72 Hour Kits / Personal

Outreach to the Herriman Community! Plus, My Plan to Help us Get our 72 Hour Kits Ready!


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Last night, a HUGE Wildfire broke out in Herriman, Utah.  I don’t live in Herriman, but I could see the fire and flames from my backyard.  Many of our friends and acquaintences only had 120 seconds to evacuate!  120 Seconds??  What on earth do you grab in less than two minutes?

Then it got me thinking.. Yes, I do have a room full of Food Storage and stockpile items in my basement.  But if a natural disaster happened would I be able to have what I needed ready to go?  And, since I don’t have a 72 Hour Kit assembled, the answer would be No!  Many people may have had friends and family member’s homes to stay at.  But others have been ushered to the local high school.

This event has put some perspective on what I need to have prepared in case of an emergency.  If I have less than two minutes to get out of the house, then I need to have it all ready to go!  That is why I thought that over the next month or so, we could all start building 72 hour kits for each person in our families.  We should be able to get most of it for very little cost- especially with coupons.  And, we will all feel good knowing we are ready for when that emergency comes knocking on our doors.

Are you all with me??  I think it is going to be a great thing for everyone to participate in. 

Before we start, please leave a comment with items you can think of that would need to go in a 72 hour kit. I can think of a bunch on my own, but I don’t want to miss any.  Then, in a few days we will start finding deals and putting them in our 72 Hour Kits! 

To all of the Readers of Freebies2Deals- or friends and family members of those affected who have lost their homes or were evacuated- I think I speak for everyone when I say that our prayers are with you!! 

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35 Comments

  1. Melea, I think this is such a great idea!! My family has a tradition of updating our 72 hour kits over the fall General Conference. We put our 72 hour kits in a milk jug and I got the idea from this great food storage website. Here is the link, https://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/2008/06/13/how-to-makhope it helps!

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  2. I live in Herriman and am 3 blocks from the evacuation line. Really had me thinking about how unprepared I am. Things to think about now would be, do I have important papers all together, what about the affect that all of this is having on your children? It was quite the eye opener!

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  3. This is for those of us with little ones. Don't forget diapers and baby wipes – plus if you have enough baby wipes they can be used to give yourselves a quick clean if you aren't able to have a shower for a couple days. Also, don't forget formula for little ones. I think this is a great idea because I know I don't have any kits prepared for my family.

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  4. yes, i too live in herriman and was on stand-by evacuation all night. the scary thing was that i couldn't think straight to even gather what we needed. thanks for doing this. i really realize the importance of having a 72 hour kit ready and updated now. as for what to put in it? definitely a flashlight, bottled water, and a battery operated radio.

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  5. Here is a site with great information: https://bereadyutah.gov/

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  6. I also live a couple blocks from the evacuation line and I had so much anxiety over what I would need if we had to leave fast. I think cash is something that is overlooked in a disaster. It is important to have small bills if the power is out and we are unable to access our funds. The floods in this area last month and now the fire is really motivating me to get organized so I can grab what is most important and get out. I am excited to see your suggestions.

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  7. First our hearts and prayers are with all of you out there in Herriman! We have a few flash drive's, one with all our important documents (insurance papers/cards, copies of our credit cards (front and back), D.L. and SS cards) scanned onto it. The other two have pictures scanned onto them. However I think a portable hard drive would be better. We have it stored in a ziplock bag with our 72 hr kit.

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  8. I started doing this a while back. Watch for your Harbor Freight ads. There are coupons to get free flashlights. I am excited that we will all be doing it together. I will be able to add and update mine with your help.. Thanks!

