Guest Post: What You Missed At Enrichment — Emergency Preparedness Edition

by Libby

(On a three-child-induced career sabbatical, Libby spends her time sewing lavish Halloween costumes, reading, and volunteering on the board of her daughter’s cooperative preschool. She lives near Boston.)

– Question: Does new three-month food storage plan count toward former one-year plan? Can foods overlap?

– Discussion of which legal documents are necessary to copy and why, followed by discussion of scenarios in which said documents would be needed, devolving into discussion of worst-case scenarios involving home insurance, bank access, ability to transport children across state lines, ability to prove that self actually exists

– Iteration of Belmont, MA, disaster “risk factors,” as identified by town spokesperson: highway proximity, earthquake, commuter railway, chemical plant near the high school, Mitt Romney. “Volcano” not on list

– Discussion of how much children can be expected to carry, wisdom of extra food rations for teenagers, pros and cons of husband having fanny-pack style mini kit at work

– Question: Is it possible for dogs to carry/drag own 72-hour kits? Acknowledgement that cats are unlikely to do so. Hamsters?

– Table of emergency giveaway items: single-serve baby formula, beef jerky, travel-size hairspray, protein bars, handi-wipes, cast-off toys, etc.

– Discussion of whether or not to include liquid concealer in 72-hour kit. Will stress cause pimples, which will then cause more stress if unconcealed?

– Refreshments from various sisters’ food storage pantries, including bean dips and a partially-eaten blueberry pie (and discussion about said pie being an example of thrift and responsible allocation of resources)

– Discussion of relative merits of distraction-type items, including cards, books, board games. Question: Is Jurassic Park an advisable book to put in 72-hour kit? Why or why not? Further discussion of best time to watch “Contagion”: while self and spouse are both sick or both healthy?

– Hershey bar and bottled water giveaway (chocolate theoretically dependent on bringing own 72-hour kit to meeting, but actually done by “honor code”)

– Sharing of various disaster scenarios lived through by which women, mild bearing of testimonies re preparedness, devolving into discussion of long-term water availability in certain parts of the U.S. and wisdom of living anywhere not settled before 1930

– Discussion of which feminine hygiene items to put in 72-hour kit (generic super-size tampons vs. pioneer-issue reusable rags)

– Above discussion abruptly ended by mention of the Diva cup

– Various side discussions explaining the Diva cup, describing insertion and debating reliability thereof

– Discussion of which emergency preparedness plans are commandments vs. which are government recommendations. Have the words “72-hour kit” been uttered in General Conference?

– Family Feud-style quiz on the Scout “rule of threes”: human beings can survive for three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, three weeks without food. Small group discussion: how long can humans survive without sex? (Three months suggested, then withdrawn)

So, what’s in your 72-hour kit?

 

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24 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Libby, did all these questions/discussions really happen?

    This is hilarious! It boggles the mind to see how far some Mormons go when it comes to emergency preparedness planning. Though from your recounting of the night, it’s sounds like there was a definite element of tongue in cheek discourse going on. It’s nice to see that some of the women have a sense of humor about it all.

    Ok, am I the only one who has never heard of a Diva Cup?

  2. LovelyLauren says:

    Personally, my Diva Cup is the first item going in my kit.

  3. Libby says:

    Caroline, YES. And the woman who was most tongue-in-cheek about it was the one teaching the class, and arguably the best-prepared in the ward for any impending disaster. (This is one of the reasons I love my ward, and will not be moving. Ever.)

  4. Diane says:

    Thanks for this, I had a good belly laugh.

    I’m quite sure my Beau (Shetland sheepdog mix) could indeed carry his own 72 hour kit. He’s probably one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever know(I do realize as his momma that I’m biased, but, I’m not ashamed of that biased, anyone whose ever had a Shetland can testify to their intelligence)

    And quite by chance I was watching Catagion this afternoon. ( admittedly, freaked out)

    • DefyGravity says:

      Pretty sure the dog in my life (my parent’s lab Lucy) would not be smart enough to carry her own pack. But my mother had made darn sure she has food and water for her and will carry it herself. 🙂 We’re doggy people.

