72 Hour Kit for Your Van

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Anyone that commutes or travels a lot throughout the week should have a 72-hour emergency kit in their van. If you have a van, it’s likely you have a family which includes children. The 72-hour kit that is suggested for emergency use would also include childcare needs. At a minimum each member of the family must have their own 72-hour kit inside of the vehicle. Each kit doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be tailor made for each individual.

Every 72-hour kit should have a minimum at of the following inside of the individual’s bag. Later we will talk about communal stocks inside of the van.

  • one quart metal bottle for water
  • a package of glow sticks
  • a whistle
  • small cans of ready to eat food such as ravioli, fruit, or tuna.
  • packages of seeds and nuts that are individual sized
  • high energy or protein bars depending on your family’s nutritional needs
  • a spork
  • a rain poncho
  • an emergency lightweight reflective blanket
  • a change of clothes
  • for women, tampons or pads
  • any daily use medication with enough for three days excluding children packs
  • a small first aid kit containing bandages, ibuprofen, Neosporin, Benadryl, and acetaminophen. This should not be included in children’s packs.
  • individual sized hand sanitizer
  • a roll of flattened toilet paper
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash
  • a small pack of Clorox wipes
  • a small lead flashlight or a wind up flashlight
  • a LifeStraw
  • a mirror for signaling and hygiene
  • hats, gloves, socks and even a scarf if your area gets cold
  • a pack of cards, a pen and waterproof paper, or crayons and a coloring book for entertainment
  • for small children a laminated card with their name, address, phone number, and parents names. A laminated photo of mom and dad is also nice.
  • parents packs should include medication for their children for three days. If the medication is temperature sensitive a cooler with ice packs should be readily available at a moment’s notice along with any attenuating accessories such as needles, alcohol pads, glucose measuring sticks, and meter.

Each family should have a 72-hour communal kit stash in the van as well. Every family communal kit should have plenty of water. This can be in the form of 1 gallon jugs bought at the grocery store, a small ceramic water filter, a large 5 gallon water jug of the type found in an office water cooler, and of course a 32 pack of bottled waters will work as well.

There should be a communal first aid kit where in basic medications that can be used by anyone would be kept. It should have plenty of gauze, waterproof medical tape, iodine or betadine, a tourniquet, blood stop, EMT shares, tweezers, a basic first aid book, Aisling, and a Sam splint. This first aid kit should be enough to take care of a four-person vehicle car crash with minor injuries. Of course, adding to your first aid kit anything for a vehicle crash or a medical emergency would help.

Other communal supplies would include things such as a family tent, a small sturdy shovel for covering waste, knives, a battery solar and solar powered energy radio, a satellite phone, head lamps, waterproof matches, a solar battery charger, a sewing kit, and a couple $100 bills stashed away for motel or gas if you should need it.


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