Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Emergency Preparedness Survivor



Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is pleased to present this Emergency Preparedness (EP) Survivor How-To Guide.

The EP Survivor event was created in 2009 to encourage youth to prepare themselves and their families prior to an emergency. This activity teaches students practical survival skills should an emergency happen and to better enable them to take care of themselves and their families during the crucial period immediately after a disaster strikes.

EP Survivor is a fun initiative that gives students, parents, educators and the community the opportunity to build leaderships skills for young adults, while fostering a sense of preparedness throughout the home, school and education systems.

Survivor has been a runaway success as students, teachers and parents all attest to the solid learning that is gained, while learning about local community response procedures.


EP Survivor Challenges in 2009

Sudbury EP Survivor Challenge: May 1-2, 2009

Fifteen students from Lively District Secondary School, just outside Sudbury, participated in an overnight event to introduce emergency preparedness messaging through experiential learning. The students were given a variety of emergency preparedness presentations and activities from the City of Greater Sudbury, Sudbury Police, Environment Canada, Sudbury Emergency Medical Services, Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance and EMO. Highlights included presentations on evacuee registration, emergency and pet survival kits, wilderness survival and severe weather safety. The event created a media buzz in Sudbury and was covered by outlets that included CTV, Northern Life, CBC Radio, Channel 10 News and CJTK Radio.

Toronto EP Survivor Challenge: May 7-8, 2009

Twenty-two students from Westview Centennial Secondary School in northwest Toronto participated in an overnight event that included emergency preparedness presentations, games and activities prepared by the City of Toronto, Environment Canada, Amateur Radio Emergency Services, Canadian Red Cross and EMO. The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Parliamentary Assistant, Dave Levac, and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Mario Sergio (York West), gave opening remarks. Media coverage came from Global TV and CP24 – both of whom did live broadcasts from the school.

EP Survivor Challenges in 2010

  • Hamilton, Westmount Secondary School
  • Toronto, West Humber Collegiate Institute
  • Ottawa, Centre professional et technique Minto
  • Shannonville/ Tyendinaga Boy Scouts EP Survivor Challenge

EP Survivor Challenges in 2011

  • Kincardine, Kincardine District High School
  • Toronto, RH King Academy
  • Dryden, Pinewood School
  • Shannonville/ Tyendinaga Boy Scouts EP Survivor Challenge
  • Ottawa, Franco Quest & Minto Collegiate
  • Brockville, Brockville Collegiate Institute


The EP Survivor Challenge has previously partnered with a number of organizations and NGOs to deliver this program. Here are some of them:

Amateur Radio Emergency Services

When emergency agencies are required in a zone of disaster, their regular means of communications can be affected by the same disruptive causes as others. That creates need for a supplemental or back-up communications system, one that comes complete with equipment and trained operators who are licensed by the Canadian government at no cost to the public or the agency involved. Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is sponsored and operated by Radio Amateurs of Canada to provide communications duty in the public service, for when disaster strikes.

St. John Ambulance

For more than 125 years, St. John Ambulance has been training over 140,000 Ontarians annually in first aid and other health and safety related courses, and remains dedicated to saving lives at work, home and play. With over 4,000 volunteers contributing over half a million hours of community service a year, St. John Ambulance is an integral part of the community offering such unique and innovative programs as; medical first response, disaster response, health and safety related youth programs, therapy dog services, car seat safety, and search & rescue. As a charitable, humanitarian organization, proceeds from St. John Ambulance’s first aid training and first aid product sales directly support these vital volunteer community services programs.

Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. All Red Cross programs and activities are guided by the Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. The Youth Engagement Strategy promotes activities that support and encourage youth as global citizens and leaders of their communities.

The Salvation Army

As the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country, the Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today an everyday in 400 communities across Canada. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life. Emergency Disaster Services is only one of the many services offered by the Salvation Army. By providing timely and effective disaster relief, the Salvation Army’s disaster units immediately work to reduce physical harm and help victims regain control of their lives.


Quotes from Dryden EP Survivor Challenge –May 2011

"This was one of the most educational events I have ever attended. I didn't realize we had such a well-protected province.”

– Jayne, student participant, Dryden Survivor event.

“After just a few hours of sleep, I have to say I think it was a wonderful experience, the students learned a lot and I learned a lot. I find that often schools teach students about emergencies, natural disasters and how they are caused, but not so much on how we deal with them, and how well prepared we are for them.”

