72 Hour Kits: Part 1

April 9, 2013

Check out Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

A long time ago when I was about 9 I remember watching a documentary about the 1989 earthquake in California.  I’m pretty sure that’s when I terror of being in an earthquake started.  It really is one of my biggest fears.  I’ve NEVER been in an earthquake that I could feel.  I live in Utah, and I know that some day it’ll happen.  There are HUGE fault lines along the beautiful rocky mountains that I see outside my windows.  I’ve also concluded that I’m just kind of terrified of any natural disaster in general.  🙂

Now that I’ve scared you all away with my crazy fear of things I can’t control … I have decided to do a little mini series and share how I’ve helped lessen my crazy fear, with a few things that I CAN control.  I figure, if I’m prepared for some sort of disaster, even in a small way, then at least we have something right?

How am I going to help you?  I’m going to do a four part mini series on getting your families 72 hour kits put together.  It’ll be organized, easy, and have an awesome free printable for you to take away and use.  Here is the layout of it all.

Part 1: Food items & 3 day menu. (This post)
Part 2: Non-perishable items for individuals.
Part 3: ID information sheets for children and adults.
Part 4: Non-perishable items for a family bag.

Alright, let’s get this party started!!  First we will start with the food items that we used.  It’s changed slightly over the years as we’ve learned what our kids will and won’t eat.  For instance, my kids don’t like sandwich crackers with cheese in them, or the cheese crackers with peanut butter in them.  They’re great with regular sandwich crackers with peanut butter though.  So obviously change any of these items to fit your families taste and need.

Food Items for individual Bags 
Rotate these items every 6 months 
1 small box cereal 
2 granola bars 
6 fruit cups 
3 vegetable cans/cups 
3 peanut butter to-go packs 
6 crackers (we did 3 fish cracker packets, 3 peanut butter sandwich cracker packets) 
3 tuna/chicken to-go cups (*our kids won’t eat these, so we did alternatives for them). 
            *3 Ramon Noodle packets, 3 chef Boyardee microwave cups, etc. 
3 snack items such as: cookie packets, crackers, or fruit snacks 
1 package jerky 
6 juice boxes/pouches 
3 – 6 bottles of water (we gave the kids 3, and took 6 in the adult bags) 
For Babies 
Formula individual packs, or small size can (enough for 9 meals) 
9 Baby food jars (if they are only eating 1 jar/meal) 
Puff snacks/yogurt bites/crackers (any easy to store snack item that is sealed) 
We decided that we would give everyone in our family the same thing.  Our children’s ages range from 8 years old to 9 months old.  The kids all got the  same amount as my husband and I.  We figured if they didn’t finish/want something then someone else would use it.  Our baby is eating some solids, and since she’ll be over one year old before we rotate them again, we decided it’d be the best idea in case something happens before then.  However, we did add formula to her bag. 

Click Here to get your free Food List Printable!!

Now that you have the list, here is how it’s all divided up to meals each day.


72 hour kit menu
Day 1
Breakfast: Granola Bar, Fruit Cup, Juice
Lunch: Peanut butter, Crackers, Fruit Cup, Juice
Snack: Fruit Snacks, Peanut butter sandwich crackers
Dinner: Tuna w/ crackers (Roman Noodles for kids), veggie can, water bottle
Day 2
Breakfast: Small cereal box, Fruit Cup, Juice
Lunch: Peanut butter, Crackers, Fruit Cup, Juice
Snack: Cookies, Peanut butter sandwich crackers
Dinner: Chicken w/ crackers (Roman Noodles for kids), veggie can, water bottle
Day 3
Breakfast: Granola Bar, Fruit Cup, Juice
Lunch: Peanut butter, Crackers, Fruit Cup, Juice
Snack: Fruit Snacks, Peanut butter sandwich crackers
Dinner: Tuna w/ crackers (Roman Noodles for kids), veggie can, water bottle
*Get a variety of fruit cups and veggie cans/cups.
*Various crackers each day to make thing different.
*Get milk cartons that can sit on the shelf.
*Use the microwavable Chef Boyardee cups for a dinner/lunch (there are smaller sizes perfect for kids and larger sizes for adults).


