A 72-hour bag is personal. One for a man will be different for a woman. Children’s bags are built around items to keep them occupied. Though most will be similar in load-out, the specific items will vary.
In short, don’t let anyone tell you what you must have. There are as many ways to pack – and overpack – a bag as there are websites to tell you how.
For the new folk, a 72-hour bag is what you will need personally for a couple of days if you have to leave your home. You may be evacuated, or it may be a deployment. You may be called up to work a shelter, or you may get pushed out of your home by a storm. Either way, “home” is what’s in that bag for a day or three.
Assuming you’re not going to have to live off the land you’ll need toiletries, change of clothes (multiple underwear and socks), snacks, water, and medications.
Make sure any meds are in labeled pharmacy bottles. And carry copies of important documents, as long as the originals are in a safe place. Otherwise, bring the originals in plastic zip-bags.
Maybe a pillow and blanket to keep in your car. And a book to keep you occupied during slack time, of which there will be a lot. Don’t count on having a place to recharge your phone, tablet, or computer. One you sap the battery, it might be a while before you can charge it back up.
And remember, pets can not be taken into shelters, but if you evacuate, your pet needs to go with you. Plan ahead, have a carrier and their supplies, too.
Jane Wester, staff writer for the Austin American-Stateman, penned a good piece based on her regions recent flooding. Using the FEMA checklist she did the shopping and comparisons, and offers her thoughts.
Here’s some thoughts to get you started on your 72-hour bag:
FEMA kit checklist
FEMA kit checklist for parents
Ready dot gov
AMR Team Suggested Kit
Texas Prepares website
LDS About 72 Hour Kit
36 Lessons Learned