Being prepared does not only mean being prepared for the challenges of an adventure or activity – it also means preparing for an unforeseen emergency. Emergency events can be caused by people, or they can occur naturally. These emergencies are called natural disasters. Different places are prone to different kinds of disaster.
How to be prepared
Create and keep an emergency survival kit for your house.
Things you need:
- Flashlight and batteries
- Radio and batteries or crank radio
- Spare batteries (for radio and flashlight)
- First-aid kit
- Telephone that can work during a power disruption
- Candles and matches/lighter
- Extra car keys and cash
- Important papers (identification)
- Non-perishable food (ready-to-eat items that do not require refrigeration)
- Manual can opener
- Bottled water (4 litres per person per day)
- Clothing and footwear
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Toilet paper and other personal items
- Backpack/duffle bag
- Whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
- Playing cards
Make a Family Emergency Plan
- Know the risks for your area
- Make a family contact and information list
- Know your plan: where to meet, back-up meeting place, when to call 9-1-1
What to do
Earthquakes – Did you know Canada experiences roughly 5000 earthquakes each year?
- Drop under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
- Protect your head and upper body.
- Hold on to your cover.
Floods – Canada’s most frequent natural disaster
- Keep your emergency kit close and in a portable container.
- Local authorities will announce if an evacuation is necessary. Follow an evacuation order.
- Bring an emergency kit with you.
- Follow the specific routes that have been confirmed safe.
- If you can, leave a note informing others when you left and where you went.
Tornadoes – Only the United States gets more twisters than Canada!
- If you are in a house, go to the basement.
- If you have no basement, take shelter in a small ground-floor room.
- Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
- Large buildings with wide-span roofs may collapse if a tornado hits.If possible, find shelter in another building.
- Get as close to the ground as possible, protect your head and watch for flying debris.
- Do not chase tornadoes – they are unpredictable and can change course abruptly.
- A tornado is deceptive. It may appear to be standing still but is, in fact, moving toward you.
Visit getprepared.gc.ca for more in depth examples and guidelines!