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
Having an emergency kit is one step to being more prepared.
Emergency kit supplies
Start building your emergency kit with these basic supplies.
Table 1. Supplies for sheltering at home and emergency kits
|Sheltering at home |
(minimum 14 days)
|Emergency kit |
(minimum 72 hours)
|Food|| || |
|Water and liquids (4 litres, per person, per day)|| |
|Medical supplies|| |
|Critical records|| |
|First aid kit|| |
|Sanitation supplies|| || |
|Other items|| || |
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).
Emergency kit checklist
Emergency kit checklist for your pets
Emergency preparedness for farm animals and livestock
Emergency kit checklist for your vehicles
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
- baby food
- extra water
- diapers, wipes and extra clothes
- prenatal vitamins, ointments and medications for mom and child (over-the-counter and prescription)
- feeding items:
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
- 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
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