This article is about what you should have in a 72 hour in-home emergency kit.
Quote of the Day
“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”
72 Hour In-Home Emergency Kit
By Bev Sandlin
According to ready.gov every American needs to be able to take care of themselves for at least 3 days if any number of natural or man made disasters should occur. Consider the potential for blizzards, ice storms, severe thunderstorms, wind storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, gas leaks, even something as mundane as transformer failures or traffic accidents taking down power poles. And a three day power outage (And we have seen three week power outages in the U.S. as recently as Superstorm Sandy for tens of thousands of people.) can be a disaster!
What are the basics for you to survive without electricity, water service, heat, cooling, or sewage disposal for 72 hours in your home? What is the least you need to survive this? Let us consider a basic survival box.
The 72 Hour Box for In-Home Survival
- An LED flashlight with extra batteries.
- An LED lantern that is solar powered, hand crank or battery powered, with extra batteries.
- One gallon of water per person per day. More if you have a way to cook.
- Three days of canned, or non-perishable food, that can be eaten without cooking or minimal preparation and a MANUAL CAN OPENER.
- Paper plates, plastic utensils and paper towels.
- A battery powered radio with a NOAA Weather Radio tone alert, and extra batteries. Some emergency radios have solar and hand crank assist.
- Toilet paper, moist towelettes, antiseptic wipes, sturdy garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation. If it looks like the electricity will be off for more than 12 hours, line your toilet bowl with a garbage bag (or put 2 together for sturdiness), fold over and put down the seat. You can tie shut after every use if need be.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if notified to do so.
- An N95 reusable dust mask to filter the air if needed.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place (This is considered specific to a nuclear disaster, but is important to survival in the winter as well to create a warm room.).
- Heavy duty aluminum foil—to heat food with a candle in the oven, to face shiny side outward on windows in the summer to reflect excessive heat, to face inward on windows in the winter to reflect heat inside.
- Whistle to call for help. SOS in Morse code, simplified version: short/long/short.
- A Mylar emergency blanket will reflect back 90% of your body heat. Ideal for winter if you put one under your sheet facing up and one over your sheet and under your blankets facing down.
- Formula and infant food for at least 3 days.
- Disposable diapers for at least 3 days.
- A handheld fan to keep them cool.
- Warm blankets and emergency blankets to keep them warm.
- Toys and games to entertain them.
- Pet food and water for at least 3 days.
- For sheltering-in, a “potty” corner with a lined tray and plastic baggies.
This is the absolute minimum you need to survive for 3 days without assistance. Do you have these items in your home? Easily accessible? Where you can find them in the dark if need be?
A smile for you…
This is the true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things.
He immediately phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?” and George said no and explained the situation. Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available.
George said, “Okay,” hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.
“Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now because I’ve just shot them all.”
Then he hung up. Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the policemen said to George: “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”
George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”
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