The first 72 hours after an emergency are the most critical. When disaster strikes, whether it be a major earthquake, hurricane, flood, wildfire, tornado or even terror attack ... communication lines are often overloaded or down, electricity is typically out, food in the fridge/freezer goes bad, water may be unavailable or undrinkable and emergency responders often need days to locate people in distress. If you have 3 days worth of survival supplies, you increase your chances of staying alive not to mention, you have peace of mind because you are prepared.
You can buy premade 72 hour kits, or you can make your own.
Here is a checklist of things you may want include in your 72 hour kit. Don't forget to rotate food and medications at least every 6 months, if not more often. A good time to check your 72 hour kit is when you change your clocks.
Food and Water
(A three day supply of food and water, per person, when no refrigeration or cooking is available)
- Protein/Granola Bars
- Trail Mix/Dried Fruit
- Crackers/Cereals (for munching)
- Canned Tuna, Beans, Turkey, Beef, Vienna Sausages, etc
- Canned Juice
- Water (1 Gallon/4 Liters Per Person per day - a case of bottled water for each person is great to have)
- Change of Clothing (short and long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, socks, etc.)
- Rain Coat/Poncho
- Blankets and Emergency Heat Blanks (that keep in warmth)
- Cloth Sheet
- Plastic Sheet
- Extra Batteries
- Water-Proof Matches
- Can Opener
- Radio (wind-able, solar, or battery operated)
- Pen and Paper
- Pocket Knife
- Duct Tape
- First Aid Kit and Supplies
- Roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten
- Feminine hygiene
- Folding brush
- Shampoo Sample
- Mini Hand Sanitizer
- Immunizations Up-to Date
- Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Children's medication etc.)
- Prescription Medication (for 3 days)
(Make a binder for all your important paperwork)
- Genealogy Records
- Legal Documents
- Insurance Policies
- Credit Card
- Pre-Paid Phone Cards
- Bags to keep supplies in. I read once about getting a trash can on wheels to keep everything in and that it would be easy to store and easy to move in an emergency.
- Infant Needs (if applicable)
- Update your 72 Hour Kit every six months (Daylight Savings Time) to make sure that all food, water, and medication is fresh and has not expired
- Every 6 months check clothing sizes and types.
- Small toys/games are important too as they will provide some comfort and entertainment during a stressful time. Coloring books and crayons are good in children's kits.
- Older children can be responsible for their own pack of items/clothes too.
- You can include any other items in your 72 Hour Kit that you feel are necessary for your family's survival.
- Some items and/or flavors might leak, melt, "flavor" other items, or break open. Mint gum flavors everything, Jolly Ranchers and chocolate melt, pop top lids occasionally burst.
- Put everything in plastic Ziploc bags to protect against leaky items and also to protect everything if there is a flood.