that my crew would chew.