From my search across the internet and in various preparedness books, I've put together a list of personal items for 72-hour kits. I've also read many stories of people evacuating Hurricane Katrina, and my list contains items you want to have so you are prepared and don't have to run through your house gathering them in an evacuation.
It would be nice to say that you and your spouse would be home to help your children, or your spouse would be home to help you, during an evacuation. But I believe you need to plan for different scenarios such as: you will be home by yourself while your kids are in school, or older children will be on their own and you will be gone, or it will be the middle of the night while you are sleeping. So, these personal items are items you might need for 72-Hours or more.
We also store additional items in our combined Family Emergency buckets which I will write about in an another post. If you would like to read about food packs for your 72-hour kits, go here.
If you are using backpacks or another container for your 72-Hour kits, keep in mind that you want the total carrying weight to be about 25% of your body weight including the weight of your container. If you have an infant or preschooler, you may not need to put toiletries and money in their kits so adjust for the needs and circumstances of each family members. My list below is only a suggestion. I keep changing my mind and adjusting, and so can you. I have collected most of these items already, but still have some work to do.
72-Hour Kit Personal Supplies
Backpack, tote or small suitcase
List of items in kit (put near top)
Important numbers (update every 6 months)
A recent family photo
Map of city and vicinity
Small flashlight like a Maglite
Batteries for flashlight (put in separate baggie with the flashlight near top)
Emergency rain poncho (put near top)
3-N95 Medical mask (put at top) (Can help during a fire)
Mini First Aid Kit (update every 6 months) (put near top)
Light stick on a neck cord
Whistle on a neck cord
Thermal reflective (space) blanket
3 day supply of food (2000 calories per day per adult)
3 gallons of water (*will be more than you can carry. Only pack what you can carry)
Pencil and small notebook
Cards, crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc.
Scriptures (Military size is good)
Small comb or brush
Antibacterial hand wipes
Wash cloth for sponge bath
Travel-sized toothpaste, toothbrush
Travel-sized liquid body soap
Travel-sized hand sanitizer
Personal sanitary items
3 large trash bags
Toilet paper roll
Copies of personal papers & documents for this person (put in hidden but accessible location)
Money - $50 per pack, small bills & coins, waterproof bag (put in hidden but accessible location. This is not all the emergency cash you should have. Just an amount that is always stashed away in your 72-hour kit.)
Waterproof matches (not for young children)
Extra Kit Items for Kids
Games, cross-word puzzles, coloring book and crayons, stuffed animal, small toys, infant pacifier **Note: I asked my 4 year-old which small stuffed animal she wanted in her emergency backpack. She brought me several and then I had her choose one that she could slip inside. Making her a part of the preparations has made her backpack special to her. She brought out her backpack on Easter to show it to her college-aged brother.
Complete set clothing: pants, 2 socks, underwear, long-sleeved shirt (can roll up if hot), hat, mittens
Sturdy shoes (Not in pack)
Coat (Not in pack) However, if you can squish a windbreaker in, do it.
Sleeping bag or lightweight wool blanket (Not in pack) (in lawn bag or sturdy bag)
Sleeping pad (grab if you have time)
Boy Scout Summer Backpacking List
FEMA Basic Disaster Supplies List
Go here for 72-hour Kit Container ideas
Go here for 72-hour Kit Food Pack ideas
Go here for Additional Family Emergency Supplies ideas
Go here for Evacuation Grab & Go ideas