72 Hour Kits

Being Prepared for an Emergency: 72-Hour Kits Prepare a “ready to grab” container with all essential items you and your family may most likely need to sustain yourself for this first 72 hours after an emergency—the critical time before help may be able to arrive to provide additional aid.

Pack all items in plastic Ziploc type bags to keep them dry and air tight.  This will prevent any liquid items from spilling and ruining out over other items in your kit, and will help keep rain and other forms of moisture away from stored items.  Some items must be periodically refreshed. Your container must be waterproof, have a handle, and be easily carried.  Most common items used for such containers are backpacks, suitcases, plastic buckets, duffel bags, and plastic garbage cans.  Suggested contents for a basic 72-hour kit are as follows: Water 2-liter bottle per person should be adequate.  A good water filter is optional. Food MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) work great.  Also consider the following items:

  • snack crackers
  • hard tack candy
  • dried fruits
  • instant oatmeal
  • jerky
  • raisins/nuts
  • instant rice/potatoes
  • dried soups
  • granola bars
  • instant pudding
  • powdered drink mixes

A can opener may also be useful.  Also keep in mind individual medical and dietary needs, and foods required by infants and small children when applicable. Shelter

  • rain poncho, garbage bags, nylon rope or cord, duct tape, space blanket.
  • sleeping bag (2.5 pound hollow-fill)
  • wool clothing is best.  It is warm when wet.  Also, wool socks.


  • wooden matches in water proof container or fire starters.

First Aid Kit

  • first aid book
  • assorted band-aids
  • gauze pads
  • small roll of gauze
  • adhesive tape
  • cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
  • safety pins
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • tweezers
  • alcohol wipes
  • aspirin
  • scissors
  • antiseptic cream
  • ointment
  • small spool of thread/two needles
  • light stick
  • fine wire
  • small flashlight
  • extra plastic bags
  • extra batteries
  • spare glasses
  • pocket handwarmer
  • money (small bills)
  • soap
  • toothbrush/paste
  • compass
  • metal mirror
  • pocketknife
  • comb
  • 50 ft. nylon cord
  • razor
  • plastic poncho
  • pre-moistened wipes
  • garbage bag
  • toilet paper
  • paper or cards
  • feminine products
  • pen/pencil
  • sunscreen
  • lip balm
  • bandana (used for hat, mask, etc.)
  • portable radio with fresh batteries

Family Information

  • phone number of family contact out of state/area.