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


Extra Batteries

First Aid Kit


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


Surgical Masks


Rain Gear


Work Gloves

Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

Plastic Sheeting

Duct Tape


Household Liquid Bleach

Entertainment Items

Blankets or sleeping bags

Tool Kit

Trash Bags

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Baby Wipes

Family Plan