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Major emergencies or disasters can happen anywhere, any time or any place. Although we may not be able to avoid an occurrence, we can be prepared.
Being informed can help you better prepare for emergencies, disasters and life’s inconveniences.
In the event of an emergency, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you as they need to focus on those in desperate need. Public Safety Canada advises that you should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.
Use the information below to create your own emergency plan and the checklists to build an emergency kit.
Although the consequences of various disasters can be similar, knowing the risks in your region can help you better plan for an emergency.
In Alberta, we could be faced with a blizzard, tornado, wildfire or heavy rains. In addition to natural disasters there are other types of risks such as power outages, industrial and transportation incidents.
The Pocket Guide to Emergencies or GetPrepared.ca can be helpful tools to identify risks you could face. The Canadian Disaster Database offers more information on disasters, including those triggered by natural hazards, technological hazards or conflict.
Every household needs an Emergency Plan
This plan will take about 20 minutes to create and will ensure that you and your family know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan how to meet or contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations.
The Household Emergency Preparedness Plan (pdf) is a printable document that you can fill out and keep in your emergency kit. You may also want to keep a copy in your car or at work.
In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies so you and your family can be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
Work with your family and use the checklists below to develop emergency kits for use in emergencies. You may have to stay in your home without electricity or water, or you may have to evacuate your home for a period of time.
Update your emergency kits once a year when you change your clocks in the spring or the fall. This is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as the batteries, food and water in your emergency kit.
Do your best to stay well informed and prepare yourself in the event of an emergency by thinking ahead.
Know your Neighbourhood
Work with your neighbours to identify people who may need extra help during an emergency. Assign 'block buddies' to help ensure that everyone is taken care of.
Review your plan
Update your emergency plan and kit once a year when you change your clocks in the spring or the fall. This is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as the batteries, food and water in your emergency kit.
Have an Emergency Car Kit
If you have a car, prepare an emergency car kit and keep it in your vehicle.
For more emergency preparedness information, follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter.
Authorities will not ask you to leave your home unless they believe that you may be in danger.
If you are ordered to evacuate, remember to take your:
If you have time, call or e-mail an out-of-town contact. Tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive. Once you are safe, let them know. Tell them if any family members have become separated.
If possible, leave a note at your house telling others when you left and where you are. Shut off water and electricity if officials tell you to do so.
Leave natural gas service on unless officials tell you to turn it off. If you turn off the gas, the gas company has to reconnect it. In a major emergency, it could take weeks for a professional to respond.
Take pets with you and lock your home. Use the travel routes specified by local authorities.
If you go to an evacuation centre, register your personal information at the registration desk.
Do not return home until authorities advise that it is safe to do so.
You may be instructed to shelter-in-place if contaminants are released into the environment. This means you must remain inside your home or office and protect yourself there.
If you are advised to shelter-in-place:
To access the following materials translated into six different languages, refer to the links below and click on the Resources and translations link under the page header.