Every individual needs to be prepared to exist for the first 72 hours after a disaster. It could take up to days for relief workers and necessary supplies to reach some areas. With a well planned 72 Hour Kit, your time after a disaster can be changed from a miserable experience to one that is more pleasant. Plan your kit well, and inventory its contents every six months to change the types of clothing and items that may change with the seasons.
Remember to periodically check if items in your 72 hour kit are no longer safe to use by visiting our
recalled or expired items page.
Suggested contents for 72 hour kit:
72 Hour Supply of Water and Food
3 - 5 gallons of water per individual for sanitation and drinking.
Method of water purification
Food - easy to prepare, 3 days worth Per individual
Warmth and Shelter
Wind proof/waterproof matches
Wool-blend blanket or Sleeping bag
Emergency reflective blanket
Lightweight stove and fuel
Hand and body warm packs
Second method to start a fire
Flashlight with spare batteries
Hatchet or Axe
50-foot nylon rope
First Aid Kit and Supplies
First Aid Kit
Personal meditations and supplies
Personal Comfort Kit (include soap, toothbrush, comb, tissue, sanitary items, razor)
Full Set of Clothing
At least $20 in your kit. Include change for pay phones.
Copies of important documents
Social Security Card
Family Emergency Plan
Personal Phone and Address Book
Credit card information
paper and pen
favorite security items for children
Radio with batteries or other power source
Whistle with neck cord
Mess kits and cooking utensils
Durable water resistant duffel bag
Important Things To Consider
Your kit must be portable. Select a suitable container and keep it near an exit of your home. Do not overload the kit, as you may have to carry it for long distances to reach shelter or safety. Some items may be able to serve more than one purpose (you can get a shovel that is also a hatchet!).
- Each family member should have their own kit with food, water and clothing. Distribute heavy items between kits.
- Wrap extra clothing, matches, personal documents and other easily potential smoke or water damaged items in plastic to protect them. You can use the plastic later for many uses.
- Keep your light source on top of the kit, so you can find it easily in the dark.
- Personalize your kit. Make sure the needs of your family have been met.
- Inspect you kit at least twice a year, rotating the food and water supplies. Adjust the clothing to meet seasonal needs. Check expiration dates on batteries, light sticks, warm packs, food and water.
- Consider the needs of elderly persons and those with special needs. Make sure appropriate supplies are packed for babies (diapers, wash cloth, ointment, etc.)