Be ready for anything with P.R.E.P.
With the Peel Region Emergency Program, you can be ready for emergencies when they happen
Sudden emergencies bring stress and uncertainty. If you prepare in advance, you can plan for possible emergencies, lessen stress, and even come out of emergencies better
An emergency preparedness kit is a box or bag that contains enough food, water, medication, and emergency supplies to cope after a disaster.
We recommend 4 types of emergency kits for individuals and families:
- 72-hour emergency kit
- Food and water emergency kit
- Vehicle emergency kit
- Pet and service animal emergency kit
In an emergency you might need to leave your home at a moment's notice, and your family or housemates might not be together.
Making a home escape plan is a great first step to prepare for emergencies.
Draw up a floor plan
Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows:
- All exits, including windows and doors.
- Your escape routes: at least 2 ways to get out of your home as quickly as possible.
Your floor plan should also show where the following items are located or stored:
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Utility cut-offs and fuse boxes
- Emergency supplies, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers
- 72-hour emergency kit
Once your floor plan is complete:
Also be sure to familiarize yourself with the emergency policies and evacuations plans of common areas outside of your home, such as your workplace and your children's schools.
Apartments and high-rise buildings
If you live in an apartment or high-rise building, prepare yourself for an emergency by:
- Knowing where to find the emergency exit.
- Knowing where to locate the fire alarm.
- Keeping a plastic pail with a lid on-hand to store emergency equipment and to fill with water.
- Knowing your building's fire safety plan.
- Having a copy of the building’s emergency procedures to know what to expect from the landlord.
During an emergency:
- Use the stairs to exit the building. Never use the elevators during an emergency.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Use a flashlight to see where you're going and to signal for help from the window at night.
- Hang a bright-coloured cloth out of a window or a balcony to identify your location.
- Write messages on cloth or on windows with an ink marker.
If there's heavy smoke in the building during an emergency:
- Wet a towel to place at the base of the door to stop smoke from coming in.
- Use Duct Tape to seal door and vent openings to prevent smoke from entering.
- Use foil wrap to cover vent openings.
- Wet a wash cloth to place over your mouth and nose to help you breathe.
- Make a tent by wetting a cotton bed sheet and staying near a window.
Coping during an emergency is easier if children have practiced it before.
Prepare them by rehearsing your family's home escape plan and explaining why you're practising. Children who have practised will likely not be as scared when a real emergency happens.
Support your children in an emergency by:
- Staying calm. The calmer you are, the calmer they'll be.
- Telling them what's happening. Give them information they'll understand.
- Acknowledging their fears or anxieties.
If you must evacuate, bring along a favourite toy or game to provide comfort and to keep your kids busy.
People with disabilities might need extra help during emergency situations. If you or someone in your household has a disability, be sure to:
Helping people with disabilities
- Rehearse your emergency plan.
- Post a list of the disabled person's needs where emergency responders will see it, such as the refrigerator door
- Share the disabled person's contact information with friends, family, or neighbours and arrange a back-up for emergency notifications (for example, a neighbour who will phone in an emergency).
People with disabilities should add the following items to their 72-hour emergency kit (if required):
- 7-10 days of medications and a list of prescriptions
- A cooler for medications that need to be kept cool (be sure your freezer is stocked with ice for the cooler)
- An extra oxygen tank
- Assistive walking devices such as canes or walkers
- Breathing equipment plus a generator or a back-up power supply
- Extra batteries for hearing aids
- Extra dentures and denture cleaner
A 72-hour emergency kit holds supplies to support you and your household members for up to 3 days. Pack all of these supplies and personal items into your 72-hour emergency kit, then put the kit in a backpack or duffel bag in case you need to suddenly evacuate.
- Emergency contact information for friends and family, insurance providers, local utilities, and emergency services
- A flashlight and batteries (in case of a power outage)
- A battery-powered radio or a crank radio (to listen to news bulletins)
- Spare batteries
- A first-aid kit and medication
- Candles and matches or a lighter
- Plastic garbage bags and Duct Tape for covering windows and doors
- Extra car keys and cash (including coins and telephone cards)
- A whistle (in case you need to attract someone’s attention)
- ID for each member of your household (for example, passports and birth certificates)
- One change of clothes and shoes per person
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person
- Toilet paper
- Playing cards or a boardgame
A food and water emergency kit holds enough food and water for you and your household members for up to 3 days.
Pack all of these items into your food and water emergency kit.
Include at least 4 litres of drinking water per person, per day.
Pack non-refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods that members in your household enjoy, such as:
- canned meat, poultry, and fish
- canned soups, stews, and baked beans
- condiments such as salt, pepper, and sugar
- crackers, biscuits, and power bars
- fruits and vegetables
- instant coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
- packaged pasta
- spreads such as honey and peanut butter
Pack kitchen items such as:
- a manual can opener
- bottle opener
- disposable cups and plates
- fuel stove and fuel (follow the manufacturer's instructions and never use a barbecue or camp stove indoors.
Prepare for emergencies on the road by getting regular maintenance checks, keeping your gas tank at least half-full, and having a vehicle emergency kit where you can reach it.
Unexpected mechanical breakdowns or extreme weather can leave you stranded on the side of the road. A vehicle emergency kit holds supplies to support you and your passengers until help arrives.
Pack all of these items into your vehicle emergency kit:
- a 5 lb ABC multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguisher
- a blanket or sleeping bag
- booster cables
- candles and waterproof matches
- a first aid kit (with instructions)
- flares and flashlight (with spare batteries and bulbs) or glow sticks
- food and water (do not store food and water in your car - bring enough with you for each trip)
- reflective safety materials
- a shovel
- spare clothing
- a tire repair kit
Seasonal items for your vehicle emergency kit
Refresh your vehicle emergency kit for each season. Also monitor your local weather and road conditions and adjust your travel plans as needed.
- sand, salt, or cat litter
- a shovel and scraper
- spare jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, and boots
Spring and fall
- gloves and hats
- rain wear and boots
A pet or service animal emergency kit holds supplies to support your pet or service animal for 72 hours.
Due to health regulations, pets can't stay at evacuation shelters in Peel.
Plan ahead by knowing which hotels, motels, veterinarians, or kennels will accept your pets in an emergency.
Pack the following items into your 72-hour pet emergency kit:
- a 72-hour supply of pet food and water
- a blanket and bowls
- a can opener
- a leash, pet carrier, and muzzle (if needed)
- a copy of your pet's licence and microchip information
- a pet toy
- a photo of your pet
- contact information for kennels, pet-friendly hotels, relatives, and your veterinarian
- your pet's medications and medical records
- your pet's ID tag with your contact information
While a pet is a companion animal, a service animal is licensed and trained to help a person with a disability.
Service animals can stay in evacuation shelters in most situations, but they may become confused or disoriented and not work as trained.
Prepare a pet emergency kit for your service animal, as above, and include its service animal licence to show at the evacuation shelter.