72 Hour Kits / Crazy Deals / Free Stuff

72 Hour Emergency Go Bags! Get Started and Be Prepared!

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

72 Hour Checklist

It is finally finished!  The list for what you will need for your 72 Hour Emergency Go Bags/Tornado Bags/ or Emergency Kits is below.

The whole idea behind this is to have a backpack for each person in your family. Store a Go Bag under each person’s bed, or hang them in the garage.  If you have a fire, earthquake, tornado, flood or other natural disaster, you can grab the bag and go!  You won’t be running around like a crazy person trying to grab what you can in only a matter of minutes.  It’s SO important to be prepared!! And by using the great deals we get all of the time to create our bags, you will be prepared for just about anything!  In my area alone, we have had a huge fire and 3 earthquakes.  If that isn’t a sign that I need to be prepared, I’m not sure what is. 🙂

  • Backpack
  • Clothing
      • Long Sleeve Shirt
      • Sweat Pants/Pants
      • Warm Hat
      • Underwear & Socks
    • Water-1 Gallon per person or 4 Liters (rotate every 1-2 years)
    • Food-what you would typically eat (rotate every six months)
      • Protein-Granola Bars, Peanut Butter To-go
      • Trail Mix/Dried Fruit
      • Gum
      • Crackers/Cereal
      • Canned Foods (don’t use the “pop-top lids” they can leak. Also, we don’t really suggest jerky, as it can “flavor” other things)
      • Infant Formula if needed
    • Emergency Supplies
      • Small First Aid Kit
      • Emergency Blanket
      • 6 Hand warmers
      • Whistle/Compass
      • Pocket knife
      • Face Mask
      • Battery Operated Radio
      • Mess kit/Spork
      • Shovel
      • Rope
      • Duct Tape
      • Poncho
      • Can Opener
      • Blanket
      • Axe
      • Sheet (cloth/plastic)
      • Batteries
    • Hygiene
      • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
      • Chapstick
      • Soap
      • Washcloth
      • Antibacterial gel/wipes
      • Tissues (take the cardboard roll out of the TP and you can stick it in a ziplock easier)
      • Sunscreen
      • Shampoo
      • Deodorant
      • Brush
      • Floss
      • Towel
      • Feminine Products
      • Shampoo
    • Light
      • Flashlight/Batteries
      • Matches
      • Candle
      • Glow Sticks
      • Lighter
      • Flares
    • Money
      • Small bills
      • Coins (quarters)
      • Pre-paid phone card
      • Credit Card
    • Fun
      • Post-it notes
      • Notepad
      • Crayons
      • Pen/Pencils
      • Bean Bag
      • Dice
      • Card Games
      • Sharpies
      • Markers
    • Personal Information
      • Copy of records
      • Current Family Picture
      • Social Security Number
      • Addresses & Phone Numbers
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Emergency Plan
    • Medicine
      • Tylenol/Excedrin
      • Ibuprofen
      • Children’s medicine
      • Any Prescriptions you would need
    • Immunization Records

Helpful Hints:

  • This is just a sample of a 72 hour kit. It’s a start. The idea is a little overwhelming in the beginning but if you can get one started and add to it here and there, then it won’t seem like such a hard task. You can add or take out what best fits you and your family’s needs. Remember that these bags may need to be carried, so keep that in mind when you are buying and packing things up.
  • Unfortunately, the battery operated radio is a little on the expensive side, but making sure it’s a good one is better than paying less for one and having it not work. It’s up to you.
  • The thing that makes me the craziest, is rotating…one more thing to remember to do. If you attach a spreadsheet on when it needs to be rotated and when it was last rotated, it will help you keep track. Or pick two important dates during the year and associate them with your 72 Hour Kits- maybe your Birthday and your Anniversary that are about 6 months apart.
  • If you have multiple children, try getting clothing that can be worn by both girls and boys, then you can just rotate the older children’s clothing out and put it in the next child’s pack. Here in Utah, we have four seasons, even if it is summer and you have sweat pants and long sleeves in your 72 hour kit, you can always cut the sleeves off your shirts as well as cut your pants into shorts.
  • If you separate items and put them in gallon sized ziploc bags, it will help you prevent “flavoring” other items, as well as keeping it dry.
  • Remember to buy Snacks that you typically would eat on a regular basis. If there is a disaster, your kids will already be in a traumatic state and having to eat weird or unfamiliar food might make matters worse.
**not all items are shown**

**Items are linked to FREEBIES2DEALS.com and where the sale price was located.

**Most of these prices are taken from the Riverton, UT Walmart, unless otherwise stated. YMMV

Keep in mind that some of these sales have passed and are no longer available. This is just to give you an idea of how you can get the items cheaper and where I found them on sale over the past year or so. Remember too, that store prices my vary. Sales typically come around every 3-4 months, so if you are in need of something that is unavailable, maybe wait it out and see if it goes on sale again. Samples on the other hand, may be a one time offer.

The total cost of this EXAMPLE 72 Hour Kit will vary by family.  With all of the free things we have gotten on the list lately, it really helps the total cost.  But remember, you don’t have to put everything that I did in your bag.  You can take out or add things that will work for your own family.  This list is just meant to help you get started and get 72 Hour Emergency Go Bags for your whole family!

**Other resourceful websites used to help compile our list:

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  1. Did you really fit all that in your backpack? It seems like a lot to fit in a bag..

  2. thanks. I have worked on some things, but I need to go through them again. Great ideas and good information.

  3. Thank you!! I’m going to get right on ours!!

  4. Great job! Something you might want to add is a small sewing kit with needles, thread, safety pins, etc. When I teach classes on what to put in your 72 hour kits it is something I try to always include. Plus, you can make your own for super cheap!

