Your 72+ hour emergency kit

(Survival manual/2. Social issues/Your 72+hour emergency kit)

A.    FEMA’s, ‘Are You Ready’ homepage
 Are you ready? You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you need.
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that members of a household may need in the event of a disaster.

Kit Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work, and vehicles.
1.  Home
•  Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water, and supplies for at least three days.
•  Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
•  Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks. This kit should be in one container, and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
2.  Work
This kit should be in one container, and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
Make sure you have food and water in the kit. Also, be sure to have com­fortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.
3.  Car
•  In case you are strand-ed, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
This kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables, and seasonal supplies.
Pasted from <>

[Since Hurricane Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf states in 2005, the Red Cross and FEMA have extended their emergency preparation recommendation from 72 hours (3 days) to 5 days for certain categories of disaster. The official, public preparation documents do not reduce preparation procedures into subcategories, so the official recommendation remains 72 hours. This document, Your 72 hour emergency kit lays out a general plan, from which you can adjust your food and water supplies to fit either the 72 hour, or upgrade to the 5 day emergency period. Mr. Larry]

B.  The basics for natural disasters
The US Government’s Homeland Security website provides a list of in-home emergency kit items. The list focuses on the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and materials to maintain body warmth. The recommended basic emergency kit items include:
•  Water, at least one gallon of water per person for each day for drinking & sanitation (should be rotated every 3 months)
•  Food, non-perishable food for at least three days which is not required to be cooked or refrigerated
•  Emergency Food Bars, preferably the products with 2,400 or 3,600 calories and contain no coconut or tropical oils to which many people may have an allergic reaction, in addition to non-perishable food which does not require cooking or refrigeration
•  Battery and/or hand-powered radio with the Weather band
•  Flashlight (battery or hand-powered)
•  Extra batteries for anything needing them
•  First aid kit
•  Copies of any medical prescriptions
•  Whistle to signal
•  Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
•  Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
•  Wrench or pliers to turn off water valves
•  Can opener for canned food
•  Local maps
•  Spare Keys for Household & Motor Vehicle
•  Sturdy, comfortable shoes & lightweight rain gear, hoods are recommended
•  Contact & Meeting Place Information for your household

Below is a list of commonly recommended items for an emergency earthquake kit:
• Food and water to last at least 3-5 days
• Water purification tablets/portable water filter
• Heavy-duty gloves
• A first aid kit
• A minimum of $100 in cash, at least half of which should be in small denominations
• Family photos and descriptions (to aid emergency personnel in finding missing people)
• Copies of personal identification and important papers such as insurance documents, driver’s license, etc.
• A flashlight (LED type for greatest efficiency) and radio (battery, solar, and/or hand-powered)
• Extra batteries (lithium type for longest shelf life).
• Goggles and dust mask
• A ‘port-a-pottie’ or 5 gallon bucket with sanitary/trash bags
• Water – one gallon per person, per day

For hurricanes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that the ‘disaster bag’ include:
•  a flashlight with spare batteries and
•  a battery operated portable radio (and spare batteries);
•  a battery operated NOAA weather radio (and spare batteries);
•  a “Self Powered Radio” and a “Self Powered Flashlight”. One, “Eton” model has the Weather Band and it is “self-powered”. Some of these will keep your cell phone charged
•  First aid kit and manual;
•  prescription medicines (be sure to refill them once they expire);
•  cash and a credit card;
•  a cell phone with a fully charged spare battery;
•  spare keys;
•  high energy non-perishable food;
•  one warm blanket or sleeping bag per person;
•  special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members;
•  change of clothing.

C.   Building an emergency kit
Make sure you and your family has enough emergency food and water to see you through the first several days of a disaster. Depending on the severity and location of the catastrophe, it may take time for help to arrive and shelters and food to become available. For convenience, you may want to purchase a Red Cross disaster kit.
From <>

Helpful tips
•  As a general rule, you should store 3-5 days worth of supplies. If room and resources allow, store more.
•  Replace emergency food by the expiration dates and bottled drinking water supplies every six months.
•  Make sure your kit is easily accessible. When a disaster hits, you don’t want to dig in the back of the attic for your supplies.
•  Keep smaller versions of your disaster kit in your family vehicles and at work.
•  Prioritize.
•  Purchase a Red Cross First Aid kit and get Basic First Aid training.

