Know When to Call 911. A 911 emergency happens when someone’s health, safety or property is threatened and help is needed right away. If you aren’t sure if your situation is a 911 emergency it is best to call and let the experts decide whether help needs to be sent or not.
Know When Not to Call 911. 911 is for emergencies only. It is not to be used for general inquiries such as calls to police concerning ongoing investigations, or calls to fire departments about community events. Inappropriate use of 911 ties up valuable resources. Intentional abuse of the system can lead to charges.
What to Expect. When you call 911 the call taker will ask, “911, what is your emergency?” Stay on the line with the call taker and answer all questions. Expect to be asked:
- The nature of the emergency
- The complete address of the emergency, including civic number, street name and type, community and county
- To confirm the telephone number you are calling from
– During an emergency you may be without electricity or running water. You should have some basic supplies prepared so you and your family can be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Make sure your family’s emergency kit is easy to carry. For example, keep it in a backpack, duffel bag or suitcase with wheels. Store it in an easily-accessible place and make sure that everyone knows where it is. Check your kit twice a year and replace any outdated items. Food and water should be replaced once a year.
Basic Emergency Kit:
- Water (at least two litres per person per day). Use small bottles that can be carried in case of an evacuation order.
- Food that won’t spoil, such as canned or dried foods and energy bars.
- Manual can opener
- Wind-up or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
- Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
- Cash (small bills) and change (for pay phones)
- First-aid kit
- Extra keys for your car and house
- Emergency plan and contact information
- Medications, important documents, infant formula, pet food, special items for family members with disabilities or special needs, or any other items necessary to personalize your kit