Tips for Preparing an Emergency Earthquake and Other Disaster Preparedness Kit on the Cheap for Metro Vancouver/BC/Canada

Emergency kit check list

Metro Vancouver felt a 4.3 earthquake on Tuesday, December 29 a 23:39 PST to be exact.  Let’s just say it’s the big news right now and everyone’s talking about it, so much so that 911 is overwhelmed with calls of reports.  It was an earthquake that WAS felt and things were shaking and swaying.  The reality is though, that most of us probably don’t have an emergency preparedness kit at home.  Let’s face it, we all want one, but when we go to the stores that sell the pre-packaged ones, they have a hefty price tag on it for something we may or may not need before it expires (food & water).  So let me help you prepare your own kit on a budget. 

It is recommended that you be prepared for a minimum of 72 hours.  The Government of Canada has a great list of things to help you get your basic emergency kit started and then some, so check their site out for more information on building a kit.  They recommend the following for a basic kit:

  • Easy to carry
  • Water (2L of water per person per day)
  • Food (canned food, energy bars and dried foods)
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-powered or wind-up radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Special needs items (prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities)
  • Extra keys for your car and house
  • Cash
  • Emergency plan
Plan ahead
Go online beforehand and check out the local stores for weekly sales on the products you’re looking for, for your kit.
Dollar Store
I recommend buying some items from the dollar store, like a flashlight, first aid kit, extra batteries, and even food and water.  Do remember that dollar stores are pretty big here in Metro Vancouver and now are including lots of brand name products for less.
Walmart/Costco/Discount Stores
If buying for a lot of people, then buy bulk at Costco or an alike store.  A lot of stores are still having boxing day/week sales, including Walmart, which has Duracell batteries on sale right now, a 12 pack for $6.87, which is just as cheap as the dollar store when purchasing several batteries.  Walmart and Canadian Tire also have items like basic first aid kits and flashlights that are frequently on sale.
It’s tough to have extra cash lying around, so I suggest using an old jar and filling it with change.  Fill it with whatever change you can afford and then every once and awhile, go to the bank and get rolls for the change and turn it into bills.  You can also save your return bottle funds and add it to your emergency cash.
Special Needs Items
I would suggest storing away a little bit of these items every time you go to the store or every time you have a prescription filled.  It’s also handy to have basic pain relief medications, vitamins, etc., so the next time when you buy a big bottle, just put a few into a smaller bottle for your kit.
Carrying Case
Find a re-usable cloth bag that you have sitting in your closet to store your items in.  Most stores also allow you to have boxes, so check with your local store to see if you could get a small box to store your kit in.  If this isn’t ideal, then grab a small bag in your closet that you rarely use and designate it as your new emergency kit holder.
With these tips, they should help you get started to preparing an inexpensive emergency preparedness kit.  It’s always handy to have one, even for when the power goes out, which has been happening a lot lately around Metro Vancouver.  Remember, keep it simple, but add anything extra that you think you or your family would need.
Don’t forget, to stay up to date with all of the latest deals and saving tips, subscribe to our blog via RSS feed, e-mail, or Twitter on the right side panel.  Before you go though, make sure to comment below with your money-saving tips for an emergency preparedness kit!  We’d love to hear from you!  

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