72 Hour Kit Ideas Week #26: Rotate, Update, Test, Review

Welcome! Week #26 in a step by step 72 hour kit series. Makes building a robust, personalized 72 hour kit affordable and do-able!

Welcome to week #26 (the FINAL week) in the “72 Hour Kit Ideas: A week by week approach” series.

This series is all about making it simple and do-able to get a 72 hour kit put together for you and your family.

Creating such a kit can be overwhelming and financially difficult to do all at once. But through this series, I’ve broken it down for you into 26 small steps! You can see all the steps here. Just take one small baby step each week and in 6 months you will have a well stocked, personalized kit!

You can even go through the series a few times over a year or two adding just the most basic supplies the first six months and then a few more “extra” supplies each time you cycle through it again.

Want even more help?Build a robust, personalized 72 hour kit one week at a time over 26 weeks

This series is also available as an e-book. Purchasing the e-book gives you a few additional benefits over just reading the free series:

Last Week:

I hope you were able to go through and rotate all of your supplies last week. That is an essential part of this whole process. If you need to use this kit, you want to be able to!

Last Week:

I hope you were all able to create a helpful list of items in your kit last week.

Week #26: Rotate, Update, Test, Review

It is week #26!!!! Wow! 6 months! I hope that all those who actually started with me on week #1 have been able to fully build and complete a great kit for your family! I hope that the ideas I’ve presented and those in the comments from some great readers have been helpful. But I also hope that you’ve personalized those ideas and adjusted them to fit your family’s needs.

I’ve got just one last task for you and then we will start over with week #1.

I recommend that once you’ve built your kit to your liking (you can go through this series a few times adding more robust supplies each time), that you do all the following things every six months. Or, if you prefer, you could pick one category to work on every six weeks.


  • Food (Most food in a survival kit will have between a six month and a 5 year shelf life. Check the food in your kit and replace any that has expired. Don’t just throw away the old stuff though. Use it! This can be especially fun for kids if you’ve included fun snack foods).
  • Water (water bottles have a 6-18 month shelf life depending on how you store them. Water boxes / pouches vary)
  • Diapers (check sizes)
  • Wipes (they tend to dry out)
  • Children’s clothing / shoes (make sure they are not too small)
  • Medicine (typically has a 6 month to a few year shelf life)
  • Batteries (will lose their stored energy over time, especially if stored in the heat or cold. I recommend replacing them every 6-12 months just in case)


  • List of important phone numbers / insurance policy #s etc. (Make sure they are all current)
  • Kid’s toys (make sure you’ve got things they’ll actually want / use)
  • First Aid Kit (Did you use anything from it over the past 6 months that you need to replace?)
  • Cash (Did you use any over the last 6 months that you need to replace?)

Check / Test:

  • Flashlights
  • Radios
  • Stove
  • Lighters / matches
  • Anything liquid (Soap / Shampoo / Hand sanitizer etc.…Make sure they haven’t leaked)
  • Compass


  • Basic CPR and First Aid guide
  • Family Evacuation Plan
  • Family Emergency Plan
  • How to shut off your gas

How About You?

How do you remember to rotate, update, check and review the items in your 72 hour kit?

Skip to:

Week #25: Rotate Week #1: Packaging Your Kit Week #1: Packaging Your Kit Series Into: Survival Kit Series, A Week



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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

83 thoughts on “72 Hour Kit Ideas Week #26: Rotate, Update, Test, Review”

  1. I need to rotate out most of my food. I’m thinking of putting in MREs to cut down on the weight of the packs.

  2. Just started my packs so I don’t have to rotate anything yet…except some of my daughters clothes!! She’s growing like a weed!! Thanks for all of the great information.

  3. I need to rotate my 72-hour kits and reorganize my “pantry.” We use what we store, but with my less-than-ideal storage situation I have to sort through everything occasionally to make sure nothing goes to waste.

    Thanks for the series. I appreciate the reminders to update, upgrade, and rotate!

  4. I’m good on food and water rotation. Need to check my batteries, though. I have a meal spreadsheet so I know exactly what we are supposed to eat when. This helps to ration food appropriately so we don’t run out. I added the expiration dates of each food to this spreadsheet. I need to add to the spreadsheet dates to rotate water, dog food (oooo, you might want to add that to your list), batteries and medication since everything expires at different times.

  5. I just discovered this series tonight and am so excited to find it! I am already doing this but going through your weeks will help me make sure I haven’t missed important stuff. Thank you so much for this!

  6. Since I have just recently started with the 72 hour kit I don’t need to rotate what is in there yet, but I am curious about the same thing Pat S. is curious about: rotating medications. I am on several meds for a recently diagnosed condition and need to make sure that I have what I need at all times. None of the medications need refrigeration, but a few can’t be subjected to extreme temperature changes. My doctor usually gives me samples of some of the meds when I see him. They usually are only 7-10 days’ worth of medication and I had planned to use those when I travel, but maybe they would work better in my 72 hour kit.

