More About Emergency Preparedness
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As a follow-up to my post on What to Put in Your Personal 72-Hour Kit, I wanted to talk a bit more about emergency preparedness including other 72-hour kits I have assembled. Again as I discussed in my previous post, I am not a survival or emergency preparedness expert. My knowledge in this field comes from researching what others have done and then tailoring that to my family's specific needs. I encourage you to do the same.
I mentioned in my previous post that we had created a 72-hour kit for our cats. If you have pets and you are forced to evacuate your home, hopefully, you will be able to evacuate with your pets. If that is the case, you will need to have some pet supplies with you as well. You don't want to be scrambling at the last minute trying to get pet food and gear together. We will have enough trouble scrambling to get our two cats into their carriers! We will need one less thing to worry about! Here's what we have put together for our two cats.
72-Hours Kits for our Cats
I mentioned earlier that we also have a 72-hour kit for our cats. If we ever have to evacuate, I pray that we can also evacuate our two cats with us. If we can do so, we need to have supplies ready for them as well. Their kits are pretty basic:
Canned Cat Food
Dry Cat Food
If you're like us and have strictly indoor cats, you may not often have the need for a pet carrier. We found these awesome Henkelion Cat Carriers (#ad) that are perfect for our cats (we have one for each of them), and they store away really easily when we aren't using them. They are TSA approved and zip together really quickly when we need them. These are for smaller pets - up to 15 pounds, so keep that in mind. These will be essential if we have to get our cats out of the house.
Something else that we have put together is a supplemental 72-hour kit, that if we have time and can leave with our vehicle, we will grab and put into our car to give us some additional supplies. This kit sits in our garage so that we can easily load it into our vehicle if needed.
Supplemental 72-Hour Kit for your Car
Homz Tough Durabilt Tote Box, 27 Gallon: (#ad) This comes in a two-pack, I just used one for my 72-hour kit and used the other one for storage in another area. I liked this particular storage bin because of its size and it is heavy-duty.
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container: (#ad) This doesn't exactly fit inside the 72-Hour Kit, but it sits right next to it so we can grab this extra stash of water
Bottled Water (if you don't have an extra water storage container)
Canned Food (Soup, Vegetables, Chili)
Just as with your personal 72-hour kit, it is super important to review these other kits regularly - at least once a year. Check any food items to make sure they haven't expired. Check your water to make sure it hasn't sprung a leak and after a while, you'll need to rotate that water out too. Check any of the devices to make sure they are still functioning. Replace batteries as needed, etc. If you've acquired more pets, you may need to add more supplies or different kinds of supplies to your pet's kits. Reevaluating your 72-hour kits at least once a year makes sure that you are keeping up with any life changes you may have experienced.
Don't forget to check out my original post and download my checklist for creating your own personal 72-Hour Kit.
Family Emergency Plan
Additionally, as part of our emergency preparedness, we created a Family Emergency Plan. This was probably the simplest and quickest part of our emergency planning but it might turn out to be one of the most critical. In the case of an emergency, it is always good practice to have things clearly written out on paper and easily accessible. This Family Emergency Plan lists a handful of emergency contacts, their cell phone and home or work phone numbers, and addresses. There is a "Don't Forget to Grab" list so that if you're in a panic or a hurry you have one last reminder of those critical items you need to get. And it also includes a list of Family Meeting Places. In the case of an evacuation or a disaster, you may not be able to stay at or meet at your own home. Be sure to sit down with your family and designate a few meet up places. Someone suggested having a place within or near your community; a place in your region; and then a place at least 100 miles away. Be sure to list these places, their addresses, and phone numbers and discuss the reasons for putting them on your list with all members of your family. Why have you designated those places? In what instances would you go to each place, etc.? Utilize my template and put together your own Family Emergency Plan based on your family's needs. It will probably take you less than 30 minutes.
I hope this was helpful to you. I know that anytime I go down the rabbit hole of looking at emergency preparedness I always learn new things and find new ideas to incorporate into my preparedness plans.