Emergency Preparedness (72hr List) for the Car


This list is whittled to bare essentials for three days' survival if you are not at home where many of these items are at your fingertips. Other supplies might be nice, but for those on a strict budget, plan your gear around these core items. Any additional supplies can be added to suit personal taste, vehicle space and budget. Where quantities aren't noted, assume only one of this item is needed. Suggested amounts are for one person only, especially in the area of water consumption. The exception to this rule is the First Aid Kit. Medical items were planned with a small family in mind. They can be divided between the adults or maintained in one central kit.

These 72-hour kits should be packed and kept in your car. If disaster strikes while you are home, chances are you can get to your vehicle. If a crisis occurs while you are traveling, even to the grocery store, your survival supplies are already on board.

If you have a spouse, he or she should be carrying an identical pack in his/her car. Provisions for children and pets need to be included too. If children are not of driving age or don't have their own car, supplies for them should be kept in your vehicle. Some supplies for children need not be duplicated like a compass, tools or much of the camping gear, but each person must have the daily recommended amount of water and food.

In Colorado during winter months, meteorologists have advised residents for years to always keep in the car: water, candles, matches, chocolate, extra blankets, energy bars and peanut butter. Expecting the unexpected became embedded in our brains. In minutes a heavy, wet "white-out" (snow) can drop from the mountains, blind and strand motorists. Preparation is merely good common sense. This list below is much the same theory with a few embellishments!

General Supplies (72hr List) for Car

Camping Gear

Candles, enough for 36 hours use (these can provide some warmth - set them in secure bases to prevent a fire)
First Aid Kit (see list)
Sleeping Bag, Bedroll, Swag or Wool Blankets
Foam Pads to go under sleeping bag, bedroll, etc. Space Blanket (reflects up to 90% of your body heat and only weighs 20 oz or 500g)
Light sticks (12 hour,) three
Mosquito Netting (epecially necessary in view of all the mosquito-borne diseases)
Plastic Sheeting
Tube Tent
Waterproof Matches, two boxes

Carrying Items

Backpack for supplies
Five Gallon (20 liter) Pail with Lid (can double as portable toilet)
Water Canteen with Strap


Complete change of clothing*
Current prescription glasses
Dust Masks, three extra
Gas Mask if you are living in one of the top 120 major cities
Rain Poncho OR Rubberized Parka and Rain Pants (oversized to allow for clothes layering)
Sturdy boots and Heavy Socks
Underwear, 2 sets
Work Gloves, heavy duty

*The majority of people will need to consider seasonal changes. Every season, make sure to update your stored change of clothes for the appropriate weather conditions. For winter, include coats, hats, gloves, thermal underwear, snow boots and clothes for layering.

Communication Items

Radio (solar, hand cranked or battery powered; if battery, include extra batteries)
$200 in cash and change (during times of disaster, charge cards and checks can't be verified)*
Compass of good quality (thes
e are expensive but necessary)
Map of your local area
Pencil, Pen
Phone numbers and addresses of friends/family
Pre-addressed, stamped postcards of friends and family out-of-state (if a disaster is widespread, you'll want to contact someone out of the area)
Signal Flares, three (these are not legal in Australia)
Signal Mirror
Signal Whistle

*Money is always hard to tuck away and pretend it isn't there, but in this instance, it is a necessity. One can't assume to put expenditures on credit cards during a crisis. Think about it. Whenever you make a purchase, it is always verified by a telephoned authorization number. If phone lines are down and these numbers are not obtainable, chances are your purchase won't be allowed.

Latrine And General Hygiene

Liquid Bleach and Eyedropper
Surgical Gloves, three pair (these are inexpensive and can be obtained in discount stores)
Toilet Paper, two rolls flattened
Towelettes, pre-moistened, box
Trash Bags (three, for human waste and misc. trash)

Personal Hygiene

Body/Hand Lotion
Comb and Brush
Dental Floss
Liquid Soap for personal washing
Premoistened Towelettes
Tampons/Sanitary napkins
Tweezers, pointed
Wash Cloth and Towel

Infant Supplies (if applicable)

Baby Powder
Blanket, spare
Bottles, spare
Diapers, disposable
Pre-Moistened Towelettes
Teething Ring

Ammunition if a firearm is selected
Book for pleasure reading
Certified copies of

births, deaths, marriage certificates and divorce decrees
house and life insurance policies
inventory of valuable household items
deeds and contracts
stocks and bonds
charge card account numbers and their "lost or stolen" notification numbers
bank account numbers
medical records including immunizations
social security numbers

Deck of Playing Cards
Firearm for Protection (personal choice item)
Magnifying Glass
Paper Clips
Rubber Bands
Safety Pins, assorted sizes
Survival Manual
Dare To Prepare

*(Keep these items in water tight containers. Many survival and camping stores sell flat, water tight pouches. If you have a food vacuum sealer, this is another great use for it!)

Senior Care (if applicable)
Denture Care Items
Batteries, extra (for hearing aids)
Eye Glasses
Heart and/or Blood Pressure Medications and necessary Prescriptions
Oxygen, Portable (extra tanks and hoses if this is required)
Special Dietary Items
Warmer Clothing (generally the elderly have trouble with poor circulation and get cold easier.)

Pet Care (if applicable)

Food and Food Bowl
Leash and Collar
Toys or Chew Bone
Water Bowl
Water, one gallon (4 liters) per dog per day. For a cat, it is about 1 pint.

*(Even if it is a small animal, plan on the unexpected. SOMEBODY will undoubtedly spill their day's ration and the pet's water can be used in extreme emergency.)

Tools and Handyman Items

Flashlight (extra batteries, spare bulb)
Folding Shovel
Multi-Purpose Tool with knife, pliers, screwdrivers
Needles and Thread, select several needles with large and regular-sized eyes
Nylon Rope (100' or 30 meters)
Roll of Duct Tape (this has innumerable uses)
Swiss Army Knife
Twine/String (100' or 30 meters)
Vise Grips

Preparedness Products Suppliers

Contents © 1996-2017 Holly Deyo. All rights reserved.

Preparedness website: DareToPrepare.com
Main website: StanDeyo.com