72 Hours Checklist - What You Need to Survive For 72 Hours
the event of an emergency, it is vital to be prepared with what you and
your family will need to survive on your own for the first 72 hours. In
general, this is the average length of time you can expect to be
without electricity or assistance.
FOOD AND WATER
Each person will need three gallons of water. This allows for two quarts
of water for drinking and two for food preparation per day. You should
have enough canned goods on hand for each person, and plenty of
ready-to-eat items such as protein bars, trail mix, crackers and peanut
butter. You should also include powdered milk, taking the needs of any
children into account - they will need more than the adults. It is a
good idea to consider packing at least a small number of comfort food
items for each person, too, such as tea bags, hot cocoa packets, instant
coffee and hard candy.
Since many food items have a limited shelf life, you may want to
supplement (or completely stock) your kit with freeze dried food.
Mountain House offers a 72-hour freeze dried food kit, which contains
everything one person needs; you can purchase one for each family
member. There are many advantages to going this route, including better
texture and taste than canned or dehydrated foods. Freeze dried foods
also have an extremely long shelf life.
It is important to have everything necessary for basic first aid, such
as adhesive bandages, antibacterial ointment, gauze pads, tweezers,
scissors, pain medications, anti-diarrhea medication, antiseptic wipes
and a thermometer. Be sure to rotate medications to allow for expiration
dates; you can keep everything together in a small plastic bin or tote
with a secure lid. See the EPC list for what should be in a first aid
kit for more information.
TOOLS AND OTHER SUPPLIES
Additionally, it is a sound idea to have most of the following items in
your 72-hour kit: waterproof matches, a flashlight, a tarp, blankets,
warm clothing, boots, a battery operated radio, plenty of batteries, a
utility knife, a manual can opener and extra cash. Bear in mind that
your kit should be portable in the event that you have to evacuate your
home; use a backpack for each family member. EPC's Survival Kits come in
a variety of sizes and are a good alternative to assembling your own.
Depending on where you live, you may also consider adding some or all of
these items: sunscreen, needle and thread, small fire extinguisher,
flares, an axe, rain gear, hats and gloves, a compass and a map of the
area. Finally, don't forget to pack for the individual needs of your
family members: diapers and wipes, formula and bottles, prescription
medications, contact lenses and so forth may need to go on your 72-hour
checklist as well.
Having a well stocked 72-hour kit at the ready means that no matter what
the nature of the emergency, you will be well prepared until
electricity is restored or help arrives.