Do You Have a 72-Hour Kit?

By R. Maxine Lundquist

Are you prepared for disaster?

Emergencies happen; that is a fact of life. And in this day and age our emergencies encompass things like the possibility of earthquakes, tsunamis, riots and terrorist attacks. Authorities recommend that every family be equipped with supplies enough to last everyone in the house for 72 hours, or three days after a disaster, without any other help being able to get to them. If a disaster were to strike right now, would you be prepared for that three-day wait? Some excellent 72-hour kits can be purchased, but you can also make your own. Having a kit ready for every individual family member can go a long way to relieving some of the stress of possible disaster. The following is a sample list.

Per person:

  • Backpack (for packing some of the items in)
  • Hiking tent
  • Light tarp or plastic sheet, 10′ x 6′
  • Emergency radio (doesn’t need batteries–winds up)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or a solar recharge flashlight
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • 20′ nylon cord
  • Sleeping bag
  • Space blanket
  • Water purifier tablets
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries specific to individual–toilet paper, shaving cream, razor, sanitary napkins (also good for bad cuts), diapers, extra eyeglasses, what have you, plus personal medication. Also dental floss which can double as twine or thread
  • A good Swiss Army knife or other multitool knife
  • Mess kit (plate, cup, pot, utensils)
  • Map, compass that glows in the dark, and a whistle
  • Small compact stove with fuel
  • 25 kitchen garbage bags
  • Food that keeps well–dried grains, canned food, power bars, nuts, etc.
  • A record of bank numbers and important telephone numbers
  • If possible, spare cash
  • Extra clothing: long underwear, hat, wool socks, mittens–wool, which retains heat when wet, but not cotton.
  • Entertainment for the kids (books, card games, etc.)
  • Towel
  • Moist towelettes

Remember to rotate anything in your kit that has a shelf-life on a regular basis; even uncooked rice has a limit.

Get your packs ready now. The best survival tool of all is preparedness.

5 thoughts on “Do You Have a 72-Hour Kit?”

  1. Very good information here. Everyone should look into this as it could be a matter of life & death. Always be prepared!

  2. Really enjoyed your website. I especially liked your section on cooking and kids. It would be great to see more on this topic. I LOVED camping as a child but now that I’m an adult with kids of my own it is sooooo challenging. I don’t know how my parents survived. I would love some additional tips.

  3. After seeing so many emergencies happen in the past few years and reading that list, I can see how totally unprepared I am. I think if a disaster ever strikes, the last place I would want to be is in any area populated by people. Just my opinion thought…

    1. You have a point there, Vitaliy. Certainly during a disaster we see the worst in people. And as the situation grows ever more desperate for those who have no survival skills, those that do not only become hard-pressed to help and spread their own abilities and possessions thin, but can actually be in some danger from those few who, panicking, think they have the right to take it from them. But we also see the best in people as well, and when you are with a group of like-minded people who know even a little bit about getting through a disaster, your comfort level and safety level increases. So I guess there’s pros and cons on both sides. Thank you for an insightful comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *