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Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your families know what to do in case of an emergency.

Remember, your family may not be together when a disaster occurs. Plan how to meet or contact one another and discuss what you would do in different situations.

Use the following information to create your plan. Most of this information can be filled out on your own. Additional information can be provided through the Township of Lanark Highlands. Keep this document in an easy-to-find, easy-to-remember place (for example, with your emergency kit). You might also want to make photocopy of this plan and keep it in your car and/or at work.

Safe Idea: Learn about first aid. You could save a life.

Along with making emergency plans and preparing an emergency kit, knowing first aid could save a life. Contact your local Canadian Red Cross or St. John Ambulance to find out about first aid courses offered in your area.

Household Plan

Escape Routes:

Plan emergency exits from each room of your home. Try to think of two possibilities for each room. If you live in an apartment, do not plan to use the elevators. Also, identify an escape route from your neighbourhood in case you are ordered to evacuate.

Tip: Make sure that everyone in your home knows how to get out quickly. Practice at least once a year with everyone.

Meeting Places:

Identify safe places where everyone should meet if they have to leave home during an emergency.

Tip: The meeting place near your home should be on the same side of the street as your house. This way you don’t need to cross the street into traffic or in front of fire trucks or ambulances during an emergency.

Safe Idea: Make copies of important documents

Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licenses, wills, land deeds and insurance. Keep them in a safe place inside your home. As well, keep copies in a safe place outside your home. You might want to put them in a safety deposit box or give them to friends and family who live out of town.


Ask your children’s school or daycare about their emergency policies. Find out how they will communicate with families during an emergency.

Find out want type of authorization the school or daycare requires to release your children to a designated person if you can’t pick them up yourself.

Make sure the school or daycare has updated contact information for parents, caregivers and designated persons.

People with Special Health Needs:

Establish a personal support network of friends, relatives, health-care providers, co-workers and neighbours who understand your special needs.

Write down details about your medical conditions, allergies, surgeries, family medical history, medications, health screenings, recent vaccinations, emergency contacts and insurance information.

Talk to your doctor about preparing a grab-and-go bag with a two-week supply of medications and medical supplies, if possible. Include prescriptions and medical documents. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for some time, even after an emergency is over.

Plan for Pets:

Remember that pets are not allowed in some public shelters or hotels because of certain health regulations. Also some people might be allergic to and/or frightened by your pets. Plan to take your pets with you to a relative or friend’s home, or identify a “pet-friendly” hotel or pet boarding facilities in advance.

Tip: Don’t forget to put pet food and water in your emergency kit.

Plan for Specific Risks:

What should you do in case of an earthquake? Flood? Blackout? Write down instructions for the risks that are most likely to occur in your region.

Neighbourhood Safety Plan:

Work with your neighbours to make sure everyone is taken care of in your neighbourhood. Identify people who might need extra help during an emergency. Assign “block buddies” to take care of each other.

Emergency Contact Information:

Photocopy this list. Put a copy close to your telephone. If possible, program these phone numbers into your home phone and cell phone.

Safe Home Instructions:

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector and fire extinguisher. If you live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel, know where the fire alarms are located.

Everyone in your home should know where to find the fire extinguisher. All capable adults and older children should know how to use it.

Older children and adults should know how to turn off your home’s water, electricity and gas. Make large, easy-to-see signs for water and gas shut-offs as well as for the breaker panel or fuse box.

Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1. Ensure your children know where the emergency kit is located.

Emergency Instructions:

When to call 9-1-1: Report a fire. Report a crime. Save a life.

For non-emergency calls, use the seven-digit numbers listed in your local phone books for police, fire and paramedic services.

In case of a major emergency:

1. Follow your emergency plan.

2. Get your emergency kit.

3. Make sure you are safe before assisting others.

4. Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities. Local officials may advise you stay where you are. Follow their instructions.

5. Stay put until all is safe or until you are ordered to evacuate.

Evacuation Orders:

Authorities will not ask you to leave your home unless they have reason to believe you are in danger.

If you are ordered to evacuate, take your emergency kit, essential medications, copies of prescriptions, personal identification of each family member, copies of essential family documentation and a cellular phone with you, if you have one.

Use travel routes specified by authorities.

If you have time, leave a note telling others when you left and where you are. Shut off water and electricity if officials tell you to.

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. You would be without gas for heating and cooking.)

Take pets with you.

Lock your home.