Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some "Bewareness" Needed for Evacaution Kits

With so much going on in the world that affects the level of panic we have toward whether or not we are prepared, I thought it time to give you a few hints about 72-hour kits.

First, most likely, the title or name that has been accepted as “The Name” for these kits is incorrect or at least a misnomer. As you consider putting together a “72-hour Kit” you must recognize that the kit most likely will need to contain supplies and foods for a situation that can extend much longer than three days. If you keep up with the news reports coming from areas where disasters have descended and shelters have been required, you have noticed that in many instances it takes much longer than three days for sufficient help to arrive, let alone normalcy to return.

I would suggest that you include a longer time frame as you plan to use the kits you put together or those you purchase. Rename them something such as “A Weeks Worth”, or “Supplies for a Month of Sundays –or -Sundaes”, if that insures more comfort. Or, as I have recommended in It’ s Time to Plan Not Panic, let family members decorate for easy identification with permanent markers applying their own favorite name.

The important point being that 72- hour’s worth of supplies may be better than nothing, just not sufficient, depending on the severity of the event.

Another word of caution or awareness needs to be mentioned. Perhaps it should be called “Bewareness”. It seems that many people are interested in creating their own kits.

Unfortunately some fads are creeping in that might cause you to end up with a less than adequate kit should the need arise for one. For example, the containers recommended to use are cardboard half-gallon milk cartons or #10 (one–gallon) paint cans. Enough food bars to fill the container, plus a few more small items, are being touted as all you need for a “72-hour kit”. Be careful that you do not get sidetracked with these classes or trends. The premise is that these “kits” contains all the food and items that are needed, especially if the food bars are a concentrated “miracle bar” that replaces normal food. Let common sense (and maybe a lot of Barbara’s research) be your guide.

If I regularly recommend the minimum-sized container be a LARGE backpack, traveler or six-gallon, polyethylene bucket, I cannot imagine how a milk carton could hold a sufficient amount of anything, let alone the minimum amounts required for three days. (Especially, good chocolate!) Use wisdom in how you spend your time, effort and money. You want your kit to sustain you if the need arises.

One more PS to this blog. Pay attention to the claims being made for some kinds of commercial “kits.” Use common sense as you evaluate the contents, purpose and size of the purported evacuation kit. Very small kits such as, “kits in a bottle” are contained in plastic bottles that approximate the size of a quart bottle. These definitely are not capable as functioning as a complete kit. Even though some ads proclaim they are, “the best kit available.” You need to question the contents, purpose and functionality of such a “kit”.

The same common sense must apply to those commercial kits that are packaged in small school-sized backpacks. Just a little bit of insight, my personal evacuation kit is in a traveler-suitcase-loaded with pockets, supported by a solid frame on wheels that is twenty-seven inches tall and when full now weighs twenty-seven pounds. Yes, it does have chocolate in it, but not the required containers of water inside the kit-container.

Stay tuned to this blog for much more information and research results regarding evacuation kits. Or check out the last section in my latest book, Preparedness Principles.

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