Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front-hall closet. If you have many people in your household, your emergency kit could get heavy.
Flashlight and Batteries
Don’t be left in the dark. Pack a flashlight or two… and don’t forget batteries. When the power goes out, you will need a light source. Most flashlights will hold a charge for several hours. Candles are another source of light, but use with caution especially if young children. Battery-powered lamps are a better option.
Plan on having enough non-perishable and canned goods in your home for up to 3 days per person. With power outages, stores may be closed for days. Choose high-protein snacks, such as peanuts, raisins, protein bars and granola. And if you have a baby in the family, don’t forget formula and/or baby food. And don’t forget a manual can opener.
Depending on the emergency you may need a blanket to keep warm. If you get evacuated from your home you may also want your own blanket to use at a shelter and/or a change of clothes depending on how long you may be out of your house.
Battery-Operator or Crank Radio
Stay informed. If the power is out and electronic devices are down, cell towers are damaged or overwhelmed, you need a way to stay up to date with any announcements or instructions. Listen to the local radio stations for messages from EZT.
Depending on the emergency, water systems could be shut down or tainted. Have enough water on hand for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Remember to include enough for your pet and to add fresh water to your supply each year.
Personal Hygiene Kit
You may not have access to these items in your home or during an evacuation. Items could include toothbrushes, paste, soap and deodorant, antibacterial gels and feminine products. If you have allergies or sensitivity to some products, it’s especially important to pack your own items.
Be prepared for cuts, scrapes and other minor injuries, but be sure to call 911 for serious injuries. If you don’t have a store-bought kit, gather the following: bandaids, tweezers, scissors, tape, gauze, cotton balls, antibiotic ointment and Tylenol. Keep a whistle with you in case you need to draw attention to your location or assist another family member in locating you.
Medications/Special Needs Items
Pack essential prescription medications, spare eye glasses or medical supplies, such as diabetic syringes and glucose tablets. It’s also a good idea to put these items in a watertight container.
Having copies of personal documents can make the recovery process a lot simpler. Keep copies of passports, insurance documents, birth and marriage certificates, wills, licences and other documents that you see fit. It is also a good idea to include emergency phone numbers of friends/relatives in and out of town, as well as a list of family pets.
Spare keys (house and car), generator fuel, playing cards, colouring books, cash (small bills), duct tape, multi-tool, spare shoes, garbage bags, pet food and/or anything else that you might need or make your family more comfortable during an emergency.