72-Hour Emergency Kit

In an emergency, it is recommended that we all have an emergency kit for the first three to five days of an emergency.



If it is safe to stay at home, use your emergency kit in your home. If you need to evacuate, take your emergency kit with you. If you have to leave your home, don’t forget to take your emergency notebook along with your 72-Hour Kit. The Red Cross suggests that you have a three-day supply for evacuation and a two-week supply for sheltering at home. Every family member should have a flashlight, batteries, and shoes by their bed. Below you will find recommendations for a basic 72-Hour Kit, additional items for an Extended 72-Hour Kit, Emergency Car Kit, and Emergency Work Kit.


72-Hour Kit

  1. Water (one gallon per day per person) Cases of water bottles can be stored for your 72-hour kit. Smaller bottles of water are easier to carry and distribute in case you have to leave home. Make sure you are rotating your water bottles on a continual basis. If you do not wish to rotate water bottles, Blue Can water can be stored for fifty years. It is pure drinking water that is pressurized in an aluminum can.

  2. Food and utensils (three to five days of food per person) Food should be high-energy and ready to eat. Consider juice boxes, dried meat, granola, power bars, nuts, trail mix, crackers with cheese or peanut butter. Make sure you rotate the food in your 72-hour kit every six months.

  3. Clothing (one change of clothes, including hooded sweatshirt, and footwear per person)

  4. Medications (three to five days of prescription drugs and over the counter vitamins)

  5. Flashlight and batteries

  6. Manual can-opener

  7. Battery-operated radio

  8. Garbage bags and ties

  9. Moist towelettes

  10. Personal hygiene items (soap, washcloth, towel, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, brush, deodorant, lotion, feminine products, shaving kit, nail clippers, chap stick, etc.)

  11. Baby needs (diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, baby food, etc.)

  12. First aid kit

  13. Pocket-knife

  14. Multi-tool or adjustable wrench to turn off utilities

  15. Face masks (N95 masks recommended)

  16. Cash ($100 in small denominations for immediate needs)

  17. Recent bank statement and utility bills (shows proof of residence in case you need to apply for FEMA assistance.) These should be updated every six months.

  18. Emergency contact phone list

  19. Medical history list (include medical conditions, surgeries with approximate dates, medications by name and dosages)

  20. Pet disaster kit (food, leash, crate, litter box, etc.)

Store items in a place that it will be easy to grab and go. Our emergency kits are in the hall closet by our front door. We keep a supply of bottled water in the refrigerator in our garage.


Extended 72-Hour Kit

  1. One burner cooking stove and propane (use only if safe to use propane)

  2. Matches in waterproof container

  3. Rain poncho

  4. Whistle

  5. Blanket or sleeping bag and pillow

  6. Tent

  7. Ground tarp

  8. Hatchet

  9. Duct tape and plastic sheeting for sealing a room while sheltering in place

  10. Sanitation kit

  11. Ballpoint pen and paper

  12. Hand warmers

  13. Light sticks

  14. Insect repellent

  15. Shovel, broom, hammer, leather gloves, rope

  16. Personal comfort items (book, games, personal electronics, etc.)

Basic First Aid Kit



  1. First aid book

  2. Exam gloves

  3. Tweezers

  4. 3 x 3-inch gauze pads

  5. 1/2-inch x 5-yard adhesive tape

  6. Antiseptic wipes

  7. 2-inch x 5-yard conforming gauze

  8. 1-inch x 5-yard elasti-wrap

  9. Assorted bandages

  10. Butterfly bandages

  11. Antibiotic cream

  12. Scissors

  13. Triangular sling with safety pins

  14. Instant cold compress

  15. Hydrocortisone cream

  16. Rubbing alcohol

  17. Cotton balls

  18. Q-tips

  19. Thermometer

  20. Saline drops

  21. Imodium (for diarrhea)

  22. Cold Medicine

  23. Tylenol

  24. Ibuprofen

  25. Aspirin

  26. Benadryl tablets (for allergies)

  27. Sunscreen

Emergency Car Kit

In addition to your 72-Hour kit, consider making an emergency car kit that you keep in your car at all times. It might have the following items:

  1. Half tank of gas in your car as a minimum

  2. Tools for changing a tire

  3. Battery-operated radio

  4. Flashlight and batteries

  5. Blanket

  6. First aid kit and manual

  7. Bottled water

  8. Food Power Bars

  9. Whistle

  10. Gloves

  11. Rain poncho

  12. First aid kit

  13. Booster cables

  14. Fire extinguisher (Standard class ABC)

  15. Road emergency flares

  16. Siphoning hose

  17. Bag of sand (for better traction on the road)

  18. Ice scraper

  19. Collapsible shovel

  20. Bungee cords

  21. Duct tape

  22. Cell phone charger

We tried storing food in our car when we first moved to the desert. Six months later, we went to rotate the food and found that everything was petrified. We quickly learned that storing food in the car in the desert was not a good idea!


Emergency Work Kit

It is also a wise idea to have a small kit you keep at work in case an emergency occurs when you are at the office and you can't get home. Energy bars, water, medicine, and comfortable shoes might really help out.

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