72-Hour Emergency Kits

72-Hour Emergency Kits are designed to help an individual survive for three days during an emergency in which basic needs have been cut off, such as, electricity, water, gas, sewer treatment, and telephones. The kits are also designed for mobility. In case of evacuation, you can grab your kit and go. In situations of local, state, or national emergencies, it could take days for local officials or relief teams to reach you and your family. A 72-hour emergency kit is made up of basic items you may need during an emergency.

Each member in your family (pets too) should have their own kit tailored to their needs. This can seem like an overwhelming task. When I did research there were so many kinds of lists and already-made kits, I didn’t even know where to start.

Well, I’ve made it easy for you. I found many different item lists from different sources and I have combined them into one.

The items on this list are suggested, it is up to you to adjust your kits to the needs of your family members.

Food & Water

Each kit should contain enough food and water for 3 days.

  • Water (1-3 gallons per person. Note: FEMA recommends 3 gallons per person, especially if you live in a warmer climate or have special needs i.e. diet, are a child, nursing mother, or in case of a medical emergency)
  • Water filter or purification tablets (optional, but not necessary, especially if you have 3 gallons of water)
  • Canned foods that don’t need cooking (meats, fruits, vegetables, soups)
  • MRE’s (Meals Ready-to-Eat)
  • Vitamins
  • Granola bars/protein bars
  • Dried fruits/trail mix
  • Crackers/sweetened cereals
  • Hard candy/gum (Note: Jolly Ranchers can melt and mint gum can “flavor” other foods)

First Aid
The following list is taken directly from FEMA.gov. These are the recommended supplies when making your own first-aid kit.

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Latex gloves (2 pair)

Non-prescription drugs

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Clothing & Bedding
Kits should have at least one change of clothes per person.

  • Long pants
  • Long sleeved shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Warm socks
  • Jacket or coat
  • Hats, gloves, scarf
  • Rain coat/poncho
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Warm blankets (wool-blend) and Emergency reflective blankets
  • Cloth sheet
  • Sunglasses

Toiletries & Sanitation

  • Toilet paper (remove cardboard tube to fold easily and put in zip-lock)
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, dish soap (scented soap might “flavor” food)
  • Hand sanitizer/disinfectant
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Wash cloths
  • Tissues
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Comb/Hair brush
  • Alcohol wipes or household chlorine bleach
  • Garbage bags & twist-ties


  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Portable, battery-operated radio or television and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change
  • Nonelectric can opener, utility knife
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Shovel
  • Axe
  • Duct tape
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Candles
  • Lighter
  • Aluminum foil/signal mirror
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Permanent marker
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • 50 ft. rope
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)

Special Items

For Baby

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications

For Adults

  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Hearing-aid batteries

For Pets

  • Dry food or canned food that does not require heating.
  • Water (1 gallon)
  • Sturdy leashes and pet carriers
  • Muzzles for dogs
  • Medicine
  • Non-spill bowls, manual can opener and plastic lid
  • Plastic bags, litter box and litter
  • Recent photo of each pet
  • Names and phone numbers of your emergency contact, emergency veterinary hospitals and animal shelters
  • Copy of your pet’s vaccination history and any medical problems
  • A toy to play with

Important Family Documents

  • Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Photo IDs, passports, social security cards, immunization records
  • Photos of each member in your family for identification purposes
  • List of allergies to any drug or food
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Scriptures
  • Genealogy Records
  • Patriarchal Blessing
  • Photocopies of credit and identification cards


  • Cash and coins
  • Prepaid phone cards
  • Entertainment–games and books

Click here to download

Note: Update your 72-hour kits every 6 months to ensure food, water, and medications have not expired. Make sure clothing still fits (especially for children,) update your personal documents and photos, and test batteries.



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