Emergency action plan
What is in an emergency action plan?
An emergency action plan can reduce the impact of an emergency situation. Making a plan will ensure that you and your family members know what to do and who to call.
To start making your plan, download the Are you Ready? – Fillable action plan. Available in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Punjabi. The action plan will take you through the following steps:
- Create a home escape plan. This plan will tell your family how to evacuate your building in the case of an emergency. Determine a pre-designated meeting spot and make sure to have at least two ways to exit your building. Hold evacuation and fire drills every month. If you need to escape from second or third floor windows, use rescue ladders.
- Have a family discussion about what should you do during an emergency, where would you go, what would you need, and where would you meet.
- Make sure children know when to call 9-1-1.
- Create a family reunion plan. Designate a common meeting place outside your community. Everyone should check in with an out-of-town friend or relative. Though phone landlines and mobile networks may be overloaded, often a text message will go through.
- Plan a place to stay. Ensure that you have a place to stay in case you are evacuated from your home. Make plans with at least one inner-city and one outer-city friend or relative who can help you and your family in an emergency. Keep the contact information for these friends or relatives in your 72-hour kit.
- Gather your family's emergency contact information. It is important that you are able to get ahold of the members of your family during an emergency or disaster. For each family members you should record, their full name, work or school location, home address, phone numbers (home, cell, and work), and email address. Though phone landlines and mobile networks may be overloaded during a disaster, often a text message will go through.
- Learn your building's evacuation plans and the locations of safety equipment. If you live in an apartment building or condominium, make sure to learn your building’s evacuation plans and know where fire alarms are located. If you have mobility issues, know someone who could assist you in exiting the building.
- Fill out a home inventory checklist so you can have a comprehensive record of your belongings in case of a property loss.
The most effective way for emergency services to communicate information about an emergency or disaster is through mass communication, including traditional means, like radio and television, and social media.
Types of emergencies and disasters
While building your emergency action plan, it is important to know what types of emergencies and disasters can occur in your area. Depending on the type of emergency, you may have to take special precautions or actions to keep your family safe.
Our 2019 Status of Emergency Preparedness Report outlines the emergencies and disasters that are mostly likely to occur in Calgary. Learn what you should do during and how you can become better prepared for specific emergencies by reading our information on the types of emergencies and disasters in Calgary.
Shelter in place
In certain circumstances you may be instructed to “shelter-in-place” if the type of emergency means you are safer inside than out. This means that you should take shelter inside your home, office or even your automobile.
The following steps will help maximize your protection:
- Close all windows and doors
- Turn off furnaces and air intakes
- Take your 72-hour emergency kit into the room, including radio and a cell phone.
- Monitor your TV, radio or calgary.ca until you are told all is safe or you are advised to evacuate.
- Shut off vehicle, turn off fan and close all vents.
Have an emergency plan for your pet
In the event of a disaster or evacuation, your pet may be displaced. Having a plan in place beforehand can greatly reduce the stress of an emergency situation. Be sure to consult your vet when developing an emergency plan and kit for your pet.
Predetermine a list of locations where your pet will be safe if you have to evacuate. Consider if your pet is on medication or on a special diet, and ensure to keep extra supplies in your 72-hour kit.