72 Hour Emergency Essentials Kit
If your emergency plan is to evacuate your home, you'll need a survival kit with essential gear and supplies to last at least 3 days (72 hours). The only thing you absolutely need in this emergency kit is drinking water since you can go without food for 3 days. But, the idea is to remain safe, healthy, and functioning for these three days, not just alive.
Spend some time putting together a 72 hour kit that is fairly easy to move and full of essentials to help your family survive. You can purchase a pre-made, convenient kit from dozens of different companies or use the list below to make one custom-fit for your family's needs.
Store your kit in a convenient place. Train all family members that it is only for emergencies and discuss with older children what it contains.
Put all kit items in airtight plastic bags. Replace water, batteries, food, medicine every six months - medicine sooner if necessary. Christmas and 4th of July are easy to remember dates. Also update outgrown clothes and other item needs at these times.
Items with a PP mean "Per Person"!
Grab and Go Kit
- 1 large plastic tub with tight lid - store everything in it except water and blankets.
- 1 list of contents
- about 12 ZipLoc bags, 1 gallon size to hold items
- 1 blanket or sleeping bag PP - takes up a lot of space. Keep stored by emergency kit.
- Water - 2 gallons PP - 8lbs/gallon will make this the heaviest part of your kit. Consider keeping the water out of the kit and sitting right by it.
- Food - 4000 calories PP - food bars or other high-energy, ready-to-eat items. See emergency food supply for suggestions.
- First Aid Kit - have a family first aid kit sitting on your 72 hour emergency kit as well as a vehicle kit in each car and a personal kit in each family member's backpack or purse.
- 1 Plastic bowl, spoon, cup PP
- 1 LED headlamp flashlight with extra batteries
- 1 battery operated radio - receive emergency info
- 1 multi-function camping knife
- 1 small ABC fire extinguisher
- 1 dome tent - light weight backpacking tent sized for family
- 1 each crescent wrench, hatchet, hammer, phillips and flat screwdrivers, pliers
- 1 fold-up camping shovel
- 1 Compass
- 1 Local map and state map
- 2 roadside signal flares
- 1 notebook and pencil
- 1 sewing kit, needles and thread
- 1 medicine dropper
- 1 whistle
- 1 set of extra car and house keys
- $100 cash or traveler's cheques
- 1 roll duct tape
- 1 roll plastic sheeting
- 1 box Waterproof matches
- 1 roll aluminum foil
- 4 ZipLoc bags, 1 gallon size PP
- 2 large garbage bags PP
- 4 disposable hand warmers PP
- 2 candles
- 2 snap light sticks
- 1 small box of nails
- 50 feet nylon rope
- 1/2 roll toilet paper PP
- 4 alcohol towelettes PP
- 1 small bottle liquid soap
- Feminine supplies as needed
- 1 toothbrush PP
- 1 small bottle Purel hand sanitizer
- 1 small bottle unscented chlorine bleach
- 1 clothing change PP
- 1 pair sturdy shoes PP
- 1 emergency rain poncho PP
- 1 hat and gloves PP
- Specific Needs
- Infant Supplies - formula, bottles, powdered milk, baby food, diapers, ...
- Elderly - medications, denture needs, hearing aid batteries, eye glasses, ...
- Medical - insulin, prescriptions, supplies for contacts, ...
- Entertainment - as space allows
- deck of cards
- book of crossword puzzles
- harmonica or mouth harp
- Important Documents - originals or copies in waterproof container
- Wills, passports, social security cards, insurance policies, property deeds, contracts, stocks, immunization records, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, birth-marriage-death certificates, important phone numbers, inventory of household items