Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared

Make a Plan

Build a Kit

Grab and Go Bag

Plan for People with Special Needs

Plan for Pets

You've just been awoken by a loud noise and your house is shaking. You instantly know something is wrong.

This is the moment you and your family should have prepared for...

It is important to be prepared for any emergency by ensuring you have supplies and a plan for what you and your family would do in the event of a major disaster. There are many factors that can take control of emergency rescue attempts, it may take emergency workers some time to get to you as they help those in most critical need. As well, access to phones, gas, water, sewer and electrical services may be cut off.


Make a Plan

By developing a plan, it will ensure that you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. Review the plan with each member of your family and involve them in the planning process. Keep a copy of this plan in an easy to find and easy to remember place. You may want to keep a copy in your car.

Remember to Include the Following in Your Plan

  • Meeting Place
  • Escape Routes
  • Out of Province Contact
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Utility Mains
  • Choose Two Meeting Places (one just outside your home and one outside your neighbourhood should you be requested to evacuate the area)
  • Plan escape routes from each room of the house. Try to identify two different routes.
  • Only one contact should be selected and make sure all family members know who to call if they are separated from you.
  • Compile a list of emergency contact information in order to have it readily available.
  • Locate utility mains and make sure family members know when and how to turn them off.


Build a Kit

After a major disaster, the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration and telephones may be unavailable. Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Store your household disaster kit in an easily accessible location. Put contents in a large, watertight container (e.g. a large plastic garbage can with a lid and wheels) that can move easily.

The basic emergency kit will help you get through the first 72 hours of an emergency, suggested items are as follows:

  • Water - two litres of water per person per day
  • Food - non perishable such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (remember a can opener)
  • First Aid Kit along with instructions
  • Warm Clothes and Blankets - don't forget footwear and rain gear
  • Flashlight and Batteries
  • Garbage Bags and Buckets
  • Basic Tools - hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, etc.
  • Personal Care Products - don't forget the toilet paper
  • Special Items - such as medication, infant formula, glasses, etc.
  • Candles and Matches

In addition to the basic kit, we recommend you also have the following additional emergency supplies. You will then be well equipped for even the worst emergency situation.

  • Two additional litres of water per person per day
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Utensils, can opener
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Small stove and fuel
  • Duct tape
  • Whistle
  • Radio (battery powered or wind-up)
  • Cash

Don't have the time to make a kit? You can buy an emergency kit online and in many stores in your area. The Canadian Red Cross has a kit available at www.redcross.ca and the St. John's Ambulance and The Salvation Army have jointly prepared an emergency kit that is available at www.sja.ca.


Grab and Go Bag

Many emergencies and disasters require a rapid evacuation of your home or your office. Prepare one Grab and Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an ID tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes, so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work. Here are a few important items to include:

  • Food that won't spoil
  • Blanket
  • Candle and matches
  • Important documents
  • Battery operated radio
  • Personal Care Products
  • Garbage bags and buckets
  • Water
  • Change of clothing
  • First Aid Kit
  • Money
  • Medications/Prescriptions
  • Basic Tools​


Special Needs

If you are a person with special needs, it is important to establish a personal support network of friends, relatives, health-care providers, co-workers and neighbors who understand your specials needs. Write down details about your medical condition, allergies, surgeries, family medical history, medications, emergency contacts and insurance information. Speak with your doctor about preparing a grab-and-go bag with a two-week supply of medications and medical supplies. Include prescriptions and medical documents. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for some time, even after an emergency is over.

  • If you require the use of a wheelchair, plan how you will evacuate in an emergency and discuss it with your personal support provider. If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a manual wheelchair as a backup.
  • Have a plan for getting out of your home or building (ask your family or friends for assistance, if necessary). Also, plan two evacuation routes because some roads may be closed or blocked in a disaster.
  • Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
  • Discuss your needs with your employer.
  • If you are mobility impaired and live or work in a high-rise building, have an escape chair.
  • If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building.
  • Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
  • Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
  • Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify your disability.
  • Know the location and availability of more than one facility if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.​



In the event of a disaster in which you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pet(s) is to evacuate them too. Most disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations. It is up to you to find a safe place for them, so prepare now for the day when you may have to leave your home.

  • Check with local hotels/motels to find out their pet policy and keep a list.
  • Ask friends or relatives, not located near your home, if they could shelter your animals.
  • Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals.
  • Ask local SPCA if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster. The SPCA may be overburden caring for animals they already have, as well as those displaced by the disaster, so make sure to plan with this in mind.


Related Information  
Emergency Management BC                                                              Link
Prepared BC Link
Neighbourhood Preparedness Link
Emergency Training Link
Personal Safety Information Link
Travel Advisory Link
Your Emergency Preparedness Guide Link
Emergency Kits Link
Outdoor Safety Preparedness Link
Pet Safety Link
Trip Plan for Outdoor Survival Link
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