Emergency Preparedness in the Home

Get Prepared

Careful planning key to dealing with disasters

Canadians, in studies and public opinion polls, consider our country to be the safest in the world in which to live. Yet, we are not immune from the threat of natural hazards—like landslides, flooding, storm surges, and earthquakes—or disasters caused by human hands—power blackouts, chemical spills, flu outbreaks, and even computer viruses. With careful planning and preparation, Canadians can be ready for these emergencies and minimize the impact on their families, and to their businesses and property.

72 hours…Is your family prepared?

The 72 hour preparedness message is a common standard used across North America by first responders (fire, police, paramedics), all levels of government and non-governmental relief organizations. Experience has shown that 72 hours is the length of time it takes to mobilize a relief effort in a significant way.

That’s why we all should be prepared to cope on our own for the first three days of an emergency, so that first responders can assist those in urgent need.

Preparing for an emergency is important and something the whole family can do. It can be as straightforward as making your own survival kit, drafting up a family emergency plan and becoming more informed.

Know the risks in your region. Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing what types of hazards you face, in particular, will help you and your family better prepare. Your community can face a number of natural disasters as well as other types of risks such as blackouts, or industrial or transport accidents.

Make a plan that outlines potential risks in your home, your workplace, your community and your region. Include a list of out-of-town contacts, temporary accommodations and emergency pick-up for school or daycare. Most importantly, have a family evacuation plan and make sure to practice it at least once a year.

Prepare a kit that includes items such as a flashlight, batteries, three-day supply of water, canned food, candles, waterproof matches, first aid kit, battery-operated radio, whistle, pocket knife, prescriptions, extra set of keys, money, copies of important documents, change of clothing, boots, blankets, sleeping bags and fuel stove.

You can download a copy of the emergency preparedness guide that details these steps and other important information at www.GetPrepared.ca or have a copy mailed to you by calling 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232).

- Information provided by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada