Emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere, at anytime. It could be anything from an earthquake, to a flood, to a severe winter storm that interrupts your normal way of life.
Every person must have a personal or family emergency plan. To ensure the safety and well-being of you and your family, you should prepare now to take care of your basic needs for at least the first 72 hours following a disaster.
Make a Plan
Follow the tips in the Earthquake Preparedness Quick Checklist to develop an emergency plan for your family. Make sure you identify an Out of Province/Area Contact to ensure you can communicate and reunite with your family, if you are separated.
Assemble Emergency Supplies
There are basic emergency supplies that you should have at home and stored in a Grab and Go bag at work or in your vehicle. These supplies should be collected ahead of time and be easily accessible in the case of an emergency or disaster.
You can put your own kit together using the Home Emergency Kit Quick Checklist or purchase a kit from a supplier.
Business Emergency Preparedness
The following checklist will get you started to prepare your business to respond to and recover from a major emergency:
- Brief staff and assign emergency tasks so they know what they have to do before, during and after an emergency.
- Assemble emergency supplies to last the average number of people on the premises for at least 72 hours.
- Assess/Minimize building vulnerability to potential hazards.
- Identify critical resources for your business and establish backup suppliers.
- Identify vital records and back up or store duplicates off the premises.
- Establish alternative communications methods with employees, suppliers and customers.
- Review insurance and purchase additional coverage if required.
- Coordinate emergency plans with other tenants, neighbours and business partners.
For more detailed information, visit Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council.
Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities
The Emergency Management BC website contains detailed checklists to assist people with disabilities to become better prepared for an emergency or disaster. This includes general preparedness tips and tips specifically designed for individuals with mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities.
Additional information and resources is available from the following organizations:
Planning for your Children
It is important to include your children’s needs in your emergency plan. Consider the following:
- Ensure your children know the appropriate action to take in a variety of emergency situations, when they are home alone.
- Become familiar with your children’s school/daycare emergency plan and release procedures.
- Ensure your babysitter is familiar with your emergency plan, knows your Out of Province/Area Contact and the contact information for a person who can assist in an emergency.
- Teach your children how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” to protect themselves during an earthquake.
Planning for your Pet
When you are developing an emergency plan for you and your family, keep your pet's needs in mind. You should include a pet emergency kit with your other emergency supplies and identify alternative housing for your pet, in the event you have to evacuate from your home.
Your pet’s emergency kit should include:
- Plastic or fibreglass travel kennel with a sturdy locking mechanism for travelling
- An adequate supply of food and water (changed every few months)
- First aid kit (purchased from your veterinarian or assembled by yourself)
- Manual can opener, water/food dish and paper plates
- Extra leash, collar or harness
- Blankets and towels
- Paper towels and plastic bags to use for cleaning up after your pet
- A one week supply of medication rotated as you would for your prescriptions for your family members
- A current colour picture of your pet and a record of any tattoos, inoculation numbers, microchip or license number to assist with the identification process
Alternate Housing for your Pet:
An emergency or disaster may result in your family having to evacuate from your home and obtain temporary housing. Make arrangements in advance with friends or family to board your pet(s) or identify a suitable commercial pet-boarding kennels before a disaster or emergency occurs.
Emergency Program Office