One of my goals in 2009 is to have fully equipped 72 hour kits for each family member, as well as a Family Kit that would hold all extras needed to survive should an emergency arise that would force us from our home. I lived through a week-long evacuation during the Rodeo-Chedeski Fire in 2002, and I now live in an earthquake zone, so I am under no delusions that such situations 'could never happen to me'. And while I pray that they don't, I feel much more peace knowing that come what may, I am prepared. Should an earthquake, fire, or other natural disaster occur, I do not want to have to look my children in the eyes and see their fear, knowing that I could have helped make such a time easier and more comfortable for them.
I've read several great survival/preparedness handbooks recently and have made a list of everything I'd like us to have ready. Slowly, but surely, I've been adding to our supply and crossing things off the list. I'll post more about that another time, but today I wanted to share the Hygiene Kits that the kids and I assembled over Spring Break.
We went to Target and stocked up on travel-sized products. I'd been collecting toothbrushes that I'd either gotten for free with coupons, or for $.25 or .50 over the months. Then I added a washcloth. I realize I could have saved some money buying one large bottle of shampoo/conditioner, one tube of toothpaste, etc, but my goal is to have each kit be fairly self-sufficient, should for some unforeseen reason the family become separated.
We brought home the loot from Target (which, in making 8 kits, was quite a pile) and Aiden and Dylan organized it all into categories for our assembly line. I used gallon-sized Zip-locs, with the names written on them, and Conor was our helper in dropping each item into each bag.
Everyone has the basics, but the kits are a little personalized: the girls have conditioner in addition to shampoo, and Adam has shaving cream. The girls and I have razors and sanitary needs, and Conor has special baby lotion and baby sunblock since his skin is more sensitive. He also has baby toothpaste and a toddler toothbrush. I have a small sewing kit in mine, just in case. The only thing I haven't added to the hygiene kits yet is a comb or brush, but that's coming. Also, Lyns and I want mascara in our kits. If our house falls down around us, mascara can make the difference between forced cheerfulness and complete despair. I'm not kidding. This kit will be tucked into the backpacks that contain the food/water/clothing and other supplies.
It was a fun family project, and it's amazing how involved the kids got. Several of them commented on how good they felt having these kits ready, and how thankful they were that we were making sure to be prepared. My plan is to give them their backpack 72 hour kits when they leave home, so they'll always have them.
What's in our kits:
bar of soap
extra ziploc to hold a wet washcloth
small first aid kit (larger more complete one will be in the Family Kit)
shaving cream (for the men)
Baby kit has powder, diapers, wipes, baby sunblock, baby lotion, and baby shampoo, and toddler toothpaste/toothbrush. The girls have sanitary needs.