In situations where there is a natural disaster or other emergency, multitudes of people are given no choice but to evacuate their Henrico County rental homes with very short notice. Have you ever thought about whether you would be able to quickly pack everything your family will need to survive for several days? If you are have gotten ready with a 72-hour kit for your family, you won’t need to wonder. You will have everything you and your family needs, ready to go.
As per the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Ready.gov), every family needs to be prepared for disasters and sudden evacuations. You can do this by creating a basic disaster kit with appropriate essentials to last at least three days. A 72-hour kit should have the basics like food, water, medicine, and other necessities. Although there are many prepackaged emergency kits available for purchase, they are costly and usually don’t have all the supplies that fit your family’s unique situation. The better and more affordable option is to make a 72-hour kit for you and your family or friends.
So how do you make an emergency kit? There are directions for use on how to create a basic emergency preparedness kit on Ready.gov. Think about this list as a starting point for your family’s 72-hour kit. For instance, you’ll need a way to keep and carry your items capably and to keep the elements out. A few recommendations are to utilize a duffel bag, backpacks, or plastic bins. Then, you’ll want to make certain that all of the items in your kit are closed in airtight plastic bags to keep them safe and dry.
When you have a safe way to store and carry your emergency kit, you can start adding basic items like water and food. Ready.gov has a complete list you can download and print. But a good rule of thumb is to have at least one gallon of water per person per day in your kit, plus a three-day supply of non-perishable food items for each person. If you want to use canned goods in your kit, don’t forget to add a manual can opener, too. Other basic survival supplies, such as flashlights, extra batteries, matches, or a lighter, a first aid kit, moist towelettes, and garbage bags, should also be included in your kit, as well as any prescription medications or medical supplies your family might need. If you have room, try adding one change of clothes and shoes for each person and a blanket or sleeping bag.
Once you have the basics, you can start adding items that are unique to your family’s circumstances. For example, if you have infants or pets in your family, don’t forget to add baby supplies and pet food to your kit. It may also be important to add things like feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, or over-the-counter medications that are used regularly. Finally, you might consider adding copies of important family documents, identification records, and cash or traveler’s checks to your emergency kit. Just make sure that cash and passports, along with any other paper documents, are kept closed in a waterproof container.
An essential part of making a 72-hour kit for your family is maintaining it from year to year. It is important to check and replace expired food items as needed, as well as update your kit as your family’s needs change. Lastly, you’ll need to decide where to keep your kit. It is best to choose a location that is both secure and easy to access, just in case you need to leave quickly. Be sure that each member of your family knows where the kit is, just in case. You might also consider making a smaller emergency kit for your car if something happens while you are away from home.
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