Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

In the past few years we have all become increasingly aware of the different times when people have been evacuated from their homes and communities when there is a disaster.  The most recent disaster being the Fort McMurray fire, which touched the hearts of Canadians across the nation.  However, some disasters demand that we do not leave our homes at all.  It’s important that each one of us prepare ourselves ahead of time with a few simple plans and provisions for either scenario.

Make a plan

Household …Draw up a floor plan with all possible exits from your home

Road plan … with all possible exits from your community

Workplace …Check policies

Child care – Check policies and emergency contact numbers, as well as what authorization will be required to release your child to someone else

Develop a meeting place in the community as well as your home

Questions to ask yourself …. Right now.  Do you know where:

The emergency shut-off valves for your home are?

  • Hydro, gas, water

Know your non-emergency numbers for police, fire, etc.

Evacuation plans- You will not be asked to leave your home unless authorities believe you may be in danger

Survival Kit Checklist

  • Flashlight and batteries + spare batteries
  • Radio and batteries or crank radio
  • First aid kit
  • Telephone that can work during a power outage
  • Candles and matches/lighter
  • Extra car keys and cash (some $10.00 bills or smaller)
  • Important papers (identification, insurance, legal documents, current photograph of everyone in the family)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Manual can opener
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Toilet paper and personal items
  • Backpack / duffle bag
  • Whistle
  • Medication- minimum supply – 7 days
  • Spare prescription refill from DR.
  • A flash drive containing copies of all your important documents – prepared ahead of time
  • Medic-Alert bracelet or identification
  • Cell phone charger
  • Solar generator (breathing devices)
  • Playing cards / games
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Basic tools ( hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask, pocket knife)
  • Candles in a can
  • Matches
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic bags/garbage bags
  • Dishes that can be recycled or composted
  • Animals -both pets and service animals:survival-kit-checklist
    • 3 day supply of water and pet food
    • Portable bowls
    • Paper towels and can opener
    • Medications with a list identifying the reason
    • Medical records
    • Muzzle
    • Blanket and favourite toy
    • Plastic bags, ID tags, current photo

People with Disabilities

  • Manual wheelchair
  • Devices that work with a generator
  • Latex free gloves
  • For people who are deaf-blind, draw an X on their back to indicate you are there to help
  • Offer them your arm to assist with walking
  • Provide advance warning of upcoming stairs, curbs, major obstacles or changes in direction

Non-visible disabilities

  • Frozen water bottle in deep freeze – insulin
    • Fast acting sugar, extra food to cover delayed meals, testing strips, small sharps container
  • Allergies, epilepsy, hemophilia, diabetes
  • Thyroid condition, MS, pulmonary or heart disease
  • Dialysis, sanitary or urinary supplies
  • May have difficulty performing tasks without appearing to have a disability


  • List of medications taken
  • Contact list with DR, case worker, contact for seniors group, neighbours, building superintendent, etc with phone numbers
  • Check on neighbours who are seniors or with special needs
  • Live in a high-rise? Create a buddy system
  • No heat? No problem!
  • Woodstove
  • Designate a warm room (downstairs, small, pitch a tent or make a fort, cover windows with blankets)
  • youtube.com/watch?v=8WeC8yhGfis
  • Do not use propane, kerosene or gasoline to heat inside your home
  • BBQ needs to stay outside
  • Campfires are for the backyard only (but only if you live in Kitchener)

Just remember to …..


  • Remember that if your heat goes off completely in winter to leave a tap on slowly
  • Gather the water for toilet flushing
  • Keeps pipes from freezing


  • Open your freezer
  • Use phone lines for non-essential purposes
  • Stay in damp clothing-previously worn

Need a printable survival kit checklist of your own? Download one from below.



Janice Czechowsky
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