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Step 3. Get a Kit - Emergency Preparedness

Get a kit to allow you and your family to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.  This will allow the individuals/agencies responding to an emergency to focus their attention on the emergency situation itself.  Getting a kit is the last step towards preparing you and your family for an emergency.

Before this step, make sure you have completed Step 1 - Know the Risks and Step 2 - Make a Plan.

Family Emergency Go-Kit

  • Survival KitAssemble a 72 hour Go-Kit to use during an evacuation of your home or community.
  • Make sure everyone living in the home knows where to find the Go-Kit.
  • Pack at least the following items with a minimum 72 hour supply into an easy to carry container, such as a backpack or duffle bag:
    • Flashlight
    • Battery-operated or crank radio
    • Spare batteries (for flashlight and/or radio)
    • First-aid kit
    • Candles and matches/lighter
    • Extra car keys and cash
    • Important papers (copies of identification, insurance policies)
    • Non-perishable food and bottled water (as much as your family can manage to carry)
    • Items needed to open food (such as a manual can opener)
    • Clothing and footwear
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Toilet paper and other personal hygiene items
    • Medication (especially prescription – 72 hours worth at least)
    • Eyewear (glasses/contacts)
    • Whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
    • Playing cards (or other quiet games/toys)
    • Paper/pencils/pens
    • Map of your community (for locating shelters)
    • A copy of the Personal Emergency Preparedness Guide
  • Check it twice a year to ensure freshness of food, water and medication and to restock any items you may have borrowed.
  • Checklist (PDF file) - Personal Emergency Survival Kit
  • Purchase a complete kit:
    • Canadian Red Cross website (external link) Note: Halton Region has limited quantities of these GO Kits available for sale for $59.95 at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville.  Dial 311 for details.
    • Home Hardware
    • your local CAA
  • Watch Video
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Shelter-in-Place/Stay at Home Kits

You may need to shelter-in-place or stay in your home during an extended power or water outage. You and your family need to be prepared to do this for at least 72 hours (you may some of these items in your Family Emergency Go-Kit).
  • Stock the 6 basics:
    1. Water 
      • Store at least a 3-day supply for each member of your family.
      • Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill require more water.
    2. Non-perishable food
      • Store at least a 3-day supply and select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. 
    3. First aid supplies
      • Purchase a complete first aid kit and first aid manual.
      • Add personal care items such as toothpaste and soap, and a supply of non-prescription drugs
    4. Tools and supplies, such as:
      • Battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries
      • Lantern and fuel, candles
      • Compass, matches in a waterproof container, signal flare, whistle
      • Pocket knife or multi-tool 
    5. Clothing & bedding, such as:
      • 1 change of clothing and footwear per person
      • Rain gear
      • Blankets or sleeping bags
      • Sweaters 
    6. Special items 
      • Keep important family records and documents in a waterproof, portable container or a bank safety deposit box including:
        • photo ID (passports, driver's license, etc...)
        • health cards
        • bank account, credit card numbers and a small amount of cash
        • photos of family members in case you are separated
  • Store items in a waterproof pack or dufflebag and make sure everyone knows where to find it.

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Kit for Family Members with Special Needs

  • Include medications, denture needs, corrective lenses, hearing aids and batteries for family members with special needs, such as children and elderly or disabled persons, as well as in your Go-Kit.
    • Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, medication, catheters, food for service animal(s), plus other special equipment you might need.
    • A list of individuals to contact in the event of an emergency.
    • A list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
  • Also, store back-up equipment, such as a manual wheelchair, at a neighbour’s home, school or your workplace.
  • Keep the shut-off switch for oxygen equipment near your bed to reach it quickly if there is a fire.
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Car Survival Kit

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Pet and Service Animal Kit

  • The Ontario SPCA suggests your kit include the following items:
    • 72 hour supply of food, bowls and can opener 
    • 72 hour supply of bottled water 
    • medical records, especially proof of vaccination (note that most boarding facilities will not accept pets without proof of current vaccination records) 
    • current photo of pet in case he gets lost 
    • ID tag (microchipping also recommended)
  • Check it twice a year to ensure freshness of food, water and medication and to restock any items you may have borrowed.
  • Checklist (PDF file) - Service Animal & Pet Survival Kit

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