72 hour Emergency Kit

When a disaster strikes your survival skills are “what you know,” what you have on you, or what you can get to. You never know when it will happen, but you can be prepared by increasing your education and by assembling a collection of supplies which can temporarily provide protection and comfort. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help within hours or it might take days or longer. Depending on the degree of destruction, basic services such as water, gas, sewage treatment, telephones, and electric could be interrupted for days, weeks or even longer. Your supplies will help you during these outages. Not being prepared could mean the difference between life and death.

Your disaster kit should contain essential food, water and other supplies for at least 3 days. Once it is packed, keep it in a designated place where you can get to it in a moment’s notice. Keep it in a cool, dry place. Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect it from pests and extend shelf life. Be aware that items made with oil or nuts have a shorter shelf life than other things. Rotate foods before they go bad. Change food and water supplies every six months. Write the date of acquisition on all containers. Review your needs every year and update your supplies as the needs of your family change.

72 hour kit

Washington, DC, July 22, 2008 — A Red Cross “ready to go” preparedness kit showing the bag and it’s contents. These kits are available from the Red Cross and the contents can be customized. Red Cross photograph

Basic Emergency Supply List

– Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. Pack a portable water straw
– Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
– Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. Store primary and extra batteries seperately
– Flashlight and extra batteries (batteries stored seperately)
– First Aid kit, extra medications and a reference book
– Whistle and mirror to signal for help – Compass
– Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
– Moist towelettes (these go dry fast), garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
– Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
– Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
– Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Current family photo with names, ages on back


Personalize Your 72 Hour Kit

Clothing and Bedding: Rotate clothing seasonally. If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
– A jacket or coat
– Long pants
– A long sleeve shirt
– Sturdy shoes
– A hat and gloves
– A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Consider Adding These Items

– Rain gear
– Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
– Cash or traveler’s checks, coins including silver content
– Paper towels / toilet paper / wet wipes
– Fire Extinguisher
– Tent
– Compass / walkie Talkies / mirror for signaling
– Matches in a waterproof contain/ fire starter
– Signal flare / glow sticks/ battery operated head lamp
– Paper, pencil
– Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
– Tooth brushes & toothpaste; comb/brush/razor/deodorant
– Diapers
– Cell phones with small solar charger
– Camp tools – axe, shovel, knife
– Household chlorine bleach – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
– Medicine dropper
– Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
– Prescriptions, syringes for self injections
– Glasses
– Entertainment like card games or small books
– Ear plugs
– Universal solar device charger

When selecting a container for all these items, it must be rugged and be portable. Backpacks are recommended, but dividing contents into several types may be more convenient.

Billie Nicholson, editor
July 2016

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