You may need to live on your own for several days following an emergency. Being prepared with your emergency kit means having at least 72-hours of personal food, water, and other supplies. A 72-hour emergency kit for disaster supplies is a set of essential items that your household may need in case of an emergency.
On and off during the year, thousands of people have to leave their homes with just a few minutes’ notices due to natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, and other emergencies. In such situations, chances of panic and fear may override your capability of making instant decisions.
That is why we are here to provide you six essential tips on how to find an essential 72-hour emergency kit to avoid panic during the emergency.
Ask Yourself the Following Before Heading Towards Finalizing the Kit
Remember the position of your family. How many people do your family has? Does anyone need special attention within your family? Does any family member has allergies? Does the family need medicines quite often? Do you have a baby?
All of these things will decide what you want to pack in your 72-hour emergency kit. Bear in mind that your pack will be as lightweight as possible-the more massive your 72-hour kit would be, the more you will face problems in handling it.
Essentials to be kept in 72-Hour Emergency Kit
Prepare the 72-hour emergency kit as per the needs and requirements of every individual of the family. Water, food, clothing, bedding, first aid kit, and survival gear are the essential items you cannot go without and be kept in the emergency kit. Go through the following checklist to avoid any possible future uncertainties regarding any emergency:
- Non-perishable food
- Bedding including sleeping bags or blankets
- First aid kit and medication
- Lighter or matches
Keep Recommended Amount of Water and Food in 72-Hour Emergency Kit
For any 72-hour emergency kit, water should be at the top of the list; it’s the most important and necessary thing you need to live. But it seems to be a challenge to store enough water for you and your family. Eight glasses of water per person are recommended. However, if you find it not realistic to carry the recommended amount of water for all family members, pack 6.6 pounds of water for each member.
We will emphasize that this reduced advice on the water is specifically intended to restrict the weight of your kit if you need to evacuate. We suggest that you store the appropriate amount of drinking water in your home food storage – at least one gallon per person for three days. We recommend the reduction of water weight only for emergencies where you need to evacuate.
Non-perishable food items are recommended to keep in a necessary 72-hour emergency kit. Don’t just depend on non-perishable food; search for things that are “non-cook” for your emergency kit. In an emergency, when you don’t have to cook, you don’t need cooking equipment, which means you can save space in your bag – and most importantly, weight.
Keep in mind the food items your family members like to eat, especially in the case of kids. However, here is our suggestion about non-perishable and uncooked food items:
- Dried fruits/trail mix
- fresh fruits which can be kept for 72-hours easily
- Granola bars
- Canned beans, tuna, and meat
First Aid Kit
The recommended kit to be with you 24/7 is the one that carries enough components for all family members for multiple days. A basic 72-hours first aid kit may contain:
- Different types of plasters
- Triangular and rolled bandages
- Disposable sterile gloves
- Safety pins
- Sticky tape
- Antibiotics and antiseptic cream
- Cleansing wipes
- Tweezers and scissors
- Specific medicines that the family members often or daily use
Medications should be reviewed periodically to ensure that they are within their use-by-dates.
Besides the first aid kit, keep yourself ready with a car kit, including all the essential elements to be used in an emergency.
Clothing and Backpack
With the backpack, one of the common mistakes for 72-hour emergency kits starts. Choose a pack that includes several compartments where you can break your survival gear. It can be time-consuming to work through an unorganized bag, where everything is jumbled into the same full container.
Divide the stuff in multiple pockets to get easy access to each item whenever needed.
For clothing, you better know what to wear, and for how long, however, we suggest you have a raincoat, hat, gloves, and fleece sweater. The number of items depends on family members.
Don’t Ignore Other Necessary Equipment
Don’t miss to pack the following essentials in your 72-hour emergency kit:
- Enough cash to be used for three days at least
- A durable and lightweight flashlight
- Extra batteries
- Toiletries – toilet paper, toothpaste/toothbrush, feminine products, handwash
- Infant needs
- Whistles and two-way radio
- Bug repellant
- Sleeping bag