When building your 72 hour kit, it is important to include the necessary food, water, shelter, first aid, light, warmth, etc. In addition to these essentials, some special considerations should be made. For example, babies and small children, elderly, and those with special medical needs may require additional items. Money, important documents, or phone cards can also be very helpful during an emergency. These items should be considered when preparing a 72 hour kit.
Money or Phone Cards. You may have an unusual situation where you might be forced to evacuate your home in the middle of the night or leave with just a few minutes notice. You may not have time to gather everything you may need, including money. The amount of money you include in your 72 hour kit is up to you. As little as 35 cents for a phone call could be enough, or you might need as much as $100. When deciding how much money you should add, take into consideration your surroundings, your family members and what type of disasters are possible in your area. We recommend at least $20.
If you include a phone card, remember to check the expiration date. Some phone cards do not have expiration dates to worry about.
Important Documents and Irreplaceable Items. After a disaster such as a flood, an earthquake, a fire, or a hurricane there are certain documents or valuables you will want. Insurance papers, wills, birth certificates, wedding certificates, phone numbers and credit card cancellation information could be very valuable afterwards. Other items such as family history papers, photographs, family heirlooms, etc. are also important and you might consider putting copies in your 72 hour kit.
Babies and Small Children. Babies and small children require different preparation than adults. If you have a baby, you might consider adding a bottle, diapers, formula, an extra blanket or warm clothes, a pacifier, small toys, or other items to your 72 hour kit. These items may not seem important now, but if you are forced to leave your home with a baby for more than a few hours, you will soon be grateful they are included in your 72 hour kit.
Elderly. Just as babies and small children have special needs, so might elderly men and women. Items such as special medication, extra warm clothes, special dietary foods, dentures, an extra pair of glasses, extra batteries for hearing aids etc. should be considered when building your kit.
Special Medical Needs. Special medical needs are very important to remember when building your 72 hour kit. If you or one of your family members is diabetic, you may want to include the insulin and other accessories needed. Other items such as extra asthma inhalers or prescribed medication should be included if you or one of your family members requires it. Also consider your family members who are physically handicapped. They might need extra assistance or special accessories.
Stress Relievers. Emergencies can be very stressful situations. Games, books and toys will help relieve some of this stress. Consider your family, their ages, and the kinds of things they like to do. Ideas to include: card games, jacks, small puzzles, harmonicas, yo-yos, hard candy, small toys, picture books and easy to read books, travel size games, paper and pencils or coloring book and crayons. Be creative; your family will appreciate it during that stressful time when they want something to do. Stress relievers benefit everyone in an emergency.
Everyone is unique and has different needs. Having insulin for a diabetic in your72 hour kit
can be as lifesaving as having the basicfood
. When you assemble your72 hour kit
, think about who you are making it for and be resourceful and creative.