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Be Prepared for Emergencies

Emergencies can happen at any time and occur anywhere, sometimes without much warning. When an emergency happens, it can threaten the environment, property, the economy, critical infrastructure, as well as the health and safety of the public. An emergency can also affect a person's ability to access basic needs, such as food, shelter, and health care services.

Being prepared for any emergency is something we can all do to lessen the effects should one occur. You can do this by making a plan, building a kit, and staying informed. Individuals and families should be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency.

For more information about emergency preparedness, please explore the resources in the Emergency Preparedness section of our website or contact a public health inspector at (705) 267–1181 or 1–800–461–1818.

Preparing Your Kit

In an emergency, it is important to have essential supplies ready. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours. Ensure that you include items specific to your needs, such as medication and emergency contact information.

A basic kit should include:

  • Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order;
  • Food that will not spoil, such as canned food, energy bars, and dried foods (replace food and water when it is passed the best before or expiry dates);
  • Manual can-opener;
  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight;
  • Crank or battery-powered radio;
  • First aid kit;
  • Extra keys to your car and house;
  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills, and change for payphones; and
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information.

If applicable, other items to consider are prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities and do not forget food, water, and medication for your pets or service animal. Personalize your emergency kit according to you and your family’s needs.

Additional items may be added depending on the needs of your family or type of emergency:

  • Candles and matches or lighter;
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each person;
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person;
  • Toiletries;
  • Hand sanitizer;
  • Utensils;
  • Garbage bags;
  • Toilet paper;
  • Water purifying tablets;
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, pocket knife);
  • A whistle; and/or
  • Duct tape.

Special Health Needs:

  • Extra medication or copies of prescriptions;
  • Assistive devices (canes, walkers, wheelchairs);
  • Hygiene products (dentures, cleaner);
  • Emergency contact information (family members, doctors); and/or
  • Identification

See Government of Ontario for more information.