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  9. Hey Melea, My husband is in the National Guard and had to run out of the house fast last night! He was called up to go help with the evacuations and the security of the vacant homes, and I guess opportunistic looters have come and tried to break in to several homes over the night. My brother lives 1 block north of the evacuation line, and it has been a real eye opener for me. As my husband ran out of the house last night with 2 protein bars and a bag of sunflower seeds I kicked myself for not having a 72 hour kit ready for him! I would put Water, Granola Bars, First Aid Kit (In at least 1 of the bags) Since he's in the Guard I do have a couple of extra MREs laying around, waterproof matches (This is a simple process, take a Strike Anywhere match and dip it in hot wax, let it dry and POOF = Waterproof!) a ziploc bag of lint from the dryer which makes exceptional fire starter! at least 1 dry outfit in a ziploc bag (or I'd put it in my food saver and compress it so it was tiny) Ponchos (or garbage bags) it may be a good time to buy back packs as they are going on clearance from back to school to store everything in… My brain is just going and going! A Candle! Flashlights! (Clip your free flash light coupons for Harbor Freight in the Parade Magazine from yesterday) Trial Size Soaps, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper put through the food saver to compress and waterproof.. Goodness the list goes on and on! Hair ties, twine and clothes pins, solar blankets. My brain is fried!

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  10. I think that one of the biggest things that are overlooked are things to keep the young ones entertained, favorite snacks to distract and comfort objects. Ideas are: coloring books and markers (crayons can melt in high heat of a garage), small bottles of bubbles (store in ziploc bags), games designed for car rides, and raid your toys and borrow a few for the next six months-(we go through ours at each conference time). Pack extra binkies, blankets or other lovies to help your kiddos out in the evebnt of a traumatizing event. My kids have a special fleece blanket they get to use only when they are sick and a matching smaller version in their 72 hour kit. We buy fleece when it goes on sale and also use the coupon, you can get a great deal. Get enough to make a smaller version for the 72 hour kit. It is a cheap way to make sure they have an item that is special to them without having to buy an expensive double or pulling it in/out of the kit.Basically make a list of things your kids can't survive without and make sure you have it or something similar in your kit.Another suggestion is too make sure you can access the kits quickly and carry them for a distance if you need to. And remember you may be packing your kids too. We will have a FHE every once and a while where we go for a hike carrying your 72 kit. It is a good way to help evaluate the weight of the kit and make sure you are packing as smartly as you can. Our double stroller is kept by our kits so we could grab that if we couldn't take the car for some reason. Even though 3 of my kids a a little older-9,7,6-we could push them if they needed or we could put packs in them as needed to give everyone breaks.

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  11. Nikole said: There is a great resource put out by the federal government–through FEMA. Just call this 1800 # to ask for your free copy. This is a large book on what to do to prepare for an kind of disaster or emergency. "Are you Ready?" http://www.fema.gov/areyouready (1-800-480-2520)Yes–I just order mine this morning. It only took 60 seconds–I asked for the book "Are you ready?" The representitive said it would be to me in 2-4 weeks. This book comes highly recommended by my good friend.Let us all remember–this could happen to any of us at anytime…Thanks for the reminder!To paraphrase Elder Robert D. Hales:"Our success is never measured by how strongly we are {tested}, but by how faithfully we respond." Lets all respond now–so we can be prepared when the inevitable happens.

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  12. I also think something that I always forget is food and water for your pets. When an emergency like this happens your probably not going to leave your pets behind. So we always have a smaller bag of dog food right by our 72 hour kits.

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  13. I would put one set of clothes for each person, and I'm religious, so I would put an extra set of scriptures in the pack. MRE's are a great thing to buy! I know several families that keep those in their packs and a few others that have had to use those MRE's in such emergencies. Granola bars, protein bars, and anything like that are also really good for that. Flashlights, batteries, water bottles, and a blanket. Also, first aid kits should be put in there. I haven't got a 72 hour kit ready yet, and yesterday I thought about how much I would like to have one if anything like this happened. I started running list through my head of things I needed. I plan on starting one as soon as I can find a back pack cheap enough. (I'm unemployed and my husband doesn't make much money, so we're really low on funds. If you can find any good durable backpacks for a good deal, I would love to hear about it!) Oh! and Smith and Edward's is a great place to get MRE's. I don't know if this is true or not, but from what I understand, you can order MRE's and any other surplus they have online. Again, I don't know if that is true or not.

