Do you have a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack/Kit for each person in your household?
You should have one for each person in your home, at work, in your car and at your children's schools.
The following tips and menus will help you accomplish this task.
Tips for 72 Hour Backpack (food kits, emergency needs, sanitation kit and stress factors):
1. Who lives in your household--are you single, is there only a husband and wife, do you have children, are their extended family members? Do any have special needs? Do you have pets?
2. Family and individual needs--do any family members have special diets or need special medications? Do not forget the baby (they need special foods, diapers and items).
3. Transportation--will each family member be able to transport their 72 Hour Backpack? What type of container will you use? I find backpacks are great and easy to transport for most family members. Small suitcases on wheels also work well. They can hold the 72 Hour Food Kit, a 2 Liter water bottle, Hygiene Kit, Stressor Kit, extra clothing, a flashlight, poncho, emergency space blanket, and other small items. Plus you will need a family 72 Hour Family Emergency Bag that will hold all the other items that might be needed, a duffel bag works great for this (This is discussed in a different blog posting.). Remember to keep the children's backpack light enough or them to carry.
4. Once your kit is prepared, store each family kit (backpack) where everyone knows it is and it will be easy to access if you need to leave in a hurry or easy to get after an earthquake or other disaster.
5. Rotate food and clothing as needed. The food should be rotated every years. If you keep our 72 Hour Backpack in your car the food needs to be rotated every 6 months due to the heat. Clothing and shoes need to be checked regularly, especially for children.
6. Shop around to get the best prices for the food items. If a single person, get together with a couple of friends to save money on items that have several items in a box, like granola bars, etc.(It is amazing how prices are different at each grocery store. Costco and Sam's Club usually have great prices when you have several family members, but sometimes regular grocery stores can be lower with sales prices.)
7. Use a 72 Hour Food Kit Shopping List chart once you have determined the items in your kit. You can set up a chart in Microsoft Word or Excel. In your chart put these columns: Food item, # per kit, # of kits, and total #. This will help you when shopping.
8. On each 72 Hour Food Kit tape or place in the container a list of the 3 menus.
9. Containers for the 72 Hour Food Kit (make sure they are water proof): I like doubling 2 large plastic zip lock bags, or an ex-large plastic zip lock bag or any items that will safely hold the food items.
10. Only put in your 72 Hour Food Kit what your family will eat, especially for children.
Choose foods that will hit your family members dietary needs. Example: Someone who is diabetic will need food low in sugar.
11. Set up a schedule once you have your food list to buy a couple of items each week. This will help with your budget. It may take time but at least you are working towards a goal.
12. Once a month skip a family movie night out or family dinner night out and use the money to
purchase the items for your 72 Hour Food Kits. Also, to save money, you can use the same menu for each day, this way you can purchase the items in groups, like 6-8 granola bars in a box, etc. I will give you an example in the Menu example below.
If you want a variety of meals each day it may cost more money because you will need to purchase extra to fill your menu.
13. Keep all liquid items and mint candy in separate plastic zip-lock bags. If stored with other food items will become moist and taste like mint.
Items that should be in your 72 Hour Backpack Kits:
1. 72 Hours Food Kit (This will fit into a large zip lock plastic bag if you work at it.)
2. Water (2 Liter bottle or 3 regular 16.9 ounce bottles)
3. Personal Hygiene 72 Hour Kit (think about each person in your household and what they will need--small bar of hand soap, small hand sanitizer soap, wash cloth, small package of baby wipes, deodorant, feminine hygiene items, medications, small tube of sun screen, brush/comb, small bottles of shampoo/rinse [or a shampoo and rinse in one], etc.) (All these items will fit into a large zip lock plastic bag.)
4. Stressor 72 Hour Kit (items like a Book of Mormon/small scriptures, picture of family, important phone numbers, paper and pen/pencil with sharpener, card games, small car board games, activity book for small children, small or paper back book of children's and adults favorite reading book, crossword puzzle book, etc.) (These will all fit into a large zip lock plastic bag)
5. Clothes (One change of clothes [preferable long pants and long sleeve shirt], underwear and socks [2 pair], comfortable sturdy shoes, and a light weight jacket or sweater, a hat)
6. Emergency Items (Whistle, pair of work gloves, 2 masks, Mylar space blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, pocket knife if old enough, etc.)
7. Parents/Adult Backpack should carry a copy of all important documents and ID information, medical history for each family member including any medication each family member takes, money in small bills ($1 and $5) and change.
8. Other Family Emergency Duffel Bag or Backpack. See the blog posting on the right under "Postings" for the list of items to include in this bag.
Example of 72 Hour Food Individual Kit Menu:
It is the same menu for each day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Day 1, 2, and 3
Breakfast: Oatmeal (instant), Raisins (small box), Hot cocoa (instant)
Lunch: Peanut Butter Crackers, Fruit Cup, Trail Mix
Dinner: Soup (and instant kind like Chicken Noodle), Granola Bar, Fruit Drink Mix
Snacks: Fruit Snacks, Gum, Hard Candy, Beef Jerky
Water: 2 Liter bottle or 3 smaller ones (not the really small ones) (Remember: Use this water sparingly, it is used for drinking as well as for the soup, hot chocolate and fruit drink mix, not for bathing.)
Note: This is a high calorie menu. When someone is in a stressful situation they burn more calories. Adjust to family member with allergies and medical conditions like diabetes.
Zip lock bag to store above food items (all food fits in the bag),water proof matches, wet wipes, candles, 3 spoons, 3 cups, bowl.
Note: Cans should be flip top type if possible, if not you will need a can opener. Ready to eat food needs to be in unbreakable containers
Instruction manual on emergency preparedness
Battery-powered radio (solar powered is even better)
First-aid Kit and manual
Sleeping bags and blankets (wool and thermal)
Flashlight with extra batteries , whistle (in case family member gets lost)
Water storage (1 gallon per person per day)
Water purification tablets
Pipe wrench and adjustable wrench for turning off gas and water mains
Work gloves and heavy shoes to assist with rescue work
Plastic bucket with tightly fitted lid or portable toilet bucket with seat
Plastic bags and ties
Disinfectant (Ex: bleach or Lysol)
Improvised toilet seat (if not portable toilet bucket with seat)
Paper cups and plates
Personal hygienic needs
Other emergency needs:
Paper and pen
Copies of insurance policies and other personal identification (social security card, birth certificate, driver's license, etc) all on one page. I will show you how to do this in another posting.
Money ($100+ in small bills, $1 and $5, and change)
Address and phone number list
Tools as desired
Class ABC fire extinguishers at home and in the car
For children: scriptures, puzzles, crayons, coloring books, stories books, etc...
For adults: scriptures, books, magazines, games needle work, etc....