"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
September 23, 2015
The Ultimate 120-Hour Kits Part Two
by Carolyn Nicolaysen

As most of you may have heard, there have been horrendous fires in California the past week. Since we live in the area, the disaster has been all too real. More than one thousand homes have been lost.

We have spent the week preparing items to deliver to the families in the stricken areas. What do they need? To a large part they need what would have been in their 120-hour kits had they been available.

You may not be able to save your food storage during a natural disaster, but you can grab your 120(72)-hour kits and be so much better prepared to deal with the stresses that are to come.

These are things that should be in your 120-hour kits. Not all of them will apply to your family, but you may have needs that are not on this list. Make thoughtful adaptations as appropriate, without going overboard. Remember: You need items that will fit in your backpack. If you canít carry it, it is no good to you.

  1. Boredom busters. Boredom leads to restlessness, depression and at times, an increase in frustration and verbal or physical confrontations. Be prepared by including games, cards, puzzle books, reading books, coloring books and crayons, and other small toys in your familiesí kits. Remember the adults need a release from the tension too.

  2. Infantís Needs. Donít forget the baby. Include a few soft toys, clothing, over-the-counter medications as well as any prescription medications, formula and other age-appropriate food, bottles, small spoon, small plastic bowl, pacifier, diapers, wipes and diaper cream. I recommend you store diapers and clothing a size too large, as children grow quickly. It is easier to deal with items that are too large rather than those that are too small.

  3. Petís Needs. Many shelters do not accept pets. You should plan to have your pet stay in your car if you are lucky enough to have your car with you. Always keep pet vaccinations up to date, as shelters will definitely not accept pets whose vaccinations have expired. Remember that in close quarters, normally congenial pets may need to be separated. Have a plan for caging animals in your car. You may want to consider a separate 120-hour kit for your pets. This should include food, food and water dish, medications, leash, a small toy, and medical records.

  4. Small Note Pad and Pencil. You will want to leave a note at your home telling family and friends where you have gone. If you need to abandon your vehicle you will want to leave a note there also. As announcements are made by government and relief agencies you will want to record this information.

  5. Scriptures. At this time you will need the comfort of your faith. Be sure to include religious materials that will bring that reassurance and comfort.

  6. Safety Pins. These have at least a thousand uses including downsizing clothing in kits that are too large. Another reminder to store clothing for children, and maybe yourself that is a size or two too large.

  7. Duct Tape. More than a thousand uses!

  8. Work Gloves. You can even purchase small sizes for children. Keeping the little ones busy helping will alleviate their frustration and consequently yours.

  9. Over-the-Counter Medications. Pain relievers, anti-diarrheal, eye wash, allergy, etc.

  10. Prescription Medications. Talk to your doctor about getting an extra monthís supply.

  11. Prescription glasses or magnifiers.

  12. Contact lenses and solution.

  13. Sunglasses.

  14. Small Sewing Kit. Individual use sizes such as those available at hotels take up little room.

  15. Sun Screen. Individual packets are expensive but easy to slip into a kit.

  16. Boy Scout Field Book. No better source for useful, practical, and easy-to-understand survival information.

  17. 1-Pair of Long Pants. Long pants should always be included even in hot weather areas, as they will better protect you from injury as you clean up after a disaster. Although they may be hot to wear they will also protect you from insects, rodents, snakes and sunburn. Choose pants that are practical, loose fitting, and sturdy enough for working.

  18. 3-Pairs of Socks. Wet socks should be changed as soon as possible. Socks can also be layered for sleeping and to keep warm in cold weather. A disposable body warmer can be inserted between two pair of socks to prevent frostbite. Body warmers should never be placed directly against the skin.

  19. 2-T-Shirts. T-shirts are great because they take up little room in a pack and can be layered for additional warmth. Nothing feels better when cleaning up after a disaster than clean clothes.

  20. 1-Long Sleeve Shirt. A long sleeve shirt will protect you not only from debris during clean up but also from insects and sunburn, just as long pants will. In cold weather areas a flannel shirt is recommended as it will also provide added warmth.

  21. 5-Changes of Underwear. Going without clean underewear is the equivalent of torture. Need we say more.

  22. Hat. Hats are great in the sun, rain and snow, providing protection and warmth. A distinctive or brightly colored hat can also make it easier to spot family members in a crowd.

  23. Toothbrush and Toothpaste.

  24. Deodorant.*

  25. Shampoo.*

  26. Soap.*

  27. Comb and/or Brush.

  28. Hair Band or Clips.

  29. Feminine Hygiene Supplies. Maxi pads can also be used as compresses for injuries.

  30. Shaving Cream.*

  31. Razor.

  32. Toilet Paper.

  33. Hand Towel. These are large enough to dry off after a shower or to dry your hair but take up far less room in your kit than a full-size towel. They can also be cut into strips as bandages.

  34. Medical Gloves.

  35. Tissues.

I have a friend who wanted to know where the makeup was on the list. If makeup is what you need to feel safe and to remain sane during a disaster, then add it to your kit. This is your survival and sanity kit, so if you need a crossword puzzle, hairspray, or a copy of ďPlane and PilotĒ magazine then add it.

This week add more items to the kits we began two weeks ago. If you have not started, begin now. If you have begun, finish as quickly as possible. Today determine a finish date and work toward it.

Those 1000-plus families who lost homes this week never expected to be homeless and in need of simple things like a toothbrush when they woke up the morning the fires began. What do you think they would advise now that they are surviving in shelters? Donít be caught wanting and knowing you could have prepared but chose not to.

*Hotel or travel sizes are enough for 5 days.

Join Carolynís facebook page, Totally Ready, today and spread the word to friends and family helping them become prepared. https.//www.facebook.com/TotallyReady

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About Carolyn Nicolaysen

Carolyn Nicolaysen grew up in New Jersey and joined the Church while attending Central College in Pella, Iowa. With a degree in Home Economics, she later worked as a high school teacher, and served as an elected trustee of her local school board. Carolyn has taught personal and family preparedness to all who will listen. Having lived in areas that were threatened by winter storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, and now living in an earthquake prone area, she has developed a passion for preparedness. Carolyn started her own business, TotallyReady, when she saw the need for higher quality emergency information that could truly sustain families in a disaster.

Carolyn is FEMA trained and is an Amateur Radio first responder. She serves as Relief Society president of her California ward.

Carolyn is the author of three ebooks, Mother Hubbard, What She's Doing Now (food storage for the 21st century), Prep Not Panic (preparing for a pandemic of medical emergency) and That Won't Happen to Me (a discussion of disaster preparations). She has also authored a glove box book, Totally Ready for the Road and writes a monthly newsletter and the Totally Ready facebook page.

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