72-hour food kits

72 Hour Emergency Food Kits: What to Look For

No one likes to think about having to cope with an unexpected emergency, such as a natural disaster, illness, or power outage. However, being prepared for anything is the best way to protect yourself and your family in the event of an emergency. Having a 72-hour food kit handy can provide peace of mind and important nutrition in the case of a crisis.

A 72-hour emergency food kit typically includes ready-to-eat meals and basic items that are easy to prepare. Canned goods, like beans, tuna, and fruits are often part of these kits. But since you may need to eat without refrigeration or cooking facilities during an emergency situation, nutrition bars filled with protein and other nutrients are generally included as well.

It’s also important to include drinks such as electrolyte powders that can help ensure proper hydration during a crisis. Other essential items that should be part of every 72-hour food kit include:

  • Water purification tablets in case clean water is unavailable
  • Multi-fuel cooking stove with fuel tablets if you don’t have access to electricity
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Medications
  • Matches or lighters
  • Personal items like toiletries and garbage bags

Having a properly stocked 72 hour emergency food kit can make all the difference during times of unexpected disruption or danger. Make sure your family has what it needs for safety by creating your own 72 hour emergency food kit today!

What to Include in an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is an essential item to have when you are expecting or dealing with an emergency situation. It can provide you with food, water, supplies, and other items you might need to get through a few days or weeks of difficulty. If you're putting together an emergency kit, here are some key things to consider including:

  • Food and water
  • First aid supplies
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Emergency contact information
  • Cash and coins
  • Tools and supplies
  • Clothing and blankets

Non-Perishable Foods

Non-perishable food items are essential for any emergency kit. Prepackaged food can be stored safely in sealed containers with a long shelf life, eliminating the need to rotate perishable items on a regular basis. Depending on the size and transportability requirements, three days’ worth of non-perishable food will provide an ample supply of essential nutrients when on the move. Some examples include:

  • Canned meats and fish (tuna, chicken, salmon, spam)
  • Canned fruits and vegetables (green beans, corn, tomatoes)
  • Ready to eat meals (ravioli, macaroni and cheese)
  • Peanut butter
  • Granola or protein bars
  • Dry cereal or oatmeal
  • Nuts or trail mixes
  • Crackers or chips
  • Shelf stable milk products (powdered milk or boxed dairy alternatives)


Water is one of the most important elements of an emergency kit and will be invaluable during an emergency. Aim to have at least 1 gallon per person per day, for 3 days. It’s recommended to also include containers for storing and carrying water. Having enough clean and safe drinking water is essential in any kind of emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster, or an evacuation due to civil unrest or fire. Be sure to include a minimum of 3 litres (3 quarts) of drinking water per person in the kit, as well as 1 litre (1 quart) per person for cooking and cleaning purposes.

In addition to having enough drinking water on hand, you should take care to have a way to purify additional water from tap or any other sources such as rainwater, lakes or rivers if necessary. This can be in the form of chlorine tablets or filtration systems capable of removing viruses and bacteria from contaminated sources. Finally, it’s advisable to keep your stored water in a cool and dark place away from direct sunlight as this helps preserve its quality over time.

First Aid Supplies

A 72-hour emergency food kit should contain basic items that are necessary for a family in the event of an emergency or disaster situation. In addition to food and water, a first aid kit is an essential part of this emergency supply. The American Red Cross recommends storing enough supplies for at least one person for up to three days, including:

  • Prescription medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Bandages
  • Gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Tweezers
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive bandages
  • Cleansing soap

If anyone in your family suffers from allergies or has special medical needs, it may be wise to include items such as epinephrine injection pens, antacids or antidiarrheal medicine in your first aid kit. It is important to regularly check your supplies and replace any outdated components.

Flashlight and Batteries

Flashlights and batteries should be an essential part of any emergency kit. Having a source of light can prove invaluable in case of a power outage, especially for those times when you are left without a light source in the dark. Flashlights also serve as a means for signaling for help if you are ever in an emergency situation.

Batteries add extra strain to your pocketbook when people forget to include them in their emergency kits; make sure to include enough batteries, so you won’t be left without the power source. It is recommended that lithium or alkaline batteries be used because they have longer lifespans than other battery types, and they retain charge better at cold temperatures. For most flashlights and other electronic devices, it is recommended to have AAA, AA, C, D or 9-volt batteries on hand.

