72-hour kit item of the week

Ok, Ladies, I got a lot of “I’m going to do this!” last week, but not very many people checked back in. I’m guessing it’s because last week’s items were so easy. So let’s take it up a notch. This week we’re going to focus on clothes and hygiene. I know this stuff isn’t exactly free, but it’s like insurance. It’s just a chunk of money you need to spend in case something bad happens, even though it probably won’t. Think of all the money you spend on silly things like Christmas decorations and Happy Meals. This is a much better investment. Think of the peace of mind! This may seem like a lot of stuff for one week, but a lot of it you probably have at home.   (The ponchos and clothes were the only things I had to go out and buy.) Also, if we break it up into smaller chunks it’s going to take three months to get these things done. OK, where was I? Ah yes, clothes and toiletries.

Sweatshirt and sweatpants for every member of your family. I buy clothes for the kids that are a couple of sizes too big. Better to roll up sleeves than have a shirt that won’t fit at all. I buy the super cheapo sweats at Target in gender-neutral colors so they can get passed down from one kid to another. If you have all girls, that doesn’t matter, I guess.

-An extra t-shirt. You’ve got to have a few of these kicking around. Now you can finally put to use those tacky Hawaii T-shirts that Grandma brought back from her last trip. Those ones that were too ugly to let your kids wear out of the house. Or the lame t-shirts that your husband gets from work and trade shows.

-A pair of socks. Cold, wet socks are miserable. As are no socks at all. Think what would happen if you had to leave in the middle of the night. Who would remember to put on socks?

Underwear. Can you live with dirty undies for three days? I probably could. My kids definitely could. You decide. (Hopefully everyone in your family will be fully potty-trained by this point.)

Gloves. I have the 99¢ kind since the chance of me needing these in Texas is slim. But I hate to be cold. If you’re in a colder climate, I leave it up to your discretion. Some sources suggest heavy-duty gloves that can be used of you end up needing to clear brush or dead tree limbs. Hats are your decision as well.  I put a baseball cap in my husbands bag since his hair will be looking hideous after three days.

Jackets/ponchos. Chances are you’ll think to bring a jacket as you’re running out of the house, so it’s really your call if you want to put one in your kit or not. I’d recommend a poncho, though. I hate getting wet! I saw these at my local Dollar Store for 2/$1.00. Bargain!

Hair stuff. Throw a brush in your bag since the whole family can share one. Also include a few ponytail holders (the kind with the two balls are good for all sorts of handy things, not just hair). Remember, you hair will be looking pretty bad. Ponytails will be a necessity. If you have short hair? Well, I feel for you. Better include a baseball cap.

Toiletries. You may have exposure to clean water in an emergency, but chances are you won’t. Just in case, bring a couple of bottles of shampoo and conditioner (I know you have a stash of those little hotel bottles somewhere!) Also, put a little bar of soap in each bag. If you only have full sizes of soap, put one in each adult’s bag. You can share with the kids. Put all your toiletries in a ziplock so it’s easy to keep them organized. Make a ziplock for each child with a handtowel/toothbrush/wipes/soap. 

Hand towel. Duh. Again, Dollar Store. Don’t get a dark color, though. The cheap ones bleed really badly. Or just cut up a couple of junk towels you have lying around. Free and easy!

Wipes. These are fantastic whether you have a baby or not. Great for cleaning smelly, dirty body parts! I just get a big bag of wipes and divy them up into ziplocks. Each person should have their own supply. Give any babies an extra large supply.

Hand sanitizer. A no-brainer. Little bottles are better than big.

Toothbrush/toothpaste. A couple of toothpastes should be enough.

Deoderant. One or two per family should be enough (can’t you just share with your husband?).

Chapstick. I would kill myself after three hours if I didn’t have this. I put a couple of tubes in everybody’s pack.

-Feminine supplies. You know that your period will start right in the middle of that sort of chaos, right? Bring tampons/pads for any female over 10 (better safe than sorry!)

