Wednesday, January 5, 2011

72-Hour Kit Wednesdays

I have made several 72-hour kits during my time and it seems that every time I complete one and feel so proud of myself, I think of things I wish I and added or something different I wish I’d done. I’m redoing and updating my kits this year and so each Wednesday I’ll be posting about the items I’m adding or the changes I’ve made. If you don’t have your 72 kits finished, work on them with me this year. Also if you have any suggestions, we’d all love to hear them.

The first things you need to get started are the containers. There are several things you can use to hold your 72 hour kits and you may have better ideas than mine. Here are some different options:

-I started with a back pack for each person and eventually added a small duffle bag for each person as well.

-Some people use 5 or 6 gallon buckets with handles thinking that the buckets will be useful for seating or holding water or even as a makeshift toilet in an emergency.

-Some use a back pack for each individual and then a large tote to hold the food for the family.

-Another option is a rolling suitcase for each person. This can get very expensive so be warned that the cheaper containers you can find the better. You can always upgrade later if you wish.

It doesn’t really matter what you use as long as you get started. I remember when I first started that I put it off for a long time because I was looking for the perfect bags to hold my kits. You can often pick up used backpacks or duffle bags or find them at discount prices. Gather what you have so you can get started. You may change your mind along the way and that’s okay too as long as you keep working on them.

If you have babies or younger children or family members who require special medications, etc, you may want to personalize your bags so everyone knows which is his. Otherwise it doesn’t really matter.

We will be gathering different items each week so if you want to start with a box for each person and gather containers as we go along that is fine too.

I will tell you that of all the preparedness items I have worked on, the 72-hour kids were the hardest for me. I think it was because I didn’t really know what I was doing and didn’t want to make any mistakes. When I finally finished putting them together the first time it was a HUGE relief. I’ve since learned that you are never really done. You will need to rotate your bags every 6 months. Be thinking of 2 dates that are about 6 months apart that will remind you to rotate the food contents of your bags. I used to do it on the days that daylight savings started and ended. They have changed those days now so they are closer together. Now I use the first day of spring and the first day of fall as my rotation days. You could pick birthdays or other special days that will remind you it’s time to rotate then always mark these days on the calendar so you’ll never forget.

Start gathering your backpacks, duffle bags, buckets, suitcases or whatever you want to use for your kits. Next Wednesday, we’ll begin gathering the contents.

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