Guide: How to create an emergency evacuation plan?

Guide: How to create an emergency evacuation plan?

Our prestigious publication, Your Emergency Preparedness Guide, details the steps Canadians need to take to be better prepared for emergencies. The Guide provides a model emergency preparedness plan and a list of items to be contained in the emergency kit.

Table of contents

72 hours: Is your family ready?

In the event of a disaster in your area, rescue teams may take some time before they can assist you. You and your family should be ready to face the first 72 hours of an emergency.

Learn today how fast and easy it is to prepare for various types of emergencies, regardless of when or where. Use this guide to prepare your own emergency plan and use the lists to create an emergency kit for the first 72 hours. The basic measures presented will help you take care of yourself and your loved ones in an emergency.

Our partners

This publication was produced in collaboration with:

  • Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Canadian Association of Firefighters
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Ambulance Saint-Jean
  • Salvation Army

Please note that publications are not available in regular paper format.

Step 1. Know the risks

Even if the consequences of different disasters can be similar, you can better prepare yourself if you know the risks specific to your region. Across the country, Canadians face various dangers, such as earthquakes in British Columbia, blizzards in Nunavut and tornadoes in Ontario. In addition to natural disasters, there are other types of risks such as power outages and industrial or transport accidents.

Some of the risks given below may arise in your community. Find which ones by consulting the site. It might be useful to determine which risks are most likely to arise in your area. You may also want to know the impacts of various disasters on Canadians. Get more information about the risks associated with natural disasters, technology or conflict using the Canadian Disaster Database at:

For more information on emergency preparations, please visit the site or follow us on Twitter @Preparez_You.

Step 2. Prepare a plan

All Canadian homes need an emergency plan. This plan will help you and your family to take appropriate action in an emergency. It will only take you about 20 minutes to make your plan.

Your family members may not be in the same place when an emergency occurs. Plan a way to find yourself or communicate with each other and discuss what you would do in different situations.

Use the following pages to prepare your plan. You already know a good part of the information requested. However, it may be necessary to communicate with your municipality and your province or territory to obtain certain information on their emergency plans. A list of emergency management organizations is available at the end of this guide.

Keep the guide in an easy to find and remember place (with your emergency kit, for example). You could also make copies of the plan and keep them in our vehicle and at your workplace. If you have completed your plan online, keep an electronic version on your computer.

Plans relating to certain specific risks

Public safety Canada provides information on specific risks, such as earthquakes, power outages, floods or severe storms. Download your free copy from

Neighborhood security plan

Get along with your neighbors so that everyone in the neighborhood is taken care of. Do “twinning” to ensure that no one is left behind.

Enter a reminder to update your emergency plan in a year.

On the same date next year, review the coordinates, apply your emergency evacuation plans, change the batteries of the smoke detector and the carbon monoxide detector and replenish your kit. Change the batteries, food and water that are in your emergency kits once a year.

Family plan

Emergency exits

Prepare a floor plan for your house showing all possible exits from each room. Schedule a main exit as well as another exit for each room. If you live in an apartment, plan not to use the elevator. If you are unable to use the stairs, notify emergency personnel in advance. Also, also plan at least one route to leave your neighborhood in case you have to leave quickly (think more than one option).

Places of assembly

Designate safe places where all members of your family will gather if you cannot go home or if an evacuation order is given.

Safe gathering place near the house:



Safe gathering place outside the neighborhood :



Evacuation routes to exit the district:



Good idea: Make copies of important documents

Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, wills, land concession certificates and insurance contracts. Take photos of family members in case a missing person register is created. Keep them in a safe place at home or outside your home, for example in a safety deposit box or at a friend or family member who lives outside your municipality.


Learn about emergency evacuation plans at work and what to do in an emergency. Remember to leave basic items at your desk, such as water and non-perishable food, in case you have to stay there for a while. Check with your employer what emergency plans are in place in the workplace, including fire alarms, meeting points, security personnel and room managers.


