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Welcome to building your very own Disaster/Emergency kit 101! My definition of an “emergency kit” is 72 hours worth of food and supplies for one person. So the following posts will be based on the needs of an individual for 3 days.

I’m sure many of us have thought about the “what ifs”, but maybe we haven’t followed up very well with preparing for them. You may even have a kit already – one you’ve put together yourself, or a prepackaged one you have purchased. Whatever your situation, there are always things that need to be replaced, updated or added too.  So the question of the hour is…..where do we start?

Families of all shapes and sizes: Make a list of all the people in your household who you would be in charge of incase there was an emergency. You may have relatives living with you (healthy or not). You may have young children. You may have pets. Every person you are a caregiver for will need food and gear.

Picking your pack: If you already have a disaster kit, whether it’s one you put together or one you purchased, what is it all contained in? Generally, prepackaged ones come in a box and there is assembly required. If you’ve pieced it together yourself, is in something that’s easily transportable? Or is it sitting in a pile on your closet floor?

Backpacks, all the way: In an emergency, your kit will need to be something you can grab and get out with in a matter of seconds. A backpack is the best way to go. Boxes, buckets or even a large bag can become cumbersome and slow you down.

What’s your type? Many kits that are prepackaged come with a backpack as part of a kit. That’s a good start, but I’d recommend either buying a new, or using a spare backpack that’s bigger and sturdier. As you update your kit over the years (and as your family grows), try to upgrade to a backpack that will be comfortable to wear for extended amounts of time and can hold a good amount of items.

When my husband and I were first married, we each had a backpack that was good quality and expanded out so we could add more personal items. 9 years later, we now have 2 children. A growing family means you need to lug more items. Now our kits are in 2 camping/hiking backpacks and are considerably larger than our previous ones.

Spread the wealth: For those of you who have children, involving them with building their own pack can get them interested about planning for such an event. We’ve put together some of a kit in a little backpack for our oldest child who is 3 years old. Of course its not piled down with all the gear he will need, but a 3 year old can definitely help carry some items.  Get them involved, spread the carrying wealth!

Now that you have an idea of where to start, go pick your pack! Over the next few posts we will be covering how to fill it with proper items.

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