Life has many uncertainties and unexpected events. Planning for the unexpected will be of great help if evacuation is needed for a disaster. Being prepared with a 72 hour kit will allow for you and your family to have something on hand that is ready to grab in a moments notice. Although there are some basic items that should be included, kits can be personalized. It could be that what you are taking with you in your kit is all you will have when the situation is over. It is important to consider individual needs when planning and the possible situations that can occur in your region of the country. Along with having 72 hour kits also make emergency plans for your family. These plans could include where you will meet or who you will contact outside your immediate family to report on individual status (this person should be in a different part of the country so they are not experiencing the same conditions).
What should a 72 hour kit include? Water is the most important item have for an emergency. Each person needs a gallon of water per day. Although a 72 hour kit is for 3 days, often kits are needed for a week. So, it is better to have more water than just three gallons per person. Along with water, other essential items to include are; a first aid kit, food ready to eat that requires no cooking, personal toiletries, flash light, extra clothing and under ware. It is recommended to change out your kit every six months to rotate food (if needed) and change the season of clothing kept. The smaller and lighter the items, the better. Using equipment made for backpacking and camping is an easy way to meet these requirements. Backpacks work great for a way to store and carry the 72 hour kits. School age children can each have a pack and carry it themselves. Buckets with lids can also be used, as well as duffel bags. Many items might already be around your house, all things do not need to be specially purchased for your kit.
Other than basic items also consider health, personal property and age when creating a 72 hour kit. If you need prescriptions daily it is a good idea to have a months supply in your 72 hour kit. Although you may have help long before a month is up, getting medications when you need them may be difficult. Important documents can be lost in disasters and extra copies should be kept in your kit. A few examples are birth and marriage certificates, adoption records, passports, and titles. It is also important to have information like doctor’s names, prescription information, insurance company and policy numbers and inventory of personal belongings recorded. These items take up little space, but can save a lot of headache and time if they are needed. Having money on hand will be helpful if businesses will not take credit cards. Also consider that people may not be able to make change and have the money in small bills. If someone in your family is an infant remember diapers, milk, and baby food. Although less essential, entertainment can be helpful during crisis. Such games as cards, Yahtzee, crossword puzzles and word searches can keep boredom down and time passing.
Everyone in the family can be a part of creating a 72 hour kit. This will be the perfect time to discuss emergency plans and establish what will be done if something should happen. It is a good time to talk about what problems could come up and how you will handle them. Other emergency preparedness ideas are taking a first aid class, practicing fire drills and discussing how to stay calm will help all the members of the family if a disaster strikes. Thinking ahead and planning will help your family come through a natural disaster in much better shape.