This is the sixth installment of the Evacuation Preparedness Kit Series. The first post, on Evac Prep Basics is here, and the second post, which introduces the Evac Prep Master List is here. The third post, and the first post on the list review is here. This post will cover 72 Hour Kit management.
It seems that every time I inventory my preps I find things that are missing. It’s usually something like that one time when my wife needed to send a couple water bottles to school and the easiest thing to grab was a couple out of a 72 Hour Kit, then we forgot to replace it. Or you needed some batteries, or a flashlight, or whatever. When something can’t be found, it’s hard to not say “Oh, there’s one in the preps somewhere”. Every time it happens there is always good intent to replace the removed item right away – and invariably it is forgotten about.
Or there are times like this weekend when a huge storm rolled through and knocked the power out for several hours. My kids being fairly well trained through drills and so on, immediately decided they need to get their “safety backpacks” (as the younger kids call them). My wife and I were happy that they were thinking this way and it gave us a good chance to do some practical applications. So the kids all got their safety backpacks out and took them upstairs with them. Of course, they immediately wanted to dump them out and get to the cool stuff – like flashlights, games and their own food. We told them to please keep everything in one room, which they did. However, they ended up ‘accidentaly’ having everything spread out and mixed up. By the time the power came back on and they packed their bags back up there were several left over oddities. 3 packages of N95 masks, 2 card games, 2 metal bowels and so on. All the extras got dumped into one pack instead of trying to sort it all out.
In addition to that, as seasons change we need to keep different things in our preps – winter gear vs. summer gear, etc. Especially for those of us who live in areas where the season differences are quite extreme.
So, for all these reasons and more, it’s very important that two or more times a year we crack open our preps and inventory them. Spring and Fall are perfect times to do this, and it’s easier to make sure it gets done if you do it in conjunction with a regular event. Easter and Halloween – or something else important to you that falls around this times like a birthday or anniversary – are excellent holidays to do this on – just make a habit of Easter and Halloween weekend breaking out all your preps and going through them.
There are lots of ways to store your preps – my favorites are large plastic bins for Evac Gear and backpacks for 72 Hour Kits. The kids can barely carry their kits of course, but I don’t expect them to be actually hiking much with them.
Here are some pictures of our 72 Hour Kits and our last inventory (this spring) of them:
Here’s all of our 72 Hour Kits mixed in their rack in our Food Storage room.
Ready to be inventoried
When we do our inventory, we empty all the bags out and lay everything out in front of them. We have inventory lists for 3 different pack organizations: Adult, Teenager and Young Child.
Here are the contents of a Young Child Pack.
A teenager Pack
And an adult’s pack. As the packs are targeted to older children, they start having other tools based on responsibilities, such as knives, lighters, etc.