Build a kit


In Canada, blizzards, freezing rain and thunderstorms are a reality with changing seasons. Severe weather conditions can cause power outages leaving you without electricity, heat, or water for hours, or a few days. You may even need to leave your home and evacuate to a safer area.

An important step in creating your family emergency plan is building an emergency survival kit. It should have everything you and your family would need to be safe and take care of yourselves for at least three days following an emergency.

What should you include in your kit?

  • Food (non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items and a manual can opener)
  • Bottled water (four litres per person for each day)
  • Medication(s)
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (crank or battery-run)
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Candles and matches/lighter
  • Hand sanitizer or moist towelettes
  • Important papers (identification, contact lists, copies of prescriptions)
  • Extra car keys and cash
  • Whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
  • Zip-lock bag (to keep things dry)
  • Garbage bags
Special considerations:
  • Items for babies and small children (diapers, formula, bottles, baby food, comfort items)
  • Prescription medication
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Any other items specific to your family's needs
Extra supplies for evacuation:
  • Clothes, shoes
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Personal items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, other toiletries)
  • Playing cards, travel games, other activities for children

Other tips to consider: 

  • Pack the contents of your kit in an easy-to-carry bag(s) or a case on wheels.
  • Store your kit in a place that is easy to reach, and ensure that everyone in your family knows where it is.
  • Your kit does not have to be built overnight. Spread your shopping over a few weeks. Purchase a few items every time you go to the store.
  • Your water supply is meant to cover what you would drink as well as what you might need for food preparation, hygiene and dishwashing.
  • Check and refresh your kit twice a year. Check all expiry dates and replace food and water with a fresh supply. Check batteries and replace as needed.
  • Keep your cell phone or mobile device fully charged.

For more tips visit the Ministry of Ontario's website.

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