In the event of a natural disaster and other emergency scenarios, a massive number of individuals need to evacuate their Johnston rental homes with very short notice. Have you ever wondered whether you would be able to quickly pack everything your family will need to survive for several days? If you prepared a 72-hour kit for your family, you don’t have to worry anymore. You will get everything you and your family needs, ready to go.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Ready.gov), all family requires to be prepared for disasters and sudden evacuations. You can do it by creating a basic disaster kit with appropriate essentials to last at least three days. A 72-hour kit should have the basics like food, water, medicine, and other necessities. Although many prepackaged emergency kits are available in the market, most of them are pricey and mostly do not contain items that meet your family’s specific situation. The better and most less costly option is to make a 72-hour kit for you and your family or friends.

So how do you prepare an emergency kit? Ready.gov contains information on how to create a basic emergency preparedness kit. Consider this list as a beginning point for your family’s 72-hour kit. For example, you’ll need a way to store and carry your items efficiently and to keep the elements out. A few recommendations are to use a duffel bag, backpacks, or plastic bins. Then, you’ll need to double-check that all of the items in your kit are secure in airtight plastic bags to keep them safe and dry.

Once you have a safe way to store and carry your emergency kit, you can start adding basic items like water and food. Ready.gov has complete detail you can download and print. But a good rule of thumb is to include at least one gallon of water per person per day in your kit, plus a three-day supply of non-perishable food items for each person. If you want to use canned goods in your kit, don’t forget to add a manual can opener, too. Other vital survival supplies, such as flashlights, extra batteries, matches, or a lighter, a first aid kit, moist towelettes, and garbage bags, should also be included in your kit and any prescription medications or medical supplies your family might need. If you have room, consider adding one change of clothes and shoes for each person and a blanket or sleeping bag.

After you have the basics, you can start adding items that are particular to your family’s circumstances. For example, if you have infants or pets in your family, remember to include baby supplies and pet food to your kit. It may also be important to add things like feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, or over-the-counter medications that are used regularly.  Certainly, you can start adding copies of important family documents, identification records, and cash or traveler’s checks to your emergency kit. Only ensure that cash, passports, and other necessary documents are safe in a waterproof bag.

An essential part of making a 72-hour kit for your family is maintaining it from year to year. It is vital to inspect and replace expired food products as needed and update your kit as your family’s needs change. Lastly, you’ll need to find where to store your kit. It is a smart idea to pick a location that is both safe and easy to find, in case something happens and you need to leave instantly. Just make sure that everybody in your family knows where the kit is. You may even consider having a smaller emergency kit for your vehicle if anything occurs when you’re away from home.