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?