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Preparing for an emergency with vision loss

Updated December 3, 2015

Major emergencies or disasters can happen in Calgary. Being prepared before disaster strikes is the best way to manage an emergency situation. For someone who is blind or has reduced vision, preparing for an emergency may involve more specific planning. The following information will help you start planning for an emergency. ​​Download a copy of the Persons with Disabilities guide or call 311 to have one sent to you.

Build a support network

Emergency situations can be very stressful. Creating an emergency contact list will make it easier for you to know who to call and where you can go. As part of your family emergency contact plan, you should have contacts both in and out of the city who can help you and your family in an emergency. Include the names, phone numbers and addresses of these people in your phone and 72-hour kit.

In addition to having friends and family you can call in an emergency, you may want become familiar with other resources. Saving the following numbers in your phone will make it easier to get the help you need right away.

Power: Call ENMAX Power at 403-514-6100 if your power goes out.

Gas: Call 9-1-1 or ATCO’s emergency line at 403-245-7222 if you smell gas.

Poison: Call 1-800-332-1414 to reach the Poison Control Centre.

Know your escape routes

Knowing all your escape routes at home and at work will ensure that you can exit the building quickly and safely in an emergency. Develop your home escape plan and learn more about apartment building fire safety from the Calgary Fire Department.

Build an emergency kit

During a major emergency or disaster, responders may be busy assisting those in immediate need. A 72-hour kit holds supplies to support you in the first three days of an emergency. Make sure the kit is easily identified and accessed. If it would be helpful, label emergency supplies with large print, fluorescent tape or Braille.

What do I need to put in my kit?

Print the 72-hour kit checklist and check off items as you accumulate them. Your kit should include these basic items:

  • 3 day supply of food that won’t spoil
  • 4 litres of water per person per day
  • Flashlight and portable radio
  • Cash in small bills and coins
  • First Aid kit
  • Emergency contact information
  • Copies of important documents (link to new Important documents page) like your passport and insurance policies.
  • If you use a cane, consider having extras in your kit, at home and at school or work.

What else do I need in an emergency?

The following list will help you think about the additional you might need in your emergency kit. Think about the items you use on a daily basis and which ones you would need if you had to leave your home for a long period of time.

  • If applicable, store a three-day supply of food and water for your service animal.
  • Talking or Braille clock
  • If possible, you may want to include any assistive technology you use to access information
  • Spare glasses
  • Cane
  • Medic alert bracelet

If you have impaired vision, consider installing security lights in each room to light paths of travel. These lights plug in to outlets and light up automatically if there is a loss of power. Depending on the type, they will continue to operate and can be used as a flashlight.


Household Emergency Action Plan

Plain Language Brochure

72-hour kit

Emergency Contact Sheet

More info