How to Build a Household Emergency Kit and Grab-and-Go Bag

An illustration of houses

Following a disaster, you may need to stay at home with your emergency kit or leave immediately with your grab-and go-bags. Gather and organize your emergency supplies now so you're ready when disaster strikes. 

Building your emergency kit or grab-and-go bag doesn't need to be expensive or take a lot of time. Follow our basic supply lists below. Just remember to consider the unique needs of your household, such as including items for pets or seniors


What Supplies Does my Emergency Kit Need?

Put your supplies in one or two containers, such as plastic bins or duffel bags. Store them in an area of your home that’s easy to get to, such as a hall closet, spare room or garage. 

  • Non-perishable food: three-day to one-week supply, with a manual can opener
  • Water: four litres per person, per day for drinking and sanitation
  • Phone charger, battery bank or inverter
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit and medications
  • Personal toiletries and items, such as an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • Copy of your emergency plan, copies of important documents, such as insurance papers
  • Cash in small bills
  • Garbage bags and moist towelettes for personal sanitation
  • Seasonal clothing, sturdy footwear and emergency blanket
  • Dust masks if you live in an area that's prone to earthquakes
  • Whistle
  • Help/OK Sign (PDF): Display the appropriate side outward in your window during a disaster.

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Emergency Kit Supplies


How to Build a 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 addition to having one at home, create grab-and-go bags for your workplace and vehicles that contain:

  • Food (ready to eat) and water
  • Phone charger and battery bank
  • Small battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Small first-aid kit and personal medications
  • Personal toiletries and items, such as an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • Copy of your emergency plan, copies of important documents, such as insurance papers
  • Cash in small bills
  • Local map with your family meeting place identified
  • Seasonal clothing and an emergency blanket
  • Pen and notepad
  • Whistle

Grab-and-Go Bag