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Creating a 72 Hour Emergency Kit

As the recent and deadly flash floods in Colorado have shown, disasters strike often
without warning and can be extremely devastating to existing infrastructure, supply stores, and a families own reserves of survival provisions.  Because of the extreme survival conditions that often follow a major disaster or emergency, more and more individuals and families have decided that they need to prepare themselves and their homes ahead of time so that they can be better equipped to weather future disasters.    

One of the best ways to prepare for an unforeseen disaster is by compiling a 72 hour kit to be used in the instance of an emergency.  A 72 hour kit should be compiled in a portable bag or backpack so that it can be quickly and easily grabbed and toted by a person in an emergency situation. 

These 72 hour kits are, as the name suggests, to be used as an emergency supply for an individual for up to 72 hours, and therefore should include items that will help that person survive for that period of time.  Specific items that should be compiled in the kit include:

  • Water.  At least one gallon per individual per day of the three days (or 72 hours)
  • Canned or dried food enough to last for the same three day period (remember to pack a small can opener or to buy the canned foods with the pop-top lids)
  • Reserves of needed prescription pills, allergy medicines, or insulin injections
  • Extra clothing or survival blankets
  • First aid kit

Other items to include which are helpful to survival but not necessarily vital include:

  • Portable radio
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Waterproof matches or lighter
  • Personal hygiene items such as Rowenta steam iron

photo credit: Steven Vance via photopin cc