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 Caring About Preparing

Imge of Caring About Preparing, a 7 week, 72 hour preparedness kit.    Image of the Ready, Set, Good logo.

Seven Weeks 72 Hour Kit

Your seven week guide to creating an emergency supply kit to see your family through the first 72 hours after a disaster until basic services may be restored.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

Image of week one. A battery powered radio, extra keys and water are items for the kit.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries to receive emergency information.
  • Flashlights or battery-powered lanterns with extra batteries-don't use candles as they pose a serious fire risk.
  • Water to last three days-at least one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Start with one gallon this week.

Tips for Week One

  • Start with these items that our local emergency responders consider most critical to getting you through the first 72 hours until basic services may be restored.
  • Don't be overwhelmed by a huge list of items. We've identified the most important ones. Just buy a few items each week for seven weeks, and you'll be prepared for the most likely emergencies.
  • Commercially bottled water is recommended to ensure safety. Replace before "use by" date expires.

Image of week two.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Manual can opener.
  • First Aid Kit - should include gauze and bandages, tweezers, scissors and antiseptic ointment.
  • Airtight bags, storage containers, and a permanent marker.
  • Extra prescription medications, and glasses, or contact lens solution.
  • Bring home another gallon of water.
  • Non-perishable food - start with a few cans of meat, fruits, peanut butter and crackers.
  • Plastic sheeting, tarp, and duct tape.

Tips for Week Two

  • Even if you have supplies throughout your house, it's important to keep an emergency supply kit in a designated place in case you have to leave your home quickly.
  • Consider having at least two emergency supply kits - one at home and one in your vehicle.
  • Rotate your stock of food, water, medicines and batteries every six months to ensure freshness.

Image of week three.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Dust filter masks.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Finish buying water - at least one gallon per person per day.
  • Cash and important family documents like copies of credit cards, insurance policies and deeds. Consider a water/fire proof container in your "go bag".
  • Regular household bleach, unscented, and an eye dropper - 16 drops to disinfect one gallon of water.
  • Juice - single-serve size is best since you may not have refrigeration.
  • Nutrition/high energy bars.

Tips for Week Three

  • Plan and discuss how you will escape your home in case of fire or a sudden emergency.
  • Tap water may need to be purified with bleach following a disaster.
  • Plan to have at least one can of meat or main entree´ for each family member per day.
  • Select two places to meet with your family after an emergency or disaster-one near your home and the other outside of your neighborhood in case it's not safe to return.

Image of week four.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Disposable camera with flash to document damage.
  • Utility knife and/or scissors.
  • Trash bags - heavy duty.
  • Matches in waterproof container.
  • Sanitizing wipes.
  • Extra set of car and house keys.
  • Fruit - canned or snack-pack.

Tips for Week Four

  • Pack a "go bag" with a condensed version of your home emergency kit in case you need to relocate temporarily. If evacuating a note with detailed information.
  • Dried fruit can be a good substitute for canned fruit.
  • Stay in the habit of keeping your gas tank half full and keeping your cell phone charged.
  • If you evacuate, remember your home or car phone charger.

Image of week five.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Gloves - latex/non-latex.
  • Plastic or paper plates, cups and utensils.
  • Canned vegetables, soup/stew.
  • Toilet paper and paper towels.
  • Travel sizes of personal hygiene items - dental care, soap, feminine care, deodorant, etc.
  • Disinfectant - non-aerosol.
  • Supplies for baby, elderly, or disability needs.

Tips for Week Five

  • Select an emergency contact person outside of the area for family members to call in case they are separated.
  • Keep a copy of this seven-weeks list in your car to have handy when shopping. Check off items as you go.
  • Make sure that all adults and teens in the family know how to turn off water and electric utilities. Always have a professional turn them back on. 
  • Never use a portable home generator in an enclosed area. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

Image of week six.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Blankets and small pillows.
  • Towels.
  • Extra clothing, outerwear and comfortable footwear.
  • Small photo album with current photos of family members and pets.
  • Assorted crackers and nuts (low-salt or salt-free are best to reduce thirst).

Tips for Week Six

  • Do you have home fire extinguishers (rated ABC)? Ask your local volunteer fire company to show you how to check them and when to replace them.
  • Use a permanent marker to label storage containers. Circle or mark expiration dates and plan to rotate supplies every six months - perhaps in the spring and fall when you change the clocks.

Image of week seven.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Small tool kit including wrench or pliers to shut off utilities, plus a hammer and nails.
  • Signal flares.
  • Insect repellant.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Granola or dry cereal.
  • Food and extra water for pets.
  • Fire extinguisher.

Tips for Week Seven

  • Print out emergency references pages from Ready? Set? Good. website and keep in your emergency kit.
  • Include pets in your plan. The Humane Society has pet preparedness tips for your pets.
  • Take your "go bag" along on vacation.


You now have a basic 72-hour home emergency preparedness kit. Practice your family plan and look for more information on our website.

More Information

  • Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 410-887-5996
  • Senior Information and Assistance, 410-887-2594
Image of the Baltimore County Office of Emergency Preparedness logo.
Image of the Baltimore County Citizen Corps logo.


Revised April 28, 2014

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