Emergency services and utilities may not be available for several days after an emergency such as a power outage, severe storm, flood or earthquake. Are you and your family prepared to survive on your own for at least 72 hours after disaster strikes?
The most important thing you can do is be prepared, stay calm, and follow instructions from emergency personnel.
See the links at the left for additional resources.
Your Grab 'n Go Bag
Pack these items in a waterproof backpack or soft suitcase and keep them available to you at all times.
- candles (tea lights are good)
- cash (quarters & paper money)
- duct tape
- dust mask
- flashlight with spare batteries
ood (5-year type as well as granola and energy bars or fruit leathers)
- glo sticks (2)
- map of area
- medications (as well as Tylenol, etc.)
- mini first aid kit
- out of area contact number
- paper and pens
- personal hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, deodorant, waterless hand wash, shampoo, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc.)
- pocket or Swiss Army knife
- portable radio with spare batteries
- rain gear (ie. garbage bags, ponchos, etc.)
- set of spare clothing
- silver foil blankets
- spare glasses (if necessary)
- sturdy shoes and socks
- water (5-year type or bottled)
- waterproof matches
- whistle on a string
- work gloves
- cards or games (optional)
Get Prepared in a Year
It’s important to prepare a family emergency kit, but don’t be daunted by the cost – the investment can be spread out over time. Consider taking on a new task every two weeks to get prepared over the course of a year.
Complete a task every two weeks:
- Get a portable container with a lid to use an emergency kit, such as a plastic storage bin. Label it and choose an accessible location for it near an exit. Make sure all family members know its purpose and location.
- Stock your kit with a three-day supply of water, including water for your pets. You need four litres of water per person per day – two for drinking and two for food preparation and hygiene.
- Arrange an out-of-area phone contact person, and keep this and other emergency phone numbers near each telephone. Teach family members these numbers.
- Stock your emergency kit with several varieties of canned meat and dried fruit. Include a manual can opener.
- Put a portable radio and batteries in your emergency kit.
- Learn what hazards are in your community, and also do a home hazard hunt. Secure appliances and heavy furniture, and move beds away from heavy mirrors and windows.
- Give every family member tasks for an emergency, e.g. turning off electricity, collecting the emergency kit or taking charge of pets. Add peanuts and granola bars to your kit.
- Identify safe places in your home and practice your “drop, cover and hold” position. Add juice or juice crystals to your kit.
- Stock your kit with large and medium plastic garbage bags (orange or yellow make good visible signals). Large bags can also be used as ponchos, ground covers or blankets. Add plastic or paper dishes.
- Identify a family meeting place away from home but close to your regular spots (between work and home or school). Add some books, toys and cards to your emergency kit.
- Add a flashlight and extra batteries, along with candles and waterproof matches to your emergency kit.
- Add some dried soups and crackers to your emergency kit.
- Check your insurance policies and make records of your possessions.
- Prepare a first-aid kit that includes extra prescription medication and eyeglasses, bandages, sterile gauze pads, tape, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide and over-the-counter pain pills.
- Add a change of clothing for each family member to your emergency kit. Be sure to include warm clothing, heavy work gloves and sturdy shoes.
- Add some canned food like stews, baked beans and vegetables to your emergency kit.
- Enroll your family members in the upcoming free Emergency Preparedness courses . Phone 604.927.5466 to register.
- Add personal toiletries (e.g. toilet paper, handy wipes, soap, detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary supplies) to your emergency kit.
- Add evaporated or powdered milk and cereal to your kit.
- Get a large bucket with tight-fitting lid to use as a toilet, and put it with your kit. Store tools in it, such as an axe, folding shovel and rope.
- Add some freeze-dried or foil pouch food products such as meats, soups, vegetables and stews to your emergency kit.
- Add a pocket knife (Swiss army style), cutlery, a whistle and spare set of house and car keys to your kit.
- Keep a leash or pet carrier near your emergency kit and add a three-day supply of pet food.
- Add sleeping bags or blankets to your kit, along with water purification tablets.
- Place important documents such as wills, insurance papers, medical records, inventory of possessions and ID into a fire/waterproof container. Add a family photo album to your emergency kit.
- Now you are prepared! Make sure to rotate and replace items as they expire, and to practice and update your plan as your family’s needs change.
Winter Emergency Preparedness
Before a winter storm arrives, plan ahead so you can comfortably and safely carry on during the winter season. These basic emergency supplies will help your family be self-sufficient for 72 hours:
- Water – at least 4 litres of water per person per day (to consume and for food preparation/hygiene)
- Food that won’t spoil and requires little or no preparation (i.e. canned, or dried)
- Manual can opener
- Flashlight and batteries
- Battery-powered or wind-up radio
- First aid kit
- Specialty items (for the needs of infants, elderly, disabled persons and pets)
- Extra keys and some cash in smaller bills
- A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
- Bring pets/companions animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Protecting Your Pet During a Disaster
Earthquakes and other major disasters are crises that can disrupt your pet’s normal life as seriously as it disrupts your life. Unfortunately though, most people don’t think about preparing for disasters as far as their pets are concerned. Remember your pet is not a wild animal accustomed to feeding on its own.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to look after your pet’s welfare during times of distress by providing for its basic needs. A basic pet earthquake kit should include the following:
- A supply of food and water for at least 72 hours.
- A food and water dish, a combination food/water dish is preferable.
- A collar or harness and leash.
- A portable kennel or cage. (Note: This will make an excellent container for the kit!)
- A blanket or cover for the pet, if the pet is a household interior type pet.
- Health and vaccination records for your pet(s).
- Identification tags for your pet(s).
- Any first aid or medicine required by the pet.
Whenever possible, keep your pet with you. A frightened and confused pet will behave in an abnormal manner. Dogs left on their own will “pack together” and may become vicious.
It is a known fact that animals can “predict” or sense earthquakes before hand. During and after a quake you can expect your pet to be extremely nervous, sensitive to sounds and external stimuli. You can give reassurance to your pet if you remain calm in voice and personal actions.
How to protect your pet in a disaster (Video Clip)
Free Community Courses
The City of Port Coquitlam offers residents free emergency preparedness training sessions covering the following topics: personal preparedness, rapid damage assessment, basic fire suppression, and light urban search and rescue.
Tara Stroup Emergency Program Officer City of Port Coquitlam Tel 604.927.5460 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Location and Mailing Address
#1 Fire Hall 1725 Broadway Street Port Coquitlam BC V3C 2M9 Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)