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Making a 72-Hour Kit for Your Chesapeake Home

72-Hour Kit SuppliesIn circumstances like a natural disaster and other emergencies, thousands of families required to evacuate their Chesapeake rental homes with very short notice. Did you ever wonder if you could immediately gather all that your family needs to survive for several days? If you’ve organized a 72-hour kit for your family, you never have to worry. You will have everything you and your family needs, ready to go.

As required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Ready.gov), every house must be prepared for disasters and sudden evacuations. You can do this by creating a basic disaster kit with appropriate essentials to last at least three days. A 72-hour kit should have the basics like food, water, medicine, and other necessities. While there are prepackaged emergency kits available in the market, several of them are costly and often have no materials that provide your family’s specific conditions. The safer and more budget-friendly option is to make a 72-hour kit for you and your family or friends.

So how do you make an emergency kit? There are guidelines on how to prepare a simple emergency preparedness kit on Ready.gov. Consider this list as an initial point for your family’s 72-hour kit. For instance, you would need a way to store and carry your items efficiently to keep the elements out. Some ideas include using a duffel bag, backpacks, or plastic bins. Then, you’ll want to make sure that all of the items in your kit are sealed in airtight plastic bags to keep them safe and dry.

Once you have a safe place to store and carry your emergency kit, you can start adding basic items like water and food. Ready.gov has a complete set you can download and print. But a good rule of thumb is to bring at least one gallon of water per person per day in your kit, plus a three-day supply of non-perishable food items for each person. If you want to use canned goods in your kit, don’t forget to add a manual can opener, too. Other primary survival supplies, such as flashlights, extra batteries, matches, or a lighter, a first aid kit, moist towelettes, and garbage bags, should also be included in your kit and any prescription medications or medical supplies your family might need. If you have an extra room, consider putting one change of clothes and shoes for each family member and a blanket or sleeping bag.

Once you’ve finished with the basics, you can start adding items specific to your family’s circumstances. Let’s say you have infants or pets in your family, never forget to add baby supplies and pet food to your kit. It may also be important to add things like feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, or over-the-counter medications that are used regularly.  After that, you can start adding copies of important family documents, identification records, and cash or traveler’s checks to your emergency kit. Make sure your cash and passports are in a waterproof container along with other important papers.

A significant part of making a 72-hour kit for your family is to maintain it yearly. It is essential to monitor and replenish expired food items as needed, as well as update your kit as your family’s necessities change. Eventually, you’ll need a place to store your kit. Choosing a location that is both safe and easy to reach is best, just in case you need to make a quick exit. Keep in mind that every member of your family knows where the kit is for safety purposes. You might also consider making a smaller emergency kit for your car if something happens while you are away from home.

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