72 Hour kits

  • This is a list that I found on usenet a number of years ago. Most of the information is still relevant. Minor corections have been made, and are marked with | along the left edge.
    From: dorothy@cogsci.berkeley.edu (Dorothy Heydt)
    Newsgroups: ca.earthquakes
    Subject: 72 Hour Emergency Supply Kits (**LONG**)
    Date: 6 Nov 89 18:39:20 GMT
    Organization: University of California, Berkeley
    Lines: 713
    I have just been taught how to post.  Here is the information that I
    have put together from a number or sources on the preparation of 72
    hour kits.  It is very long.  Hope the information is useful to anyone
    who needs it.
                            IDEAS FOR FOOD FOR 72 HOUR KITS
    01.  Package each meal for each member in individual bags.
         Breakfast Day 1
         Lunch Day 1
         Dinner Day 1
         This prevents any loss of food for any one person in your party
         and allows you to keep order in your kits.
    02.  Pick foods your family will enjoy.
         You will find that it is very important that you place foods in
         this kit that your family will eat regardless.  You might plan to
         place foods in your kits that your family particularly enjoys,
         but that you don't always serve.
    03.  Rotate your food.
         Most food comes with expiration dates on it.  It will be impor-
         tant to rotate your food according to this schedule so that you
         do not find yourself in an emergency situation with expired food.
    04.  Place food in your kits that are easy to prepare or ready to eat.
         When you need to use this kit, remember you will have in most
         cases been evacuated from your home either by car or on foot.  It
         will be a stressful time for your family.  You may be in a Red
         Cross Shelter, in a campground or on the road or on the way to
         relatives homes.  You will not have all the luxuries of home. 
         Cooking at best will be difficult.  Please keep this in mind as
         you choose your foods for this 72 emergency survival kit.
    05.  Don't spend a lot of money.
         This is a survival kit.  You will want to be comfortable but not
         extravagant.  The food you place in here, due to its convenience,
         will cost more than you desire to spend, however, you can keep
         the cost very reasonable.
    06.  Ideas for Food.
         Beef Jerky               Saltine Crackers
         Corned Beef Hash         Soup-for-One
         Roast Beef Hash          Cheese & Crackers
         Beef Stew                Oyster Crackers
         Chili                    Dried Beef
         Ravioli                  Fruit Cups
         Applesauce Cups          Vienna Sausages
         Pudding Cups             Bread Sticks
         Cookies                  Snack Pack Cereal
         Canned Milk              Powdered Milk
         Fruit Rolls              Fun Fruits
         Packages of Raisins      Packages of Peanuts
         Granola Bars             Beef Sticks
         Box Juices               Hot Cocoa Mix
         Suckers                  Hard Candy
         Trail Mix                Power Bars
         This list is just to give you some suggestions for putting
         together your own kits.  As each families taste differ you will
         need to adjust for your own families taste.
    07.  Menus - Examples
         Breakfast-Day 1     Breakfast-Day 2       Breakfast-Day 3
         ---------------     ---------------       ---------------
         Cereal              Instant Oatmeal       Granola Bar
         Powdered Milk       Fruit Roll            Granola Bar
         Fruit Cup           Box of Apple Juice    Box of Grapefruit Juice
         Box of OJ           Hot Cocoa/Ice Tea     Hot Cocoa/Ice Tea
         Lunch-Day 1         Lunch-Day 2           Lunch-Day 3
         -----------         -----------           -----------
         Cup of Soup         Beef Jerky            Box of OJ
         Saltine Crackers    Peanuts               Cheese & Crackers
         Box of Apple Juice  Applesauce Cup        Fruit Cup
         Pudding Cup         Box of Grape Juice    Granola Bar
         Dinner-Day 1        Dinner-Day 2          Dinner-Day 3
         ------------        ------------          ------------
         Corned Beef Hash    Chili with Beans      Beef Stew
         Applesauce Cup      Saltine Crackers      Bread Sticks
         Box of Grape Juice  Box of OJ             Box of OJ
         Granola Bar         Tapioca Pudding Cup   Fruit Cup
                         EMERGENCY FUEL
         CANNED HEAT (STERNO) - This can be purchased at most sporting
         goods stores as well as most grocery stores.  You will need to
         store 1 large can per person per day.
