Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Preparedness: 72 Hour Personal Kit

"Every survival kit should have a sense of humor!" - Author unknown

One thing I've been doing for several years now is creating a 72 hour personal kit, sometimes known as a BOB which stands for Bug Out Bag. Mostly I assemble them in the winter months to put in the truck in case we break down so we can have a change of clothes, food and water, warmth and entertainment. They've come in handy a few times to keep the kids entertained and happy while we waited for a tow.

I change mine out every 6 months: one for colder months and one for warmer months. I prepare them for emergency purposes such as tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, etc. They are currently stored in the house but I plan to store them outside. Once I get my own vehicle again, they will be stored in the back as I used to do. Since we are down to 1 vehicle, I don't have them in the truck although we do have some emergency supplies in there.

Most states have their own emergency management page with recommendations for what to store. They are all basically the same but it's interesting to view various ones and get different perspectives on what is needed. Don't just stick with what your state recommends, seek out other states as well. Missouri has a good one. There are federal websites as well. This website is a great site for finding out information about natural disasters that could happen in your own state. They even have a section for kids.

There are several sections to each personal bag: clothing, personal hygiene, food/water, survival and entertainment. Each person gets a back pack. I am in the process of trying to find some internal frame back packs for my partner, myself and the older 2 kids and will upgrade as funds allow.

Each pack contains:

Winter Clothing:
1 set long underwear bottoms
2 pairs wool socks
1 pair jeans (mine also includes a skirt since I usually only wear skirts)
1 long sleeved shirt
1 short sleeved shirt or tank top
1 pair underwear for those who wear them
1 hooded sweatshirt
1 pair gloves/mittens combo
1 stocking hat
1 raincoat
1 pair heavy work gloves

Summer Clothing:
1 pair shorts (1 shortish skirt for mine)
1 tank top
1 long sleeved shirt
1 pair long pants (love zip off short pants for kids)
1 pair cotton socks
1 raincoat
1 pair heavy work gloves

Personal hygiene:
1 toothbrush in a ziplock bag
1/4 bar homemade soap in a ziplock bag
1 wash cloth in a ziplock bag
1 comb or brush (none for me)
1 piece flannel
4 hair ties for long haired members
1 roll toilet paper
1 container homemade tooth powder
1 sponge in ziplock bag(for menstruating members of the household)
1 extra pair of contacts and contact case (me only)
1 stick lip balm
1 travel towel

(this counts as part of our 72 food kit)
Various methods for purifying water**:
    1 package micropur water tablets PLUS

    1 water straw

    or 1 frontier pro water filter 
    plus 2 platypus water bags (see jason klass video on how-to make a filtration system)

    or seychelle water bottle
plus 1 water bottle - klean kanteen

1 bag beef jerky
2 lara bars
1 bag dried fruit
1 bag nuts
1 can meat
1 bottle vitamin d3
1 oz. iosol iodine

1 notebook

1 pencil or pen
1 pack crayons or other coloring tools (pencils/watercolors)

1 book (activity for smaller, reading or sudoku puzzle for older)

Various game creators (go fish for art deck, pyramath deck, gypsy deck of cards, set of dice, travel mancala, tangram game, etc) plus game book. Other travel games we may get: go, sudoku

2 handwarmer packets (4 total)
1 small LED flashlight (with batteries removed)
6 AAA batteries (for the flashlight, enough for 2 sets)
1 bandana
2 emergency blankets (1 for laying on, 1 for wrapping up in)
1 fleece blanket
1 pocket knife and/or multi-tool (depending on age of person)
1 whistle (and I've got extras of these for the kids to wear when they go out to play in the woods behind our house)
1 firesteel miniature (bought off their website for .99)

1 lighter
20 dollars
1 emergency candle
1 mini compass (also from

1 dust mask
1 laminated morse code sheet (that website has a fun way to learn morse code)

In most cases, we would not be leaving our home. We have more than enough here to keep us sustained and even if our house were leveled, we have several outbuildings and ways to build temporary shelters. We also have an old fashioned phone that plugs into the wall and is corded. I need to find an adapter for it as it is currently wired to be hard wired into the phone line but if push came to shove, we could just hard wire it into the telephone line.

Common Bag:
In one bag, most likely mine or the food box, the following items will be placed:
*1 copy of important papers (housing paperwork, drivers licenses, car registration, divorce papers, copy of my eye glass prescription, etc.)
*1 rechargeable radio/NOAA - I am considering the Freeplay Eyemax radio with weatherband

*1 manual can opener
*3 garbage bags
*1 bottle sea salt in grinder

*list of address/phone numbers of out of state friends/family
*maps, local and state for navigating in case roads are messed up from natural disasters

*1 roll duct tape
*First Aid Kit (one for the truck, one larger one for the home/camping)

Also, separately I have a bag with metal plates, bowls and silverware along with cloth napkins. We take this with us whenever we go to potlucks, etc. where we will be eating away from home so we don't have to use styrofoam, plastic or paper items. It is easy to grab as well although if we were grabbing our camping equipment we wouldn't need it. During the summer it is often already in the truck.

Also ready to grab:
Sleeping bags
Thermarest matts
gas can
water cans (5 gallon containers)**

**A note on water:
I store water and use old vinegar bottles to do it. But, if we had to leave, I most likely would not take much ready to use water with me although we do have 2 or 3 5 gallon camping containers that we could fill up if need be. We would probably to start off with but water is pretty abundant in this area and we have iodine and water filters plus we could boil water and grab a bottle of bleach as well. If you are in a drier area (sw) you might consider having more portable potable water on hand. We also have a Berkey water filter that we could take if need be or use here (it is a daily use item).

Have you built a 72 hour personal bag or BOB? What do you carry in yours? How do you handle bags for smaller children who cannot carry as much as older children or adults in case you had to walk to somewhere? Where do you store your BOB?

You can see all the posts in this series through my page tab at the top: preparedness. As I write more posts, I will update the page with the links.


Comfrey Cottages said...

Excellent, thorough post, Kristine! I am compiling a similiar readiness kit at my home and your list has given me more ideas! Thank you!! xxx My family always kind of laughs at my obsession with being ready for an emergency! The only thing I will be adding, in case we would have to evacuate, is my hubbys 12 gauge and my bow and arrows! You never know when you might have to hunt for food... Thank you for sharing! xx Oh, and I hope you still have my address to add to your list of folks who would gladly open their homes to you and your family, if not, message me and I will regive it to you, if you like. We are enough North of you, we might not be affected, if something would occur near you xx

Gina said...

It's been a few years since I pulled together a BOB. I really need to get back on this task, especially with all the back and forth driving I do between IN and KY. Thanks for the reminder!
And I hope you still have us on that list (you are always welcome either place!)

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