Your disaster kit should include: 
1.  Water
Store at least one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for sanitation and food preparation. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more). Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using anything that may decompose or break. Water should be replaced every six months.

2.  Food
Store at least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that are compact and lightweight, require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno Canned Heat, but use outside and away from flammable objects.
•  Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
•  Emergency food bars
•  Canned juices
•  Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, etc.)
•  Food/formula for infants
•  Food for family members with special dietary requirements
•  Vitamins
•  Comfort/stress foods to lift morale (chocolate)
•  Remember to pack a non-electric can opener.

3.  First Aid kit
•  (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
•  5″ x 9″ sterile dressing
•  Conforming roller gauze bandage
•  Triangular bandages
•  3 x 3 sterile gauze pads
•  4 x 4 sterile gauze pads
•  Roll 3″ cohesive bandage
•  Adhesive tape, 2″ width
•  Anti-bacterial ointment
•  Cold pack
•  Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
•  Six (6) antiseptic wipes
•  Pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
•  Scissors (small, personal)
•  Tweezers
•  CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield

4)  Medications, medical supplies, and information
•  Keep enough essential medications on hand for at least three days (preferably seven days).
•  Keep a photocopy of your medical insurance cards or Medicare cards.
•  Keep a list of prescription medicines including dosage, and any allergies.
•  Aspirin, antacids, anti-diarrhea, etc.
•  Extra eyeglasses, hearing-aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, oxygen tank.
•  List of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers.
•  Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers that you would need.
•  Instructions on personal assistance needs and how best to provide them.
•  Individuals with special needs or disabilities should plan to have enough supplies to last for up to two weeks (medication syringes, colostomy supplies, respiratory aids, catheters, padding, distilled water, etc.).

5)  Tools and supplies
Keep some of these basic tools:
•  Battery operated radio and extra batteries
•  Flashlight and extra batteries
•  Cash or travelers checks
•  A copy of your disaster plan and emergency contact numbers.
•  Map of your city and state (to evacuate the area and/or to find shelters)
•  Utility knife
•  Non-electric can opener
•  Fire extinguisher:  small canister ABC type
•  Pliers and wrench
•  Tape
•  Waterproof matches
•  Paper, pens and pencils
•  Needles, thread
•  Plastic sheeting
•  Aluminum foil

6)  Sanitation supplies
•  Toilet paper, towelettes
•  Soap, liquid detergent
•  Feminine supplies
•  Personal hygiene items
•  Diapers
•  Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
•  Plastic bucket with tight lid
•  Disinfectant
•  Household chlorine bleach
•  Hand sanitizer

7)  Clothing and bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and a pair of sturdy shoes per person. You also want to consider packing blankets or sleeping bags, rain gear, hats and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
• Jacket or coat.
•  Long pants.
•  Long sleeve shirt.
•  Sturdy shoes.
•  Hat, mittens, and scarf.
•  Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).

If you live in a hot, desert climate, dress to reflect the sunlight and keep cool.
•  Light colored, loose-fitting clothes
•  Several layers of clothing for the cooler night weather.
•  Wide brim light-colored hat.
•  Bandana or cool tie neck-band with water absorbing polymer beads
•  Thin leather gloves.
•  Desert shoes or boots with canvas tops and durable, heat-resistant soles.
•  Sunglasses rated to reduce UV as well as overall glare.

8)   Important family documents
•  Keep copies of important family documents in a waterproof container.
•  Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
•  Social security cards, passports, immigration papers, immunization records
•  Bank account numbers
•  Credit card account numbers and companies
•  Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
•  Medical insurance and Medicare cards

9)  Entertainment
•  Deck of cards
•  Books
•  Portable music device
•  For children, include a small toy, stuffed animal or coloring book and crayons.

D.  More ideas for your 72+ hour emergency supply kit



Filed under __2. Social Issues

2 responses to “Your 72+ hour emergency kit

  1. Ted Haynie

    Mr Larry, Good stuff. our emergency stash was missing a few helpful items.
    thank you

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