27 Jan Make a 72 Hour Kit on a Budget

It is very important to have a 72 hour kit for you and every member of your family, just in case anything happens. Natural disasters happen quite often, and if you live in a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane zone, it is even more important to have a few days of supplies on hand. It takes about 3 days for government aid to come in an emergency situation (about 72 hours), so it is recommended to have supplies for at least that long. Of course this is just an average. It can take less time, or more time depending on the situation. Once you have a basic 72 hour kit, you can save up for nicer supplies, like a nice water filter (like a Berkey filtration system), or a human-powered flashlight. Read on to learn what to put in your 72 hour kit and tips to assemble it inexpensively.

The Supplies
A good 72 hour kit should include the following:

  • Flashlight and spare batteries (It doesn’t have to be powerful, it just has to work. Watch for sales and get batteries and flashlights for less)
  • Poncho (buy a cheap one from Walmart for about $0.88)
  • Emergency thermal blanket
  • Small first aid kit (bandaids, antibiotic cream, gauze and tape, all this can be assembled for about $4)
  • Hand warmers
  • Toothbrush (You know that free one that the dentist gives you every time you visit? Put that, as well as your free toothpaste and floss in your emergency kit)
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Lighter and matches
  • Glow sticks
  • Change of clothes (for both winter and summer wear — include everything down to the socks and underwear).
  • Cash
  • Water (the recommendation is 1 gallon a person a day. This does seem quite impossible to carry, so get as much as you can carry, at least 8 litres, or a way to filter water)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Dried fruit
  • Energy bars or granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Cup of soup
  • Cans of tuna, beans, etc. and a can opener
  • Photos of your family in case you get separated
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (Have enough for an entire cycle, just in case)
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer (get a small one from the Dollar Store)
  • Soap (you know those little hotel freebies?)
  • Prescription medication
  • Copies of personal documents (marriage license, wills, passports, licenses, etc.)
  • Extra hair elastics
  • Roll of toilet paper (take out the cardboard tube and put it in a plastic bag to store it flater)
  • Hunting knife or swiss army knife
  • $20 cash

While you are collecting your 72 hour kit, buy things on sale and at the dollar store or Walmart to save money.

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