It’s been a long time coming, but we finally got our 72 hour kits put together last week! It took making it a homeschool project, but we got it done. The last time I did these was 11 years ago, and I hadn’t opened my kits since. Not to mention, back then I only had one child, as opposed to almost six. So, we were clearly due for an update.
You’ve probably heard of 72 hour kits, but in case you haven’t, they are basically emergency packs that has everything you would need to survive for 3 days. You know how you have a fire safety plan, or if you live in a place known for natural disasters, you probably have a ‘plan’ for those situations. Well, 72 hour kits are just another way to prepare for emergencies. And, by emergencies, I don’t mean zombies. A perfect example of when a 72 hour kit would come in handy is found on this blog, a real life account of a woman experiencing the after-effects of the earthquake in Japan. For those of us living in Utah, it’s a well known fact that we’re overdue for a big-mother earthquake. But, even beyond that, there is a myriad of situations that these packs could be used in. And, being a little extra prepared brings an added measure of comfort. Besides having 72 hour kits, we also maintain a food storage in my basement. It’s definitely a project, but we try to keep it stocked with water, food, and anything we might need in case of an emergency…it could be a disaster or something like a crappy economy bringing in no work. Ya never know, but it’s good to be self-reliant and have a plan. Peace of mind is never a waste, in my book.
Anyway, to get these 72 hour kits put together, I picked up 8 backpacks…one for each member of the family. I found the backpacks at DownEast Home for just $9.99 each.
The big yellow one is mine…as the mom, I can carry more than the kiddos (if it came to that), and a lot of the stuff we can share.
I put basically the same things in both my pack and the one for Dan. We are all keeping ours in the house (in the corner of the laundry room), but Dan will have to keep his in his work truck/trailer, since he is at work most of the time.
Here’s what you’ll find in the adult packs:
3 Day MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) Kit - The reason I went with these kits is because they have a variety of compact meals and they last for 5 to 7 years. You could also get by with just doing emergency energy bars. They are more compact and light-weight. But, I’m pregnant…hungry…and, a meal always sounds good to me. I also picked up a few MRE heaters and a spoon.
* If I only did the emergency bars, rather than the MRE kits, I would have used the extra room to throw in a pair of extra clothes. The best thing to do is sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt. The pants stretch for growing waists, and both items can be cut-off to turn into shorts or a t-shirt, depending on the weather.
Water – I liked these packages of Aqua Blox because they are single servings and have a shelf life that matches the MRE meals. I figured 2 boxes a day for each person, so two packages of three in each backpack. Also, for my kit I added in a water filter, which could be used to filter water from any source, like the creek in our front yard.
Emergency Sleeping Bag/Blanket – For how light weight, compact, cheap, and functional these are, they are a must for emergency kits. You’ll typically see two kinds of these, either the mylar bag or the mylar blanket. It’s best to go with the bag because at least the whole bottom side is sealed closed, to prevent cold air from getting in and to make the most of your body heat.
Warm socks, gloves, and beanie
Deck of cards (anyone bored??)
Emergency phone numbers & a few bucks
Toiletries: toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, tampons, medicines, deodorant, chapstick, sunscreen, bug spray, wash cloth, etc.
The kids packs contain the food, water, whistle, sleeping bag, mini first aid kits, warmers, wash cloth, mini flashlight, and spoon. Everything else, I’ll tote for them (we’re sharing toiletries, the radio, water filter, tarp, things like that.) Oh, actually I did find a really cool water filter straw to throw in their packs. They’re only eight bucks and they filter and purify up to 20 gallons of water as it comes through the straw. So, if the water boxes aren’t enough, this is a great supplement.
And, there you have it. Eight 72 hour kits, ready to be packed away and pulled out in an emergency. All I really have to do is update the hand/feet warmers in a couple years, and the food/water in about 5 years. Totally doable.
Ready.gov has a great pdf of supplies and other articles you can check out on 72 hour kits, as well.