Be prepared with a 72-hour disaster emergency survival kit

Be prepared with a 72-hour disaster emergency survival kit (Photo: KOMO)

(KUTV) Are you ready for the Big One?

In Utah, we go day to day knowing a long-awaited massive earthquake could hit at any moment. And last week, the New Yorker published a piece explaining that the Really Big One will decimate a “sizeable portion of the costal Northwest.”

Many Utahns have heeded preparation advice for years (it’s a frequent lesson in Sunday School and something Mormons have done since the early Pioneer days.) But not everyone is ready for an emergency should the state lose power, heat, electricity, access to clean water and food for any significant amount of time.

The federal government says you should plan to be self sufficient for three full days, at minimum. It could take at least that long, in truly catastrophic circumstances, for help to arrive.

Building a kit for home, work and the car might be a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Have a large supply of canned and ready-to-eat food on hand and make sure it doesn’t need any prep. The more calories and protein, the better. Think beans, chili, tuna and canned meats. Stock up when things are on sale and log expiration dates so you know when to restock the supply.

The American Red Cross sells Emergency Food Rations and Emergency Water kits, which each last five years before the go bad.

It’s not all about food storage, though. The Red Cross kit recommends buying a hand-crank radio/flashlight/phone charger combo and including emergency blankets, extra clothing and important documents the kit. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access, so when disaster strikes, you can get to it in no time.

Here’s the checklist of goods the Red Cross recommends every includes in their kits. For folks who want to be extra prepared, check out FEMA’s list.

72 hour Emergency Kit

Basic Supplies

• Water: One gallon per person, per day.

• Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items

• Flashlight

• Extra Batteries

• First Aid Kit

• Medications

• Multi-purpose tool

• Sanitation and personal hygiene items

• Copies of personal documents - birth certificates, social security cards, real estate contracts, insurance contracts, bank records and passports, immunization records and any other important personal documents

• Cell phone with chargers

• Family and Emergency Contact Information

• Extra Cash (Small Bills and Coins)

• Emergency Blanket

• Maps of the area

• Hand-Crank Radio


• Baby Supplies: formula, diapers, medications

• Pet Supplies: collar, leash, id, food, carrier and bowl

• Two-way Radios

• Manual Can Opener

• Games and Activities

• Extra set of car and house keys

• Whistle

• Surgical Masks

• Matches

• Rain Gear

• Towels

• Work Gloves

• Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

• Plastic Sheeting

• Duct Tape

• Scissors

• Household Liquid Bleach

• Entertainment Items

• Blankets or sleeping bags

• Tool Kit

• Trash Bags

• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

• Baby Wipes

• Family Plan