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Special Considerations



  • Include your children in family discussions and planning for emergency safety. 
  • Teach your children their basic personal information so they can identify themselves and get help if they become separated from a parent or guardian. 
  • Prepare an emergency card with information for each child, including his/her full name, address, phone number, parent’s work number and out-of-area contact. 
  • Know the policies of the school or daycare centre your children attend. Make plans to have someone pick them up if you are unable to get to them. 
  • Regularly update your child’s school with current emergency contact information and persons authorized to pick up your child from school. 
  • Make sure each child knows the family’s alternate meeting sites if you are separated in a disaster and cannot return to your home. 
  • Make sure each child knows how to reach your family’s out-of-area contact person. 
  • Teach children to dial their home telephone number and Emergency 9-1-1. 
  • Teach children what gas smells like and advise them to tell an adult if they smell gas after an emergency. 
  • Warn children never to touch wires on poles or lying on the ground. 
  • Role-play with children to help them remain calm in emergencies and to practice basic emergency responses such as evacuation routes, Drop, Cover and Hold and Stop, Drop and Roll. 
  • Role-play with children as to what they should do if a parent is suddenly sick or injured. 
  • Role-play with children on what to say when calling Emergency 9-1-1.


  • Include a family picture and a favorite toy, game or book for each child in his/her Go-bag. 
  • Include your child’s emergency card and include information on reunification locations and out-of-area contact. 
  • Provide comfort food and treats for each child in your family disaster supplies kit. 
  • Keep a recent photo of your children in your Go-bag.

Seniors and people with disabilities


  • Set up a personal support network – Designate someone to check on you in an emergency and to help with evacuation or sheltering-in-place.
  • Personal care assistance – If you receive assistance from a home healthcare agency or in-home support provider, find out how the provider will respond in an emergency. Designate backup or alternative providers that you can contact in an emergency.
  • For persons using a wheelchair: Plan for how you will evacuate in an emergency and discuss it with your care providers. If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a manual wheelchair as a backup.
  • For persons who are blind or visually impaired: Keep an extra collapsible cane by your bed. Attach a whistle to the cane; use it if you need to attract attention. Exercise caution when moving around after an earthquake; items may fall and block paths that are normally unobstructed.
  • For persons who are hearing impaired: Keep extra batteries for your hearing aids with emergency supplies. Consider storing your hearing aids in a container attached to your nightstand or bedpost, so you can locate them quickly after a disaster.


Most disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations. Service animals for people with disabilities are an exception. 


  • Arrange for a neighbour to check on your pets and take care of them if a disaster occurs while you are not at home. 
  • Plan ahead for a friend or relative outside the affected area to shelter your animals if necessary. 
  • Keep your pet’s I.D. tags up to date.


Make a disaster Go-bag for each of your pets, and include these items:

  • Sturdy leashes and/or carriers to transport pets. Animal shelters may require owners to provide a pet carrier for each animal. 
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost. 
  • Food and potable water, for at least one week. 
  • Bowls, cat litter and pan, plastic bags, can opener and pet toys. 
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behaviour problems, immunization records and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets.


  • Bring all pets into the house so that you won't have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry. 
  • Do not try and hold onto your pet during the shaking of an earthquake or explosion. Animals instinctively protect themselves and hide where they are safe. 
  • Animals react differently under stress. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, and try to escape or even bite or scratch. 
  • When you return home, give your pets time to settle back into their routines. Consult your veterinarian if any behavioral problems persist.