Let's start at the beginning for the most essential item of all--Water. I have updated the other items on the list to your right if you want to start on some other items as well.
***Pack at least 3 - 16.9 oz bottles in your pack for each person.
*If you have a pet make sure he has some too. I have a Chihuahua so I won't have to carry much:)
*If you are feeling good about getting plenty of water for your packs, toss a bottle in your car for each person as well for a future car kit:)
Extra water info----My favorite preparedness book "It's Time to Plan Not Panic" by Barbara Salsbury(check it out at the library!) says this:
"When deciding how much water to take with you, the question may not be how much should you carry, but how much can you carry"
Water is confusing because everyone seems to say different requirements. We should all have 2 weeks of water stored for 2 weeks that is seperate than this amount. The purpose of the 72 hr kit would be to take it with you in an evacuation situation. I can not take 55 gallon drum on my back:)
You can get those little 8 oz packets of water where emergency prep stuff is sold. On the back of those it says it is recommended that you drink at least 8 oz a day to survive. But your body would need more to be in good health. If nothing else is in your kits, water is a must so carry as much as you can.
For my oldest kids I put in 2 water bottles in their pack....that is simply all they can carry without falling over. Since I want each kid to have 3 bottles at least I will carry the bulk of the water in my pack.They say that when people are in an emergency they drink more because of the stress, although I think I would freak out and ration myself.
I put water bottles in the fridge and gave each of my kids one of the 16.9 oz bottles to carry around for the day. By the end of the day, they hadn't even finished one. They were playing pretty rough all day and were in great shape at the end of the day. Of course this wasn't in the hot summer day either. But I felt comfortable knowing that my kids would be comfortable on one 16.9 oz bottle of water per day. I made sure each one of us had at least 3 bottles in our kit, and then I put in more bottles until it was pretty heavy but manageable. I know we should drink 8 glasses a day of water and eat all of our veggies, but the focus here is too stay hydrated.
Cleaning water is another thing. I don't think I have packed that much for cleaning personally. I have my 2 week water of I had access to my home. I think that I would put off washing the laundry if I knew I needed that water to drink. (That is why you have a extra pair of clothes) Don't get me wrong hygiene is very important in a situation like this to avoid sickness. Along with water I have a lot of wipes, sanitizer, bleach, disinfectant, these cool washclothes that go from the size of a quarter until dropped in a little water and they turn into a full size washcloth. We will get into all of that stuff later. Boy this was supposed to be a short, simple post "get some water" :)Yes, the national guard, Red cross and other federal help will bring water in, but not immediately. We can't go without water for more than 3 days. After Katrina hit some residents did not recieve water assistance for over a week! It is not the governments job to provide for our families!