Go low-tech: The systems that
you depend on in a normal day
may not be there for you in an
emergency: Power, water, cell-phone reception, bank machines,
public transit. Even 911 (fire,
police, ambulance) systems may
be backlogged or hampered by
reduced mobility and access.
personal records: insurance
declarations, financial records
and home inventory list.
• Check your emergency kits
regularly to ensure that all
items are usable and ready.
Be sure to consider seasonal
adjustments in your supplies
so that you are prepared in
any month. Store important
documents and irreplaceable
personal items away from
flood-prone areas like base-
3. Leave your home safe. If you are
under an evacuation order:
• Include in your list of local
emergency contact numbers:
your insurance broker or insur-
ance company, and BC Hydro
3766) for reporting a power
• Turn off all unnecessary appliances, such as air conditioners
and hot tubs.
• Unplug sensitive electrical
equipment and appliances,
such as televisions and computers.
• Remove food from your
refrigerator, but only if there’s
enough time to do so.
• Turn off all lights except for
one exterior light, which will indicate to BC Hydro crews that
power is on at the residence.
4. Know where you’re going. Keep
cash in small bills on hand and
don’t let your gas gauge go below
a quarter tank so that you can
get out of your immediate area
without needing to fill up. Keep
a map in the car, even if the car
Emergencies are managed first at
the local (municipal) level. If the situation escalates, the provincial emergency management structure will be
Your insurance policy: Your home
insurance also includes coverage for
additional living expenses in the event
that you are temporarily unable to live
in your home due to an insured loss in
Emergency Social Services: British
Columbians forced from their homes
by fire, floods, earthquakes or other
emergencies may receive emergency
social services for up to 72 hours.
Services may include food, lodging,
clothing, emotional support, information about the crisis, and family
Emergency Management BC:
This agency is the official channel
for large-scale and provincial-level
emergency information, alerts, and
Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA)
Program: Following a disaster, the
provincial government may declare
the event eligible for compensation.
DFA compensation is available for
uninsurable losses in five categories:
homeowners (principal residences
only), residential tenants, small business owners, farmers and charitable
organizations. Currently compensation
is limited, for each accepted claim, to
80% of the total eligible damage that
exceeds $1,000, to a maximum claim
Losses of personal property for
which insurance was reasonably and
readily available are not eligible for
Public Safety Canada recom-
mends that you keep a basic
home emergency kit containing
the following items to help you
survive a disaster:
1. Water: 2 litres of water per
person, per day (small bottles
are easier to carry in case of
an evacuation order).
2. Food: canned food, energy
bars and other non-perisha-
3. Manual can opener.
4. Flashlight and batteries.
5. Battery-powered or wind-up
radio and extra batteries.
6. First-aid kit.
7. Special-needs items: pre-
scription medications, infant
formula and equipment for
people with disabilities. Re-
member to check the expiry
date of applicable items such
as medications and infant for-
mula on an annual basis and
replace items as necessary.
8. Extra keys for your car and
9. Cash: include smaller bills and
change; service outlets will be
operating at reduced capacity
and may not be able to accept
credit cards or make change.
10. Emergency plan: include a
hard copy of your emergency
plan and ensure it lists in-town
and out-of-town contacts.