Monday, April 13, 2009

Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 12 - Additional Supplies

In the event of a natural disaster, having additional emergency supplies would be worthwhile. These items are not the same items in our 72-hour backpacks, but additional items we may find useful. These will look like camping supplies to most of you which they are to us too.

You can separate these items into 5 or 6 gallon buckets, totes, or additional bags. Obviously you can't carry all of these on foot by yourself, but you could load them into a vehicle if you could drive away. Or they are kept together in a closet for easy access at home. Having them ready to go if you had to evacuate would save a lot of valuable time. Here is a list of some emergency supplies our family is gathering.

5-gallon Bucket #1 -
  • List of items in bucket
  • Bucket lid (not Gamma lid if adding toilet seat)
  • Family-sized First Aid Kit (update every 6 months. Could be used to help others. Put near top)
  • Sun block
  • Insect repellant
  • Emergency flares
  • 50 Purification tablets
  • Water filtration bottle
  • Can opener
  • Large 30 gallon trash bags
  • Mess kits (if can't fit in pack)
  • Paper plates, paper bowls, paper cups, plastic utensils
  • Paper towels, small roll
  • Foil
  • Small bottle of dish soap or camp soap
  • Small bottle of disinfectant
  • American Red Cross First Aid books
5-gallon Bucket #2 -
  • Leather work gloves (put near top or in 72-hour kit)
  • Large tarp
  • Folding shovel
  • Hatchet
  • Whet stone
  • 50 ft. nylon cord
  • Duct tape
  • Small folding cook stove with fuel
  • Small hand broom
  • Pliers and wrench
  • Crowbar/prybar
Additional Items:
  • Toilet seat lid made to fit on bucket
  • Cases of bottled water (*what you can't put in your backpacks)
  • Water container to refill at evacuation shelter: tote, bucket above, or jug with spout
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Battery powered TV
  • Chainsaw w/extra blade
  • Extra fuel 5-gallon gas cans
72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps


  1. These are excellent lists. Pretty similar to what we carry in our van. We rotate our bucket contents by season. Spring and again in Fall.

    I'd add one item to your bucket #2. A small whet stone for the hatchet will come in very handy. From experience I can tell you they dull quickly when used.

  2. I added the whet stone to bucket #2. Thank you, LJ!

  3. Just a thought but, evacuation by car doesn't seem practical. At best it will be nothing short of 5 o'clock traffic magnified 100 times over, grid lock will result and you will be stuck in your car. wouldn't it more practical to make a "bugout" backpack?

  4. Our evacuation by foot items are our 72 hour Kit Backpacks. These buckets hold additional supplies if we had more time to evacuate. I'll try to make that clear in my post.

  5. Why not use the Gamma lid?

  6. I'm curious.. Why did you specify no Gamma Lid??

  7. Tiff: A Gamma lid is good for long term food storage and costs about $6.00. Most of the time industrial buckets come with their own lid. It is an extra expense to buy a Gamma lid. However, if you want to use one for your emergency supplies, go for it.

  8. Do the standard lids come off easily? I'm just thinking for the future - when I'm going to have to replace batteries, etc. Will I have to "ruin" the standard lid to get it off, or will it come off and go back on with no issues?

    A gamma lid would obviously do those things, but I don't want to spend $$ I don't have to.

    And seriously - thanks for all of your detailed lists! I'm finally starting to get everything together!

  9. I just remembered why I said not to use a Gamma lid. It has a ring insert that fits on the bucket. Then you attach the lid. If you decide to use the bucket for a toilet it might be difficult to attach an emergency toilet seat.

  10. Just noticed that you didn't add the whet stone on the pdf download.
    thanks for the great tips and lists.

  11. considering hard-side luggage in place of the buckets. what would you recomend and why?

    1. you can get a small fold up Dolly to carry your buckets. Mine folds into a 2'x2' area not over a couples of inches thick. It will cart up to 250 pounds. I keep bungee cords attached

  12. Hi biochemgeek,

    Just an opinion. Wheeled luggage would be useful if you had to walk. However, buckets keep things waterproof and could be put in a cart and the bucket could be used as a water carrier or toilet. Just do what you think is best for your circumstance.

