After reading up on the BIG earthquake, we are bound to have, I knew it was time to get our kit updated! In the case of a large emergency, there may not be any electricity or gas which means there will be no way to cook or refrigerate your food. I also updated my Red Cross kit with a hand crank radio that triples as a flashlight and phone charger while adding some emergency blankets, extra clothing and important documents. I was storing my kit in our basement but after some discussion with my husband, we’ve decided to move it upstairs to an area where we are more likely to be in an emergency. Here is what the Red Cross suggests that everybody has in their emergency kit to last at least 72 hours. Decide whether you want a ‘one time use kit’ with disposable items, or a kit that can be reused.
Keep a list of doctors and family contacts in your kit, along with your personal information. Only use the materials in your kit for those people for whom you have prepared if it cannot be immediately replaced. Canned food does have an expiration date so you’ll want to check your emergency food stash at least once a year and rotate out items that are nearing their expiration date. Some people do not care and prepare a kit like this article after the disaster has happened, also known as too late.

This becomes quite important for two reasons, the first being that a one time use kit will only get used when death is on the line, the second is one time use kits generally fall into the “just survive - with or without my limbs attached” definition of survive. These provide light, info, especially about what caused the emergency, and batteries will not be available in an emergency situation. If there is an emergency that causes the banks to close or the ATM's aren't available, you may find that you will need it. I did, however, already have a small pre-packed kit that I purchased over 7 years ago, way before I owned a home or had children, from the American Red Cross.
With this article quickly create your own emergency disaster kit that should keep you alive and comfortable for 3 days, come what may. A reusable kit can become part of a lifestyle, turning many “disasters” into inconveniences or even adventures. Arizona State Emergency Management Agency recommends 1-2 gallons (4-8 liters) per person per day.
I plan to keep a 72 hour supply of emergency ration food in our kit while also supplementing with some other tastier food options, like the big jar of peanut butter I bought at Costco. I also purchased Emergency Food Rations and Emergency Water from the American Red Cross which each last 5 years before they expire. Shelter can be a tent or tarp, a trash bag or tube tent (if you just want to survive), or a Winnebago.

Additional ‘might need’ items are: fire starting kit, multi-use pliers, firearms, small rope, hand crank radio, duct tape, and a folding saw. Safer than candles, especially if that emergency is a tornado, quake that ripped up gas lines, you detect gas.
My plan is to bulk up our emergency food supply over the next few months by grabbing a few cans of extra food during my weekly grocery store runs. Likely, your kit will become that place where you always go when the lights go out, when you can’t get that bag of chips open in the car with your teeth, when you are stuck on the side of the road, when you can’t find a flashlight anywhere else, and of course when that 3 feet (0.9 m) of snow pins you down on a desolate stretch of Iowa highway. These are very versatile, they are lightweight, very tough, they do double or triple duty (a must if your kit is to be light enough to carry), and some of these can be used together to make a larger tent if you are with others. Small recycled containers, like pill bottles and Altoids boxes can be used to house kits for sewing, fishing, personal hygiene, and an ID pack.
Persons in very cold climates might investigate buying a down sleeping bag for all of your camping and storing it in your 72-hour kit.

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