Every family should practice emergency procedures and conduct regular emergency drills, especially with their children, friends, neighbors and church or group members. Belonging to a like-minded group is very important. Meeting often to plan strategies is important, as is taking into consideration the elderly, young children, neighbors and other community members.
It is a good idea to conduct two separate practice drills by simulating being cut off from utilities such as heat, electricity, water, food, etc. for a weekend or a 72-hour period of time during which you do not go to the grocery store or purchase gas for the car. The first drill would be one in which you survive in place at your home; the second one would be one in which you leave your home and flee to a safer place (go camping to practice bugging out). Keep a notebook of all the things you wished you had and how difficult it was to stay warm, cook food and produce light. You would need to decide the most likely disasters that your family would face in your community. Some areas are more prone to tornados and hurricanes. Others would be more prone to earthquakes. Still others might be more prone to economic situations such as job layoffs. These practice drills will show you how well you would do if the grid went down.
What It Takes To Survive A Short-Term Emergency
Prepare a bug-out or 72-hour kit for the practice drills. Afterward, note of all the problems that you encountered and restock your 72-hour kit accordingly. Each family member should have a personal kit that can be carried with the items specifically organized for that person. Remember any special needs such as medication, baby formula, etc.
I suggest that you pack all these supplies either in a backpack, duffel bag, plastic tub with handles or a suitcase on rollers. Make sure it is a good suitcase with heavy-duty rollers or wheels because if you need to evacuate and have to roll the suitcase in gravel or on pavement, the rollers might break. With a backpack, your hands will be free to carry other items or even young children.
Basic Items For A 72-Hour Kit Include
- Food for three days that requires no refrigeration or cooking: things such as tuna fish in foil pouches, granola bars, dried fruit and meals ready to eat. I look for food that is lightweight and can be opened and eaten right from the can. Don’t forget the can opener.
- If you are using GOFoods premade meals, click here. If you can boil water, you can cook GOFoods meals with a small stove.
- Water (a minimum of 3 gallons). Use a 3-gallon container with a handle for water because you can just grab it along with the 72-hour kit and go.
- ION water treatment to kill bacteria. Click here.
- A lightweight water filtration unit such as the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter.
- One change of clothing for each family member, plus several pairs of underwear and socks, a warm coat, a hat and leather gloves.
- A first-aid kit along with a first-aid book with basic instructions.
- Medication required for all family members. Extra insulin, aspirin, etc.
- Sleeping bags and blankets.
- Lightweight shelter such as a tube tent. Nylon rope or cords.
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
- Flashlight (I prefer a solar powered flashlight click here www.peggylayton.com), hand warmers, light sticks, candles, matches and butane lighter.
- Copies of all-important paperwork such as passport, driver’s license and credit card information.
- Tools such as a pocketknife, small shovel, ax, duct tape and hammer.
- Child- and infant-care items.
- Sanitary items such as garbage bags, toilet paper, diapers if needed, wet wipes to clean up, hand sanitizer.
- Pen and notebook.
- Money in small bills and change.
72-Hour Pack For Young Children And Babies
If you have young children, pack a bag with items such as;
- Disposable diapers and small trash bags to dispose of the diapers.
- Wet wipes or towelettes.
- Baby lotion and diaper rash ointment.
- Baby formula and water for mixing.
- Bottles and nipples.
- Baby food and utensils.
- Any medications.
- Warm clothing, hats, gloves shoes and warm socks.
- Small toys.
This list is a basic list of items that will be helpful. You need to add anything else to your kit that you need. Tailor this kit to your family. The goal is to be able to carry these items, so prepare lightly and make sure you are preparing the correct items for your family to have their basic needs met during a time of stress. This is why it is so important to practice the drills with your family so you are prepared.
Products I Have Been Testing
I have been testing some items for my 72-hour pack, and I feel like they are worth telling you about:
Solar powered flashlight:
- Works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold.
- Fully charged right out of the box. No need to ever purchase batteries.
- More than 100,000 hours of use.
