The Book of Proverbs says:
Common sense will refresh your soul...
You can go to bed without fear...
You need not be afraid of sudden disaster. [Proverbs 3 (NLT)]
A Mormon scripture states even more clearly:
If ye are prepared ye shall not fear. [D&C 38:30]
Maybe because the Mormon scripture is so overt about being prepared, I used to think that "72-hour kits" were just a Mormon thing. Turns out US citizens abroad, at least those associated with government agencies, have long made a practice of having a 72 hour or three day kit. They knew that if anything bad happened, they were expected to make it for at least three days before help could arrive.
If you google "disaster preparedness 72 hour kit" you'll find all kinds of stuff. I've seen lists that fill an entire sheet of paper in itty, tiny type--lists that make my eyes glaze over. These discourage me more than help me.
Turns out several of my boxes were full of supplies for the day we I thought I might get around to assembling the "kit." I had all kinds of stuff, but not necessarily a complete set of preparedness items, and they absolutely were not easy to find or packaged to grab and go.
This past year we finally took the plunge and actually put together disaster kits. Anymore, publications from the US government make being prepared for disaster seem as easy as possible:
After consideration, we decided to make up two kits: one for each of the cars we have. Living in a townhome, our car trunks are probably the closest "storage area" to the front door (where you're supposed to store an emergency kit).
We never realized how much we'd use the kits day to day:
Kid need a bandaid? In the 72-hour kit.
Forgot lunch? Grab something from the kit.
Hair a mess? Brush/comb and mirror are in the kit.
Tired or cold? Grab the sleeping bag from the back of the car.
The only downside about having the kits in the car is they're so convenient that we need to make sure we add a checklist, so weekly shopping can replenish the kits in addition to the larder. But now that we've gotten used to having our kits in the cars, I can't imagine not having them there.