  5. Great list! Another important thing to have in the 72 hour kit if you have a child in diapers, is enough diapers for 72 hours. Another hard thing to rotate as your baby changes diaper sizes, but also much needed.

  6. I am curious how you fit all that in there too.

  7. Great tips and info! I really need to do these for my family, but I’ve been putting ’em off because the task of rotating out the clothes and food is a little daunting. I DID make packs for the kids as Christmas presents last year for when we ride quads. Just in case we ever get separated, they each have a pack with emergency supplies like wipes, first aid kit, whistle, glow sticks, hat, sunscreen, water, snacks — and they aren’t allowed to ride without their pack! They came in very handy when my 17 y.o. & 10 y.o. were riding lead and my 6 y.o. and I were bringing up the rear and my 6 y.o. flipped his quad and the rest of the family didn’t see. I used my 6 y.o.’s pack to clean up his arm and wipe off the fuel that had spilled and get back on the trail! Our “main” first aid kit was with my hubby, and since he didn’t see us, he didn’t stop.

  8. I always keep a “baby” 72 hour kit in my car with enough diapers, food, and formula to be in the car for 24-72 hours. Right before I became pregnant a huge snow storm hit our area and some people were stuck in their cars almost over night.

  9. Great info! Thanks for sharing! I would suggest that if you are keeping in your garage, to be aware of the weather … especially if you have crayons in there!! ;o) I grew up in AZ, where everything melts in the summer! 🙂 (also the heat would probably make it so that you needed to rotate more often, especially water)

  10. Don’t forget the pets. If you have a pet make sure you have enough food, water, and an extra blanket, etc. per pet for them as well. 🙂

  11. I am such a firm believer in these! I lived in ny during September 11th and having any, form of emergency supplies can help you feel self reliant. I would recommend not using gum however just as a tip. We rotate ours during April each year and have a picnic eating our “old” stuff and the year I did gum EVERYTHING tasted like mint or strawberry gum. Even in a ziploc it took over all flavors! I hope you all get your backs going! Thanks as always melea!

  12. Thanks for this reminder…

    I am such a firm believer in these! I lived in ny during September 11th and having any, form of emergency supplies can help you feel self reliant. I would recommend not using gum however just as a tip. We rotate ours during April each year and have a picnic eating our “old” stuff and the year I did gum EVERYTHING tasted like mint or strawberry gum. Even in a ziploc it took over all flavors! I hope you all get your backs going! Thanks as always melea!

  13. What so you suggest for a pet kit? I now i need water and food and a blanket but is there any thing else that is needed for my little four legged family members?

    • I know you asked that in Aug and it is now Nov but what we have in our emergency kit for our pets is: DOGS we have current records (shot and vaccines), extra leash and collar, 1 gal ziploc bag full of her favorite dog food (or her normal dog food); bag of unopened treats; a flea/ heartworm pill (trifexis- only $13 a month); rawhide; towel for drying; blanket for comfort (small fleece) ; a 20 oz bottle of water; extra set of food and water dishes; and a few puppy pee pee pads (she is potty trained but if you are driving and she gets nervous she may go); and lastly we have a crate. All her stuff fits into our Nike draw string bag.
      As for CATS; i would put in records; an extra collar and a leash ( i know cats dont like leashes but the last thing you want is to lose your pet during an emergency); 1 gal ziploc bag of food; bag of unopened treats; flea meds ( you never know where you are going may have fleas and outside will have fleas); toys; once again a towel or blanket to keep them warm and they will feel more secure with something with your scent on it; Water; cats need a litter box but they will be happy with a box flat (that holds bottles) and some gravel just have some gravel in a gal bag; if you have an extra litter box you may be able to fit all this stuff into it.
      As for RODENTS AND BUNNIES just have them in their cage and have food and water ready for them.

  14. Thanks…the things you do for us, you are amazing.

  15. I have been to several seminars for emergencies and they always recommend a Snickers bar it has the calories you would need to survive on and just about everyone will eat one even if it is squished or melted (I keep a couple in my car always (and 72 hour kits) and they are really easy to rotate out) they say it is as good if not better than trail mix to have.

  16. I heard it suggested that for kid’s clothing you want it a size bigger then they are currently wearing since you can wear clothes that are too big, but not too small.

  17. Thank you so much for putting this together. It will make it so much easier for us “procrastinators” to get things organized!

  18. I would like to add to that list; have some cash available for just in case you need to evacuate in a situation or when the time comes and we need to be ready for the end banks wont be available.Electric will be one of the first things to go. Gas will run out fast. Even in emergencies this happens. I know when hurricanes hit you need to be ready to move inland (not all people will have the luxury of living through a hurricane.)
    I would also like to add you have markers and notebooks if you have kids throw in a few unused coloring books. small board games like uno is awesome to have on hand. Also want to add cards for card games are great but if you dont know any card games throw in a few card game instructions; never hurts to learn a few.

  19. Also i would like to add walkie talkies they are amazing; if you do get separated; have a channel and put that number on the back and they can know it and you will be able to use it to contact one another but make sure there is an extra set of batteries with each walkie talkie. If there is a natural disaster or something happens and we don’t have cell phone reception then what?

  20. This is a great way to have food storage that doesn’t that up alot of space. I hope I win!!!

  21. I am starting to get one together. This would help a lot.

  22. Ok, never gave thought to making one of these,now feel I have to!

  23. I really wish I had time to collect all these items and great deals. You are correct when you say couponing takes time. I am sure it is worth it, but I just struggle finding the time.

  24. Would love to win and share this with my married kids who are living off student loans!


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