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MVCA Emergency Preparedness Guidelines


Section Two

Making An Emergency Plan


Every Canadian household needs an Emergency Plan.  It will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency.  It will take you about 20 minutes to make your plan. Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs.  Plan how to meet or how to contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations.


Use the following information to create your plan. We also offer a document you can print at home to make your plan.  Most of this information can be filled out on your own. You may need to get some information from your municipality and province/territory about their emergency plans. 

Keep your Emergency Plan in an easy-to-find, easy-to-remember place (for example, with your Emergency Kit).  Photocopy your plan and keep it in your vehicle and/or at work.  If you completed your plan online, keep an electronic version on your computer.  

Plan for specific risks

Public Safety Canada offers brochures on specific risks, such as earthquakes,

power outages, floods and severe storms. Download your free

copies at

In this section you will find:

Home Emergency Plan


Household plan - Emergency exits

Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows all possible exits from each room. Plan a main exit route and an alternate exit route from each room. If you live in an apartment, plan to use the stairs instead of the elevators. If you are unable to use the stairs, notify emergency personnel ahead of time. Also, identify an evacuation route from your neighbourhood in case you need to leave in a hurry (and think of more than one option).

Meeting places

Identify safe places where everyone should meet if you cannot go home or you need to evacuate.  Make sure the school or daycare has updated contact information for parents, caregivers and designated persons.

Emergency contact information

Make a list of important contact numbers.  Photocopy this list. Put a copy close to your telephone. If possible, program these phone numbers into your home phone and cell phone.


Ask your children’s school or daycare about their emergency policies. Find out how they will contact families during an emergency. Find out what type of authorization the school or daycare requires to release your children to a designated person if you can’t pick them up.

Plan for pets

In case of an evacuation, remember that pets are not allowed in some public shelters or hotels. In case of an evacuation, prepare to take your pets with you to the home of a relative or friend, or take steps to identify pet-friendly hotels or pet boarding facilities in your area and further away from home.

Special health needs

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

Write down details about:

  • Accommodation needs Insurance information

  • Allergies Medical conditions

  • Emergency contacts Medication

  • Family medical history Recent vaccinations

  • Health screenings Surgeries

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

Talk to your doctor about preparing a grab-and-go bag, if possible, with a two-week supply of medication and medical supplies. Include prescriptions and medical documents. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for some time, even after an emergency is over.

Make copies of important documents

Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licenses, wills, land deeds and insurance.


Take photos of family members in case a lost persons record is created. Keep them in a safe place, both inside and outside your home. You might want to put them in a safety deposit box or give them to friends and family who live out of town.


Learn about first aid.

You could save a life.

Along with making emergency plans and preparing an emergency kit, knowing first aid could save a life. Contact your local Canadian Red Cross or St. John Ambulance office to find out about first aid courses in your area.


Make the plan with your family.

Everyone will know who to call

Arrange for each family member to call, email or text the same out-of-town contact person in case of an emergency.

Choose an out-of-town contact who lives far enough away that he or she is unlikely to be affected by the same event.

If you are new to Canada or have recently moved to a new area, make arrangements through friends, cultural associations or community organizations.


Teach children

Teach older children how and when to dial 9-1-1 as well as how to call the

designated out-of-town contact.


Put it in your calendar

Write yourself a reminder to update your emergency plan one year from now. On this date next year, review your contact information, practice your emergency evacuation plans, change the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, and restock your kit(s). Change the batteries, food and water in your emergency kits once a year.

Emergency Ready Home


Safe home instructions

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, fire extinguisher and well-stocked first aid kit. If you live in an apartment, or if you are staying in a hotel, know where the fire alarms and emergency exits are located.


Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home, including one in your kitchen. Everyone in your home should know where to find the fire extinguishers. All capable adults and older children should know how to use it. See instructions regarding the lifetime of your fire extinguisher and check with your local fire department for more information.

Older children and adults should know how to turn off your home’s water, electricity and gas. Make large, easy-to-see signs for water and gas shut-offs as well as for the electrical panel.

For the gas and water valves, make sure they are marked clearly and keep shut-off instructions close by and read them carefully.



Workplace Emergency Plan

Learn about the emergency evacuation plans in place and what you will need to do. You may want you have some basic supplies at work, such as water and food that won’t spoil, in case you need to stay put for a while. Check with your employer about workplace emergency plans, including fire alarms, emergency exits, meeting points, and designated safety personnel or floor wardens.

Neighbourhood Safety Plan

Work with your neighbours to identify people who may need extra help during an emergency. To help make sure everyone is taken care of, assign “block buddies.”


Other Plans
During an emergency


Emergency instructions

Call 9-1-1 (where available) to report a fire, a crime or to save a life.

For non-emergency calls, use the ten- digit numbers listed in your local phone book, or your emergency plan, for police, fire and other health services.


In an emergency

  • Follow your emergency plan.

  • Get your emergency kit.

  • Make sure you are safe before assisting others.

  • Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities. Local

  • officials may advise you to stay where you are. Follow their instructions.

  • Stay put until all is safe or until you are ordered to evacuate.

Evacuation orders

  • Authorities will not ask you to leave your home unless they have reason to believe that you may be in danger.

  • If you are ordered to evacuate, take your emergency kit, your wallet, personal identification for each family member and copies of essential family documents with you. Bring a cellular phone and spare battery.

  • Use travel routes specified by local authorities.

  • If you have time, call or email your out-of-town contact. Tell them here you are going and when you expect to arrive. Once you are safe, let them know. Tell them if any family members have become separated.

  • If possible, leave a note telling others when you left and where you are.

  • Shut off water and electricity if officials tell you to do so.

  • Leave natural gas service on unless officials tell you to turn it off. If you turn off the gas, the gas company has to reconnect it. In a major emergency, it could take weeks for a professional to respond.

  • Take pets with you. Lock your home. Follow instructions from authorities.

  • If you go to an evacuation centre, register your personal information at the registration desk. Do not return home until authorities advise that it is safe to do so.

Emergency Numbers

Life-threatening Emergency

or Crime in Progress

Call 9-1-1

Other Emergencies

Call 613-236-1222

TTY 232-1123

Ottawa Fire Service

(Manotick Station)

Call 613- 692-8231


City of Ottawa

General Information Line

Call 3-1-1

TTY 613-580-2401

Toll-Free 1-866-261-9799

HYDRO Ottawa 613-738-6400​

HYDRO ONE 1-888-664-9376


ENBRIDGE Gas 1-877-362-7434


Limit phone calls to urgent messages only. 

Keep calls short to free up the lines for others.

When notifying emergency services of your location, provide the exact

street or civic address and nearest intersection.

Customize Your Emergency Plan and Print At Home

If you would like to print what you need to create your own complete Emergency Plan, click on the links below

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