In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, thousands of people are required to evacuate their Apopka rental homes with very short notice. Have you ever questioned whether you would be ready to immediately pack everything your family will need to survive for several days? If you are provided with a 72-hour kit for your family, you won’t need to wonder. You will have everything you and your family needs, ready to go.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Ready.gov), every family needs to be prepared for disasters and sudden evacuations. You can achieve this by creating a basic disaster kit with appropriate essentials to last at least three days. A 72-hour kit should have the basics like food, water, medicine, and other necessities. While there are several prepackaged emergency kits available for purchase, they are costly and often don’t include supplies that fit your family’s unique situation. The more reliable and more affordable alternative is to make a 72-hour kit for you and your family or friends.
So how do you get an emergency kit? There are directions on how to create a basic emergency preparedness kit on Ready.gov. Think about this list as a starting position for your family’s 72-hour kit. For example, you’ll need a way to store and carry your items efficiently and to keep the elements out. A few recommendations are to use a duffel bag, backpacks, or plastic bins. Then, you’ll want to make sure that all of the items in your kit are safe in airtight plastic bags to keep them safe and dry.
Once you have a safe way to store and carry your emergency kit, you can start adding basic items like water and food. Ready.gov has a full list you can download and print. But a good rule of thumb is to include at least one gallon of water per person per day in your kit, plus a three-day supply of non-perishable food items for each person. If you want to use canned goods in your kit, don’t forget to add a manual can opener, too. Other basic survival supplies, such as flashlights, extra batteries, matches, or a lighter, a first aid kit, moist towelettes, and garbage bags, should also be included in your kit, as well as any prescription medications or medical supplies your family might need. If you have room, consider adding one change of clothes and shoes for each person and a blanket or sleeping bag.
Once you have the basics, you can start adding items that are unique to your family’s circumstances. For example, if you have infants or pets in your family, don’t forget to add baby supplies and pet food to your kit. It may also be important to add things like feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, or over-the-counter medications that are used regularly. Eventually, you might think about adding copies of important family documents, identification records, and cash or traveler’s checks to your emergency kit. Just make sure that cash and passports, along with any other paper documents, are stored in a waterproof box.
A significant portion of creating a 72-hour kit for your family is maintaining it from year to year. It is necessary to check and replace expired food items as required, as well as update your kit as your family’s needs evolve. Finally, you’ll need to decide where to keep your kit. It is best to choose a location that is both secure and easy to access, just in case you need to leave quickly. Be sure that each member of your family knows where the kit is, just in case. You might also reconsider making a smaller emergency kit for your car if something happens while you are away from home.
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