Build an Emergency Kit

Creating a home emergency kit doesn't need to take long. Just follow the basic list below. In addition, remember to add personal items, such as prescription medications, an extra pair of eyeglasses and copies of important documents like passports, birth certificates and insurance papers.

Always make sure emergency kits are in easily accessible locations. 


Build an Emergency Kit


The Importance of Water

How much is enough?

The general rule is four litres of water per person per day, but there are a few caveats:

  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more
  • If you live in a warm region of B.C., hot temperatures can double water needs
  • Pets need about 30 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, an average-sized cat or small-sized dog needs at least 1/5 of a litre, or half a cup, daily

How and where do I store my water?

It’s recommended you purchase commercially-bottled water and keep it in its original container in an easily accessible, cool and dark place. Don’t open it until you need it.

Observe the expiration or “best before” dates. Set a reminder in your phone or remember to check the dates when the clocks “spring forward” and “fall back”.

What hidden water sources are available in my home?

It’s easy to locate safe water sources in your home. These include the water in your hot-water tank, pipes and ice cubes. It’s recommended you don’t use water from toilet tanks or bowls, radiators, waterbeds, swimming pools or spas.

Can I purify my own water?

We recommend purchasing commercially-bottled water; however, the Ministry of Health has information on the steps you can take to purify and bottle your own.

What about water filtration devices?

These devices are becoming more and more popular, perhaps because they don’t take up as much room as several litres of bottled water. There are a lot of different options out there – different brands offer many different types, ranging from water bottle-sized to 18-litre containers or larger. If you choose to go this route, it’s still not a bad idea to store some bottled water as well.


Don't count on being home when there's an emergency. In addition to having one at home, create grab-and-go bags for your work and vehicles that contain:

  • Food (ready to eat) and water
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • AM/FM radio
  • Medications
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Blanket
  • Cell phone charger
  • Pen and notepad
  • Personal toiletries
  • Small First-Aid kit
  • Extra pair of glasses or contacts
  • Cash in small bills
  • Local map with your family meeting place identified
  • Whistle

Image of a backpack and a list of the contents you need to include in your grab and go bag in case you need to evacuate on short notice.