72 Hour Emergency Kit

After hurricane KATRINA rolled through NEW ORELANS, many of us realized that we were not adequately prepared for disasters. FEMA, the Red Cross and other organizations that specialize in disaster recovery all recommend that you and your family have a 72 hour emergency kit. This kit will allow you and your family to survive for 3 days without assistance from outside agencies, which is a realistic time frame for help to begin to arrive during an extreme emergency. Some folks have an emergency kit packed and ready to go in case they need to evacuate their home, others assemble their kit with the intention of sheltering in place.

The following list of items is applicable to both scenarios:

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food. If canned food is included be sure to include a can opener
  • Mess kit or light weight cook pot
  • A sturdy sharp knife
  • paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • At least a half tank of gasoline at all times
  • Flashlight + extra batteries or a hand crank flashlight
  • HT, battery packs and charger
  • Cell phone + chargers
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (with NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Paper and pencils – (Rite in Rain all weather notebook)
  • Extra batteries for everything you bring
  • First Aid kit + Imodium, Potassium Iodide
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, extra glasses, contact lenses, syringes)
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items including hand sanitizer
  • List of allergies to any foods or drugs
  • Portable shelter – Tent or large tarp – include a ground cloth, rope and stakes
  • Warm blankets, bedding or sleeping bags for each person
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, underwear, socks and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if it is cold. Include a hat
  • Jacket or coat for each person
  • Rain gear for each person
  • Extra socks (2 pairs/ day)
  • Sewing kit
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Special items for pet care (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Maps of your area including locality and state
  • Compass / GPS – (a compass never has dead batteries)
  • Multi-purpose tool or tool kit
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Duct Tape
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra cash
  • Camera for taking photos of any damage
  • Pictures of all family members for ID purposes
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • A Lighter or other fire starter such as a ferrocerium rod
  • Fresnel magnifying lens – (wallet size)
  • Important family documents such as copies of medication list and pertinent medical information deed/lease to home, birth certificates, health insurance, Home insurance policies and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Thumb drive copies of all of the above documentation
  • Evacuation Routes
  • Directions to the closest evacuation shelter or alternately a rally point where you will meet absent members of your Household. Your Rally Point may be a friend’s home, a motel or a Park, just be sure all of your family members know this is where you will meet during emergencies
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book and a survival handbook
  • Unscented Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – (add 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water to purify for drinking or general cleaning
  • Portable Water filter – an Aquamira Frontier Pro is a good choice. It is light weight, good for 50 gallons and can be attached to any soda or water bottle

Additional Items for sheltering in place

  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, a five gallon bucket and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Axe, saw or chainsaw
  • Shovel
  • Pry bar
  • Camp stove – (Propane, butane, alcohol or fuel tablet)
  • Fuel for your stove
  • Hurricane / oil lamps
  • Solar panels or a generator

Be sure to rotate the items in your 72 Hour Emergency Kit; prescriptions, food and batteries have a shelf life. Also check your Emergency Kit every 6 months to ensure that items have not been removed.

Other helpful links:

http://www.redcross.org/prepare
http://www.ready.gov/