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Prepare your home for an emergency

Quick tips

  • Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home and an extra one in the kitchen.
  • Have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms outside every bedroom and on every level of your home.
  • Know how to turn off power, gas and water supplies in your home.
  • Make sure there is proper drainage around your home to help reduce the possibility of flooding. Water Services provides more information on how you can prepare your home for flooding.
  • Identify potential hazards on your property. Secure unstable materials around your property, such as bikes, patio furniture, potted plants and fuel tanks. Keep your roof clean and free of debris, and check for loose shingles on a regular basis. Check out the Calgary Fire Department’s Home Safety Program to reduce fire hazards.
  • To prevent damage to electronic devices, install surge protectors or unplug devices before a storm. Have at least one corded landline phone, as cordless handsets will not work during a power outage. If applicable, make plans for any assistive technology or medical devices you use.

Know your escape routes

Being prepared can greatly reduce the impact of an emergency situation. Know at least two ways to exit your building. Develop your home escape plan today and hold evacuation and fire drills every month. This will ensure that everyone knows what to do and where to meet.

If you live in an apartment building​, make sure you know how to evacuate in case of an emergency. Learn your building’s evacuation plans and know where your building’s fire alarms are located. Be sure that your building manager posts evacuation plans in high traffic common areas, such as lobbies or elevators. If you have mobility issues, know someone who could assist you in exiting the building.

Review insurance policies

Property damage can be devastating. Having adequate coverage can help you get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Remember that your insurance broker and claims representatives are there to help you and to answer your questions.

For homeowners: Homeowner insurance policies normally cover the building and its contents for direct loss or damage caused by insured perils. Review your home insurance policies annually with your carrier to confirm adequate coverage levels.

For renters and tenants: Landlord’s insurance almost never covers the tenant’s possessions (such as furniture, clothing, and other personal items). If you are a tenant, purchase insurance to protect your personal possessions. Tenant insurance is far less costly than paying to replace all your belongings. An insurance carrier can confirm the wide variety of insurance policies and coverage available.

Additional coverage: Your insurance policy may cover “additional living expenses.” This coverage applies when your dwelling is damaged by an insured peril, and when the damage is sufficient to make the dwelling unfit for occupancy, or requires you to move out while repairs are being made. Ask your adjuster if this applies to you.​​