      • Diane says:

        I have to say that the reason why I believe my dog could carry his own back pack is because last Nov I became seriously ill and my dog knew I was sick before I did and we got two houses down from ours before he started to demand and push me back into the house. And yep, I looked in the mirror and saw the tell tale signs that told me I needed to go to the hospital. That is one smart dog boy.

      • Libby says:

        Lucy and Beau sound like two very smart dogs! I’m impressed. And a little jealous. The cocker spaniel my family had when I was a kid wasn’t bright enough to take her paws off her ears while trying to stand up.

  5. Mike H. says:

    Some years ago, there was a political cartoon about the disasters in various regions of the US. Around Arizona, it was “Evan Meacham”!

  6. EmilyCC says:

    You do live in a fabulous ward, Libby. I was just thinking about that ward earlier today before I read your post.

    I think the best food storage tip I got was in the stake I’m living in, which is buy one of those Costco-size bags of peanut M&M’s because isn’t everything a little easier to deal with when you’ve got a handful of those?

    And, the Diva Cup…I keep meaning to try one, but I’m lazy about ordering stuff off of the internet. I LOVE that your RS mtg had a discussion about it, though!

    • Libby says:

      Emily, that would count as rotating food storage in my house. And I will say that a not-insignificant part of my family’s food storage is in the form of Girl Scout cookies.

      • Diane says:

        As long as they are the Peanut butter tagalongs you’ll be perfectly okay. Peanut butter gives protein and chocolate has anti oxidants.

        Don’t you just love justification and rationalization

    • April says:

      You can by softcup at grocery stores. (I am a big fan.) http://www.softcup.com/

  7. Rachel says:

    I love it. And strangely love putting together emergency supplies. I think it has something to do with all of the Gary Paulsen/”Hatchet” books I read as a kid. Mine usually have a lot of water, batteries (with accompanying flashlight), Trader Joe’s indian food packets and lots and lots of lara bars.

  8. jks says:

    I tried the Diva cup. It didn’t work for me. I wonder who I can ask to get some advice.

  9. Annie B. says:

    Oh my gosh, I love this post. “Is it possible for dogs to carry/drag own 72-hour kits? Acknowledgement that cats are unlikely to do so. Hamsters?” Hehee… In my experience, tongue in cheek or dark senses of humors are absolute necessities in the event of a disaster. A family motto of ours when disaster strikes: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

    My mom and dad cleaned out their storage room a while back and found a stash of 10 year old 72 hour kits put together during a long past FHE. They revealed the contents while my sister and I were there for Memorial day breakfast. It was like opening a time capsule. My dad, ever the outdoorsman, scout-leader, and preparedness guru had the smallest stash (his real, regularly updated 72 hour kit is kept in a high-end internal frame pack in his suburban at all times). My mom’s was the most complete with full first-aid kit, triangle bandages, trail mix, homemade dried fruit, whistle, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, ect. My sister’s was probably the most entertaining. She was in high school at the time the kits were put together, and her kit contained, among other necessities, a pair of what she now calls granny panties, the only style of underwear my mom sanctioned (if we bought anything brightly colored or with a flattering cut, it would mysteriously disappear from the wash).

    • Libby says:

      Annie, that sounds like a hilarious breakfast! (Also, the key to keeping your fun underwear is hand-washing it in the bathroom sink.)

  10. MB says:

    Good post. Made me smile.

    I’m all in favor of disaster preparedness. Our house caught on fire a couple of weeks ago.

    I must say that I am very grateful for the RS meeting years ago that taught me about keeping copies of vital records in a binder and important files in a portable file tub that I could grab in a hurry. Knowing where most of the things we’d need were and being able to get them out in the five minutes we had before the smoke was too thick to breathe safely was a blessing.

    Things we didn’t have in the 72 hour kit that will go in the next one: contact lens solution and an extra set of keys to the car.

  11. MB says:

    And current back up discs/drives for our computer would be handy too.

  12. Robin V says:

    Delightful post!

  13. clank says:

    Such a great read. Bravo. What a funny group.
    And I add my allegiance to the Diva Cup. The best thing, in that department.

  14. Rahel Ringger says:

    This is hilarious. My cheeks are hurting.

  15. Andrea Jay says:

    My favorite bit was the delightful instructor muttering prayers that she had put a BoM in her kit after she pulled out the Jurassic Park novel, she had. It was a great activity.

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