Preparedness Information

Emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere, at any time. It could be anything from an earthquake, to a flood, to a severe winter storm. In the event of a major disaster, you and your family should be able to take care of your basic needs for at least 72 hours.

We encourage everyone to prepare their personal or family emergency plan, and have an emergency kit ready that includes basic supplies as well as special needs items. Always maintain a ¼ tank of gas in your vehicle and keep a flashlight and hard-soled shoes beside each family member’s bed so evacuation in the dark, at night during an emergency is easier to navigate.

Emergency Preparedness for Winter Storms ​and High Winds

In B.C., winter weather can mean high winds causing power failures or flooding. Here are some steps you can take to prevent impacts to you, your home and neighbours:

  • Guard your home from falling branches by pruning dead branches and removing dead trees on your property.
  • Secure belongings and objects that might blow away in a storm, including garbage cans and lawn furniture.
  • In the event of a high wind warning, be watchful for fallen trees, and never touch hanging or downed power lines.
  • Do not blow leaves onto City streets, as that increases the flooding risk.
  • Clear gutters and catch basins of leaves and debris.
  • Clear ditches and culverts.
  • Shut off outside water (in preparation of freezing temperatures) to protect plumbing and built-in sprinkler systems and to prevent flooding.
  • Clean foundation drains and sumps.
  • Repair broken or damaged pipes.
  • Have an emergency kit with flashlights and batteries in case of power failure.

Preparedness Tips in the Case of Power Outages

The most common occurrence during a rain/wind storm is often extended periods of power outage mainly due to trees and other plant debris impacting power lines. 

  • Residents should have personal preparedness kits made up with up-to-date supplies and be prepared to stay on their own for a minimum of 72hours .This is the minimum requirement and, more practically, residents should consider being prepared to be on their own for up to a week. Information on preparing a kit, contents etc.,can be found here.
  • Residents should ensure their insurance coverage is up to date and keep copies of their coverage in their emergency kit.
  • While a power outage is not a disaster and generally will not require residents to evacuate their home, residents can further prepare by having a portable generator to power items such as fridges and freezers.However, make sure if you are operating a generator it’s placed outside your residence and the exhaust does not enter your home.
  • Residents might want to consider maintaining a land line phone - these units do not require power and as long as your phone line is intact, access should be maintained. Cordless phone stop working when the power is out.
  • Consider purchasing an external battery device that will charge a couple of smartphones and a tablet in just over an hour. These devices are readily available at most electronic stores for a reasonable cost ($20-$100) and are invaluable during power outages.

26 Weeks to Emergency Preparedness

Every person must have a personal or family emergency plan. To ensure your safety and well-being, and that of your family, you can prepare now to take care of your basic needs for at least the first 72 hours following a disaster. Follow the 26 tips below (once a week or every two weeks), and within 6 months (or one year), you will be prepared. Be a hero, be prepared!

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  • 26 Weeks to Emergency Preparedness Tips

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:

  • Public Safety Canada, Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs.
  • The Disability Alliance BC has been working with a broad network of disability organizations and people with disabilities to build relationships with the emergency management sector.

Preparedness Training Sessions - ​Be a Hero, Be Prepared

The City of Coquitlam’s Emergency Management Office offers HEROS Community Emergency Preparedness training to help you become better prepared at home.

Watch for these sessions in your community, or request a course for your community group by contacting 604-927-6434 or emergencyprogram@coquitlam.ca.

During an emergency, one of the best ways to stay informed is online or via social media.

In an emergency in Coquitlam, ​follow us on the City's website, Facebook page and Twitter and ​listen to the radio for Public Safety Bulletins for current, up-to-date information.

Provided that we have the ability to do so (e.g. we have power and can access the Internet), the City of Coquitlam will post updates regularly online at coquitlam.ca, via twitter  (@cityofcoquitlam) or on Facebook (facebook.com/cityofcoquitlam). If you use these tools, you should be sure to bookmark, follow or ‘like’ us!

Top 10 Risks in B.C.

Emergencies and disasters can be anything from an earthquake, to a flood, to a severe winter storm that interrupts your normal way of life. Hazards vary depending on where you live​ - below is a list of the top 10 risks in B.C. Familiarize yourself with the ones that could occur in your area. Knowing which ones you face will influence how you prepare.

  1. Avalanches
  2. Disease Outbreaks
  3. Earthquakes
  4. Floods
  5. Hazardous Materials Spills
  6. Landslides
  7. Power Outages
  8. Severe Weather
  9. Tsunamis
  10. Wildland Fires

Emergency Program Office

Phone: 604-927-6438
Email: EmergencyProgram@coquitlam.ca