Thinking about putting together a 72-hour kit for family members? In addition to the basics found in this post, let me give you a few pointers to take your kit to the next level. In no particular order, here are few tips and tricks to help you build an awesome 72-hour kit.
Those who have suffered a complete property loss will tell you: the most painful thing to lose was the family pictures. Make digital copies of all the pictures you never want to lose and store them on a flash drive or cloud storage. While you’re at it, make a video record of all your important belongings in the house. Insurance companies often require proof that you owned the things you are
claiming. This documentation will make it easier to replace important items.
Include a family picture in your young children’s kits. They may take some comfort in being able to look at a happy family picture. You should also have up-to-date pictures of all family members that you can show authorities in case someone gets lost.
Keep it cheap
Hopefully you’ll never have to use your 72-hour kits, so don’t put more money into them than you have to. Make the dollar store and thrift stores your first stop. Here are some things to look for:
- Back pack, suit case or storage bin to hold your 72-hour kits.
- clothing for children, especially a light jacket and shoes (for their BOB.)
- mess kits or other cooking supplies
- dishes, silverware, non-electric can opener
- additional charge cords for electronics
- small flashlights
- games and toys for kids
- hard candy
- sewing kit
- first aid kit
- travel-size soap, shampoo, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc.
- band aids and other first-aid supplies
- hand towels and wash cloths
- eye glass repair kit
- playing cards
- disposable latex gloves
- chap stick
We love disposable diapers, but a three day supply of diapers will take up a LOT of room in your 72-hour kit. Plus, you’ll need to be sure to change them out as baby grows. That’s why cloth diapers are a good option. You only need to have enough for a little more than a day and cloth diapers can be adjusted for just about any size baby. Just be sure to wash them and hang them up to dry as baby uses them.
A dead cell phone is no use in an emergency. Include an extra charging cord and plug for your phone or other electronics.
You might also want to invest in a solar charger to keep your phones charged. This is especially important if there’s a prolonged power outage. You can get a small potent one for about $30-35. The Sunjack charger has positive reviews from several survival blogs and costs around $125.
If you want to plan for a long-term disaster, you might also want to add on a solar charger for batteries.
Make up Samples
A disaster can be so stressful and even if you feel that you are not at your best, you can certainly look your best. Assemble a small, simple selection of make up and put it into a baggie or drawstring bag. If your town is going to be under six feet of water, at least you can look good, right?
When you get a new pair of glasses, put the old pair in your 72-hour kit. If your glasses get lost or broken during the chaos of a disaster, you’ll have a back-up pair. They won’t be perfect if the prescription has changed, but they’ll be a lot better than nothing.
Super glue can be a very handy thing to have on hand. You can use it to mend broken glasses, toys or just about anything glass or plastic. Plus
it’s a good first-aid item to have on hand. Use it to “stitch” or close up small or jagged cuts. Be sure to clean the wound before gluing it closed. It will sting.
Something to share
Include something you can share with others. If you have to spend a few days in a FEMA emergency shelter, you will make some good friends if
you can share some candy, games or an extra pair of socks with your new shelter neighbors.
What else? This list is by no means complete. What have I missed? What 72-hour kit tips or tricks have you learned or heard about? Share them with us!