Make an Emergency Plan
Your household needs an emergency plan. This plan will help guide you through an emergency.
Use Public Safety Canada’s template to create your unique household emergency plan. This resource walks you through the process of creating your plan, and it only takes 20 minutes!
Household emergency plans identify escape routes from each room in your home as well as your neighbourhood. They identify meeting places for household members, and include plans for children who may be at school or in childcare, plans for any special needs of household members, and plans for pets. They also include an emergency contact list.
Each household member should have a copy of your household emergency plan. You should also keep a copy of your emergency plan with your emergency kit and in an easy-to find location. Keep emergency contact numbers in your cell phone up to date. Practice your plan twice each year – it could save your life.
Considerations for your plan
Disabilities and special needs
Preparedness is different for everyone. Think about your unique needs and make sure you work them into your plan.
If someone in your household has special needs, use the emergency preparedness guide for people with disabilities/special needs.
Your emergency plan should include the following:
- accommodation needs such as mobility
- insurance information
- emergency contacts
- medical history including medication, medical conditions, allergies, vaccination records, surgery records and mobility needs
Talk to your doctor about preparing a grab-and-go bag, if possible, with a two-week supply of medication and medical supplies. This will help you if pharmacies close for an extended time due to an emergency.
Not all temporary accommodations provide access to refrigerators; you may need to take additional steps if your medications require a cool environment.
Be mindful when talking about emergencies with children. Remind them that if an emergency happens, someone will be there to help. Talk to your children about people they can count on such as firefighters, police, teachers, neighbours and emergency workers.
Consider that your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Discuss what you would do in different situations and get familiar with school and/or childcare emergency policies.
Talk to your children about your emergency contact list, including who each contact is. Keep a copy of the list with them in their backpacks.
Seniors can be especially vulnerable to emergencies and disasters. If you are a senior that relies on others for assistance or you provide care and services for a senior, know how to prepare for emergencies and ensure supports are in place before an emergency.
The emergency preparedness toolkit for seniors can help guide you through the development of an emergency plan.
The best way to protect your pet in an emergency is to bring it with you.
In case of an evacuation, remember that pets are not allowed in all public shelters or hotels. Take steps to identify pet-friendly hotels or pet boarding facilities in and out of your local area. Be prepared to leave your pets with a relative or friend and have your pets’ emergency kit ready to ensure their needs can be met.
Learn more about pet preparedness.
Farm animals and livestock
When building your plan, consider the following:
- Build a map. Outline the buildings on the property and note key services (power and water sources), access points, equipment locations and dangerous chemical storage. Include a map in each building.
- Set a meeting place or muster point in case an evacuation is ordered. Make sure everyone knows the location(s) and ensure there is feed, water and shelter for any animals you can evacuate. Consider seasonal weather impacts.
- Create safe transportation methods. If possible, practice loading and transporting your animals.
- Create an emergency contact list that includes neighbours, animal handlers/transporters, veterinarians and feed suppliers. Post this list in each building.
- Register your livestock and poultry with Alberta Agriculture’s Traceability programto help local authorities protect your animals during an emergency.
Learn more about farm animals and livestock preparedness.
Rural residents face unique challenges in emergency situations; consider developing a rural emergency plan to prepare for fires or hazardous material spills.