December 19, 2018 3 min read

Whether you Stay or Go the 72 hour kit can save your life and provide some comfort if you are displaced.

The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs. Plan to make it on your own, for at least three days. It’s possible that you will not have access to disaster assistance, a medical facility or even a drugstore. It is crucial that you and your family think about what kinds of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if those resources are limited or not available. Think first about the basics for survival - food, water, clean air and any life-sustaining items you require to maintain your health, safety and independence.

Disasters are a reality that can occur almost anywhere, leaving you without electricity, running water, and sometimes without shelter. Being prepared is the best thing you can do to maximize your chances of survival.

NOTE: Customize YOUR kit for YOUR needs. You can include any other items in your 72 Hour Kit that you feel are necessary for your individual or family's survival.


  • One gallon per person per day (drinking and sanitation)
  • Water purification tablets or system


    • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food (Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, cooking, and little or no water, and choose foods your family will eat. Example foods (e.g., ready-to-eat meals or canned meats, peanut butter, protein or fruit bars, and dry cereal or granola).
      • Bedding
      • Ground cloth such as tarp or poncho or plastic sheet
      • Blankets
      • Cloth sheet
      • Duck Tape
      • Emergency heat blanks (that keep in warmth)
        Clothing: (Layers provide better warmth and ventilation)
        • First layer on skin - moister wicking (polyester)
        • Second layer - fleece or wool
        • Third layer - water and wind proof
        • Short and long sleeved shirts - polyester breaths better
        • Pants - quick dry material is best
        • Undergarments - polyester
        • Jacket (breathable)
        • Rain coat or poncho
        • Socks - wool keeps feet warm even when wet
          • Whistle to signal for help
          • Fuel or fire starting material
          • Flashlight
          • Extra batteries
          • Candles
          • Lighter and/or waterproof matches (if butane have extra butane on hand)
          • Dishes or mess kit
          • Utensils
          • Pen and Paper
          • Moist towelettes
          • Garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
          • Towel (microfiber preferred)
          • Pocket knife
          • Multi-tool
          • Rope (100 feet of military 550 cord is preferred)
          • Duct Tape (whole roll not needed, remove 10 feet and roll over pen or pencil)
          • First Aid Kit
          • Personal medications
          • Other medications (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children's etc.)
          • Toiletries (roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag
          • Feminine hygiene
          • Small brush or comb
          • Important phone numbers printed including country and area codes (water-proof)
          • Mini hand sanitizer
          • Extra ziplock bags
          • Soap and shampoo (WARNING scented soap might "flavor" food items)
          • Dish soap
          • Small mirror for use and signaling 
          • Local maps
          • Immunizations records
          • Personal documents (water-proof)
          • Reading Material
          • Legal Documents i.e. passport and identification (water-proof))
          • Insurance Policies
          • Cash
          • Credit Card
          • Pre-Paid Phone Cards
          • Cell phones
          • Kit storage bag or backpack - make sure you can carry it!
          • Infant Needs (if applicable)
          • Small shovel
          • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
          • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both. 
          • Small axe
          • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
          • Field knife - non folding
          • Full roll of duct tape
          • Solar charger and adapters
          • Two-way radios for communicating (extra batteries)
          Notes: Update your 72 Hour Kit every six months (put a note in your calendar/planner) to make sure that: all food, water, and medication is fresh and has not expired; clothing fits; personal documents and credit cards are up to date; and batteries are charged.

          Small toys/games are important too as they will provide some comfort and entertainment during a stressful time.

          Older children can be responsible for their own pack of items/clothes too.

          Some items and/or flavors might leak, melt, "flavor" other items, or break open. Dividing groups of items into individual Ziploc bags might help prevent this.All this should fit into a space about the size of your average garbage can and can be stored just about anywhere.