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Build an emergency kit

Lists and information about what to include in your emergency kit and in your home to sustain you and your household for unexpected situations.


Unexpected situations happen every day. Having supplies is one thing you can do to help your household better manage disruptions whether they are big or small.


Reasons for an emergency kit

Why should you have an emergency kit?

Having an emergency kit is one step to being more prepared.

Emergency kit supplies

What goes in your emergency kit?

Start building your emergency kit with these basic supplies.

Emergency supplies

Table 1. Supplies for sheltering at home and emergency kits

  Sheltering at home
(minimum 14 days)
Emergency kit
(minimum 72 hours)
  • Canned goods like beans, soup and pasta
  • Dry pasta, beans, rice or other grains
  • Frozen foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and meat alternatives
  • Snacks like granola or energy bars, dried fruit or trail mix
Water and liquids (4 litres, per person, per day)
  • Minimum 72 hour supply of water and electrolytes
Medical supplies
  • Adequate supply of any prescription drugs, such as heart medication, insulin for people with diabetes and inhalers for people with asthma
  • Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, cold medications, digestive aids and anti-nausea
  • Essential medical equipment with backup power
  • Back-up pair of glasses and/or extra contact lenses and solution
Critical records
  • Have a copy of all personal documents in a protective, sealable bag
  • Include identification, birth certificates, passports, citizenship papers, Social Insurance Numbers, emergency contact list, critical medical records and prescriptions
First aid kit
  • Gauze, bandages, tape and antibacterial ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes and protective gloves
Sanitation supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes
  • Non-medical masks
  • Soaps and household cleaning supplies
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Trash bags
  • Tissues, toilet paper and paper towels
  • Portable cleaning wipes, non-medical masks, hand sanitizer and trash bags
Other items
  • Enough emergency cash to cover up to 2 weeks of incidental expenses, if possible
  • Battery-powered or crank radio and flashlight, candles and matches or a lighter
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Space heaters and extra blankets
  • Essential tools like a can opener or a multi-tool
  • Extra batteries for household items and medical equipment
  • Entertainment, such as board games, movies, podcasts and books
  • Enough emergency cash to cover up to 72 hours of incidental expenses, if possible
  • A multi-tool
  • Books and portable toys and games
  • Electronics with a vehicle charger
  • Extra blankets
  • Battery-powered or crank radio and flashlight, candles and matches or a lighter

You can also buy prepackaged basic kits, including vehicle and pet kits. Pre-purchased kits will need to be personalized for your specific needs. Visit Get Prepared for more information.

Checklists and translations

Use the following checklists to build specific emergency kits. Translated versions are also available in українською (Ukrainian), عربي (Arabic), 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese), 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese), ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi), Deutsch (High German), Plautdietsch (Low German), Español (Spanish), Français (French) and Tagalog (Tagalog).

Special items

Emergency supply requirements vary depending on your needs. You will need to decide which essential items to include.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have infant children you will want to include:

    • feeding items:
      • breastfeeding aides
      • formula
      • bottles
      • baby food
      • extra water
    • diapers, wipes and extra clothes
    • prenatal vitamins, ointments and medications for mom and child (over-the-counter and prescription)
  • Mobility

    If you have mobility needs you will want to include additional supports. For example, if you use a wheelchair you may want to include:

    • tire patch kit or can of seal-in-air product to repair flat tires on your wheelchair or scooter
    • supply of inner tubes
    • pair of heavy gloves to protect your hands while wheeling over glass or other sharp debris
    • latex-free gloves for anyone providing personal care to you
    • spare deep-cycle battery for a motorized wheelchair or scooter
    • a lightweight, manual wheelchair as a backup to a motorized wheelchair, if possible
    • spare catheters, if needed
    • your power outage backup emergency plan
  • Allergies and chronic conditions

    If you have severe allergies, dietary restrictions, chronic medical conditions or other medical needs, you will want to include the necessary supplies. For example, if you have diabetes you will want to include:

    • MedicAlert bracelet or identification
    • extra supply of insulin or oral agent
    • pump supplies, syringes, needles and insulin pens
    • small container for storing used syringes and/or needles
    • blood glucose testing kit, spare batteries and record book
    • supply of blood glucose and urine ketone testing strips and fast acting insulin for high blood glucose, if needed
    • fast acting sugar for low blood glucose
    • extra food to cover delayed meals
    • ice packs and thermal bag to store insulin
    • additional snacks to maintain blood glucose

    Talk to your healthcare professional for advice.

Updating your supplies

Use the change in seasons as a reminder to check your supplies and kits to ensure:

  • food and medications are not expired
  • the water is fresh
  • clothing still fits and is season appropriate
  • personal documents and credit cards are up-to-date
  • batteries are charged

You should also consider seasonal requirements when you update your kits.

In the spring include:

  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • hats
  • lighter clothing

In the fall include:

  • warm clothing
  • extra blankets

When packing your supplies, group like items and package them in clear plastic bags to help organize and protect them from melting, broken or spoiled items.

Make a mini kit

Being prepared can take the inconvenience out of unexpected situations. Having a small kit with your every day items you don’t want to leave home without can help you be prepared for many situations.

Items to consider include:

  • small amount of cash
  • hand sanitizer and extra non-medical mask
  • bus tickets
  • package of wipes/tissue
  • painkiller and back-up medication
  • back-up pair of glasses/contact lenses and solution
  • paper and pencil
  • important phone numbers


Connect with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-9000
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]