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  14. We helped my sister-in-law evacuate her house last night and it really got me thinking…. we have our 72hr kits hanging in our garage, ready to go. My husband and I have backpacking backpacks that we got at REI's garage sale for dirt cheap! After throwing them in the wash, they looked brand new. We have clothes for a day, underwear, toiletries, water, rain jackets, rope, sun powered flashlights and radios, book of mormon, contact numbers, our plan for an emergency, water bottles that have filters in them, shovels, shelter tents and blankets, backpacker meals, some high calorie bar, mini stoves w/ a pot, candles, etc. It took quite some time to actually put them together, but Recreation Outlet is an awesome place to start! They have several "emergency items" for a resonable price. Our 72hr kits ended up with a lot more stuff because of that store!

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  15. We too have our 72 hour kits (finally! I took me years to get them really to the usable stage.) I struggle with what to do about medications. I have a daughter with a medical problem that requires daily medication. Any suggestions for how to handle that would be greatly appreciated. It's not like I can just toss in an extra bottle of prescription meds and forget about it – it has to be rotated frequently for one thing and can't store in the hot garage like the kits can. What do you do? Any ideas? thanks! PS we continue to pray for all those in Herriman.

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  16. Londi–Look at the DI. You would be surprised at the quality backpacks they have sometimes!

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  17. MY mom lives in Herriman and was evacuated. I am glad they are safe and there home.

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  18. What no one has said is pictures and birth certificates (you can get copies at the health department, I always get several when I have a baby so I can put them in various places, this is when you can get them the cheapest. Oh and don't forget to put them in an acid free sleeve) if you get separated and someone goes into shock and can't tell anyone anything, there needs to be pictures (recent) so they can find family. Also something we do is try samples of what we are putting in our kits because if your children won't eat it now most likely it won't happen when they need to in a disaster. So you must try soup etc. cold if you don't have a heat source.

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  19. In our 72 hour kits, I have vacuum sealed a change of clothes in my food saver bags so that we have something clean/dry to wear. You never know when water is involved in the damage. I can't wait to update with all of you since my 72 hour kits still have diapers in them for kids who are now in their 20's!!!. We take so much for granted!

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  20. Great idea to work on the 72 hour kits together!Items that are important I have a steri pen (it uses ultraviolet light to kill any viruses or organisms in your water supply. Also a small ax, and a light weight tarp cover to layout on the ground.

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  21. melea, what a great idea! last night i was thinking how stressful and scary it would be to get evacuated and not know if you will have a house to go back to. I can't wait to do this with you! I'm sure that most of us have a bunch of things already at home to go into the kit like an extra flashlight, blanket, food storage, etc- so i bet this will be a cheap endeavor. It is just taking the time to put it together in kit form and ready to go. I think something very important is a radio- what if you can't use your car nor your cell phone (I heard many people couldn't get phone calls through last night in the herriman area). A radio (battery-operated) might be your only way to keep updated on the situation and know where to go for help.

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  22. An awesome tip we got one time was to have a sharpie in your 72 hour kits. Write your name and phone number (a cell phone number that will be working) on your kids stomach. That way, if they get separated from you and don't know your number, there's an immediate contact. Also you don't need to worry about the child losing it or it washing off easily. You might also want to consider putting a phone number of an out-of-area contact, in case you can't be reached on your cell phone.I also have a list somewhere that breaks things out like if you have 1 minute to evacuate, take this. If you have 5 minutes, take this. Etc. etc. I'll post it when I can find it (yup, I not prepared enough, since I don't know where it is!) It should be kept by your 72 hours kits so when you're running around like crazy wondering what to get, you can just look at the list and grab what's there.

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  23. A couple of years ago I put together an information binder. I used a big 3-ring binder with sheet protectors. In this binder I put all of our important original documents. Things such as birth certificates, medical records, banking info., car insurance, house insurance, car titles, mortgage docs, copies of all our credit cards and also a household inventory with pictures and serial numbers of major purchases, important phone numbers, etc. I also have a couple of flash drives that I have thousands of my pictures stored. If I did have to evacuate, this binder would be ready to grab out of my safe and it would be one less thing I would have to worry about in an emergency situation.

