72 hour kits are one of the first areas of emergency preparedness most people tackle. We have seen numerous occasions where people have been evacuated from their homes at a moments notice. The multiple evacuations in Herriman because of fires hits closest to home.
My mom prepared 72 hour kits for each member of my family years before for Christmas, but as I watched the television footage of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation following I decided I would never leave the safety of my family in someone else’s hands. 72 hour kits are the first step to ensuring that my family has everything they need to be self sufficient in the case of an emergency. My kits are always changing a little bit, kids are constantly growing, better products are being introduced into the market place, and food needs to be rotated. I don’t feel like I will ever be completely “done” with my 72 hour kit.
72 hour kits is the “buzz word” associated with an ultra quick and compact bag that can be grabbed at a moments notice and be carried if needs be. 72 hours WAS the standard time government officials and the Red Cross estimated individuals needed to be self sufficient until help could arrive. Recent disasters have shown 72 hours is an insufficient amount of time for additional help to arrive and the new industry standard is a 5 day pack or 120 hours. 72 hours is still the name associated with these packs but you need to understand they need to be packed for 120 hours.
Grab N’ Go kits, these are a somewhat new concept for me. 72 hour kits are kits that can be grabbed quickly and walked out of your home. Grab N’ Go kits are kits that are put together and can be grabbed quickly and loaded into a vehicle. In the original Herriman fire people were given 20 min. to evacuate. If you have a Grab N’ Go box that can quickly be loaded into the car and a list of additional items organized by what’s most important, you will be far better equipped to handle an evacuation than someone who is running around the house just grabbing things and stuffing them into the car. They have “bigger, better and more ” equipment than your 72 hour kits. It should include a better water supply, additional food and clothing and more adequate shelter than a 72 hour kit. A couple of examples are: In my 72 hour kit I have a couple of water bottles and a water filtration bottle, in my Grab N’ Go kit I have a couple of 5 gallon boxes of water and my larger water filtration system. In my 72 hour kit I have a tarp, a mylar sleeping bag and a mylar blanket, in my Grab N’ Go box I have a tent, and since I’ll be traveling by car, I have my car blankets and the additional supplies I carry in my “car kit”. I like to keep my Grab N’ Go kit packed and ready to load but I have a list of additional things I will grab if time allows. As I watched the news coverage and read the newspapers following the Herriman fire I was most saddened by the comment “I’m sitting here (in the shelter) thinking of everything I should have grabbed”. AGH… the frustration and anxiety that could have been avoided by a little planning.
I’m attaching YouTube videos and handouts from some of our classes pertaining to 72 hour and Grab N’ Go kits. I have also placed a link to the Utah State preparedness website that has several different publications that can be printed off. I hope you learn as much from them as I did. I have included sample lists of 72 hour and Grab N’ Go kits. Add and subtract items from them to make kits to fit your needs. Keep a list of items in you kits both inside the kit and also somewhere you can reference it easily.
This class was taught by Tami Girsberger and Kevin Tominey. It focuses on Kevin’s ideas for Grab N’ Go kits, the reasons he has one and how it has come in handy through the years. Tami goes over why it is important to have all your important documents in one place and how to organize them. She also goes over making a family emergency plan. This is a wonderful class!
Bethany Zeyer from Herriman helped to organize and continues to play a vital role in Herriman’s emergency response plan. She was at the command center during the large evacuation of Herriman during the largest of the recent fires in Herriman. She has excellent in-site to the “whys” and “how” to prepare for emergencies on an individual, family, and community level.
Maralin Hoff (aka “The Earthquake Lady”) came and taught a class for us in 2013. She goes over several different things to put in kits and the reasons you should have them ready to go.
Please be respectful and honest when using any information from these handouts and videos. Credit should be given to the those who compiled the information, presented the classes and to caffeinatedpreparedness.com. Some information on this website is copyrighted and is used by permission.