Tips on Preparing a 72 hour kit

The following list is credited to  CEO at UNITED SPIRIT OF AMERICA from a LinkedIn posting entitled “Experts defined the 12 Biggest Mistakes when preparing for a disaster… I like your comments, additions and objections to them.” As this LinkedIn group is a members only site, we have edited and posted the information to this blog.

Tip 01

Buy products that do not require clean water to work.
One of the most common effects of a disaster zone is the inability to get clean water.

Tip 02

Buy products that are light and easy to carry.
Assume that you may be injured and/or may not have the strength to carry heavy objects after a disaster occur.

Tip 03

Buy products that are not scented or do not have strong odors.
Wildlife is attracted to scent. From mosquitoes to large predators their sense of smell is one of their most effective sources for finding food.

Tip 04

Buy products that do not depend on electrical power.
One of the first things that fail when a disaster of any kind strikes is electrical power, buying products that require electrical power may be just a waste of money.

Tip 05

Buy products with long shelf life.
Products with less than 3 years of shelf life may be expired and unusable when you really need them.

Tip 06

Buy first aid products and hygiene products that are needed on a daily basis.
People will use hygiene products regardless if they are injured or not, but most people buy first aid products and forget what they use on a daily basis.

Tip 07

Buy based on how good it works not how cheap it is.
Everybody wants to save money but when a disaster call you need to have the best most reliable products… your life my depend on them

Tip 08

Buy products that can perform for a least 72 hours.
The first 72 hours after a disaster are key, most emergency and survival support agencies and institutions can’t reach you. If you don’t have enough to survive those 72 hours a simple thing such as antibacterial protection could become a serious health issue.

Tip 09

Do not take wind, sunshine, protection from bugs and water for granted.
When disaster strikes your “normal” environment disappears and too much wind, sunshine and/or bugs can make your survival very challenging.

Tip 10

After food and shelter is secured the most important issue is your hygiene.
In a disaster the possibility of getting sick by contagious diseases grow exponentially with time, hygiene products are just as essential as shelter and food, make sure you have enough.

Tip 11

Whenever possible, include extra supplies rather than the minimum.
When people buy their products they should take into account that some people close to them (neighbors for example) may not have theirs or could have lost them in the disaster and then everyone would have to share…

Tip 12

Buy products that were designed for an emergency.
People sometimes buy products based on price rather than effectiveness and at the time of a disaster they wonder why their products don’t perform to the task ahead.

Tip 13 (Credited to a comment by Jennifer Robitaille )

Do not forget about your pets.
Pets are like a member of your family and will need access to clean water, shelter and food.

Tip 14 (Credited to a comment by Guy Cullum)

Include simple entertainment like books or cards.  Most survival is waiting and dealing with the waiting. Having things to keep the mind active and people not focused on what has happened is vital for mental health for adults and children.

Strong Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans include employee home preparedness

Resiliency of your Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans rely on company human resources to ensure that the processes you have put in place are put into action. In any catastrophic event, our natural instinct is to protect ourselves and our family.  In time of crisis, the employee you need on site may not be available because of concerns at home. Alternatively, the employee may be on site for you but the worry about family members at home may interfere with the employee’s ability to fully focus on your needs.

As the first full week of May marks Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, it’s a good time to think about ensuring your employees are prepared at home in the event that you need them at work to implement your EM and BC plans. What can your employees do to be ready at home in the event you need them to help in a time of crisis? What can you do to help them focus on your needs and ensure that their families are taken care of while they are at work?

Here are just a few ideas to help you prepare your employees in case you need them:

  • Provide information about home emergency preparedness in your plan training and exercise sessions.
  • Create a flyer or webpage with tips to emergency preparedness for your employees.
  • Encourage your employees to create a family emergency plan. Kids love scavenger hunts. What a great way to have your employee make it a fun family activity by challenging their children to hunt around the house to fill their emergency preparedness kit.
  • Include in your EM and BC plans some potential options to ensure the safety and welfare of your employees’ families in the event you need them at work. Knowing their families are safe will benefit both you and your employees by allowing them to focus on your needs without worrying about their family members.

Public Safety Canada has a wealth of information and materials that you can share with employees, including promotional materials, flyers and posters. You can find more information at

Get prepared! Know the risks, create your family plan and prepare your emergency kit.

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