We understand that Emergency Preparedness can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! We can help you prepare on a budget and in a small space.

Disasters and Emergencies can be stressful, having an emergency plan and a household kit for you and your family will allow you to be self-sufficient for seven days will help to ease some of that stress. Start by watching this short Emergency Kit for Your Home Video, we hope it will inspire you to build your own kit.

Why prepare for 7 days?

Here in the Capital Region, we encourage you to prepare for 7 days. Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are separated from the mainland by water, and we recognize that in a large disaster such as an earthquake it may take more than 3 days for help to reach us.

At Home Emergency Kit

Having essential supplies handy in an emergency is a vital part of preparedness. Your At-Home Emergency Kit (sometimes called a Shelter-in-Place Kit) should include basic survival items to support you and your family for at least seven (7) days.

After a disaster, it's best to remain in your home if you can do so safely. You will need supplies for cooking, hygiene, and comfort. Put your supplies in one or two containers (duffle bag or plastic bins). Store them in an area of you home that's easy to access.

What to Put in Your Kit

  • At least four litres of water per person per day (2L for drinking, and 2L for hygiene and cooking)
  • Food that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (remember to replace the food and water once a year)
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Candles and matches or lighter (remember to place candles in sturdy containers and to put them out before going to sleep)
  • Battery-powered or wind-up radio (and extra batteries)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Special items such as prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities
  • Extra keys for your car and house
  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills (travellers cheques are also useful) and change for pay phones
  • A copy of your emergency plan including contact information

Additional Supplies

  • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
  • A whistle in case you need to attract attention
  • Garbage bags for personal sanitation
  • Toilet paper and other personal care supplies
  • Safety gloves
  • Basic tools like a hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, fasteners, work gloves
  • Small fuel-driven stove and fuel
  • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
  • Copies of personal documents such as passport and birth certificate
  • Candles and matches or lighter
  • Dry pet food and water for seven days along with any special medication.
  • Help/OK sign

Print these helpful worksheets: At Home Kit for Checklists and Tips about assembling your At-Home Emergency Kit (you can find also find this information in our Prepare Yourself Workbook). For additional information about At-Home Emergency Kits visit PreparedBC.

Grab-and-Go Bag

You may need to leave immediately in the event of an emergency. Be ready to go by having a smaller version of your emergency kit in an easy-to-access place in your home.

In the event of an evacuation, your grab-and-go bag will have food, water, and other supplies that will allow you to be as comfortable as possible for at least 12 hours. Every person and pet in your home should have a bag to meet their personal needs.

Print off this Prepare Yourself Worksheet Grab-and-go, which can be used as a Checklist as you build your Grab-and-Go Kits. This worksheet can also be found in the Prepare Yourself Workbook.

Build a Kit on a Budget

We don't think preparedness should be expensive. Many kit items are probably already in your home. Instead of buying a kit, create your own.

  • "Shop" through your home for kit items and gather them in a central location.
  • Make a list of items you need to purchase, and buy them on sale.
  • Store what you can today and gather other items bit by bit.
  • Only store food items that your family eats on a day-to-day basis. Routinely eat stored items and immediately replace with recent purchases. This ensures that during an emergency your kit is stocked with familiar foods and that there is less wastage of food past its shelf life.
  • If you have allergies or dietary sensitivities, consider learning how to pickle, can or preserve food.
  • Visit your local discount stores, thrift stores and local garage sales where you can find cost-effective options.

Build a Kit in a Small Space

We know that living in a small space can pose storage challenges for many. To save storage space consider the following:

  • Use suitcases and other carriers
  • Utilize all available space. Do you have space under your bed? On the floor of your closet? Or in your entertainment center?
  • Use your freezer for water storage
  • Think multi-purpose: do you have a trunk that can store your emergency kit and maybe serve as an end table, or an ottoman or foot rest with inside storage?
  • Use space savers: buy a shoe bag and hang it on the inside of your closet door - the little pockets can provide storage for light-weight items such as dried food, wipes, first aid supplies and more.
  • Do you have a vehicle? Consider storing supplies in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • When all else fails, visit Pinterest for inspiration.

Additional Resources:

PreparedBC has has information about Emergency Kits available in Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Punjabi, and Spanish.

Want to learn more? Consider attending one of the Region's Free Emergency Preparedness Workshops hosted by your Local Emergency Program. Check out Upcoming Events to find a workshop near you.