Thursday, October 9, 2014

72 Hour Kits: Task 1 - Containers

Alrighty then. 72-hour kits. You've heard about them til you're on your very last nerve. Everyone says you need one. You think about it every time there's a disaster. You even look up some ideas on the internet, but then the days go on and it stays on your list without anything happening. And at some point you just take it off the list, saying you'll get to that when your life slows down a bit. Well, we both know that isn't going to happen any time soon. Life isn't going to slow down, and we might as well just accept that as a fact. My 83 (almost 84) year old mother is as busy as anyone I know, so...

Now that we are all on the same page, and we recognize that today is the day to start the 72-hour kit, what do we do now? I'm hoping to break it down in to manageable assignments so that by the end of our run, we will have complete, organized 72-hour kits for each member of the family living in the home.

There are MANY ideas out there about what should go in a 72-hour kit. For me and my family, I went through the best lists I could find, combined and fine-tuned them, and came up with my master list. There will always be items that you may need that I may not have on my list (baby needs, pet needs, etc). If that's the case, you can easily add the items to your own list. You'll definitely need to personalize it to your needs and wants. My master list is 3 pages long, and would be costly and overwhelming to try to collect everything all at once. We'll break it down into do-able allotments of time and money.

The thing I like about my list is that I have a comprehensive list of the items, along with a place to mark if the items expire, and when they expire. Then, once a year, when I update my 72-hour kits, I just take out my list (without even having to open up my 72-hour kits), look for the items that expire this year, and then I have a short list of what to pick up at the grocery store next time I'm there. Then, when I bring the items home, I just pull out the old items and replace them with the new, update the list, and I'm done. Super easy. I used to have to pull everything out and try to figure out what is expired and needed replacing. It was a big messy undertaking, and easy to put off. Not any more. It's a simple, organized task, and easy to just throw into my daily routine.

The first thing you'll need is something to pack your items in. Though I don't have any of my kids living at home anymore, when they were here, we had large school back packs for each of the kids. The packs were able to hold their own necessaries, and they could carry the pack on their own (even if that meant dragging it). For the rest of the 72-hour kit, (which includes some more comprehensive items and also the kits for Bob and I) we have 3 containers. The 1st is a big rolling cooler. It is large enough to carry lots of items, but also easy to pull along. It also is insulated, which might come in handy in an emergency. The 2nd container is a medium duffel bag. It's actually a bag that contained an emergency kit my parents gave to each of their married kids years and years ago. The contents have been added to along the way, but the duffel bag is completely usable and easy to carry. The 3rd container is a 5-gallon bucket with a handle. Again, this is an easy-to-carry container, and it may be very handy and necessary to have a bucket in an emergency.

72 hour kits
(includes the rolling cart under the backpacks)

So that is your assignment for this first segment. Gather the containers that you need. All 3 of my containers are packed to the gills, so they are all necessary. To see the post from my Week-To-Week Food Storage Plan and to see an idea of some of my containers, click here. If you have children, you will need a separate pack for each of them, and the school backpacks work really well. You may have some old ones sitting around the house that this would be perfect for. In fact, I would encourage you to use something you have sitting around your home. As time goes on, when you have collected all of your items, you may find that you have outgrown the containers you thought would be the right size, so buying them at this point may be a waste of money.

We'll give everyone about two weeks to think about your needs and gather your containers. And then we'll march on with starting to fill the containers. Check back for the next assignment, or follow this blog for the post updates.

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