Emergency grab kit

The recent heavy rains in my area that caused mass flooding in the area around me got thinking. What is in our emergency grab kit. Before you’re ever faced with a disaster, sign up for a first aid class. 

When I opened my kit it was not very ready. I will be fixing this soon.

Not soon enough, the heavy rains are due to start again and the supplies for restocking are becoming a bit more of a challenge to get. This is giving me ideas on how to make do with what you have on hand. 

So our floods have shut down the railways and broken or blocked many roads that bring in valuable supplies. We are restricted to how much gas we can buy at one time, this is something I don’t think I have experienced. The refinery that supplies one-third of our area gas can’t get the crude oil there to refine it. 


Tin can candle and single burners, I know I have candles and matches at home. I also have cotton string so I could make a single burner stove. I’m not  sure if I have large tin cans. That coffee comes in. If you or someone you know has one then you can make this. So you would take a small tin can line a fish tin and cardboard, wax and a taller can like a soup can to put over that. The last can would be a large coffee can. With many parts of North America having recycling you can easily get the supplies needed. There is many ways to make the burners, I included one with wax and one without. You can also do a search for hobo stoves.

Have one person to contact that will be able to contact others on your list. You may only be able to make a few calls. 

If it is not safe to leave your home, call 911 to get help.

If you have the time and resources beforehand, put gas in your means to drive out. 

Turn off gas to your home. Turn off water. Sand bags might be something that you can do for floods. Lock your doors when you leave.

If you have a pet and have time to get them, get them. I have a pet carrier for our last pet. If you know your on evacuation notice, put your pet in a cage or safe storage before you have to race out. Pets get scared and can go places where it is hard to get them. Remember to put food and extra water in your grab kit for each pet. I put the leash and harness in the safe carrier and a soft blanket that the pet has used before.

Flood Waters cover Highway 1 in Abbotsford BC, Tuesday Nov 16 2021. Photo by Jonathan Hayward

Sadly many of the farmers 30 minuets to the east of us had to leave their livestock. The floods happened very fast. It will really affect us in the next many months. Many of the milk and eggs come from that area. Many of the food fields are under water

Have a safe place to meet the family you live with. Or go to the directed safe spot/evacuation area as soon as you can and get your name on the safe list. If you are in a workplace or a place away from home, Wait for guidance from someone in charge  to guide you. If you’re at a workplace, plan an emergency meeting. If there is no one around you will need to get to the safest place at the time. 

view of the formation of a storm in the earths atmosphere

If you are dealing with floods, or fires you need to leave quickly. Hurricanes and tornadoes are some of the things other people I know have dealt with and have been displaced from their homes too. 

Be mindful to listen for open routes and for how they want people to move out safely. Just because you are instructed to go on the route does not mean it will be easy or short.

I recall coming home one year from 100 mile house, this is about a 7 hour drive from where we lived at the time. Once you’re on the route you have very few areas to go. We were stopped due to a forest fire. We were stranded on the road, very close to the flames. It was really scary. I happen to have things in the vehicle to eat and drink but because the fires were so close we were not allowed out of the vehicle for hours we could feel the heat from the fire and hot ash fell. So this might have been a time If we had to go to the bathroom we might need to open up one of the adult diapers and do our business and then toss it in a bag and tie it off. Not something I ever want to have to do. 

Vector Illustration of items to have on hand in case of an emergency (all items are grouped individually).

Things to put in you grab and go bag. When you put thing in put as much as you can in plastic bags to keep it dry and clean.

  • Candles
  • Premade food in cans with pull off lids or ones without and a can opener.
  • Water 1 L per person per day, they say 4 per person. But one would need to make do.
  • Adult diapers can be used for many things including if there are no toilets.
  • Toilet paper
  • First aid kit (I have 2 in my vehicle)
  • Hand crank flashlights or ones with batteries
  • Hand crank radio or one with batteries
  • PPE including masks, some way to clean your hands, disposable gloves
  • Reflectors
  • Long Matches, or lighting torch
  • A good knife and scissors
  • Heavy gloves, sometimes you have to move things that can be broken or rough, the last thing you need is to hurt your hands when you may not have a clean place to wash. 
  • Copies of important documents including your insurance papers
  • Contacts of anyone you need to notify, including out of town people.
  • Dry socks for each person in your home.
  • Keep an old, good pair of foot wear and toss them in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Rain poncho
  • Medication,  supplement a copy of your current medications. Many pharmacies can give you a printed list of what you take. If not, write out your medications, what instructions for taking, like the time and how much. If you are hurt someone needs to be able to give you your medications.
  • If you have over the counter things like pain or stuff to help a bad gut, allergy medications. Leave instructions about them too. 
  • Snacks like protein bars, fruit leather, seeds or nuts if you’re not allergic. Canned fruits 
  • Utensils
  • Glasses, if you have a spare put them in the kit if not try to get the ones you have. 
  • Photos of the people in your home can be helpful if someone is lost or not with you.
  • Card or other small games or other small entertainment.
  • Blanket for each member of the home.
  • Female hygiene supplies pads, wipes, bags to put waist in. I would say that this is good stuff to add to your kit even if  you don’t have a female in your home. You might be able to help someone. If you have sanitary pads, they are clean and very absorbent so if someone gets a bad cut you can compress them on a wound.
  • Glucose tablets. If someone’s sugar goes low, this can be a crisis. Some are really hard, you can crush them a bit and put them in a small amount of water and they can drink the water.
  • Batteries.
  • Eye drops and chapstick. 
  • Extra bags and ziplock
  • back up power
  • If you have someone that has a care plan a copy of that plan is a good idea. It is worry some enough to go thought an evacuation. but then not to have the care plan for anyone that needs different or specials care
  • Moist towelettes. I don’t love them but in an emergency it could be a good tool.
  • Hair ties
  • Basic small multi tool I keep some in my vehicle
  • a whistle
  • large garbage bags, you can use then to keep things dry, put wet stuff in or cut holes in it to help like a poncho.

Biodegradable non toxic cleaners. If you have a flood you don’t want to put more chemicals in the environment.

If you find yourself in an emergency stay as calm as you can adding a list of steps to do is a very key way to keep things a bit better. If you have a rubber bin like I do, tape a large ziplock bag with your instructions facing out for quick access to read and the rest of your important papers inside.

If you are displaced and you find my blog, I hope you are safe and dry. If you need help many groups and individuals are offering help. I read that there are trades people and other people looking for work as they are stranding and displaced. Please check your local Facebook groups and other social media. See if you or someone you know can be of service to each other. Many of the flood areas have a boiled water advisory. Links if you are effected by the British Colombia floods aids November 2021


Hope you are safe.

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