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MVCA Emergency Preparedness Guidelines


Section Three

Making an Emergency Kit

In an emergency it is important to have a plan and to have adequate supplies on hand to allow you and your family to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours.  Preparing an Emergency Kit in advance ensures you have had time to plan, purchase and pack what you may need.  

In this section you will find:

Basic Emergency Kit Contents

Other Items You May Want To Have In Your Home

Vehicle Emergency Kit Contents

Emergency Kit Contents


Basic Emergency Kit

  • Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order

  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)

  • Manual can-opener

  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries). Replace batteries once a year


If applicable include:

  • Prescription medication

  • Infant formula

  • Equipment for people with disabilities

  • Food, water and medication for your pets or service animal

Recommended additional items

  • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning

  • Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in deep, sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)

  • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member

  • Toiletries

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Utensils

  • Garbage bags

  • Toilet paper

Other Items



  • Keep a corded phone in your home, as most cordless phones will not work during a power outage.

  • Crank, battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) or a Weather radio

  • First aid kit

  • Extra keys to your vehicle and house

  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones

  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information

  • In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. You may need to

  • get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for

  • at least 72 hours.

  • You may have some of the items already, such as food, water and a battery operated or crank flashlight. The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark?

  • 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.

  • It’s a good idea to separate some of these supplies in backpacks.

  • That way, your kit will be more portable and each person can personalize his or her own grab-and-go emergency kit.



  • When in doubt, do not drink water you suspect may be contaminated. Check with your municipality or local authorities for details.

  • Keep some cash on hand, as automated bank machines and their networks may not work during an emergency. You may have difficulty using debit or

  • credit cards.

  • Household chlorine bleach or water purifying tablets

  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask,

  • pocket knife)

  • A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)

  • Duct tape (to tape up windows doors, air vents, etc.)


Pre-packaged kits

Canadian Red Cross kits can be purchased at

Various kits and supplies are also available for sale from other commercial entities.

Vehicle Emergency Kit


Prepare a small kit and keep it in your vehicle.

Basic Emergency Vehicle Kit

Prepare a small kit and keep it in your vehicle.

The basic kit should include:

  • Blanket

  • Candle in a deep can and matches

  • Extra clothing and shoes

  • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter

  • Flashlight (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.

  • Food that won’t spoil (such as energy bars)

  • List of contact numbers

  • Radio (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.

  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush

  • Warning light or road flares

  • Water

  • Whistle


Recommended additional items:

  • Antifreeze

  • Windshield washer fluid

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)

Customize Your Emergency Plan and Print At Home

If you would like to print what you need to create your own complete Emergency Plan, click on the links below

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