After an emergency
These are general instructions that apply to many emergencies but not every situation is the same. These tips can also apply during an emergency.
- Try to stay calm.
- Check yourself and others for injuries. Give first aid to people who are injured or trapped. Take care of life-threatening situations first. Get help if necessary.
- Check on neighbours, especially the elderly or people with disabilities.
- Confine or secure pets.
- Use the battery-operated radio from your emergency kit to listen for information and instructions.
- Do not use the telephone except to report a life-threatening injury. Please leave the lines free for official use.
- If possible, put on sturdy shoes and protective clothing to help prevent injury from debris, especially broken glass.
- If you are inside, check the building for structural damage. If you suspect it is unsafe, leave and do not re-enter.
- Do not turn on light switches or light matches until you are sure that there aren’t any gas leaks or flammable liquids spilled. Use a flashlight to check utilities.
- Do not shut off utilities unless they are damaged, leaking (a gas leak smells like rotten eggs) or if there is a fire. If you turn the gas off, don’t turn it on again. That must be done by a qualified technician.
If tap water is available, fill a bathtub and other containers in case the supply gets cut off.
If there is no running water, remember that you may have water available in a hot water tank, toilet reservoir or in ice cube trays.
- Water supplies may be contaminated so purify your water.
- Do not flush toilets if you suspect that sewer lines are broken.
- If you are in a high-rise building, do not use the elevator in case of power outage. If you are in an elevator, push every floor button and get out as soon as possible.
- Pick up your children from school or the pre-determined collection point.
- Stay away from damaged areas unless you are asked to help or are qualified to give assistance.
- Do not go near loose or dangling power lines. Downed power lines can cause fires and carry sufficient power to cause harm. Report them and any broken sewer and water mains to the authorities.
- If the power has been off for several hours, check the food in the refrigerator and freezer in case it has spoiled.