  7. I won’t be rotating anything this week, I’m just getting started with you. I am very excited to get started on our kits! My documents folder is done and I don’t know how I lived without it! Thanks for such a great site!

  8. I worked on gardening this week – our biggest garden ever and bought 24 packets of seeds to store for next year – and dehydrated 1 pound of mushrooms for the first time – delish!

    I also started research on meat rabbits – they may be next on our preps. Thanks for such an encouraging, positive site!

  9. I am trying to gather all of my things still but am very close to being able to put out 72 hr kits together, I wanted to get them done for this last weekend so I could just plan on rotating them during conference which just makes it easier to remember every 6 months. I really was just thinking about the need to rotate food items so I’m glad you mentioned the part about updating your phone numbers and important documents!

  10. My husband and I both have 72-hr-kits put together from when we first got married. BUT we haven’t checked them since then (almost 4 years)!
    Since we’ve added two sons to the mix, I’ve really gotten aggressive in getting our family prepared.
    Following my own plan, I started with water and food. I was so excited to find you blog and learn more about incorporating THRIVE foods into our kits and into my long-term food storage.
    Now I am focusing on First Aid. I am looking forward to the next go-around of your series so I can add to what I have already done and follow along with the other weeks!
    Emergency prep can be extremely overwhelming and it is hard to know where to turn for inspiration and ideas. Thank you so so much for putting this series together. It is exactly what I have been looking for!!

  11. I rotate my water on a regular basis. Checking my important numbers and info lists and food and clothes. Checking dates on my meds too.

  12. I do well rotating items in our 72-hour bags, but I’m really interested to know how people manage rotating our monthly prescription medicines. I know that you can refill most prescriptions 5-7 days early, and my goal is to keep an extra month of our Rxs in our 72-hour bags. But once in the go bag, they don’t get rotated frequently. After a few months, I pull them out to use them and replace the stockpile. However, with fresh bottles in hand, I invariably forget to refill them until the stockpile bottles are almost empty. Then I have to start the stockpile all over again. I can’t find a system. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • As a crazy thought try talking to your doctor. Most will write you a prescription that is an emergency use only prescription. If they won’t do that for you then once you have your “stockpile” use it, and put your refill in the bag. When your stockpile is depleted you will have a 1mo supply in your bag. Get your refill, and switch the two out. That way your medication is also never more than a month old. Medications can go three different ways when they expire. They either remain the same for a period of time, they become less effective, or they get even stronger.

      • One of my friends in the medical field to me to have my doctor give me a one-month prescription but make sure she doesn’t date it. Apparently there is a time limit on when pharmacists will fill a prescription.

  13. Week 25=rotate. This is really more diffcult for me than it should be. I am not very organized due to lack of places to store my preps. I have converted a closet to a pantry. I really need to get some shelves/rack for cans that are 1st in=1st out. I can’t afford to buy them and I am unable to build them.I have a hard time trying to keep an inventory for this same reason. Any suggestions?

    • Well this post is just about rotating yourr 72 hr kit which should all be in one bag together ready to grab if you need to go. Nothing should be separate on a shelf. So, I would say, just focus on rotating that first! (-:

  14. One of my sons was just asking how long our water would last and I told him we probably needed to empty and refill them…so your post was very apropos…enjoying your steps…sometimes it seems so overwhelming to get everything done now.

  15. I almost never drop remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here Survival
    Kit Series Week #25: Rotate – Your Own Home Store.
    And I do have a few questions for you if you usually do not mind.
    Could it be just me or does it give the impression
    like some of the responses come across like left by brain dead visitors?
    😛 And, if you are writing at additional online sites,
    I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post.
    Could you list of all of your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  16. Good point about rotating. I mark all of my food with the exp. date w/a black marker, so it’s easily visible. I check on it every month & when it gets about two months before, we either use it or donate it. Some things last way longer than others. Canned goods, for instance, last longer than boxes of crackers.
    I too, hadn’t thought of rotating/checking batteries. Just checked & it’s good I did, ’cause one of them had acid leaking, so thanks for that!
    Our kits are coming along…I’ve made a list of the most important things we still need & put in my purse, so whenever I’m out, if I have the funds, I know what I need. Thanks again for the blog. It does make things much less overwhelming!

  17. Can anyone answer my question on why only putting $1 bills and quarters in the kit? Do you ever put larger bills in – even if it is just $5 bills?


    • SOrry Julie…it has just been a crazy busy week for me! You can put larger bills in if you’d like. Everyone’s situation will be different. I only keep about $100 in my kit so having that in $1’s (about $80) and quarters (2 rolls) isn’t too cumbersome. I keep additional cash ($5-$10 bills) in our home. If I were to keep it all in my kit, I would be fine with some larger bills there. Personally, I wouldn’t keep anything over $10 just b/c I’d hate to loose it is someone didn’t have change!

  18. Thank you for this series of posts. I only found your website last week and have spent most of my free time reading all 25 weeks. I started my kits this week, but am doing two weeks at a time.


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