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 have not made a complete round yet so don’t think I need to “rotate” yet. I am however, checking things just to make sure. Also changing out the “summer” clothes to “winter” clothes since seasons are changing. Again, thank you so much for this blog, it is helping me so much. It sure is easier to do a bit at a time, a lot less overwhelming! Please keep this blog going around again, I LOVE it!

    • This is my first round, but I know the water will need to be rotated and heavier clothing added. I didn’t write the best-by date on the individual packets of peanut butter, so we’ve gone through a pound of celery using it up this week, just in case. I’ll know to write it on there next time! The medicine is still good. Trying to remember to put my mental wishlist of things to add or upgrade into physical form. Thanks so much for this blog!

  2. I will have to check on my kids clothing. I have 2 boys that are 17 months apart so their size are pretty similar so I would just pack a size or two bigger for both of them to share. My oldest daughter fits my clothes so we can share as well. The only thing that I would really need to rotate is probably shoes. My kids go through 2-3 pairs a year so I will definitely need to store a few sizes bigger for them.

  3. I just did this last week. I had used several thing in my back pack during a camping trip and realized that the super glue I had in there had leaked out. Thankfully I had it in a plastic bag. I also reorganized my first aid kit. Thank you for another great post.

  4. The 10 Things List was great! SO Important! Even if tshtf doesn’t happen, debt is such a hindrance in our lives! The debtor is slave to the lender is oh so true!

    This was the first time through your series week by week. I had peeked at it earlier, but it’s really helpful to go through it with you on a weekly basis to brush up the kits. I hope you will be cycling through again so that I can keep tweaking!

    BTW, those Thrive Yogurt Pomegranate bites are SO GOOD!!!!! I am going to order more more more!!!!! 🙂

    Thanks again!

    PS–I subscribe by email to your posts and two came through together today. I left a comment on the 10 Things list before I realized this one wasn’t at the bottom as it was in the email.

  5. It’s coming along. I probably will go through the series at least once more, since I didn’t fill all of my categories. I still have lots I would Like to get but at least its all started.

  6. i want to start using Conference as a time to go though our bags..hopefully i will have everything i need to go in them by next weekend so i can get this done a finished until April. thanks!

    • when you mention to put the money in the kit in quarters and ones – is there a reason to never save larger amounts – even if it is just 5’s – sorry I am a newbie here and just wondering why so many small bills – I realize in a dire crisis – you may not be able to get change – so you don’t want to have to give someone a large bill for a small item and then let them keep the change – but just wondering on this item right now – quarters will get heavy and 1’s will become bulky in large amounts – so please enlighten me here please. thanks!

  7. Like other people on here, I use Conference as a good guide to go through our packs. Mostly we fix the clothes to the appropriate seasons. I like the idea of having the kids eat the snacks that are replaceable. Get them involved, genius idea! Thank you!

  8. I just found your blog after searching on Pintrest for emergency. I want to get started so I can start rotating, updating and reviewing. I have made a list on excel to help with starting and then reviewing. I really appriciate you putting time into helping others get prepared. I was feeling a lot lost about what to do but after reading these week by week ideas I am excited and ready! Thanks so much!

  9. I am rotating and updating my entire 72-hour kit this weekend. We haven’t even looked at the thing since we put it together several years ago. Yesterday I bought new food, medicine, etc to replace things that expired in 2007 (!) and repacked toiletries, took out diapers and replaced with pads because our baby is now a teenager 🙂 and today I am packing it all in backpacks and printing up contact lists etc. I still have a lot to do to make it complete, but I’m going to work on that during the next few months and when I rotate it all in 6 months hopefully I’ll have a more complete pack. I’m definitely going to be using your site because it has so much great information. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  10. Since I just started following your blog, I’m not yet needing to rotate, replace or update quite yet! Still catching up on some previous steps 🙂 This is great information to have, though! I look forward to when I’m fully prepared.

  11. Thankyou so much for your guidance and help. I just found your website, and I am so excited to start on this journey. I have gone back the the beginning as you suggested and we now have 42 gallons of water storage, and have our 3 backpacks, and are starting to catch up, with 3 days of breakfasts.and lunches. So, we don’t need to rotate since I just put in the bag the stuff you recommended. I am now a new shelf reliance consultant, so I can purchase the wonderful home store you are talking about. Thanks again for you constant inspiration and help!

  12. yay! i am so excited, thank you so much!

    i am going to try to rotate every time general conference comes around… that should be somewhat easy for me to remember! 🙂

  13. I saw your post on how to store important documents on pinterest, and I am hooked on your blog now! I cannot wait to start working on our 72 hour kits. I have a 4 year old, so my husband and I need to start getting better prepared! Thanks for the spark of inspiration!

  14. We just updated and rotated yesterday! I think Brandon got tired of me saying “Misty says…”
    It feels good to have it done.

  15. Since I just started with my emergency kits and I don’t have to rotate but I did organize everything and add my 72 hour food kit. Now to just work on my food storage. 🙂

  16. I just reorganized my whole food storage area. I’m in the process of updating my water and food in the 72 hour kits. I’m checking the sales to see what the best this week to add. I let the 72 hour food expire. oops. thanks for your site to keep me checking and updating.

  17. Rotating the food is easier for me… I love everyones ideas on rotating/checking other items. Misty I love your review section : )

  18. I use conference weekend as my dedicated time to rotate our kits and inventory my emergency supplies. Based by your timing, I’m guessing you do too. It’s a great time to exchange cold and warm seasonal clothing if that is necessary in your area. Don’t forget to update your car kit also!
    I have friends that use other semi annual events (daylight savings changes, equinox or solstice, even one friend who has two children with birthdays exactly 6 months apart) as reminders to switch things out. If you can’t dedicate two times a year, you should at least do it annually.
    However, I’m wondering if I should actually update things quarterly with a little one, seeing just how quickly they grow out of things!
    Can’t wait to see all the progress in my preparedness supplies this weekend! Thanks for all your help!

  19. I just went through my kit and needed to change out the kids clothes and the toys that were in there… They grow so fast! Thanks for te great posts and helping keep my family prepared.

  20. I defiantly will be updating and checking all dates and my girls clothes. God they grow fast. With the order I just placed this is the perfect time to get this done. It’s almost like Spring cleaning :).

    • Yep…since we are all in the mood to clean since it is spring, might as well just carry it over to the emergency supplies, right? haha

  21. My Disaster Preparedness Class last night was a complete success. I had 56 in attendance. I would have liked more, however, I am satisfied and happy with the evening.Thanks for the fliers and samples. The response was very positive.

  22. From another job in Direct Sales, I have a price “gun” which I use to stamp the date I purchased an item. I purchased a small rotation rack for some canned goods. I need to make lists of what are in the 72 hour pack, so I know what needs to be replaced easily. I think small children require the most items to be exchanged. Nolan is 10 months and his needs change quickly.


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