Last spring, I wrote a story for the Los Angeles Times Home section about emergency kits. In that article I focused on pre-made kits you could buy online, but while researching the topic I checked in with my friend Hugh, a man with a plan. Hugh had, of course, assembled his own earthquake kit and said he’d recently added boxed wine.
“I’m all for building some joy into the kit, and none of the commercial ones have it,” he said. “Come doomsday, what’s wrong with eating cherry smoked oysters on water crackers with warm pinot grigio from a mylar bag?”
All joking aside, he has a point. The most likely scenario in which we Angelenos would need a kit would be an earthquake—a situation that might find one without power or services for several days. (And God forbid we consider anything worse.) If you look at FEMA’s guidelines for what to pack, they address the idea of comfort foods in their list of essentials:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
- Staples—sugar, salt, pepper
- High energy foods—peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
- Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons with special dietary needs
- Comfort/stress foods—cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags
It makes sense. Also important to remember are special items that kids or people with special dietary needs might require. Our family got a standard kit from the Red Cross, but we needed to get canned goods so I stocked up on bottled water and some food essentials. What’s in your kit? Here’s what’s in mine…
Bumblebee Chunk Light Tuna in Oil: While I love love love the fancy Ortiz Spanish tuna pictured at the top of this post, it seemed a little spendy for an emergency kit so I went with my go-to commercial canned tuna instead.
MaraNatha Organic No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter: When it came to peanut butter, I didn’t mind splurging a little. I have a serious addiction to this peanut butter. As in, I have a mild peanut allergy and still eat the stuff everyday. The hour or two of congestion that follows is totally worth it.
Edward & Sons Black Sesame Brown Rice Snaps: These are my toddler’s very favorite crackers. They’re low sodium, gluten-free and surprisingly good. I’d be lying if I pretended Tiny G is the only one eating these.
As a treat with some protein and fiber hidden in there, Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars Honey Almond Flax aren’t bad as granola bars go. These are not as exciting as, say, a ricotta- and yellow cream-stuffed cannolo from Mike’s Pastry in Boston, but they have a longer shelf life.
I also picked up a tin of my favorite Dean and Deluca Swedish Fish, but I’m afraid they didn’t make it through the night…