1. 72 hours in not long enough. We have learned in every disaster since Katrina that these kits should be 120 hours, at least.
2. Your kit should be kept in a location near an exit door but away from water heaters and furnaces. Also keep a pair of comfortable walking/work shoes with your pack.
3. The best container for you pack is one that allows your hands to remain free. You are then more able to carry children, pets or additional supplies.
4. Each family member should have their own pack. This provides added safety and a sense of empowerment for children. Heavy items should be taken out of young children’s packs and carried by the older children or adults. Light weight items can be redistributed to a child’s pack from the adult packs such as extra shirts and toilet paper, leaving room for heavier items.
5.Your extra keys and a light source should be kept in an outside pocket or at the top of your pack for easy access in an emergency.
6. Use your kits before an emergency occurs. Take them “camping” in the back yard. This will help your children feel more secure when the emergency arises and you have to use your kits. It will also help you determine any other items you may wish to add to your kits.
7. Rotate the food and water in your kits. Never add food to your kit that will increase your thirst such a jerky. If you are in doubt eat the item and see if you get thirsty shortly thereafter.
8. A Grab and Go Kit should be added to your emergency supplies. These should include shelter, sanitation, and cooking supplies. These should be kept in a waterproof container such as a 5 gallons plastic bucket.
9. Check your kit yearly for expired batteries, prescriptions and other medications. Also check clothing items to make sure they still fit.
10. Never store batteries in your flashlights or radios batteries can leak and ruin your them.