Guide to 72-Hour Kits By Preppers Universe
When a disaster strikes the normal services we take for granted will not be available, such as telephones, running water, and refrigeration to name a few. Additionally, first responders will most likely will be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation.
It is recommended that you have enough supplies to last you’re family (at a minimum) 72 hours. Basically, you must be self-sufficient until help arrives. It may be a while – so, having a plan and the necessary supplies to sustain your family is the key to surviving.
A 72-Hour Kit is essential for any short-term emergency or disaster. It very well could mean survival when the need arrives. There are numerous types of disasters: Floods, Hurricanes, Tsunami’s, Tornadoes and Earthquakes. And, don’t forget about the man-made disasters such as terror attacks and the looming global financial crisis either. Being prepared is not an option if you want to protect your family.
A basic 72-hour kit should include the following items:
- Food & Water (Include Pets as well)
- First Aid
- Tools & Cookware
- Hygiene Clothing & Medicine Items
- Important Documents & Cash
- Personal Protection
- Entertainment (Most people forget about this one)
- Bug Out Bag (Backpack or Plastic Bin)
Most people have enough food in their pantries to last three days in case of emergencies. However, if there is a major disaster such as an earthquake, you may not be able to get to that food easily. This is why a 72-hour kit is ideal in these situations. You will want store your kit in a safe area that would be easily accessible during a disaster. I personally store my kits in a cabinet in the garage near the roll up door. It would be fairly easy to get to even if the house is inaccessible.
Food & Water
I personally use the Mountain House 72-Hour Emergency Meal Kit. I recommend buying one of these for each member of the household. In reality, one of these could support two people if you wanted to skimp by and not spend too much money building your kit. Each of these kits cost roughly $55.00. For more info read this article on Survival Emergency Food Packages.
For water storage, I highly recommend at least a gallon or more of water per day per person. I personally use the Reliance Lifeguard – 7 Gallon Water Container with built-in Filter. I store at least one of these for each family member in my kit. The cost is about $35.00 for the Reliance. Additionally, each family member should use a Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier Water Bottle or something similar. The cost is about $22.00 for the Berkey.
Let’s face it, if there is a disaster – you’re home may not be safe to live in. Where do you stay? When things go south, I don’t want to leave my house unattended, I plan on putting up shelter (Good Size Tent) in my backyard. I personally have a Wenzel Klondike 16 X 11′ Eight Person Family Tent. I additionally have a couple zero-degree weather sleeping bags and blankets for the tent as well. I also have spare crates for my pets.
You need to make sure you’re back yard is big enough for the tent you use. I have a huge backyard and I know that this tent will work just fine. The price of this tent is around $212.00.
Other options are available: Tent Options
Any medium sized first aid kit will work well. Don’t buy any kit that says it will meet any emergency situation. Do you’re homework when shopping for first aid kits.
The reason is simple, during a disaster (god forbid) you may be treating broken limbs, large gashes from falls or even gun shot wounds.
You will want a decent quality kit, the ones I like are from the American Red Cross. A decent first aid kit will cost around $50.00. Don’t forget bug repellent and sun screen for your kit as well.
Tools & Cookware
When a disaster happens you will need a decent tool kit that is easy to pack up and take with you. I personally like the Denali 115-piece Home Repair Tool Kit. It comes with a decent carry bag and you can add other small items into it like a sewing kit, mini-flashlights, candles, multipurpose tool, paracord and a decent knife etc…
Another important item to have in your tool kit is a decent radio. I recommend one that is solar or hand-cranked and battery operated. I highly recommend the Ambient Weather WR-111B Solar Hand Crank Radio. It even has the ability to charge you’re cell phone and has a built in flashlight. This will keep you informed with what is happening in you’re area. When the power goes out you’re TV will not work unless you have a generator.
Having a small camp stove is a must to eat and boil water.
I highly recommend a Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove as they are small, compact and easy to pack away.
Additionally, I would recommend getting a small camping kit that includes Spoons, Forks, Knifes, Cups and a small pot. If you don’t mind the extra weight in your kit, I highly recommend the Coleman Speckled Enamelware Dining Kit. Additionally, you will need a decent mess kit (Pots/Pans). I recommend the Wenzel Deluxe Mess Kit.
