Be Prepared: Have a "GO" Bag

In Niagara, we're fortunate to live in a relatively safe region of Canada. However, that doesn't mean we're immune to the possibility of a large-scale emergency.

In some emergencies, such as floods, fires or hazardous materials incidents, it may be necessary for you to evacuate your home and neighbourhood. Authorities will not ask you to leave your home unless they believe you're in significant danger.

Follow instructions from authorities about when to leave, where to go and what transportation routes to follow. Don't enter or return to an evacuated area unless emergency officials have given you specific instructions and permission to do so.

Create a GO Bag

To be prepared for an evacuation, put together a "GO" bag for you and your family.

Use a backpack or easy to carry duffel bag and keep it in a convenient location, preferably near your home exit. Here's some items you will need to add to your kit.

Important Documents

Make copies of all important documents, including:

  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Health cards
  • Prescriptions
  • Driver's licences
  • Banking and investment information
  • Wills
  • Passports
  • Land deeds
  • Vehicle registration

Add recent photographs of each family member and include them with your copies. Add a written list of important phone numbers so that you are not dependent on your cell phone.

Extra Keys

Make up an extra set of keys for your "GO" bag including those for:

  • Vehicles
  • Home
  • Cottage / recreational vehicles

Flashlight and Batteries

Add a flashlight and extra batteries You can use the standard flashlights or consider a crank flashlight which often includes a radio. Extra batteries are always useful to have in your kit.

First Aid Kit and Medication

Purchase a basic first aid kit or assemble one of your own and ensure that it has adequate supplies for the number of people in your home. You may want to include non-prescription medications, such as a pain reliever, antihistamine for allergy relief, skin moisturizer, etc.

For prescription medication, keep a week's supply in your "GO" bag along with a copy of the prescription. Make sure to rotate the medications so that they remain viable.

Clothing and Shoes

Include a change of clothes and pair of shoes for each member of your family. Be sure to rotate the clothing as the seasons change.


When you evacuate, lock your home and leave a note on the front door that indicates when you left, where you're going and your contact information.

Monitor local radio and television statements for information from emergency officials.

Avoid using telephone or cell phones unless you require emergency services. Keep the lines free for those who need them most.

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