Sunday, May 5, 2013

72 Hour Kits: Basic Information

In order to have a well-rounded preparedness plan for your family, you should include preparations in the event that it becomes necessary to leave your home (and all of your other provisions) in an emergency situation. Some people believe that this is possibly the most important aspect of family home storage and preparedness. As you read through this information, the most important thing to take away from it is to DO IT NOW. Start today with items that you have around your house. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but you do need to START by compiling the items for your 72-Hour kit TODAY. You will never regret having taken the time to prepare these things in the event you ever need to use them!

Before you start, take the time to think through a few “what if” scenarios to determine what will be best for you and your family. Think in terms of A.S.A.P.: Attainability, Storability, Accessibility and Portability. It isn’t wise to spend a lot of money you don’t have in order to compile a fancy emergency kit. It is also NOT wise to put off organizing your kit until you have the money. Decide on what you can afford and work with what you have NOW. Storability, accessibility and portability are things you’ll want to keep in mind as you compile and maintain your family’s kit.

 Where To Start: Begin with a sturdy bag or backpack that has a sturdy strap and zips shut and that is large enough to hold a complete kit, (again, you needn’t spend a lot of money – you can use what you already have around your house, or get one from a thrift store.) Generally speaking, you should have one bag for each member of your family that is old enough and strong enough to carry it. Portability is of the essence, since it may be necessary to walk some distance in the event of an evacuation. Some state agencies recommend putting all items for your family in a large garbage can with wheels. This is much better than nothing, but depending on your circumstances, it may be hard to put a garbage can in your car if you need to evacuate. Consider your family’s needs first.

 Begin today, even if you need to begin by using a pillow case or paper grocery bag for now. Go over the attached lists, tailoring them to your personal circumstances and needs. Gather the items that you already have in one place, and mark down the items that you still need to get. Designate your storage spot, the place in your home where you will keep your emergency kits, and keep your fledgling kit there. Take a list with you to the grocery store the next time you go grocery shopping and pick up a few items each time until your kit is complete. Just start now, and keep working on it!

A Word About Storage: Store kits in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight, preferably in a closet near the front entrance of your home. Remember in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, this kit should be readily accessible at a moment’s notice. Placing kits in the back of storage sheds, under stairs or in other areas which may become inaccessible in an emergency may render them useless. Careful thought and planning should go into the storage location of your family’s emergency kits.

Happy Homemaking!

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