Emergency Kits

Be ready for 72 hours

Emergency kit for your home

In the event of an emergency, several hours or days may pass before help arrives. Would your family be prepared to survive until then?

Prepare an emergency kit containing the basic items that you and your family would need to survive the first 3 days (72 hours) of an emergency. This three-day period represents the time it may take first responders to reach and assist victims or re-establish essential services. If disaster strikes, you will not have the time or opportunity to purchase or find what you will need.

Here are some of the items that you should keep in your emergency kit at home:

  • Cash and coins;
  • Hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, soap, toilet paper, plastic garbage bags);
  • Lighter or matches;
  • Candles;
  • Multi-function pocket knife;
  • Blankets;
  • Potable water: two litres per person per day for at least three days;
  • Set of keys for the car and house;
  • Flashlight with spare batteries;
  • Dust masks to filter contaminated air;
  • Non-perishable food: enough for at least three days;
  • Manual can opener;
  • Important personal documents (originals or photocopies): IDs, insurance policies, drug and eyewear prescriptions, family safety plan;
  • Battery-operated radio with spare batteries;
  • Whistles (ideally worn around the neck) so that you and your family members can signal your presence to first responders; and
  • First-aid kit: adhesive bandages, sterile gauze pads, tweezers, safety pins, antiseptic and analgesic products, Epipen for allergies.

Water and food supplies

The moment a warning is issued, it is wise to stock up on at least three days' worth of water and food. Keep the water in plastic containers, such as emptied and washed soda pop bottles. Do not use containers that could decompose or break, like milk cartons or glass bottles. People normally drink at least two litres of water per day. Children, breastfeeding mothers and the sick need to drink more. To ensure a three-day supply of water, you will need four litres of water per person per day (two litres for drinking and two litres for preparing food and washing).

Also stock up on non-perishable food items. Choose non-frozen foods that do not need to be prepared or cooked and that require little or no water. If you need to heat up food, use a portable stove or canned fuel for cooking and heating. Never use a gas or charcoal barbecue indoors. Replace your stored food items every six months.

Stock up on the following food items:

  • Ready-to-serve canned meats, fruits and vegetables;
  • Boxed juice, milk and soup (add water if powdered);
  • Sugar, salt, pepper and spices;
  • High-energy food (peanut butter, jams, crackers, granola bars);
  • Foods for young children, the elderly and people following special diets; and
  • Treats and snacks that are particularly appreciated in stressful situations (cookies, hard candies, sweet cereals, instant coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc.).

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Emergency kit in the event of an evacuation

You could be required to leave your home at a moment's notice. While the staff at evacuation centres and shelters will do their best to provide victims with basic supplies, you should gather a few personal items for yourself. Always keep a kit containing these items ready and easily accessible. Bring only the essentials with you in a backpack, gym bag or reasonably sized suitcase with wheels.

Here are the basic items to keep in an emergency kit:

  • Personal care items:
    • Toothpaste and toothbrushes;
    • Dental floss;
    • Sanitary napkins;
    • Soap and shampoo;
    • Cotton swabs;
    • Deodorant;
    • Diapers and paper towels;
    • Pair of spare eyeglasses; and
    • Contact lenses and cleaning solutions;
  • Clothing:
    • Spare set of clothes and an extra pair of shoes per person;
    • Blankets; and
    • Sweaters;
  • Medication:
    • Analgesics (acetaminophen, aspirin);
    • Antacids (to relieve stomach upsets); and
    • Epipen for allergies;
  • Personal documents:
    • Credit and debit cards;
    • Health insurance cards for all family members;
    • Driver's license(s);
    • Spare sets of keys for the house and the car; and
    • Recent pictures of family members in case you get separated.

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Emergency kit for your automobile

You should keep a survival kit in your automobile at all times. Here are some of the items that a basic kit should contain:

  • Matches and candles stored in a metal box or plastic bag – useful for keeping warm, heating a beverage or providing light;
  • Traction aids;
  • Bottles of water and non-perishable food items, bottle opener, can opener, pocket knife and utensils;
  • Booster cables;
  • Road maps;
  • Joint automobile accident report;
  • Blankets;
  • Flares or warning light;
  • Flashlight and spare batteries;
  • Shovel, ice scraper and snow brush;
  • Coins or calling card if you do not own a mobile phone;
  • Sand or salt;
  • First aid kit with manual and scissors to cut seat belts (kept in the glove box); and
  • Warm clothing and spare boots.

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Useful links :

Sécurité publique Québec – Emergency Kit

Government of Canada – Get Prepared - Basic Emergency Kit