         BUDDY BURNER - Select a shallow can (tuna, cat food, etc.) and
         insert coil of corrugated cardboard the height of the can.
         Pour melted paraffin to partially fill can.  Allow to harden. 
         Birthday candle in center will help light.  A lid on the can with
         a wire handle will help control the heat.
         VAGABOND STOVE - Use a number 10 can.  Cut opening around the top
         of the can with a can opener punch.  This is to provide a draft 
         for your fire.  Then cut an opening at the bottom of the can 
         large enough to fit the Buddy Burner or a small fire.  Cook on top.
         Lighting Equipment
         GAS LANTERN (Coleman, two mantle)
         Burning at the rate of 5 hours per day, the following amounts of
         white gas would be used:  Per day - 5/12 quarts; per week - 2
         12 quart per month - 3 1/8 gallons; per year - 38 gallons.
         KEROSENE LANTERN - (with a 1" wick)
         This device will burn 45 hours on 1 quart.  (Dietz Lantern 
         Information) burning at the rate of 5 hours per day, the following 
         amount of kerosene would be used:  Per day - 1/9 quarts; per week 
         7/9 quarts; per month 3 1/13 quarts; per year - 10 gallons.
         FLASHLIGHT (Two battery)
         Batteries used were well-known brands in testing).  Continuous
         running on new batteries - 7 hours.  7 month old batteries,
         continuous running - 5 hours.
         CANDLES (Burning time)
         3/4 diameter x 4" tall - 2 hours and 20 minutes
         7/8 diameter x 4" tall - 5 hours
         2" square x 9" tall - 7 hours per inch or : 4 inches - 28 hours
                                                     9 inches - 63 hours
         Heating or Cooking Equipment
         TWO PLATE GAS BURNER (Coleman)
         With both burners burning for 4 hours per day, the following
         amount of white gas would be used:  per day - 1 quart; per week -
         7 quarts; per month - 7 1/2 gallons; per year - 91 gallons.
         HOUSE OR WITHIN THE REACH OF CHILDREN.  Consult distributors of
         fuel, or government agencies that would have information on the
         proper storage of fuels.
         What will you do if disaster strikes your neighborhood:  a fire,
         a riot, a flood, a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake?  The 
         most critical need for help after the disaster is during the first 
         72 hours, yet community and government assistance will probably 
         not be available during this period.
         With a minimum of expense and trouble it is possible to bring
         together a few basic items which will ease the stress of a
         difficult situation and may even save you and your families life.
         In any form of emergency situation, several things take place:
         both physical and emotional.
                   1 -  We will all experience emotional shock and a cer-
                        tain amount of hysteria.
                   2 -  The propensity of accidents increases.
                   The greatest threat to loss of life are accidents
                   that lead to severe bleeding or other forms of 
                   injury or trauma.
                   If we are not able to address these injuries as effec-
                   tively as possible, this will greatly increase our own
                   stress and could virtually debilitate some people and
                   prevent them from acting in a sound and rational man-
         We must keep in mind that in the event of a severe disaster, all
         familiar public services, including medical, will be immediately
         over-taxed and as a result, will be basically ineffectual to you
         as an individual, particularly during the first 72 hours.
         Assistance Organizations such as the Red Cross, Hospitals, the
         Military, National Guard, etc., require a certain response time
         They are looking to you to take care of yourself and your family 
         completely for a period of a few hours up to 72 hours.  It takes 
         approximately 72 hours until their operations are in full service.
                        HOW TO PACK IT...HOW TO STORE IT
         It is important that you take a comprehensive survey of your own
         family units needs and insure that you have included any special
         items that are unique to you.  Your needs could be very much
         different than the suggested lists, only you can decide what you
         and your families needs are based on your resources and experi-
         Once you have established and gathered together what you feel are
         necessary requirements for both an Emergency Preparedness Kit and
         a substantial First Aid Kit; you will need a container that these
         items will go in.
              1-  Fishing Tackle Boxes
              2-  Tool Boxes
              3-  Sweater Storage Boxes
              4-  Rubbermaid Tote and Go
         The items listed above are ideas for storing your large First Aid
         These boxes need to withstand the rigors of rapid transportation. 
