We’ve talked about 72 hour kits in the past and if you missed those you can still check them out over here. But what if you need to leave your home? What if you’re asked to evacuate and given a time limit to get out? What are you going to grab? Have you thought about what’s most important? How can the kids help? Will you ever return? Are you READY?
For years I’ve been working on our boxes. What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve put together lists of boxes that are numbered. Each box has a name and is ranked most important on down. So in an emergency I’ll start with box number 1 and make my way down the list until I’ve either grabbed everything we need or ran out of time. It really is that simple and although it seems overwhelming to think about, it will give you peace of mind with it comes it an emergency.
So what are these boxes you’re asking? Don’t worry I’ll get to the break down but first I want to you realize and think about each box. Use what you have right now and don’t worry to much about each box. BUT, everything needs to fit in your car or whatever vehicle you’ll be leaving with. If you only have a smaller car, make sure you pack tight, with smaller boxes or even combine boxes. Gather your boxes first, then while they’re still empty, make sure you can fit them all in the back. Over time you can purchase better quality boxes like those that are waterproof and have lockable lids because cardboard will break down. We also use boxes that are different in color than anything else we have. That way it’s quick to spot. So with all that said, here are my first 5 boxes!
Box 1: 72 Hour Kits
Hopefully you’ve been gathering your 72 hour kit items already and close to having this box done. While they might not be in boxes that’s OK! This should have all your essentials items and when you don’t have much time to grab stuff, these are the first things you should go for. For a great list of everything you should have in your 72 hour kits head here.
Box 2: The Office Binder
This is one of the most important to have with you and we keep ours close to our 72 hour kits but safe enough someone can’t break in and find it very easily because it has our whole life in there. I’ll link you to the binder we have, it’s perfect for organizing all our documents as well as has room for a few extra office items. Here’s what we have inside:
CASH – in small bills
Copy of will, living trust, power of attorney etc
Medical Information (including prescriptions)
military & church papers
diplomas and transcripts
proof of citizenship
current family photo
homeowners insurance policy
auto insurance policy
life insurance policy
medical insurance policy
pictures and lists of all your personal belongings for insurance (we also have a flash drive with a video of it all)
copies of your credit cards front and back
retirement/social security statements
internet passwords (banking, personal work etc)
work/tax documents that would be difficult to replace
deeds to properties
titles to cars, boats, etc
There might be a lot to this “box” but it’s all important information you’ll want on hand and easy to find. Plus it shouldn’t cost you much to put this together. Just make your copies, print your documents and gather all your important information.
Box 3: The Car
This one is easy because really you should have a car kit in your car at all times. It’s everything you’d need to maintain your vehicle while on a long car ride. A lot of those car kits you see in-store carry your essentials but here’s a good list of things you should try to have in this box.
- Jumper cables
- Work Gloves
- Carpet Square (or foam pad)
- Tire Guage
- Tire Inflator (make sure it’s good quality, ours broke once right out of the box)
- Breaker Bar
- Tow Rope or chain
- Rags or paper towels
- 2 Quarts Oil
- Ice Scraper
- Cell Phone Charger
- Small Bills (hidden)
This is a simple list. You can get more advanced and have even more tools to fix problems that arise like pliers, impact driver, sockets and more. Start with your basics and grow from there. Also note, the change in weather may require additional equipment. If you have the room and can keep them in your car, I recommend have tire chains as well as something to help if you get stuck.
Box 4: Nuclear Box
This isn’t one I enjoy talking about and gives me the most anxiety but the more I study and read the more I feel prepared, just in case. There’s very little in this box but it’s close to the top for good reason. If you remember way back when the tsunami and nuclear power plants issues that happened in Japan you’ll remember the shortage and how difficult it was to find Potassium lodate (sort of like how it is to find toilet paper right now) So right now is a good time to stock up on this for your family. Other essentials in this box:
- Nuclear War Survival Skills this book is a good resource
- Potassium Lodate (make sure you have enough for your whole family)
- A battery-powered radio (I like the hand crank radios that don’t require batteries. You could look at getting a solar one as well)
- Radiation Meter
Box 5: Water Box
I hope you have some form of water in your 72 hour kits (we have those water bottles that purify water as we drink it) but if you have extra time to grab essentials, grab extra water. They recommend 5-10 gallons of water per person. This can get heavy so keep that in mind. I found I can life a 5 gallon jug by myself so that’s how we store ours. You can also get water bottle packs if that’s easier to store and move for you. Do what you can to get that water into your car.
Ok that’s all I’m going to leave you with right now. It will give you a good start and you’ll have plenty to do for this week! I promise I won’t leave you hanging though for to long. Next week I’ll post the rest of our boxes and let you know what the kids are responsible for.
**A big thanks to I Get Ready for a lot of the tips and ideas in this article.