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Jolly Rancher

Learn why Jolly Ranchers* and pop tops can spell disaster for your emergency kit.

When was the last time you checked your emergency kit and disaster supplies? If they are made up of anything other than quality food storage, you might have some surprises in store for you. Imagine being in a spot where you must rely on what you thought was a carefully planned emergency kit, only to find that you can’t use it at all?

For example, did you know that pop top cans could ruin your food prep? They are not made for long-term storage and are not sturdy enough to take the heat (or react well to other factors). If you use these types of cans in your kit, whether for general food storage or a 72-hour emergency supply, you may be in trouble. Pop top cans generally hold fruit and other types of canned food. Seasoned preppers stay away from these types of cans for long-term storage, because they are likely to explode.

As for the Jolly Ranchers…well let us say that they have a tendency to melt, even when stored properly in a #10 can. So, unless you want a big, colorful, sticky mess all over your preps, avoid Jolly Rancher candy, or make sure you store this candy is a cool and stable environment. Don’t avoid candy and sweets completely. There are good reasons to store candy for emergencies, such as for energy and moral. Learn more by reading this article, which instructs on the proper way to prep with candy, including some money saving ideas about buying candy cheaply.

Here is another bit of advice concerning emergency kit mistakes. Do not place all of your supplies together, in a jumble, in your kit. Throwing everything into a main compartment can spell disaster. For one, you will waste valuable time trying to sort through the various contents trying to find what you need in the moment. For another, one item might leak, poke or damage another.

Separate the different categories of supplies using zippered freezer bags. Larger items can be stored in the XL and XXL large versions of these bags, which are available in any grocery or big box store. Double bag anything that is a liquid, cream or gel, and wrap any items that contain potentially damaging edges. Mark the various categories. You might consider separating you items in the following groups:

  • Trauma
  • Medication
  • Fire
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tools
  • Shelter
  • Children
  • Security

Remember that these categories are a suggestion. You may have additional categories such as energy, pets, clothing, depending on your personal situation.

A warning about sealed supplies….just because it is sealed does not mean that it is still functional. One example of an expired, useless product without an expiration date is the band-aid. Over time, self-stick bandages can lose their stickiness, making them useless when needed. Actually, this applies to anything that includes adhesive, so check your tape, as well. Mark dates on everything, or your kit overall, and check and replace items every six to nine months.

To make things easier, consider ready-made kits, such as bug out bags, from trusted sources.


* Jolly Ranchers are a product of the Hershey Company.

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