Thursday, October 23, 2008

72 Hour Kits for Kids

Earthquake. Urban unrest. Flooding. Chemical leak. A big ol' bomb.

Who knows if any of those disasters will happen where you live. But if they do, you can go to one of those sites like and stock up on $89 waterproof 10,000 calorie energy bars. And be sure to buy a black flag so your neighbors won't loot your stuff.

After you've done that, it's time to get real. You'll probably be fine with a backpack full of pork 'n' beans, bottled water and a deck of playing cards (Hint: They can double as TP). Survival, my friends, is not pretty.

Mommy and Daddy have the official 72 hour pack. It's got food for the fam, water, matches and all the other things our family will need if we have to evacuate. But the kids each have their own 72 hour kit, so they can have a little more control in a situation where we may not know what's going to happen next. Good idea? It's my mom's.

Each kids' 72 hour pack contains:
  1. Change of clothes. They're in a gallon ziplock bag. Be sure to update each year. Kids grow fast! We packed long sleeve shirts, pants, socks, undies, and six diapers (for age 5 and under).
  2. Snacks. Mommy and Daddy have the real food, but the kids will have control over their snacks. We packed Powerbars, fruit snacks, beef jerky, and Emergen-Cs for them.
  3. Water. With a sport cap, just in case the bottle tips over.
  4. Emergency phone numbers. We put our home, cell, work, and both grandparents. If you have any relative living out of state, put their number on the list, too. Seal it in a ziplock bag or laminate it.
  5. Family picture. If your children are separated from you, a family picture may help calm them or help authorities locate you if you're separated. Be sure to put your address and phone number on the back of the picture.
  6. Book. My friend Michelle, who just survived the hurricane in Texas, said that it was very boring while the power was out. No email. No internet. No games. But lots of time to read.
  7. Wind-up flashlight. Kids will love winding it, and it won't matter if they sleep with it on all night. They cost between $8-10.
  8. Small toy. A soft doll, a toy car, colored pencils and notepad...anything imaginative.
  9. Purell or baby wipes. Good for lots of things.
  10. Money. Each pack has $5. I have no idea what they'll do with the money, but it's another layer of security.
  11. Fleece blanket. Fleece blankets are the closest thing to a mother's love.
  12. Mother's love. Write a little love note and seal it in an envelope. Cute!!
  13. FM radio. These are at the dollar store all the time, in lots of cool colors, too. They even come with batteries.
These packs aren't meant to save your child's life--they're just meant to make a hard time a little bit easier.

You've heard the saying "If Mamma ain't happy..."? Let me put it in perspective, "If your power is out, the toilets won't flush, your neighborhood is forced to evacuate, it smells like a gas line broke, and your kids aren't happy..."

Ain't nobody gonna be happy.

Good luck with your preparedness!

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