72-Hour “Grab-and-Run” Survival Kits
By Matthew Stein, P.E., Author of
When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance and Planetary Survival
,www.whentechfails.comISBN #1-57416-047-8, published by Clear Light Books, Santa Fe, NM (800) 253-2747
These short-term emergency kits, also known as “grab-and-run kits,” should be readily accessibleand cover the basic daily needs of your family for a period of at least three days. Please note thatthree days is a minimal time period (in Kobe Japan, it was
before many survivorsreceived food and water) and that you should have at least one or two weeks’ supply of foodstored in or around your home. You may purchase ready-made 72-hour kits from various survivalsupply outlets, or you can put together your own. Large families should probably divide up thestores between several easily grabbed small backpacks or plastic containers. One advantage tobuilding your own kits is that you get to choose foods that you like. Remember that all foods havesome kind of shelf life.
Rotate stores and use them or lose them!
Bug infested, rancid, or rottenfood doesn’t do anyone any good. (NOTE: Each chapter in my book contains a resource guide tohelp readers locate suppliers to purchase the materials covered by that chapter, such as the specialsupplies in the
Consider placing all of the following items in your 72-hour survival kit:
Portable radio, preferably one that works with dead or no batteries, such as hand crank orcombination powered with solar cells (available through survival and surplus outlets).
First aid kit with first aid and survival handbooks (my book covers both).
Water, water purification chemicals, and/or purifying filter. Enough to provide one gallonper person per day (see Chapter 5 in
When Technology Fails
). Retort (foil) pouches canhandle freezing in a car trunk, but most other water containers can’t handle freezingwithout the potential for bursting. Three gallons per person is heavy (24 lbs), so considerincluding a water filter and water treatment chemicals.
Waterproof and windproof matches in a waterproof container, and a utility-type butane(large, with extended tip) lighter.
Wool or pile blankets (avoid cotton), because they are warm when wet. Also, a heat-reflective, waterproof “space blanket.” Fiber-pile, mountaineering-quality sleeping bagsare great, if you have the space (no down sleeping bags, because they are worthless if wet).