Ask those responsible for your children’s school or daycare what their emergency policies are and how they will communicate with families in such a situation.

Also ask them what type of authorization they require to let a child go with a designated person, in case you cannot pick up your child yourself.

Make sure that the school or daycare has an up-to-date list of contact details for parents, guardians and designated persons.

Designated person 1: ________________________ Tel. : __________________
Designated person 2: ________________________ Tel. : __________________
School resource person: _________________________________________

Pets plan

In an evacuation situation, keep in mind that due to health regulations, pets are prohibited in certain public shelters or hotels. Plan to entrust your animals to a friend or relative or find a hotel where animals are accepted or an animal pension in your area and a little further from home.

Location and coordinates: __________________________

Special health needs

Establish a personal support network of friends, parents, health care providers, co-workers and neighbors who understand your special needs.

Note the details regarding the following:

  • Allergies
  • Family medical history
  • Housing needs
  • Surgery
  • Contact details of resource persons
  • State of health
  • Insurance information
  • Medicines
  • Screening tests
  • Recent vaccines

Keep a copy of this information in your emergency kit and give a copy to the people in your personal support network.

Discuss with your doctor the possibility of preparing a ready-to-take bag containing a supply of medicines and medical supplies for two weeks, if possible, as well as the appropriate prescriptions and medical documents. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for a while, even when the emergency has been brought under control.

Health status information :

Medicines and medical supplies :

Location of ready-to-take bag:

Emergency number Firefighters, police, ambulance: 9-1-1 (where the service is offered) Other: ____________________________________________

Numbers for non-emergency situations

Police: __________________________________________

Firefighters: _______________________________________

Medical clinic: ____________________________________________________

Poison control center: ___________________________________________________

Other services: _______________________________________________________

Resource person from outside

Name: ___________________________________________

Phone. (home): ________________________________________________________

Phone. (work): _____________________________________

Phone. cell. : _________________________________________

Email: ________________________________________

Address (home): ____________________________________________________

Contact for the family

Name: ____________________________ Tel. (home): ____________________

Phone. (work): ______________________ Tel. cell. : __________________________

Email: __________________________ Address (home): _______________

Friend or neighbor

Name: ____________________________ Tel. (home): ____________________

Phone. (work): ______________________ Tel. cell. : __________________________

Email: __________________________ Address (home): _______________

Family doctors

Patient names: ___________________________________________________

Doctors’ names and telephone numbers: _______________________

Insurance agent or company

Name of agent or company: __________________________________

Phone. : ______________________________________________

Insurance policy numbers for the home and the car: _____________________________________

Home security system

Company name: _______________________________________________

Phone. : ______________________________________________

  • Have all of your family members communicate by phone, email, or email text with the same external resource person in an emergency. Choose a sufficiently distant person who is not likely to be affected by the same event.
  • If you have just arrived in Canada or have just established yourself in a new region, enter into agreements with friends, cultural associations or local community organizations.

Instructions for ensuring home security

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector and fire extinguisher, as well as a full first aid kit. If you live in an apartment or are at the hotel, be sure to know where the fire alarm devices are and at least two emergency exits.

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house, including one in the kitchen. All members of your family should know where the fire extinguishers are. Adults and children able to use it should know how it works. See the instructions on the useful life of your fire extinguisher and contact your municipal fire department for more information.

Adults and children able to do so should know how to cut off the water, electricity and gas supply from your home. Prepare very visible inscriptions to indicate where the water and gas inlet valves are located, as well as the circuit breaker box or the fuse box. Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 and show them how to communicate with the resource person from outside your area.

Location of the fire extinguisher:

Location of the water inlet valve:

Public service telephone number: ____________________________

Location of the circuit breaker box:

Public service telephone number: ____________________________

Gas tap location :

Public service telephone number: ____________________________

(Cut the power only if the authorities tell you to do it.)

