Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Disaster Supplies Kit- 72 Hour Kit

I went to an Emergency Preparedness Fair over the weekend. It has really had me thinking about what I need to do to get my family more prepared. Disasters can happen anytime. Just look at Japan and the crisis the people are in because of the earthquake and tsunami and now the nuclear disaster threat that is keeping people shut in their homes(sheltering in place) until the radiation scare is gone.

I'm really excited to share the things I learned with you all over the next few weeks, especially ideas for alternate cooking methods. But first things first. If a disaster happens, you need a disaster supplies kit.

For years we've been told to have a 72 hr kit but after Hurricane Katrina happened, some people didn't see relief in over a week. So now FEMA recommends having a disaster supply kit that can provide for your family's needs and not really get hung up on just the 3 days part. They say it would be wise to plan for at least 3 days but more likely 5-7 days.

I think the best idea would be to make 2 types of kits. 1)Disaster Supplies Kit- that has everything you need if you can stay in your home with your family after a disaster and 2)a Grab Bag- a smaller, lightweight version for each family member that they can grab quickly if you are required to evacuate.

Here is a list of some things that would be good to include in your Disaster Supplies Kit. I will cover the grab bag in a later post.

Water-
Store one gallon of water per person, per day. 2 qts for drinking and 2 qts for food preparation and sanitation.
Food-
Non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little to no water since you may be without utilities.
Some ideas include- ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, milk, soup.
High energy foods- peanut butter, jelly crackers, granola bars, trail mix
Vitamins
Food for infants/ elderly persons or those with special diets
Comfort/stress foods (especially good for kids)- cookies, sweetened cereals
Disposable utensils and plates and a hand can opener.
Note-If we are staying at home, I plan on being able to tap into our 3 month supply of food but a lot of that still needs to be cooked so it is still wise to have ready to eat food available too.
Tools and Supplies
Emergency Preparedness manual- like a boy scout manual
Battery-operated radio and extra batteries (or solar powered/hand crank radio)
Flashlight and extra batteries
Cash- in small denominations
Fire Extinguisher
Tent
Pliers
Tape/Duct Tape
Matches in a waterproof container
Paper, pencil
Needles, thread
Shut-off wrench (to turn off household water and gas-only if you can smell or hear a leak or see a broken pipe)
Whistle
Plastic Sheeting
Extra set of car and house keys
Alternative cooking methods and fuel
Sanitation
Toilet paper
Soap, liguid detergent
Feminine supplies
Personal hygiene items
Plastic garbage bags and ties (for personal sanitation uses)
Plastic bucket with tight lid (make-shift port-a-potty)
Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
Sturdy shoes or work boots
Blankets or sleeping bags
Hat, gloves and thermal underwear
Special Items
Remember family members with special requirements:

  • Baby- Formula (even if you breastfeed, what if you were separated or something happened to you? I just keep the free samples the formula companies send in the mail in our disaster supplies kit). Diapers and wipes, bottles, powdered milk, medications
  • Adults-Heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin, prescription drugs, denture need, contacts and supplies, extra eye glasses, batteries for hearing aids
  • Pets-Medications, letter and littler pan, food and drinkable water for 3+ days, 
Entertainment-
Chances are good that you and especially your children will have a lot of down time if you are staying at home after/during a disaster. Games and books along with other toys will really help to pass the time and ease tension.
Important Family Documents
Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container just in case you need to take them with you if you evacuate
Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds, passports, social security cards, immunization records, bank account information, credit card account numbers, companies and phone numbers. Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers, family records(birth, marriage, death certificates), recent family photos for identification. 
First Aid Kit- One for your home and a smaller one in each car. I will cover those in more depth in a later post as well.

Remember to change your stored water at least every year and replace your stored food every six months. I do mine in April and October. That seems to be a good time to change out seasonal clothing. Make sure to test/ replace your batteries too.
 
If there are any other things you have included in your Disaster Supplies Kit I would love to hear it.

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