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 personal preparedness 3 04 17

Step 1
Make a Plan

In an emergency, your family may not be together, or you may be asked to evacuate your home. Thinking about what you would do in different situations and preparing a plan with every member of your family is the first step to being prepared.. For more info: click here

Do you know what do in a tornado, flood or winter storm? Do you have everything you need during a major emergency?

This online tool will help you create an Emergency Preparedness Action Plan for your household. Your completed plan will:

  • List the specific steps you need to take to get prepared
  • Provide tips on hazards that might affect your community
  • Include information related to special needs you may have (for example, information for people with disabilities and pet owners)

You can't predict an emergency, but you can prepare for one. Take action today and make your Emergency Preparedness Action Plan!

Step 2
Build an Emergency Survival Kit

Your emergency survival kit should have everything you and your family would need to be safe and take care of yourselves for at least three days immediately following an emergency.

The following list is broken down into the essentials, items you may need to meet your family’s unique needs, and items to have ready in case you have to leave your home.


  • Food (non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items, enough for 3 days) and a manual can opener
  • Bottled water (4 litres per person for each day)
  • Medication(s)
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (crank or battery-run)
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Candles and matches/lighter
  • Hand sanitizer or moist towelettes
  • Important papers (identification, contact lists, copies of prescriptions, etc.)
  • Extra car keys and cash
  • Whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
  • Zip-lock bag (to keep things dry)
  • Garbage bags

Special Considerations

  • Items for babies and small children—diapers, formula, bottles, baby food, comfort items
  • Prescription medication
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Any other items specific to your family’s needs

Extra Supplies for Evacuation

  • Clothes, shoes
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Personal items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, other toiletries)
  • Playing cards, travel games, other activities for children

Step 3
Be Informed

There are two main ways that you can be informed about emergencies: sign up for Ontario’s Emergency Alerts, and learn more about the hazards you can face and how you can be prepared for them.

During an emergency, you should stay tuned to local news channels. Be sure to have a portable, battery-operated or crank radio in your survival kit in case of power outages.

Ontario Hazards

Learn about different emergencies and how to be prepared.

Nuclear Preparedness

Ontario is prepared to respond to nuclear emergencies both provincially and internationally.

Ontario’s nuclear reactors are built with multiple safeguards making nuclear accidents unlikely. However, as we have seen with most recently, of Fukushima, some nuclear emergencies can occur. Lessons learned following these incidents will help strengthen nuclear safety and personal preparedness for all Ontarians.

While the probability of a serious accident at one of these facilities remains very low, anyone living or working within 10 km of a nuclear facility needs to learn what to do in the event of an incident.

For more info, visit the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services' website.

Special Needs Groups

No two households are the same. When building your family emergency plan, be mindful of the special needs and considerations of individuals in your own household. By evaluating your unique needs, you can better prepared for any situation.


An emergency situation or an evacuation can be a frightening and confusing time. It is important that seniors be educated about the potential for emergencies, the steps to take to be prepared and, the programs and services available to help get them through the emergency and return to their regular routine.

In addition to the basic emergency survival kit, it is essential that seniors being evacuated during emergencies take all equipment or devices they may need immediately with them.

Key areas to consider for seniors
  • Assistive devices such as canes, walkers, hearing aids, breathing apparatus, etc.
  • Prescription eyewear and footwear
  • Extra medications and vitamin supplements
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • Extra dentures (if required) and cleanser
  • Personal papers, identification
  • List of names and telephone numbers (such as family members, doctor, case worker, seniors’ group contact person, etc.)

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People with disabilities

There are an estimated 1.5 million Ontarians with disabilities and special needs. Emergency Management Ontario and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario have developed an Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs. To best prepare for an emergency according to one’s special needs, please refer to the appropriate category in this guide for a list of suggested emergency survival kit items and contingency planning considerations. Learn more about services and information of interest to people with disabilities.

The Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs


During emergencies, remember that your child looks to you for guidance and comfort. Children follow their parent’s lead. Thecalmer you are, the calmer they will be.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Talk with your children about emergencies that are common to your community and how to prepare for them.
  • Have children help you put together your family emergency plan and household’s emergency survival kit.
  • Practice family evacuation drills regularly and talk about why you are doing it. Children will not be as frightened because there will be some familiarity.
  • Learn more about what you need to include in your emergency survival kit for infants and toddlers.
  • It is important to talk to children openly and honestly about what is happening. Try to explain the nature of the problem in a way they will understand. Also explain what is being done to correct it.
Key things to consider for protecting your children during an emergency
  • Never dismiss their fears or anxieties. Let children know they can ask questions.
  • Listen to what they have to tell you. Be patient with them.
  • Allow them to express what they are feeling, for example, by drawing a picture.
  • You should try to monitor what they watch on television. News coverage of certain emergency situations can be distressing for children.


The family pet is an important and loving part of your household. Like family members, pets are also affected by emergencies. When building your family emergency plan, do not forget to include pet needs and remember to create a pet emergency survival kit, just as you would other members of your family. A little advance planning means your pet will also be cared for during an emergency.

Key things to consider for your pet
  • Find out about your municipality’s evacuation centre locations and related pet policies.
  • Make photocopies of important veterinary documents such as vaccination records, to store in your pet survival kit.
  • Contact the hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check on their policy on accepting pets during an emergency. Be sure to ask if they have restrictions on the number, size and type of pet.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would shelter your pet(s) in an emergency.
  • Include your pet in any local or family emergency drills and exercises.
  • Consider setting up a buddy system with your neighbour so they will take care of your pet if you are not home in the event of an emergency.

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