Mmmmmkay now I know what you're all thinking here.
"Family Emergency Prep Day" doesn't sound like the first exciting activity you'd do together at a family reunion. It's probably not the second, or even the 100th. (At least, if you were raised in the family I was raised. Maybe this is something totally normal ? )
It was super awesome.
Mmmmkkaay and here's why.
First off, our darling sister missionary Maren came home from a long 18th months of the frozen lands of Canada!
This happened well over a couple months ago, but I haven't written about it yet. Mostly because I literally forget she's home every time I leave my in-laws house. It's a happy shock all over again when I realize that she's actually home!
Also, no, that picture had nothing to do with her homecoming. Ha :) I was videographer of the homecoming, so I didn't capture any pictures at the airport.
That extended family of mine had wanted to do vacation party with all the in-laws together once Maren got home. I think the original plan was some intense hiking - river rafting trip in Moab, Utah. But then my SIL went and got herself all 7 months pregnant by the time Maren came home. ;)
I have no idea what happened to any of the backup plans, but my fabulous in-laws announced we were going to have a family prep day and it was going to be more fun than anything else in the world and that's that.
And you know what? It was awesome. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like our blessed nation of freedom has been under some crazy weather disasters. Every year the numbers of tornadoes or snowstorms grow exponentially. (I don't think this is just an American problem... I think it's been happening everywhere.)
So here's what we decided to prepare our family for:
72 Hour Kits
Fire & Earthquake Safety
3 Month Food Storage
Here's our little itinerary of the day.
Naturally, any family prep day must start with some fancy breakfast food. Especially if that family day falls right on someone's birthday.
The scones in this place were massive. Taylor and I snacked on it for a couple days after the weekend.
Check out that birthday cinnamon roll! Suzy couldn't be more more excited about being married to birthday boy.
(excuse that random dot on his face...)
We also couldn't skip out on a soccer game that my father-in-law coached for. Taylor's little brother is on the team as well.
I don't understand why people shout out commands at the kids from the sidelines, (isn't what the coaches are for?) but maybe I just haven't gotten to that stage of life yet.
Cleaning Out Old 72 Hour Kits
Now for the real emergency prep stuff. :)
At home base, we were each handed a slip of paper and instructed to dig through our 72 hour kits.
There was some considerable mess going on.
Points were alloted by whatever items were already in the 72 hour kits, even if they were expired. Whoever had the most "points" won. (Our family didn't do any tangible reward other than pride for becoming the next likely target of mooching on in a natural disaster.)
Whatever necessary items we felt like we needed to have in our kits was made into shopping list for later that day. (Read further for that part.)
Throughout the unpacking, we talked about general fire & earthquake safety. Taylor downloaded PDF's about what to do in those situations I think from the Red Cross site HERE.
3 Months of Food Storage & The Cannery
After a pizza break for lunch, each family "unit" was given a set budget and an order sheet for canned/bagged storage goods. (By unit, I mean Taylor & I made a unit. Taylor's younger siblings were paired with their parents.) On that sheet, we decided how much we would want to buy from the cannery to build up our "3 month food storage".
Then we drove out to the cannery to purchase our items and then, well, can stuff.
As fun as it was to shove spaghetti noodles into cans and slap on labels, it was even more fulfilling to be stuffing up our containers for our families. It feels good to have a little pride of accomplishment in my giant can of hot chocolate powder that now sits in my pantry. After I'm done feeling proud, I usually consider eating it.
Arrow was too small to be allowed in the operations room, so we took turns minding her and playing outside while others got to do some service. (Most of the tending was taken on by my in-laws who love their grandbaby.)
Her wardrobe is by far more fashionable than mine.
Building New 72 Hour Kits
Our last activity of the day was my most favorite.
We drove to the nearest Walmart, and got in our teams of family units. (Except for Arrow, who was kidnapped again by her grandparents.)
This is where our list of items from our 72 hour kits from earlier came into play. We had another allotted budget ($50) to spend & a timer was set for 20 minutes to get as many of those items as we could. There was some serious strategy in figuring out how to get from the crackers aisle of Walmart to the camping section because Walmart is a live action game of chutes and ladders.
We built Arrow her own little backpack kit. This was the only backpack that wasn't Disney themed.
Now we're like supah prepared
Our kits still have a little more work we need to do, as well as continuing to build our 3 month food storage, but we sure feel better about what we have now.
Now the business of being prepared is staying prepared. An idea I love was given to me by a neighbor. Every 6 months, while watching the semi-annual LDS general conference broadcast, her family eats out their 72 hour food kits and replenishes it that same day. That way, their kits are constantly updated for when misfortune falls, because it always does at some time.
That's how we celebrated our Family Emergency Prep Day. I'd love to hear more ideas on how has your family prepared for disasters / food storage. Share them in the comments below!