Having an emergency preparedness kit to get you and your family through 72 hours of a disaster is invaluable. Putting together a 72-hour kit is easier than you may think. Not sure what to include in yours? We’ve got a few suggestions on how to get started.
Start with the Essentials
No 72-hour kit is complete without food and water. It’s vital that you have enough food and water to last you and each member of your family 72 hours. You may want to include both clean water and purification tablets to create clean water. As for food, including non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking or water is a great option—it will be the easiest to sustain and you won’t need to replace it as regularly. Protein bars, canned food, and dried fruits are all good options. You’ll also want to include silverware, plates, and a manual can opener with your food pack.
Clothing and Hygiene Items
It’s always a good idea to include a change of clothes and good walking shoes. Coats and hats may also be helpful depending on the climate you live in. Personal hygiene items are a must for a 72-hour kit. Consider including moist towelettes, feminine supplies, medications, sunscreen, bug repellant, toothbrushes, and any other hygiene items. Depending on your situation, you may need to include contact solution, a spare pair of glasses, baby food and formula, extra bottles, etc. Think of anything that you use every day and be sure that is included in your kit.
Safety Supplies and Communication Tools
For safety reasons—be sure to include a fully stocked first aid kit in your emergency preparedness kit. You may want to also consider including a flashlight with extra batteries, matches, an emergency whistle, duct tape, a compass, and a few tools. In the case of an emergency, you may or may not have access to your phone. Be prepared by including a hand crank or battery powered radio. In case you do have phone access, include a phone and back up chargers. With your phones and radios, include a list of important phone numbers of family members and nearby friends, and any other numbers need in an emergency.
Records and Cash
A little security cash will help you have some peace of mind. Including copies of important records such as birth certificates, IDs, insurance records, medical records, prescriptions, and any other records may be a good idea. As you may not have access to your phone or a working GPS, a map of the surrounding area will also be helpful.
What Else to Include
Personalize your 72-hour kit by adding a few things to make your emergency situation a little easier. Consider adding some games, a deck of cards, books, or other entertainment. In the event of an emergency, tensions can run high and you may have a lot of free time on your hands. Don’t undervalue adding some entertainment and distraction to your pack! Including pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, and other comforts may also make your dire situation a little more comfortable.