72 Hour Kits, do you have yours? I have spent the last two weeks reading everything I can get my hands on to try to make the best 72 hour kits for our family. Hopefully we never have to use these, but I’m glad we have them all done now. I was joking with my husband the other night that if there is ever an emergency, we better grab those first since I spent so stinking much time on them! Now that I have done all the grunt work for you, this should be a super easy project where you simply print the list and put together your supplies!
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We were lucky to already have quite a few supplies for our 72 hour kits. I had half-heartedly thrown some together, but that was back when our 4th kid was just a baby. We really needed to update things to suit our current needs. I figured if I was going to put in the time, I was going to do it right. Since April and October are the months that we focus on Emergency Preparedness, we went all out this time. Let me break it down for you:
For our 72 hour kits, I wanted to have things in the backpacks that were practical, easy to use, and easy to access. We have 2 emergency totes in addition to the backpacks. One tote has extra emergency supplies and the other has extra food. I am hoping that we would be able to grab all the extra totes in the event of an emergency. If we have to leave on foot we have the necessities in our bags, but they aren’t so heavy that we can’t manage them. Knowing that 2 kids won’t be able to carry their own packs, and one kid would most likely have to be carried made this extra important.
Within the backpacks, each category of supplies is separated by a Gallon Ziploc bag. This will make it easy to find things when we do have to use our kits, and also will make rotating things MUCH easier. Get your Adult 72 Hour Kit Checklist here!
I have an amazing Aunt who has given us TONS of emergency supplies over the years. Every Christmas, I look forward to seeing what new things we will receive. This year we got a portable toilet. With little kids, I can’t even tell you how awesome that will be to have an actual toilet seat to use!
I looked through a ton of different websites (check out my Emergency Preparedness Pinterest Board) and came up with a checklist that worked for my family. I tried my best to include links to exactly what we have in our kits. We included the essentials like:
- Cash in small bills
- Emergency Blanket
- First Aid Kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Hand warmers
- Life Straw personal water filter
- Radio with extra batteries
- Whistle, compass, match holder combo
This list seemed pretty basic. Pretty much everything you can find in little travel sizes, which makes it convenient.
- Baby wipes, Chapstick, comb, deodorant, feminine hygiene, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, lotion, razor, shampoo/conditioner, soap, toilet paper, toothbrush/toothpaste, and washcloth.
- Long shirt and pants, 2 socks, 2 underwear
This is the area where the bulk of my time was spent. I wanted food that:
- is light weight
- has a fairly long shelf life
- has enough calories
- we would actually eat.
This last part is still somewhat up in the air. We don’t eat many processed foods, and it is pretty hard to find whole foods that have a long shelf life without packing #10 cans in each person’s backpack. I tried to keep things as healthy as possible. My kids were getting excited over most of the things I was putting in the cart, so that is a good sign. Some of the foods they have never tried before, but the shelf life and calorie count won me over. I plan to rotate these foods out and use them as fun foods in the kids’ lunches during the school year since they are all grab-and-go types of foods.
I split up the food into bags labeled Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and included a menu. Super user friendly. For the oatmeal, I included a baggie with regular oats to add to the instant oatmeal. This gives it more substance and calories. I figure you can also then use the bag to soak the oats in overnight. With the food being split up into the different gallon size bags, you can also reuse that bag for making the Ramen noodles and the chicken and rice dinner. Each adult backpack also contains 4 bottles of water.
Get the Adult 72 Hour Kit Shopping List here!
Knowing that my calorie count was higher than just the minimum needed for survival was important to me. The count isn’t super high, but I figure right around 1500 calories is a pretty good amount in a backpack. Remember too, that we have a whole other tote filled with more food. Get your menu with calorie count printable here!
Each 72 hour kit also has a printout of Emergency phone numbers, our Family Emergency Plan, a card with our family info, and an up-to-date family photo and individual photos of each of our kids.
Whew! That was SO much work! Really, the peace of mind knowing that that I am prepared is very satisfying. Because I made such an effort to keep this simple, I hope to be able to maintain the kits over the years and never have to do a complete overhaul again!
What do you have in your 72 Hour Kits?