Building an Emergency Kit

By Shayne Morrow, April 6, 2016

The goal of emergency preparedness in the event of an earthquake/tsunami is to provide each person in your family with enough food, water and medical supplies to survive for 72 hours without outside assistance. In remote communities, like Nuu-chah-nulth communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, many suggest you’ll need a full week’s worth of supplies.

You’ll need a First Aid kit, battery-powered (or hand-crank) radio and flashlight, along with spare batteries. You’ll want a whistle, a cellphone with charger, some cash, some safety equipment, and seasonal clothing. You may find yourself outdoors, so you’ll need protection from the elements, including emergency blankets, ponchos, gloves. Candles, fire starter, multi-purpose knife…

Then there’s that supply of food and water. Canned food is a good start (but remember the can-opener). You may choose some dried fruit or granola bars for quick energy, some packaged foods and just-add-hot-water drinks.

And water. The general rule is four litres of water per person per day, more in hot weather.

Here’s the challenge, however: it is recommended that your Emergency Kit be self-contained and easily portable.

That makes weight a critical factor. One litre of water alone weighs one kilogram, so it adds up quickly.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has information on how to create your own Emergency Kit on its website (

Prepared Grab-and-Go bags are available. ACRD has obtained both one- and two-person 72-Hour Grab-and Go bags from a B.C. company, Holistic Emergency Preparedness and Response (

Both were assembled according to specifications requested by Ehattesaht-Chinehkint, according to Holistic owner Marc D’Aquino.

The one-person kit lists at $198 and fits inside a 25-litre backpack.

Holistic has assembled a compact array of lightweight packaged items, including lightsticks, bug wipes, toilet paper, hand warmers, water purification tablets and three days worth of block rations (3,600 calories each).

The two-person kit comes in a waterproof tote/backpack at a price of $369.

The contents are similar, with a few additions.

To contact Holistic Emergency Preparedness and Response, call 1-604-816-1994 or email at