What Does a 72 Hour Emergency Kit Usually Contain?

Emergency kits on wooden table

Every home needs an emergency preparedness kit. Your family needs to be prepared for when the worst – or at least the moderately inconvenient – happens.

Itís a safety measure that doesnít take much time or effort but can change your situation dramatically in the instance of a disaster. But when the worst happens, you want to make sure that you actually have the tools you need – and there are some essentials that should be in any emergency kit.


The most obvious essential youíll need in the case of an emergency is water and food. Fortunately, itís pretty easy to calculate what your nutritional requirements will be for a 72-hour emergency kit. The typical survival kit comes with a gallon of water per person in the household.

But how that water is distributed should be a consideration when shopping. Higher quality survival kits will typically make use of smaller hydration packs in addition to – or as a replacement for – larger containers of water since theyíre a more portable alternative. While itís not an absolute necessity, you may want to consider packing in a water filtration solution like a filtering straw or purification tablets.

They can extend the life of your survival kit significantly without taking up significantly more space.


As with water, youíll want to make sure that there are three days worth of food for everyone in your family. Finding food thatís non-perishable is the biggest priority here. If you have a large home and are creating a 72-hour kit for sheltering in place, you can simply make use of canned goods. But itís generally recommended that you keep a 72-hour kit in your car and at your office as well.

For that reason, many prepared meal kits instead use energy bars. Theyíre densely packed with protein to give your body the fuel they need and are both portable and lightweight. Your goal with an adult is to make sure that you have at least 2,000 calories accounted for in a day. Whether you used a prepared kit or make your own, youíll want to make sure that you regularly swap out materials when they expire.

One of the advantages of using a professionally prepared kit is that they have an exceptionally long shelf life.

Survival Supplies

A major emergency often means dealing with a loss of utilities, and that means there are a few things any 72-hour emergency kit should always include. The first is a wrench or ideally a basic tool kit for turning off utilities at the source.

To deal with the loss of heat, youíll want to make sure to include extra blankets and layers of clothing for everyone. Hand warmers also offer a compact, inexpensive and utility-free method for staying warm.

Youíll also want to consider lighting to account for the possible loss of electricity. At least one battery- or crank-powered flashlight is essential, but you should also pack in candles and waterproof matches as a backup lighting source. And no matter how big your emergency kit is, one thing thatís an absolute necessity is a first aid kit.

That covers most of the basics. With an emergency kit stowed away that covers those basics in place, you only rarely have to update it – but you can still be confident that youíre prepared in the case of a 72-hour emergency. There are a few alterations you could make – many suggest stowing away cash money for instance, and you should make sure to pack in any necessary prescriptions – but a standardized solution will suit almost any home. A 72 hour kit like those offered by Stealth Angel Survival can at the very least serve as a good starting point.