Do You Have a 72-Hour Kit Yet?
The weather is one of the most unpredictable elements that exist, despite how much we try to predict and plan around it. A tornado, hurricane, earthquake or other such natural disasters can occur at any time — depending on where you live. Having a 72-hour kit on hand helps make sure that you and your family prepared for an emergency, should it happen. If you don’t have one yet, keep reading.
72-Hour Kit 101
A 72-hour kit is a bundle of goods and devices that you may need in a crisis scenario. Ideally, this kit will keep you and your family members more or less comfortable for three days if you end up in a situation where you are stuck somewhere or you cannot call for help right away. The best emergency kits are customized to the needs of the person or people who will be using them.
You can create your own kit, or you can buy one from a company that sells them ready-to-go.
How to Make a 72-Hour Kit
Most people prefer to make their own 72-hour kit. As you gather supplies, keep your three basic needs in mind: food/water, shelter, and clothing. Ideally, your kit should also address needs for light and hygiene.
Bottled water and nonperishable food will take up the most space in your kit. Emergencies are not a time for dieting, so include enough food to provide at least 1500 calories/day for adults and 1000 calories/day for children. Some of the best items to pack include:
- Canned meat
- Canned pasta (Chef Boyardee, Spaghettios, etc.)
- Canned soup
- Granola bars
- Canned/dried fruit
- Peanut butter
- Sweets (candy, fruit snacks, cookies, etc.)
Avoid foods that require cooking or hot water. If hot food is important to you, however, MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) are prepared with flameless heaters. If you choose to use canned items,don’t forget to include a can opener!
The recommended amount of water to pack is about 1 gallon per day, per person. This can quickly get bulky, so many add portable water filters like the LifeStraw to their kits to reduce the amount of water packed.
Some of the other items that you will need for your emergency kits include:
- Sleeping bags
- Changes of clothing
- Personal hygiene items
- Feminine products
- First aid kit
- Whistle or bull horn
- Face mask for contaminated areas
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Duct tape
Store your supplies in easy-transport containers like plastic bins, and look out for these common 72-hour kit mistakes.
Where to Buy 72-Hour Kits
There are several companies and websites that offer pre-made emergency kits for your convenience.
- Survival Solutions
- The Seventy2
- Ready Store
- American Family Safety
Just like investing in a security system keeps your home safe at night, invest in a 72-hour kit to keep your family safe in a pinch