         Please keep in mind that none of the items you gather together
         are of any value to you if they cannot be brought to the point of
         need and be in useable condition and render the service that the
         items were intended for.
              1-  Rubbermaid Tote and Store
              2-  Suitcase
              3-  Footlockers
              4-  Plastic Garbage Cans
              5-  Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
         The items listed above are ideas for storing your 72 hour emer-
         gency kit.
         These kits do not have to be complicated!  Rather, simple is
         better than complex, however, the need of quality and durability
         should be one of the major criteria for any items included.
                   WATER STORAGE
         The Civil Defense Bulletin Reads:
                   "Water to be stored should be drawn into containers
                   before it is needed.  Don't wait until an emergency
                   happens before laying in your supply.  When an emergen-
                   cy occurs, it may be to late to act.  The public water
                   service may already be interrupted or contaminated. 
                   Also, if thousands of households are trying to fill
                   water containers at the same time, they would reduce
                   the pressure in the street mains.  This would make fire
                   fighting more difficult.  Waiting until something
                   happens before you draw and store the water you need
                   could cost you your home or even your life."
         Be Careful About Rain Water -
                   Rain water that has been collected should be treated
                   the same as any other unknown water source.  Rain 
                   water contains small particulates and acid.  
         Good Methods of Storing Water -
                   Store Bottled Water - may be stored up to six months
                   with no detrimental effect or rotation required. 
                   Store Water in Old Bleach Bottles -
                   Rotate every 7 to 9 months.
    |                        Do not rinse the Plastic Chlorox Bottles
                             before filling with water.  You should not
                             get ill from drinking this water as the resi-
                             due left in the bottle is probably just the
                             right amount of chlorine to protect the wa-
                   Purchase five gallon water containers from a camping
                   supply store or Army Surplus store.  Keep in mind,
                   however that you will need to transport this and possi-
                   bly on foot so consider the weight involved if you
                   choose this method.  Water weighs approximately 
    |              8-9 pounds per gallon. (actually 8.3 pounds, not including
    |	       container.)
         Water Purification Methods -
              Boiling-       Most water can be purified for drinking pur-
                             poses by boiling it for 10 minutes.  This
                             will destroy the bacteria.  In order to im-
                             prove the taste it will be necessary to aer-
                             ate it after boiling.  This is accomplished
                             by pouring it from one container to another
                             several times.  This should be done after the
                             water has been allowed to cool.
              Chlorination-  You can use any commercially available bleach
                             solution.  It should contain 5.25% Sodium
                             Hypochlorite.  Add the following to a clean
                             container in which when the water is added.
                             It can be thoroughly mixed by stirring or shak-
                                       4 drops per gallon
                                       20 drops = 1/4 tsp or
                                       enough to purify 5 gallons.
                             After adding the proper dosage and stirring,
                             allow the water to stand for 30 minutes.  It
                             should then have a distinct odor of chlorine. 
                             If this odor is not present, add another dose
                             of the solution and let stand for another 15
                             The taste or smell or chlorine in water as
                             treated in this manner is a sign of safety. 
                             It is not harmful.  On the contrary, if you
                             cannot detect chlorine in water you are try-
                             ing to purify by this method, do not drink
              Purification Tablets -
                             Tablets that release iodine may be used safe-
                             ly to purify drinking water.  These tablets
                             can be found at most drug stores and sporting
                             goods stores.  The names vary but it is ge-
                             nerically known as halazone tablets.
                                  Follow the directions on the package. 
                                  Usually one tablet is sufficient for one
                                  quart of water.  The dosage is doubled
                                  for cloudy water.
              Iodine -       Ordinary Household Iodine may be used to
                             purify small quantities of water.  Add 2-3
                             drops of Tincture Of Iodine to each quart of
                             clear water (8-10 for cloudy water).  Mix and
                             allow to stand for 30 minutes.
         Other purification methods may be recommended by the proper
         authorities if special conditions arise.  In such cases follow
         the instructions of your local government or authorities.  
