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Build your 72-hour emergency preparedness kit

In the event of an emergency, responders may be busy assisting those in immediate danger. The 72-hour kit holds supplies to support you and your family for 3 days in an emergency situation. It is recommended that you pr​int this list and check off items as your accumulate them.


72-hour emergency kit


What’s in a 72-hour kit?

​Item ​Description
Bottled water​ ​Store 4 litres of water per person per day. Ideally, you should replace the water bottles every time you change your clocks. If necessary, you can use the water in your toilet tank or hot water heater.
Food A minimum of 3 days’ food that won’t spoil and requires minimal preparation, such as canned or dried food and energy bars. Check food expiry dates when you change your clocks and replace as needed. If you stock canned food, include a manual can opener in your kit. If you include a camping stove, do not use it indoors.
Medication Make a kit specific to the needs of your family. Include any prescription medication that you or your family members take. Ideally, you should swap the medication out regularly for fresh medication. If you cannot store extra medication in your kit, make sure you take it with you in an evacuation. You may also want to include vitamins and medications to guard you against getting sick.
First Aid kit​

First Aid kits should be easily accessible in your home and vehicle and shoudl generally include:

  • gloves
  • gauze pads
  • a variety of bandages
  • antiseptic
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • needle and thread
  • instand ice packs
  • survival blanket, if space allows
Wind-up flashlight and radio​ Wind-up flashlight/radio combination models are available from many outdoor retailers. If you are using a battery-operated flashlight or radio, be sure to stock extra batteries and replace them every year.
External battery pack or wind-up cell phone charger ​You could be without power in your home for days, or you might have to evacuate. It is important that you are able to use your cell phone to call for help or to receive information. If phone lines are too busy, you can still receive updates and alerts on your mobile device.
Dust masks and duct tape​ ​These supplies will help you shelter-in-place.
Whistle ​A whistle will help attract attention if needed.
Personal sanitation items​ ​Consider including moist towlettes, garbage bags and toilet paper.
Warm clothes and blankets or sleeping bags ​Blankets or sleeping bags are much warmer than survival blankets. You may want to pack both, but survival blankets do not replace real blankets.
Important documents Have emergency contact information as part of your family emergency plan. Store this information and important documents in your 72-hour kit. Consider including digital copies of important documents, music, photos, and anything else you might want to keep. Review documents periodically and ensure that they are up to date.
Cash in small bills and coins ​You should include cash because debit and credit cards may not work in an emergency situation or if the power is out. You might need coins in case you have to use a payphone or use coin-operated laundry facilities.
Supplies for your baby and pet If applicable, stock your kit with baby food, diapers, formula, extra clothes, and baby wipes. If you have a pet, have an evacuation plan for your pet, water, food, toys, and any medication.
​Entertainment ​You may want to consider including non-power consuming entertainment for children and adults, such as games, card or books.

How do I store my supplies?

  • Ideally, supplies should be stored in a waterproof, wheeled suitcase or container. Your kit must be portable in case you have to evacuate your home. If you have luggage, bag your supplies and store them in your luggage when you are not travelling. You can remove the bags for travel.
  • If you purchase a 72-hour kit, become familiar with the supplies and know how to use them.
  • Store medications, cash, and important documents in an external pouch for easy access. Your First Aid kit and water supply should also be immediately accessible.
  • Make sure that you check your kit and replenish/swap supplies as needed. An easy way to remember is to check your kit when you change your clocks.

Tips for making a 72-hour kit on a budget

  • Store what you can today and accumulate other items bit by bit.
  • Spend an extra 5% on groceries per month to accumulate the food you need for your 72-hour kit​.
  • Certain books and online resources can teach you how to pickle, can and preserve food. This is also a good option for those with allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • Although it is safest to use commercially bottled water, you can use food-grade water storage containers or empty plastic two-litre soda bottles to store your water. Visit Water Services for more information on storing water.