Last week I said that I would talk more about 72-hour kits. I also said that the name of these kits 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 three 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, per day, 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 church groups will send help, and I’m sure that they will, but remember – their warehouse and distribution buildings may likely be in the same disaster that everyone is experiencing.
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, and 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 lawn, possibly still having access to some 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 Katrina hit. When she got to the first motel that had rooms available, she was barely in an area where she could find food, WATER, and other necessities, but just barely. And, she had traveled over 500 miles. 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/or heat, 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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference weekend would be a good time for review. Or remember every Easter and Halloween to 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 stockpiling extra medications. 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 your needs are for your 72-hour kit(s), I will give you a list of items that will be helpful to include in your kit (really, I will this time).
I want to emphasize, again, that 72-hour kits ARE CRITICAL TO YOUR SURVIVAL. Even if your neighbor has food storage that they might be willing to share with you during a crisis, their 72-hour kit simply won’t be big enough to share. Take responsibility and get yours put together today - NOW. 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 three days, or 72 hours – whichever.