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Are you and your family prepared for possible emergencies?

Are you ready to meet the special needs of all household members including pets and children if you have to stay home up to 72 hours due to an emergency like an ice-storm or to evacuate due to a nearby fire?

Be prepared

  1. Know the risks.
  2. Make a plan.
  3. Prepare a household emergency kit and a go bag for everyone in your home.

Public Safety Canada offers a variety of products aimed at helping citizens know the risks and get prepared for emergencies. Download the Emergency Preparedness Guide which explains the steps residents should take to become better prepared for emergencies.

Review the information below to make sure your household is prepared to face an emergency.

Know the risks.

Read the Emergency Preparedness Guide to prepare yourself for these possible emergencies which could affect Kingston. Explore these links to know and understand Kingston's risks and hazards.

Make a plan.

Develop and practice a disaster plan with your household:

  • Decide where your household members will gather after a disaster.
  • Identify two places to meet: one near your home and other outside of your neighbourhood.
  • Practice using all possible exit routes from your home and neighbourhood.
  • Designate an out-of-town contact who household members can call if separated during an emergency. This out-of-town contact can help you communicate with others.  Use the contact list template. Keep your contact info up-to-date.
  • Plan to meet the needs of everyone in your household, especially seniors, people with disabilities, children and pets.
  • Plan to communicate by text, email or social media instead of by phone. Non-voice channels may work even when phone service doesn't in an emergency.

Prepare a household emergency kit.

Your household emergency kit should help your household shelter-in-place (stay at home) for at least 72 hours. It should include:

  • Emergency Preparedness Guide — provides information to help you prepare for an all-hazards emergency.
  • A go bag. See the next tab for details. A go bag is what you take with you when you must evacuate your home quickly.
  • Flashlight — place batteries in reverse inside to conserve energy while not in use (or tape batteries outside).
  • Battery-operated or crank radio and extra batteries — to receive the latest news during an emergency. Place batteries in reverse inside to conserve energy while not in use (or tape batteries outside).
  • Batteries and chargers. Include extra batteries to run flashlight and radio. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank or vehicle phone charger.
  • First aid kit: adhesive bandages, waterproof tape, antiseptic wipes, assorted bandages, gauze pads, gauze roll, cotton sterile roll, eye pads, eye wash, face masks, first aid cream packets, cold pack, non-adhesive pads, plastic bags, scissors, triangular bandage, tweezers, latex gloves, first aid instructions.
  • Bottled water. Four litres of water per person per day for drinking and bathing.
  • Cash. Have $20 - $100 on hand in case ATM machines are not operational.
  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and a manual can opener.
  • Whistle. This will allow you to signal for help during an emergency and alert others of an emergency in your vicinity.
  • Evacuation/home escape plan. Have a Home Escape Plan to get out of your house in case of fire and have exit drills in your home to test them.  Have two unobstructed ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure everyone knows what to do/where to go when the alarm sounds.  Determine who will be responsible for young children or others in need of physical assistance. Decide on a meeting place where your household members can gather. More information on preparing a Home Escape Plan is available in the Emergency Preparedness Guide. Don't try to save possessions. NEVER re-enter a burning building.
  • Plastic sheeting. This can be used to seal all doors, windows and ventilation systems as may be required in certain emergencies (when authorities may ask you to shelter-in-place).
  • Duct tape. As with plastic sheeting duct tape can be used to seal all doors, windows and ventilation systems as may be required in certain emergencies (when authorities may ask you to shelter-in-place).
  • A phone that does not require electricity.

Prepare a go bag for everyone in your home.

A go bag is what you take with you if you have to evacuate your home quickly. Every household member should put together a go bag — a sturdy, lightweight, waterproof and portable pack (like a backpack) containing:

  • Copies of credit and debit cards and cash.
  • Bottled water and non-perishable snacks like granola bars.
  • Flashlight.
  • Battery operated or crank radio and extra batteries.
  • Medication. Pack any prescription and over-the-counter medications you may need in addition to a list of your medications and copies of your prescription slips. Check expiration dates on medication regularly.
  • First aid kit.
  • Regional map.
  • Contact lists — including designated out-of-city and out-of-province contacts.
  • Comfortable shoes to walk long distances if necessary.
  • Extra keys. Have extra house and car keys in your Go Bag.
  • Toiletry kit: hand sanitizer, toothpaste, tooth brushes, a change of contact lenses and solution, feminine hygiene products, shaving cream, razors, soap, moist towelettes, band-aids, nail clippers, Q-Tips, lip balm, and sunscreen.
  • Blankets. A mylar blanket is windproof and waterproof. It will prevent you from losing body heat and protect you from all weather conditions.
  • Rain gear. A lightweight waterproof poncho and an umbrella will help keep you dry.
  • Copies of important documents such as birth certificates, photo I.D., and insurance information should go in your Go Bag and stored in a waterproof plastic bag or stored on a CD or flashdrive. Keep a copy of your pet's licence and ID tag with you records in case your pet is lost.
  • Special items that may be needed for children, seniors. These may include: glasses, medications, leashes, pet food, carriers, soothers, toys, diapers etc.
  • Photographs of household members and pets.
  • Mess kit: cooking and eating utensils, plates, cups, forks, spoons, knives and paper towels.

Did you know:

  • Communication lines can get congested during an emergency. Use texting or email and/or keep your phone calls short to save bandwidth – and conserve your smart phone's battery.
  • The worldwide cost of natural disasters over the past decade is about $27 billion.
  • If the city needs help in an emergency, it can call on the provincial or federal government for resources. Assistance could include: policing, national defence and environmental or health protection.
  • Kingston suffered widespread power outages during the 1998 ice storm. Some areas were without power for days.
  • Kingston Transit buses were used to evacuate residents threatened by the December 17, 2013 Williamsville.

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