The first three days after a disaster are the most important. Emergency officials might not be able to reach you for the first few days. A 72-hour kit should contain your go-to emergency supplies. At a minimum, your 72-hour kit should have enough food and water for at least three days, more if space and budget allow. Take a backpack and fill it with bottles of water, granola bars, trail mix, etc. The food should be high in calories, no low calory diet bars here. Items should be lightweight. Canned goods are great, but carrying a heavy bag be trying after a while. Heavy bags will be difficult for children to carry as well.
Keeping all of your emergency gear in one place will make an evacuation that much easier. Gathering supplies can get expensive quickly. Start with the basics and upgrade as funds become available. Focus on items that will help you survive until help arrives. Plan ahead so you are prepared when the time comes.
A rain poncho will allow you to stay dry and keep moving. Staying dry will lower your risk of hypothermia. A rain poncho can also be used to make a shelter using some rope. Rope can be used for just about anything from tying bottles of water together or climbing to safety. Matches or a lighter will help you get a fire going to stay warm, single for help, or cook food. A pocket knife is a great tool. A knife could come in handy for self-defense or hunting. Don't forget about personal hygiene items such as toilet paper.
A first-aid kit is an essential part of a 72-hour kit. Getting injured during a crisis could be disastrous. Hand sanitizer can help clean wounds and prevent illness. An emergency blanket doesn't take up much room but it will keep you warm and help when treating someone for shock. If you take prescription medications, talk to your doctor about getting a few extras for an emergency situation.
Keep everything in a waterproof bag. You can put your supplies in a wet-dry bag or just line a backpack with a trash bag. The supplies won't be much use if they are damaged in a flood. Disasters are especially difficult for children, pack their favorite snack or toy. Even just a small stuffed animal can help them cope. Make a plan for your pets as well, your 72-hour kit should have enough food and water for your pets for three days as well. Keep an extra leash with a carabiner for your dog. Attach the carabiner to the leash handle, it can be used as a tie down in an emergency.
- 3 day supply of water
- 3 day supply of food
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Rain poncho
- Lighter or matches
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medications
- Waterproof bag
- Pocket knife
- Hand sanitizer
- Toliet Paper
- Emergency blanket
- Comfort items for children
- Leash for dog
- Important documents (medical records, birth certificates, etc.)
A 72-hour kit can be customized to meet your family's needs. The most important thing is that each member of your family has enough food and water to last three days.