Everyone needs a 72 hour kit. This is just as important as the Go-Book. This is where we have the clothing, food, water, and other survival gear needed to survive for the next 3 days. This is not meant as a last resort bag, it is meant as a transition bag. Hopefully, in the case of needing to evacuate, we all have a place to go with much more food, shelter, clothing and the like. The 72 hour kit is there to last 3 days, that’s it. The three days in between where you were and where you are going. If the apocalypse happens and there is no more safe havens, then we have a different story, but for the most part, we aren’t running to the woods to live out our days, we are running to grandmas house until the chaos calms down, or the fire gets put out, or flood stopped. Once there, the supplies at grandmas house (or where ever you are) will (should) do for the remainder of the time away from home.
So what do I put into my 72 hour kit?
That is up to you. There are a plethora of things that can go into the bag. You do however, need to make sure you cover the basics; food, water, clothing, shelter, heat. This really depends on the size of bag you get. I am not going to give you a comprehensive list of what to put in your bag, but I will go over what we did for our family of 5.
We decided to have 4 72 hour kits. 1 for each parent, then 1 each for our two older children. Since out youngest is still under 1, his items will be in the parents bags.
Mom and dad both have a Tasmanian Tiger bag. It is medium sized military bag. Personally I think we over did it a bit. It doesn’t really help with trying to be the grey man. We stand out a bit with our bigger military looking bags. But, they serve us very well.
Inside each back we have ziplocked categories; fire starters, hygiene, first aid, etc. This keeps everything together and partially waterproof. The bag folds open almost in half. This was one of the biggest reasons we picked this bag. We wanted one that was easy to rifle through. I am not a big fan of those big 1 pocket bags. Too much digging through and not enough finding what I actually want.
Each child has their own little school backpack. This is nothing special, as they are small and need to be able to carry something lite. Inside their bags we let them carry some hygienic products as well as their choice of stuffy and blanket. What ever they like and makes them happy is what they can put in their bags.
That brings me nicely to the next point. DO NOT forget to bring whatever calms your children. If you are in a high stress environment and they are having a panic attack they need something that helps them stay calm. Last thing we want is everyone having panic attacks and no one thinking clearly. That goes for you as well. If there is something you need that helps calm your nerves then put it in your bag, unless it’s your spouse. Don’t put them in your bag, that’s just creepy.
We are in the works of getting another 72 hour kit done. This one will be for our vehicle. I recommend 1 per vehicle as well. This would include more general thing for everyone. Nothing is worse than having a vehicle break down in the cold. Can’t turn it on to get heat, now what? It will be nice to have a bag in the back that has some sweaters, blankets, coloring books or playing cards, and some food and water. Makes waiting for the tow truck much easier.