Monday, May 18, 2009

Emergency Essentials #1

I am beginning a new segment on Emergency Essentials. So in this very first one, I want to talk about being prepared. To make sure that your family is protected, no matter what happens, you need to start by having a 72 hour kit for each member of the family. You can purchase these ready made or you can customize one to fit the needs of each family member.

To create your own 72 Hour Emergency Kit follow the list below:

Immediately Available

  • Battery powered radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

Emergency Needs

  • Instruction manuals on emergency preparedness
  • Water storage (There are custom water bottles you can buy that are like sports bottles, but they filter the water for you as you need it.)
  • Sleeping bags & blankets

Sanitation Kit

  • Plastic bucket with tightly fitted lid
  • Plastic bags and ties
  • Toilet paper
  • Disinfectant
  • Improvised toilet seat
  • Feminine hygiene needs
  • Paper towels
  • Soap
  • Paper cups
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic utensils
  • Can opener
  • Utility knife
  • Stress Factors
  • Children
    • Coloring book
    • Crayons
  • Adults
    • Books
    • Needlework

A Class ABC fire extinguisher is recommended for each home.

Some families may need a large container (32 gallon garbage can) to hold all the items. Other families may be able to use the plastic bucket from the sanitation kit for this storage. You may choose to use backpacks. They make it easier to take the items with you.

This 72 hour kit should meet the needs of your family. Pack hobby and entertainment items that appeal to your family. Use foods that your family will eat. Include any special medications that is required by family members.


  • Meats: tuna, sardines, spam, vienna sausages
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered milk
  • Infant care: canned milk & bottles
  • Canned juices
  • Dried fruit (caution: drink plenty of water): raisins, prunes, fruit leather
  • Crackers (drink plenty of water)

Stress Foods

  • Sugar cookies
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Hard candy

Standard First Aid Kit

  • First aid manual
  • Aromatic spirits of ammonia
  • Water purification tablets
  • Table salt
  • Baking soda
  • Eye drops
  • Safety pins
  • Matches
  • Adhesive or paper tape
  • Bandages
    • Telfa pads 4" x 4"
    • Triangle bandage
    • Telfa pads 37" x 37" x 52"
    • Roll of gauze
    • Coban elastic bandage
  • Splints
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Shingles or thin board
  • 40 page newspaper
  • Heavy string
  • Individual's medication


  • Standard First Aid Kit
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight and Batteries
  • Reflectors
  • Change of clothes
  • Extra shoes
  • Food
  • Water (There are custom water bottles you can buy that are like sports bottles, but they filter the water for you as you need it.)
This information is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross

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