For awhile now I have wanted to put together 72 hour emergency kits for our family. I finally got it done this past weekend and feel such a relief in doing so. I hope we never need them, but I am happy to feel prepared in the event that we do. I still have a few personal items to add to each, but wanted to share with you what I have put together.
There are many formats for making an emergency kit, from duffles and totes to plastic bins. I opted to use backpacks for ours. I certainly don't expect us to be carrying them around much (they are heavy), but they will be easy to store and easy to grab in the event that we are forced to evacuate our home. I was thrilled that all of the food easily fit into each bag, with extra room for personal and emergency supplies. There is one bag for each member of our family, with the adult bags being a bit larger to fit additional emergency supplies and equipment.
The food contents of each bag are basically the same. Each pack has food for 3 days, including 3 meals and a separate snack bag for each day. Each meal is separated into its own plastic zipper bag, with one large snack bag for each day. The bags are labeled with a sharpie specifying the day and meal. The main compartment of each pack also contains a large package of baby wipes, a large package of Wet Ones wipes, and an extra large package of jerkey (beef or turkey). There are utensils, flashlights w/ extra batteries, toothbrush & paste, soap, and a few other personal items in the outside section of each bag. My bag has a can opener, while my husband's has instant Starbucks coffee. It would absolutely be a disaster if we didn't get our coffee!!! We also have 3 gallons of water per person, as well as an additional gallon for our cats. Their food is in my pack (one can to split per day, plus a small bag of dry food). The water is not in the backpacks, but will be stored with them for easy access.
So, what we will be eating should we ever need to use our kits? Here is a breakdown by meal/day.
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, S = Snack)
B - 2 Granola Bars, Craisins, Pears, Juice
L - Tuna Kit, Apple Sauce, 2 Candies
D - Chili, Corn, Goldfish Crackers, Cookies
S - Beef Jerkey, Stinger Waffle, Fruit Snacks, Chocolate Milk
B - 2 Granola Bars, Meat Stick, Mandarine Oranges, Juice
L - Soup, Apple Sauce, Craisins, 2 Candies
D - Chicken & Rice, Green Beans, Meat Stick, Milk, Cookies
S - Craisins, Tuna Kit, Stinger Waffle, Chocolate Milk, Candy
B - 2 Granola Bars, Apple Sauce, Meat Stick, Juice
L - Soup, Tuna Kit, Craisins, 2 Candies
D - Chili, Rice, Peaches, 2 Candies, Chocolate Milk
S - Mac N' Cheese, Cookies, Stinger Waffle, Meat Stick, Juice
It isn't fancy, but it is more than enough food. We could certainly survive on a lot less.
Each bag will also contain a laminated family photo, as well as individual laminated photos of each family member with names and emergency contact information on the back of each. All packs will contain a small First Aid Kit (larger ones in the adult packs) and extra EpiPens for Super Tot, along with his allergy information. We have a cordless weather radio with extra batteries, too.
Should we be without water at home for an extended period of time, we also have 4 extra 5-gallon jugs for our water cooler. We are also slowing adding to a small stock-pile of additional food at home in the event of an extended power outage.
There are many resources online that offer additional assistance in putting together emergency kits. There are several other essential items to have on hand and easily accessible. Most importantly (to me) is a family binder or file with important documents.
As I mentioned before, I hope we never need these kits, but I am glad to be prepared in the event that we do.