Pocket Guide to Emergencies

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Know the Risks

Across Canada, we face a number of natural hazards, which can vary from region to region. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared. Find out more about risks in your region and how to prepare by visiting GetPrepared.ca. Then use this guide for information on what to do in different situations.

During an emergency

The following steps should be taken in emergency situations:

  1. Make sure you are safe before assisting others.
  2. Follow your emergency plan.
  3. Get your emergency kit.
  4. Monitor radio, television and online for information from authorities. Follow their instructions.
  5. Stay put until it is safe or you are ordered to evacuate.
  6. Limit phone calls to urgent messages only. Keep the lines free for emergency responders.

Severe Storms

During severe storms


If you are inside:

If you must go outside:

If your vehicle becomes stuck:

Ice Storms

If you are inside:

If you must go outside:


If you are inside:

If you are outside:

Thunder and Lightning Storms

If you are inside:

If you are outside:


If you are inside:

If you are outside:

Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) Incident

CBRN substances are a health risk if they are inhaled, ingested or come into contact with skin.

In all cases, consider the following:

If you are in an enclosed, affected area:

If you are in an open, affected area:

If you are in your vehicle:

In all situations, monitor radio, television or online for information from authorities. They will tell you whether you need to shelter-in-place or evacuate.


If you are told to shelter-in-place due to a CBRN incident:


If you are inside:

If you are outside:

When the shaking stops:


If flooding is imminent:

If flooding has already begun:

After a flood:

Power Outages

When the power returns:


After a tsunami hits:


If you have time:

Evacuation Order

If ordered to evacuate:

Make a Plan

Every household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do in an emergency – and it only takes 20 minutes. Make the plan part of your emergency kit.

Visit GetPrepared.ca to complete an emergency plan online. Then, fill in key information in this booklet for quick access.

Emergency Numbers

During an emergency monitor radio, television and online for information from authorities. Call 9-1-1 (where available) to report a fire, a crime, or to save a life. For non-emergency calls, use the 10-digit number in your local phone directory:




Family Contact Information




Out-of-Town Emergency Contact

Street address:

Other Emergency Contacts



Poison control:


Get a Kit

In an emergency you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is.

Emergency Kit List

My emergency kit is located:                            
Next update (one year from now):

Emergency Preparedness for Children

Helping kids prepare for emergencies

Helping kids cope

Children in particular can feel the stress deeply -- and may react in different ways. The key to helping your children cope is simply by being there and making them feel safe.

Did You Know...

Younger children may cry, whine or wet the bed in emergency situations. Older children may experience an intense fear of injury or separation anxiety. Other common reactions include a fear of the dark, physical pain and eating or sleeping problems.

Pets and Service Animals

Preparing for emergencies

The following steps will help keep pets safe.

During an emergency

Keeping in Touch in Emergencies

Being able to communicate with family, friends and emergency responders during an emergency is critical.  However, keep in mind that everyday communication devices may not work properly during an emergency.

Additional tips for smartphones

Side tip (Technology in emergencies)

Information Sources

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