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How to prepare for an emergency

An emergency situation could mean you and your family have to shelter in place or evacuate your home. You can take actions to become better prepared to face an emergency anytime, anywhere.

Follow these steps to prepare yourself and your family.

Knowing the potential risks in Mississauga can help you better prepare. The top natural hazards in our City are:

  • Flooding
  • Freezing rain or ice storm
  • Windstorm
  • Extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • Snowstorm

Other hazards could also trigger emergencies. They could include cyberattack, infectious disease outbreaks, or critical infrastructure failure.

Make a plan so that you and your family know what to do when an emergency situation happens. 

A basic emergency plan should include:

  • Safe exits from your home and neighbourhood
  • Meeting places to reunite with friends or family
  • Emergency numbers and contacts
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance and identification
  • Location of your emergency kit, fire extinguisher, and utility shut-offs

You may also need to think about:

  • Designating someone pick up your child from daycare or school if your family is not together when an emergency occurs
  • Asking a neighbour to care for or evacuate your pet if you’re not home
  • Additional considerations for managing a disability or special needs during an emergency
  • Purchasing a tenant or homeowner’s insurance policy or checking the details of an existing policy to make sure you have the right coverage to meet your needs

An emergency kit should have the supplies that your household needs to survive for at least 72 hours. Keep in mind you may lose access to running water or power in an emergency situation. 

Basic supplies

  • Four litres of water per person per day
  • Food that won’t spoil, like canned goods, energy bars and dried foods
  • Manual can opener 
  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight and radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit with hand sanitizer
  • Duct tape and aluminium foil or plastic wrap to tape up windows, doors, and air vents
  • Cash, especially smaller bills and change
  • Your emergency plan and important documents

Depending on your household needs, you may also want to include:

  • Supplies for children and infants such as diapers, formula, bottles, and toys
  • Prescription drugs, medical supplies or special equipment
  • Pet vet and vaccination records, food, toys, and other items like cat litter, leashes or carriers

Additional supplies

Consider adding these extra items to your emergency kit:

  • Glow sticks, battery-operated candles
  • Portable power bank and charging cables for mobile devices
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each family member
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each family members
  • Toiletries, toilet paper and personal hygiene items
  • Utensils, plates and cups
  • Household chlorine bleach or water purifying tablets
  • Basic tools
  • Small fuel-operated stove and fuel
  • Whistle

Check your emergency kit twice a year, when clocks change for daylight savings time.