Emergency Preparedness Week Toolkit

May 7-13, 2023

This year we are back to take an active role in helping build a culture of preparedness in Canada and Emergency Preparedness Week with this year’s theme: “Be Prepared. Know Your Risks.” While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe, We believe that every Ground Search and Rescue member across Canada with SARVAC has a role to play in being prepared for an emergency.

We support the foundation of building awareness as a great first step. With your help, together we can communicate the importance of emergency preparedness to all Canadians.

This year, Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is May 7-13, 2023.

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness initiative that has taken place annually since 1996. It is a collaborative event undertaken by provincial and territorial emergency management organizations supporting activities at the local level, in concert with Public Safety Canada and partners. EP Week encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:

  • Know the risks
  • Make a plan
  • Get an emergency kit


Thank you for your interest in promoting emergency preparedness nationally, regionally and locally.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, contact the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association at: 

1-866-9-SARVAC (1-866-972-7822) 


www.GetPrepared.ca provides a range of free online publications on emergency preparedness.


Downloadable Graphics

Using Social Media

Social Media

Ideas for using social media for Emergency Preparedness Week (or anytime!):

  • Follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter and Emergency Ready in Canada on Facebook and encourage others to do the same.
  • Share content from GetPrepared.ca on your Facebook page or on Twitter (see sample microblogging content below).
  • Share relevant information with a blogger who may be interested in emergency preparedness.
  • Post content from www.getprepared.ca on your own blog. Videos and several guides are available and can be easily posted or linked to your site.
  • Submit a story or photos of an emergency to GetPrepared.ca (email to ps.getprepared-preparevous.sp@ps-sp.gc.ca).

Sample Tweets

Please note: all links refer to content on GetPrepared.ca; they may also be shortened by a service such as goo.gl. Add links to your own organization’s website as applicable.

  • Follow @Get_Prepared for helpful tips and info on what to do before, during and after an emergency.
  • Did you know that your area may be more at risk for one kind of disaster over another – find out which ones (www.GetPrepared.ca – “Know the Risks” page).
  • Knowing the risks specific to your area can help you prepare for emergencies – learn how here: (www.GetPrepared.ca – “Know the Risks” page).
  • Every home needs an emergency plan. Complete yours here: (www.GetPrepared.ca – “Make a Plan” page).
  • Does your family know what to do if disaster strikes? Start planning now: (www.GetPrepared.ca – “Make a Plan” page).
  • Get prepared for any kind of emergency. Get a kit. Find out how: (www.GetPrepared.ca – “Get a Kit” page).

Remember, you could also retweet @Get_Prepared’s tweets!

Using Hashtags on Twitter

A hashtag is a word or phrase (without spaces) following a hash symbol (#) used to tag a tweet on a particular topic of interest.

Add the hashtag #EPWeek2023 and #ReadyforAnything to your tweets to join the online conversation on emergency preparedness. Using the hashtags will make it easy for users to come across your tweets when searching for messages on the topic of Emergency Preparedness Week.

Sample Articles / Email Message

These articles may be used on your website, newsletter, blog, etc. or sent to your community newspaper.

Using Technology During a Disaster

We rely on technology more and more to keep in touch with our family, friends, and colleagues with a click of a button. But what happens in the event of a major emergency? Suddenly these tools can become vital in helping you and your family deal get in touch and stay informed. So here are some tips on the use of technology in an emergency:

  • If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media. These use less bandwidth than voice communications and may work even when phone service doesn’t.
  • If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family. This will also conserve your phone’s battery.
  • Unable to complete a call? Wait 10 seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion. Note, cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage. If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
  • Keep a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank, or vehicle phone charger. If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.
  • Keep your contacts up to date on your phone, email and other channels. This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, child’s school, or insurance agent.
  • If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s) on its mapping application.
  • Conserve your smartphone’s battery by reducing the screen’s brightness, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using. You never know how long a power outage will last!

Remember, in an emergency or to save a life, call 9-1-1 for help. You cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.

Emergency Management in Canada: How Does It Work?

In a country that borders on three oceans and spans six time zones, creating an emergency response system that works for every region is a huge challenge. That’s why emergency management in Canada is a shared responsibility. That means everyone has an important role to play, including individuals, communities, governments, the private sector and volunteer organizations.

Basic emergency preparedness starts with each individual. If someone cannot cope, emergency first responders such as police, fire and ambulance services will provide help.

If the municipality needs additional assistance or resources, they can call on provincial/territorial emergency management organizations, who can seek assistance from the federal government if the emergency escalates beyond their capabilities. Depending on the situation, federal assistance could include policing, national defence and border security, and environmental and health protection.

Requests for assistance are managed through Public Safety Canada, which maintains close operational links with the provinces and territories. It can take just a few minutes for the response to move from the local to the national level, ensuring that the right resources and expertise are identified and triggered.

Public Safety coordinates Emergency Management Requests for Federal Assistance which can include:

  • Logistics or transportation support
  • Assistance to civil order
  • Administration of the Supporting the Canadian Red Cross’s Urgent Relief Efforts Related to COVID-19, Floods and Wildfires and the Supporting a Humanitarian Workforce to Respond to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergencies programs which provide funding assistance in support of the federal response to events.
  • Assistance with COVID-19 vaccine roll out operations
  • Deployment of a mobile health unit
  • Employment of the Canadian Armed Forces as a support force of last resort

The GOC continues to coordinate formal requests for assistance from federal departments and provincial and territorial governments. For example, for pandemic-related requests, the GOC works with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) and others as required.

Everyone responsible for Canada’s emergency management system shares the common goal of preventing or managing disasters. Public Safety Canada is responsible for coordinating emergency response efforts on behalf of the federal government. More information is available on the Public Safety web site at www.publicsafety.gc.ca (click on “Emergency Management”).

Suggested Email to Employees

EP Week 2023 – May 7 to 13, 2023

Be Prepared. Know your Risks

Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face.

Emergency Preparedness Week (May 7-13, 2023) encourages Canadians to take concrete actions to be better prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. This special week is a national effort lead by Public Safety Canada, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private sector.

I encourage you to contact (name and number of emergency coordinator), our departmental emergency coordinator to learn about our role in emergency response.

By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. It is important to:

  • Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
  • Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do
  • Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

Visit www.getprepared.ca (or your EMO or local website) for more resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies.

This week, I encourage you to take concrete actions to be better prepared. Please do your part! Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better – both during and after a major disaster. Get an emergency kit now – it can make a world of difference.

To schedule an interview or for more information please contact:

Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC)


24 McNamara Drive

Paradise, NL A1L 0A6

Toll Free Phone

1-866-9-SARVAC (1-866-972-7822)

Office Phone


Toll Free Fax