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Before an Emergency

Being Prepared at the Individual Level

Emergency planning starts with the individual. The more people prepared for an emergency will result in less strain on first responders and essential services that may already be strained in responding to the event. Individual’s and families should plan for emergencies and create an Emergency Kit. Doing so will help improve the response efforts of each person involved as well as directly or indirectly assisting the community in its road back to recovery.

For more information and assistance in emergency planning at the individual and family level, Personal Emergency Planning Kit coming soon.

To create an Emergency Preparedness Action Plan visit

Home Emergency Kit Checklist coming soon.

Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist coming soon.


In the event of an emergency, children should understand where they have to go and who they can call. Families should pre-determine meeting places and ensure all their cell phones are pre-programmed to include emergency contact numbers. Parents should also contact their childcare provider or school to discuss their emergency policies. Back-up plans for childcare during an emergency should also be made in advance.

Things Parents Should Consider Regarding their Child’s Caregiver or School
Does the caregiver or school have its own emergency plan?
How will the caregiver or school notify you during an emergency?
Is the contact information they have for you correct?
Do you have the correct contact information to call the caregiver or school during an emergency?
What does the caregiver or school require for the release of your child to a designated person if you are unable to pick them up?


Seniors and Persons With Special Needs

Special considerations should be taken into account when planning for seniors and persons with special health needs. Their limitations may severely impact their own and, consequentially, their caregivers ability to respond to an emergency. For those with physical, cognitive, visual, auditory and/or other non-visible limitations and/or disabilities, emergency planning should take into account accommodating their needs. It is recommended that such people and/or their caregiver establish a personal support network of friends, relatives, room-mates, health-care providers, co-workers and neighbours that understand their limitations and needs in order to better help them during a time of crisis.

In order to be better prepared, write down details about the following keeping the information available in your emergency kit and providing copies to your/their personal support network:

  • Medical Conditions
  • Blood Type
  • Accommodation Needs
  • Medications
  • Family Medical History
  • Allergies
  • Medical Equipment
  • Surgeries
  • Recent Vaccinations
  • Health Screenings
  • Insurance Information
  • Emergency Contacts

It may also be possible to prepare a grab bag supplied with enough medication and medical supplies for two-weeks. Medical documents should also be included. Talk to your doctor about preparing a grab bag for this purpose. The location of this bag should be known and identified in your emergency plan.

Pets and Livestock

Pets are often overlooked when planning for an emergency. However, when disaster strikes pet owners may take risks for their cherished animals as if they were a human family member. Failure to recognize the consequences that could await your pets and animals during an emergency could not only put their health at risk but yours as well in your attempts to rescue or care for them. Adding essential pet supplies to you emergency kit is one step to helping ensure their safety prior to an emergency.

Keep in mind that animals are often not allowed in public shelters or hotels. For this reason, it is important to identify pet boarding facilities in your area and/or someone who can care for them in a time of emergency if you are unable to do so.

It is also important to ensure your pets are adequately identified with a proper tag on their collar. Doing so will help reunite you with your pet if it becomes lost or separated during an emergency.

In order to be better prepared, write down details about the following keeping the information available in your emergency kit (see page ) and providing copies to family, friends, neighbours and others who may help care for your animals when you cannot:

  • Do you have pets? If yes, specify type and number.
  • Do you live on an acreage or farm with animals? If yes, specify type and number.
  • Are your animals adequately identifiable (e.g. tags)? If not, please describe a description of each (photos are recommended).
  • Do any of these pets/animals have any special care requirements? If yes, specify which and what treatment they require.
  • Do you have someone to look after your animals if you become ill or have to be away from home for extended periods of time? If yes, list names, phone numbers and addresses.

For Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards click here.