This past month has taught me many lessons. First, I cannot imagine how awful a nationwide pandemic would be, and second, ‘if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear’.

ALL six of us in our family were hit by the horrible H1N1 Virus. Thankfully it is not a ‘pandemic’ yet (actually…a reader corrected me, it was declared a pandemic on June 11, 2009), but when you have this sickness you feel like you have the ‘plague’. Kids can’t go to school, you don’t want to leave the house and contaminate others, and you feel plain miserable to do anything but stay inside and…moan! Can I tell you how wonderful it was to have food storage for those three weeks we were sick. The LAST thing I wanted to do was go grocery shopping (I still have only been once in the last month and a half–I sure hope my love for shopping comes back!). Food storage is great for many things, but one of them is for situations like being sick, or in the case of a pandemic, that you don’t need to leave your house unless you need to. It was so nice to have food we could just quickly grab and throw together for dinner and food for the other meals of the day. It sure made the three weeks more bearable.

I also re-learned the importance of having a well stocked car kit. During our sickness we were on ‘vacation’ to St. George for eight days–not that you could call it a vacation being sick in bed. Of course the day we chose to drive home from St. George it was an absolute blizzard. Instead of taking 4 hours to get home, it took us over 7 hours! We were stuck at the top of the mountain (around Filmore I think) and we were in wall to wall traffic. There were cars sliding off the side of the road, people trying to dig out their cars, diesel trucks that slid off the road and other semi’s that had slid and covered the entire road so no one could drive past. There was an hour where we did not move an inch. We wondered just how long we would be stuck in this traffic and began thinking of the ‘what-if’s’ of this situation. It made me realize how important the car kit in the back of our car would have been if things continued to get worse. Did we have a way to stay warm? If we had to dig our car out of the snow, would we have the equipment to do it (I personally didn’t–I was wearing flip flops–brr!)? What would we eat if we were stranded for a long period of time? Did we have water?

So many things to think about, especially here in Utah, now that snow season is upon us. There are many important items to have in a car kit, but some of the basics are the following:

*A backpack (buy them for cheap at the D.I) Something easy to carry if you needed to take it with you.
*Food & WATER (quick snacks–granola bars, fruit leather, high protein items if possible. They have high calorie bars that are great for emergencies sold at Emergency Essentials)
*Light Source-flashlight and batteries, flares
*Warm clothing–old coats, jackets, rain gear, gloves, hat. The survival blankets are also a good idea to have in your car kits to stay warm.
*Shoes or boots (if you are going to or from work and wear dress shoes, this is very important) Put your old sneakers or boots in your trunk.

There are MANY more items you could store in a car kit, but these basics would go along way if you were stranded some where.

Here is a link to a site that has an even more detailed list of items to have in your car kits: