72 Hours Supply

Following a disaster normal supplies that you use in daily living may not be available or inaccessible. It is suggested you have a disaster supply kit that will allow you to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. The composition and size of the kits will vary based on individual needs, family size, and personal preferences. To be considered complete these kits should contain food, water, clothing, tool kits, medical and hygiene supplies to meet everyone's (pets too!!) personal needs.

Home Supply Kits

Home disaster supply kits should be put together to supply you and your family with the basic equipment and provisions to take care of yourselves for at least 5 days. Containers for kits should be large enough to hold all the supplies but small enough to handle without difficulty. A large plastic garbage can or similar larger storage system is recommended.

Food Supplies

When selecting food supplies consider the ease of preparation, ease of storage, shelf life, and personal preferences of your family what works for one family may not for another. Some tips on food selection:

  • Foods selected should not require a large amount of water to cook.
  • Foods should be easily stored in your kit.
  • Foods should have a shelf life that allows them to last at least one year before needing replacement.
  • Do not purchase salty foods, they will make you thirsty.
  • Select foods that the whole family enjoys.
  • Include a method of heating (sterno, camp stove) AND matches along with eating utensils (paper plates, cups, utensils, pot and pans, etc)
  • Baby food
  • Canned Formula
  • Canned Juices
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned meats
  • Canned vegetables
  • Crackers
  • Food for your pets
  • Granola Bars
  • Hard Candy
  • Instant Coffee/Tea
  • Peanut Butter
  • Ready to eat meals
  • Sugar, salt, pepper
  • Vitamins

Hygiene & Medical Supplies

Hygiene Supplies

For Hygiene include a bar of soap, liquid dish detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tissues, toilet paper, and sanitary napkins should be included in your kit.

Medical Supplies

Your Medical kit needs to include a complete first aid kit. These kits may be purchased from a number or sources or put together piece-by-piece. Remember to include any prescription medications that your family takes. Also include a written list of prescriptions, allergies, and your doctors’ address and phone number. You should have a first aid kit in your home, one for each car, and in your office.

Tool Kits, Supplies & Special Items

The following supplies and tools should also be stored in your home supply kit:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Can Opener
  • Cash or Travelers Checks
  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Copies of financial papers
  • Copies of medical records
  • Disinfectant
  • Duct Tape
  • Family records
  • Feminine Supplies
  • Flashlight with extra bulbs & batteries
  • Games and books
  • Garbage bags
  • Hammer
  • Inventory of assets
  • Lighter or sparking tool
  • Matches in water proof container
  • Medicine Dropper
  • Mess kits or paper plates, cups & utensils
  • Needles & thread
  • Old pair of glasses
  • Paper & Pencils or pens
  • Personal Hygiene items
  • Pet Supplies
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic bucket with lid
  • Pliers
  • Portable radio with extra batteries
  • Rope
  • Screwdriver
  • Shovel
  • Signal Flare
  • Sleeping bags
  • Soap
  • Space blanket
  • Tarp
  • Tent
  • Toilet Paper
  • Type ABC Fire Extinguisher
  • Utility Knife
  • Whistle

Water Supply

The human body can survive about 30 days without food but less than a week without water under cool to moderate conditions. As outside temperatures rise the survivability without water drastically plummets. In order to survive you must have water.

The minimum amount of water you should have stored for a disaster is:


For a family of four this translates to:

1 gallon x 4 people x 5 days = 20 gallons MINIMUM

Do not forget to include pets in the equation as well. So in the above example a family of four with a dog and a cat needs:

1 gallon x 6 people/animals x 5 days = 30 gallons MINIMUM

Three gallons a day minimum will require a great deal of water conservation on your part. If possible a seven day supply would be much more preferable. Water supplies should be changed once a year at a minimum.

If your water supply is shut off any your stored emergency supplies have been exhausted, there are several alternative sources.

  1. Water heaters tanks may be shut off and drained
  2. Water from unsalted canned vegetables may be used

If you are unsure of the quality of the water, purify it before drinking. You can heat water to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, use purification tablets, or use unscented 5.25% household liquid bleach to purify. To purify using bleach add bleach to the water, shake or stir the container then let it stand for 30 minutes before drinking.

Water Purification Guide

Water Quantity Bleach Added to water
1 quart 4 drop from a medicine dropper
1 gallon 16 drops from a medicine dropper
5 gallons 1 teaspoon

Updated: January 19, 2022