72 hour kits and EPKit checklist

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a CrisisMarch is emergency preparedness month. In case you haven’t noticed, the weather is doing it’s thing, all across the country. Thanks to the nifty site Long Range Weather Forecasting, it’s easy to see what’s going to hit a particular region for the coming year. Now is the time to get serious about 72 hour kits for the house and the car(s). (I’m writing this because our power has gone out 3x in the last 24 hrs due to storms. We are fortunate to have an automatic generator, but we still have our 72 hour kit at the ready in case that thing dies on us)
What goes in a 72hr kit?

Basics like water, food, a blanket, flashlight, hygenic requirements if any. Over the years, I’ve added to the kits, including a fresh change of clothes for each person in the family. The goal of course, is to have the72 hour kit somewhere that’s easy to get to in case of a catastrophe. First aid kit is a must, as well as extra fuel, if not in the kit, to the side. A basic set will run you about $42 bucks for two people. If you have a larger fam, you should make your own, or build off one of the all-inclusive packages. (see more at the bottom of this blog)

She just gave me 2 new links…honeyvillagegrains.com and efoodsdirect.com

I purchased the Food Storage and Survival Handbook a while back, and about 1x 6 mo, re-read it to make sure I’m up to speed. I also go through my food storage, clear out the old stuff, and rotate the old to the front to keep it fresh.

Where to put it?
Garage vs inside the house. If the house gets crushed by a tree (our neighbors a few years back), having the kit inside does no good. Alternatively, the garage burn down (a friend’s garage 3 mo ago), isn’t the perfect solution. A storage shed? That’s the ticket, according to our next door neighbors. They have a locked shed that’s easy to open and get the kit out in flash.

Car vs indoor
I do both. Cars break down in the middle of nowhere so best be prepared. When I was 16, I was with my mom and little sister, who was 6 at the time. We were on our way back from vacation, in the middle of nowhere, and the car died. Dirt road, back woods–seriously scary. We started walking, mom and I alternating carrying my sister. After about 12 miles, a family member came in search for us, and saved the day. However, we were helped along by the water from the packs in the survival kit, as well as a flashlight but no bandaids. I still remember mom’s poor toes, all red and bloody, because she was wearing flip flops. Now, all my emergency prep units have bandaids and antiseptic (plus bug repellent).

Just to insert a new note here, true-Treckers have their own version of prep & safety kits, with some of the most adventurous (crazy?) being Overlanders, those who go on multi-thousand mile journeys. I have several friends who are in-to this life of recreation, tricking out their already-customized trucks with all sorts of essentials and gadgets. The Ten Essentials for Camping is a link of items considered Must-Haves for this world–but really, would apply anywhere.

With El Nina still at it, we have another 2-3 months to go at least where EPK are required. For those in the south, it’s nearly year-round…winter storms, then hurricane season…you name it. Do yourself and your fam a favor by investing in a kit. It may save your life.

Food and Water(A three day supply of food and water, per person, when no refrigeration or cooking is available)

  • Protein/Granola Bars
  • Trail Mix/Dried Fruit
  • Crackers/Cereals (for munching)
  • Canned Tuna, Beans, Turkey, Beef, Vienna Sausages, etc (“pop-top” cans that open without a can-opener might not be a good idea, read this warning from one site visitor.)
  • Canned Juice
  • Candy/Gum (warning: Jolly Ranchers can melt and using mint gum might make everything taste like mint. See the comments from the blog post, 72 Hour Kit Warning, comment #11)
  • Water (1 Gallon/4 Liters Per Person)

Bedding and Clothing

  • Change of Clothing (short and long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, socks, etc.)
  • Undergarments
  • Rain Coat/Poncho
  • Blankets and Emergency Heat Blanks (that keep in warmth)
  • Cloth Sheet
  • Plastic Sheet

Fuel and Light

  • Battery Lighting (Flashlights, Lamps, etc.) Don’t forget batteries!
  • Extra Batteries
  • Flares
  • Candles
  • Lighter
  • Water-Proof Matches


  • Can Opener
  • Dishes/Utensils
  • Shovel
  • Radio (with batteries!)
  • Pen and Paper
  • Axe
  • Pocket Knife
  • Rope
  • Duct Tape
  • Personal Supplies and Medication
    • First Aid Kit and Supplies
    • Toiletries (roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag, feminine hygiene, folding brush, etc.)
    • Cleaning Supplies (mini hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, dish soap, etc. Warning: Scented soap might “flavor” food items.)
    • Immunizations Up-to Date
    • Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children’s medication etc.)
    • Prescription Medication (for 3 days)
  • Personal Documents and Money
    • Genealogy Records
    • Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
    • Vaccination Papers
    • Insurance Policies
    • Cash
    • Credit Card
    • Pre-Paid Phone Cards
  • Miscellaneous
    • Bag(s) to put 72 Hour Kit items in (such as duffel bags or back packs, which work great) Make sure you can lift/carry it!
    • Infant Needs (if applicable)