Skip To Content

Build a Kit

In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. By taking a few simple steps today, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies. Individuals and families should be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours. On this page you will find emergency kit lists to help you and your family become more prepared. The items below will not apply to every situation or every person. Personalize your kit to suite your particular situation.

If you are pressed for time, here are some basic items to consider for your emergency kit:

  • Three-day supply of water (4 L per person per day)
  • Non-perishable food for all family members and pets (three-day supply)
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, and cash
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Important family documents and contact numbers
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Chargers for electronic communication devices
  • Insurance documents
  • Emergency phone numbers list
  • A change of clothes for each family member

Expanded and printable checklists by type of kit:

Emergency supply requirements vary depending on your needs. You will need to decide which essential items to include for yourself and your family. Here are some things to consider:

  • Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have infant children will want to include provisions such as:
    • Breastfeeding aides, formula, bottles, baby food and extra water
    • Diapers, wipes and extra changes of clothes
    • Prenatal vitamins, ointments and medications for mom and baby (over-the-counter and prescription)
  • Persons with disabilities and special needs will want to include additional supports. For example, a person in a wheelchair will want to include:
    • Tire patch kit
    • 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 feasible)
    • Spare catheters (if applicable)
    • Your power outage backup plan
  • Individuals with severe allergies, chronic medical conditions or special medical needs will want to include the necessary supplies. For example, a person with diabetes will want to include:
    • MedicAlert bracelet or identification
    • Extra supply of insulin or oral agent
    • Pump supplies, syringes, needles and insulin pens (if used)
    • Small container for storing used syringes and/or needles (if applicable)
    • Blood glucose testing kit, spare batteries and record book
    • Supply of blood glucose and urine ketone testing strips Fast acting insulin for high blood glucose (if applicable)
    • Fast acting sugar for low blood glucose
    • Extra food to cover delayed meals
    • Ice packs and thermal bag to store insulin (if applicable)

Tips for building and maintaining your kits:

  • Your kit should be updated every six months to ensure food and medications are not expired, the water is fresh, clothing still fits, personal documents and credit cards are up-to-date, and batteries are charged.
  • Take away the hassle of remembering by setting a reminder on your calendar or use daylight savings as your reminder to update your emergency kits.
  • Consider seasonal requirements when you update your kits. In the spring include bug spray, sunscreen and hats. In the fall you trade the bug spray for warm clothing and extra blankets.
  • When packing your kits, dividing items into groups and packing them in Ziploc bags not only helps with organization but it can prevent leakage caused by melting, broken or spoiled items.

Other considerations:

  • Date modified: 2017-09-22