Sunday, April 12, 2009

72 Hour Kits: Personal Supplies

From my search across the internet and in various preparedness books, I've put together a list of personal items for 72-hour kits. I've also read many stories of people evacuating Hurricane Katrina, and my list contains items you want to have so you are prepared and don't have to run through your house gathering them in an evacuation.

It would be nice to say that you and your spouse would be home to help your children, or your spouse would be home to help you, during an evacuation. But I believe you need to plan for different scenarios such as: you will be home by yourself while your kids are in school, or older children will be on their own and you will be gone, or it will be the middle of the night while you are sleeping. So, these personal items are items you might need for 72-Hours or more.

We also store additional items in our combined Family Emergency buckets which I will write about in an another post. If you would like to read about food packs for your 72-hour kits, go here.

If you are using backpacks or another container for your 72-Hour kits, keep in mind that you want the total carrying weight to be about 25% of your body weight including the weight of your container. If you have an infant or preschooler, you may not need to put toiletries and money in their kits so adjust for the needs and circumstances of each family members. My list below is only a suggestion. I keep changing my mind and adjusting, and so can you. I have collected most of these items already, but still have some work to do.

72-Hour Kit Personal Supplies
Backpack, tote or small suitcase
List of items in kit (put near top)
Important numbers (update every 6 months)
A recent family photo
Map of city and vicinity
Small flashlight like a Maglite
Batteries for flashlight (put in separate baggie with the flashlight near top)
Emergency rain poncho (put near top)
3-N95 Medical mask (put at top) (Can help during a fire)
Mini First Aid Kit (update every 6 months) (put near top)
Light stick on a neck cord
Whistle on a neck cord
Hand warmers
Thermal reflective (space) blanket
3 day supply of food (2000 calories per day per adult)
3 gallons of water (*will be more than you can carry. Only pack what you can carry)
Pencil and small notebook
Cards, crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc.
Paperback book
Scriptures (Military size is good)
Small comb or brush
Small mirror
Antibacterial hand wipes
Pocket tissues
Lip balm
Wash cloth for sponge bath
Travel-sized toothpaste, toothbrush
Travel-sized liquid body soap
Travel-sized shampoo/conditioner
Travel-sized deodorant
Travel-sized lotion
Travel-sized hand sanitizer
Razor (males)
Personal sanitary items
3 large trash bags
Toilet paper roll
Copies of personal papers & documents for this person (put in hidden but accessible location)
Money - $50 per pack, small bills & coins, waterproof bag (put in hidden but accessible location. This is not all the emergency cash you should have. Just an amount that is always stashed away in your 72-hour kit.)
Waterproof matches (not for young children)
Extra Kit Items for Kids
Games, cross-word puzzles, coloring book and crayons, stuffed animal, small toys, infant pacifier **Note: I asked my 4 year-old which small stuffed animal she wanted in her emergency backpack. She brought me several and then I had her choose one that she could slip inside. Making her a part of the preparations has made her backpack special to her. She brought out her backpack on Easter to show it to her college-aged brother.
Comfort foods
Clothing Ideas
Complete set clothing: pants, 2 socks, underwear, long-sleeved shirt (can roll up if hot), hat, mittens
Sturdy shoes (Not in pack)
Coat (Not in pack) However, if you can squish a windbreaker in, do it.
Sleeping bag or lightweight wool blanket (Not in pack) (in lawn bag or sturdy bag)
Sleeping pad (grab if you have time)

Boy Scout Summer Backpacking List
FEMA Basic Disaster Supplies List

Go here for 72-hour Kit Container ideas
Go here for 72-hour Kit Food Pack ideas
Go here for Additional Family Emergency Supplies ideas
Go here for Evacuation Grab & Go ideas


  1. This is the most incredible blog site. So glad I wandered over today from "mormon mom's" - I love to go visiting. I'll for sure come back frequently, now that I know where you live:)


  2. At a preparedness meeting I attended, someone suggested packing a pair of sweats as the clothing - and if it's hot, you could either roll up the sleeves or cut them off and use it for other things. I liked the idea because they are more comfortable, you could sleep in them, and if you have to climb over rubble, etc. it would be easier in sweats than jeans.

  3. Add...
    Ipecac & Hydrogen peroxide. In case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & even small cuts can get infected & if not taken care of, get infected, lose a limb or serious illness.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is... healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  4. Thanks, everyone. It's so important that you consider the needs of each family member. Children do not do well under stress when they do not have foods and comfort items they are accustomed to. My 72-Hour kits are to get you from point A to point B with the least amount of stress. See my post about food and water for more ideas:

  5. When your children were much younger (infants, toddlers), how did you approach 72 hour bags?

    I'm adding supplies to our bags now that we have a baby and I'm finding that I have no room in the backpack (3 days of diapers take up so much room!). I'm considering a second bag just for him. However, in the event of an emergency and I had to walk & carry him, 2 bags would be impractical.

  6. Hi Garin,

    Your diaper bag can be your 72-hour kit for your baby. Just do the best you can. If you had to walk to an evacuation shelter and you are carrying a baby, you may be limited. Consider using a stroller or wagon or baby carrier. You could pull a wheeled suitcase.

    Always keep your regular diaper bag well stocked as it usually has the most current things your baby uses/eats. Of course you could just stay home and have access to the diapers there as well. So keep a good stock at home. Water is very important.

  7. Thanks for your thoughts! I love your blog!

  8. First of all - I love all the wonderful ideas you have shared! Second - for Garin... We are there and have been for a LONG time! I have come to the conclusion that if we had to walk somewhere long distance with our kiddos there are two options for us.
    1. I have a pack packed for my baby (this starts before they are born - in case the horrid possibility of emergency and delivery hitting at the same time. I have all the essentials for them (which includes more clothes and blankies than my other packs - as well as the diapers and a bottle with formula - what if baby is OK, but mommy can't feed them anymore?) as well as extra water if mommy is nursing. I figure (in the optimistic whole family is together scenario) that I will carry the extra pack on my tummy while carrying my own on my back and my hubby will have the little one in a pack on his back (if baby is big enough for the baby backpack) or his belly (if baby is still tiny enough for a wrap or snugglie) while carrying his own pack where baby isn't. It's not great, but it could work - the catch is that both hubby and I are also carrying some of our littlest bigger kids' things in our packs because they can't carry it all in their own - we had to migrate to larger packs, but it works.
    2. We have everything for the whole clan in big buckets that can be thrown on a bike trailer and shoved to wherever we might have to go. That way one can push the stuff in that while the other one of us pushes any tiny kids in the regular stroller - or maybe we can even all bike with kids on their own bikes or in kid seats or another trailer behind the other parent bike.

    Anyway - I know that is a long ol' comment, but I am just trying to say - You Can Do It! It gets more tricky with each addition to the family, but it is always possible. :)

  9. Found your site from Pintrest and I'm liking reading thru your posts. Just wanted to add that those who take medicine's daily should try to add medicine's to their 72 hour kit. I have a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes and it was around 9 months after her diagnosis that it finally dawned on me that I need to put syringes, testing supplies and her emergency fast acting sugar in her 72 hour kit.

  10. i am doing a speech on 72 hr kits and its a persuasive speech. i need stories of success for prepardness with a kit ..... please email me at if you have a story... my speech is on the 21st of june 2012

  11. Another idea for sponge baths is getting a pack of the infant bath wipes. They are light weight and work great. I use them when my kids are too small for the tub and you need very little water.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!