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What should be in a 72 hour kit?

Are you prepared for a potential emergency or disaster? An unexpected situation can occur at any moment. We are advised to prepare a 72 hour emergency kit for ourself and each person in our family, before disaster strikes.

Learn how to be safe and prepared for urgent situations and disasters. A 72 hour kit should be part of your emergency preparation plan. In light of recent events, you may already know what essentials are required when services are lacking. FEMA suggests that you have a portable 72 hour kit in case of these types of disasters:

  1. Natural - severe weather or geological

  2. Human-made - either by accident or on purpose

  3. Technological - a breakdown of modern systems

What should be in a 72 hour kit?

Collect items that will help you and your family be more comfortable during a disaster. You can find many of these items around your home.

According to, a basic 72 hour kit should include:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)

  • Non-perishable ready-to-eat food items like protein bars, jerky, and dry cereal.

  • Canned food (Don’t forget a can opener)

  • Hand or battery-powered radio with extra batteries to keep up with the news/weather

  • High-powered flashlight/glow sticks

  • Solar cell phone charger

  • First aid kit

  • Sanitation supplies (soap, toilet paper, toothbrush, paste, etc.)

  • Wrench or pliers and other small tools

  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting or emergency tent for shelter

  • Local maps

  • Whistle (to signal for help)

Other 72 hour kit items that would be very useful in a crisis include:

  • Important documents/laminated copies of ID cards kept in ziplock bags

  • List of important phone numbers in case you do not have access to your cell phone

  • Compass

  • Emergency money

  • Water filters/Life Straw

  • Sharp knife for survival and self-defense

  • Emergency blanket

  • Cordage (rope and wire)

  • PPE - gloves, masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer

  • Poncho/jacket

  • Garbage or trash bags

  • Fire kit - lighters, matches, etc. in waterproof containers

  • Clothing including sturdy shoes and socks

  • Bandana to use to cover your face (wind, dust, smoke)

  • Heavy gloves

  • Trauma kit

  • Bug spray

  • Razors

  • Two-way radios

  • Vitamins

  • Books and games for children

  • Diapers and formula for babies

You may or may not have access to shelter, so it is best to prepare for the worse scenario. You don’t want to make your 72 hour kit too heavy, especially for children and the elderly. Go with the basics and then add other items if you still have room for them.

It is important to keep everything together. When panic sets in during a disaster, your chances of survival decrease, and you may not make rational decisions, especially when looking for supplies. Do not pull things out of your 72 hour kit to use without replacing them immediately.

Include reference material for using the first aid kit, water filtration equipment, etc. Having all the gear is great, but knowing how to utilize it is critical.

Where should I put my 72 hour kit?

Places you could store 72 hour kits include:

  • Front closet

  • Garage

  • Near the door you usually use to exit the home

  • Pantry

  • Under your bed

  • Your vehicle

IMPORTANT: Place 72 hour kits where it will be safe from intruders or thieves.

Suggested containers to store your 72 hour kit in:

  1. A survival vest can easily be purchased. There are MOLLE vests to which you can attach all the essentials for your emergency or disaster.

  2. Backpacks are relatively inexpensive and affordable, and each person in the family can have their own 72 hour kit. There is a tendency to overpack a backpack, so do not fill it up with nonessentials.

  3. A rolling plastic tub could contain more than one 72 hour kit and is suitable for big families. The drawbacks are that it is harder to organize and may not fit in a small area.

  4. A small rolling suitcase is easy to organize and simple to move. Usually, these suitcases are more expensive. Also, it would be difficult to use a rolling suitcase in the wilderness.

  5. An unused garbage can can store several 72 hour kits that could be kept in your garage. Be sure to designate the can with a bright label so it is easily recognizable.

What’s the best earthquake emergency kit?

Earthquakes are unpredictable, and you will be glad you have your 72 hour kit packed and ready to go when one happens. Don’t wait to be jolted by an earthquake without a plan. You will be less stressed if you have a 72 hour kit ready when an earthquake hits.

Purchase your R72 Grab&Go Vest + Modular Bags + a Tube Tent, the ideal 72 hour kit system.

Preparing a 72 hour kit ready for each member of your family will give you peace of mind should you ever encounter a disaster. Customize the emergency kit to the individual needs of each person in your family. You will rest more easily, knowing you are prepared. Make an emergency plan and share it with your family.

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