Sunday, November 1, 2009

72 Hour Survival


This last month our Bishop challenged us twice to live in various states of emergency. The first challenge involved having no water for several days--except the water we had on hand (although he didn't prevent us from going to the store to buy more). The second challenge was to live without power for several days.

Knowing that these challenges were going to be thrust upon me really got me motivated to get our 72 hour kits in order. I have never bought a single item towards this. I have worked on my general food storage, but never my GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW kit. Don't you think that's a more appropriate name? Anyway, I got the most fabulous book from my husband last Christmas called It Wasn't Raining When Noah Built the Ark. It's written, coincidentally by my Bishop's Wife's sister Tami Girsberger.

I have to say that the whole food storage, 72 hour kit, general disaster preparedness had always completely overwhelmed me, so I did what I do when coping with situations like that--try to forget it and then get really stressed out when the topic was brought up because I hadn't done anything. Well, when the book was published last year, the Bishop's wife brought it to book club to show us. I flipped through it and was drawn to it immediately because of the simple way it was broken down. I thought that doing the preparedness thing for my family may seem do-able after all.

So, I don't want to type out a huge list of items to tell you what I put in my bags, but I do want to say some of the general things I didn't necessarily think of that she tells you to put in.

1. N95 dust mask. This makes a lot of sense--what if there's something in the air that you're not supposed to be breathing? Especially in Arizona, there's a ton of dirt and if there were a windstorm and we had to leave you might need to have one of these handy. You can get them at Wal-mart in the painting aisle.

2. Road Map. I got a map of our local area and better yet I bought it already laminated. If it were raining or we threw the backpack down in a puddle of water, I'd be fine. If I have to leave on foot or in a car, then I can tell where I'm going.

3. Emergency Phone Numbers. Before the day of cell phones, I used to memorize phone numbers. Now I know about five phone numbers it seems. And, if I'm panicked? I know I wouldn't remember anything. I'm thinking poison control, police department, neighbors, long distance relatives...

4. Suitcase Tags. You know how hard it is to determine which of those black suitcases belongs to which person when you're at the airport? Well, I bought five backpacks (red for the men and purpley flowers for the girls). I'm thinking of a situation in New Orleans where everyone was thrown into the football stadium with what they had brought. With a tag on the bag, I can easily know whose bag it is and if it's lost, they can find me.

5. Cards. Playing cards. Who knows where we'll be and for how long? Better to have something to entertain the kids and it hardly takes any room.

Anyway, if you're interested in this--a great book for Christmas--you can get it from Deseret Book or on amazon.
What about your 72 hour kits--what did you put in that you thought was super smart, but not everyone may consider?

13 comments:

Lacey said...

Believe me Audrey- if you had had your 72 hour kit in the super dome in NO and had lost it, I would bet my life that no one would have returned it to you!!!

Sounds like a great book- I'll have to borrow it from you or put it on my christmas list.

mmhamblin said...

I stuck some hard candy like jolly ranchers in ours. Nice treat for the kids. Plus, I put a small stuffed animal in each one(they have them at the dollar store) for a little comfort in a stressful situation.

DONNA J. said...

Just the other day, Colorado had a pretty good snow storm. As you know, I now dispatch (electric) for about 150,000 people. I have an article that I've almost completed on "Being Powerful during a Power Outage". I'll get you a copy or at least the bullet points on it.

During this snow storm it just so happened that many of the trees in Colorado had not lost their leafs yet and so when the heavy snow piled onto the trees, it weighted them down into the power lines causing outages that lasted (in some areas) up to 6 hours with temperatures in the high 20s. People seemed to have lost all sense of reasoning. And many of the people did not have food available that could be eaten or opened without electricity. Most had no idea where the breakers were located in their homes or how to reset them--breakers that have tripped will many times appear to be in the "on" position, they must be flipped to the "off" position and then back "on" to be reset. It was alarming to me how unprepared people are.

I'm always amazed at how people treat utilities like it's their right rather than a privilege.

Mariley Johnson said...

I just put the 2 extra bags of Halloween candy into our 72 hour kits. Necessity? I think so!

Great tips. I'll have to add those to ours.

A lady in our stake takes her family camping once a year and they can only take their 72 hour kits with them to see if they really work. Great idea, i'm just too spoiled and chicken.

Sabina said...

I'm sure you have it, but I thought a whistle was a good idea. My question is, did all that stuff you are supposed to pack really fit into a regular sized backpack? Good for you!

Lauren and Trevor said...

Great ideas. I hadn't thought of the masks or laminated map. Sounds like a very useful book.

Dahly Mama said...

Ok, Audrey, these were some good ideas. But I must confess I was a rebel. Did pretty good with the water one. But come no electricity, hmmmm. I did sit in the dark the first night, while Sam was at a meeting, and read my book with a flashlight and what seemed awfully dim kerosene lantern!! After that, I bagged it. Had many justifications, including having an 85 yr. old mom who didn't sign up for it, to just being irritated about the whole thing, and several in between! But it did work for a minute for me. It made me think about where I need to be more prepared. Now I just need to act on it!!! Pitiful aren't I???!!

wackywilsons said...

very very interesting...and motivating. good for your bishop for being so inspiring...how did it turn out? No electricity? that would be a hard one for sure...

Thanks for sharing...and yes, your kids make a great looking buffet.

Tiffini said...

I really enjoy that your posts are thought-provoking. we have the food set aside and some emergency items like flashlights and first-aid, but never thought of those items you listed.

I'm gonna have to add that to my Christmas list!

rachel said...

It overwhelms me to think of everything for five people for 72 hours in a little bag. I can't even go on vacation with an entire set of luggage and a couple of boxes. . . Thanks for getting me thinking about it.

Mama Corleone said...

I also get so overwhelmed, so it's nice to have things broken down. Thanks for these ideas!

Jan said...

The Book of Mormon- I couldn't survive without it, and in a stressful situation it would be something I would want to have to look to for comfort and peace.

Heather said...

Very thought provoking!! This is something that I always need to do better at, but it does feel overwhelming especially when you move around a lot.