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.