Lacey Smith

Prepare: 72 hour kits

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Last Thursday I suggested four small steps we can take to start getting ourselves prepared for whatever may come. This week my blog will focus on them one at a time.

Step one is to get a 72 hour kit. You can buy one (ksl.com/deals often has specials on them) or make one. I’ve done both and while it’s convenient to buy one, making one isn’t that hard.

Ready.gov has a guide on what to put into your kit, including things that should go into your First Aid kit and suggestions for food.

The first 72-hour kit I made at a church activity and included small cans of food with pull-tab lids, granola bars, hard candies and a simple First Aid kit in a gallon zip-lock bag. I added water when I got home.

You can also get a 2- or 5-gallon bucket or small backpacks for each member of your household. The backpacks are easy and everyone can carry their own kit (even small children can manage one), but they aren’t as water-proof as a bucket is. Backpacks may also be more expensive.

Here are the bare essentials that go in your pack:

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day = 3 gallons for 72 hours minimum)
  • Food for 3 days (2000 calories per day of non-perishable food that don’t need preparation, cooking or much water)
  • First Aid Kit (including pain killers, band aids, sterile dressings, ointments, prescription medications & supplies)
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight & extra batteries

Ready.gov suggests a number of other items that you may want to consider as well.

We actually have 2 kits at home. One we keep in the car in case we ever need it while traveling, the other stays at home. It’s nice to have them both because we know we’re covered no matter what.

Tonight you’ll get a bonus post that will have pictures of food right from my pantry that I would put in my kit if I was creating a new one. My food includes granola bars, trail mix, graham crackers, dried and canned fruit, nutella, crackers and canned tuna.

This evening, take a look at my pictures and figure out what you already have in your cupboards. Pull out what you’ve got and then when you go grocery shopping this week pick up anything you’re missing.

Sometime during the week, assemble your kit and put it in a safe place that’s easy to get to if you need it in a hurry.

You’ll want to go through your kit again about every six months, change out the water, food and outdated medications and make additions as needed.

This is just one step in getting prepared, but it’s one that brings a lot of peace of mind and allows you to be self reliant.

I would love to hear from those of you have prepared your own kits in the past. What’s in your kit? Have you ever need it? Did I miss anything big that should be in every emergency kit?

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