How to put together a 72-hour emergency kit at the Dollar Store

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First 1:15 is an ad. Skip it.

Nice effort, but I’m not sure I would want someone who can’t spell “perishable” managing my household in an emergency.


Ha. I’m not sure spelling is the most important emergency management skill but I didn’t make it past non-parishable or however she spelled it.


“You can get it for inexpensive…” Is that an American English thing? I’m guessing not as I’ve never heard that one before.


tl;dw. Can someone make a text list of what I should loot from Dollar Tree when the Yellowstone volcano starts rumbling?

I once had fun going through a Dollar Tree and finding things for use in role playing games. I should turn that into a video or article or some-such.


I had some concerns. I work for “The Man” and we get disaster preparedness training crammed down our throats a lot.

The water she is keeping are not going to keep for her 3-5 year goal. Sometimes those containers break down and leak. they sell water cubes, or the like, that don’t break down like that. Also, if I was going to store food, I wouldn’t do it with dollar store stuff, because they might have already been floating around for a while.

Her choice of jello cups and nuts is also funky, because jello cups will not last 3-5 years. The packaging isn’t made for it. Nuts also go rancid. A lot of the big companies freeze dry their food for a reason.

A lot of my coworkers get their food from places like or I mean, if you goal is really 3-5 year storage. If you are just stocking up before something hits? This is probably not as big a concern.

. . . I just realized my work is rubbing off on me, wow.


Poor spelling aside, I appreciate her effort to help people put together an emergency kit. As a resident of Tornado Alley, our family has one ready to go. The last thing we want in the event of a disaster is to mooch off our friends who had the sense to prepare while we procrastinated.


I would think that with your dietary choices, you wouldn’t need to stockpile food; you’d just need to locate other people who have stockpiled food.


I once had fun at a Dollar Tree watching a customer with some kind of shiv or spike chase another customer out of the store and into his car. The first guy was chipping away at the car window as the second guy drove off.

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I don’t see any need to buy anything with a five year shelf life, unless you’re a hardcore prepper and maintaining a five year supply.

When I lived in Hurricane Alley, we used to fill a couple of totes with canned spaghetti, chili, tuna etc. in June and then eat all that stuff during the winter. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Agree on the water storage.
Get some of these, or similar:

Then do this:


As someone who just moved to earthquack California from hurricane Texas, I’m surprised at how few people here have any kind of emergency supplies.

I totally agree. The gal just mentioned 3-5 year shelf life in her video. Personally, I like those survival buckets. Under $100 and not bad for an apartment dweller.

[quote=“ethicalcannibal, post:12, topic:101651”]
Personally, I like those survival buckets.


She’s on the right track. Most of the stuff you need is pretty cheap. You can start out with dollar store items and upgrade as you go.

But… Bleach only has a shelf life of about a year. Same for the bottled water. If you are pro-active about rotating and replace your bottled water and bleach on a 6 month basis though, what she has selected will be fine. However, you might be better off getting actual water purification tablets. They’re much smaller and a bleach leak that would catastrophically damage your supplies can’t occur. You can pick them up in sporting goods stores for about $7. Another inexpensive choice might be potassium permanganate crystals (KMnO4). You can pick it up in pool supply stores or water treatment stores. Two or three crystals will purify a liter of water. It can also be used to start fires (with glycerin) and to create an antiseptic wash for cleaning wounds or treating fungal infections.

Packaged nuts and dried fruit will also go rancid fairly quickly due to the oil content. Canned meat does have a 3 to 5 year storage life and is actually going to be good for longer than that, albeit with slightly less nutritional value. This might be one of the areas where you slowly upgrade, buying specialized extremely long shelf life food as you go to supplement the snacky items. Walmart (boo hiss) for instance sells “survival bars” that are good for a decade for about $6 per 3600 calorie vacuum sealed brick.

If you look, at the end, they’re packing the dry goods in a duffle bag. Her planning appears to be predicated on getting into the car and driving to an evacuation center. If for some reason you can’t drive, that duffle bag and bottled water is going to get heavy. A better choice might be to buy a couple of inexpensive thrift store backpacks to split it or one large hiking pack enough to carry all of it.

Still, not a terrible video, minute long commercial notwithstanding.


Time for a “Improvised weapons you can make from things at Dollar Tree” video!


I have a collapsible aluminum trolley to put the cat carrier on, dump the duffel bag on top, bungee it and pull. The wheels are big enough handle rough ground (not too rough, but it doesn’t need to be even) and it’s light enough not to be a notable extra burden if you have to lift it over larger debris.

Socks, underwear and such are also in that bag and have been individually vacuum sealed so that if the bag gets soaked, they stay dry. I need to get a really lightweight campstove, too.

Then again, I often say that difference between someone raised in an urban area and someone raised in a rural area is that the urbanite says “No power for 72 hours!?!” and the rural person says “72 hours? That’s it?”


I’m not sure what scenario you’re planning for. If you’re looking for a semi- lightweight durable single burner campstove, look for an old-school Coleman 400 Peak 1 or a military issue M-1950. They have the benefit of being able to run on white gas (Coleman fuel) or automobile gasoline in a pinch. The M-1950 can also run on kerosene with a proper preheat, although it is not intended to.

If you’re looking for absolute lightest weight, you can get the $7 collapsing butane stoves and fuel canisters more cheaply, but they are a bit flimsy, and once you’re out of fuel in the canister it’s done. Plus butane performs poorly in the cold.

There are also very high end backpacking stoves that are multi-fuel, but they are quite spendy.

The idea of a cart is good, if you have a large amount of stuff to carry. There are so many scenarios that you can’t really say one type of setup is better than the other.


In the video, she indicates that the bleach is for disinfecting purposes, not for drinking water. I suspect that she thinks she has the drinking water covered.

I’d watch that.


Gd beat me to it…