Not to be alarmist, but with the storm bearing down on us, My Cochrane Now Dot Com  went to the Porcupine Health Unit to discuss “what if?”.

Public health inspector Kaitlin McCaw says you should always have an emergency preparedness kit handy in your home, in case a storm, fire or other incident leads to a state of emergency.

“You will need some basic supplies and you will need to get by without in case there’s no power or tap water,” she begins. “Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in case it takes emergency workers some time to reach you.”

A full list of what should be contained in your kit is below.  One thing that might not have occurred to you is cash.  McCaw recommends small denominations, such as $10.00 bills, because if the power is off, a bank machine is no good to you.

“Exactly, or if you’re used to using cards or anything like that,” she remarks. “ any place that’s operating wouldn’t have access to the internet or for the machines to work, either.”


  • Food: canned and dry and energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Enough water for 2 litres per person per day; include small bottles that are easy to carry, in case of evacuation
  • Battery- or crank-operated flashlight and radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Extra keys to your car and house
  • Cash (smaller bills, i.e. $10.00)
  • Copy of your emergency plan and contact list
  • Prescription medications
  • Infant formula
  • Required equipment for any physically disabled member of your family
  • Food, water and medications for pets and/or service animals
  • A duffel bag or backpack to keep your kit in, easily accessible and where it is known to everyone in the house

Source: Kaitlin McCaw, public health inspector, Porcupine Health Unit