72 hour kit

72-Hour Emergency Kit: What should it include?

We often do not like to think about the chance that a natural disaster could affect our community, but those who fail to plan ahead are the ones that are affected the worst when problems arise. A 72 hour kit is a basic tool you can use to keep your family protected while you wait for help after a serious emergency situation.

In the event of a disaster, having a 72 hour kit could mean the difference between survival and destruction, yet few households have taken the time to invest in one of these. With just a little bit of forward thinking, you can be prepared for whatever nature throws your way.

A 72 hour kit is designed to give your family the means with which to survive for three days after a serious natural disaster. In most cases, this is enough time for you to be rescued or to evacuate to safer areas. So, the items in the kit are items for your basic survival. For a more comprehensive read on further ways to be prepared, check out the Government of Canada Get Prepared page.

Want a quick refence for  what a 72 emergency kit should contain?  Click the image below to take a closer look at our infographic:Emergency Kit Infographic


4 Key Categories to pack in a 72 Hour Emergency Kit:

Essentials for Survival

  • First Aid Kit: The first item to pack in your 72 hour emergency kit is a well-stocked first aid kit. It should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, pain relievers, and any prescription medications you or your family members may need. Make sure to regularly check the kit for expired items and replace them.
  • Flashlights and Batteries: Having a reliable source of light is crucial during emergencies, especially when the power goes out. Include high-quality flashlights with extra batteries to ensure you can see and navigate in the dark.
  • Multi-Tool or Swiss Army Knife: A multi-tool can be incredibly handy for a variety of tasks, from opening canned food to cutting rope. It’s a versatile tool that can serve multiple purposes.
  • Hygiene Supplies: Maintaining personal hygiene is important for your overall well-being. Pack items like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, and sanitary supplies to stay clean and comfortable.
  • Emergency Blankets: These compact, lightweight blankets are designed to retain body heat, providing warmth during cold nights. They are an excellent addition to your kit for maintaining core body temperature.

Food and Water Supplies

  • Non-Perishable Food: Select a variety of non-perishable food items such as canned goods, energy bars, dehydrated meals, and nut butter. Aim for items with a long shelf life and those that don’t require cooking or refrigeration.
  • Water: Adequate hydration is crucial for survival in a 72 hour emergency kit. Pack at least one gallon of water per person per day, and don’t forget a portable water filter or purification tablets in case you need to collect water from natural sources.
  • Cooking Supplies: If possible, include a portable camping stove, fuel, and cookware for heating food and boiling water. This can be particularly useful in situations where you have access to shelter but no power.
  • Eating Utensils: Lightweight, durable utensils and dishes should be included to make eating and drinking easier and more sanitary.

Clothing and Shelter for a 72 Hour Emergency Kit

  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Pack extra clothing suitable for the climate in your region. This may include warm layers, waterproof jackets, sturdy shoes, and a change of underwear. Don’t forget to include items like hats and gloves for added protection.
  • Tents or Tarps: Shelter is essential for protection from the elements. Include a small tent or durable tarps and cordage for creating makeshift shelters.
  • Sleeping Bags or Blankets: To stay warm and comfortable during the night, include sleeping bags or additional blankets in your kit.
  • Hand Warmers: These small, disposable packets can provide much-needed warmth in cold conditions.

Communication and Safety Gear

  • Battery-Powered or Hand-Crank Radio: In emergencies, you’ll need to stay informed about the situation. A portable radio can help you receive important updates and information.
  • Cell Phone and Chargers: Keep a fully charged cell phone in your kit, along with portable chargers or solar chargers to maintain communication.
  • Whistle and Signal Devices: A whistle can be heard from a distance and is a great tool for signaling for help. Additionally, consider including signal flares or mirrors for long-range visibility.
  • Important Documents: Make copies of essential documents such as identification, insurance policies, medical records, and emergency contact information. Store them in a waterproof container within your kit.

In conclusion, building a 72-hour emergency kit is a critical step in your disaster preparedness plan. By including the essentials for survival, food and water supplies, clothing and shelter, and communication and safety gear, you can ensure that you and your family have the necessary resources to weather a crisis. Regularly review and update your kit to keep it current and effective, and don’t forget to personalize it to meet the specific needs of your household. Being prepared today can make all the difference in tomorrow’s emergency.


