Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Prepare: Costco 72 Hour Family Emergency Kit

Anytime I hear that preparedness has gone mainstream I have to admit I am a bit happier. This means that more and more people are getting it. I wrote a bit about Costco, (the nirvana of preparedness shopping) and a new product they are featuring, the Emergency Food Kit.

Today, I take a look at a product which is not so good, the 72 Hour Family Emergency Kit. This is a one bag solution to most emergency problems, such as hurricane, earthquake, etc. Let's take a look at the product first before criticizing.

The 72 Hour Kit claims to be "First Aid & Essential Supplies For 4 People". There is a graph for the product online which shows that the supplies contained within are enough for 4 people for 3 days, for 2 for 6 and 1 for 12 days.

A list of the contents of the Kit:

# 1 High Visibility Red Heavy Duty Backpack
# 1 Deluxe 42-pc First Aid Kit
# 1 Dynamo Crank Flashlight/Radio/Cell Phone Charger/Locator Beacon (no batteries needed)
# 36 Water Pouches (4.227 oz. each)
# 4 Mainstay Food Bars (2400 calories each)
# 5-pk Emergency Candles
# 4 Emergency Mylar Blankets
# 1 Utility Knife

A high visibility red backpack is useful if one is lost in the woods, but out if one is attempting to evade others in a post-SHTF world. Just an observation..

The 42 pc First Aid Kit includes each item, such as a band aid, as a "pc." There is a selection of bandages, alcohol wipes, and a compress of some sort, but nothing for serious injuries. Also, I am not sure of the medicine selections.

There are some Mylar Blankets and a strange looking utility knife (plastic).

There are some high energy/calorie food bars and a bunch of 4 oz pouches of water.

Here is my beef with the 72 Hour Kit - Most of this can be assembled from individual pieces of higher quality. For instance, the multi tool could be a Gerber or a Leatherman. A better equipped first aid kit could come from the drug store or grocers. The Mylar blankets are available from the sporting goods store for a dollar or less in some cases.

The water containers, while "neat" because of the official lettering and containers, only contain 4 oz of water. I would rather have a number of reusable liter bottles and a good water filtration system.

While Mainstay bars are good, high calorie protein bars, dried fruits, nuts, vitamins, candy and jerky cost less and have more variety.

Is this 72 Hour Family Emergency Kit worth the $69.99 price? If you don't have anything and want something so you feel more secure, it is better than nothing. However, with a little thought, you can put together a better kit yourself with some careful shopping at most retailers.

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