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 Caring About Preparing

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

Seven Weeks to a 72-Hour Emergency Kit

Follow this seven-week guide to create an emergency supply kit that will see your family through the first 72 hours after a disaster until basic services may be restored.

Week one list of items and tips for the 72 hour emergency kit 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
  • Flashlights or battery-powered lanterns with extra batteries (not candles, which pose a fire risk)
  • Water to last three days—at least one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation; in Week One, buy one gallon per person

Tips for Week One

  • Start with the items listed above; these are most important in helping you get through the first 72 hours of an outage.
  • Don't be overwhelmed by a huge list of items. 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

  • Another gallon of water for each person
  • Manual can opener
  • First Aid Kit, including gauze and bandages, tweezers, scissors and antiseptic ointment
  • Airtight bags, storage containers and a permanent marker
  • Extra prescription medications and eyeglasses or contact lens solution
  • Non-perishable food such as canned meats or fish, fruits, peanut butter and crackers
  • Plastic sheeting, tarp and duct tape

Tips for Week Two

  • Even if you have supplies located throughout your house, keep an emergency supply kit in a designated place; it will be easier to locate, especially if lights are out.
  • Consider having at least two emergency supply kits: One at home and one in your vehicle.
Week three of the 72-hour emergency kit preparation

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Another gallon of water for each person
  • Dust filter masks
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Cash and important family documents such as copies of credit cards, insurance policies and deeds plus a waterproof container
  • Unscented household bleach and an eye dropper (for disinfecting water, 16 drops to one gallon of water)
  • Single-size juices that don't require refrigeration
  • Nutrition and high energy bars

Tips for Week Three

  • Discuss how you will escape your home in case of fire or a sudden emergency.
  • 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.
Week four of the 72 hour kit preparation

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Trash bags
  • Matches and waterproof container
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Canned fruit or "snack packs"

Tips for Week Four

  • Dried fruit is a great option for an emergency preparedness stockpile.
  • Get in the habit of keeping your gas tank half full and your cell phone and other electronic devices charged.
  • If you evacuate, remember to take your home or car phone charger with you.
Week 5 of the 72-hour emergency kit preparation

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Gloves, latex and non-latex
  • Plastic or paper plates, cups and utensils
  • Canned vegetables, soup and stew
  • Toilet paper and paper towels
  • Travel sizes of personal hygiene items, such as dental care, soap, feminine care, deodorant
  • Non-aerosol disinfectant
  • Supplies for babies, older people and people with disabilities

Tips for Week Five

  • Select an emergency contact person outside of the area that family members can call if they are separated.
  • Keep a copy of this seven-weeks list in your car so it's available when you shop; check off items as you go.
  • All adults and teens in the family should know how to turn off water and electric utilities. Always have a professional turn them back on. 
  • All adults and teens should know about safe portable home generator use. Never use generators in an enclosed area; follow manufacturer's instructions.
Week six preparation of the 72-hour emergency kit

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

Tips for Week Six

  • Use a permanent marker to label storage containers. Mark expiration dates and plan to rotate supplies every six months.
Image of week seven.

Your Weekly List at a Glance

  • Small tool kit including a wrench or pair of pliers, a hammer and nails
  • Signal flares
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Dry cereal
  • Food and extra water for pets

Tips for Week Seven

  • Include pets in your plan. The Humane Society has pet preparedness tips for your pets.
  • Take your "go bag" on vacation.


After seven weeks, you will have a 72-hour home emergency preparedness kit.

Additional 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 October 2, 2018         


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