Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) began 17 years ago as a way to raise awareness across the country about the importance of being prepared for an emergency. This year, EP Week takes place from May 6 – 12.

EP Week is a national campaign coordinated by Public Safety Canada. All levels of government participate in EP Week, as do first responders (police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc.), industry, and non-governmental organizations.

Being prepared means being ready to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while those in urgent need are helped first. It can also make real situations less stressful for you and your family.

There are lots of quick and easy things you can do to prepare your family. Here are five things you can do right now:

  1. Know the risks – learn about local hazards and plan for those that are more likely to occur. Does your area experience flooding? Forest fires? Earthquakes?
  2. Make a family emergency plan – since your family may not be together when an emergency happens, a plan will help you and your family know what to do and how to reach each other in an emergency. Visit our site to watch the "Making a Family Emergency Plan" video.
  3. Get an emergency kit – find out exactly what goes in a kit by watching our short video, "Preparing a Family Emergency Kit in Plain English," then share the link with friends or family.
  4. Talk to your kids – Share this activity booklet made especially for children to help them understand emergencies and what they can do to prepare.
  5. Spread the word – Share the EP Week Toolkit with your family, friends, workplace, or school. The toolkit has a lot of different tips and ideas to make EP Week a great event.

Do your part! Take time this Emergency Preparedness Week to get the whole family involved and have fun getting prepared!

To learn more about EP Week activities in your province or territory, please contact your emergency measures organization.

And one final way to stay in touch year-round: Become part of the growing number of Canadians who want to share experiences and learn more about how to prepare for emergencies by following us on Twitter @Get_Prepared.

This tip has been brought to you by Public Safety Canada.

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