Looking for ready-to-go 72 hour emergency kits for you or your family?  Check out the wide variety of 72 Hour kits available at Total Prepare! Premium 72 hour Emergency Kit 1000px



Emergency Preparedness for University & College Students

Moving away from home to go to University or College is an exciting and unforgettable time in one’s life. However, with it comes growing independence and self-reliance. As a university student myself, the recent floods affecting BC made me realize the knowledge gap for many university students regarding emergency preparedness. Working with the lovely team at Total Prepare has brought me an abundance of information, and I wanted to share it with others who may have been like me, without a clue. I wrote this post and all the tips in it specifically with University & College students in mind. If a disaster or emergency happens to affect your campus, it’s important you know how to stay safe until help arrives.  

Student sitting on bed with laptop and notebooks

Photo by Windows on Unsplash. Text elements added by Total Prepare

Why do you need to prepare at university? 

  • University is only the beginning of your growing independence. Ensuring you’re emergency prepared is great practice and involves thinking deeply about what you already have on hand and what you may need. 
  • It’s your responsibility. Although many universities will have some supplies on hand, there is often not enough for the entire campus. Stocking up allows these supplies to go to those students that need them the most, first. Ensure you have the supplies you need to wait in comfort if there is a disaster or emergency. 
  • Avoid unnecessary panic and anxiety. Moving away from home can bring its own host of anxieties and fears for young students. Being away from your family, especially during a disaster or emergency, could be especially overwhelming. Calm any nerves by ensuring you have what you need to wait in comfort and know what to do in an emergency. 

Tips and tricks 

  1. Be aware of the risks that may affect the area you attend school
  2. Come up with a meeting place for roommates, notify family of this location. 
    • Decide on one that is close to you and one further away. Identify which hazards are presented with each location and ensure you will be able to access at least one of these meeting places with ALL types of disasters in your area
  3. Plan for at least 2 emergency contacts. Ensure one of these contacts is someone out of town as they are less likely to be affected by the emergency in your area
  4. Think about what would happen if you were required to “shelter in place.” If you live on campus, have a conversation with your dorm advisor or community leader to find out what the plan for your residence is. If you live off campus, have a conversation with your roommates about getting together an emergency kit 
  5. Discuss & practice how to turn off the electricity, water, heating, cooling systems, and gas in your home. Check out this 4-in-1 tool!  
  6. Assemble a kit – ideally 2
    • That way you have one to put in your backpack and keep with you in your vehicle/at school, and one to keep at home
  7. Store your kit off the ground and away from windows to prevent water or other damage
  8. Ensure there are no large or heavy objects blocking your kit and that you can grab it on your way out 
    • Good places to store your kit are a front hall closet, the laundry room, or the garage. Make sure you store your kit in a room temperature area 
  9. Check your kit and make sure nothing has expired or been damaged every 6 months 
    • A great way to remember is to check at end of every semester 
    • If you have a camping stove, test it out and make sure you have enough fuel for at least 3 days 
    • Check all batteries and replace them as needed 
  10. Familiarize yourself with local authorities and where to find the most up-to-date crisis management information 
    • If you/re in the CRD for instance, find it here
  11. Look into purchasing tenants’ insurance 
    • As a university student, I can testify it has been a worthwhile investment. $300/year to guarantee you won’t lose your laptop and all your hard work in the unfortunate event of a flood? Worth it  
  12. Consider backing up your computer files to a hard drive 
    • For the same reason as above, avoid the potential nightmare 
  13. Have your professors’ phone numbers or emails on hand 
    • Those of us in Victoria know that it’s all too common for a rainstorm to take out the power in a neighbourhood. Ensuring you have your professor’s contact information guarantees you can reach out if you’re unable to attend class or submit an assignment 
  14. Understand your school’s policies and procedures regarding emergencies. Sign up for your school’s campus alert system if there is one 
  15. Ensure your roommates/dorm neighbours have your emergency contact’s information and vice versa 
  16. Encourage your family to sign up for campus alerts and follow your school’s social media websites to get the most up to date information 
    • Emergencies are stressful for parents, especially when they’re away from their kids. Signing up for alerts will guarantee they get up to date information if you aren’t able to reach them 
  17. Have your C.L./R.A.’s contact information or your landlord’s contact information saved in your phone 
  18. Practice! Get your household or residence together and hold an emergency drill to see what you have and what you might have missed


What to include in your kit: 

