Some emergencies — such as a hazardous materials release — may make staying in your home dangerous. In such cases, it may be safer for you to evacuate the area and go to family or friends, or an emergency reception centre.
As the authority to order an evacuation can rest with different levels of government (local, provincial or federal), a three-stage evacuation process has been developed and accepted by all levels of government.
Quick tips for emergency evacuation
Understanding the stages of evacuation
- Evacuation order — You are at risk, and must leave the area immediately. Local police or the RCMP enforce evacuation orders.
- Evacuation alert — Be ready to leave on short notice. If you leave before or during this alert, it's called a voluntary evacuation
- Evacuation rescind — All is currently safe and you can return home... but stay tuned for other possible evacuation alerts and orders
What to do if you're ordered to evacuate
- Listen carefully to the instructions, and make sure the evacuation order applies to you.
- Get your grab-and-go bag
- Take your pets with you
A decision to evacuate is made to save lives. Do not ignore an evacuation order.
Where to go during an evacuation
Evacuation routes are not formally identified because each emergency situation is unique. The safest route will be identified by emergency responders during the emergency.
For your safety, follow the evacuation route provided by emergency officials. Shortcuts may put you in the path of danger.