Personal Disaster Preparedness; 72-Hour Kits

How to be Prepared for the Next Disaster with a 72-hour Kit

COVID-19 has been eye-opening for many people.  With different areas of the world experiencing shortages, many are realizing that they were not prepared for a disruption. Planning ahead by identifying what you and your family may need is important.  Having some basic supplies on hand could dramatically reduce the stress felt by those in your household during an emergency.  This includes some basic food, water, household supplies and medication.  Remember moderation is important as things expire and you should only store what you can reasonably use.

Different disasters may require different preparation.  For example, keeping copies of important documents at a separate location could make dealing with a house fire easier.  Creating a family plan, including a meeting place and identifying a contact person not likely to be affected, will decrease the stress felt if you are separated from your family during an evacuation.

One of the best things you can do to prepare for a disaster is create a 72-hour kit.  While the basics will be the same from person to person, no two kits will look identical because these should be created to address the needs of each individual or family.

What should be in a 72-hour kit?

A list of supplies include:

·      Non-perishable food;

·      Water;

·      First aid kit;

·      Small amount of cash;

·      Change of clothes;

·      Medication;

·      Flashlight; and

·      Waterproof lighter/matches

 

72-hour kit

 

A fixed-blade knife and a sleeping bag or blankets are also recommended (Lemmon, 2019).  Other items will be dependent on your needs but could include:

·      Diapers and wipes;

·      Formula;

·      Small games for children;

·      Copies of important documents;

·      Radio;

·      Extra batteries;

·      Ponchos;

·      Small tent;

·      Toiletries;

·      Whistle;

·      Dishes/utensils

·      Rope;

·      Hatchet;

·      Bug repellent;

·      Sunscreen;

·      Pet food/supplies;

·      Playing cards; and

·      Pen and paper

Important things to keep in mind include how you are going to pack the items and the ability of the person that will be carrying it if leaving the house is required.  For example, a child may have a small backpack that includes a change of clothes, contact information of the parents, a small game or stuffed animal, a water bottle and a snack.  While resources may make it so that you cannot prepare as much as you would prefer, any amount of preparation will increase your ability to survive a disaster and will give you some peace of mind.

 

More information on how to prepare yourself and create your 72-hour kit can be found at https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/yprprdnssgd-eng.pdf 

What are other tips we could talk about? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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