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  24. I went couponing last week and used the coupons for the shampoo's, face soap and stuff for my 72 hour kits. My husband really wants us to put ours together but just not sure what to put in them. I hope this will help me get ours together. We've had the backpacks for a few years now.Change and small bills is another things. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with ūüôā Thanks for doing this!

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  25. My dad has always been on the prepared side when it comes to a natural disaster so Iíve kind of picked up on that for my own family. We have 72 hr packs that I got from https://www.survivalsolutions.com/ they always have all the none food supplies and if you do a group order you can get them at a great discount. Also lately Iíve been trying to be more organized and she talks a lot about keep important documentation at hand to take in case of an emergency. She said the best idea is if someone is living outside the state that you trust to make copies and have them hold on to them. During the hurricane Katrina many home owners werenít able to get the help then needed cause they didnít have proof of who they were and where they lived. Also for the lady with the medication that has to be rotated. My dad has those storage compartments that are labeled M T W T F S S. He has two of them fullÖone he is using that week and the other in his 72hr bag. Then each week he switches, taking the one from the 72hr kit and using it and replacing it with the next weeks. Just an idea!Thanks for doing this, such a great idea!

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  26. We photocopied all our id cards (military & driver's license), insurance papers as well as identity cards/pictures of our kids (when they were little) in case we were separated and put them in ziploc bags. We also kept card games and travel size games to help pass the time during evacuations. We live in hurricane areas for years and were always prepared.

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  27. I was given a great menu plan for the 72-hour kit. I have made one for each member of my family. The great part about this particular menu is that the items on it are things we get free or very cheap all the time. The menu is as follows:Day 1apple drink (I used apple cider mix)granola bargranola barfruit leathersoup mixcrackerstrail mixDay 2oatmeal packethot chocolate mixbeef jerky sticksapple drinksoup mixcrackerstrail mixDay 3oatmeal packethot chocolate mixgranola barapple drinksoup mixcrackersfruit leatherExtra goodies1 package gum12 jolly ranchers

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  28. I was part of the mandatory evacuation last night. I was leaving long before they told us we had to leave so I was able to pack up all the things I needed. This is what I learned in case it happens again: 1.Have a list ready of everything you need to get and know where it is. When the fire is coming, it's hard to think. One of the homes that was destroyed, they forgot to grab pictures and lost them all. The most important things I packed were my pictures, documents and my external hard drive and laptop.2. Video tape the contents of your home. Before I left I went through and video taped my entire home including opening all drawers and closets and of course my storage. That way, your insurance company knows what you have.3. Have a 72 hour kit. I didn't and had to round up diapers and changes of clothes and toiletries, etc.Remember that most of the things in your house are just stuff and can be replaced.

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  29. I created this to document to help my family get their 72 Hr. Kits completed. These kits cost me $15 to $20/kit and are tailored to my family. This is super cheap for what's in them. I have different kits designed for babies, kids & adults. I've tried to take into account that you may have very many resources, like the ability to heat food. I also have a little system that helps me keep my kits up to date.Here's what I have for the kids 72 hr. kit. I made my google doc public, so you can take a look if you want to see all my kits and photos of my kits. Feel free to email me at mommyinzion@gmail.com, if I can help anyone!Kids 72 Hr. Kit checklistFood1 Gallon Water1 Large Pack of Beef Jerky6 Protein Bars1 Med. Bag Trail Mix6 Fruit SnacksClothingJeansShirtSweatshirtUnderwearSocksSuppliesFlashlightExtra batteriesEmergency BlanketEmergency PonchoColoring books/activitiesFirst Aid KitMedicationsHygieneRoll of Toilet PaperDiapers/Pull-Ups/Wipes if neededShampooWashclothComb or BrushHand SanitizerToothpasteToothbrushDate Updated: ___________https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1-VQLbRDq826COQANkXrtPZzby4JDf-FW-eQ8dxN1JNc&hl=en&authkey=COT3od0J

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  30. We have a grab and go list posted on the door from our house to the garage that lists things in order of importance so that in an emergency, you just go down the list and grab the items on it. First is things like medication (basic survival), then does down to our hard drive, photos, etc. Another thing is that children need comfort items. We always pack glowsticks because they serve as a nightlight without being too bright as well as a small blanket and small stuffed animal. My best advice is to try out the things in your kit. All of our kids have eczema and those emergency blankets rub their skin and they won't use them. I think every person's kit should be based on their own needs and so it one will be slightly different.

