Build an Emergency Kit

Lists and information about what to include in your emergency kit to sustain you and your family for 72 hours.


In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. By taking a few simple steps you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies.

You and your family should be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours.

Below you will find emergency kit lists to help you and your family become more prepared. The items below will not apply to every situation or every person and you should personalize your kit to suite your particular situation.

Basic kits

All emergency kits should contain the following basic items:

  • 3-day supply of water (4 litres per person per day)
  • non-perishable food for all family members and pets (3-day supply)
  • first-aid kit
  • flashlight
  • battery-powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • an extra set of car keys, credit cards, and cash
  • sanitation supplies
  • extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • important family documents and contact numbers including:
    • insurance documents
    • emergency phone numbers list
  • prescriptions or special medications
  • chargers for electronic communication devices
  • a change of clothes for each family member

You can also buy prepackaged basic kits including car kits, visit Get prepared for more information.


Use the following checklists to build specific emergency kits:

Special items

Emergency supply requirements vary depending on your needs. You will need to decide which essential items to include for yourself and your family.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have infant children you will want to include:

  • feeding items:
    • breastfeeding aides
    • formula
    • bottles
    • baby food
    • extra water
  • diapers, wipes and extra changes of clothes
  • prenatal vitamins, ointments and medications for mom and baby (over-the-counter and prescription)

Disabilities and special needs

If you have special needs you will want to include additional supports. For example, if you use a wheelchair you may want to include:

  • tire patch kit or can of seal-in-air product to repair flat tires on your wheelchair or scooter
  • supply of inner tubes
  • pair of heavy gloves to protect your hands while wheeling over glass or other sharp debris
  • latex-free gloves for anyone providing personal care to you
  • spare deep-cycle battery for a motorized wheelchair or scooter
  • a lightweight, manual wheelchair as a backup to a motorized wheelchair, if possible
  • spare catheters, if needed
  • your power outage backup plan

Allergies and chronic conditions

If you have severe allergies, chronic medical conditions or other medical needs, you will want to include the necessary supplies. For example, if you have diabetes you will want to include:

  • MedicAlert bracelet or identification
  • extra supply of insulin or oral agent
  • pump supplies, syringes, needles and insulin pens
  • small container for storing used syringes and/or needles
  • blood glucose testing kit, spare batteries and record book
  • supply of blood glucose and urine ketone testing strips and fast acting insulin for high blood glucose, if needed
  • fast acting sugar for low blood glucose
  • extra food to cover delayed meals
  • ice packs and thermal bag to store insulin
  • additional snacks to maintain blood glucose

Updating your kit

Your kit should be updated every 6 months to ensure food and medications are not expired, the water is fresh, clothing still fits, personal documents and credit cards are up-to-date, and batteries are charged.

Use daylight savings as your reminder to update your emergency kits or add a twice-annual reminder to your phone or calendar.

You should also consider seasonal requirements when you update your kits.

In the spring include:

  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • hats
  • lighter clothing

In the fall include:

  • warm clothing
  • extra blankets

When packing your kits, dividing items into groups and packing them in Ziploc bags helps organize items and prevents leaks from melting, broken or spoiled items.


To connect with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-9000
Fax: 780-644-1044
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Alberta Emergency Management Agency
14515 122 Ave NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5L 2W4