Emergency Disaster Preparedness Kit & Plan

Emergency disaster preparedness kit and plan - including free printables.

The Earth's climate seems to be changing and there are more and more natural disasters happening all over. Here in BC, we live in an area well known for earthquakes, and we have been waiting for the "big one" to hit for as long as I can remember.

Wildfires ravaged throughout BC and destroyed 1.2 million hectares of land in 2017, making it a record year for wildfires. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate.

I have been putting off making an emergency disaster preparedness kit for quite some time. But since the recent earthquake and tsunami warning close to our area, it has made it very real so I thought it was about time I organized my emergency kit and preparedness plan.

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In this post, I will go through my Emergency Category in my Household Binder, and I will also provide you with an information sheet and free printables to get you started.

Here is what I include in my Emergency Category in my Household Binder:
  • Family Disaster Plan
  • Before/During/After Earthquake Information
  • Emergency File
  • Emergency Disaster Kit Purchase List
  • IDs
  • Health - Immunizations, etc.
  • CPR Instructions


Having a Family Disaster Plan is just as important as making an Emergency Disaster Preparedness Kit. Everybody should know what to do and where to go when an emergency happens. Be sure to keep your family disaster plan in your Household Binder and Emergency Kit.

A few things you will want to consider for your Family Disaster Plan include:

Emergency Meeting Places

You will want to choose two meeting places: one just outside the home and one farther away, such as a building or park outside of the neighbourhood in case you cannot return home.

Out-of-Province/State Family Contact

It is a good idea to have a contact who lives outside of your province/state. Ask an out-of-province/state family member or friend to serve as the family contact. Make sure everyone knows the name and phone number of this contact person. After a disaster, it is often easier to call long-distance.

Educate Household Members

  • Make sure everyone knows where the Emergency Kit is located
  • Post emergency phone numbers by the telephone
  • Teach children how and when to call 911
  • Make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it
  • Teach everyone how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity. TIP: Tape the appropriate wrench near the gas pipe to turn off the gas
  • Take a First Aid/CPR class
  • Consider having emergency drills as a family a few times per year

Emergency File

  • House inventory of valuable household goods. Include serial number, make, and model numbers and purchase price. TIP: Include photos and receipts when possible.
  • Important Documents
  • Family Records
  • Will and/or Power of Attorney
  • Credit Card account numbers
  • Passports/IDs
  • Bank Account details
  • Financial/Tax records
  • Important telephone numbers
  • Insurance Policies

Copies of the above items are to be kept in the Emergency Kit. Keep the originals in a safe deposit box, make photocopies for file and emergency family contact.

TIP: To save important files/photos on your computer, consider using an online storage site so your files stay safe. Be sure to regularly back up your computer files and photos. An extra step would be to regularly back up your computer onto a disk and keep that at a separate location, such as a safety deposit box.


Identify and fix any potential hazards in, on, and around your home.

The Canada Government website has great checklists for what to do before, during, and after an earthquake at www.getprepared.gc.ca. Print these pages and include them in your Household Binder in the Emergency category.


  • Supplies should last you 72 hours or more
  • Keep in a safe and convenient location
  • Keep groups of items in waterproof and airtight plastic bags
  • Change water supply every six months
  • Rotate food every six months
  • Replace batteries often
There are many ways and places you can store your emergency supplies.  Some store their supplies in backpacks or even rolling suitcases and store them in a closet close to the front door.

I bought a large storage chest on sale at Walmart in the automotive department (no longer available, similar one here) and knew it would be perfect for our emergency kit!  I have decided to store ours in the garage.

Emergency Disaster Kit Checklists

So now that I have the storage chest, how do I start? What do I store inside?  I had a lot of questions, which is why I had been putting this off for so long!

I have done a lot of research and have compiled a purchase and inventory checklist of items for my family's Emergency Disaster Preparedness Kit.  Please keep in mind that this will be different for every family, only you can decide what is best for your family.

We will go through our camping gear and use some of those supplies to stock our kit, and the other items I plan to purchase throughout the next few months.

Emergency disaster preparedness kit and plan - including free printables.

These are great checklists that will keep track of purchases, inventory, and expiry dates where applicable.  You can even mark an annual reminder note on  your calendar to change out your water, food, and batteries.  Some people even have a picnic annually with the near-expired items!

Public Safety Canada provides free publications on emergency preparedness you can download for free on their website at http://www.getprepared.ca/.

Is your family prepared?  Do you have an Emergency Disaster Preparedness Kit?  If so, what types of things do you have in your kit and how/where do you store it?

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Emergency disaster preparedness kit and plan - including free printables.


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    1. So happy this was helpful for you. Thank you for sharing your article, it is a great resource.


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