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  31. I am so grateful for this post. My parents live across the freeway from the Herriman fires. I was concerned for them and was glad that the fire was far away from them. I didn't even think about what I would do if this happened to me. You helped me realize that I am not prepared at all and need to be. I look forward to putting these kits together. Thanks for the inspiration and the motivation to get us all started. Also thanks to all of those that have commented with ideas of what to put in the kits. Groups coming together like this will benefit us all.THANK YOU!

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  32. I was in the evacuation zone, with my husband out of town, and couldn't get home to grab anything! My two kids and I had been in the Coalville area for a party and drove home to a nightmare – not being allowed near our home. So needless to say, I would strongly recommend having a bag to keep in the trunk of your car! However, I'm not sure at this point what would be best to put in it to keep it valuable, yet compact. I'm too tired and stressed to think much these days.Also, I LOVED the earlier idea for prescription medications! Keeping one weekly box in the kit, and rotating it with another weekly box is brilliant. FYI: You can get refills in advance! I have been stashing away a little at a time (and rotating the newer ones through my stash). With my 90-day refill prescription, I can purchase another refill once I am only about 80% of the way through my last one. So with each refill, I get it a couple weeks earlier than necessary and save the extra pills.

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  33. Possibly the most important thing for other loved ones is the piece of mind of knowing you're ok. They can search for disater victims ONLY IF YOU REGISTER! So ASAP after a disaster register with the Red Cross Safe & Well database by phone, in person, or online at: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms// You can search for family in disasters abroad as well.My husband was visiting our family in Veracruz, MX when Hurricane Karl hit them last week. Many homes were completely destroyed or unlivable due to the extreme flooding they experienced. From that ordeal I have a few ideas for the 72 hour kit: Make sure everything is water proof! Emergency heating blankets, hand & foot warmers, wind up or the shake type flashlights and radios, iodine or other water purifying substances. Colapsable water containers (compact and lighter), sunscreen, bug repellent, unbreakable mirror or other signalling device, red towel for signaling as well(doubles for general uses too), a backup cell phone charger they usually come with multiple plug ends and use a AA battery, a swiss army knife or multi-tool (make sure it has a can opener!), and an alternative or in addition to extra cash you can buy a 'prepaid debit card' that you can load with varying amounts(check into expiration terms etc.), one option for extra prescription meds is that you could ask your Dr. to give you samples of your meds, tell your Dr. why and he or she may be glad to help. Now is a great time to find a lot of emergency items on sale since hunting season is upon us!Smith and Edwards in Willard has great prices, and Army surplus stores are a good source too. Also check out redcross.org and redcrossstore.org for more ideas.My head is still spinning from our ordeal but I hope this helps.

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  34. Something I was taught was to put your 72 hour kits in a backpack, and then put the backpack in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and handle. It helps because you are able to stack them and save space, your kit is mosty water proofed, and if you need a place to go potty where you are, you have a bucket. I know it sounds gross, but it instances like Katrina people were going potty anywhere and that made it more likely to spread diseases and germs. Just a suggestion. We got ours at Home Depot for $5 I think. I also wrote info around the bucket such as the name of the person, birth date, and address, a family contact in state and out of state. On my girls buckets I wrote my husband and my info in case we were seperated.

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  35. My cousin just put my onto your site and I think it's great. One comment about the 72 hour kits = we lived in central Florida when Hurricane Andrew devestated so much of south Florida. Everything was wiped out, and for quite some time any form of money was basically useless there. Even if you had cash/cards, there were no stores left to take them. I am rethinking my need to be more prepared in an emergency. Thanks for the reminder.

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