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Emergency Preparedness for Families and Individuals

Make a Plan

Emergencies can strike with very little warning, leaving you with no time to make plans about where to go and what to do.

Challenges you might face in an emergency:

  • You might not have the opportunity to gather resources that you need
  • Family members may be in different locations when the event occurs
  • Communication networks can break down
  • It is possible that electricity, water or gas service to your home will be disrupted
  • Roads could be blocked or closed
  • Regular sources of food, water and gasoline might not be available

Residents have a key role to play in responding to emergencies. Make plans to be able to take care of yourself and the members of your household for up to 72 hours.

Being prepared ahead of time will help you and your family cope with an emergency more effectively and enable you to make a faster recovery.

Emergencies can be particularly stressful for children, seniors and individuals with disabilities or special needs. They may feel especially vulnerable if they rely on caregivers for assistance, but are separated from them when the incident occurs. If your household includes a person who requires extra help or has special needs, be sure to include provisions for them in your plan.

Prepare a Kit

Make preparations before an emergency to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours. This allows emergency workers to focus on people who require urgent assistance. Assemble an emergency kit that contains items to help you cope during the first 72 hours of an emergency. Store the items in backpacks, duffel bags or luggage so you can easily take the kit with you in case you need to evacuate. Keep it in a cool, dry area of your home. Ensure that every household member knows where the emergency kit is located. You should prepare a:


  • 72 Hour Basic Emergency Kit
  • Vehicle Emergency Kit
  • Pet Emergency Kit (if required)

Check your kits at least once each year. A good time to inspect it is during Emergency Preparedness Week. Check that all items are in working order and use your checklist to ensure that your kit is still complete. Replace food, water and batteries in your kit at this time.

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