Disaster plan

Get ready for spring weather with a 72-hour kit

This time of year, Texans never know if the weather is going to play naughty or nice. Tap into your inner Boy Scout and be prepared in the event that a flood, tornado, or any other natural disaster chases you out of your home. A do-it-yourself 72-hour kit is a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to get ready.

How to begin:   Start with a durable backpack. They’re easy to grab and sling over your shoulder if you need to leave your home in a hurry. Store the backpacks on hooks in a hall closet so that they’ll be readily available and easily accessible when you need them.

Food and water:   Pack plenty of water (one gallon per person per day) and nonperishable food items like granola bars or trail mix and canned food like tuna and fruit. Don’t forget a can opener.

Clothes:   Dry, warm clothing is very important. Include a rain poncho, t-shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants, underwear, and a pair of socks for each person.

Hygiene:   Prepare a hygiene kit in a Ziploc bag with travel-size necessities. Remember a washcloth, razor, toothbrush, and feminine hygiene products. Use baby wipes for a quick cleanse and as an alternative to toilet paper.

Personal documents and money:   Scan all personal documents such as birth certificates and home, car, and medical insurance information onto a key chain flash drive and connect it to the backpack. Or hook it to your everyday key chain, but if you do, don’t lose your keys!

Carry cash in small bills and coins, preferably quarters. These can be used in vending machines that may not accept credit cards.

Extras:   Purchase a travel-size first aid kit at the store or make your own. For a basic kit, you need bandages, antiseptic ointment, alcohol wipes, tweezers, and gauze. Pack a flashlight and don’t forget extra batteries. Include matches, hand warmers, emergency warming blankets, and a tarp.

Every six months:   Rotate food items and children’s clothing every six months. Plan your rotation with the time change.


Not a DIY kind of person?

72-hour kits are available at many online stores. Search “72-hour kits” and shop away.

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