There are a few people who might actually enjoy preparing an emergency kit, but we know those people are rare. Finishing up your kit is a satisfying feeling, and so is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are prepared in the event of a disaster or other emergency. But most people probably look at creating an emergency kit as a chore, something that must be done - sort of like folding laundry or doing dishes.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Building an emergency kit can be fun - and we are going to prove it to you right here! In a perfect world, there would never be any need for using an emergency kit, but we don’t live in that world. This is why it’s important to be prepared with your emergency kit. Organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross recommend that survival kits last at least 72 hours, at a minimum. If you have kids, waiting out a natural disaster can get boring for them, and keeping everyone happy means happier parents as well. When you have children that are bored, they are more likely to get into trouble - not to mention the additional stress of being scared of whatever emergency situation is going on outside.
For these reasons, it’s important to develop ways to prevent boredom while keeping their mind off of the emergency. You don’t have to put a lot of effort into making your 72-hour kit fun, either. Board games, little fun activities, and fun candy can help - and a little can go a long way. You can find most of these fun items at any Dollar Store, so they aren’t going to run up your expenses. Consider adding some of the following to your kit to entertain your kids:
- Coloring books with crayons.
- Fun activity books like mazes, word searches, and so on.
- Board games, like Monopoly or Scrabble.
- Small puzzles.
- A blank notebook with fun, different colored markers.
- If they are the crafty type, maybe some craft items.
- Small action figures or Barbies.
Now that the kids are covered and will be hopefully entertained, what about the parents? Grown-ups also deserve the opportunity to enjoy themselves in the event of an emergency situation. Maybe add one of your favorite books to the kit, or add a few hobby supplies - if you have a hobby that takes up little space.
Now that we’ve discussed the items, let’s get into something that all kids love - candy. There’s a reason why most of us have fond memories of trick or treating for Halloween, right? It’s mostly because of the candy. The best part is that every time you rotate the food items in and out of your emergency kit, you get to enjoy eating the candy. This means every six months, you and the kids get to eat the candy before it expires.
Just like with other survival food items, some are better than others. The goal is to not have to touch it for 6 months, so you are going to want to avoid candy that will last longer and stay relatively fresh for as long as possible. We recommend staying away from most hard candy, because they will crystalize and maybe even liquefy. Chocolate is also not recommended, as is anything with caramel - so leave out the Twix bars, Snickers or Milky Way bars. Gummy candy usually hardens. Plain M&Ms seem to last the longest and still stay fresh, as the hard candy shell seems to protect the chocolate and prevent blooming. Lifesavers mints and tic-tacs also tend to have a decent shelf life.
You might find yourself wondering how long you’ll be able to prevent yourself from dipping into the emergency kit for some candy, but this happens to the best of us. The most important part of this is to make sure that it’s only the parents, not the kids that pick through the emergency kit for candy. Make sure that the children understand that they are not to touch anything in the kit unless a parent is with them. Reaching for your bug-out bag in an emergency is great, but realizing that your little bundle of joy ate all the emergency M&Ms without anyone knowing about it certainly is not great.
It is important to maintain a solid balance between the kit being fun, while being serious even for children to understand that it is for emergencies only. We recommend storing the kit where they can’t reach or get at it. Emergency kits are mainly for ensuring you have enough food and water to survive for 72-hours. In the event of an emergency, though, you’ll want to make sure that your mental health is as good as it can be as well. And we think these fun items will definitely help with that. Check back here to More Prepared often for more fun and interesting tips about survival and emergency kits. In the meantime, happy prepping!