Make a Plan

Planning for you and your Family

An emergency plan will help to guide you and your family in case of an emergency. The plan should include information such as:

  • An emergency meeting place to reunite with friends and family.
  • Contact persons both in and out of the area.
  • Safe exit routes from your home and work.
  • Risks in the region.
  • Locations of important equipment such as fire extinguishers, gas and water valves, floor drain, and the electrical box.
  • Health information such as allergies or necessary medication.

Planning for Seniors

  • Plan for family, friends, and neighbours to check on each other after an emergency, telephones may not be working, so this should be arranged between people who live near one another.
  • Keep a list of your medicines, allergies, and your special equipment. Include the name, address, and telephone number of your doctor, pharmacist, family members, clergy, or special friends. Take this list with you if you must leave home because of an emergency.
  • Keep in mind that seniors may not be able to quickly get under a table or desk during an earthquake, so get rid of hazards in the home that could fall and cause injury.

Special Needs

  • If your life support equipment requires electricity, buy an emergency generator. It is important to know how to properly operate and fuel your equipment.
  • If you use oxygen, have someone secure the tank to prevent it from tipping. If you use a wheelchair or walking aids, keep them near you at all times. and have extra walking aids in other areas of the house.
  • Place a battery-operated night light in each room.
  • Have a whistle or horn to signal for help.
  • If you use battery-operated equipment, store extra batteries

Planning for the Disabled

  • Develop a "buddy" system with your family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers and plan how to help each other in an emergency. If you live alone, you may want to give your buddy a key to your home.
  • Make a list of your medications and allergies; special equipment; names, addresses and phone numbers of your doctor, pharmacy, family members and friends; and any other important information. Give a copy to each buddy and keep a copy with you at all times.
  • If you rely on any life sustaining equipment/apparatus, develop an emergency backup plan that will ensure the equipment/apparatus works in the event of a power outage.
  • Anchor items such as medical equipment, heavy appliances, bookcases, pictures and hanging plants. Place heavy objects on low shelves. Move beds away from heavy picture frames and windows.
  • Remove barriers such as bookcases which may block your safe exit after an earthquake. Install security night lights to provide emergency lighting if the power goes off.Make a seven day emergency supply kit.
  • Make a first-aid kit, with extra medicine and a pair of glasses. Store extra batteries for battery-operated equipment such as hearing aides and wheelchairs. Keep a mini-survival kit in your car.
  • If you require continued service from a specific service provider during an emergency, ask them if they have an emergency or business continuity plan.

Planning for Pets

The most important thing you can do for your pet in an emergency is to make sure they have a collar and an up-to-date license and/or ID tag!

If you need to leave your home, you will have to make some considerations when deciding whether or not to take your pet with you. If you are evacuated to a group lodging facility or reception centre, pets can create a number of health and safety issues for both people and pets (including your own).

If you choose to leave your pet at home:

  • Make sure they have dry food and water for at least three days
  • Put them in a room where there is access to a high counter in case of flooding and that is free of hazards like windows, large mirrors or picture frames
  • Separate your dogs, cats, and other smaller pets as they may behave differently under stress
  • Leave a sign on your door with the number of animals in the house along with their locations so emergency responders know where to look

If you choose to take your pet with you:

  • Put them in a portable carrier and make sure they are comfortable with it beforehand
  • Include items for your pet in your emergency kit, such as dry food and water for three days, extra medication, and kitty litter

In your pet disaster kit, you should include:

  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food.
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit (it's good to include a pet first-aid book).
  • Cat litter box, litter, garbage bags to collect all pets' waste, and litter scoop.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can't escape. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down (your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time while you are away from home). Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth as well as other special items.
  • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them (and to prove that they are yours) in case you and your pets become separated.
  • Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce stress.
  • Information about your pets' feeding schedules, medical conditions, behaviour problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
  • Other useful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach.

Planning for your Business

A continuity plan for your business will help ensure that the critical functions of your business or organization will be able to provide for your customers in the event of an emergency.

Readiness can be as simple as having an emergency preparedness plan, setting up procedures to help your business recover and having emergency supplies on hand. Knowing what to do when a disaster strikes will help you better control the situation and be in a better position to recover more quickly.