Before an Emergency

Special Considerations for Family Members

Some special emergency preparation may be recommended for:


Coping during an emergency might be easier if your children have already practised.

Girl Sleeping holding Teddy BearPrepare them by rehearsing your family's home escape plan regularly and explain why you're practising. Children who've already practised will likely not be as scared if a real emergency occurs.

Include a deck of cards and/or board games in your Personal / Family Emergency Kit.

Be prepared to support your children in an emergency by understanding that:

  • They'll follow your lead. The calmer you are, the calmer they'll be.
  • You should talk to them openly and honestly about what's happening. Give children age-appropriate information they can understand.
  • You should never downplay their fears or anxieties.

If you must evacuate, bring a favourite toy or game along to keep your kids busy and provide comfort.

People with disabilities

There are many different types of disabilities.

Disabilities that may be permanent or temporary include:

  • Visible disabilities (such as mobility, vision, and hearing impairments)
  • Non-visible (cognitive) disabilities

People with disabilities might need extra help during emergency situations.

If you have a disability, it may be helpful to:

  • Rehearse your emergency plan often.
  • Post a list of your individual needs where it can be seen by emergency personnel (such as the fridge door).
  • Add these items to your Personal / Family Emergency Kit (if required):
    • An extra oxygen tank
    • Extra dentures and denture cleaner
    • Assistive walking devices (such as canes or walkers)
    • Any special breathing equipment, as well as a generator or a back-up power supply
    • Extra batteries for hearing aids
    • 7-10 days' worth of all medications and vitamins and a list of all prescriptions
    • A cooler for any medications (such as insulin) that need to be kept cool. (Be sure that your freezer is always stocked with ice for filling the cooler.)

A personal network is also recommended for people with disabilities:

  • Share contact information with friends / family / neighbours.
  • Arrange an alternative method of receiving information about an emergency (e.g., a neighbour will phone upon learning about an emergency).

If you know or care for a person with a disability, be sure to read "Be Prepared to Assist in an Emergency - Assisting People with Disabilities" (PDF 313KB, 12 pages).

Various PetsPets and service animals

A pet is a companion animal; a service animal (such as a guide dog) has been trained to help a person with a disability.

Pets and service animals are family members too, so be sure to make arrangements for your pet(s) or service animal before an emergency occurs.

Pets and emergencies

Due to health regulations, pets can't stay at evacuation shelters in Peel. As part of preparedness, know which places (hotels, motels, veterinarians or kennels) will accept your pet(s).

As a pet owner, you should create a 72-hour Pet Emergency Kit. Store this kit with your Personal / Family Emergency Kit.

Your 72-hour Pet Emergency Kit should include a:

  • 72-hour supply of pet food and water
  • blanket
  • bowl(s)
  • can opener
  • carrier
  • copy of your pet's licence and microchip information
  • leash
  • muzzle (if needed)
  • pet toy
  • recent photo of your pet

Be sure to also include:

  • The contact information for kennels, pet-friendly hotels, relatives, and your pet's veterinarian.
  • Your pet's medications and medical records.
  • Your pet's ID tag with your contact information.

Service animals and emergencies

Read Pets and Emergencies (2 pages, 249 KB) to learn more.

While in most situations service animals can stay in evacuation shelters, be aware that they might become confused or disoriented and not work as trained. If this occurs, do your best to calm your service animal.

Just as you should for a pet, prepare a Pet Emergency Kit for your service animal. Be sure to include its service animal licence (to show at the evacuation shelter).

Revised: Friday February 28 2020

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