Remember the 5.7 magnitude Magna earthquake last year right during the pandemic peak? Many of us were awoken at 7am on March 18 with shaking, rumbling, and some damage to our belongings. With covid concerns, too, the timing could not have been worse. Luckily, damage throughout the Salt Lake valley wasn’t extensive and there were no serious injuries or deaths recorded. But for many of us, it got us thinking about emergency preparedness. The first 72 hours after a disaster is critical to survival. Having a well-stocked kit for each member of the family is a smart move for everyone, not matter how much food storage or other supplies you have in a storage room.
Basic 72-hour kits are best in a durable backpack or duffel bag that’s easy to grab and carry. Ready.gov recommends the following items for a basic 72-hour disaster supply kit:
- Water (one gallon per person per day – drinking and sanitation)
- Food for three days (non-perishable)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (and a NOAA Weather Radio)
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Dust mask
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (for shelter-in-place needs)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties (personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (for turning of utilities if necessary)
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and backup batteries.
It’s important to add to these basics based on your and your family’s individual needs. Think about what your family cannot live without and make sure you have that in your kits. Common items think about adding include:
- Surgical masks (we should all have plenty of these now)
- Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and/or soap
- Any prescription items such as medications, glasses, or contacts
- Non-prescription medications such as ibuprofen, laxatives, and anti-diarrheal medications
- Necessary items for a pet
- Cash and copies of important family documents
- Blankets, gloves, and a change of clothing
- Matches or lighters (in waterproof containers)
- Feminine hygiene supplies or personal hygiene products
- Utility knife and a durable chord
Maintaining and Storage
A quality 72-hour kit’s food should stay good for a long time, but you still need to check it from time to time. If something expires, you’ll want to replace it. And be grateful you didn’t need to use the kit yet. In addition to checking food expiration dates, you’ll want to update your kit based on your changing needs. Check the kit each year and add or remove items as needed as your lifestyle grows and shifts. Be sure to store kits in a dry location that is easy to access. Hallway closets by the front door are good options inside the home. If you spend a lot of time at the office, one by your desk may be your best choice. And if you spend a lot of time in your car, keeping one in the trunk is also a great place for a 72-hour kit.
Shield-Safety has a lot of options for you, including the Mayday Survival Kit or the Roll and Go 72 Hour Kit. Both are packed and ready to go, one-person kits. We can also work with you to customize a kit for whatever your needs are.