During an Emergency

To help protect yourself and others around you in an emergency situation, responding responsibly requires good common sense.

  • Follow the advice of local emergency officials.
  • Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions.
  • If the disaster occurs near you, check for injuries - you and others (tend to your own well-being first).
  • Give first aid and get help for anyone seriously injured.
  •  If the emergency occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
  • Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater or furnace. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
  • Shut off any other damaged utilities. Notify the utility company of the problem.
  • Confine or secure your pets.
  • Call your family contact. Do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Emergency crews will need all available lines.
  • Check on your neighbours, especially those who are elderly or disabled.


In case of a flood, turn off basement furnaces and the outside gas valve. Shut off the electricity. Never try to cross a flood area on foot. The fast water could sweep you away.

Lightning Storm

In case of a severe lightning storm, stay inside. Stay away from windows, doors, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes, sinks or other electrical charge conductors. Unplug TVs, radios, toasters and other electrical appliances. Don't use the phone or other electrical equipment.

If you are outside, seek shelter in a building, cave or depressed area. Keep away from telephone and power lines, fences, trees and hilltops. Get off bicycles, motorcycles, and tractors. If you are in a car, stop the car and stay in it. Don't stop near trees or power lines that could fall.


If you are caught in a tornado, and if you are in a building, go to the basement immediately. If there isn't one, crouch or lie flat (under heavy furniture) in an inner hallway or small inner room or stairwell away from windows.

Stay away from large halls, arenas, shopping malls, etc. (their roofs could collapse).

If you are caught outside, and there is no shelter, lie down in a ditch or ravine, protecting your head. If you are driving, get out of and away from the car. It could be blown through the air or roll over on you. Lie down.

Visit GetPrepared.ca for more information on preparing for disasters.