News Release

Emergency Preparedness: What is a 72-Hour kit and Why Is It Essential?

For years, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have counseled members to be prepared to face adversities. The sacred scriptures have taught them that being prepared both spiritually, eliminates fear.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught this same principle during the 1995 October General Conference. He said, “The need for preparation is abundantly clear. The great blessing of being prepared gives us freedom from fear.”

Emergency Preparedness: A Self-Reliance Principle

             

Self-reliance is a principle that is also at the core of Latter-day Saint teaching. Members learn that being self-reliant means accepting the individual responsibility to provide for themselves and their families both in good and bad times. One way of fulfilling that obligation is to prepare for rainy days ahead.

Essence of a 72-Hour Kit

The Philippines is no stranger to natural disasters. Typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flashfloods – these are calamities that strike the country on a yearly basis. This explains why local Church leaders place great emphasis on preparing for emergencies by having a 72-hour kit or a go bag.

When a disaster strikes, it may take some time for emergency rescuers to locate or reach survivors. In extreme cases, it make take days. In such cases, survivors may take go for days without food, water and medical assistance. In such instances, those affected may need to rely on themselves and the limited resources they have until help reaches them. Hence, having a go-bag that can last a person for at least 72 hours or three days can be the only solution to surviving the ordeal.

Contents of a 72-Hour Kit

               

In essence, a 72-hour kit is what an individual or family grabs when a disaster, be it man-made or natural, strikes and require them to remain inside their homes until the danger is over or to evacuate.

In determining what items should go inside a go bag, it is important to focus items that should meet the basic needs to survive for at least 72 hours. Regardless, it is vital that each family member, even babies, should have their own go bag so that they can meet their own needs, especially in cases wherein the family gets separated while in the middle of the evacuation.

Families are encouraged to counsel together to plan the contents of their 72-hour kits. A go bag should contain the basics such as ready-to-eat food, water, first-aid kit, medicines, radio, extra batteries, whistle, thermal blanket, flashlight, raincoat, personal hygiene products, sanitizers, and certified true copies of pertinent documents like passports.

Go bags or 72-hour kits can be tailored fit for each individual and be expanded to more than three days, especially for those living in high-risk, disaster prone areas.

Early Preparation is Key

To assist members in becoming prepared for times of emergencies, the Church provided resources that are found on the ChurchOfJesusChrist.org. In the Emergency Preparedness guide, individuals and families can learn tips on how to be fully prepared, such as building a reserve of food, avoiding depts and obtaining first aid training.

Additionally, the Church website contains a downloadable worksheet and other vital information on how to make a go-bag.

Readiness Dispels Fears

It is never too late to make a go bag. Such was the case with the Sarol Family of Matina 1st Ward (congregation) in Davao City. It did not take long for them to make go bags for each family member soon after they lost all their belongings due to flood.

They shared that after losing everything, they allotted budget for their go bag. They counseled together as a family on what to put in their 72-hour kit, and they were grateful that they did not wait long enough to prepared.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, there was a shortage of N95 masks. Because they had enough supplies in their go bag, they were able to use them.

They shared that individuals and families should not wait for an emergency or disaster to happen to start. It is better to prepare now than be compelled to later. After having their own go bags at that ready, they feel more prepared now.

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