I’ve actually never divided it up into days until this time.  I love it though.  The entire days food fits into one gallon sized bag.  Just grab a box of them if you don’t have enough while you’re at the store.  We labeled each day so we’d know.  Not that it’d be a huge deal … but it’s just easier and I’m kind of a crazy organized person like that (although my husband asked me and I said yes, that was the plan).
Here are a couple questions I thought may be asked.  If you have any others, PLEASE feel free to ask in the comments, or just e-mail me, and I’d be more than happy to answer them.

How do we pay for it all?
I love having these, and while putting them together for 8 people can add up in price, we try to keep the cost as low as possible.  We also put a little bit of money each month into savings, and know how much we need per year to purchase everything.  Every 6 months we go through our bags, empty the old, and gather the new together and divide it out.

Where do we buy it all?
My favorite place for food is our local grocery store.  You can keep an eye out for adds.  However, with the amount of food, sometimes Walmart, Sam’s Club/Costco can be a much better deal.  I bought our food a combo of Costco and Walmart, just because that was where the best price was for certain items.  Just check around.  Go on a non-shopping trip to just write down prices at various stores to get an idea of how much you’d be spending (then you’ll know how much to save) and where the best deals will be for your family and how much you’ll be buying.

What do we do with the old food?
Well, we eat it of course!  🙂  If you rotate the food every 6 months, the food shouldn’t be expired.  It may be close, but it should all still be fine to eat.  Depending on what you put it, it could be great for the kids to take in a school lunch, or as part of a lunch, or have as snacks through out the day.  As much as these things are things we eat, most of it isn’t things we eat all the time.  So the kids loving having them, and have a ball with it.


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42 thoughts on “72 Hour Kits: Part 1

  1. motheronamission

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We used to live in Oregon, where the most likely reason for needing these would be an earthquake. I made some emergency kits, but my husband teased me about being paranoid, since earthquakes are so rare there.

    Now we’ve moved to Mississippi, where there is a very real and pressing threat of tornadoes and hurricanes. I feel validated in my over-preparedness, and I plan to update our kits this month. Thanks for the great resource!

  2. Cindy

    What a clever idea! We live in a coastal area where hurricanes are a real threat…I’ll definitely be doing this for the 2013 hurricane season.

    1. Kara @ Simplistically Sassy

      Cindy, I’m so glad I don’t live close to anywhere that has hurricanes. Lol. I mean, I LOVE to, but … I’m kind of terrified of that stuff. I’m totally proud of people that go through it though. These are perfect for grabbing and go though! Let me know how they turn out!

  3. Christina Andersen

    Thanks so much for the list…I’ve needed to put these together but just haven’t done it yet! This post has really motivated me to get started. Thanks…you have a new follower and thanks for stopping by Dear Beautiful You today! looking forward to updates. Christina at dearbeautifulyou.com

    1. Kara @ Simplistically Sassy

      Christina, it totally is such a huge project, and we’ve kind of got it down to a system every 6 months. Once you get all the stuff together from Part 2, it’s just rotating all of the things from Part 1, which can be overwhelming, but I think mapping it out and planning is totally key! I’m glad I found your blog too. Love it!

    1. Kara @ Simplistically Sassy

      Kim, I’m glad you found this then! I figured I might as well not shove stuff in there the kids don’t love, because in a scary situation the last thing they’ll want to be doing it eating unfamiliar food.

  4. Jean Poylini

    Such a great idea, tnx for shearing, I will try it. For my job I need a web hosting, I asked a web design company ELCO PLANET (www.elcoplanet.com) to develope the page for me.. I was just interested for web hosting.. can you please advice me about web hosting provider.. have you ever heard for http://www.elcoplanet.com offering hosting, alfa reseller hosting… ? thanks a lot

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  9. Mike

    This is a real good tutorial on 72 hour kits. I like the fact you mentioned how to pay for them as well. Most people don’t get that if you go into debt for these things, you are also making yourself less financially self-reliant.

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