The 72-hour kit is simply a collection of important and basic things you need to survive, well, at least 72 hours (or 3 days) in difficult conditions. Authorities and governments recommend that people have this type of kit in their homes, as part of their natural disaster preparedness program. It is very important to assemble this kit and store it in an accessible place so that it is ready when the forces of nature unleash in your area.
You have to be prepared for 3 days, this is the estimated average period of panic and madness that you will have to survive on your own or in a shelter until the rescue teams can contact you. In case of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, extreme weather events, forest fires or the zombie apocalypse, help does not always reach you in the first hours afterwards.
If you are new to survival preparedness or if you have never experienced a natural disaster, all this commotion related to the emergency kit might seem like an ancient and simple paranoia. It’s true, there are people who take the preparation to the extreme, but the rest of us just try to get out of hell.
Usually, when disasters occur, there are unimaginable forces that turn our world upside down. To be calm and react accordingly when this happens, we must prepare ourselves in advance. There are even training drills for different types of disasters in which you learn what you need to put in your kit, how it should look and how it feels and how to protect yourself from being hit by surprise.
We already listed some of the most dangerous natural phenomena in the first paragraph, but there are more and be prepared to be informed. For this reason, before moving to a new area, contact the authorities and find out the main risks. Authorities can offer valuable information on preparedness and what to do to stay safe. Once you know what the main risks are, try to read and find out as much as possible about how to survive them.
What should be on your 72-hour kit list?
It is always better if you make lists. When you have the list in front of your eyes, it’s easy to cross out the items you already have and see what else you need to get. Do not worry, it will not make you look old and you will start to lose your memory, it will only show how good you are to prepare for a disastrous situation. Start working on your list in advance so you can review it from time to time and add other elements. A list will help you organize and this skill will be useful during the madness and disorientation that dominates during a disaster.
If you start reading different sources and materials regarding what your 72-hour kit should include, you could end up with a list of kilometers with many useless items. This is why you need to approach the problem in a logical way. The first question to ask is: what elements do I need to satisfy my basic needs for 3 days? The logical approach to this question is to group everything into categories and types of products, so let’s see how our list would look only with the categories.
You will need articles in the following categories:
- Supply of food and water;
- Clothing and footwear supplies;
- Health supplies;
- Personal hygiene products;
- Medications and first aid;
- Light and fuel;
- Personal documents and money;
- Articles related to pets;
- Other special items;
- Special backpack and containers;
- Articles related to security.
The list seems long, right? Well, these are all the categories from which you will need articles to be safe and sound for three days on your own. Now is the time to break down the list and see what elements we should take from each category. Be careful! When creating the final list, there are two main flaws that you should avoid:
- Very little packaging to save space in your backpack thinking that you really do not need everything there. This may be true, but you do not want to find yourself stuck in a shelter or a broken building with nothing to drink or eat waiting for rescue teams. Preparation always wins at random.
- Packing too much In the eventuality you are going to need this and that. If it is not a necessary item, do not pack it. It is not necessary to put family photos in the emergency kit, for example. You can pack them in hermetically sealed bags and store them in a safe place in the house.
Category of food and water supplies.
This is a very important category and without enough elements from here, you can not survive for three days on your own. Try to find small items with high caloric content (natural disasters are not to keep fit and worry about their silhouette). Stressful situations, such as trying to escape a hurricane or tornado, determine that your body consumes more calories than normal, which will leave you without powers. As an adult, your daily meal should contain around 2000 calories.
Another important aspect when choosing the food to put in the emergency kit is the shelf life. Try to choose products with at least 1 year of useful life, otherwise you will have to review and rotate the products quite frequently.
When storing food, make sure everything is packed separately. Some foods have a very persistent odor and can contaminate other foods, which makes them very difficult to eat. Also try to choose foods that all members of your family can eat and eat.
Here are some ideas for a 72 hour kit for items in this category:
- canned foods such as beans, fruits, vegetables, cooked foods;
- Energy bars and chocolate for an energy boost;
- Nuts and seeds;
- dry fruits;
- noodles, soups and dehydrated vegetables;
- peanut butter;
- Salt, sugar and other spices.
It is also very important to take into account allergies and possible allergic reactions.
Clothing and footwear supplies plus bedding.
When facing a difficult time, away from your home and your personal closet, you must take extra layers to adjust the body temperature according to weather conditions. Wear clothing that keeps you warm, does not need a lot of storage space and is not heavy to carry. Here you can include short and long-sleeved shirts and pants, socks, underwear, hats, gloves and jackets.
The same applies to shoes: wear an extra pair of sturdy shoes that will keep you dry and protect you from rain and falling objects. Add a layer of rain and body heaters in your kit as an additional precaution.
You should also sleep during these 72 hours, so it is very important to bring the proper bedding. Start with a sleeping pad, to keep it away from the cold floor or the floor and continue with sleeping bags and warm blankets. You can also include a tent large enough to fit everyone, in case you can not get to the shelter on time.
Sanitary supplies and personal hygiene products.
Here you should be careful and choose only the items you will be using. The sanitary supplies category includes items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, detergent, disinfectant, plastic garbage bag, household chlorine, etc. You will use these items to clean and disinfect wounds or where you will sleep and eat.
