I hope you don’t mind, but I decided to take a brief sabbatical from all things “charmed” to post about something of a more serious nature. I watched in shock and disbelief along with the rest of the world at the complete devastation that swept over Haiti this past week. One news clip I saw showed a mother in the streets wailing over the loss of her child who was buried beneath the rubble of a fallen building. I continued to watch the footage of these people as they were faced with the reality of the aftermath that now surrounds them, and I simply wept. I know there are innumerable ways that we can help and I would encourage you to find an opportunity, if possible, to extend yourself at this great time of need; pray, donate, put together kits—I think anything would help ease their suffering at this point.
It seems as though whenever these disasters occur, it causes me to evaluate the status of my own emergency preparedness. Upon doing so I discovered that it was time to rotate our 72 hour kits, and thought it might be of some interest to our readers to see what all goes into creating your own kit from home. The idea of a 72 hour kit is to have enough supplies, especially food and water, to last you for 3 full days when no refrigeration or cooking is available. Your kits should be put together in a manner that makes it possible for each family member to easily access/carry their own kit (unless you have very young children) so that in the event of an emergency that causes to you evacuate your home you could grab and go. Ideally I’d love to keep mine in the car at all times, but since we have six people in our family and we take up quite a bit of space, we keep ours in the garage on a shelf and have a goal to rotate items every 6 months.
Here is a list of the items I use to create one kit:
(adjust items to fit the specific needs of your children)
- 3 Packs Instant Oatmeal
- 3 Packs Hot Cocoa Mix
- 1 Pack Saltine or Graham Crackers
- 1 Pack Dried Fruit/Fruit Snacks
- 2 Packs Ramen Noodles
- 1 Pouch Fish or Chicken
- 3 Cans Soup (pop tops are fine for short term storage)
- 3 Granola Bars
- Nuts/Nut Rolls/Pudding (or other high protein snacks)
- Candy (such as Skittles, Starbursts or other packaged candy that won’t melt)
- Chips (best in tube)
- 3 Sets Utensils in a Ziploc Bag
- 1 Gallon Drinking Water (I tie a shoelace to the handle so it’s easier for the kids to carry)
- Change of Clothing ( 1 shirt, 1 jean, 1 underwear, pair of socks and jacket)
- Blanket (fleece work great)
- Small First Aid Kit in Ziploc Bag (5 band-aids, small tube sunscreen, chap stick and cough drops)
- Bottle of Hand Sanitizer
- Coloring Book, Crayons, Storybook
- 1 Large Kitchen Garbage Sack ( to keep clothing/blanket dry and use later as makeshift poncho)
- Backpack/duffle bag (use last years or pick up cheap at thrift store)
I think I am going to add a small flashlight and batteries to each pack as well.
It may look and seem like a lot, but when packed well I have absolutely no problem getting it all to fit. I’d also like to make each of my children a necklace that has laminated picture of our family on one side and our personal information on the back, just in case we ever get separated from one another.
In addition to the aforementioned items, my husband and I each have a pack which contains community items such as medications, a large first aid kit, a can opener, waterproof matches, candles, flashlights, a pocket knife, important documents, scriptures and cash. We also have a tote at the ready that holds a battery operated lantern, a family size tent, and extra blankets. My mother in law always tells us to keep our gas tanks at least half full at all times. I’ve not been so good about that in the past, but I’m working toward being better about it this year:)
So there you have it, one simple, inexpensive step to becoming more prepared for an emergency situation. And though I am grateful that we have never had to use our kits, it gives me a great deal of comfort to know that they are always ready if we ever needed them.
Just out of curiosity, I’d love to hear if you’ve ever had an experience where you’ve really needed to utilize your kit~