  • Food & water for 3 days (at least 1,200 calories per day with a mix of fruit & veggies, protein, and carbohydrates) 
  • Mini First Aid Kit 
  • First Aid Manual 
  • Prescription medication and copies of prescriptions 
  • Portable charger 
  • Change of clothes – try to pack layers that can easily be built-up/removed 
  • Flashlight & spare batteries 
  • Crank or battery-operated radio 
  • Extra contacts or glasses 
  • Cash  
  • Waterproof matches 
  • Candles 
  • Some form of ID (always good to have government issued and your student ID) 
  • Durable shoes by your bed – in case of broken glass 
  • Heavy-duty gloves – in case of broken glass 
  • N95 face mask 
  • Area map with all emergency services and your meeting place marked 
  • Hand sanitizer  
  • Toilet paper 
  • Tool for turning off gas
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen, Benadryl, and any other over-the-counter medication you use on a regular basis 


Sharing is caring! If you learned something new, be sure to share this post with your friends, roommates and other fellow students to get them emergency prepared too. 

Get in touch with us by using the chat function or sending us an email if you have any questions about emergency preparedness! 

Prepare for Emergencies with Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrated foods used to be those foods reserved mostly for camping and other outdoor activities. Today they’re becoming essential for survival. In an unsettling world of skyrocketing food prices, impending natural disasters and global unrest, it’s more important than ever to be prepared. Having food on hand is a top priority in emergencies, so it’s understandable why many people are turning to dehydrated food.

What Are Dehydrated Foods?

Dehydrated foods are foods in which moisture has been removed to preserve shelf life. Foods that can be dried include meats, vegetables and fruits.

When properly stored, dehydrated foods can last longer than any other type of food. According to The Healing Journal website, they can have a shelf life of up to 20 years. And, once the seal of a food container is broken, dehydrated food is still good , with some foods still safe to eat for as long as up to three years.

These foods are also lightweight, taking up much less space than fresh foods.Just as fresh foods, dried fruits can be rich in vitamins and minerals. Some dehydrated foods, such as dried fruits and beef jerky, make convenient, portable snacks. You can also use them in cooking. Although heating food causes some nutritional loss, it’s small, as roughly 90 percent of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are retained if the food is dehydrated properly.

Factors Affecting Drying Time

Most foods take only four to twelve hours to dehydrate. Factors affecting drying time include food types, required temperatures and the capabilities of your dehydrator.

Temperatures for drying should be neither too low nor too high. While too low temperatures cause bacterial growth, excessive heat can cook rather than dry food. For most foods the recommended temperature for drying is between 120 and 130 degrees F. Food is considered dried when it feels leathery and does not have any water pockets. Store dehydrated food in a somewhat dry, cool area, although refrigeration isn’t necessary. Some ideal storage places can be in basements, closets or under beds.


Although dehydrated food is a hot topic, this method of preserving food is not a new phenomenon. Early American explorers and colonists dried their foods, using the natural forces of the sun and wind. Thanks to modern food dehydrators, fruits, vegetables and meats, can all be dried, year-round, at home. With all these advantages, besides the security of having plenty of available food in emergencies, it’s more important than ever to consider dehydrated foods.

Friday Roundup – Three Days or Seven Days? Sell Like Coca-Cola

Things have been busy in the emergency preparedness industry since the 7.7 off the west coast of British Columbia and the superstorm that hit the eastern US.  It has given the general public and the emergency management professionals much more to think about.

This week’s roundup features two articles from Eric Holdeman.  Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management. His blog is located at www.disaster-zone.com.

The first article is one that on the debate of 3 days (72 hours) or 7 days of preparedness supplies.  The superstorm highlighted many instances where a 72 hour supply was simply not enough.  On the west coast, where Eric lives is an earthquake zone and a minimum 7 days is what everyone should plan for.  In interesting point in his post was the hesitancy of officials to tell people what they really should have in way of preparation because it may discourage them from getting prepared.  Hogwash I say!

The second post from Eric is the concept that emergency preparedness should be marketed like Coca-Cola.  Again, I agree with Eric in that Coca-Cola advertises all year round an in as many medium that they can.  This approach keeps the product in the public’s eye at all times.  Brand recognition has been Coca-Cola’s trump card for as long as they have been in business.  Emergency Preparedness needs a similar approach as we never know when a disaster can occur.

Have a great week and Be Prepared.

Friday Roundup – The Great ShakeOut

This week we link to a number of articles that relate to the Great ShakeOut which was held in earthquake prone area’s around North America.  Each area encouraged participants to register online to be counted and listed.