         It is suggested that each member of your household have a minimum
         of 1.5 gallons of water per day.  This is including infants
         (nursing mothers will need more).  It is suggested then, that you
         store 4.5 gallons per member of your family for your 72 hour
                   PROPER SEWAGE DISPOSAL
         I know that most of you do not want to consider the possibility
         of having to leave your home and then rough it even to the point
         of having to be responsible for the dispose of your wastes,
         however, the possibility exists and the following will help you
         to take care of this unpleasant task in the proper and safest
              You will need 12 to 18 large brown paper bags for each
              person for each day.  This allows the use of 4 to 6 bags
              each time for 3 times per day.
              You will place the bags 4 to 6 thick (one inside the other).
              Spray Disinfectant
              Newspapers and Toilet Tissue
              Pointed Shovel
         The bags are called soil bags.  Paper is preferable to plastic
         because of their biodegradable properties.  You will place these
         bags one inside the other and spray with a disinfectant.  Then
         fold up 2 sheets of newspaper and place in the bottom of the bag. 
         Place this bag in the hole that you will use.
         After use pour 1/4 cup bleach into bag or douse with lysol then
         tie the bag shut with a piece of twine and spray the bag with
         insecticide.  If you are moving on, dig a hose 30 to 36 six
         inches deep and bury the bag.  Make sure that you cover it well
         with dirt and then stomp on the dirt to make sure that there isn't
         any air-gaps in the hole.
         If you have made camp and will be staying you can place all the
         soil bags in a large plastic bag with a tie on it and place it in
         a large trash can that is not being used for garbage.  Then at
         the end of the day, all the paper bags can be buried at one time.
                   WHAT DO I NEED?
         It can be reviewed with family members.  Further information is
         available to you at your local library.
         BATTERY POWERED RADIO - Local stations and the Emergency Broad-
         cast System will be the only source of reliable information
         during an emergency.
         If the radio is a permanent addition to your 72 hour kit it
         should be checked regularly to make sure both it and the batter-
         ies are in working order.
         FLASHLIGHT - These should be stored outside of the radio and
         flashlight.  The shelf life can be extended if the batteries are
         kept in the refrigerator or freezer.
         FAMILY RECORDS AND VALUABLES - Birth Certificates, Naturalization
         Papers, and Diplomas, Insurance Certificates, Genealogy Informa-
         tion, Computer Disks, Passports, etc.
         ITEMS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT - After the initial response to an
         emergency, the disrupted life style and disorientation can cause
         undo emotional stress and feeling of insecurity.  Items that are
         emotionally reassuring should be included in the emergency kit.
         These can include crayons, coloring books, story books, puzzles,
         soft small toys for children.  Personal items for adults should
         be included such as books, handiwork, musical instrument, or
         sports equipment.
         PLASTIC BAGS AND TIES - These items can serve as garbage contain-
         ers, ground cloths, tents, wash basins, broken window cover, and
         substitute rain coat.
         DISINFECTANT - Bleach, lysol, betadine can be used to treat
         sewage, waste water, and refuse to minimize infection.  Storage
         containers for these items must be unbreakable.
         IMPROVISED TOILET - Pack a pointed shovel, and a plastic bucket
         with a tight fitting lid.  Pack 12 to 18 paper bags per person 
         per day.  Sanitation is the most important consideration.  
         Remember to also pack the toilet tissue.
         help you to conserve water and at the same time minimize contami-
         nation problems.
         SOAP - Liquid soap (soft soap or pump ivory) works best when
         water supplies are limited.
         TOILETRIES - Although these are not necessary for survival they
         will contribute to a sense of well-being and comfort.  Toothbrush
         and toothpaste, comb and hair brush, washcloth and towel, deodor-
         ant, shaving supplies and mirror, shampoo and mouthwash.
         FIRST AID KIT - It is assumed that major medical needs will be
         taken care of by community resources.  The community has a plan
         which will deploy paramedics, fire departments, police, and other
         medical personnel as needed to areas where major injuries have
         The purpose, therefore, of the items included in the family First
         Aid Kit is to treat minor injuries so that they do not become a
         major threat to health during the first few days of an emergency.
         WATER STORAGE - General Water Storage is 1.5 gallons per person
         per day.
