Are you ready for an emergency?

When there's an emergency, like a bad winter storm, a hurricane, or fire, you need to be ready to get by on your own for at least the first 72 hours. You never know when an emergency will happen.

1. Know the risks

You will be better prepared when an emergency happens if you know the risks. Risks can be:

  • winter storms
  • flooding
  • wildfires
  • hurricanes
  • house fires
  • chemical spills
  • road collisions
These risks can leave you stuck at home without heat, light, running water, or a way to cook food.

Think about how long can you get by on your own without electricity or running water? Will you need extra medicine?

You may have to leave your home in a hurry. If authorities tell you to evacuate your home or you hear of an evacuation order affecting your area, it means that you must leave immediately because staying there has become dangerous.

2. Make a plan

A good plan tells you where to find the things you need and what to do during an emergency.

  • Create a personal support network. This is a group of at least 3 people you trust to help you in times of an emergency.
    • Ask people if they are willing to help you in an emergency.
    • Give them important contact numbers like your cell, home, work or school.
    • Tell these people where you keep your emergency kit and give someone you trust a key to your home.
    • Include someone who lives outside of your region as they probably won't be affected by the same emergency.

Things to include in your plan:

  • where to find your fire extinguisher, main water valve, electrical box, gas shut-off, and floor drain
  • contact information for friends and family
  • plans for looking after your pets
  • information about your special health needs
  • contact information and instructions for your personal support network

Keep a copy of your plan in your emergency kit, at home, in your car, and at work.

3. Prepare an emergency kit

Your emergency kit should have everything you need to keep your family healthy for at least 72 hours. The kit should be easy to carry. Check your kit twice a year and replace anything that is out of date.

    Include these things in your emergency kit:
  • your plan
  • a list of your personal support network including their name, relation, address, phone and cell numbers
  • at least 6 litres of water per person (2 litres per day)
  • food that won't spoil, like canned and dry foods
  • manual can opener
  • first-aid supplies
  • allergy medications and special needs or equipment you use
  • a list of your prescription medicines with their prescription number and purpose
  • pharmacy information
  • pet care
  • at least a 3-day supply of your prescription medicines
  • wind-up or battery-powered flashlight
  • wind-up or battery-powered radio
  • batteries for your flashlight and radio
  • extra keys for your house and car
  • money in small bills
  • copies of important papers like your driver's license, birth certificate, and insurance policies

Who to call

See the video and a full list of non-emergency numbers

911 - emergencies
Call this number if your health, safety, or property is threatened and you need help right away.

811 - health information
Call this number for health advice and peace of mind.

511 - road conditions
Call this number for information about provincial roads only.

311 - Halifax information
Call this number for information about programs and services in Halifax.

211 - program and services information
Call this number for information on non-profit, community and government programs and services, including information about being ready for an emergency. Visit for a complete list of services.

Other important numbers
Power outage - 1-877-428-6004
Bell Aliant outage - 611 or 1-800-663-2600
Eastlink outage - 1-888-345-1111
Drinking water safety - 1-877-936-8476
Food safety - 1-877-252-FOOD (3663)