Emergency Preparedness: Using Your 72-Hour Kits

Just as with our evacuation plans, it is important to make sure that you not only have a 72-hour kit, but that you know how you would use it in the event of an emergency.
So now that we have our kits and have filled them up, let’s discuss what to do with them.

♦ The first key point in being able to use your kit is being able to access your kit. This means that your kit(s) need to be stored in an easy to access location. Whatever you do, do NOT hide your kit away up in the attic or in some obscure location that you will never remember. This completely defeats the purpose and all your hard work will be for naught.

♦ The second key point is to know how to transport your kit. If you are able to use your car in the event of an emergency, then great. Into the car they go. However, if you are not able to use a car, you will want to make sure your kit can still go wherever you go. This is one reason backpacks work great for your 72-hour kits (keeping in mind that the pack size needs to be appropriate to the person who will be carrying it). Other options include:

  • bicycles (particularly if you have one of those cargo trailers/carriers that can attach to the back of the bike)
  • a wagon
  • a stroller (a double stroller would work great if you have it!)

These last three options would be of particular benefit if you also happen to have small children who would need a break from walking (or can’t walk). But whatever you use, just make sure your kit is able to be mobile.

♦ And finally, the last key point is to know how to use the items in your kit. Don’t just put items in your kit because someone says you should. If you don’t know what it’s for, it’s not going to be of any help to you when you are in an emergency (not to mention it would just be extra weight you’re carrying around). Of course, ignorance as to the importance of an item does not make that item less important. The point is to know what each item does and why you need it. That’s one of the main reasons I suggest putting a Boy Scout Manual in your kit… so that even if you don’t completely know what you’re doing in an emergency/survival situation, you have something to refer to to help you out. 🙂

So just remember, aside from packing your kit with the proper, essential items, you need to be able to:

  1. access your kit,
  2. transport your kit, and
  3. know how to use your kit

in order for it to be effective in preserving your life! Best wishes!

Additional Helpful Tips For Your Kits:

  • Create a ‘meal plan’ for each person/kit that lays out which foods should be eaten when. This will help ensure that 1) you’ve packed enough food to cover 3 days, and 2) that your packed food will not all get eaten up on the first day.
  • Include a checklist with each 72-Hour Kit so that you know exactly what is in each kit. If your kit has multiple compartments (like a backpack does), it may also help to put a small list in each compartment so you know what is where and you don’t have to shuffle through your whole kit to find something.
  • Use free samples of items to stock your 72-Hour Kit. Walmart has a ‘free samples’ section on their website. It’s constantly changing with whatever new samples they have available and it’s all free! So check it out regularly to see if any of them are things you could use. Click HERE for the free sample site.

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