Evacuate your home if you feel that your safety is at risk or if the authorities require you to do so. Be prepared and know what to do in such an eventuality by following the instructions below.
To prepare for evacuation
Prepare a home emergency kit.
Prepare your Household Emergency Plan that includes a household evacuation plan.
Prepare an emergency kit for the car.
Sign up for the Citizen Alert service and follow your municipality's social media channels to stay informed of evacuation notices, safety instructions, and available services.
Determine windows that can be used as emergency exits, and make sure that the whole family can reach them and knows how to open them.
Remove any item obstructing your exits.
In the winter, after each major snowfall, remove the snow from your exits and windows. Make sure they are not stuck in ice.
Take good care of your pets in the event of an evacuation
Prepare an emergency kit that can easily be transported in a vehicle.
The kit should include:
- pet carriers;
- leashes and harnesses, even for cats;
- vaccination and health records;
- photos of the animals to identify them;
- a list of drugs and prescriptions;
- reserves of water and food sufficient for seven days per animal;
- bowls, utensils, and can openers;
- the medications that each animal takes;
- a litter box for the cats, including extra litter;
- if possible, several blankets and toys.
If you cannot take your pets with you, put them in shelter, a boarding facility, or with a family member.
If an evacuation notice is issued, put your domestic pets in a safe place or take them with you to the temporary accommodation centre if it is allowed. Do not put your safety at risk if you cannot find them or take them with you.
As a last resort, keep them indoors:
- leave the animals in a room that is easy to clean, sufficiently ventilated and windowless, such as the bathroom or garage;
- give them sufficient water and food; if possible, fill a big container with tap water or partly fill the bathtub.
Never leave your domestic pets tied up or confined indoors.
Put a visible sign on the house or near the entrances indicating the presence and number of animals per interior space.
If you must evacuate your home
Follow the instructions and recommendations from the authorities to facilitate your evacuation and make it as safe as possible.
Inform your family and the municipality where you intend to take shelter.
If you do not know where to go, contact your municipality to find out whether temporary shelter is available.
Before leaving, pack essential items for all members of your family:
- Personal hygiene items
- Extra clothes
- Identification documents
- Car and house keys
- Milk, bottles and diapers for infants
- Electronic devices and accessories for connecting them
- Items for the wellbeing of family members with special needs
Close the windows and lock the doors of your home before leaving.
If requested by the authorities, cut off your water, electricity, and gas supplies. Please refer to the manufacturer's or service provider's instructions.
Do not return home before it is authorized by the authorities.
Remember that designated, competent authorities actively monitor evacuated areas in order to ensure that the sites remain secure.
In the case of an imminent threat
Gather the occupants and exit one by one through a safe unobstructed exit.
In the event of a fire, get out immediately and call 911.
Do not waste time to retrieve personal belongings or valuables.
Lock the doors behind you.
Check that no one is missing and head to a safe shelter or the rallying point in your Household Emergency Plan.
Indicate your presence to the emergency services.
Last update: November 10, 2023