Personal hygiene products should also be considered with an objective approach. Take only what is strictly necessary such as toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, feminine supplies, wet towels, folding brush, hair ties and others. Items such as makeup, nail polish, perfumes and other beauty products are not necessary and should not be included in your kit.
First aid kit and first aid kit.
The elements of this category are very sensitive to external environmental factors, so they must be stored with great care. Include in your emergency kit any medication prescribed for family members and pets (if applicable). Also add over-the-counter pain relievers, ibuprofen, eyeglasses and other medications you consider necessary. The first aid kit must be complete and can be picked up at any pharmacy.
Tools, equipment, categories of light and fuel.
These categories are also important for your survival, but you must pack them responsibly, as they can make your kit quite heavy.
From the tool and equipment categories, you will need a folding shovel (ideal for digging holes for sanitation and unearthing things), pliers, a can opener, a Swiss multi-tool knife (or any other multi-tool blade) that can be useful in innumerable situations, thread and needle (you never know when something is torn and you need to repair it), tape, radio that works with batteries, fire extinguisher, ropes, etc.
The category of light and fuel has its place in the scale of importance, since it will need light to see where it goes and fuel to cook and stay warm. Consider carrying flashlights and extra batteries, signal flashes, emergency candles and waterproof matches, a travel stove and an additional fuel tank for your car.
Security articles, personal documents and money.
You always have to have your personal documents with you in case of an evacuation so that the authorities can identify you if there are routine checks. Also, take important documents such as proof of home ownership, bank statements and others. Make sure you have extra money with you because credit cards will not do you any good during a period of crisis. ATMs are usually emptied first and banks are closed.
Even if you are a pacifist and do not believe there are people who want to benefit from a natural disaster, such specimens do exist. That is why you need to have a weapon or other type of weapon with which you can protect yourself and your family. Do not forget to include an emergency whistle in your backpack. It is very useful for people to know that they are in danger or to help rescue teams find it.
Here you can find items such as the things you need for your pets, containers and anything else. These you need to solve by yourself and include them in your security kit. Begin the list early and read it several times before packing your emergency kit. This is the only way to make sure you do not forget anything important.
Remember, keep your backpack light and ready to use and do not forget to include a compass and a map.
Common mistakes to avoid in the preparation process.
There are some mistakes you can easily make when preparing the 72-hour emergency kit, especially when you are new to this. Do not worry, there is nothing of capital, but it is better to know them and avoid them.
- Shoe Mistakes: Make sure the shoes included in the emergency pack are resistant and water resistant. You need them to protect your feet so they do not look stylish! If the authorities issue a warning of bad weather, try to avoid using expensive and elegant cures and shoes wherever you go. Also, keep a pair of boots in your car and fill them with clean socks and underwear. You never know where you are going to be when the storm starts
- Clothing for the wrong season: if you do not keep your emergency kit updated according to the season, you might end up wearing coats in the middle of summer.
- Skip the testing phase: each item on your equipment must be tested before packing. If your flashlight does not turn on or your fire lighter does not work, they will not do you any good.
- It has no organization when you pack the kit, do not throw everything into a pile that you squeeze into a large bag. You will not know where to look when you need something and you will have to unpack everything. Imagine how you will do this in the middle of the storm, looking for a flashlight.
- Underestimate your water needs, even if you are not a big water drinker, in stressful situations your body will ask for that gallon of water per day. Make sure you have it with you or have the means to obtain it.
What emergency kit can you buy in the store?
To make things easier, there are emergency kits that you can buy. These come with most of the supplies we talked about earlier and are very useful if you are not the kind of DIY family. Everything is already organized and all you have to do is add anything else that you think can help you.
Our three main recommendations are:
- The emergency kit Grab-n-Go Ready America 70080, 3-day bag for 1 person, contains the food, water and light supplies necessary for one person. You will definitely have to add something to this, but the spacious backpack is very useful and easy to carry;
- Ready America 70280 Grab-and # 8216; N-Go emergency backpack, 3-person backpack for 3 days, which comes with food, water and blankets for 2 people, a complete first aid kit and two safety light sticks. The kit is not expensive and you can find it on Amazon.
- Perfect survival kit for 4 people for earthquakes, evacuation, emergency preparedness in case of disaster 72 hour kits for home, work or car: perfect for families with two children. The Deluxe model is one of the most complete kits on the market and you can really grab it and go without adding anything else. You can find this model and others at Amazon.
As you can see, there are many ideas for 72-hour kits that you can go with, which makes preparing for a natural disaster easier and less frightening.
At the beginning, the list of items that should be included in the emergency kit may seem long and bulky, but with a little patience and some organizational skills, you can certainly pack your backpack ready to grab. The secret is knowing how to package each item individually and how to find small spaces for each of them. You can practice packing your emergency kit a few times before doing it correctly.
Do not forget that you should check the kit every six months and rotate items that are no longer useful, such as expired foods, bottled water, and out-of-season clothing.
There are no excuses if you decide to ignore the possibility of a disaster and skip the preparation step. As a responsible adult, you must consider this possibility and prepare accordingly. Investing in an emergency kit now may not seem so important, but you will learn to appreciate its value when the time comes. Just think how hard it would be to clean your hands without soap or hand sanitizer.
When you have to evacuate and you are alone, there is no way to get the objects you need. It will be extremely difficult to resist without food or water for a few hours and almost impossible to resist for days.
CAMPING AND Hiking