- Powered by the sun, ambient and artificial light, indoor and out.
- 100 percent waterproof, and it floats.
- Holds a single charge for three full years without exposing it to light.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Mono Silicon Solar Powered with battery backup. Will charge using any light source. Alternative energy saves money.
- Always ready to use, eco-friendly and can be stored anywhere.
- Super-bright LED. Provides bright light with spot and wide path.
- Made of 50 percent polycarbonate and 50 percent plastic. Unmatched in durability.
- One-piece construction. No chance to split at seams. Withstands strong impact.
Jetboil’s Group Cooking System (GCS) brings versatility to fast, efficient outdoor cooking. Throw in a can of fuel, snap on the lid, and you have everything you need for backcountry cuisine in one convenient, lightweight package. The pot heats quickly and evenly, so you can enjoy perfect scrambled eggs, rice, GOFoods and pan breads. Foldout rubberized wire handles and an insulating cozy make for safe and easy handling.
- 1.5 Liter FluxRing® pot with insulating cozy and fold-out handles.
- Adjustable burner with push-button igniter.
- Insulating lid and bottom cover.
- Quick-lock universal pot support.
- Canister stabilizer.
Jetboil Hot Water Cup
The ultra-compact 1-liter unit is ideal for dehydrated meals, coffee or tea on the go, remote worksites and emergency kits. Travel light and prep easy. The Personal Cooking System (PCS) is a complete food and beverage multi-tool you can hold in your hand that weighs about a pound. It lights with the click of a button; within two minutes, you’ve got two cups of boiling water ready for coffee or a quick meal. Pack components, fuel and accessories into the cup for convenient transport.
- Liter FluxRing® cooking cup with insulating Cargo Cozy.
- Adjustable burner with push-button igniter.
- Insulating drink-through lid.
- Insulating measuring cup bottom.
- Fuel sold separately.
Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter
- The Katadyn Hiker Pro comes with a removable filter protector to extend cartridge life in challenging conditions.
- Thanks to quick-connect fittings, the installation and removal of input and output hoses are easy.
- It also connects directly to hydration packs with ¼-inch drink tubes. Includes prefilter, bottle adapter and carry bag.
ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Water Treatment
- ION is a stabilized oxygen product that I have found to be very effective in water treatment. Studies show ION will kill giardia, cholera and dysentery within a few minutes.
- It doesn’t have any of the harmful side effects that are associated with chlorine or Iodine. ION has a high concentration of oxygen. High levels of oxygen will kill harmful bacteria.
- The name “ION” stands for ions of oxygen with a negative charge. By removing the positive charge from the water, the process creates stabilized nontoxic oxygen.
- Anaerobic pathogens or infectious microorganisms in the water cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. ION will not harm the normal flora in our bodies.
- ION can be taken every day (five drops per 8-ounce glass of water). This will kill all harmful bacteria in the body such as the flu bug. It also oxygenates the blood which boosts the immune system so your body will fight infections. To purchase ION, click here. If you purchase 10 bottles at a time, you can get a discount. If you purchase 25 or more bottles, you can buy it wholesale.
GOFoods Meals Ready To Eat
- As long as you have a way to boil water, you can cook GOFoods meals.
- The company lets you try 12 free servings before you buy. Just pay $9.95 shipping and receive three free meals that serve four people per pouch.
- These non-GMO foods do not contain MSG, trans fats, harmful chemicals or insecticides, and they have a 15-year shelf life.
- GOFoods are for on-the-go families because they can be eaten today, stored for the future or shared with family, friends or neighbors.
- 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 takes only 15-20 minutes to cook, and the food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people.
- The Mylar® packages include breakfast items such as pancake mix, oatmeal, granola and powdered milk.
- They also include soups for lunch like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar.
- Entrées for dinner and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, wheat bread mix, buttermilk biscuit mix and more.
- Click here to check out this great food with a 15-year shelf life.
To purchase any of the seven books I have written or purchase any of the products I have featured in this article, please check out my website at www.peggylayton.com.