Search Disaster Preparedness Blog

« Fiber Optic Cable Sabotage Leads To Loss of 911 Service and More | Main | Obama Wants To Kill Missile Defense, This Is Why You Should Not Let That Happen »

Disaster Tip of The Week: Is 72 Hours Enough To Prepare For A Disaster?

I constantly hear from other sources, both private, and from the government, that you should prepare to be on your own for 72 hours following a disaster.

However.... What you do not hear too often, is that 72 hours is often the MINIMUM length of time that you should be prepared to go before help arrives.

There are those that feel that you should prepare to the extent that no help ever arrives, though I am not going to go to such an extreme, at least not at this time.

So what is a good length of time to prepare for a disaster? Well, that depends on many factors really, such as are you alone? Will you have other family members with you? What are the needs of the other people in your group? Do some require extra attention? Special diet needs, etc.?

What many people are unaware of is that during a major disaster, infrastructure that we take for granted everyday will be destroyed or rendered useless. Some of these infrastructures rely on one another to keep working. 

For instance, without electricity, or power backups water pumping stations are not going to be working. This will lead to sewage treatment and water treatment problems.

In some cases it can be as long as 4-5 months before some of these services become available again. I have heard of reports as long as 6 months before some utilities become fully restored.

While the utilities have plans in place for such operations, you may have to travel to a water station which may also be inaccessible by vehicles and may require you to walk several miles to an aid station to get food, water and other needed supplies.

I would recommend that you have enough supplies for a month at a minimum, but some may need more. Keep in mind that this will be a high-stress situation, you may be sleep deprived which also increases caloric needs.

My main point in all of this is that we are very under prepared, 72 hours is just 6 3 full days. The average preparedness kit contains only enough items for 3 full days.

Most people do not even have a three day emergency supply kit, which in most cases are designed to take with you and provide enough supplies until you reach a point of relative safety.

If you have not yet taken action to prepare, please take the time to do so now.

How about you, do you think 72 hours is enough?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (4)

"72 hours is just 6 full days." But thats 2 full weeks!

May 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIgno Rant

"My main point in all of this is that we are very under prepared, 72 hours is just 6 full days."

Check your math on that or be clear on how you've decided to define a full day.

May 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergeek

Sorry about the confusion. The 6 full days was a typo that I never caught. But it is nice to see people keeping me on my toes.

The main point is that Three days (72 hours) is just not enough. Neither is six days, but it is better than three.

May 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterKeith Erwood
72 hours, 96 hours, 6 months or a year - if the disaster is big enough at some point your going to run out of gear. I like to concentrate on skills rather than stuff. BUT, having that 72 hour kit makes life a lot easier and its a great starting point. You have to survive today to get to tomorrow.
June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Nash

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.