Before an Emergency

Planning and preparing BEFORE an emergency or disaster is crucial to the safety and security of your family during an emergency.  By being prepared for emergencies, you can significantly decrease the risk of damage to your life and property and help you recover in the aftermath.

Prepare your Family

  • The Red Cross are expert in how to prepare for disasters and emergencies.  Check their website for tips. www.redcross.ca/prepare
  • Pre-arrange two meeting places for households members to meet: one outside your home in case of a sudden emergency and another outside your neighbourhood in case you can not return home.
  • If you have pets, think ahead about how you will make arrangements for their care.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Install a five pound Type ABC fire extinguisher in your home. There are three recommended locations: just outside the kitchen doorway, basement or where the furnace is located and the garage.
  • Choose a shelter such as a closet under the stairs or the smallest room in the house. Avoid rooms with many windows as they may shatter and cause injury in situations such as hurricanes.
  • Keep a copy of important documents in an out-of-area place.
  • Establish an out-of-area friend or relative as your family contact. This person can be the link between family members if they are separated from each other in an emergency
  • Make a contact card, including emergency meeting places, children's day-care numbers, family contact, etc and give copies to all family members.
  • Have a meeting with your family to determine where and how to turn off utilities. Make sure they are labelled with clear instructions.
  • Various organizations that provide training in CPR and basic First Aid. You may be called upon to help others in emergencies and knowing what to do may save a life.

Prepare Your Home

  • Household Emergency Kit (www.getprepared.gc.ca)
  • Battery and hand crank radio
  • Backpack(s) in case your family needs to evacuate.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Flashlight and battery or solar powered radio with extra batteries (Tape the end of the batteries so they do not rub together and lose energy.)
  • First-aid kit including necessary medication as well as prescriptions
  • Extra pair of glasses
  • Non-perishable, ready to eat, nutritious foods
  • Drinking water (at least two litres per person per day and one litre per pet per day)
  • Candles, waterproof matches, lighters
  • Extra car keys
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents, list of prescriptions, recent photos of family members
  • Clothing, rainwear, footwear
  • Have one change of clothing for each person.
  • Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, face cloths, towels, soap, comb, brush, shampoo and feminine hygiene products. etc.
  • Equipment such as a utility knife, manual can opener, bottle opener and garbage bags
  • A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)
  • Playing cards, small games and books
  • Pet supplies such as food, litter, toys and proper documentation (e.g., licenses, immunization records).

Prepare Your Vehicle

  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Sand or cat litter (non-clumping kind)
  • Booster cables
  • Warning lights or flares
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Candles and a deep can in which to burn them
  • Waterproof matches
  • Extra clothing and footwear
  • BlanketEmergency food pack
  • Axe or hatchet
  • First-aid kit
  • Snack food
  • Bottled water
  • Compass
  • For winter - hat, winter coat and boots