Emergency Blankets

Emergency blankets are a vital component of a well-stocked emergency survival kit. Not only do they provide warmth and extra insulation from the elements, but they are an effective tool for first aid and shelter creation. Emergency blankets should be placed in waterproof bags and kept in an easily accessible area of your emergency kit so that you can stay warm during difficult times.

When choosing an emergency blanket, opt for those made with reflective material which will help retain heat faster than those made from standard materials. The blankets typically measure around 52 by 84 inches and come in two basic types; the all-weather foil type is best for short-term outdoor use and the wool or fleece type is better suited for long-term outdoor use in colder environments. Some also come with grommets so they can be easily secured over trees to create a shelter.

These multi-use survival items should be part of everyone’s 72 hour emergency kit and will provide life-saving comfort in an uncertain situation. It’s important to have sufficient supplies on hand at all times, including one or more additional blankets depending on the size of your family or group.


A good emergency radio is one of the most important things to include in your emergency kit. Radios come in many shapes and sizes, but you will want one that can receive more than AM/FM frequencies like NOAA weather broadcasts. It should also have a crank or solar power adapter so it can remain operational in any situation. Look for a model with an LED flashlight and other accessories such as a cellphone charging cable to increase its utility.

Additionally, choose one with multiple settings, such as an “alert” setting that is designed to seek out signals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of civil emergency messages sent out when natural disasters occur or power failures take place. This way you stay up to date on safety announcements associated with your location.

Personal Hygiene Items

When constructing an emergency kit, it’s important to include items that will help you stay clean and prevent the spread of any infection. Consider adding personal hygiene items including the following:

  • Soap and shampoo
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Brush or comb
  • Toilet paper
  • Moisturizers like lotion or petroleum jelly
  • Prescription medications
  • Multi purpose towel for face, cleaning, etc
  • Hand sanitizer for quick clean up before eating or drinking.

Other Essential Supplies

In addition to food, water, and shelter items, your emergency kit should include other essential supplies such as:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • A hand crank or battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
  • A first aid kit and instruction manual for its use.
  • A multi purpose tool (e.g., Swiss Army knife).
  • Emergency blankets or sleeping bags.
  • A whistle to signal for help.
  • Garbage bags, plastic ties, and moist towelettes for personal sanitation.
  • Matches in a waterproof container (to be used with caution).
  • Local maps marked with important locations (such as refugee centers, police stations, code red shelters etc).
  • Prescription medications, eyeglasses and other medical items you may need in the event of an emergency.

How to Assemble an Emergency Kit

In order to be prepared for an emergency, it is important to have a 72 hour emergency food kit. This food kit should contain enough food and water for at least 3 days. It is also imperative to have items like flashlights, a first aid kit, tools, and other emergency supplies.

Assembling a 72 hour emergency food kit is not difficult, but it does require thought and planning. In this section, we'll discuss the best way to assemble an emergency kit:

Choose a Container

Selecting the right container is a critical step in assembling a 72 hour emergency food kit, and there are many options to choose from. When selecting a container, think about how much space you need and how you will transport your supplies if it becomes necessary.

For most people, a large plastic tub or two-wheeled cart will suit your needs. Plastic tubs come in many sizes and can be stacked or nested together for storage. If you anticipate needing to haul supplies some distance, consider choosing a two-wheeled cart for greater portability and ease of use. These carts have the advantage of being able to be pulled behind you unlike buttstraps which can become uncomfortable and cumbersome over long distances.

Other items that may come in handy when choosing your container include: backpacks with comfortable straps, plastic garbage bags or recycled grocery sacks tied together, and even hikers’ mule bags with sturdy shoulder straps for added comfort and mobility. For smaller spaces or tight budgets, duffel bags can also be used to store the components of your kit while remaining portable enough to transport if needed.

Stock Up on Supplies

In order to assemble a high-quality 72 hour emergency kit, you must first stock up on all of the necessary supplies. Ideally, you should compile enough food and supplies to last three days if you ever need to relocate due to an emergency situation. Start by investing in some high-quality food items that are packed with nutrients and can be stored for long periods of time. Choose non-perishable items such as canned foods, dried fruits, cereals, nuts, whole grain crackers and granola bars as well as other snacks. Don’t forget beverages like juices, bottled water and sports drinks.