         SLEEPING BAGS and BEDROLLS - Wool blankets resist fire, they warm
         even when wet and they are less bulky than sleeping bags.  There
         must be adequate and appropriate sleeping cover for every member
         of the family.
         CAN OPENER - A manual type must be packed with any canned goods.
         UTILITY KNIFE - A sharp versatile knife will come in handy for
         many purposes.
         ADJUSTABLE WRENCH - This must be kept handy to gas and water
         lines.  Each member of the family should be trained how to turn
         off gas or water in the event of an emergency.  Turning off water
         not only prevents damage to one's home, but also provides in-
         creased water pressure for community use.
         Water trapped in the hot water tank and indoor plumbing will stay
         clean once the main water valve is turned off.
         MISCELLANEOUS - Small Ax, Heavy Gloves, and MATCHES stores in a
         waterproof unbreakable container.
         In the case of most emergency's there will be little if no
         communication over telephone lines.
         It is imperative that all members of your family learn to send
         morse code SOS.  This is the universal sign for HELP.
         It can be sent many ways, by signal mirror, lantern, key and
         It is very simple, however, care must be taken to insure that
         each member knows how to send it and receive it.  You must
         practice this skill if you are to retain it.
                   S (dit dit dit)
                   O (dah dah dah)
                   S (dit dit dit)
         Dits are very short blasts of light or sound.
         Dahs are longer (3x that of dits) of light or sound.
                        CHILDREN'S SURVIVAL KIT
         Store these items in water proof containers.  A plastic bucket is
         ideal for this.  Make it accessible to your emergency kits.
         Suggested Items:
              01.  Scriptures
              02.  Books & Magazines
              03.  Paper, Coloring Books, and Activity Books
              04.  Felt Tip Markers, Colored Pencils, Scissors
              05.  Games
              06.  Small toys
              07.  Any Hard Candy
              08.  Children's Vitamins, Pain-Reliever, Cold Remedies, Band
                   Aids, and First-Aid Cream
              09.  Creative Game List
              10.  String
              11.  Clothespins
              12.  Feather
              13.  Straws
              14.  Wooden Blocks
              15.  Marbles
              16.  Metal Washers
                        CREATIVE GAME LIST
         This is a list of games that children can play out of everyday
         Clothespins -
              01.  Drop in a bottle
              02.  Pitch at a target
              03.  Clothesline relay
         Wooden Blocks -
              01.  Print letters on cubes.  Roll cubes to spell words. 
                   First one to complete 10 words wins.
         Marbles -
              01.  Roll them at a target
              02.  Toss them in a box
              03.  Old Fashioned Marble Game
         Metal Washers -
              01.  Toss them into numbered cups.
         Paper Cups -
              01.  Tossing Games
              02.  Blowing Relay
              03.  Telephone
         Paper Plates -
              01.  Toss through a wire coat hanger
         Straws -
              01.  Marble Blow Relay
              02.  Bean Relay
         Spoons - 
              01.  Carry Ball
              02.  Flip Beans at target
              03.  Carry Cotton Balls
         Feathers -
              01.  Feather Volleyball: blow feather over string or net
              02.  Toss them at a target
              03.  Blow them over the line relay
    If you have any further need of information post or e-mail to me and
    I'll try to find the answers for you.  Our kits are homemade and we
    keep them in small backpacks (2 for each person) and the water in
    portable containers.  My Husband's backpack is in his vehicle as he is
    on the road most of the time.  He keeps the first aid kit (extensive)
    with him as he is a volunteer EMT.  I have the children's packs right
    by the front door in a closet, along with the family first aid kit.
    We keep an extra set in my car.  By having an extra in the car - if
    you come across an accident or someone who is stranded with a broken
    vehicle - you can offer some assistance (i.e. blanket, flashlight food,
    or water).
    All of my children have been assigned jobs - one thing that they need
    to do in case of emergency or evacuation.  We routinely practice these
    items.  Then they pick up their kits and meet at the assigned meeting
    We have only had to leave once - it was during a fire when we lived in
    Southern California.  We were gone overnight.  It was good to have
    things that the children felt comfortable with.  We returned home with
    no incident.
    Hope this helps.