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In an emergency, time to react is often short. This checklist will help you plan ahead for sheltering in your home.


2 litres per person per day for drinking and 2 litres per person per day for cooking and sanitation

Water Storage

Use clean, food-safe containers with lids. Store in a cool dark place. Change water every six months. Purify by boiling at a rolling boil for 10 minutes just prior to use or use one drop of household (5% sodium hypochlorite) unscented chlorine bleach per litre of water, mix and let it sit for one half hour.

Additional sources of water

  • Hot water tank - make sure the heat source is off
  • Water from pipes, if draining to prevent freezing
  • If given warning, fill the bathtub, sinks, pails and other containers


Keep track of what food you use in a month and then try to maintain up to a one month supply. Much of the food should be nonperishable, but plan on using your frozen and refrigerated foods first. Write an emergency menu to plan what to have at each meal and snack time. The following can be stored without refrigeration:

  • oatmeal, pasta, flour, rice, beans, sugar, spices, vegetable oil
  • canned foods - meats, fish, stews, beans, vegetables, juices, puddings, fruits, milk, soup, nuts, jam, jelly, peanut butter, honey
  • ready to eat cereal, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
  • comfort foods - cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, chocolate, tea, cocoa, instant coffee, dehydrated soups
  • special food - baby food, vitamins

Also store paper plates, cups, cutlery, manual can opener and a pocket knife.


Alternate cooking source with adequate fuel for one week:

  • Propane camp stove, propane barbecue, camp fuel camp stove
  • Matches, lighter


Alternate light source: Fuel-burning lantern or candles, flashlights and batteries, battery charger with generator or solar power, matches, lighter


Alternate heat source with adequate fuel for one week:

  • Propane heater, camp fuel heater, wood stove, electric heater with generator
  • Matches, lighter

Use great care with equipment that burns fuels. Many appliances generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. Adequate fresh air must enter the area where the appliance is used. Check each appliance / manufacturer for fresh air ventilation requirements. Barbecues, stoves and fuel must be used and stored outside.


Propane heaters, stoves and barbecues use approximately 8 ounces (226 g) of propane per hour for every 10,000 BTUs produced. Propane lanterns use approximately 1 ounce (28 g) of fuel every hour they run. Camp fuel stoves use approximately 10 ounces (300 ml) of fuel per burner per hour. Camp fuel lanterns use approximately 3 ounces (90 ml) of fuel every hour they run.


  • First aid kit - St. John Ambulance or Red Cross
  • Verify prescriptions are correct and have adequate supply
  • Contact lenses/supplies, spare eye glasses
  • Battery operated smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Planned escape route from the building


  • Radio & batteries for one week playing, or wind-up radio
  • Cellular telephone, pager
  • A whistle


  • Portable toilet
  • Diapers
  • Bags for toilet waste
  • Hand soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Dish detergent
  • Deodorant
  • Garbage container
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Tissue and hand wipes
  • Baby hygiene items
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Room deodorizer
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Bags for pet waste


Use public transportation.


Paper records of:

  • Loans
  • Academic records
  • Marriage certificates
  • Baptism
  • Licenses
  • Insurance policies
  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Also have some emergency cash on hand.


  • Playing cards
  • Games
  • Toys
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Books


Arrange to share cooking, information, and transportation.

Check on them if there are no signs of activity at their home.


  • Extra food/feed
  • Shelter
  • Water
  • Vaccination records
  • Licenses