Many of us go through life without appreciating how complex our daily interactions really are. If we want food, we simply can go to the grocery store and select something off the shelf. If we need heat, we just turn up the thermostat. This normalcy bias tends to keep up from thinking about what we would do if a catastrophe struck and these every day conveniences were no longer available. It is thus important to understand the importance of 72 hour emergency kits in our highly dependent society.


By: Phil Roeder

Imagine what life would be like if there was a major disaster in your area, such as a major tornado or hurricane. If the power went down, how would you heat your house? How would you pump water into your faucets and your toilets? If there was a shortage of gasoline, how would you get around, or how would food be transported to your area? If you do not know the answers to these questions, you now know the reason behind 72 hour emergency kits.

72 hour emergency kits are basically portable packs that contain all the essentials to live on if a major disaster strikes for at least 72 hours. This is usually the maximum length of time it takes major disaster relief agencies such as FEMA to respond to a crisis.

The essentials in a 72 hour emergency kit usually include all the nonperishable food your family would need over the period, along with a supply of stored clean water lasting the same amount of time. It is also important to have water filtration capabilities since water is one of life’s most important essentials, and you never know how much you might need in an emergency.

These kits also usually include working flash lights, small first aid kits, utility knives, and other tools you might need in a disaster. Bags for disposal of biological waste and space bags to form heated shelters can also be important components that many people over look. A portable radio with batteries is also important to have on hand to keep informed if the TV goes down. Ideally you want all these items pre-packed and ready to go before a disaster strikes in case you have to evacuate your residence. It is also a good idea to pack one in the trunk of your car if you are on the road, since a disaster can happen at any time.

You might think that these precautionary measures might be a bit extreme, especially if you do not live in an area with inclement weather. However, there are many types of disasters that could strike at any time. An oil shock due to turmoil in the Middle East or a hacker attack on the power grid could leave any place in America in temporary chaos until things normalize.

While these events might seem unlike, the consequences to your family if something like this does happen are so severe that it warrants planning. When you consider how little effort it takes to purchase or build your own 72 hour emergency kit, it is almost a no brainer decision to insure the safety of your family in case the unexpected becomes reality.


Mick Chan has been working in safety supplies and emergency kits industry for more than five years. As a product manager for, he knows his merchandise and all the requirements from OSHA. He likes to write and share his ideas about the importance of safety and emergency prevention.