The Charity Bucket

March 23, 2012

We have seen quite few storms and the weather has been wonky here in the good ol’ USA.  As a disabled person I know I’ll need some help with muscle power as well as most of my family members are so deep in Denial that it’s almost the more I’ve tried to help them the more stubborn they get on not preparing.  Any way I came up with a Charity bucket and I have a few stored for folks that covers most of the basics in a compact and easy to carry and or store.

  1. Square food grade bucket I get at Fred Meyer/Kroger bakery $1.50- 2.00 used. I like these because they are cheap, stack easily in a closet and can be used for collecting water. Small enough to carry easily. Food safe and have a lid, but the lid does not have a gasket.
  2. Dry goods: I store in 1 quart freezer bags. You will get about a pound of beans, almost 2 pounds of rice, 1 pound 4 oz. of quick oats and pasta 2 cups dried (go with small noodles like macaroni or Orzo) in each bag. I like using the resealable bags for this better than the Foodsaver. Don’t forget lentils and or pearled Barley. You can fit at least 6-10 bags depending on what you pick for your dry goods.
  3. Meat: I got a good buy on a 10 oz can of chicken so 2 of those and add in 4 cans of different meats in the 5 oz. can and you get some variety. Figure about 1 pound of meat per person per week.
  4. Sauces: I go with a big can of Hunt’s pasta sauce. They are about 6 servings in each can.
  5. Spice: I get extra packets from the fast food joint or you can make your own.  Bullion cubes  Chix and or Beef.
  6. Water enhancers: Whatever you like, but I went with Tang or Country time lemonade. Small container makes 8 quarts. You could add Hot chocolate, instant coffee and tea bags
  7. Milk: 1 quart UHT bought at the Dollar store. I’ve use some 2 years after the use by date and was fine.
  8. Breads: I put 1 pound of biscuit mix that works with milk or water. That makes about 12-16 depending on size.
  9. Fats/oils: I put a half pint of my bottled butter in, but you could also go with Butter flavored Crisco in the sticks.

Stuff you need:

  1. Construction grade trash bag: 2 at least.
  2. Small roll of kitchen trash bags
  3. My own little bathroom bag that has a small 1st aid kit, a small package of Kleenex, A couple of feminine napkins, Small package of wet wipes. 1 bar Ivory soap and small bottle of Iodine tablets. All stored in a quart bag.
  4. A small box of wooden matches, 1 disposable lighter, and 2 small emergency candles that are good for 9 Hours of light each.
  5. A couple of masks and a couple of sets of disposable gloves.
  6. Toilet paper: 2-4 rolls smashed flat
  7. Several folded squares of tinfoil. Tinfoil can make a pan for cooking or a signal mirror and takes up little space.

My special additions:

  1. 2 buckets have a wind up flashlight and radio and 2 buckets have a sterno stove and 2 cans of fuel. Which bucket they get will depend on what they need the most as I can’t fit both the in the buckets.
  2. Note pad, mechanical pencil and a deck of cards.

FYI on packing your bucket. Place the cans in first, my buckets have slightly rounded corners this works out great. Then pack your dry good bags, they are somewhat flexible and will form around the cans. If your buckets are in the 3 gallon range, you should have space leftover and you can add emergency blankets and whatever you think is needed.

Multi-taskers Your construction grade trash bags can be used for many things from shelters and ponchos to catching water and using the sun to warm the water, for washing up and your laundry. The empty cans could be used to make rocket stoves.  Once the dry good bags are empty you can reuse them from little trash bags to an evaporation still catching the dew off tree leaves in the morning.

This list assumes that a person is bugging in and has a can opener and other basic household stuff to hand and is no substitute for preparing. But it could easily extend a person’s food supply for several days as long as the have a safe water supply and can heat water.  I don’t have any veggies in my buckets yet. I hope to add a my own homemade dried veggies to each as soon as I have an idea and have tested how long they last in storage.