Torrential rains spawned by the recent southwest monsoon reminds everyone of the need to have a 72-hour survival kit ready for any eventuality.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), who often counsel their members to have a "72-Hour Kit" ready in their homes, recently handed out 72-Hour Kit pamphlets to all who attended the Church Jubilee exhibit commemorating the 50 year celebration as a Church in the Philippines.
A 72-Hour Kit is a personal kit containing essential supplies that should help a person survive for at least three days (72 hours) during a disaster. Experience has shown that it usually takes about three days before government and other institutions are able to provide rescue and relief efforts to disaster victims.
Benson E. Misalucha, welfare services manager of the Church for the Philippines, said, "There is no one way to make the kit as it depends on the lifestyle, preferences, needs, capacity and situation of the person who will use it."
Marie Anne Vicedo, a member of the Church, recalled, "In 2009 our 72-Hour Kit was a lifesaver when my family was trapped inside the second level of our home in Pasay City as floodwaters rose quickly to over six feet in a matter of minutes. It was impossible for us to go out to buy food for over 24 hours because we did not have a boat or any flotation device to use. The good thing is we had our 72-Hour Kit so we did not go hungry and survived until the flood waters receded,"
To provide maximum protection in an emergency, a 72-hour kit should be:
Portable. Your kit won’t be of much value in an evacuation if you can’t carry it. Keep it compact and lightweight.
Easily accessible. Keep your kit near an exit door, where you can grab it and go. Don’t bury it under clutter.
Up-to-date. Rotate food and medications at least every six months. Check the clothing annually to make sure it fits. Check expiration dates on batteries.
Complete. Check your kit regularly to make sure you have everything your family needs for three days’ survival.
Waterproof. Put all items inside ziplock bags or tied plastic garbage bags, so they won’t be ruined by rain or flood water.
Usable. Make sure you know how to use everything in your kit, and that the supplies are of good quality. Don’t weigh down your kit with junk.
Divisible. Provide a backpack or portable container for each family member, in case you get separated.
Personalized. No commercial kit or generic supply list will completely provide for the unique needs of your family. You will need to adjust the contents and check them frequently to make sure your current needs such as medications, baby supplies, and so forth, are met.
Versatile. Make sure your kit contains supplies for sheltering at home as well as for evacuation.
As far as what you put in a 72-Hour Kit, it all depends upon each individual family, but may contain some of the following:
Food and Water: A three-day supply of no-cook foods and water such as crackers, canned tuna, sardines, canned juice, candy and infant needs.
Bedding and Clothing: Change of clothing (shirts, pants),undergarments, raincoats, blankets and sheets.
Fuel and Light: Flashlights, lamps (don"t forget batteries) candles/flares, lighter, water-proof matches.
Equipment: Can opener, dishes and utensils, radio (with batteries), pen and paper, pocket knife, rope, floaters (in case of flood).
Personal supplies and medication: First aid kit and supplies, prescription medication for three days, toiletries, sanitary napkins, toothbrush, cleaning supplies.
Personal documents and money: Genealogy records, legal documents, vaccination papers, insurance policies, cash, credit card and prepaid phone cards. (Place items in a water-proof container.)
Special supplies could include a child's favorite toy to provide comfort and entertainment during a stressful time for children.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites people to check its website on family emergency preparedness at www.providentliving.org. For further information, please contact the Church public affairs office at firstname.lastname@example.org.