Community Evacuation Information for Seniors

HealthLinkBC File Number: 
103a
Last Updated: 
December 2020

Preparing for and responding to hazards such as wildfires, floods, landslides, earthquakes and severe weather requires special consideration of seniors' needs.

Seniors who live alone or are sick or disabled will need special support and an emergency plan.

What will happen if I have to evacuate my home in an emergency?

If the police or RCMP orders you to evacuate your home or community, leave the area immediately. You are at risk.

Follow all instructions from local officials. Do not return home until emergency authorities say it is safe to do so.

How can I prepare to evacuate in an emergency?

Create a trusted support network of at least 3 people to assist you during an emergency. Give them keys and add their contact information to a shared emergency plan.

Tell your support network about any health conditions or medications. Show them how to operate specialized medical mobility equipment, such as lifts, wheelchairs or scooters.

Arrange for your support network to immediately check on you after a disaster.

What supplies should I have for an emergency?

Planning ahead and thinking about your personal needs is important. Build a grab-and-go bag in case you need to leave your home quickly.

Basic items for a 72-hour grab-and-go bag:

  • Water
  • Food (ready to eat)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Special items, such as extra eyeglasses, prescription medications or other supplies required for medical conditions
  • Personal toiletries
  • Phone charger and battery bank
  • Small battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Seasonal clothing, footwear and an emergency blanket
  • Whistle, to signal for help
  • Pen and notepad
  • Local map with your family meeting place identified
  • Cash in small bills
  • A copy of your emergency plan
  • A contact list with important names and numbers of family members, friends, health care providers and caregivers

Additional items:

  • Personal papers and photo identification
  • A medical history or summary of your health including any chronic conditions and recent surgeries
  • List of your medications and copies of prescriptions
  • Extra dentures and cleaner
  • Hearing aids and extra batteries
  • Mobility aids such as canes or walkers
  • Special equipment for breathing
  • Incontinence supplies

For More Information

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit:

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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