Amy, at Homestead Revival has been hosting a weekly preparedness challenge at her blog each Saturday. Since preparedness is a topic near and dear to my heart, I was very excited to take part. Then life happened and suddenly it's week 5 of the challenge. Back before my life got hectic, I had planned to go through what is needed for a 72 hour kit. I feel pretty confident in being prepared for emergencies as long as I can stay in my home, but if I had to evacuate for some reason? No idea what to take. That's what a 72 hour kit, or Bug out bag is for.
The list I have is slightly overwhelming. The items listed include; water, food, warmth and shelter, light sources, tools, first aid, communications, personal sanitation, extra clothing, money, important papers and something to put it all in. It lists all these things, but then tells you not to overload your bag... Prepare for everyone in the family, including pets, but keep it to a minimum. Honestly, this is why I have avoided this project for so long. I'm frozen by all the requirements. So, I think I'll take it one section at a time.
I'll start with the extra clothes. It's really not feasible for me to keep winter clothes in the 72 hour kit for the duration of the winter, because we are using those clothes throughout the winter. We would have to grab all our winter gear on our way out the door. Now that winter is over, it's time to think about preparing for the hot months. Hats would probably be a good idea to have on hand, or stuffed into the bag. However, nights here still get cold, so sweatshirts or jackets need to have a place as well.
As part of our preparedness to leave in a hurry, I decided to let my kids practice packing their own backpacks. We make weekend trips to Grandmas house often and each child gets their own backpack. They are responsible for packing their clothing for the weekend. Since they are already "trained" to pack quickly (some of these trips are spur of the moment things) I think they will be able to quickly pack the needed extra clothing if we were to need to leave in a hurry. Except for the baby, of course. I would be in charge of stuffing another bag full of diapers and wipes. :) Finish off with a few water bottles and granola bars, sunscreen and mosquito repellent, and I think they'll be packed.