Emergency Preparedness: 72-Hour Kit Contents

Alright! It’s time to fill up those 72-Hour Kits! More or less, each family’s kit will be personalized to their own needs and wants. However, there are some items that should be in every family’s kit. I will give you a fairly exhaustive (as in ‘complete’… not tiring :)) list of all the recommended items to put in your kit, and I’ll put an asterisk (*) next to the items you really should have. So here we go.

*Food & *Water
You need a 3-day supply of food and water per person. Use items that require no refrigeration and no/minimal amounts of cooking. Keep ‘energy’ and ‘nutrition’ in mind since you’re going to need BOTH. Try to use foods that will give you the most benefit for the smallest amount of food (i.e. the most bang for your buck).
Here are some ideas of foods to include:

  • Protein/Granola Bars
  • Dried Fruit/Trail Mix
  • Crackers/Dry Cereal
  • Beef Jerky
  • Ready-To-Eat Canned Foods: ready soups; chili; beans; meats (tuna, vienna sausage, chicken, etc.); spaghetti-o’s (or the like); etc.
  • Freeze-Dried Meals (i.e. the kind backpacker’s use to go camping… you just add hot water and can make them right in the pouch they’re stored in)
  • Canned Juice
  • Candy/Gum (steer clear of candy that can melt easily or mint flavored items that will ‘flavor’ other foods)
  • Baby Foods (formula, jarred baby food, snacks, extra water, etc), if applicable
  • Water (1 gallon per person)
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Note: When you’re done packing your kit, fill any extra space you have with extra food. You can never have too much food in your kit!!

Bedding & Clothing

  • *At least one change of clothing (preferably pack something to keep you cool and something to keep you warm)
  • *Undergarments
  • Hat/Visor (one with a wide brim works well, or a baseball cap would also do)
  • *Sturdy Walking Shoes (do NOT put brand new shoes in your kit! Your feet will end up in painful blisters if you have to walk a long distance in new shoes.)
  • *Several Pairs of Socks
  • Flip-Flops (for when you don’t want your other shoes to get wet)
  • Rain Coat/Poncho
  • *Blankets and/or Emergency Heat Blankets
  • Cloth Sheet
  • *Plastic Sheet (can make a makeshift tent to stay dry in addition to other useful purposes)
  • Consider items for babies or other special needs (i.e. diapers, wipes, baby hat, bibs, etc.)

Fuel & Light

  • *Flashlight
  • *Extra Batteries
  • *Water-Proof Matches (might as well pack a bunch since they’re tiny and you can never have too many!)
  • *Candles (they’re good for a constant light so you don’t have to waste your batteries by keeping your flashlight on all the time)
  • Lighter
  • Flint & Steel
  • Flares
  • Light Sticks (the kind you ‘crack’ and then they glow)
  • Propane Fuel Can (if you have equipment that uses Propane gas)
  • Butane Fuel Can (if you have equipment that uses Butane gas)
  • Starter Log (you can get the mini ones that will fit well into your kit and be a great help in getting a fire started)


  • *Can Opener
  • *Dishes and Utensils (keep the babies in mind… bottles, sippy cups, etc.)
  • *Utility Knife (i.e. Leatherman)
  • *Rope
  • *Duct Tape
  • *Radio (with extra batteries)
  • Small Shovel (like a camping shovel)
  • Axe
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Small Stove (a camping stove is nice if you don’t mind hauling it around or can pack it in a car, but there are also single type stoves that attach right to propane or butane tanks and take very little room in a pack)
  • Solar Shower
  • Compass
  • *Whistle (use a whistle when you are in danger, lost, etc instead of yelling. It preserves your voice, energy, and can be heard further away. Three whistle blows in rapid succession (at approximately one minute intervals) signals that you are in distress.)
  • *Trash Bags (can serve many purposes in addition to holding trash… like keeping things dry in the rain)
  • Sewing Kit
  • Heavy Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • *Waste Disposal Equipment (not pleasant to really think about, but essential for sanitation and hygiene; look for things like enzymes that can break down the waste, or bags designed to contain the waste and help break it down)

Personal Supplies & Medication

  • *First Aid Supplies/Kit
  • *Toilet Paper (remove the cardboard tube so it will easily lay flat and store in a plastic zippy bag)
  • *Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush, deodorant, etc.) (Tip: Check the travel section of your local store for convenient sized items)
  • *Cleanliness Supplies (soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, dish soap, laundry soap, etc. (Tip: Check the travel section of your local store for convenient sized items)
  • *Feminine Hygiene (if applicable)
  • *Medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, children’s/infant’s medicines, antacids, diarrhea medication, anti-itch cream, etc.)
  • *Prescription Medications (enough for 3 days) (if applicable)
  • An extra set of prescription glasses, hearing aid, or other vital items (if applicable)
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Chapstick
  • Latex Gloves
  • Instant Ice Packs (great idea for when it’s HOT outside)
  • Baby Items (diaper rash cream, teething gel, baby powder, etc.), if applicable

Personal Documents & Money
Keep these items in a waterproof baggie or container!

  • *Cash (I recommend having at least $100, if possible. Use small denominations… nothing bigger than a $20)
  • An emergency credit card (if possible), or a photocopy of your current credit cards (so you at least have your card numbers)
  • *Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates; Wills; Passports, etc.)
  • *A copy of your identification and proof of residency (you may have to show this in order to re-enter an evacuated area to return to your home)
  • *A list of important phone numbers
  • *A copy of your evacuation plan
  • A local map
  • *A copy of important accounts, account numbers, etc.
  • *Insurance Policies
  • *Scriptures
  • Patriarchal Blessing
  • Genealogy Records
  • Vaccination Records


  • A Boy Scout Manual (good for first aid information, survival skill information, etc.)
  • Disposable Camera (for documenting damage for insurance purposes, etc.)
  • Games/Activities to entertain yourself and/or your children
  • Books to read
  • Extra keys to your house and car
  • *Paper and Pen
  • Scissors and Tape
  • Additional baby items (i.e. pacifiers, toys, etc.), if applicable

Tips to Remember:
-When you start assembling your kits, before you head off to the store to purchase a bunch of items, look around your house. You likely have most of these items already available to you.
-Keep rotating any items that can expire or deteriorate in quality every 6 months.
-Do this for a family night activity with all the family together and discuss emergency preparedness and/or review your evacuation plan while you’re at it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Alright! Exhausted yet?! ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, that should do it. Again, all of these items are recommended, but depending on the size of your kits and/or the number of people in your family (so you can distribute the contents between several kits to be carried), these may not all be practical. So don’t feel like you have to have everything on the list. Some of the items would just make surviving a disaster a little more manageable, or even ‘pleasant’ or ‘comfortable’ (if there is such a thing in an emergency/disaster situation). So pick what fits your needs. Good luck and let’s get to it!

Source: http://lds.about.com/od/preparednessfoodstorage/a/72hour_kit.htm


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