I have made a list (finally) of important items that should go into a 72-hr. kit. This by no means is the “end all” list. There are thousands of lists, and variations of lists, on the internet or in preparedness stores. Like I said before, sit down with your family and make up YOUR OWN LIST using this as a reference guide. Listen to your kids. Get their insight. If they say it, then “it” is important to them, you should heed that. It will help them during the disaster to know that what they “need” is in their kit. Make a personalized kit that each child can carry – don’t try to carry everyone’s stuff. Share the load.
One thing to keep in mind, tools (knives, hatchets, small shovels, string, rope, etc.) should be made a priority. If something you include in your kit breaks, then a tool can help you replace it. Also, make sure that everything included in the kit can be used for more than one purpose.
72-hour kit list • 2 gallons of water per day, per person, for two weeks. The water should be stored for sanitation and drinking – and you could/will DIE if you don’t have clean water to drink. Make water portable so it can be carried. • Method of water purification (e.g., filters, straw filters, bottle of potassium iodide tablets, etc.). • Food – Easy to prepare and nutritious. Twinkies just won’t do it here. Make sure that you include items that are high in protein. Try out the MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) and see which ones your family likes and which ones they won’t eat. They also have TV dinner type MRE’s that come in a tray and are self-heated in the box with included heat packs. Check them out. Expensive, but very convenient. • Windproof/Waterproof matches and a SECOND method to start a fire just in case the matches won’t start. Fire starters. • Lightweight camp stove, fuel, mess kits and other cooking equipment and utensils. • Tent and/or shelter (garbage bags can be used in an emergency until you can buy a tent). • Wool-blend blanket (not cotton) or sleeping bag AND an emergency reflective blanket (good to help keep out wind and cold). • Hand and body warm packs (these are cheap and oh-so effective). • Poncho or large garbage bags (garbage bags are very versatile). • Light sources such as: flashlight with batteries or rechargeable, candles (also good for heat source and cooking), or light sticks. • Tools: Pocket knife, shovel, hatchet or axe, adjustable wrench and multi-use screwdriver – or just get a Leatherman™. • Sewing kit – make sure that the thread and needles are good quality – the cheap emergency sewing kits just don’t cut it. • 50-foot nylon rope. • First aid kit and supplies. Make it a good one, don’t skimp here. Make sure that the bandages are the ones that actually stick. Also include sun block, insect repellent and anti-itch cream. Hand sanitizer and wet wipes are also good. • Vitamins and extra medications, including prescription drugs. Talk to your doctor about getting an extra months’ worth. If you wear glasses, make sure that you include a backup pair. • Burn gel and dressings (Sun Burn Care™ is the BEST burn care ointment I have ever used). • Radio with batteries or radio with alternate power sources (you’ll want to hear what’s going on). A handheld “walkie talkie” FRS radio to communicate with your family or authorities. • Whistle with neck cord (you have one in your “Under the Bed Kit” – get more, they are not expensive). • Personal sanitation and comfort kit. Include toilet paper, soap, toilet paper, toothbrush and gel, toilet paper, brush or comb, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, razor, wet wipes, dental floss, and did I mention toilet paper? You just don’t want to run out of that, and other needed items. If you have young children remember diapers, wet wipes, and baby stuff. • Complete change of appropriate clothing for each family member. Include extra socks, underwear, hat, sturdy shoes, and gloves. This is very important, especially for a positive mind set. It also helps if you need to layer during cold the season. • Money – $100.00 minimum in small bills; it is hard to get proper change back during an emergency. Be sure to include a roll each of quarters, dimes, and nickels if possible. Pre-paid card - but remember, there may not be electricity and you might not be able to use them. • Stress Relievers such as games, books, and inspirational reading (scriptures are good.) For children: small toys, paper and pen, or favorite security item (i.e., blanket or doll). Hard tack candy. It is good to suck on and it lifts the spirits. • Copies of important papers and documents that are important to your family such as: birth certificates, marriage licenses, wills, insurance forms, out-of-state and important phone numbers you might need, and credit card information. Put these in a sealed bag for protection. • Duct tape – your 72-hr. kit won’t be complete if you don’t have duct tape. • Don’t forget what you are going to carry your kit in – a durable water-resistant duffel bag, frame pack, or daypack is best, but until you get what you want, use what you have.
For other ideas and options, you can search the internet for “72-hour kit” or B.O.B (Bug Out Bag) and get thousands of results. Do some research and planning and then take action and put it together. This something that you don't want to put off.
Have fun gathering your 72-hr kit supplies, you will feel sooo very good after.