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."
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 coffee...no need for a caffeine withdrawal headache during a disaster
1 box of Earl Grey Tea...she drinks that.
1 huge cannister of Tang...it'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.