Public safety begins at home.  Each individual is responsible for his or her safety, and the wellbeing of their family.  In our day-to-day living, disasters may seem a distant possibility.  Yet disaster can strike any community at any time.  If you are not prepared for a disaster, it can shatter your life.  Expect the unexpected and plan for it.  Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do before, during and after an emergency.

Emergency Preparedness is everyone’s business.  That’s the reality.  How do you measure up?

Everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves and their families for up to three days in the event of an emergency or disaster.  There are five steps to emergency planning for your family:

  1. Identify the risks
  2. Prepare your emergency plan
  3. Assemble your emergency kits
  4. Check other emergency plans
  5. Practise at least once a year

The Risks

To be personally prepared for an emergency you need to be aware of the possible risks and hazards in your community.  Are you familiar with them?  How will you find them?

Consider natural disasters such as earthquakes as well as technological failures such as power outages and deliberate acts like terrorism.  You may find it helpful to prepare a list of the risks you are most likely to face and think about how they might affect your family.

Your Emergency Plan

Emergencies often strike too quickly to allow you to choose a shelter or pack an emergency kit, so prepare a list of what to do at home, school or work if a disaster strikes.  Divide tasks so that every member of your household participates as much as possible.  Write down the details and make sure everybody has a copy.  Please visit Public Safety Canada’s and their related Get Prepared websites for more useful information.

Your Emergency Kit

The following checklist can help you and your family prepare.  Keep them in an easily accessible location that family members all know.

Other Emergency Plans

What other emergency plans?  Your township has one.  Do your children’s schools, your place of work, church, local industries?

Practice your Plan at Least Once a Year

Sounds simple but you and your family should do it.  As a family, you might want to review the risks to your home and surrounding area.  Discuss the options for evacuating your house and area.

Since May 2003, a series of nine emergency preparedness pamphlets are available at the libraries and municipal offices.  These pamphlets cover a variety of emergency situations.  You may pick up free copies during regular business hours.  Health Canada’s Emergency Preparedness webpage offers more relatedinformation.

View the Family Emergency Survival Kit video