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How to Create an Emergency Plan for Home

This week is Emergency Preparedness Week, and it’s important to ensure you and your family are prepared for a natural disaster or emergency, if one should strike. You may not have warning for when such an event could take place, and that’s why you always need to be prepared.

Planning for home: 

  • Determine your home’s evacuation routes
  • Establish a safe meeting place for your family
  • Plan for evacuation of any pets you have
  • Have an emergency 72-hour kit (see below)

Understanding your neighbourhood: 

  • Know your neighbours and who to turn to in a disaster
  • Identify if your community has an emergency plan or evacuation route
  • Identify if your community has a shelter

Have a 72-hour emergency kit:

  • Bottled water: you want to ensure you have enough water for each member of your family, and enough to last up to three days.
  • Food: a minimum of 3 days worth of non-perishable food (good for up to three years). Food items like canned and dried food and energy bars.
  • Food supplies: can opener, even a camping stove for cooking. You’ll also want to have some utensils in your kit as well.
  • Baby supplies: diapers, wipes, formula and anything your baby would need for three days.
  • Special needs items: any prescriptions your family needs, extra contacts, etc.
  • Flashlight: if you have a battery-operated one, make sure you have extra batteries. It’s best to find a wind-up flashlight.
  • Radio: again, ensure you have enough batteries for the radio, or find a wind-up radio.
  • Sleeping supplies: clothing items, sleeping bags, extra socks and blankets.
  • First aid kit: a standard first aid kit will do, but make sure its fully stocked.
  • Extra keys: a spare set of car and house keys.
  • Cash: have a sum of cash in small bills, as credit and debit cards may not work in an emergency situation.
  • Copies of important documents: these would include birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, etc.
  • Plastic bags: garbage bag size is good for this.
  • Waterproof matches: and matches that will ‘strike anywhere’.
  • Whistle: or any emergency noisemaker device.

To watch a City of Calgary video on preparing a 72-hour emergency kit, click here. The Canadian Red Cross also has a detailed checklist on how to make a 72-hour kit, as well as numerous other resources for Emergency Preparedness Week.


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