Make a Plan
You can prepare for potential hazards by having a plan in place to deal with the anticipated impacts of an event. Having your plan and emergency kit prepared in advance is the best way to support your family and pets. You may need to Shelter in Place or “hunker down” in your home for at least 72 hours (3 days) without needing to leave for supplies. Plan to be without power in many hazards that could occur.
Emergencies can happen anywhere, any time and with little time to react. Making a plan in advance will help at the moment an emergency arises and can increase the ability you and your family have to respond. A key element in any emergency plan is having a well-prepared 72-hour Emergency Kit and many items you already have at home.
Every 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. Go to Get Prepared – click on Make a Plan and you will be prompted for the information to create your personalized plan.
Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan where to meet, how to contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations is a great starting point.
Depending on the emergency, essential services like communications, water, power, heat, and transportation may be disrupted and you need to rely on your family and neighbours.
Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility between citizens, municipal, provincial, and federal governments. Each level of assistance is requested after the current level has exhausted all resources. The individual is the first line of defense for themselves and their family. The best way to ensure your own safety and well-being is to take responsibility for your own emergency preparedness.
Individual response is most important to you, your family, and your pets. Caring for your family is your responsibility and be prepared to deal with disruptions. Fire, Police, and Ambulance will be busy prioritizing the needs of everyone affected, so make a place to help your family. Having First Aid & CPR may just save the life of your family or loved one.
Volunteer organizations will assist in any way they can. Each organization has different mandates and numbers of volunteers who can assist. They will be busy and may not be able to assist you right away.
Municipalities work closely with the essential service organizations in developing and carrying out emergency plans. Examples of some Municipal services include: Water & Wastewater, Transit, Garbage Collection & Recycling, Parks, Trails & Recreation. Municipalities (through REMO) will be in contact with the Province to request assistance if required.
Nova Scotia Emergency Management Organization (NS EMO) may be asked to assist the municipality with resources or advice. Some Provincial services include: Justice and Courts, Community & Social Services, Child Care, Disability Support, Health Care and Hospitals, and Roads.
After all municipal and provincial resources are exhausted, Nova Scotia may request the Federal Government to assist. The Federal services include: Border Control, Airports, Child Care, Mental Health, and the Military.
Helpful Planning Tips
- Have a family meeting to discuss potential emergency situations. Talk about what each family member should do to prepare and respond in each situation. Include any special needs for each family member.
- Ensure that elderly family members, who may not live with you, are included in your emergency plan.
- Practice your plan so all family members know their role, where to meet, and how to contact fellow family members.
- Maintain a list of the family's required
medications, prescribed dosages
and the names and telephone numbers of family doctors.
- Keep irreplaceable items such as family photo albums where they can quickly be accessed if you must leave home in a hurry.
- Make a copy of
and store them in a secure location (for example: on a USB thumb drive, on the “Cloud”, print a hard copy and store in a secure location such as a portable, fireproof, and waterproof container.
- If your family owns pets, contact your veterinarian on boarding kennels for information during an emergency. If you are evacuated, pets are not allowed in emergency shelters.
- Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by a disaster or emergency. Pick two meeting places: (1) a location at a safe distance from your home in case of fire; or (2) a place outside your neighbourhood in case you cannot return home; or (3) the comfort or reception centre, if opened for the emergency. Meet with your neighbours and plan how you can work together.