– Ms. Jude, Teacher, Dryden Survivor event.

“I learned about all the strategic plans that will help us get through any kind of emergencies, and that natural disasters actually do happen in Dryden.”

– Pinewood student, Dryden Survivor event.

“My favourite part was the blackout because it was the most realistic; I liked that you learned a lot and it was serious yet at the same time fun.”

– Pinewood student, Dryden Survivor event.

“I thought it was really cool to see how all the cots are set up in a real emergency evacuation situation.”

– Pinewood student, Dryden Survivor event.


Media content from all EP Survivor events such as photos, video blogs, and event news coverage can be found through the EMO Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The Facebook page will also have messages and tips about emergency preparedness, as well as information about other upcoming events. To find us on Facebook simply type into the search engine: Emergency Management Ontario. Be sure to “like” our page.

Or follow us on Twitter @OntarioWarnings

On EMO’s YouTube channel you will find videos from our community events as well as useful information on how you can better prepare your family to cope in the event of an emergency. You can subscribe to you YouTube Channel or search for EmergMgtON on YouTube.

Check the site often for updates and more video blogs from EMO events

Visit to watch the latest video blogs!


Congratulations! You’ve decided to offer the Emergency Preparedness (EP) Survivor event at your school.

EP Survivor is a fun event that will teach students, parents, families and educators the value of emergency preparedness, and help students better understand the key roles that government, communities, volunteer organizations and emergency responders play during an emergency.

Students will learn life skills and be exposed to key community organizations and governing bodies that are in place in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Each offering of Survivor can be customized. Possible learning outcomes include:

  • Learning what items to include in your personal emergency survival kit and the importance of emergency preparedness
  • Key definitions, i.e. hazards, disasters, Community Emergency Management Coordinator
  • Getting information on providing accurate, life-saving disaster first-aid that can be done by anyone from age 14 to seniors.
  • Learning how to protect your pet during an emergency
  • Learn what local hazards and risks exist in your community and how to protect yourself.
  • Developing an escape or response plan for your school.
  • Emergency management in Ontario – a tiered response
  • Helping people with disabilities and special needs
  • Learn how to protect yourself in extreme weather conditions
  • Learn how to survive outdoors in inclement weather
  • Disaster hygiene – how to stay clean and hygienic when you have no water or electricity.


Now what?

Simple: following these easy steps will ensure that your EP Survivor event will run smoothly and maximize the ‘fun’ for everyone.

Let’s get started.

Step 1

Get Support from your principal!

Before you solicit support from the wider community, make sure your principal or school board superintendent is on-side and supportive. Having their support is the key to ensuring a smooth-running event.

Step 2

Once you’ve got support from your principal, identify a lead at your school. This teacher will be the main EP Survivor liaison between the principal, students and organization representatives.

Step 3

Recruit teacher volunteers.

Enthusiastic teachers will convey that excitement to potential students and also act as chaperons for the event. On page 9 of this how-to guide, we’ve included a sample principal’s letter to teachers that can be used to provide additional information to teachers, asking for their volunteer assistance.

Step 4

Recruit students & Host a student’s information session.

(You’ll need 15 to 25 dedicated students for a good event)

Set up a student’s information session meeting, where you can give potential students details on the proposed event, including rules of play, emergency survival kits, potential presentations etc. You can promote the students information session by putting up posters or making an announcement on the school’s public address system.

Students involved with existing school programs are a natural fit for EP Survivor. Those in a leadership, wilderness survival or community-volunteer programs, including those on student council will benefit greatly from this program, but any student or group of students who are mature, responsible or considering careers in emergency services would be ideal candidates too.

i. Legal Considerations:

Students who participate in EP Survivor will need to sign a waiver and photo/video release form that protects the school and teachers from frivolous lawsuits, and gives approval for media to take photos or videos of the participants. Sample documents are included on pages 17-18, but make sure it has been approved by your school’s lawyer or legal department.

In addition, students will need to bring in their own personal items and supplies for their emergency survival kit. The student instruction sheet on page 7 includes a checklist to ensure students bring the essentials supplies.

Step 5

Once you’ve confirmed the date for your EP Survivor program, and have support from your principal, teachers, students and parents, contact your local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) to let them know you’ll be doing an EP Survivor event in your community.

