Last week I said that I would talk more about 72 hour kits. I also said that they could give us a false sense of security. Let me explain. I am the biggest believer of 72 hour kits and I also believe that if you are caught in a disaster you will be very sorry if you don’t have one. I think that what makes me nervous is the name “72 hour kit”. It could give us the false sense that after the initial disaster that we will be taken care of, by somebody – anybody (the government), within 3 days time. Sorry, won’t happen.
My friend talked to two gentlemen whose families lived in two different communities in California, but lived through the same earthquake. Both of them said that WATER was important to store (two gallons, per person, for a two week period) AND that it was 14 days before either community saw anyone from outside their cities. That is two weeks without outside help. Some people have said that the LDS church will send help, and I’m sure that they will, but remember – their warehouse and distribution buildings will most likely be in the same disaster we are in.
If you live in small communities you have to live with the fact that the larger metropolitan areas will be helped first and then when they are under control, only then, will the help that you need start looking for you. You will not be first on their list. Don’t feel bad about it, just get prepared so you can survive and play the waiting game.
72 hour kits can be used in at least two different ways. You will “grab n go” and park your family on your front lawns possibly still having access to supplies in your house, much like those caught in earthquakes or tornadoes. OR, you will literally have to take your family and physically leave the area, like those in New Orleans. My friend’s sister was one of those that had to leave. She lives in Slidell, Louisiana and she packed her car and left the area before the storm came. When she got to the first motel that had rooms available, she was barely in an area that she could find food, WATER and other necessities, but just barely. And, she had traveled over 500 miles and everything up to that point, including gas, was either sold out or in short supply. Chances are we here in Utah will be in an earthquake and we won’t be able to jump in a car and drive very far before the road will give out on us. The people in New Orleans had to deal with extreme heat and humidity. We may have to deal with extreme cold and very uncomfortable situations.
You won’t know what kind of situation you and your family will be in so pack your 72 hour kit for either situation. It would be a good idea to go through it every six months and pack it according to what season is coming up. Every April and October, the LDS Conference weekend would be a good reminder, re-evaluate and take a good look at everything.
Change out food that might go stale and change the clothing to be appropriate for the next six months – hot or cold. Make sure that you have a good first aid kit and extra medications that you will need. Talk to your doctor about medications that you can have extra amounts. Another thing that you might consider is if you have medications that require refrigeration, how are you going to keep them cold? If we stay near our homes, we can use generators to run a refrigerator or you can use propane fridges in your trailer. Another alternative is to buy those little mini fridges that you can hook up to your car accessory power outlet to keep them cold.
Next week, after you have discussed with your family what you need your 72 hour kit to do for you and your family, I will give you a list of items that will be helpful to include in your kit (really, I will this time). I will also give you a BUNCH of web sites that you can visit to look at all of the different options of what is available and what you might find helpful to build your 72 hour kit.
I want to emphasize, again, that 72 hour kits ARE CRITICAL TO YOUR SURVIVAL. Even if your neighbor has a food storage that they might be willing to share with you, their 72 hour kit simply won’t be big enough to share, especially since you have the opportunity to get yours together, NOW. Please, take the initiative to get YOUR 72 hour kit put together. Look at the needs of your family. Make kits for your children that they can carry – share the load. Now, go talk to your family about what they need to survive for 3 days, or 72 hours – whichever.