Friday, November 18, 2011

72 Hour Kit Food Planning

Having a 72 hour kit for each family member in case of an emergency where you are required to evacuate your home is a smart idea.  Our family has actually been evacuated from our home twice due to fast moving fire on the nearby hillsides. This happened once when we lived in Southern California, and once when we lived in Utah County, Utah. We have been on alert for a possible evacuation due to fire 2 other times, and possible evacuation due to earthquake damage when we lived in Southern California. We were very fortunate to not have to evacuate our home after the Sierra Madre earthquake, when many houses on the street 2 houses over were condemned. Needless to say, our family wouldn't be without our 72 hour kits!

I've been switching out the food in our 72 hour kits. I usually do this to coincide with LDS general conference (April and October), so I'm about a month behind. For this post, I'm sharing how I planned for the food component of our 72 hour kits. I am not including water in this post, but will in a future post about the entire 72 hour kit.

There are several things to consider when planning what food to put into your kit.
  1. Calorie requirements for each family member
  2. Food allergies/preferences for each family member
  3. Shelf life of food items
  4. Cost of items
  5. Ease of Preparation
Three days worth of meals averaging 1600 calories per day.

Calorie Requirements:  Each family member has different nutritional needs. To determine what your calorie requirements are, go to  For example, a woman over the age of 50 who is sedentary requires 1600 calories a day.

Food Allergies/Preferences: It goes without saying that if you have an allergy to a certain food, don't include it in your kit. As for preferences, I don't care if I have to eat Vienna sausages for a couple of meals, but a younger child might refuse it. Take all of this into consideration when packing your kits. A variety of items is a good idea.

Shelf Life of Food: When shopping for your food, check the packaging for expiration dates. All of the food that I purchased is good until June of 2012 or later.  I can easily switch out the food next April, and have a couple of months to use it or donate it. This ravioli (below) is good until October 2012.

Cost of Items: I bought most of my items at Wal-Mart and used coupons. A  can of Vienna sausages is only $0.50, so I included them.  I deliberately purchased items that could be eaten without the food being heated. I did not purchase anything that had to be mixed with water.  In an emergency situation where you have to evacuate, you may not have the time, energy or ability to heat up your food. If we had an emergency where we didn't have to evacuate the home, but couldn't use our gas or electricity, we have a propane camping stove with small propane tanks.

Ease of Preparation: As noted above, everything is ready-to-eat. It is definitely not the most nutritious food in the world. It is processed and is higher in sodium, however, for 3 days, it will keep us from being hungry. That is the goal after all! 

Here is a picture of all of the boxed drinks in a gallon Ziploc.  I put all of the crackers, cookies, granola bars, candy and jerky pack into another bag. The applesauce and peanut butter are in a quart size zip lock bag. All of these items will be packed into individual duffel bags/backpacks with each family member's name on the bag. Not pictured is a small Ziploc with plastic spoons and forks.

All of the canned items have a pull top on them. If you get canned items that don't have these, remember to include a can opener! I'm still on the lookout for small (1/2c. size) cans of green beans or corn, which can also be eaten cold from the can.


Day One: Breakfast: Cliff Bar, Juice, Applesauce
                  Lunch: Vienna Sausages, Cookies, Juice
                  Dinner: Ravioli, Juice
                  Snack: leftover cookies, hard candy, almonds (not pictured)

Day Two:  Breakfast: Granola Bars, Peanut butter, Juice
                   Lunch:  Tuna Salad/crackers, Juice, Cookies
                   Dinner:  Beef Jerkey/Cheese/Pretzel pack, juice, applesauce, candy
                   Snack: Leftover cookies, hard candy, almonds (not pictured)

Day Three: Breakfast: Chocolate Milk, Poptarts, applesauce
                    Lunch: Peanut butter crackers, canned pineapple chunks, juice
                    Dinner: Vienna Sausages, juice, 2 packages of pretzel sticks
                    Snack: hard candy, leftover pretzel sticks, almonds (not pictured)

As always, you can click on each picture to get a larger view.

I have a large bag of almonds that is not pictured, that will go into my husband's kit.

I hope that this has helped. Feel free to ask any questions! I'll post at a later date about the entire 72 hour kit, which includes water.

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