  13. I don't see the tv as a necessity, maybe if you have a laptop bag you can grab & go with if you have a converter or other way to charge it. I would like to add a DIY solar cell phone charger and a spare cord. In most everyday emergencies (weather, fire, etc) you'll still need these and I would prefer to have my phone and laptop as opposed to a portable tv or DVD player.
    A potty training seat that sits on a regular toilet fits on buckets! Not the most compact solution but a cheaper alternative, I have seen them at thrift or discount stores. I sanitize everything I buy used and its not any worse than a public toilet or port a potty!
    Add in a way to wash clothing as well, bar of laundry soap (I like fels naptha) and a plunger (sturdy one you can take apart to fit in the bucket) or if you can find one to fit a washboard and a plastic scrub brush the kind for floors not dishes, a metal dog chain and clothes pins is a great laundry line because you can keep the tension better than rope.
    I have a small tote we use for camping that I keep accessible JIC that has a small wash bin, set of plastic dishes for each of use, a metal pot and skillet, cooking spoon & spatula, flex cutting board and good knife, spare can opener. 2 bottle of alcohol (to refill the alcohol heater we can cook over) and some scrubbies, small bottle of blue dawn, and a couple sham towels. I use the small bin to wash in and the empty tote for rinsing, I keep an alcohol heater (sealed very well) in each BOB and another and spare bottle of alcohol in every extra supply container. This ensures that I have a small heater and method to cook if nothing else is avalible. Alcohol is cheaper (need the higher concentration though) and I can put a large recycled can with holes punched in the bottom over the top for a suitable sturdy cooking surface. This may not be for everyone but it works for us.
    We have a huge heavy family tent and a small light to carry one. The small one sleeps 6-8 (there are 6 of us) so enough room to sardine in and keep warm with our gear. This stays with our BOBs, te large one we would only grab if we have plenty of advanced warning and time and knew we would have room to use it and haul it to our BOB location. It is a 16 man tent divided into 3 rooms we plenty of room for comfort if we had to be inside for an extended period of time.

  14. I could see getting one or two of those folding garden carts (I could have sworn I saw some at Costco last month) for evacuation with more supplies on foot, if you have the time to load it up with supplies. They can double as a means of transporting someone with an injury, sleepy kids, or - as is likely in our case - a cat carrier, unless we wish to let our cats loose to fend for themselves.

  15. I'd add a couple of things.

    Two 1.5m (4ft) lengths of siphon tube, one for water, one for fuel. Label which is which.

    Pot scourer and small bottle of washing up liquid, for cleaning mess tine and cooking pots (strangely enough, I have never seen these listed in survival/emergency pack instructions!)

    In the first aid kit, a pair of tweezers. Useful for all sorts of delicate things.

    Rubber bungees. Can hold up a tarp shelter, or just keep things together.

    A cheap digital camera. You never know when you might need a picture, and you can never tell what that picture might be worth to a news-hungry media corporation.

    All the above are light to carry but add considerably to the functionality of your kit.

    I sincerely hope you never have to use them, though.

    Best wishes, 2RM.

  16. One of most useful tools I have used, that should be with any emergency kit, is a good hunting style knife, that can be carried on your person. It can be folding or sheath type, but if it is the folding type make sure the blade can be locked open in use. This knife needs to be strong and sharp.

  17. So glad I read all that you have to say about 72 hour kit prep. One thing I hadn't considered was the fact that it does take jeans a long time to dry if they get wet so instead of putting a pair in my kit I'll put in a pair of leggings, fleece lined once cold weather hits here, and a pair of my old sweat pants. I'll also add a night shirt as I don't own a robe and in a pinch it can be worn over leggings to make an extra outfit. I've got quite a few things already so I need to actually pack the small carry-on type bag I have to see just what will fit in it. One thing I noticed is when you mentioned important papers you didn't mention copies of things like birth certificates, social security cards, and driver's license or state ID, I think copies of these should be included. As a disabled senior I have a rollater walker, the kind with a seat, that I would take in an evacuation situation and it can carry my carry-on type bag as well as the small dorm chest that I bought on clearance at Walmart for $7, the regular price is over $30. I'll be going back through these lists and adding or removing things that I think I will need or won't need.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!