Get it Before You Need It
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A few years ago, a cedar tree fell on our power lines during a windstorm, leaving Aaron and me without power for three long days in the middle of fall. We were lucky enough to have prepared for this kind of emergency by building a 72 hour food kit, complete with a butane stove to safely cook on. Because of being prepared, we were able to weather the power outage with ease, turning what could have been a major crisis into a minor inconvenience.
If you’re anything like me, you know that being prepared for emergencies is key. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to building a 72 hour food kit that can help you and your family get through a tough time just like Aaron and me. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster, power outage, or any other unexpected event, having a well-stocked food kit can make all the difference.
Why You Need a 72 Hour Food Kit
In any emergency situation, access to food and water is crucial. A 72 hour food kit is designed to provide you with enough food and water to sustain you and your family for three days. This is important because, in many emergencies, it can take up to 72 hours for help to arrive. Having a food kit on hand can help you weather the storm until help arrives.
Clearing Up Common Misconceptions
One common misconception about 72 hour food kits is that they are only necessary for people who live in areas prone to natural disasters. While it’s true that those living in areas with a high risk of hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes may be more likely to need a food kit, emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time. From power outages to water main breaks, there are plenty of situations where having a food kit can come in handy.
The Pros and Cons of Pre-Made Kits
There are a variety of pre-made 72 hour food kits available for purchase online and in stores. These kits can be a convenient option for those who don’t have the time or inclination to put together their own kit. The pros of pre-made kits are that they are often designed by experts, contain a wide variety of foods, and are packaged for long-term storage. However, pre-made kits can also be expensive and may contain foods that your family doesn’t like or can’t eat. That’s why one of our favorite 72 hour food kits is from Valley Food Storage. Their food doesn’t contain a ton of additives and tastes amazing.
The Benefits of DIY Kits
If you have the time and inclination, putting together your own 72 hour food kit can be a great option. DIY kits allow you to customize your kit to your family’s specific needs and tastes. Plus, you can save money by buying in bulk and packaging the food yourself. Just be sure to choose foods that are non-perishable, easy to prepare, and have a long shelf life.
Building Your 72 Hour Food Kit
When building your 72 hour food kit, it’s important to start with a strong foundation. This means choosing a sturdy, waterproof container that is large enough to hold all of your supplies. A backpack, duffel bag, or plastic bin are all good options.
Generally speaking people over the age of 10 should consider a minimum amount of 1800 calories per day, ideally, you would want to 2000 a day considering in an emergency you will be exerting your body more.
72 Hour Food Kit Checklist
- One gallon of water per person, per day
- Water filtration system or purification tablets
- Canned foods (such as tuna, beans, vegetables, and fruit)
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Protein bars or energy bars
- Beef jerky or other dried meats
- Peanut butter or other nut butters
- Crackers or rice cakes
- Instant oatmeal or cereal
- Granola or trail mix
- Hard candy or other non-perishable sweets
- Freeze-dried meals, at least 6 servings per person
- Portable stove or camping stove
- Butane fuel or other fuel canisters
- Matches or lighter
- Utensils (such as forks, spoons, and knives)
- Can opener
- Cooking pot and/or pan
- Paper plates and cups
- Garbage bags
Water is the most important item to include in your 72 hour food kit. The general rule of thumb is to include one gallon of water per person, per day. Be sure to also include a water filtration system or purification tablets, in case you need to drink water from a questionable source.
When it comes to food, choose items that are non-perishable, easy to prepare, and high in calories and nutrients. Canned goods, dried fruits and nuts, and energy bars are all great options. Be sure to also include a manual can opener, utensils, and a portable stove with enough fuel to cook all your meals. Don’t forget to consider any dietary restrictions or food allergies when selecting items for your kit.
In addition to food and water, there are a few other essentials to include in your 72 hour food kit. First aid supplies, including bandages, gauze, and antiseptic wipes, are important in case of injury. A flashlight with extra batteries, a whistle, and a portable radio can also come in handy. Lastly, be sure to include any necessary medications or medical supplies for your family members.
Always Be Ready for Emergencies
In times of emergency, having a well-stocked 72 hour food kit can make all the difference. Whether you choose to purchase a pre-made kit or put together your own, be sure to include plenty of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods, as well as water, a portable stove, and any other essentials your family may need. By taking the time to build a kit now, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way. And, as I learned from my personal experience, being prepared can turn a major crisis into a minor inconvenience.