How To Make A 72-Hour Emergency Backpack
Monday, 21 March 2011 00:00
Thousands of our readers have put together this 72-Hour Emergency Backpack since we first published it in 1993 and with the increase of natural disasters this might be a good time for our members to review their emergency preparedness program.
1 backpack - water resistant
1 canteen of water (replace periodically, to keep fresh)
1 package of water purification tablets
1 “Swiss Army” pocketknife
2 road flares
2 33-gallon heavy-duty plastic bags (in an emergency, these can be used for: ground covers, makeshift shelters, waterproof storage containers, or cut a hole in the center of one, at the bottom, for a waterproof poncho)
6 camper food meals dated (usually these have a 7-year shelf life)
1 Johnson & Johnson Auto First Aid Kit
1 Boy Scout Handbook
1 AM/FM radio, with an extra set of long-life batteries (test periodically)
1 box of waterproof matches, and a “Bic” lighter
1 bottle of liquid antiseptic soap
1 toothbrush and toothpaste
100 feet of 1/4” nylon rope
1 small waterproof flashlight, with extra batteries
$50 in cash — 3 tens, 3 fives, and 5 ones
1 pad and pencil
6 “Kleenex” tissue packs, pocket size
1 folding shovel
1 sharp hunting knife, with sheath
1 mess kit, utensils, and Sterno fuel
1 roll duct tape
2 bungee cords
1 emergency thermal blanket
1 bottle/pak potassium iodide tablets
These items are “basic” necessities. You will need to review your families needs and add to this list.
Because the first 72 hours of any disaster are the most crucial, having this kit in an emergency can literally save your life. Since I built my first backpack kit back in 1992, several items have come in handy time and again — the duct tape has been used for everything from fixing radiator hoses to holding a makeshift splint together. I designed the kit to be carried in the trunk of our family’s vehicle, where it can be accessed either at home or on the road. My vehicle also has a ham radio installed giving me access to emergency communication. You may not be a licensed ham radio operator but you can still have emergency communications using a Citizens Band radio — Radio Shack is a good source for CBs.
As a result of the recent nuclear disaster in Japan we have added potassium iodide tablets to our list. Your local drug store or super stores like Walmart may carry them or you can check online with companies such as Amazon.com.
Most items listed below can be purchased at any sporting goods store, or at discount stores such as Wal-Mart. The items included below are designed for one person or for a family with the exception of the food and water, which are sufficient for one person. You may need more than 1 backpack depending on the size of your family and you may need to alter your own checklist, to better fit your family’s special needs.