Preparing a Disaster Kit for Your Office, School or Home

Emergency / Disaster 72-Hour Kit (3 Days)With the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster hitting Japan, many people have begun to reflect on what they can do to help prepare themselves for a disaster right here in the United States. It’s perhaps not the most pleasant train of thought, but it is still nevertheless very important. One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a emergency disaster kit (aka 72 hour kit) on hand. This isn’t only important at home, but also in the office.

Remember, many of us spend at least 8 hours a day in the office. Eight hours is 1/3 of they day. If a disaster hits, there is a 33% chance you may be at work. For this reason, it is important for offices, businesses, schools, churches and organizations to be equally prepared for a disaster.

Having the critical essentials on hand will make the stress and terror of a disaster much more tolerable. It may even save your life. Here are just a few of the essentials your school, office, church or even home will need:

Water – Water is the most critical element needed for human survival. You can’t survive longer than 3 days without it. In a disaster, especially a tsunami or earthquake, clean water is difficult to come by. Stagnant water quickly becomes infected with waterborne diseases. It is a good idea to have a water filter, bottled water or a pot w/ fire tools (for boiling) on hand. Water purification tablets are also good to have on hand.

It is a good idea to have a few liters of bottled water readily available at all times, preferably in a backpack for portability. If possible, it is good to have at least 2-4 liters of water available per day.

Clothing – It is a good idea to have a warm change of clothing on hand. If you can’t have a change of clothes on hand, it is a good idea to at least have a blanket (preferably wool), a jacket or an emergency blanket. Many people in Japan right now are suffering from bitter cold and snow. A change of underwear and socks are a must. A rain poncho or umbrella is also nice.

Sanitation Emergency KitSanitation – Being dirty and having a lack of bathroom facilities can cause both morale and health issues. Simple things like wet towelettes, alcohol prep pads, soap, tooth brush / paste, deodorant, shampoo, shaving cream / blades and feminine hygiene products can make all the difference in the world. A sanitation porta potty, or a shovel (latrine), can help significantly improve bathroom convenience and conditions.

Food – Water can only go so far. You will also need nutrients and solid food to help keep yourself healthy. This may include trail mix, canned foods (with opener), MREs (military ready to eat), oatmeal, crackers and raisins. It is also a good idea to keep a little candy on hand. It is a good idea to have at least a 3-day (72 hour) supply on hand.

First Aid – The chances of you or someone around you becoming injured in a disaster is pretty high. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand. What you include in that kit will depend on a lot of things, but it is always a good idea to at least have the following on hand:

  • Bandage Dressings
  • Band-Aids
  • Butterfly Bandages
  • Gauze Pads
  • Paper Tape Roll
  • Pain Killers
  • Burn Cream
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Antiseptic
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety Pins
  • Firs Aid Instructional Sheet

You can view an entire list of what you will want in your 72 hour emergency disaster kit here (PDF).

Other Tools & Items – It is also a good idea to have tools on hand that can help assist you with survival. An example of helpful tools include:

  • Flashlight (with batteries)
  • Camp Cup
  • Whistle
  • Pocket Knife
  • Paper Pad w/ Pencil
  • Garbage Bag
  • Baggies
  • Waterproof Matches
  • Compass

Following these suggestions should help you get on the right track to creating a solid 72 (3-day) emergency disaster kit. I recommend, if at all possible, keeping all these products in a backpack for added portability. You never know when you’ll have to pick up your kit and leave. Be prepared!

At ABC Office we offer a wide variety of emergency disaster kits found here. These kits include porta potty sanitation kits, portable backpack 72-hour kits, office preparedness kits and more.

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