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Ready or Not #54: Using Your 72-Hour Kit

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

This week I learned that if you leave a dark chocolate Dove bar in the car and let it melt, you should just open it up and let it slide in your mouth. This is because if you let it re-harden again, it is grainy and not that creamy gone-to-heaven experience that you have experienced in the past with an un-marred bar. This is just a warning – summer is coming, protect your chocolate.

Now on to 72-hour kits. First thing – chocolate is not good to put into your kit because it melts. Instead, grab the 72-hour kit and the chocolate bar and eat the chocolate as you are leaving, wherever that is – you will need your strength.

This brings me to the second point about 72-hour kits – bring them. Really. My mom was telling me about some of her neighbors that were displaced from their homes for a night. I’m not sure, but I think that the gas line was broken or something – it doesn’t really matter why. Fortunately, all of the families were given the option to stay the night at a local church. This was good because they could save money and test out their 72-hour kits and know what they would need to make them better. After all, this was a disaster, right? But all was not well.

When everybody arrived at the church to stay the night, they were asked to bring out their

72-hour kits. "Our 72-hour kits? We were supposed to bring our 72-hour kits?"

Let’s address at what point in time you should bring your 72-hour kit. The answer: ANYTIME YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR HOUSE UNDER DURESS. I think that is a good answer. A few of the families did bring their kits with them to the church. Those few made a whole lot of brownie points in my book. I’ll bet that they were a lot more comfortable in their time of dire need and very grateful for the preparations that they made ahead of time. The others? Well, I’m sure that they were taken care of, but…

What I see here makes me concerned. Why don’t we consider what we are going through a disaster? Do all of our houses have to be lying in rubble before we consider it a true disaster? Or does our entire community have to be going up in flames, or maybe be washed away with a ton of water, or even completely moved to a new address by a wall of mud in order to be a true disaster?

No, a disaster is anything that forces us to leave our residence and stay away until the problem, no matter what it is, is taken care of. It doesn’t matter if it just affects your house, your neighborhood, or the entire community. You don’t have to be on the 6:00 news in order for something to be considered a disaster. Take your 72-hour kit with you. It is not a magic bag that you are saving for the “BIG” one, no, it is pre-gathered variety of useful items that are helpful to have at anytime, anywhere.

Would it hurt you to throw it in the back of the car when you head up the canyon for a family picnic? No! You have your first-aid kit and a change of clothes for when the kids play in the water and get filthy. If you have a first rate kit and thought of putting one of those small hammocks in it, you can string it up and take an afternoon snooze. And if you have a flat tire and can’t get home, well that is okay because you have your 72-hour kit. Your 72-hour kit is not a sacred-do-not-touch collection of items. Instead, it is a bunch of really useful stuff all put together in an easy to grab container that you can use anytime.

If you are going to start using your 72-hour kit, which I think is a wonderful idea, just make sure that you replace what you use up, like food, water, and first-aid items, but then again you are supposed to rotate those items out anyway. It is kind of like food storage – you want to use it, rotate it, know what you have, know what really works, and what really doesn’t work.

Now, go find some excuse to use your 72-hour kit, disaster or not.


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