Sunday, 4 November 2012

What if you had to leave your house with 5 minutes notice?

Photo via Emergency Essentials
When my two older kids were in preschool, the school said I had to make earthquake kits for each of them.  Each had a backpack to fill with the basics they would need for 3 days...72 hours. I was literally terrified at the idea of my little ones having to survive for a few days...or even a few hours...on what I packed!!! So I did my homework, and learned what to include to make sure they would be warm, and comforted and well fed if those kits ever needed to be opened.

The earthquake kits, thankfully, were finally opened for a last day of preschool party, instead of a crisis.

But since then, I've usually kept a 72 hour kit in our house and in the car.  I even wrote and sold a guide to basic emergency preparedness, filled with the things ordinary people need to know to stay safe and healthy when the unexpected happens. (In fact, I'm in the process of revising that now.)

Sometimes my 72 hour kits are complete and up-to-date, and other times they're sadly in need of attention.  But after watching the events of Hurricane Sandy on TV, I've decided that being lax just isn't an option.

During the past week, lots of us had friends, family members or colleagues who had to leave their homes with only a few hours...or even a few minutes notice. Hurricane Sandy turned into a Frankenstorm that had weather experts scratching their heads in disbelief as people fled their homes. .

But it doesn't take a monster hurricane wrapped in Nor'easter to cause an evacuation. It could be a fire in the area...a big problem here in Texas.  Or a tornado.  A blizzard, a flash flood or even a toxic spill.  Could you do it?  Do you have everything you would need for two or three days in a shelter?  Or in your car?

When you're not facing a crisis, it's easy to put together a kit. But when the order comes to leave, it's too late to start.

In case you're one of the vast majority who don't have your kits made and ready to go in a moment's notice, here's a link to my very own 72 hour kit checklist.  Your family's needs might be different, but it's a good place to start gathering what you need to get started on your path to preparedness.

Kids 72 hour kits
Go to the 72 hour kit checklist

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