Location of the soil drain :

(Never drop boxes, furniture, etc., on the drain in case there is a flood.)

Instructions to follow in case of emergency

Dial 9-1-1 (where service is offered) to report a fire, crime or to save a life.

For non-emergency cases, dial the ten-digit number that appears in the local telephone directory or in this emergency plan to communicate with the police, firefighters and other health care services.

When giving directions on where you are in the emergency services, give the exact address and the nearest intersection.

In case of emergency

Follow the emergency plan.

Take your emergency kit.

Keep your own safety before helping others.

Listen to radio or television for as much information as possible. Local authorities may ask you to stay where you are. Follow their instructions.

Stay where you are until security is assured or you are ordered to vacate the premises.

Evacuation order

The authorities will not ask you to leave your home unless you have reason to believe that you are in danger.

If you are ordered to vacate the premises, bring with you your emergency kit, your wallet, the identity papers of each family member, copies of essential family documents and a cell phone, a spare battery and a charger, if you have one. Use the channels designated by local authorities.

If you have time, call your resource person outside the city or email them. Tell him where you are going and when you think you will arrive. Once you are safe, let him know. Inform her if family members have been separated.

If you have time, leave a note to tell others where you are and what time you left. If asked, cut the water and electricity supply.

Do not cut the natural gas supply unless you are specifically asked to do so. When you cut the gas supply, the company must restore it itself, which could take several weeks in a major emergency.

Take your pets with you. Lock the doors of your home. Follow the instructions of the authorities.

If you have to go to an evacuation center, register at the reception office. Do not return home until the authorities tell you it is safe to do so.

Step 3. Have an emergency kit

In an emergency, you will need certain essential items. You may need to manage without an energy source or running water. Prepare to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.

You may already have some of the items you need, such as food, water and a pocket lamp with batteries or cranks. The important thing is to organize your equipment well to find it quickly. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark?

Make sure your kit is easy to carry and that everyone in the house knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, in a sports bag or in a roller suitcase close to hand, in an easily accessible place, for example in the closet near the front door. If your home has more than one occupant, your emergency kit could be heavy. It would be a good idea to distribute these supplies among various backpacks; they will then be easier to transport and each person will be able to customize their bag ready to take away.

Basic emergency kit

  • Water – provide at least two liters per day per person. Use small bottles that will be easy to transport in case of an evacuation order
  • Foods that cannot be perishable like canned food, energy bars and food that will be easier to transport in the event of an evacuation order
  • Manual can opener
  • Handbag or battery pocket lamp (and spare batteries). Replace the batteries at least once a year
  • Handling or battery-powered radio (and spare batteries) or a Radio-Météo
  • Additional keys for the car and the house
  • Money counting in small denominations like $ 10 bills and change for public telephones
  • A copy of your emergency plan and the list of resource persons
  • If applicable, other special items such as prescription drugs, infant formula and equipment for the disabled, or food for your pets or assistive animals (personalize your kit according to your needs).

Other recommended items

  • Two liters of water per day per person for food preparation and hygiene
  • Candles and matches or lighter (place the candles in robust and deep containers. Do not let them burn unattended)
  • Spare clothing and shoes for all family members
  • Sleeping bag or blanket for all family members
  • Toilet items
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ustensiles
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Water purification tablets (see advice)
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, key, screwdriver, work gloves, protective mask against dust, pocket knife)
  • Small stove and fuel (follow the manufacturer’s directives and store it correctly)
  • Whistle (to attract attention as needed)
  • Electric tape (p. ex. to hermetically close windows, doors, air vents, etc.)

If you suspect that your water is contaminated, ask your municipality or local authorities for details. If in doubt, do not drink the water if you believe it is contaminated.

Save yourself cash, since ATMs and bank networks may not work during an emergency or power outage. You may find it difficult to use your debit or credit cards.

