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Personal preparedness

When emergencies and disasters happen, it may take some time for help to reach you. Prepare yourself and your family by having the following items ready before an emergency or disaster strikes:

Your 72-hour emergency kit should have the following items:

  • Water (2 litres per person per day for three days)
  • Non-perishable food including canned goods, energy bars and dried food
  • Can opener
  • Flashlight
  • Candles
  • Waterproof matches
  • Batteries
  • Radio, either wind-up or battery powered
  • First aid kit
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Small tools
  • Charging cables for electronic devices
  • Extra keys for your home and vehicle
  • Cash in the form of small bills and change
  • A change of clothes
  • Important personal documents

You can then tailor your kit depending on your personal situation.

You may consider including the following items:

  • Prescription medicine
  • Infant formula
  • Diapers
  • Toys or books
  • Equipment for people with disabilities
  • Pet food and water
  • Bug spray
  • Blankets
  • Garbage bags
  • Duct tape
  • A whistle
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries
  • Small tools
  • Small fuel operated stove and fuel

Pets

Think about your pets when you develop your family's emergency plan. Things to keep in mind during an emergency or disaster are:

  • Don't leave your pet(s) behind, even if you think you will only be away from your house for a few hours. The best way to protect your pet in an emergency is to bring it with you. If you have exotic animals, fish, or birds, remember your home may lose power in the event of an emergency.
  • Post stickers on your home. If you own pets, it is wise to place stickers on the main entrances to your home to alert emergency responders to the number and location of pets in your house. If you have evacuated with your pets due to emergency, write "evacuated" on your door sticker.
  • Emergency Kit: Include pet supplies in your family's emergency kit, such as:
    • Veterinary and vaccination records
    • Pet food for at least 72 hours
    • Your pet's medications
    • An extra collar and leash
    • Blankets
    • Toys and treats
    • Kennels or carriers
    • Disinfectants and plastic bags for waste disposal
    • Water and water bowls
    • Cat litter
    • A recent photo
    • Contact information for your vet.

Be sure to check the contents of your kit twice a year and replace food and water every two to three months.

  • Emergency accommodations: make plans in advance about where your pet can go in an emergency. Establish an out-of-area contact who can care for your pet during an emergency.
  • Ensure your pet is licensed. If you and your pet get separated during an emergency, a licence will help reunite you.
  • Make plans in advance with a neighbour or family member to evacuate your pet if you cannot during an emergency or disaster.
  • Do not let your pet off-leash during an emergency or disaster as they may be scared and may behave unpredictably.
  • If you must leave your pet at home during an emergency, be sure to leave behind plenty of food and water for your pet, post a sign notifying first responders that there are pets in your house and how many, and post your evacuation location and contact information on the entrances to your house so you and your pet can be reunited.
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