Your first step towards preparing for an emergency is to put together a 72- hour kit. Over the course of the next 6 months I will be putting together an emergency kit. I have selected a time frame of six months not only to prevent myself from getting overwhelmed but also to allow time to complete this project frugally so I don't break my budget. I will be detailing how and where I am collecting these items so you can put together your own kit.
Where to put your 72- hour kit
The first thing you need to consider is how to store the supplies of your 72 - hour kit. You need to consider the type of emergencies you are most susceptible to- floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. In events such as floods, you will most likely be leaving your residence so your kit will need to be easily transportable. The Organized Woman Show suggests using a rolling suitcase or a backpack. If you live in tornado alley, you will probably be staying in your home basement, if you have one. In this instance, you can keep your materials in a plastic tub. It is also best to consider how much space you are willing to allot to your kit. If you live in a small dorm room or apartment, you may not have the space to store a big tub. You may want to consider putting your supplies in a spare backpack.
As you learn more about the items that will consist of your 72-hour kit, you will better be able to consider what type of container will work best for you.
What goes in your kit
Here are the "highlights" of the essential items you will need for your emergency kit. For additional information on the items you should have in your kit, please visit Ready.gov.
- Water: 1 gallon per person per day (used for drinking and sanitation)
- Method of water purification: Brita pitcher/water bottle or bleach perhaps
- Food: at least three days worth of food. Select food that requires little water and preparation. Good items here include canned veggies, canned beans, and tuna packets.
- Can opener: you will need a separate can opener from the one in your kitchen
- Battery powered radio:
- Extra batteries: include both for radio and flashlight
- Moist towelettes: these will help with washing your hands and self during the emergency. I would select baby wipes for this item.
- Whistle: allows you to signal for help
- First Aid Kit: You will need: two pairs of gloves, sterile dressings, soap or antibiotic towelette, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, eye wash solution, Rx(s), aspirin, scissors (you can even use sewing scissors here), tweezers. (For additional items see the Red Cross)
- Dust mask:
- Duck Tape: Remember the Anthrax scares after 9/11? You may need tape to seal off windows and doors.
- Map: You may think you know your town really well, but it an emergency the area may look different.
- Extra Clothing: I would pack warm, comfortable clothing.
- Paper Supplies: toilet paper, cups, plates, towels
- Utensils: a set for each person if you can
---- Other optional items----
- Feminine hygeine items:
- Personal Care items: Razor, shampoo, soap, etc.
- Cash: singles and variety of change to make a phoen call if you need to
- Pet food:
- Important documents: bank records, insurance information, etc. Make sure these are in a waterproof container.
- Sleeping Bag:
- Matches or Lighter:
- Paper and Pencil:
- Glasses and/or contact:
- Form of identification: perhaps an old drivers license or school id
*You may be thinking, "I already have these items, they just aren't together in a kit." When disaster strikes, you don't want to spend extra time looking for these items.
This list may seem a little daunting but keep in mind we have six months to complete it. Also, not ever item will pertain to you or your area. Additionally, these are just suggestions. Something is better than nothing.