Emergency Preparedness 72 Hr. Kit: Bedding and Clothing
A Valuable Lesson Learned the Hard Way
I experienced two hurricanes in my life.
While living on Kauai, I experienced my first hurricane on November 23, 1982 when Hurricane Iwa passed over the island and was listed as a Category 1.
We were not prepared!
We had no food or water supply. All that was left were some canned food and half a bag of rice to get my boyfriend and I through the unknown.
Fortunately we still had a roof over our heads where many did not. However, we had no electricity for about a month, and the water was shut down for 2 weeks while the water department tested all the wells to make sure our drinking water was not contaminated.
Within 4 days, all my food in the refrigerator had spoiled. The supermarkets were allowing people to buy a limited amount of groceries during daylight hours and you could only shop on certain days that the letter of your last name fell on. However, we had no way of getting to the store for the first week due to all the telephone poles down on the main highway by our house. People needed medication, babies needed milk and everyone needed food. Many people suffered.
We learned a valuable lesson.
This experience prompted me to study and learn about food storage and the correct ways to create and maintain 72 Hr Emergency Kits (EMKITS.)
Of course, I would NEVER have to go through something this devastating again! But I did prepare myself because of other emergencies in my life that could occur, like a loss of a job for example.
2nd Time Around!
Little did I know that exactly 10 years later, on September 11, 1992, we would be going through it again!
Hurricane Iniki was the third most damaging hurricane in U.S. History and the most destructive hurricane to the Hawaiian Islands in this century. It was classified as a minimal Category 4 with winds of 145 MPH and gusts up to 175 MPH. The eye of the hurricane went right over the island of Kauai.
This time….. we were prepared! My food supply was updated to last us 6 months (we ended up using the entire supply) We ended up only having to use 1 barrel of our water supply as water was restored with 3 weeks to our area, (but for others, it would be months)
We had no electricity for nearly 4 months. We did have a propane stove and a BBQ. I made a shower out doors with a tarp and hung the hose over the top. We didn't use the bathtub in the house as I stored water in it before the hurricane hit. We used this water for laundry and other essential needs.
Our home for the most part was still intact. This allowed us to share our home with others as well as our food supply. With the exception of the siding from a warehouse that fell into our yard, we had enough room for people to pitch tents if needed. It was a testament to me just how important it was to be prepared!
One Step At A Time
I firmly believe that we all know in some way or another just how important it is to be prepared for an emergency.
I also believe that even though we do believe and understand how important it is, we take things for granted in actually putting a plan in place in preparing ourselves and our family.
We all think that there will be enough time to put together a 72 hr emergency kit (EMKIT) or develop a food storage cupboard with enough food to last us 6 months to a year; Or the best one yet, thinking that a hurricane, tornado, flood, or earthquake will never hit in my area!
Have you taken a look at the news lately? There are natural disasters happening in diverse places (places where disasters never or rarely occur ) all over the world.
But let’s forget about the natural disasters. What about losing a job (no income coming in) or an accident that exhausts all your cash reserve, or a house fire (God forbid you don’t have insurance), or fuel restrictions, or food limitations due to crops being shut down for health reasons (not to mention livestock for that very same reason.)
So many things could happen to us, within our family units and to our neighbors where we may need our food supply or 72 Hr emergency to sustain us for who knows how long!
We are not immune to the happenings within and around us as a family, a neighborhood, a community, a city, a state, and a world.
Sometimes when we think about putting just our 72 hr kits together, it can be a bit inhibiting and somewhat frightening. Especially if you are not sure where to start!
If we were to go out and purchase everything on these lists, it could be very expensive, especially if you have a family of four or more.
The whole idea about emergency preparedness is to do it in intervals and really understand and know exactly what you will need as individuals, as a couple, and as a family.
Just because the list says you need six cans of tuna, doesn’t mean you need to get tuna. Some people don’t like tuna or could be allergic to it. Again, you need to buy what suits your needs.
Gathering Your Essentials ~Bedding & Clothing
The following items are “Essential” for your individual EMKIT:
· Change of Clothing
a) 1 Short Sleeve Shirt
b) 1 Long Sleeve Shirt
c) 2 Pairs of Pants
d) 2 Pairs of Socks
e) 3 Pairs of undergarments
g) Toe covered shoes (example: well made tennis shoes)
· Compact umbrella (these are the type that will fold down to about 6 inches, sometimes referred to as a “Purse Umbrella”
· Blankets (wool/heavy cotton)
· Emergency heat blankets (These are solar sheets that are very thin and come packaged easy to store in EMKIT.
· Cloth sheet
· Plastic Sheet
· Blow up pillow
Keep in mind that you will be able to find nearly everything on this list already in your home. Make it a point to go through your clothes and put aside what is on your list. You’re halfway there!
The other items are very inexpensive and can be purchased at thrift stores or bargain stores (Except the emergency blanket. You can find that item at any store that carries camping equipment)
I encourage you to start creating your EMKITS. If you have any questions about how to start or what you will need or anything regarding emergency preparation, feel free to ask me!
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