February is here and it’s time to work on another Preparedness Challenge. This week we’ll add some important items to our 72-hour kit (aka grab-and-go), create a family communication plan and an evacuation grab and go list. Let’s talk about 72-hour kits. This is what you’ll grab when you evacuate your home or workplace. Plan to go on foot in an evacuation. Most people think they’ll use their car, but sometimes cars don’t work and garage doors don’t open.
Printable Preparedness Challenge: February Week 1
Think of the worst-case scenario; you have a broken leg and are lugging your kit, with two kids on your hips on “the perilous journey through blistering cold and scorching desert, traveling for many days and nights, risking life and limb to reach” the emergency shelter. Right? Well, that has happened. (A little Shrek humor here).
1. Add Food and Items to 72-Hour Kit
- 3-day Supply of Food. Put it in a large baggie with the date you packed it. Put a reminder on your calendar so you’ll replace it. Food doesn’t last forever. Avoid cans and foods with odors. And don’t store kits in your garage where heat will ruin the food. Change your food every year if it’s pantry food or get some long-term food bars that have a 5-year shelf life such as Millennium Energy Bars.
- Other people use freeze-dried foods from Mountain House or MRE’s in their kit. Just make sure you have enough water to drink and enough to hydrate your food. (See last month).There are plenty of ideas online.
- Family Communication Plan. Go to this FEMA link and work on your Family Communication Plan. It’s awesome, because you can fill it out online and print it out! Laminate it or put it in a plastic bag to prevent it from getting wet or snowed upon.
- Family Photo. For identification purposes. You could get separated. Use the school picture ID card your kid gets with new pictures.
- AM/FM radio, solar or crank. You need to hear emergency news. Don’t count on your cell phone. Everyone won’t need this in their packs.
- City Map. Yep, don’t count on your cell phone GPS. You need to know various routes to exit your neighborhood. There may be a few roads you don’t normally use. Copy one online.
- Print and fill out the Grab and Go List. Prioritize what you would grab, and where items are in your home while you are calm and collected. Work on this list BEFORE you have an adrenaline rush and can’t remember the name of your gas company! (That was me. 🙂 The handout is for a 5 min., 15 min. and 30 min. evacuation. You’ll prioritize and put the most important items in the 5 min. evacuation and so on. If you did this last year, perhaps update it. You may have a new baby or pet in your home. Hang a few copies around the house inside cupboard doors so the neighbors don’t see it.