Emergency Preparedness

Live, Explore, Enjoy! It’s the name of my blog and how I do life. Each day brings with it the opportunity to see, learn, experience, and savor something new. Each day also brings a challenge to overcome.

Last week Japan was hit with a massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated the north east corner of the country. Families have been displaced, for some their homes utterly destroyed. Countless lives have been lost. For those living in areas not directly affected by the disaster, they are running out of supplies as food, gasoline and water become scarce.

At times like this we take inventory of our own lives, which should include checking in on our emergency preparedness kits (if we have them at all). Hopefully we are never faced with such a tragedy, but being prepared for one can mean the difference between life and death. Emergencies can range from the devastation of an earthquake to major flooding to power outages.

This coming weekend set aside a few hours to organize an emergency preparedness kit. Here are the must have items to make it through 72 hours.


  • Have at least 2 litres per person per day. Water should be portable enough to take with you should there be an evacuation alert.
  • Replace water every year.


  • All food supplies should be non perishable. Canned goods including canned fruits and vegetables, dried foods, packaged snacks, preserves, freeze dried foods and some items made specifically for emergency kits.
  • Food items should be replaced every year.
  • Make sure to include a manual can opener.
  • Have a generous supply of wipes or moistened towelettes.

First Aid Supplies

Medications, etc.

  • Always have extra prescribed medications in your emergency kit (be certain to check expiry dates).
  • Also include items like vitamins, inhalers and special equipment for disabilities, etc.

Baby Supplies

  • Items such as infant formula, diapers, and wipes are important.

Personal Hygiene

  • Have a small case with toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer and the like.


  • Also stock extra batteries.
  • Switch out your batteries every six months with fresh. Use the batteries you pull in other devices.

Battery Powered or Wind Up Radio

  • This is essential for tuning in to emergency broadcasts.
  • Include extra batteries.

Cash & I.D.

  • Small denominations and change is essential, no big bills.
  • Photocopies of personal health care numbers and identification is a good idea.
  • A list of important phone numbers (including family members) is a good idea.


  • An extra set of keys for vehicles and the house are important.


  • Emergency blankets are best as they take up minimal room compared to quilts, etc.

Family Safety Plan

  • This plan outlines safe exits from a house or apartment, gathering locations in case of separation, and locations of fire extinguishers, water & gas shut off valves in the home.
  • There are sites on line that help you create your own family safety plan.

Once you’ve gathered all the items for your kit, secure them in a portable container. A wheeled suitcase (or 2) works well in case of evacuation. Keep your emergency preparedness kit in an accessible location

About Live Explore Enjoy

Lee Anne Michayluk is a Vancouver based writer who loves to live, explore, and enjoy life to the fullest
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