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by: Darlene Smith
Family Home Evenings are the perfect medium to make your family emergency response plans and to teach your family emergency and preparedness skills and practice them…it can be fun! A family could have a race to locate their emergency kits and head to the park…to find special treats placed inside their packs for refreshments, and for a family game of Frisbee from brother’s pack. You could have even a 5 minute spot every family home evening on some area of preparedness like a first aid skill, or fire building or how to tune in to the emergency station on the radio.
You can increase your family’s level of preparedness one step at a time, and share it with your neighbors, too. Make all your planning and preparations as we have been urged by the First Presidency, prayerfully, and in a spirit of calmness, love and wisdom.
BASIC STARTER 72 HOUR KITS
Assemble needed items from what you have around the house for each person in the family, then work to purchase other needed items, or upgrade to better suited items for your family’s needs. Don’t trust any one list for 72 hour kits. None can suit every need and every family. Make kits suited to YOU, while trying to cover the general areas. Assemble the items in a container (such as a backpack) that you can carry long distances in case you are unable to leave in your vehicle. Some suggested items for your kit are:
SLEEPING GEAR…Blankets, sleeping bags, “space blankets”, insulating pads, night clothes
SHELTER…plastic tube tents, lightweight tents, motor home, poncho, tarp, polyethylene sheeting
FOOD…non-perishable, doesn’t require cooking, not too thirst provoking
WATER…3 gallons per person for 72 hrs., store in smaller containers to transport easily, purification tablets
CLOTHING…comfortable clothing, layers are best, good shoes, poncho, work gloves, bandana
LIGHT SOURCES…flashlights, candles, matches/lighters, fuel , batteries, light sticks
SANITATION…toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, wet wipes, plastic bags, disinfectant
FIRST AID…first aid items, good manual w/kit, KEEP IMMUNIZATIONS CURRENT, insect repellent
PERSONAL ITEMS…toiletries, nail clippers, personal medication, sunscreen, sunglasses
HEAT…matches, camp stove, heat tab stove, canned heat & stove, chemical hand heaters
TOOLS…axe, sharpening stone, cord, shovel, pocket knife, can opener
VALUABLES…cash, important photos, insurance policies, contracts, passports, wills, Book of Remembrance
ANY SPECIALTY ITEMS…portable radio, compass, map of your area, whistle, aluminum foil, sewing kit, pen & notebook, survival manual, small scissors, dust mask, latex gloves, small recreational items, paper with ID information on each family member w/phone #’s of family & friends, extra pair prescription glasses, scriptures, pillowcase, garbage bags with twist ties
If you have a baby, pack some formula even if you are breast-feeding. You might want to take some bouillon cubes. It can make a soothing drink or a soup if you need to feed a lot of people.
It also adds needed salt if it is hot weather and you’re having to exert a lot. Military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) are excellent for your kits. They do not require any cooking and are high in calories.
There are also Emergency Food Rations that are in a vacuum sealed mylar package – about 6 inches square. One of these packages provides 9 meals. Bring some vitamins for adults and children to help supplement what you might be missing nutritionally.