I have made a list (finally) of important items that should go into a 72-hr. kit. This by no means is the “end all” list. There are thousands of lists, and variations of lists, on the Internet or in preparedness stores. Like I said before, sit down with your family and make up your own lists using this as a reference guide. Listen to your kids. Get their insight. If they say it, then “it” is important to them, you should heed that. It will help them during the disaster to know that what they “need” is in their kit. Make a personalized kit that each child can carry – don’t try to carry everyone’s stuff. Share the load.
72 hour kit list
• 2 gallons of water per day, per person, for two weeks. The water should be stored for sanitation and drinking – and you will DIE if you don’t have clean water to drink. Make some of the water portable in case you have to carry it.
• Method of water purification (Plans to make a REALLY EFFECTIVE WATER FILTER is posted on the www.salemcity.org site). Bottle of potassium iodide tablets.
• Food – that is easy to prepare and nutritious. Twinkies just won’t do it here. Make sure that you include items that are high in protein. Try out the MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) and see which ones your family likes and which ones they won’t eat. They also have TV dinner type MRE’s that come in a tray and is heated in the box with heat packs. Check them out. Expensive, but very convenient (I saw them at Sportsman’s Warehouse, I’m sure that you can find them at other stores).
• Windproof/waterproof matches and a second method to start a fire just in case the matches won’t start.
• Lightweight camp stove, fuel, mess kits and other cooking equipment and utensils.
• Tent and/or shelter (garbage bags can be used in an emergency until you can buy a tent).
• Wool-blend blanket or sleeping bag AND an emergency reflective blanket (good to help keep out wind and cold).
• Hand and body warm packs (these are cheap and oh-so effective).
• Poncho or large garbage bags (garbage bags are very versatile).
• Light sources such as: Flashlight with batteries, candles (also good for heat source and cooking), or light sticks.
• Tools: Pocket knife, shovel, hatchet or axe, adjustable wrench and multi use screwdriver – or just get a Leatherman™.
• Sewing kit – make sure that the thread and needles are good quality – the cheap emergency sewing kits just don’t cut it.
• 50-foot nylon rope.
• First aid kit and supplies. Make it a good one, don’t skimp here. Make sure that the bandages are the ones that actually stick. Also include sun block, insect repellent and anti-itch cream. Hand sanitizer, like Purell™ lotion, is also good.
• Vitamins and extra medications, including prescription drugs. Talk to your doctor about getting an extra months worth. If you wear glasses, make sure that you include a backup pair.
• Burn gel and dressings (Sun Burn Care™ is the BEST burn care ointment I have ever used).
• Radio with batteries or radio with alternate power sources (You’ll want to hear what’s going on). A hand held “walkie talkie” FRS radios to keep in touch with your family around town.
• Whistle with neck cord (You have one in your “Under the Bed Kit” – get more, they are not expensive).
• Personal sanitation and comfort kit. Include toilet paper, soap, toilet paper, toothbrush and gel, toilet paper, brush or comb, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, razor, wet wipes, dental floss, and did I mention toilet paper – you just don’t want to run out of that, and other needed items. If you have young children remember diapers, wet wipes and baby stuff.
• Complete change of appropriate clothing for each family member. Include extra socks, underwear, hat, sturdy shoes, and gloves. This is very important, especially for a positive mind set. It also helps if you need to layer during cold the season.
• Money – at least $100.00 in small bills in your kit; it is hard to get proper change back during an emergency. Be sure to include a roll each of quarters, dimes and nickels.
• Stress Relievers such as games, books and inspirational reading. (Scriptures are good.) For children: small toys, paper and pen, or favorite security item (i.e. blanket or doll). Hard tack candy. It is good to suck on and it lifts the spirits.
• Copies of important papers and documents that are important to your family such as: birth certificates, marriage licenses, wills, insurance forms, out-of-state and important phone numbers you might need, and credit card information.
• Duct tape – your 72-hr. kit won’t be complete if you don’t have duct tape.
• Don’t forget what you are going to carry your kit in – a durable water-resistant duffel bag, frame pack or daypack is best, but until you get what you want, use what you have.
If you have access to the Internet these are some good sites that you can visit or get ideas from:
- http://www.equipped.com/72hourkit.htm – three types of emergency kits.
- http://www.avertdisasters.org/html/72_hour2.html –building a 72-hr. kit over six-month period.
- http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/dem/prepare/prepare.jsp -this is one of the best preparedness sites that I have ever been to.
- http://www.pandemicflu.gov/ – this has a lot of good advice.
Have fun gathering your 72-hr kit supplies, you will feel sooo very good after.