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Emergency Preparedness 72 Hr. Kit: Bedding and Clothing

Updated on October 30, 2016
Hurricane Iwa - 1982 Category 1
Hurricane Iwa - 1982 Category 1 | Source
Hurricane Iniki~ Kauai, Hawaii South Shore Sept. 11, 1992
Hurricane Iniki~ Kauai, Hawaii South Shore Sept. 11, 1992 | Source
Hurricane Iniki -Kauai, Hawaii Sept. 11, 1992 Category 4
Hurricane Iniki -Kauai, Hawaii Sept. 11, 1992 Category 4 | Source

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!

Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, HI  Hurricane Iniki Sept. 11, 1992
Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, HI Hurricane Iniki Sept. 11, 1992
Hurricane Iniki- Kauai, Hawaii Sept. 11, 1992
Hurricane Iniki- Kauai, Hawaii Sept. 11, 1992

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.

For instance:
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.


Baby Steps

I started out this series of “Emergency Preparedness” with “Getting Prepared in 2012” and gave you challenges to do before the next Hub.

Then along came my Hub on getting the items for your EMKIT’s “Fuel and Light” category which gives you a list of everything each person would need for their backpack.

My last Hub continued to focus on the ESSENTIALS category and the “EQUIPMENT” that each person will need, such as batteries, a shovel, radio, etc.

This Hub will continue to focus on the ESSENTIALS category in the area of “Bedding & Clothing.”

It is important that you have the necessary items in your EMKIT as you never know what the weather conditions will be, where you will be sleeping, etc.

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

f) Jacket

g) Toe covered shoes (example: well made tennis shoes)

· Raincoat/poncho

· 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!

Elizabeth Rayen
Elizabeth Rayen | Source

About the Author

Lisa has directed and acted in musical theatre for nearly 30 years. Her musical upbringing allowed her to pursue her career in teaching and directing and continues to direct shows today. As the owner of 2 online Home Décor sites, Lisa’s passion for Rustic Living all begins with her love for the home, outdoors, and her many hobbies. Lisa loves to laugh, and she share’s that love through her comedic hubs centered on her MOM. Lisa’s passions include writing, directing, acting, photography, singing, cooking, crafts, gardening, and home improvement, including decorating. Lisa also writes under her penned name, Elizabeth Rayen.

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Copyright © Elizabeth Rayen aka Rustic Living, all rights reserved. You are not allowed to copy or use the contents of this page without permission from its author.

Comments: Emergency Preparedness: 72 Hr. Emergency Kit- Bedding and Clothing

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    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      6 years ago from California

      I couldn't imagine it happening in my life either Pavio, until I lived through two Hurricanes. The first one, I was not prepared, whereas the second one, I was fully prepared. What made me so happy about being prepared was not only was I able to take care of my own family, but I was able to help out neighbors who weren't as prepared as they should have been. My advise is to start somewhere, even if it's only a first aid kit and a gallon of water that you can grab to take with you. The more you continue to put your emergency kit together, the easier and also it will become second nature to make sure you have one. :)

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      Sometimes it is hard to be ready to any disaster.... It always comes unexpectedly. I can not imagine it may happen in my life but if it happens i wish I had that kit ready!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you! I hope it will be of some help in some small way to anyone. Thanks for your comment. :-)

    • nina64 profile image

      Nina L James 

      7 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      What a great hub. Even though I live in a state that has tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, these emergency kits would surely come in handy. Your hub gives us resources to go to in case of a natural disaster taking place. Thanks for such an informative and interesting hub.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      ooo I agree! I love tankless waterheaters. Energy efficient for sure. I am with you as well as needing that 50 gal of water. It is needed. I went through mine and was so thankful I had it! Thank you for your comment.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      7 years ago from California

      Excellent hub. Growing up in California and having a Typhoon hit 3days after arriving, for a three year stay, in Guam I am a firm believer in being prepared for emergencies. You are so correct in saying take baby steps. One key sources of water when the power is out is your water heater. I would love a tankless water heater, but have a really hard time letting go of 50gallons of water that would be handy during a disaster.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Thanks VC. Yes, you and Randy were there for Iwa. Remember how we couldn't get to you because we were all the way in Hanamaulu? Scary stuff! Thanks for the UP!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      An excellent hub and very well written. We all need to take the necessary steps to be prepared and you have made it easy with the detailed list. Question? Is this the same terrible hurricane your brother Randy and I managed to get through when we lived on Kauai?

