Preparing for Evacuation
In case of a Mandatory Evacuation, you will likely only have enough time to grab your Emergency Plan and Emergency kit.
If you receive an Evacuation Alert or Voluntary Evacuation Alert, then you may have time to prepare your home before the evacuation becomes necessary.
Learn more about the different types of Evacuations and requirements
When can we go home is an activity book that was developed to help children who have been evacuated from their homes.
Preparing your home for Evacuation
Do the following before you leave your home ONLY IF TIME PERMITS!
- Shut off your utilities, gas, water, power
- Remove all ornaments and suspended items like wind chimes or bird feeders from trees
- Bring all yard furnishings, bikes, trash cans, toys and outside items into the house and secure
- Empty fridges and deep freezes of contents and block doors and/or lids to keep open
- Close and lock all windows
- Elevate expensive items such as chesterfields, chairs, mattresses, wooden furniture as far off the floor as possible
- Wrap electronics in layers of protective plastic wrap and tape securely to prevent water infiltration
- Lock all doors and remove any "emergency keys" you have hidden outside
Returning Home after Evacuation
Depending on the event returning home may be more difficult and traumatic then the original evacuation. In many cases floods, tornadoes and fire have destroyed valuables, keepsakes and our homes. In other cases mold, extended loss of electricity and toxic residues make our homes uninhabitable.
It is important that before returning to your home the "All Clear" has been sounded and any inspections that are required have been completed by qualified personnel.
Things to do when you return home:
- Have your home inspected to ensure power, water and gas have been restored and there are no leaks.
- Do not open sealed fridges or deep freezes if power has been off during the evacuation. Follow instructions of authorities and/or your insurance company for removal and disposal if necessary.
- In case of flooding, ensure proper ventilation in case of water damage inside your walls.
- Work with your insurance company to make informed decisions about your home and needed repairs.
- Structural damage may not be visible so make sure if the event has been severe to get professional assistance.
- Do not put yourself at risk by moving heavy items without help or by overworking to get things done.
- Seek medical help immediately if you become overwhelmed or stressed by your tasks ahead.
- Most reception centers or Emergency Communication Centres will have volunteer lists on hand, Ask for help!