Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 2 – Shelter

This next post had my mind pondering deeply at 4 o’clock one morning. It should have been easy to write about evacuation shelter items for a 72-hour kit, but I kept thinking of 101 worst-case scenarios. With the unusually cold weather across the U.S., sheltering-in-place at home would be your first choice after a disaster, but it isn’t always possible. Be prepared for the worse and hope for the best.


Over the years we’ve had little tents and huge tents. From the two-man tents left over from the Boy Scout days to the 8-man tent our family used while camping. I am lucky to have several to choose from. I chose to keep a medium-sized tent near our packs in our emergency supply area. I can’t carry it on my back, but I could throw it in the back of a vehicle. I’m also digging out a few two-man tents this week to add to the stash.

  • A tent should provide privacy, warmth, be waterproof and lightweight. Most tents today are quick and easy to set up.
  • After a disaster, you may end up camping at a community center, church, park or field with a lot of other people, so privacy is important.
  • Don’t expect to find Red Cross volunteers waiting with a comfy cot with your name on it when you arrive. If possible, be self-sufficient and bring your own tent and other items.
  • Tents are always on sale, but are the least expensive at the end of the summer.


In my 72-hour kit supplies, I have a blue tarp. It doesn’t fit in a backpack, but I keep it in a bin with extra other emergency supplies. I hope I never have to build a lean-to with it, but . . . you never know.

  • A tarp underneath a tent is an added moisture barrier.
  • A tarp can also be used to make a much needed outhouse or rain shelter.
  • Look for one at Walmart or a hardware store. Make sure you have the right size.


72-hour Kit Items I Recommend From Amazon

Utah 72-hour Kit Checklist

Build a Kit by

My 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.