Make an emergency preparedness kit
To meet your needs at home or if evacuating
The Red Cross recommends that you keep a disaster preparedness kit in your home with enough supplies to meet your family’s needs for at least 72 hours. By taking some time now to store emergency food, water and other supplies, you can provide for your entire family.
Store these supplies together in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as suitcases on wheels or backpacks in case you need to evacuate your home:
- Water: During an emergency, tap water can become polluted or supply may be cut off. Store two litres of drinking water and two litres of water for washing per person, per day, keeping a 72 hour supply on hand for your family and any pets. Listen to public announcements about treating the water in your area after a disaster. Once per year, make use of your water supply and add fresh water to your kit.
- Food: Store at least a 72 hour supply of non-perishable food for each person. Select foods that are compact and lightweight, non-perishable and require no refrigeration, cooking, preparation or added water. Once per year, check the expiration dates of your food items. Ensure that there is enough for each member of your family.
- Manual can opener
- Crank or battery-operated flashlight, with extra batteries
- Crank or battery-operated radio, with extra batteries
- Extra keys, for house and car
- First aid kit
- Cash in small bills
- Special needs items - medications, baby formula and diapers, and equipment for people with disabilities. Learn more about plans for people with disabilities.
- Copy of your emergency plan
Additional items to consider
- Change of clothing and footwear for each person
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Pet food and pet medication
- Garbage bags and twist ties
- Toilet paper
- Multi-tool or basic tools (hammer, wrench, screwdriver, etc.)
- Duct tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Scissors or pocket knife
- Hand sanitizer
- Personal hygiene items
- Important family documents (copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licenses, wills, land deeds and insurance)
Buy a kit
The Canadian Red Cross has developed a comprehensive disaster preparedness kit to take the guess-work out of being ready from short-term power outages to major disasters. This is a great kit to help you get started. Add your own items to make it more personal for you and your family. For suggested items, see our Additional Items list.
Vehicle emergency preparedness kit
A vehicle emergency preparedness kit is an important part of winter safety in Canada. Severe storms can happen at any time. Be prepared to help yourself and your family if you are ever stuck in your vehicle for an extended period of time. Learn more about items to include in your vehicle kit.
You Make the Difference – Support Canadians Affected by Disasters
From house fires to forest fires, hurricanes to floods, the Canadian Red Cross is there for more than 20,000 Canadians who are affected by disasters each year. Please donate to the Canadian Red Cross Fund.