I wanted to focus on 72 hr kits for your car. This is something often overlooked when putting together 72 hr kits, but how many of us are home all the time? Or even most of the time? In case of a tornado, earthquake, flood or even an emergency evacuation situation wouldn't it be nice to know you are prepared if you're caught in your car or anywhere your car is with you such as work or running errands.
This is what was inside of my kit when I opened it to rotate it this year. I store all of this in a big back pack with wheels. It is a heavy bag and I'm a wimp. I don't know how my 6th grader carries her massive back pack every day, but I'm not that strong so I need to know that I can move it if necessary, so wheels are a must! But I do like the fact it has straps if it needed to be carried. I bought my car 72 hr kit back pack at a thrift store for $5. It's really large and roomy.
You'll want to cater your kit to your own family's size and needs. This is what mine contains:
-food (ready to serve rice w/veggies, tuna fish/salmon packets, peanut butter, pork and beans, spam, energy bars, granola bars, fruit snacks, candy)
-mini first aid kit (I have a larger one in the trunk separate from this kit)
-a rain poncho for each of us
-mylar blankets for each of us
-2 shaking flashlights (if you use battery operated flashlights, don't store the batteries in the flashlights)
-bright colored rope/utility line
-hand warmers (I found awesome reusable ones at the dollar store this winter)
-copies of mine and my husband's drivers licenses & military IDs
-list of important phone numbers, etc
-baby wipes & antibacterial wipes
-toothbrushes/toothpaste for each of us
-pain & allergy medication
-throat drops & eye drops (both are good in case of flying debris/dust)
-soap & wash cloth
-feminine hygiene products
-lighter/matches & candle (in a tin so it won't melt)
I separate like items into ziplock bags. This keep things from leaking on each other and/or making your food taste like soap, etc. If you think something could leak, it probably will, especially in a climate like ours where this thing will be in below freezing and over 100 degree weather during the year. This April we've had snow storms and 70+ degree weather... you just never know in Utah. So... you need to put things in the car that are ok in changing temperatures.
I love using liquid candles in 72 hr kits, but I learned to not use them in my car kit. They leaked everywhere. Thank goodness they were in a bag!
I opted this time for a lovely smelling candle in a tin. That way if it melts it will be contained.
I always put the bottled water and other heavy items in the bottom of the bag for obvious reasons. We have four members of the family that would most likely be in the car, so I have eight water bottles. I also keep a couple of 2 liter soda-pop bottles full of water in the trunk too. It's not quite as fresh as these, but in an emergency situation it'll be appreciated.
The front pocket is where I slide the things I'd probably need first, such as flashlights, rain ponchos, a compass (if I really knew how to use it then it might be more of a benefit to me).
You can see how much you can fit into a ziplock bag. I love using the rice and tuna pouches in 72 hr kits because they are ready to eat, they're relatively cheap and they don't take up much space.
In one gallon sized bag I have six tuna/salmon pouches, two rice pouches and two things of jerky.
Here it is all in it's little home.
When I rotate my regular 72 hr kits, we eat most of the food and drink the water. In my car kit I throw it away because of the temperature changes it's been through. It seems like a waste to throw away so much food each year when I change it, but it goes back to the insurance thing. It's a necessary expense that you don't appreciate until you really need it.