Diapers. 15-20. See if you can bum a few larger-sized ones off of a friend. Babies grow fast.

Optional: lotion, sunscreen, lipstick (I don’t go anywhere without lipstick. Even during a hurricane, thankyouverymuch). Weather appropriate clothes. Tiffany and all the other unfortunate people who live in extremely cold places might need extra supplies like scarves and boots. I’ll leave it up to you. Just take your climate into account and hope if there’s an emergency it’s in the summer!

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16 thoughts on “72-hour kit item of the week

  1. We also just added tube tents, thermal blankets, water-proof matches, and water purification tablets to ours. Our ward RS has been working really hard at helping us get ours done. And they also are saying plan on more like 96 hours instead of 72 since Katrina.

    What about taking important docs like birth certificates, etc. Do you think that’s neccessary?

  2. I guess if there’s a chance your house could be destroyed, sure. I mean, it certainly wouldn’t hurt. You might want to include SS cards and your marriage license too.
    And your homeowners insurance policy number 🙂

  3. In defense of a cold climate, you can’t pack air conditioning…
    The heat didn’t necessarily help anyone in “Nowr-lins” now did it?
    (just jealous!)

  4. This seems like a lot of stuff for one week…
    (as an unrelated side note, I hate leaving comments because I have made for myself the longest email and passwords possible…)

  5. Yes, it’s a lot of stuff, but you most likely have all the toiletries around your house. And the wipes and diapers. And you probably have some less popular clothes that you could put in the younger kids kits.

  6. If we put all this stuff in one backpack, there would not be room for food and water. Maybe we each need one of those giant cross-country camping back packs. Or maybe we can figure out a way to have two backpacks. Strap one in front and one in back. Or one on a leg, somehow.(limp, swish, limp, swish) Let me know if YOU can successfully put everything in one back-pack.

  7. Um, if we didn’t manage to put some change and phone numbers together in one week, don’t you think this list is a bit too challenging? Well, I’ll still try. I know I need to, so I’m going to try to do it.

  8. I love that you are doing this for us! It’s a good reminder for me to re-check my kits and see what I need to add. I like your idea about the home owner insurance policy number! I will be adding that to my kit along with socks! I can’t believe I never thought of SOCKS!

  9. Just in case you live in a climate where you could get wet (from flooding, or from rain or snow), I’d highly recommend against the sweatsuit. (probably the t-shirt and any jeans either.) Cotton is a terrible survival material. Once wet, it stays wet. You are far better off packing up a fleece than a sweatshirt. The fleece will insulate while wet, will wring almost dry, and will dry completely in minutes, not days. Pack that fleece parka, some fleece pajamas, and maybe even fleece socks for the same reason. And if you don’t have them, Marshalls and TJMaxx have loads of turquoise and hot pink fleece jackets and pants for cheap.

  10. Yikes that is quite a list, I better get to work. When I busted out the backpacks to check what was in there already, James rolled his eyes like I was getting paranoid or something. We shall see who laughs last when we need them.

  11. Yay! I’m almost there. Big ticket items (sweats) obtained from Wal-mart clearance. The whole family of 4 for less than $50! It was my hope to get to the thrift store, but it is Wed and I haven’t made it. If I wait, I won’t do it. So, I’ll suck it up.

    The remaining items we have lying around the house.

  12. We are pretty much done with the list. Since we have so many months of hot weather we modified the list. Sunscreen was a big thing for us. We are also working on making kits/backpacks for our cats. they can’t be left out.

  13. I did it! I did it! I did it! Count me in for this week! Plus I made up for last week. Except that I had to pay my babysitter last night with all the ones and fives I got for my 72 hour kid. does that count as an emergency? Because if so, my 72 hour kit sure came in handy already!

  14. Well, I got about 2/3 of my stuff this week. Clothes for the kids and hygiene items are done. I will work on getting everything else this week.

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