Previous posts have dealt with more straightforward emergency preparedness, such as having a list of important phone numbers handy, keeping emergency cash around, having some emergency water storage, or even making sure your car is fuelled up. But the ’72 hour kit’ requires a bit more planning and preparing.
In more serious emergencies, or disasters, emergency services are always stretched to breaking point. They will be preoccupied with the people at greatest risk and, surprise, whatever we might think that might not be us. Generally speaking it is recommended that households be prepared to fend for themselves for at least the first 3 days (72 hours) of any emergency situation.
In some emergency situations it might simply be a case of sitting tight, and surviving on our own, until normality returns or help arrives. In other situations it might be necessary to evacuate quickly, in which case the portability of our 72 hour kit is essential. If we are able to take our kit with us we can still fend for ourselves wherever we temporarily relocate to, and we reduce how much we are a burden on at emergency services at public evacuation centres, or on friends, or family, who might arrange accomodation for us. Few of us would have time to think properly about what we would need in such a situation, it’s much better to prepare in advance.
Each person’s needs are unique, and you should take time to consider exactly what would be essential if you had to leave your home, or had no access to shops or services, for 3 days.
Your 72 hour kit should be personalised to meet yours, and your family’s, specific needs. The main categories of items to think about are:
- Food and water
- Sanitation and health
- Warm clothing and shelter
- Heat and light
While you think about the specifics you need for you and yours, such as special medication or sanitary items, consider some of these common 72 hour kit items:
- Bottled Water, Water filters and water purification tablets
- Long-life ready-to-eat food, tin opener, paper plates, cups, and plastic cutlery
- Mobile phone with extra battery pack
- £200-£300 in small notes
- Rucksack, suitcase or holdall
- Warm clothing including hats, socks, gloves, coats.
- Rain-proof coats or ponchos
- Pop-up tent
- Sleeping bags and ‘space blankets’
- Portable wind-up radio with batteries
- Wind-up or battery powered torch
- Candles with matches/lighters
- First-aid kit
- Personal medication
- Baby wipes, sanitary items and toilet paper
- Rubbish sacks
- Notepad and pen
- Books and card games
Nobody looks forward to the kind of emergency that requires this preparation, but we know that even in the UK some recent emergencies have required evacuation. Such as the Nuclear Weapons factory in Berkshire a few years ago, the Leicester factory fire last year, or the Fish Processing factory in Peterhead this year. At SurvivalWarehouse.co.uk we recommend preparation, not panic, every time. There’s no doubt that being prepared brings peace of mind, and reduces stress, fear and worry at hopefully rare moments of crisis. One thing is for certain, should your 72 hour kit ever be needed, you will not be sorry you prepared. Why take the chance when the solution is so simple?
Once you take the step to keep some emergency food storage in the house, it doesn’t take long to realise there are some possible emergencies that could prevent you cooking or heating it. Power cuts, which often accompany emergencies, could mean you don’t get that option. One way round that is to have some kind of camping stove as part of your kit.
While cold food is no hardship in warmer months, in winter emergencies the morale of your little crew, even their desire to eat enough, can be really boosted by a hot meal. One of the best solutions I have ever used needs no special fuel, no petrol, no gas canisters. It runs entirely on burning kindling, pine cones, twigs and other easily found and stored natural fuel. What is this wonderful device? It is the traditional Ghillie Kettle. Sometimes known as a Storm Kettle or Kelly Kettle this efficient system allows you to boil water and, with the optional cook kit, you can cook food simultaneously, even in the snowy outdoors.
I tested it a couple of winters ago and knocked together a quick video showing how it works.
Taking a traditional approach, and combining it with modern technology, this anodised aluminium beauty is light, strong and portable. It’s made in England and a really well made item.
Safety requires that you don’t use this stove indoors as the base gets very hot and you won’t like wood burning fumes floating round your kitchen. Having said that I wouldn’t use any camping stove indoors on account of fumes either. Simply find a solid level base that won’t catch fire.
You can order the Ghillie Kettle online in our Emergency Stoves and Kettles Category, they come in different finishes and different water boiling capacities. I love my kettle, it’s definitely one of the best bits of emergency food storage kit I ever bought.