Have you ever wondered who or what in your home needs a 72 hour survival kit and what to store them all in? I am going to answer that for you.
To put it simply, every living thing that you are responsible for needs a 72 hour survival kit. The young, old, and the 4 legged. I want you to imagine a situation where your house is uninhabitable to you, maybe it’s from damaging winds due to a tornado or maybe you found out that you have one hour to evacuate due to a wildfire. Who would benefit from a kit that had everything you need for 3 days? Everyone. Grandparents, parents, kids, infants, and pets. If they live under your roof and you are the one responsible for them, then you are responsible for them in case of an emergency.What you store your kits in is going to depend on a wide factor of things. Hazards, space, age and physical ability of those who you need kits for. I wanted to share with you what our emergency preparedness and 72 hour kit situation looked like a few years ago.
My husband and I found ourselves as the primary/live in caregiver of my husbands sweet grandmother. We had a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old when we made the decision to move in with his grandma who was 86 years old and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We cared for her in her home for over 3 years before she passed away and during those 3 plus years she went from being able to walk, talk, and bathe on her own to being bed bound and 100% reliable on someone to take care of her. Our kids also went from being in diapers and 100% reliable on us to being potty trained and more capable of helping. During those 3 years we added a growing puppy and another baby to the madness. Which means our situation and our 72 hour kits changed quite drastically.
What we stored our 72 hour survival kit in varied and changed from school backpacks to backpacking backpacks to totes to a whole closet filled with stuff to shelter in place. I was very realistic with my 72 hour kits. I knew that given our location, disaster risks, and especially the fact that for 40 hours a week I was home alone with 3 people who were heavily dependent on me. I knew that I wasn’t going to be going anywhere on foot. I was also aware that our biggest risk that would force us to use a 72 hour kit was an earthquake and if it was a big enough earthquake that collapsed road infrastructure, we weren’t going anywhere in a vehicle either.
So, I planned our 72 hour survival kit more as a shelter in place kit. Because of the fact that our state is 100 years overdue for a powerful and catastrophic earthquake that has the potential to collapse houses, roads, and change life as we know it. I make sure we have everything we could possibly need scattered everywhere. I don’t want to leave everything in the basement and not be able to reach it if our house collapses. I also don’t have a ton of space upstairs to store everything we would need. So, I have a little bit here and a little bit there.
Something to note. Just because I don’t have traditional “bug out bags” that I can grab and go within minutes, doesn’t mean that I couldn’t evacuate if I needed to. All of our 72 hours kits/emergency preparedness gear are neatly organized and could easily be thrown in the back of a vehicle for quick evacuation. Could we evacuate on foot? That would take some rearranging, but we could do it. Truthfully, I can’t think of very many realistic scenarios where we would be on foot and I don’t plan to ever be on foot. This situation is different than a situation where you are away from home and need to get home. I will talk about get home bags at a later time.
When it comes to 72 hour kits and all things emergency preparedness do what makes sense for you, your family and the situation you are in. If you know that you are a high risk for evacuation make sure you’re kits are packed in something that can easily be thrown in a vehicle. If for some reason you are at risk for having to evacuate on foot, make sure you are packed in a way that you could be on foot. Don’t just throw random things in a backpack because some person or list on the internet told you that you need to have those items. Use common sense. After all, this is YOUR gear, YOUR life, and YOUR preparedness. Prepare what makes sense for YOUR life.
Remember, a plastic bag with a jacket, flashlight, granola bar, and a bottle of water is better than nothing!
As always, you’ve got this! Preparedness doesn’t have to be complicated and extreme. Start slow, start small, and keep adding on to what you have. You’re doing great!