Prepared Mama: Food Packs for 72-hr Kits

A few weeks ago for Family Home Evening we pulled out our 72-hr emergency kits. I was a little chagrined by what I found. Our packs had been last updated in November of 2006. That means our food was two and half years old–yuck! And we only had two kits–for our family of four. Not so good.

So we got to work.

We thought it important to focus first on our food packs. I pulled out my sizable file of preparedness information I’ve collected over the years and did some research. These two blog posts were also very helpful:
Prepared LDS Family: 72-hr kits food packs
Team Freeman: Project Prepared Part 3

Keeping their suggestions in mind I made my shopping list. I did some price comparisons and ended up doing most of my shopping at Sam’s Club, picking up a few things that were on sale at my local grocery store.

This is what we came up with for a one day menu.

Kellogg’s Pop tarts (twin) 4 oz.,
Chef Boyardee Ravioli, or other 7.5 oz.,
Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup, 3 oz.,
2 MM Fruit Snacks 1.8 oz.
Del Monte Fruit cup 4 oz. can,.
2 Quaker Granola bar .84 oz,
2 Peanut Butter crackers, 1 oz.
Plastic spoon
Gallon size Ziploc bag

*Note: This is the amount for one day. It doesn’t look like much. Some sites recommend more food than this, but this is what we are comfortable with right now, keeping in mind portability and our budget. I would like to add some PowerBar Protein bars soon but I’m waiting for a good deal to buy them. The gallon size Ziploc bag serves as the holding container for each day’s contents.

To keep things simple I kept the same menu for each day, for each member of our family. So multiply the above list by 3 and you’ll have enough for one person’s 72 hr (3-day) pack.

We then spent another Family Home Evening assembling the packs for our entire family. The 4-year old Ant Bug was very excited about helping with this activity, but the 20-month old Sweet Bee mostly just wanted to eat the fruit snacks.

The first step is to label each Ziploc bag. I used sticky labels and wrote “Day One-K”, “Day Two-K” and “Day Three-K”, repeating this with their initials for each member of my family. Using the Ziploc bag helps keep things organized; it’s waterproof and it can also double as a trash bag.

Here is our food pile.

With all of our food gathered we then went around the table and filled up our bags.

A finished bag.

Not included in the above menu is water. The recommendation is that you have 1 gallon of water per person per day. Obviously we can’t carry that in our packs, so I just stuck 3-16.9 fl oz water bottles in each pack.

The Plan
I don’t want to end up with two year old fruit cups and granola bars in our kits again. So our plan is to pull out our kits every six months and change out the food that is nearing expiration. The easiest way to remember to do this is to coincide it with General Conference sessions. It happens twice a year and you won’t forget it! I’ve heard of this idea from many sources, so come October I’ll be pulling out our kits again.

My next step is to finish putting together the personal supplies for our kits. How are you doing when it comes to emergency preparedness? Please leave a comment with your tips!

Helpful Resources
Prepared LDS Family: This site is amazing and very helpful! Read it, and you’ll be inspired to do something to prepare your family!
If ye are prepared ye shall not fear: This thought-provoking site explores issues of preparedness for the coming hard times.
Team Freeman: Project Prepared Part 3: A real-life example of a 72-hr kit. Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.

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6 thoughts to “Prepared Mama: Food Packs for 72-hr Kits”

  1. We switch ours every six months too, but we do it on Spring and Fall Solstice.

    Once you put extra clothes, personal items, food and water, it takes up a lot of room.

    All of our stuff is in about 3 bags. So I divided our items into each one. Each bag has some food, water, TP, cash, etc. That way, if we only have time to grab one, or if one gets lost or left behind, we still at least have a little of everything we need.

    It would be dreadful to lose the food bag, but have plenty of TP, you know? SO we don't put "all our eggs in one basket."

    Also, I go to the thrift store every 6 months and buy an outfit for my daughter that is 6 months ahead of her current size to put in our kit. That way, I don't care that she never wears it once it's outgrown. It was only $1.00!

    It's recommended to keep money. I've heard some say $100. We keep dollar bills in each bag. If there's a disaster, there will be scammers. If you need to trade with someone for a bottle of water, but you only have a 20 dollar bill, you'll be out the whole $20. Nobody will be offering change in a disaster.

    Wow, I didn't know I had so much to say about 72 hour kits!

  2. Oh. Also, I trade out the clothes depending on the upcoming season. Mostly, I just make sure there's plenty of warm clothes when I update for fall.

  3. AWESOME!! I have been looking for something like this to give to my Relief Society sisters-I am the Provident Living Leader in my ward-thanks!!!

  4. I think I might just copy you! We need to get in gear and prepare- especially since the possibility of using it is so great in a state that is frequently hit by hurricanes! Thank you for your preparation and documenting it so well!

  5. I've been anxious for this post!! This gives me a great starting point for getting our kits together. Can you believe I just realized that 72-hrs is 4 FULL DAYS?!?! That's a lot of days to be living out of a backpack. Looks like I've got a lot of work to do. Thanks for the motivation.

  6. Rebecca-that's a great idea to get clothes from the thrift store for children. I had been wondering what to do about that. And the money in small bills is very important!

    Good luck to everyone working on their kits!

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