      Thanks so much for sharing this story as well as steps for preparing for emergencies

      A big Up!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      It was the same for Iniki. Even though Kauai was totally devasted completely, it was a blessing that the hurricane didn't hit Oahu. If it would have hit it instead, we would have had no help or very little help for a very long time. I'm with you. I hope we don't see any more hurricanes for a very long time!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Andrew created a disaster! He was a monster. I didn't feel much effects from him because I'm central FL but southern FL looked like a war zone...just like you experienced. Charlie in 2004 created the most trouble for central FL. Neighbors were without power for weeks. My home was open for friends to do laundry and take hot showers and we had many slumber parties with those that needed A/C. I hope we don't see one of the big ones anytime soon!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      WOW Linda, That is 9 or 10 too many! WHen we went through Iniki, Andrew hit Florida shortly after. It was crazy that year! I'm so proud of you for being prepared! Thank you for the vote!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      A very resourceful hub Lisa! Lots of useful information! Hurricanes can be so cruel and scary. I've been through about 9 or 10, maybe more. I lost count. The longest I lost power for was 14 hours and in the heat of summer in Florida that was a very LONG 14 hours. In 2004 Florida had 4 hurricanes within 3 months, we thought the state was doomed, but we survived. I've learned a lot from each hurricane and I am always prepared. Voted UP and WTG!

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you patchofearth (I love your Hub Name) I am so proud of you for having a 72 hr EMKIT on hand. Good job on the food storage as well! :-)

    • patchofearth profile image

      Rebecca Long 

      7 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      What an electrifying tale. We lived Nebraska when I was little. I remember being dragged into the basement in the middle of the night by my mother. I remember her scrambling for supplies in case we got trapped down there. I'm with you. Be ready before hand. I have a small 72hr kit and have been working on my food storage. You never know what will hit or when. More people should know about emergency kits. Great hub.

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Debby, Thank you so much for you inspiring and kind words. It always amazes me just how resiliant we can be when a challenge is thrown our way. I remember Fran and Hugo. Every time I hear of a hurricane approaching, I just pray that everyone is prepared and has taken all the precautions necessary to take care of each other.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub. I greatly appreciate it! Blessing to you as well, Lisa

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Dear Lisa ~ I read every word of your life experiences through two storms, trials and tribulations. I am in awe of how you handled and learned from these situations, now on the warpath to warn and teach others preparedness training so they don't have to suffer if anything should ever happen.

      Living in NC, we lived through Fran and Hugo. They can be quite frightening experiences and devastating to communities with loss of power, resources and communications. Everyone comes out to help each other. You really gave of yourself during the hard times when hurricanes hit Hawaii. Thanks for sharing the videos,as well. Amazing. Blessings, Debby

    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      billybuc, I used to have the same problem. Sometimes my flyers would get thrown away before they even got past my door! What I loved to do twice a year was to hold an Emergency Preparedness class with interaction and games and challenges. It proved to be very successful. Thank you so much for your visit! God Bless!


    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Very good point alocsin! We all donate or throw clothes away one time or another. Why not keep some aside for your EMKIT!?!? Thank you for your vote! God Bless!


    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Oh my daborn. It sounds like you had a prfound experience as well. And you are correct, even if your husband doesn't understand or believe or thinks you're crazy, that's ok. As long as you are up to the challenge, you can organize your EMKITS just as well. I actually did mine and my ex's at the time. When we went through Iniki, It opened his eyes and he didn't look at me so crazy any longer! :) God Bless!


    • Rusticliving profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Rayen 

      7 years ago from California

      Yes hengwug, you are very lucky! But don't forget fire, flooding and non-natural causes like job loss. It's all revelant. Thank you for visiting. :) Blessings!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I used to teach this to my students and send home info flyers to their parents and it was all ignored. I'm not sure why it is so hard to get people to prepare in advance but I have found it to be like pulling teeth. Great hub and well-worth reading and remembering.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      A great suggestion because you never know when disaster will strike. You don't even have to buy or put aside clothes that you have. If you're about to get rid of something anyway because you haven't worn it in awhile, make it part of your kit instead. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • daborn7 profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Wow! so sorry to hear about your terrible experiences. What does not kill us only makes us stronger though..and in your case I would say it has. I have been telling my husband for years we should prepare. He thinks Im crazy..Im going to do it anyway. We had a little run in a few years back, nothing like your experience, but our house got flooded in Georgia during a few nights of heavy raining that caused a nearby dam to break open and flood nearly everything in its path. We lost everything including a vehicle that got covered in water. Luckily, my husband was not home and me and my 4 kids at the time, we now have 5, were able to get out just in time. The community was a great help too, while we were fortunate enough to have a little money for a hotel room, we always had the option of staying at a shelter the county set up. We had to start over from scratch though and it was not easy. I can't imagine going what you went through, I can't say we were ever in any real danger, we just lost all our belongings. None the less, God forbid something worse happened and we were left in a worse situation. I swear that the sun is going to wipe out our electricity one day. That happened last year here in Mexicali..half the grid was down all along the West coast and Baja. We spent several long hours in the scorching heat. We had to lay on the concrete to stay cool. Wish I was prepared for that. Enough of my rambling though. Thank you for sharing your story, and your great tips. Voted up. Regards.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great tips. I was lucky, my place is free from hurricanes, earthquakes and volcano.


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