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Every household should have an emergency plan. Creating a plan will help you and your family know what to do in case an emergency. Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan where to meet or how to contact each other and discuss what you will do in different situations. Take 20 minutes and create a document, including an electronic version and photocopies to keep in your car and/or at work and one close to your phone. As you create your emergency plan, consider hazards and risks for your region.

Your Household Plan

  • Emergency Exits/Routes: Draw up a floor plan of your home and identify all possible exits from each room to help you plan a main exit route and alternate exit route for each. Also identify an evacuation routes from your neighbourhood should you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Meeting Places: Identify safe places where everyone should meet should you be unable to go home or if you need to evacuate.
  • Make Copies of Important Documents: Include birth and marriage certificates, passports, licences, will, land deeds and insurance. Take photos of family members in case lost persons record is created. Keep these documents in a safe place, both inside and outside your home (ex. safety deposit box or with friends or family who live out of town).
  • Considerations for Children: Ask about your children’s school or daycare emergency policies, including how they will contact families during an emergency, or what type of authorization they require to release your children to a designated person if you can’t pick them up. Make sure they have updated contact information for parents, caregivers, and designated persons.
  • Plan for Pets: In the case of an evacuation, remember that pets are not allowed in some public shelters or hotels. Identify alternative options, such as taking your pet to the home of a relative or friend, or pet boarding facilities further away from home.
  • Special Health Needs: Write down details for your, or your family member’s special needs, including accommodation needs, insurance information, allergies, medical conditions, medication, family medical history, recent vaccinations, surgeries, etc. and keep a copy in your emergency kit, and give a copy to your personal support network.


Be sure to review, practice, and update your plan on an annual basis. You can create a family emergency plan in about 20 minutes online. Visit GetPrepared.gc.ca to get started on your own.

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