You will also need a good supply of basic utilities such as matches or lighters, flashlights and batteries, a portable stove or grill for cooking your meals outdoors and fuel or charcoal to go with it. You should also stock up on blankets, clean clothes and over-the-counter medications (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) that can be used in case of injury or illness.

To ensure your safety when traveling outdoors in an emergency situation it is important that you have tools like a compass, GPS device with preloaded maps of your area and other navigational components. Additional items like candles, rope or duct tape may come in handy depending on what type of situation arises.

Pack the Kit

Once you have gathered your supplies, it’s important to assemble them in the most logical manner. A good place to start is a reusable container like a backpack or duffle bag. Fill it with lightweight items like medicine, personal hygiene products and blankets that can double for comfort and warmth.

Be sure to include a manual can opener or portable battery-operated power tool (like a mini drill or saw) and several heavy-duty kitchen knives in the kit – these tools make preparing meals easier. And don't forget waterproof matches, lighters and fire starter sticks so starting fires will be possible no matter what kind of conditions you may find yourself in during an emergency.

Also include items that don’t require cooking such as bottled water, ready-to-eat canned goods (like peanut butter, tuna fish and Vienna sausages), dried fruits and nuts, protein bars and cereal bars for energy. Include single serving packages of soup mix, oatmeal or noodle type products as well – these are lightweight choices with good nutritional value. You might want to add hard candies or other small snacks that won't spoil easily too.

Pack long-lasting items such as paper plates, plastic utensils and paper towels that can be discarded after use. Don't forget portable items like flashlights with extra batteries, glow sticks or headlamps (for hands free light) along with maps of the area plus extra cash in small bills just in case! A first aid kit is always essential too – be sure it includes enough adhesive bandages of various sizes along with any medication needed for pain relief etc..

Store the Kit

In order to ensure the items in your emergency kit are safe and ready to use, it is important to store them properly. You should have easily accessible areas designated for all the items on your emergency kit checklist.

You can store your emergency kit in any convenient location as long as all family members know where it is kept. Ideally, you want an easy-to-reach area that provides some protection from wild animals and weather. It can be stored in large buckets, small backpacks, or even large bags inside a closet.

Be sure to also label the containers clearly as “Emergency Kit” and/or use symbols such as storage icons or a standard first aid sign so everyone living in your house knows what's inside the container should they ever need it during an emergency situation. Additionally, consider making copies of emergency supply list and place them next to your stored supplies with instructions on what each item is used for so that individuals know how to properly utilize them during an emergency.


Whether you’re stocking up for your own emergency preparedness kit or putting together supplies for a charity, it’s important to include quality, nonperishable food items. When the situation arises that your 72-hour emergency kit is needed, the right selection of food will provide the necessary pick-me-up and nutrients.

In general, choose foods with long shelf lives that will not spoil quickly and are easy to cook or prepare. Items like high energy bars, crackers, jerky, granola bars and other snacks should be part of your 72-hour backpack. Also consider including non-perishable items such as instant oatmeal or cereal mixes that you can prepare with boiling water. You should also include cooking materials such as large waterproof matches, aluminum foil and folded newspaper or twigs for fuel for starting a fire.

Try to pack enough food for everyone in your group's three day needs. Make sure the backpack contains enough food not just for one person but enough in case there are others who may join you during an emergency situation. Do not forget to add salt tablets to increase hydration level during events of dehydration from exhaustion or heavy work activities. Your 72-hour backpack should contain enough nutrition as well as personal hygiene products that could help maintain morale during such a stressful event. Keeping your family safe and fed is your priority during any emergency situation – planning ahead is essential!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What types of food are included in a 72 hour emergency food kit?

A1: A 72 hour emergency food kit typically contains a variety of shelf-stable foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, grains, dried beans, nuts and seeds, and some type of protein like canned tuna, chicken, or beef.

Q2: How long will a 72 hour emergency food kit last?

A2: A 72 hour emergency food kit is designed to last for three days, providing enough food for one person to survive for that period of time.

Q3: Do I need to cook the food in a 72 hour emergency food kit?

A3: Most of the food included in a 72 hour emergency food kit are already cooked and ready to eat. Some items may require heating, but these can usually be done with a simple stove or over an open flame.

72-hour food kits