Emergency kits are very important because they can save your life.
To be properly prepared you should make two kits, one goes in your car and the other goes in your house to be kept somewhere handy, so you could grab it and go if necessary. These kits are a challenge to make because you want to pack everything necessary for survival, yet make it as lightweight as possible so it is easy to carry.
The Car Kit
I got stranded one time in the middle of the night on a freeway. My friend and I had to walk about a mile. We found a flashlight that was very weak. It was frightening to walk that far in the dark, and it was very cold. At that moment I decided that I would get a car kit and be prepared in case that ever happened again.
A car kit can be put together with items from around the house, or you can purchase the items needed. Gather in one place all items that you have and place them in a container that can be kept in the trunk of the vehicle or the back of a truck. A container with a tight-fitting lid is important so no moisture gets into the kit. You will need to add to this list for personal items that you and your family may need.
The following items should be in a car kit. It contains a list of items to get you started, but the list should be tailored to fit your needs:
- Three-day supply of water.
- Lightweight wool blanket and emergency reflective blanket
- Three-day supply of emergency food and snacks for several people.
- A small stove such as a Jetboil® with fuel if your kit contains meals that need to be cooked. (Such as the eFoods meals I talk about in the article.) Mountain House® pre-packaged meals and MRE’s (meals ready to eat) are good for the kit.
- Waterproof matches.
- Sharp pocket or multipurpose knife.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- 100-Hour Candle.
- Road flares or light sticks.
- Extra car fuses.
- Tire chains (if you live in a region that sees snow).
- Tools and a small shovel.
- Hand and body warmers.
- First aid kit.
- Waterproof ponchos.
- Toilet paper and baby wipes.
- Emergency Money — $20 in quarters and small change.
- Extra money in small bills like $10s, $5s and $1s.
Tip: Did you know that if you get stranded in a snowstorm or stuck somewhere cold, you can cut up the seats in your vehicle and take out the foam padding and wrap it around your feet, hands, head and other places that lose most body heat the fastest? You can then tie it up the wraps with a shoelace or other fabric of some sort. It could save your life.
72-Hour Emergency Kit
A 72-hour emergency kit is designed to contain the items that you would need to survive for a three-day period. This kit should be tailored to fit your families’ needs.
Each family member should have his own kit. This could also be called a “Bugout Kit” or a “Grab and Go Kit.” During many types of disasters it is common to ask people to evacuate their homes quickly. Many times people live in temporary quarters such as public schools or emergency evacuation sites. You may only have one minute to grab your belongings and go. You need to think very seriously about what you would need. Store the 72-hour kits so you can get to them quickly and easily.
You can purchase a pre-made 72-hour kit with a lot of great products in it at my Website or you can make your own kit by going around your house and accumulating the items that would be most helpful in an emergency. In many instances you already have these items in your home. It’s just a matter of collecting them into a plastic tote, suitcase with rollers or a backpack.
Think about an emergency situation in your community. If you were left without water, lights or heat and no way to cook or stay warm, what would you need to survive in your home? If you were forced to evacuate your home, what would you need to take with you? Make your list. What you choose must be easy to carry and as lightweight as possible in case you have to walk.
As you make your list, you might be surprised that you have most of what’s needed. All you have to do is get it together, put it in a plastic tote, suitcase with rollers or backpack and keep it in a closet or somewhere easy to get to in an emergency. You must tailor make this 72-hour kit for each individual person. Don’t forget important medications, warm socks, hats, gloves, warm clothing, a coat and a lightweight blanket. These things are all on the list. Having this 72-hour kit ready will give you a great deal of peace of mind. The following list will give you ideas. Assemble one kit per person:
- Backpack, suitcase with rollers or plastic tote (to put the kit in).
- Personal medication (extra supply).
- One gallon of water per person or 12 water pouches.
- Water purification tablets or ION water treatment.
- Battery powered or hand crank radio.
- Lightweight wool blanket or space blanket.
- Waterproof matches.
- Can opener (if needed).
- Flashlight with batteries.
- Multipurpose pocket knife.
- 50 feet of nylon cord.
- Tube tent shelter.
- Wet wipes.
- Small first aid kit.
- Emergency light source or light stick.
- Warm socks and clothing.
- Warm gloves and hat.
- Warm coat.
- Paper plates and cups.
- Plastic utensils.
- Small cook stove with fuel (Preferably the Jetboil®).
- Pens and small notebook.
- Money in coins and small bills (enough for three days).
- Hand warmers.
- Personal sanitary items.
- Lightweight poncho.
- Toilet paper.
- Two (at least) plastic garbage bags.
- Hard tack candy.
- Food that is easy to cook or ready to eat, non-perishable and lightweight, three days per person. I especially like the eFoods Global meals because they are ready to go. Just add water, boil for 15 minutes and eat. These foods can be purchased here.
Tailor the kits for each person. If you are making it for an elderly person, child or animal, you need to really think it through and add all necessary items that that are needed.
I like to keep a bottle of ION water treatment in my 72-hour pack and my purse at all times. If food or water is questionable, it can be treated with eight drops of ION per cup. It will kill all harmful bacteria.
For Children, add these extra things to a child’s pack
- Books to read.
- Games or puzzles.
- Coloring book.
- Small stuffed animal.
- Comfort foods.
- Warm clothing, hats, gloves and a warm coat.
- Warm blanket (lightweight)
For Babies, add these extra things:
- Baby carrier, such as a backpack or front pack.
- Wet wipes.
- Baby food.
- Rice cereal.
- Extra clothing
- Warm coat, hat and gloves
For the family pet, add these things:
- Pet carrier if necessary.
- Pet food for three days.
- Warm Blanket.
The most difficult thing to carry is water because of its weight. Purified water pouches are available and easy to carry in a backpack (12 per person) or a heavy plastic bottle full of water can be easily carried (the 2-liter soda bottles are the best).
Space blankets are lightweight and will keep you warm. A lightweight wool blanket is the best.
Making your own 72-hour kit or car kit can save you money because it is just a matter of gathering supplies into one location. Take an inventory of what you have and what you need. Purchase the items that you need and keep your 72-hour kit in a place where you can grab it and go if necessary. All of the information in this article was taken from my book, Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook.
If you need pre-made 72-hour kits or other preparedness supplies, and books on the subject of food storage and survival you can visit my website here.
Emergency Food For Short Term And Long Term Storage
If you need food that is easy to prepare by just adding water, click here and watch the three-minute video. Then you can purchase the food online in two different packages: A Variety Pack or an Essentials Package. The variety pack has 72 servings of 18 different soups, entrees, and breakfasts. The Essentials package includes three cartons of the prepackaged meals which includes 380 servings of 27 soups, 24 entrees, six breakfasts, and four baked goods. You can also sign up for the once a month Variety Pack.
This will auto-ship food to you each month. After one year you will have a stockpile of 15 boxes with 1,152 servings of good quality food. That comes out to about .91 cents per serving. If you can boil water, you can make an eFoods meal. They were designed to be simple enough for a child to make.
I am very impressed with their food. It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s done. The food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package.
I use this food every day and it really helps me save money at the grocery store because I don’t impulse-buy any more. You can use it every day, store it for an emergency or share it with others.
Please call me if you have any questions about the program. I can be reached at 435-835-0311 or cell 435-851-0777 in Utah. The Website explains the entire program and has photos of the food. To check it out, simply click here. Email me here. To purchase my books or any of the other preparedness items I sell go to my website.