It is that time of year again – time to check your 72-hr kit and rotate the food and check to make sure that the clothes still fit and are seasonally appropriate. It seems like yesterday that we were doing the same thing – and we were; only it was April.
I’m really excited this year because I am saving up for a really nice external frame backpack that I am hoping to buy next month. For years, I have used a really big soft-side travel bag, and it held everything, but it was heavy to carry with just my arm power. With the external frame backpack I will be able better distribute my load and have my hands free. I’m very excited; it is green, but not camouflage (everything that my son has is camouflage and I want my own stuff). Green is my favorite color.
Another reason that I wanted to talk about 72-hour kits (and please tell me that if you don’t have one completely assembled, that you are at least seriously working on it) is that I keep thinking about the people in a nearby town that were affected by a fire.
There were several people interviewed on the local news that excitedly exclaimed, “They only gave us 10 minutes to get out. We had to leave everything!” I hope not. I hope that they had enough wits about them to at least get their 72-hour kits and take it with them. Remember to have it in a place that you can just grab and go. I also hope that they had all of their important paperwork ready, in one place that they could just gather up and take with them. That way later that night, at the emergency shelter or in a motel room, they could find some comfort with a change of clothes and have access to toiletries to freshen themselves up while they waited for the okay to return home. If they did grab their important paperwork, they would have their insurance paperwork to peruse, while waiting to find out if they were going to need to use it or not.
I wonder how many of the families that were displaced actually thought to take their 72-hour kits with them and how many of them kept wishing they had. Even better yet, how many of them wished that they had prepared ahead of time and put one together. Let’s make a goal to be prepared. Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just practical and useful, for when it is needed.
If you need a few good flashlights for your kits (and who doesn’t) this would be an excellent time to get them. Instead of getting cheap flashlights, consider getting some really good wind-up flashlights instead – the kind that don’t need batteries.
And don’t forget to store water with your 72-hour kit, at least one 2-liter bottle for each person using the kit.