Make a Plan

By definition, emergencies happen when we don't expect them and often when families are not together. Suddenly, you need to think about your kids at school or elderly parents across town. If phones don't work, or some neighbourhoods aren't accessible, what will you do?

Having a family emergency plan will save time and make real situations less stressful. Download the Household Preparedness Guide (PDF).

Get your family together to discuss your risks and prepare an emergency plan. Visit Get Prepared for an informative video and on-line planning tool. Use this 26 Weeks Preparedness Guide (PDF) to help get prepared. and Make a Family Emergency Plan.

Here Are Some Things to Consider as You Prepare Your Plan:

  • What are the risks of disasters.
  • Do you have the right supplies.
  • What are some emergency numbers you may need to call? 9-1-1 for police, fire and ambulance, Fortis BC if you smell gas, etc.
  • Do your children know how to call for help? Teach children how and when to call 911. Practice procedures with them so they know what to do in an emergency.
  • Teach family members how to turn off utilities and use a fire extinguisher.
  • Where will you meet? Pick two places to meet for emergencies: one near your home in case of a fire, and one outside your neighbourhood (like a community centre, library, or church) in case you can’t return home.
  • How will you connect with family if unreachable by phone? Make sure every family member knows the designated meeting places and how to reach out-of-area contacts.
  • How will you know if you are covered by insurance? Review your insurance contract and place your important documents in a fireproof container that is easily accessible. (Tip: Have an inventory and, ideally, videotape or photograph your valuables. Place the tape or photos in a safe deposit box or waterproof container.)
  • Do you have working smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in the right places? They should be located on each level of the home and hallways near bedrooms. Check them each month and replace batteries when necessary. Read more information on maintaining your smoke alarms.
  • Is there a fire extinguisher in your home and does everyone know how to use it? Check and recharge it according to manufacturer’s specifications. Read more information on Portable Fire Extinguishers.
  • Do your children know how to get out of the house safely? Discuss evacuating your house with your children and practice fire drills with them.
  • When should you replace stored water and foods? Set a reminder on your calendar to replace expired items when you change your clocks in the Spring and Fall.
  • What will happen if your child is at school? Know the school’s policies and procedures. Who will pick them up?

Make an Emergency Plan Online

It will take you about 20 minutes to make a family emergency plan online.


Emergency Contact Cards

Complete the Emergency Contact Card, select to print double-sided, and cut the cards to fit your wallet.


Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licences, wills, land deeds and insurance. Take photos of family members. Keep them in a safe place.
Download: Emergency Contact Card
Download: 26 Weeks to Preparedness Guide
Download: Household Preparedness Guide