Every municipality in Ontario has a CEMC who coordinates the development, implementation and maintenance of your community’s emergency management program. Get in touch with your CEMC through your local municipal office or city hall.

The CEMC can put you in touch with or help solicit support from potential Non Government Organizations (NGO’s) and partners, ie local police, fire and ambulance, Canadian Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance or Amateur Emergency Radio Services.

Find out if they would like to do a short presentation on their organization’s emergency response plan. Or, the presenter could talk about their past experiences during a recent local emergency and how they were deployed.

Step 6

Work with the CEMC and partners to draft and finalize the program. There are many options to consider that will challenge, entertain and enlighten the participants. A typical program lasts 15-18 hours, but if you’re really ambitious, a longer event is possible too.

Please go to pages 11-14 for some program examples.

Step 7

EP Survivor is a unique initiative that the wider community and local media will be interested in. The first step is drafting a news release and sending it to local media. The resulting publicity this event creates will help increase emergency preparedness awareness throughout your school, organization or neighbourhood. Be sure to work with the CEMC and your school board’s corporate communications department to help generate media interest for the event. Use this sample news release (page 21) to create one for your event.

Step 8

Post event thank you letter from principal

After your Survivor event, send a quick thank you note from the school principal to the participating students, to thank them for their support and participation. A sample letter is included on page 16.


Being prepared for an emergency includes the preparation of an emergency survival kit. An emergency survival kit contains all of the basic items you need to remain comfortable for at least three days immediately after or during an emergency. It is important the contents of your emergency survival kit are kept all together in an easy to carry container or bag in the event you have to leave your home as a result of an emergency.

Your emergency survival kit should include:

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Crank or battery-operated radio
  • First-aid kit
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water (4 litres per person per day)
  • Clothing
  • Blanket
  • Toilet paper and paper towel
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo
  • Towel
  • Whistle
  • Playing cards

Your emergency survival kit should be tailored to suit your needs. For example, you may want to include prescription medication, spare eye glasses or contact lens solution.

Put all your emergency survival kit items in an easy-to-carry duffle bag or large knapsack.


Food for an emergency survival kit should be high in nutritional value and have a long shelf life. Keep this in mind while shopping for non-perishable food for your kit. Some good examples include:

  • Canned goods, including fruits, vegetables, pasta, fish or meat
  • Dry cereal, granola or oatmeal
  • Powdered milk
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Dried fruit, crackers, hard candies


CELL PHONES AND WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES SHOULD BE TURNED OFF AT ALL TIMES DURING THE EVENT – Students will be given ‘health breaks’ during the event to communicate with family and/or friends.


  • Sleeping bag, pillow, wash cloth, comb, deodorant, extra clothes
  • Non perishable food
  • Water (for drinking and hygiene)


  • Any item that needs to be plugged in
  • Food that would spoil or get stale in a survival kit for extended periods (ie bread, liquid juice, potato chips)
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Materials that could be considered offensive to others


Even though this in an event, a real emergency can occur. Our term for a ‘real’ emergency is “NO DUFF”. This term can be used at any time you feel sick, stressed or ill. Contact a teacher immediately.

If your parent, guardian or family member needs to get in touch with you about a real emergency at home, please ask them to call (insert local emergency contact name and number).


This event is sanctioned by your local school board. The students’ code of conduct is in accordance with the Ontario Education Act.


A. Sample Principal’s letter to Teachers

(Insert Date)

Dear Teachers:

Preparing students and families for emergencies is key to helping ensure an effective provincial response. To help prepare our students, our school is proposing to partner with (name of organizations) and our local emergency management organization to hold an Emergency Preparedness Survivor event that will educate students on emergency preparedness.

Together with your support, we are planning an overnight indoor exercise at the school on (include dates and times.) The students will rely solely on the contents of their personal emergency survival kit to get through the overnight period. Students will participate in a variety of emergency preparedness activities and exercises led by our partners.

Guest speakers from emergency services and local community organizations will make presentations during the event related to emergency preparedness and practical survival skills. Prior to the event, students will be advised on which additional items to bring to customize their kits (i.e. medication, eye glasses, personal documents, food, etc.).

I’m looking for teachers to assist with supervision, and help facilitate activities throughout the event. This would require you to spend the night at the school, where you’ll sleep on a cot or sleeping bag. Please let me know if you are able to assist. I appreciate your support and participation. Your involvement reinforces the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency situation.