There was the “The Great Southeast ShakeOut” held by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium.  We all remember “drop, cover and roll” for fires, now we need to add into our memory banks “drop, cover and hold on”.   A nice simple explanation of each is included in the link although it is fairly self explanatory.

The “Great California Shakeout” in this article encourages the participation of schools and speaks to the drill that was done at 10:18 on Oct 18.   More than 9 million Californians were expected to participate in the annual earthquake-preparedness exercise.

More press from Examiner.com lists the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, British Columbia and Southern Italy in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drills.  Interestingly, the first safety drill was held in Southern California in 2008 simulating a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

Till next week… remember “Drop. Cover. Hold On.”



Preparedness Supplies: Preparing For a Disaster With Basic Supplies

Preparing for survival is not limited to any one specific area, because nearly every city and every community are subject to some type of natural disaster. Whether it be hurricanes, nuclear explosions, earthquakes or floods, it is important that your family be prepared for an emergency disaster situation. Regardless of the region, there are five basic necessities for survival…food, water, communications, light and shelter/warmth.

When preparing your survival kit, you should have enough supplies for a minimum of three days, however, the more days you are prepared for, the better. Prepare a survival kit for each member of the family, make sure the survival bag is easy to carry and keep the supplies in a location that is easily accessed. Back packs are the best option, because they come in different sizes so you will be able to prepare a kit that even the children can carry. The basic preparedness supplies to pack include:

  • Food supplies-all food items should be non-perishable and packed in watertight bags. Canned foods, ready-to-eat meats, powdered milk and peanut butter are excellent options. You may also want to include crackers, cereals, soup, canned vegetables and canned fruits. Remember to pack a manual can opener.
  • Water-the minimum amount of water you will need, is one gallon per person, per day. It is best to buy water in gallon jugs, because they will be completely sealed. Date the water with a permanent marker and replace it every six months to make sure it remains fresh.
  • Communications-a battery powered radio is vital to keep you updated on the disaster.
  • Light Source-LED flashlights that do not require batteries are the best choice; however, a standard flashlight will also work. Try to pack at least two flashlights per person. Pack at least one battery operated lantern for a larger light source. Candles can be used for light as well as for cooking.
  • Shelter/warmth-there are a few different options you can use for shelter. A small, folding tent that fits in a back pack is the best option for providing shelter to two or more people. A large rain poncho will keep you dry and it can be used for cover. A sleeping bag or thin, but warm blanket should also be packed.

In addition to the basic supplies for survival, you will need a variety of other preparedness supplies including, waterproof matches, first-aid kit, hand sanitizer, extra batteries, map and hygiene products. Preparing your family is an important part of the preparations. Have a plan in place of where you will meet should the family become separated and if you want to make sure your family is ready for a disaster, go on a two or three day camping trip and only take the supplies you will pack in a survival bag.

Why Prepare?

There are many why’s as to why prepare for the challenges every life goes through – to survive, to overcome, to reduce fear and anxiety. The reasons are as varied as the people who do prepare. Ultimately there is really only one reason to prepare: love.

You set up home and life insurance, not because you fear being homeless or dying. That insurance can not stop these things from happening. You prepared by getting insurance out of love. Love for the family you have or might have one day. Love of yourself as a person and a desire to take care of yourself.

So, if you love someone, anyone, go beyond just having financial insurance. There is often a huge delay between the incident and getting the money you need to recover. Often it can be days, weeks, even months. Is that how long you want your loved ones to wait? To be without the lifestyle that you want for them?

Not me. I don’t want that for my family, or yours.

Just like buying insurance, getting prepared for your family takes the simplest of steps. You can start today with little things. Buy an extra couple cans of soup. Get an extra 5 gallon bottle of water for your water cooler. Pick up a first aid kit for the car.

These things cost only a couple dollars or so to do. Spread it out over a year and next thing you know you have a pantry like grandma’s and maybe even a generator. Then all of a sudden you start doing things like growing some herbs along with the annuals and having the kids help and getting their hands dirty. Why? Because you love them.

You want them to have the kind of life skills you have so they can take care of themselves when you’re not there. Isn’t that why we send them to school as well? To get them ready to take care of themselves? Next thing you know, you’re doing preparedness things just for family fun. Maybe you’re going fishing and camping. Maybe you’re building small pieces of wooden furniture and showing the kids how to use the tools. These are the best moments of your life, aren’t they?

Do the best moments of your life come from fear? Do they come from anxiety? No. You know they come from love. That’s why you should prepare.


