Preparing your family for an emergency can seem like a daunting task. There are so many unknowns and the thought of something happening can seem scary. However, by taking your preparation plans one step at a time, the seemingly overwhelming task of being prepared can be conquered. The first step is putting together your 72 hour kits – a kit that is fully stocked of everything you might need in case of an emergency, all packaged together conveniently in something that you can just grab and take with you. The following are a few ideas for starting your own 72 hour kit:
- First things first, you’ll need to get some sort of bag to put all of your supplies in. The best type of bag is a hiking backpack of sorts. One that can easily be strapped on your back and the weight of its contents can be easily distributed between your shoulders and hips. Hiking backpacks have lots of space and compartments and are designed for easy organization and carrying. Hiking packs can be expensive, so look online and keep an eye out for a good deal – under $100 is what you’re aiming for.
- Assembling your 72 hour kit can take time and costs money, so it’s important to start now and assemble your kit little by little as you acquire what you need. The following is a list of things that should be included in your kit: a flashlight and battery operated radio (both with extra batteries), a whistle and dust mask, a pocket knife, a stash of emergency money in small bills and coins, a change of clothes, shoes and a warm hat, a map, food and water to last you for 3 days, important documents including important phone numbers, health insurance cards, ID cards and photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes, extra prescription medications and eye glasses, first aid supplies, toothbrush and toothpaste, an extra set of keys to your house and vehicle and any special items you might need for small children or pets (including food, entertainment, etc.).
- Your 72 hour kit should also have a few basic items that would allow you to survive if you didn’t have access to shelter, a means to cook or find clean water. These items are sometimes used for camping, so your best bet to finding a good deal on them is to look at camping supplies online. Consider purchasing a small propane stove, water purifier, a mess kit, a small tent or rope and a tarp for a makeshift shelter, an aluminum-plastic emergency warming blanket, a shovel and hammer, and anything else you might imagine yourself needing.
- Each member of your family should have their own 72 hour kit, however with some of the bigger items, you can distribute them amongst the different bags so that all the items on your list are accounted for, but not necessarily one for each bag.