9 Items People Forget in a 72-Hour Emergency Kit

26th June 2017
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Preparing a 72-hour emergency kit for every member of your household is one of the most effective ways to be prepared for the unexpected.


Items like water, food, and clothing are packed as tightly as possible into fluorescent backpacks, usually stored in the garage or under beds.

But in addition to food supplies, we’ve compiled a list of must-have items most people forget to pack in a 72-hour emergency kit.

1. Watch

Relying on your cell phone to tell the time can be dangerous, especially if you’re out of range or if your battery dies.

Plus, you may need to turn it off to conserve battery life.

Packing a watch means you’ll always know what time it is whether or not you have a phone.

2. Whistle

A whistle can alert authorities to your location if you’re ever lost in the woods or trapped somewhere.

If you are hurt or weak, blowing a whistle will be much easier and louder than yelling for help.

3. Hands-Free Light

Most people remember to pack a flashlight and extra batteries, but they don’t include a hands-free light.

A headlamp is ideal for keeping your hands free to work or to carry other supplies, allowing you to focus on the trail or holding your child’s hand rather than holding a flashlight.

4. Water Flavoring

Water is one of the most important items you can pack in your 72-hour kit.

If you include a few flavored water packages, such as Gatorade flavored powder in your kit, you will be able to hydrate your body and replace electrolytes you may have lost.

5. Rain Coat or Poncho

While a raincoat isn’t one of the first items people think of when packing their Emergency Kits, it’s your best option to stay dry if it rains.

Don’t have an extra raincoat to pack away?

Tuck some oversized trash bags in your kit. You can cut holes for your head and arms if you need a rain poncho.

6. Can Opener

Canned food is a great way to store food for an extended period of time, but if you don’t pack a can opener, it will be much harder to open dinner.

7. Cash

In this day and age, it’s so much easier to swipe a credit card than carrying cash, but you should consider storing some cash in your 72-hour kit.

If the power goes out and credit card machines don’t work, you will still be able to pay for the supplies you need.

8. Forgotten Toiletries

Most people remember to pack a toothbrush, but did you remember to add a tube of toothpaste to your kit?

What about hair ties and a compact brush?

Storing toilet paper in a plastic bag is also important or else your toilet paper could get wet and ruined.

9. Stress Relievers

Packing small toys, games, or candy is a great way to help relieve some of the stress young children may feel during an emergency situation.

Having a 72-hour emergency kit for each member of your family (including pets!) can help save your family’s lives.

Emergencies can happen.

Be prepared as a family.

Learn how to better prepare for and survive different disasters and create an emergency plan together.

This article was written by Alyssa Gisseman who is a student at Brigham Young University. Alyssa is studying English language and editing.

She currently does copywriting and editing at Wallaroo Media.

She loves researching and sharing what she learns with others, especially when it is a topic as important as this one.

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