Be Ready Emergency Prepardness: Personal Disaster Infographic

What is a personal Disaster?

Personal disasters typically affect one household. House fires are one of the most common examples and those happen without notice and most often during winter months.

The Canadian Red Cross wants you and your family to be prepared.


Across Canada

Floods, major storms, forest fires and earthquakes make the headlines whenever they occur. But personal disasters often don’t and they happen in Canadian communities each and every day.

  • 10,000
    Canadians receive personal disaster assistance from us each year.
  • 97%
    of Red Cross responses in the last 5 years have been for personal disasters.

In the Home

One of the most common emergencies that Canadians experience is a house fire.

  • In Canada, there are about
    house fires each year.
  • house fire iconography
  • 2 out of 3
    Canadians say they have not taken steps to prepare in the event of a disaster.

Major causes of house fires in Canada are:

  • Cooking

  • Heating equipment-related fires

  • Arson/set fires

  • Electrical

  • Smoking

  • Candles

  • Clothes dryer, lighting and other equipment (combined)

  • Child fireplay

Protecting you and your family

Know The Risks:

  1. Keep flammable items away from heat sources

  2. Never leave candles or stoves unattended

  3. Talk to your children about the dangers of fire

  4. Water Christmas trees regularly and use approved lights

Download the 72 Hour Guide to Emergency Preparedness >

Make an Evacuation Plan:

  1. Make sure everyone can locate your emergency kit and water supply

  2. Establish a safe place for everyone to meet

  3. Include a plan for evacuating your pets

  4. Practice the evacuation plan frequently

Get more planning advice >

Get a Kit:

  1. This kit contains basic items your household may need in an emergency situation

  2. It should be able to sustain you and your family for 72 hours

  3. Key items: water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, cash, keys and important family documents

See the full kit list we suggest >

The Red Cross responds to those in need

  • We build relationships with local government and make sure we are ready to respond.

  • Our Canada-wide network of trained volunteers is ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • All Canadian Red Cross assistance is provided free of charge to anyone who needs it.

  • The Canadian Red Cross provides services including emergency lodging, food and clothing.

  • The Canadian Red Cross created an easy-to-follow Fire Recovery Guide to give advice to anyone who needs it.