Your 72 Hour Kit, Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, or whatever you want to call it might be as fully equipped as can be, but if you haven’t covered the Five S’s, it may fall short just when you need it most.
In a crisis, sanitation and general cleanliness may be the last thing on people’s minds, and that’s just what evil microbes love to hear! Make sure every kit has hand sanitizer, a supply of toilet paper, a small bottle of cleaning solution, and the like.
Food, not-so-glorious food must be included in every kit, including one you have prepared for your pets. It’s important to pack the food in such a way that it doesn’t attract vermin and provide a breeding ground for bacteria while it’s waiting to be eaten. Check out this list for plenty of suggestions, and be aware of the storage temperature your food will experience. Remember, colder is better.
Think water, shelter, warmth/fire, and first aid. Add a signaling device or two for good measure and pack a good First Aid handbook. You’ll need a source of light, headlamps are my own personal favorite, and extra batteries. Other necessities are a good knife, walking shoes with socks, duct tape, and an emergency radio. You can find a more extensive list here.
Nothing beats a loaded firearm with an extra magazine or two, but that might not be your preference. At the very least have on hand some pepper spray. One of my best friends from high school used to keep a baseball bat near the front seat of her car, at her father’s insistence. Whatever you choose, know exactly where it is at all times. A list of emergency phone numbers and addresses is another good idea as well as copies of your identification, your Concealed Carry permit if you have one, and anything else you might need to prove your identity, such as an employee ID.
If you are slowly being driven crazy by your set of circumstances, including your kids, sanity-saving items are a must. These might include a journal and pencil, a Bible, a deck of cards, a battery powered fan, foam ear plugs, and a book or two. Never underestimate the importance of a healthy state of mind! That’s what will keep your decisions sound and your reactions within the range of normal.