By R. Maxine Lundquist
Emergencies happen; that is a fact of life. And in this day and age our emergencies encompass things like the possibility of earthquakes, tsunamis, riots and terrorist attacks. Authorities recommend that every family be equipped with supplies enough to last everyone in the house for 72 hours, or three days after a disaster, without any other help being able to get to them. If a disaster were to strike right now, would you be prepared for that three-day wait? Some excellent 72-hour kits can be purchased, but you can also make your own. Having a kit ready for every individual family member can go a long way to relieving some of the stress of possible disaster. The following is a sample list.
- Backpack (for packing some of the items in)
- Hiking tent
- Light tarp or plastic sheet, 10′ x 6′
- Emergency radio (doesn’t need batteries–winds up)
- Flashlight with extra batteries or a solar recharge flashlight
- Candles and waterproof matches
- 20′ nylon cord
- Sleeping bag
- Space blanket
- Water purifier tablets
- First aid kit
- Toiletries specific to individual–toilet paper, shaving cream, razor, sanitary napkins (also good for bad cuts), diapers, extra eyeglasses, what have you, plus personal medication. Also dental floss which can double as twine or thread
- A good Swiss Army knife or other multitool knife
- Mess kit (plate, cup, pot, utensils)
- Map, compass that glows in the dark, and a whistle
- Small compact stove with fuel
- 25 kitchen garbage bags
- Food that keeps well–dried grains, canned food, power bars, nuts, etc.
- A record of bank numbers and important telephone numbers
- If possible, spare cash
- Extra clothing: long underwear, hat, wool socks, mittens–wool, which retains heat when wet, but not cotton.
- Entertainment for the kids (books, card games, etc.)
- Moist towelettes
Remember to rotate anything in your kit that has a shelf-life on a regular basis; even uncooked rice has a limit.
Get your packs ready now. The best survival tool of all is preparedness.