Tuesday, August 5, 2014
72-Hour Kits -- Why?
The question I got a couple days ago was this:
Why have a 72-hour kit? What life event would require you to grab your kit and leave your home? And where would you go?
I want to preface all of this by saying that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are commonly known as Mormons. We believe we have a Prophet on the Earth today, just as in ancient times (like Moses and Noah of the Old Testament). We believe the Prophet is called of God, and that God reveals to His chosen Prophet those things we on this Earth need to know. We also believe in the prophecies in Book of Revelation. We believe that there are troubled times ahead. One of the things the Prophet has told us to do is to be prepared: with savings, with a storage of food, with a 72-hour kit, with the ability to garden. These things help my family be self-reliant and help us be prepared for whatever rainy days may lie ahead (whether those be natural disasters or loss of a job). That is why my family chooses to be prepared and strives to become so in these areas.
In doing some research, I also found that there is a government agency which encourages people to be prepared in a variety of ways (and for a variety of reasons) including having a 72-hour kit.
So, as I mentioned before, these questions led me to ponder things. Because I haven't been in a situation where I needed my 72-hour kit (and for that, I'm grateful), I didn't have a personal example to share. However, I do remember significant events in my lifetime which I believe left people in a situation where they would have benefited from a 72-hour kit. For example, Hurricane Katrina -- the massive Hurricane that destroyed New Orleans in 2005. And the subsequent flooding that really created problems. I can remember videos of people being rescued from roof-tops. I think a 72-hour kit would have been helpful for people stuck like that: they would have had water and food and some sanitary supplies to help them for 3 days. Another scenario I imagined was an earthquake here where I live (again, this was just me imagining). Perhaps our home was not stable and we couldn't go back in it due to lack of safety... Having 3 days of supplies of things we need, particularly for the toddler, would be helpful until we could arrange more permanent plans.
But then, as I was talking with my husband, he pointed out some other scenarios. Scenarios that really hit home for me. One example he spoke of was, again, Hurricane Katrina. But from a different perspective. The people of New Orleans were told to evacuate when it was clear the hurricane would impact that city greatly. Having the 72-hour kits would make it easy to grab the stuff you need to survive for 3 days and leave. True, with a hurricane, you sometimes have a little more time to do some packing if you want -- and maybe it's not so urgent that your only option is the 72-hour kit. However, there are circumstances where that could conceivably be the case. The fact is, not far from where I live, there are signs for a Tsunami Escape Route. We are not on the coast of Washington, so we probably wouldn't be impacted by a tsunami... But people not far from us could be. If there was ever an earthquake in the middle of the ocean, sizable enough to create a tsunami, people along the coast would be told to evacuate inland. And they wouldn't have a ton of time to pack. In fact, the potential for very little preparation time is real in this scenario. I remember the descriptions of the tsunami that hit Indonesia around 2004A 72-hour kit would be very important in such a situation. You'd be able to take what you need with very little time to prepare -- and leave.
And you'd go wherever you were told to evacuate to. Usually there are routes indicating where people should go in these types of events. But it never hurts to have a plan in advance :).
So how can you have your own 72-hour kit? Well, you can build one yourself (which is what our family has done) -- and I will post over the next several weeks about what we have chosen to include in ours. Or, if building your own kit isn't really your thing, but you still want the peace of mind of having one, you can check out THRIVE Life's pre-assembled kits like this one.
I hope this helps answer any questions you may have about why a 72-hour kit could be important and useful for you and your family. Again, I love questions about preparing, so feel free to contact me if you have any! And if you're interested in learning more about how THRIVE can help you become better prepared, let me know that too! I'm happy to help however I can!
72-Hour Kits: Food and Water
72-Hour Kits: Hygiene Items
72-Hour Kits: Survival Items
72-Hour Kits: Miscellaneous Items
72-Hour Kits: Clothing
72-Hour Kits: Toddler Kit