Emergency Preparedness: 72-hour Kit for College Student

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Nothing strikes fear in a parents heart, more than when your child chooses to attend college away from home and you realize that during an emergency of some sort, you can't immediately help or assist your child. Most of us don't simply want to assume or rely on the possibility that the college will take care of them, and your child isn't in the frame of mind to worry about it. So, that leaves you to put together a simple 72 hour emergency kit for your college student to store in their dorm room or apartment.

It doesn't need to be a large one, they won't have much storage room. Grab an extra backpack while they are on sale and put the stuff in there. It can be tucked under a bed, in the corner of a closet out of the way. I like a bright red one or neon bright one so it's easy to see in the dark if necessary.

If you do an internet search of supplies for a 72 hour kit, you will get inundated with huge lists that may overwhelm you at first. Don't let it!  Here's a simple idea from emergencypreparednessandresponse  that'll feel alot less overwhelming and easier to put together during the busy weeks ahead:

List One is the simple essentials. Get them for sure, and then add items from List Two if you desire to add extra.


Essential Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust Mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional Items To Consider Adding To An Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Jan's Tips:  

1) Buy if time is an issue: Don't have time to make one and throw it together? Go ahead and buy one! Do a google search for 72 hour kits and thousands of options will come up for you. The peace of mind for you as a parent is priceless!

2) Water Storage: One gallon per person per day means you need to store 3 gallons of water somewhere in his/her dorm room. Propping her bed up with simple wooden blocks and  storing them under her bed on their sides is one option. Another one is to buy 4 gallons, place them in each corner of her closet floor and then lay a 1 x 8 inch board (or whatever size you want/will fit) across the tops of them for an extra shelf space!(Bam! Shoe organizer right there!) A local big box hard ware store can make the cut for you to the needed length of the board (usually a free service) and you have a discreet way of storing the water.

3) Food Choices: Let's make this easy. They may be asked to stay put in their dorms/apartments for awhile on lock down or whatever. It could be with no power, so make it easy on the food choices. Items like pouches of tuna or chicken, can's of ravioli, etc. can be eaten without heating if necessary.  Protein bars (rather than regular granola bars) will give them some added nutrition they will need during this stressful time. And throw in some treats like cookies, hard candies etc. (throw a can opener in to the pack or make sure to buy all pop tops/tear open pouches!)

4) Evacuation in flip flops?: Ok so I'm a mom and realize that most kids in the middle of the night or anytime really if they need to evacuate quickly are gonna grap their flip flops and go. Not a great idea for having to manage who knows how much walking, climbing, or whatever. SO, even though your child will think you are completely ridiculous (hey that really isn't a new thing, though right?) do the following (courtesy of emergency preparedness and response): Take an old pair of their  tennis shoes. Tuck a pair of socks into the toe of one shoe. Also, place a flashlight into one shoe and a whistle into the other. The flashlight, well that's for obvious reasons, the whistle is so they can be heard if they are trapped. Now, take some duct tape and tape them somewhere to the underside of their bed frame. This way they won't get lost in a slightly messy room and are easy to grab and go. NO EVACUATIONS IN FLIPPY FLOPS!
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