How to Make a Home Emergency Kit

How to Make a Home Emergency Kit bb3 May 22, 2012

By Staff Writer

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Severe storms, tornadoes and floods can pop up unexpectedly and cut off access to necessities such as water, power and shelter. Prepare yourself and your family against a natural disaster by putting together an emergency kit that you can lay hands on at a momentís notice.

In Your Home Emergency Kit

  • Water. Store at least 2 litres per person for drinking. An additional two litres per person is recommended for cooking and cleaning.
  • Money. Keep some cash or travellerís cheques on hand in case electronic credit card readers fail during a power outage.
  • Food. Stash items with a long shelf life, such as canned foods and granola bars. Make sure to have a can opener as well.
  • Medicine. If possible, keep extra doses of prescription meds on hand for anyone with a chronic health condition.
  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning products. Be ready to battle the unsanitary conditions that often accompany natural disasters.
  • Whistle. A loud, shrill whistle can alert rescuers if someone becomes trapped under rubble.
  • Extra glasses. An old pair of specs (or an extra set of contacts) can be invaluable if your current lenses are damaged in the storm.
  • Standard first-aid kit. First-aid supplies allow you to clean wounds and patch up minor injuries. Be sure your kit includes latex gloves to reduce the chance of spreading infections.
  • Flashlight. Ditch the candles and oil lanterns. Instead, stock up on LED flashlights, which run much longer than conventional flashlights. Periodically check the batteries to make sure the flashlight will work when you need it.
  • Battery- or crank-operated radio. Get up-to-the-minute information on the stormís progress, even if you lose power. Itís also a good idea to keep some extra batteries in your kit.
  • Diapers and formula. If you have small children in your home, remember to store essentials for their care.
  • Blankets and extra clothes. Temperatures can fluctuate during bad weather so pack items that you can layer to stay warm and dry.
  • Axe and shovel. Strong storms often knock down trees and structures, so have tools nearby that could help you escape if you become trapped.
  • Safety goggles. Protective your vision against flying debris, dust and dirt.
  • Deck of cards, games. Waiting out storms can feel like forever, especially for young children. Add a deck of cards or other diversion to help keep family members distracted.
  • Pet care. Donít forget your animal friends. Pack some pet food and a couple of bowls in your kit.

Store your emergency items in a water-resistant container in the spot you shelter in during storms, such as the basement or a large interior closet. Learn more about storm preparedness and get additional tips from the Government of Canada.