Hygiene, Clothing & Medicine Items
There will not have running water in your house during a disaster. Even if you do you may not want to use it or bath in it. An important fact most people don’t know about, you’re local water plant needs electricity to filter the water and if there is no power then you’re water supply is contaminated. You may not be able to take a shower but you can take a sponge bath and at the very least brush you’re teeth using the emergency water you stored above. You will want to pack away Razors, Toothbrushes, Feminine items etc.
If you take prescription items you need at least a week supply (at a minimum) stored in you’re kit. I would put Aspirin, Motrin, Sinus Medication or anything else you may occasionally use in the kit as well. It is extremely important to store prescription items in you’re kit as the drug stores will most likely be shut down and looted after a disaster.
A change of clothes is highly important. Most people think they can just grab something on the way out. No, you will not have the time during an emergency to get extra clothing. The trick is to have the items stored away in your kit. Make sure you pack items for the climate you live. If you live in cold areas pack accordingly.
Documents, Cash & Entertainment
It goes without saying that you need to store important documents such as your wedding license, birth certificates, Photos, Mortgage/Title/Deed, Bank information, Insurance papers, passports, etc. in a fire safe lock box near or in you’re 72-hour kit. Most people forget about this and these items are very important. Additionally, I would put a couple of survival books and manuals for reference in the kit as well.
Don’t forget about entertainment during disaster relief. It may be days before things get back to normal. I personally have a few board games, a couple deck of cards and my favorite game Yahtzee in my kit.
A lot of people are afraid or don’t like Guns/Knives or any other weapons and believe they can survive without them. I’m definitely not one of those people. When the SHTF (S@#$ hits the fan) you will need personal protection. A decent firearm and survival knife is a must in any disaster situation.
When a man cannot feed his family, he will do anything to get to you’re food supply. The social norms are out the window in times of disaster. Just look at the recent disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. People were looting, raping, and pillaging. It was not pretty, and if you are relying on the government to protect you. You are in for a world of hurt…
I highly recommend either having a shotgun, rifle, and/or a pistol. I’m not going to recommend a particular brand or model. You will have to do some research and find out what works best for you. I also highly recommend you take a firearm safety class before purchasing a firearm. Most gun ranges have gun rentals for you to try before you buy.Firearms are not for everyone. There are other options available if you are not comfortable shooting a weapon.
The absolute best NON-LETHAL form of personal protection is Bear Repellent Pepper Spray. Bear Repellent has a greater range than most pepper spray and is more potent. If it can stop a bear in it’s tracks then it can stop any human instantly. The best part, it has a 30-foot deploy range keeping you’re attackers at a distance. I highly recommend Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent with holster.
A really good survival knife is important for personal protection and for general survival needs. such as cutting down tree limbs for firewood, skin/clean wild game, cut para-cord and a thousand other uses. My absolute favorite Survival Knife is the KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife.
Another item to throw into you’re arsenal is a really good machete for chopping weeds or clearing campsites. I personally like the KA-BAR Black Kukri Machete.
Bug out Bags & Survival Bins
You need a really good bag or survival bin to store all the items for your 72-hour kit. There are many options available. I personally like the Maxpedition Doppelduffel Adventure Bag. It is large enough to hold most of you’re gear and it can be worn as a back pack if the need arrives.
Additionally, you may want a smaller back pack to go along with the Doppelduffel. Something you’re children or a spouse can carry easily. I really like the Maxpedition Condor II Backpack. These bags are durable and very well made. In my opinion they are the best bags for survival needs.
I plan on Bugging “IN” not “OUT” in a disaster. My back yard is big enough to setup camp if needed. Because of this I have a really big tent that will not fit in my 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag. I store these big items in plastic storage bins available almost anywhere. Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon.com have them available at decent prices.
In this violent and unpredictable world we live in – being prepared is no longer an option. Being prepared can reduce anxiety, fear and panic should you find yourself in a precarious situation. Most disasters either man-made or natural doesn’t allow time for people to assemble even the most basic needs for our society. This is why preparedness planning is so important. Having a 72-hour kit on hand and ready to use at a moments notice could me the difference between life and death.
If you have any suggestions please leave a comment on this post. The article will provide you with the absolute minimum supply of gear you should have for you’re 72-hour kit. Like I said, this is a bare minimum from my point of view. You should adjust the recommendations to meet you’re needs. This is a great starting point for newbie preppers.
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By Rodney Butler