Anytime there is a natural disaster in the world or an emergency, we often ask ourselves questions like: What if I had to evacuate my home? Am I prepared to take care of myself and my family? What would I do for food, clothing, and shelter? It’s normal to consider these questions in the midst of an emergency, but when life seems to be going pretty smoothly, sometimes we forget how important it is to be prepared BEFORE we actually need to be. There are various ways to prepare yourself ahead of time for an emergency, but for the purpose of this post we are going to focus on a simple and easy method to increase your emergency preparedness: 72-hour kits. A 72-hour kit is a collection of items you may need in the event of an emergency that will hopefully get you through the first three days, especially if you have to leave your home. It is important to prepare a kit for each member of your family. You also want to place items in a bag or backpack of some sort that will be easy to grab and go in the event you have to evacuate your home immediately. We’ve compiled a list of items that would be useful to include in a 72-hour kit. We also did a Facebook LIVE video on our How We Do FB page.
Food & Water: Pack enough to get you through three days without the availability of refrigeration or cooking. Use non-perishable foods that will last a while before they expire. Consider including both protein and carbohydrate sources. Here is a list of some ideas:
Water: 1 gallon per person
Canned goods (meats like tuna, beans, fruit, veggies): Things you won’t mind eating cold. It might be a good idea to have a can opener as well.
Individual oatmeal packets (if you have access to hot water)
Freeze-dried food: Check out this post we did about Thrive Life brand freeze-dried foods.
Gum (be careful because this can make items smell and taste minty)
Extra pair of clothes (jacket, shirt, pants, socks, underwear)
Batteries (for flashlights, radios, etc.)
Water purification system (This might be an actual water purifier, or there are water purification tablets or ways to use bleach to purify water. If you happen to have access to a heat source, boiling water is another option.)
Feminine hygiene products
Baby and/or pet items
Can Opener (You can usually find them at the dollar store)
Pen and Paper
Small toys or games to entertain kids
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of gathering each of these items, you can purchase a pre-made 72-hour kit or emergency survival kit online from Amazon and have it shipped to your house. These obviously won’t be as custom to your needs, but it will get the job done. Prices vary so shop around and make sure you know what you’re getting in your kit.
Keep in mind it is important to update your 72-hour kits every six months or so. Food will expire, clothing items may no longer fit, you might want to add items, etc. This list is definitely not all-inclusive; tweak it to fit your personal situation. We would love to hear your ideas too, so add them in the comments below!