Prepackaged kits

The Salvation Army has a basic emergency kit and also an emergency kit for the car for sale on its website. The Salvation Army website is only available in English, but kits have information in English and French. Other kits are also on sale at different retailers.

Emergency kit for the car

Prepare an emergency kit for the car.

The basic kit should include the following articles:

  • Non-perishable food (energy bars for example)
  • Candle in a deep and match metal container
  • Cover
  • Water
  • Pocket lamp (crank or pile). Replace the batteries at least once a year
  • Warning lantern or flares
  • List of phone numbers of your resource persons
  • Small shovel, scraper and broom
  • Radio (crank or pile). Replace the batteries at least once a year
  • Whistle
  • First aid kit containing a knife which can cut a seat belt
  • Spare clothing and shoes.

Additional items to keep in the car

  • Sand, salt or cat litter (not agglomerating)
  • Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
  • Towing cable, start cable
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road maps

Articles for the basic emergency trouse:

  • Water – provide at least two liters per day per person. Use small bottles that will be easy to transport in case of an evacuation order
  • Foods that cannot be perishable like canned food, energy bars and food that will be easier to transport in the event of an evacuation order
  • Manual can opener
  • Handbag or battery pocket lamp (and spare batteries)
  • Handling or battery-powered radio (and spare batteries)
  • Additional keys for the car and the house
  • Money counting in small denominations like $ 10 bills and change for public telephones
  • A copy of your emergency plan and the list of resource persons
  • If applicable, other special items such as prescription drugs, infant formula and equipment for the disabled, or food for your pets or assistive animals (personalize your kit according to your needs).


For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the site.

  • Environmental Canada Meteorological Service
    1-900-565-4455; fees of $ 2.99 per minute apply. Check the blue pages of your local telephone directory under the heading “Météo” to find out the telephone numbers to dial for weather reports and forecasts.
  • Canadian Red Cross
    613-740-1900 or inquire to obtain the telephone number of the service of your municipality.
  • Ambulance Saint-Jean
    613-236-7461 or inquire to obtain the telephone number of the service of your municipality. No cost number: 1-888-840-5646
  • Salvation Army
    416-425-2111 or inquire to obtain the telephone number of the service of your municipality.

Resources at the provincial-territorial level

For information on emergency preparedness at regional or local level, contact your emergency management organization (OGU):

Alberta Emergency Management Agency
Telephone: 780-422-9000 / No cost: 310-0000 (site in English only)

British Columbia
British Columbia Provincial Emergency Management Program
Telephone: 250-952-4913 / Emergency number: 1-800-663-3456 (no cost) (site in English only)

Prince Edward Island
Organization of emergency measures in Prince Edward Island
Telephone: 902-894-0385 / After office hours: 902-892-9365 = redirect & utm_medium = url & utm_campaign = emergencypreparedness

Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization
Telephone: 204-945-4772 / No cost: 1-888-267-8298

New Brunswick
New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization
Telephone: 506-453-2133 / No costs (24/7): 1-800-561-4034

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office
Telephone (24h): 1-866-424-5620 (fresh free)

Nunavut emergency management
Telephone: 867-975-5403 / Emergency number to be dialed at all times: 1-800-693-1666

Office of the Fire Commissioner and Situation Management
Telephone: (647) 329-1100 / No costs (24 hours): 1-800-565-1842

Ministry of Public Security – Quebec
Telephone: No cost: 1-866-644-6826
General information (Services Quebec): 1-877-644-4545

Saskatchewan Emergency Management Organization
Telephone: 306-787-9563

Newfoundland and Labrador
Organization of emergency measures
Telephone: 709-729-3703 (site in English only)

Northwest Territories
Organization of emergency measures in the Northwest Territories
Telephone: 867-873-7538 / Emergency number: 867-920-2303

Yukon Emergency Measures Organization
Telephone: 867-667-5220 / No cost (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408

Secondary menu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.