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10 Must-Haves for Your 72 Hour Kit

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00 Written by  Chett Wright

72 hour kits are crucial for being truly prepared. For example, what if your house were to burn down? Unfortunately, the food storage, and all your emergency preparedness, would burn with it. Your only saving grace would be having your 72 hour kit in your car. 

72 hour kits are great tools for being prepared for anything that could happen in the future, but it is often hard to find the time and money to track one down. You can find pre-made kits for around 80 dollars, or make one for under 40 if you hit the sales! Sounds like a great option, but putting one together yourself can sometimes be a daunting task. That is exactly why we put together a list of the top 10 things to have in your 72 hour kit.

1.  Water - Water is obviously something that the human body cannot go without in order to survive. Since you cannot predict whether you will have access to water or not in an emergency, you had better be prepared for it. Most emergency preparedness guides recommend having 1 gallon of water per person for each day. Water is something that you don’t realize how much you use of until you don’t have it, so if you can figure out a way to store more in your car, you’ll be better off.

2.  Water Purifier - If you are in a hostile or dangerous situation, you probably won’t have time to grab the 6 gallons of water before you flee the scene. Or, if you are left without transportation, carrying gallons of water for long distances might not be realistic. To prepare for this, a water purifier can make it so you can have drinking water wherever you are. After getting one, practicing using it and teaching your kids how to as well.

3.  Non-Perishable Food - This is sometimes a tricky task to accomplish because you need to get enough food for 3 days into a small bag, without having to switch it out every 2 weeks. You need food that won’t go bad, has the optimum amount of nutrition, and is relatively small in packaging. Freeze-dried, dehydrated, or canned, figure out what works best for your amount of space and family.

4.  Cookware - You are going to need to be able to cook wherever you end up, and a dutch oven might not always be practical to carry with you. Portable cooking devices are good ideas for this area, or you can get small camping cookware. Look into what’s available in stores near you or online, and decide on a price range you’d like to stick to.

5.  Eating Utensils - Once you cook the food, how do you eat it without the utensils? Remember to pack bowls, plates, forks, knifes, spoons, and anything else you think you might need. If you can find all of these utensils in the disposable aisle, that can be a great option, or you can get camping utensils so that they are re-usable.

6.  First Aid Kit - Being as prepared as possible for a medical emergency can be the difference between life and death for you or your family, so make this a high priority. Make sure your first aid kit has the manual in it and is fully stocked. It would also be a good idea to think of any extra supplies you might for specific health problems anyone in your family has. Having the know-how in this area can be very helpful, so go get certified in first-aid, cpr, and aed.

7.  Important Documents - Many people make the mistake of only packing food. It is also important to have all the documents you will need to start over after a disaster strikes. Make sure you have a folder or safe with all of your important documents, phone numbers, and cash.

8.  Clothing - Try as much as you can to be prepared for anything. Cover all your bases by packing for snow, heat, and rain and for each family member. Don’t forget shoes and remember heavy work gloves because they will most likely come in handy in a jam.

9.  Hygiene Supplies - This is a big part of making sure that your family remains healthy and wounds don’t get infected. You will definitely regret it if you don’t have toilet paper, a toothbrush, soap, deodorant, hand sanitizer, baby supplies, or feminine supplies.

10.  Warmth - Bring along blankets or sleeping bags for your family to make sure you will be warm no matter the season of the emergency. Rather than shoving in a bulky quilt, get pre-packaged emergency blankets in order to fit more in your 72 hour kit.

An important part in the process is organization. The better your organization, the more you will be able to fit into a small bag so that you can take it on the go. The more portable it is, the more prepared you will be. There are several lists out there that you can go by, but when you are putting together your own, remember to cater it to your family. If your kids won’t eat peas, by all means do not pack them! You will also need to cater what you pack by where you live and what emergencies you are more susceptible to. For example, it would be smarter for someone in Florida to pack for a hurricane than hypothermia.

Think about your needs specifically so that if anything were to happen, you know you are truly prepared. Also, plan a day every six months or so to go through 72 hour kits to make sure that nothing has expired. An easy way to remember this is choosing a holiday or a specific event when you will always go through your bags. You now have all the knowledge necessary to making a stellar 72 hour kit- get packing! Click the links for more information on bug out bags or to visit a facebook page that can help.

Chett Wright is an emergency preparedness guru who loves educating others about the importance of being ready for anything. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:16
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