When a disaster strikes, your
community emergency services and government agencies may not
be able to respond to your needs immediately. Their buildings,
equipment, personnel, communications, and mobility may be
severely hampered by the event. They will be overwhelmed.
Experts warn that you should be prepared to be on your own for a minimum
of three days after a disaster. One of the most important
elements of this preparedness is the 72-hour kit for your
home or office.
The contents of this kit will vary, but in every case it should
contain the things you need to survive for three days on your
Your home 72-hour kit should contain at least the following items:
One gallon of water per person per day. This means at least three
gallons of water per person.
Sufficient non-perishable food for three days. Ideally, these foods
will be lightweight and high in energy. If you pack canned foods,
remember a can opener!
Prescription and non-prescription medications. Include a spare set
of glasses, if you need them.
Battery powered portable radio. This may be your only source of
information during a disaster.
First aid kit. The small camping kits work well. Remember to get
enough supplies for the number of people who may be using them.
Personal hygiene items.
Clothing and bedding. A spare pair of socks and a space saver
blanket would be a minimum.
Special items such as baby needs or contact lens supplies, etc.
Personal comfort items. Books, games, personal electronics, etc.
Remember, this is only a bare bones kit. You can add things to this
list that you or your family will need. A more complete list
is available in the
office 72-kit list.
Maintain and exercise your plan and 72-hour kit
Your plan is like a plant. If you ignore it will die. To keep your
plan healthy, you should go over it with each family member at least
once every six months. One way to do this is to make a night of
it. Pick one night to go over the plan, practice escape routes and
contact procedures, call your out of area contact (they'd probably
like to hear from you), change the batteries in your smoke detector,
and cycle the food and water in your 72 hour kit. This is a fun way to
ensure that your family is prepared to react in the event of a
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