Before an Emergency

Emergencies can happen unexpectedly and quickly. Being prepared before the event can help families get through in the hours and day that follow.

Have at least a three-day supply of emergency food and water on hand.

  • Choose ready-to-eat foods that your family likes and that don't need refrigeration.

Put together a Home Emergency Survival Kit. Some of the things you should include are:

  • Flashlight and batteries (in case the lights go out)
  • Radio and batteries or crank radio (so you can listen to news bulletins)
  • Spare batteries (for radio and flashlight)
  • First-aid kit
  • Candles and matches/lighter
  • Extra car keys and cash (including coins/cards for telephone)
  • Important papers (identification for everyone, personal documents)
  • Food and bottled water
  • Clothing and footwear (one change of clothes per person)
  • Blankets or sleeping bags (one blanket or sleeping bag per person)
  • Toilet paper and other personal supplies
  • Medication
  • Backpack/duffel bag (or something else to carry the emergency survival kit in, in case you have to evacuate)
  • Whistle (in case you need to attract someone's attention)
  • Playing cards, games

Before you prepare a Personal Emergency Plan, take a few moments to consider the possible emergency situations or potential disasters you could face. The following steps will help you develop a personal or family emergency plan:

  • Create an emergency communications plan
  • Establish a meeting place
  • Assemble an emergency supplies kit
  • Learn about your community emergency plans, arrangements, and authorities
  • Check the emergency plan of your child's school or day care centre
  • Learn basic first aid techniques

Visit for more information on preparing for disasters.