Written by: Guy McDowell



Friday Roundup – “Food for Thought”, Zombie’s (again) and Politics

Good Friday morning!  We start off this week with a bloggers roundup of his own interesting articles, move into an innovative idea utilizing the zombie theme and finish up with a political group doing their part to inform citizens.

Bill Hammerman is a blogger who runs the site petaluma360.com.  His post titled More Emergency Preparedness “Food for Thought” poses 2 questions with follow up links and 2 flow statements with follow up links all pointing to the excellent resource site Emergency Management.  I especially liked being asked the question:  “Do we pay attention now or continue to hit the snooze button?” which links to a page to be downloaded titled “Disaster Dozen: 12 Myths of Disaster Preparedness”. A great read!  Thanks Bill!

We finish up today with an article from North Texas/South East Oklahoma KTen.com.  There, the Texoma Patriots (a local political group) are informing the public on more than just the government.  They believe there is a great chance of another disaster, this time in the form of a terrorist attack or a nuclear disaster.  The focus will be on water purification. “Water is one of the most important commodities we have today and it’s getting more and more precious so say there’s a nuclear or radioactive attack we are going to want to have water that’s pure,” says Kaaren Teuber, member of Texoma Patriots.  Too true on the water front.

That’s all for this week…. stay safe and be prepared.

Friday Roundup – Scams, Business Mistakes and the Kids perspective

As September moves along at breakneck speed, we pause to reflect on this weeks news in the world of Emergency Preparedness and associated topics.  First up is a piece on Phone Scams which I am always very passionate about (that and email scams).  From there we move on to  the Top Mistakes Businesses make during Emergency Planning and finish up with a kids perspective.  Enjoy the read.

Can you believe it?  The headline is FEMA Warns Hurricane Victims About Phone Scams.  If it is not bad enough to have the trauma of the effects of a hurricane to worry about, along come the scum of the earth to take advantage of people when they are the most vulnerable.  The scammers objective is to get the individuals banking account information posing as representatives of FEMA or the US Small Business Association.  The article goes on to list resources, phone numbers and contact information to assist with disaster recovery assistance.  Beware, the scammers now no boundaries.

From Bloomberg Businessweek we get this: The Top Mistakes Businesses Make During Emergency Preparedness.   A 2012 study of more than 1300 US workers found that 75% of employees believe there company is not well-prepared for a natural disaster.  Cintas Corporation, a leader in first aid and safety products, lists 7 of the worst emergency planning mistakes made by businesses.  They include, forgetting to write and update emergency action plans, conducting fire drills infrequently and becoming complacent about safety.  Good advice for companies of all sizes.

To conclude this weeks Friday Roundup we have this gem. A YouTube video make by the 5th and 6th graders at the Police Athletic League Beacon Camp at Goldie Maple Academy. It is called Ready, Set, Prepare.  Our future leaders!  Well done!  [youtube]fp1DyJsuQwU[/youtube]

Some common reasons people refuse to prepare

Some common reasons people refuse to prepare

If my time is up, so be it.

The problem is that if there is a disaster of any type, there is likelihood you will survive. And if you are going to survive, you might as well be safe with food, water, first aid supplies, etc.

A disaster is unlikely to happen.

For the most part, earthquakes, winter storms, flooding, etc happen on their own schedule. There is nothing you can do to prevent them so why not be ready? Not only that, but people who have prepared and who have taken steps to plan ahead often come through the experience feeling like it was not such a big disaster after all.
Bottom line: It is the people who fail to plan and prepare that are caught by surprise and are least able to cope when the inevitable disaster occurs.

I don’t live in fear of the unknown.

The key here is to educate yourself so that you do not live in fear. Assess the risks in your area and for someone in your particular financial condition. There is a saying, be prepared not scared. That definitely applies.
Bottom line: Take steps to prepare for the specific disasters that may occur in your geographical area. Then do your best to educate your loved ones so that they too can live without fear.

I am not in a financial position to prepare.

With careful planning (and perhaps five less latte’s a week) it is not difficult to take small steps toward building up your preparedness supplies bit by bit. Some cans of food, some water purification tools, some first aid supplies – none of these things are overly pricey, especially if acquired over time.
Bottom line: Gradually increase your back-up supplies over time and as you can afford them. You will be surprised at how quickly the items in your survival closet build up.


Procrastination is defined as the act of putting off, delaying or deferring an action to a later time. Alas, that time often never comes. Procrastination is not your friend and might catch you off guard and unable to take care of yourself and your loved ones.