Don't be scared. Be prepared.
At any time, an emergency or disaster could happen. Roads could be rendered impassible. Supplies could become unavailable. And services could be disrupted. Local, provincial and federal agencies do prepare for emergencies. However, individuals should be prepared both at home and at work. With changing weather and civil conditions throughout the world, it makes sense to seriously prepare for the unexpected. We should be prepared to take care of ourselves and our families for up to three days, should an emergency or disaster happen. Even a severe winter storm could result in roads not being cleared for up to three days.
Preparing for an Emergency
Have a plan
Being prepared for an emergency starts with having a plan. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do during and after an emergency.
Your plan should include:
- Where and how to exit your home safely (doors, windows and stairways)
- A location, outside your home, where you will meet
- The location of your emergency kit(s) or go bag(s)
- The name of a person away from the emergency who can act as your family's contact if you get separated at any point. Make sure that everyone knows this person's name, address and telephone number
- A list of key telephone numbers and addresses
- The emergency plan at your children's school / childcare centre / or day program facility
- A plan for your family in case you are separated – who could your children call for help or for information?
Have an emergency kit
- Food (non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items, enough for 3 days) and a manual can opener
- Bottled water (4 litres per person for each day)
- Charged power packs to keep cell phones charged
- Radio (crank or battery-run)
- Extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Candles and matches/lighter
- Hand sanitizer or moist towelettes
- Important papers (identification, contact lists, copies of prescriptions, etc.)
- Extra car keys and cash
- Whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
- Zip-lock bag (to keep things dry)
- Garbage bags
- Items for babies and small children—diapers, formula, bottles, baby food, comfort items
- Prescription medication
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Pet food and supplies
- Any other items specific to your family's needs
Extra Supplies for Evacuation
- Clothes, shoes
- Sleeping bags or blankets
- Personal items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, other toiletries)
- Playing cards, travel games, other activities for children
- Credit card, bank cards and cash
- Copies of important documents (i.e. passports, SIN cards, banking information, insurance policies, proof of address)
- Extra set of house and card keys
- Contact list
- List of all medications you take and how often
If you have a disability or special needs, additional preparations will be required. The Region of York offers important information on how to prepare.
Visit GetPrepared.ca or cyfs.ca for more resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies.
Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a major disaster.
Make your an emergency kit now, it can make a world of difference.