Saturday, April 30, 2011

Emergency Packs

Commonly called 72 hour kits, but in my house, I have prepared an "emergency pack" for everyone in our family. 
You can find "traditional" kits at army/navy stores, or emergency sites for over $100 per person.  Many of those kits can be full of very useful things, but with any other pre-packaged kits, they will also include items that will be "over kill" for the needs of most families, containing food that most children would refuse to eat, even in an emergency.  I don't know many who want to spend $100+ per kit for an emergency that (hopefully) may not happen.

Several years ago I took a month and focused on emergency preparedness for my family.  My total cost for 4 packs was well under $100, and it contains things that I know will be of use for my family no matter when (or if) the items are needed.

Each person has an individualized back pack with their supplies.  I have labeled the packs by a large piece of duct tape and have written the name, number, and address of each person.  My daughters' packs also have their parents names on them.  As the parents we have more supplies in our bags, but the girls do have the basics in theirs, and they are small and light enough, that they can carry them without a problem.

The basics of our are in zip lock bags inside our packs, and include:

Juice box
Water bottle(s)
Fruit snacks
Ensure type of drink
Wet wipes
T-shirt, pair of sweats, and socks
Emergency blanket
Oatmeal packets
Wash cloth
Travel sized lotion
Travel sized tooth paste
Travel sized deodorant
Travel hand sanitizer
Travel container with Q-tips
Flashlight with batteries (not in it)
Individual drink mixes
Lip balm
Band aids
Roll of toilet paper
Spare disposable contacts and solution
Various candies (non melting)
Sunscreen stick
Hair elastics
Compact mirror and brush set
Granola Bars
Soap (in plastic container)

The girls' packs also include:

Small toys
Composition book
Mini Play Dough
We are beyond the diaper phase, but if your children are of that age, they would need to be included as well.

Adult Packs Also Include:
Scissors (can be used to cut clothes into shorts and short sleeved shirts as necessary for the weather)
Family Rx medications
Family vitamins
Cough drops
Shampoo and Conditioner
$15 cash
Contact and solution
10 4 gallon plastic bags, in compact packaging
Multi-use tool: compass, thermostat, whistle, mirror, magnifying glass, flashlight
Hand crank radio and ear buds
Hand crank flashlight
Now that we have a pet, I will need to include food for him as well.

We also have another pack filled with more water and a comprehensive first aid kit.

These backpacks were all extras that we had around the house, so there was no cost.  We keep them on hooks in the stairway to our unfinished basement.  This way they are accessible to grab in a hurry if necessary.

Periodic updating of these packs is necessary for items such as:
Clothing (sizes for the growing children)
Any food or beverages with expiration dates
Rx medications based on the current needs of the family

Many of these items I got for free because of combining sales and coupons, and certainly all Travel sized items are very easy to get free because of coupons.

No, these packs may not include EVERYTHING that we could ever possibly need in any level of emergency, but I am very comfortable with the level of preparedness that I have achieved for my family.

Ideally, Emergency Packs should contain the most valuable items in any level of emergency, without taking up a lot of room or draining your savings!


Greg and Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing this! We really need to put together 72-hour kits, but we weren't sure where to start. This is perfect!

beauty said...

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