Should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to our school’s participation in this worthwhile and educational event.


Signed – Principal

B. Letter to Parents/Students

Ever wonder what you’d do if there was an earthquake or an ice storm? What if a sudden flood or power blackout forced you to leave your home without warning?

Well, now is the time to test your survival skills! Do you have what it takes to survive during an emergency or disaster? Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week is (insert dates). On (insert date), Emergency Preparedness Survivor is coming to your school. You and your friends can learn about how you and your family can prepare for an emergency.

What’s in it for you?

  • Every participant will receive an emergency survival kit with cool things like a crank-operated radio that you can take home for your family.
  • You’ll learn how to survive with tips and advice from experts in the emergency management industry.

What do you have to do?

  • Personalize your emergency survival kit with dietary food, personal papers, medicine or health aids.
  • Go to to get more info on personal preparedness.
  • Bring your sleeping bag and spend a night (insert date) in the school gymnasium as if a real emergency was taking place and you were being evacuated to a local reception centre.
  • Get your friends involved!
  • Go see (supervising teacher) and sign up now!

Be prepared!

*This event is brought to you by your school, (name partners)

C. Program & Topics

Sample program

Two or three days before event

(Insert name of organizer here) talks to participating students about emergency preparedness and what students need to bring for the day. Focus is on the five key messages: Have a plan, make a kit, consider special needs, don’t forget your pets and practice.

Date of event

4 pm Students arrive. Organizer welcomes students and gives presentation that will provide an overview of the evening (agenda, importance of preparedness, emergency survival kits, psycho-social preparation). Organizer hands out survival kits. Organizer lays out scenario leading to evacuation, ie electrical blackout resulting in no power at home. Students move to a mock ‘emergency shelter’ until power is re-established.

4:30 pm Presentation from community group or volunteer agency

5 pm Presentation from community group or volunteer agency

5 pm Presentation from community group or volunteer agency

5:50 pm BLACKOUT (lights out in gymnasium)

6 pm Dinner (students eat dinner from emergency survival kit by candlelight)

7 pm Rotations. Students visit each station for 20-30 minutes. Stations could include any community group or first responder ie ARES, Police Services, Emergency Management Services, Fire Services.

9 pm Game (Disaster Jeopardy, or Survivor-style team games)

9 pm Career/Recruiting/Volunteer Fair

10 pm Round Table Discussion

11 pm Evaluation/Debrief

11:15 pm Lights Out/Free Time/Movie

Next day

8 am Breakfast (from emergency survival kit)

9 am Event concludes

Setup of Event

• Speakers corner (webcam or camera set up where students can go into sectioned off area and make comments about how they are feeling, what the experience is like, etc.)

• Dinner and breakfast. Students will eat whatever food they brought with them for dinner and breakfast.

Students bring their own sleeping bags, food, and water.

Sample topics

Here’s a list of topics or presentations to consider for your program:

  • Emergency survival kit – Learn what items to include in your personal emergency survival kit and the importance of emergency preparedness.
  • Disaster First-Aid – Get information on providing accurate, life-saving information and skills that can be done by the average non-medical person, from age 14 to seniors.
  • Pets and emergencies – Learn how to protect your pets during an emergency by preparing an emergency survival kit for this important member of your household.
  • Risks & Hazards – Learn what local hazards and risks exist in your community and how to protect yourself.
  • Blackout simulation (including discussion on how gas-powered generators work) – Lights out exercise where there is no power and students have to move about using only their flashlights.
  • Develop an escape or response plan for your school or organization.
  • Disaster Game – Students play a Jeopardy-style computer game and answer questions about local emergencies.
  • ARES presentation – Learn how the Amateur Radio Emergency Services plays an important role during emergencies by communicating key emergency information to the public.
  • EnVironment Canada presentation – Learn about weather-related emergencies, its consequences and how to protect yourself.
  • Carbon monoxide safety – Local fire services presentation – learn how to cook safely indoors, carbon monoxide safety, how to secure and return to your house following an emergency.
  • Emergencies and working with people with Disabilities - An estimated 1.5 million Ontarians have some kind of disability or special need, including seniors with special needs. Learning how to prepare for an emergency according to one’s special need is a skill that benefits everyone.
  • Survival kit relay – Fun relay event using items from your emergency survival kit. Students win prizes and learn teamwork.
  • Public Health presentation – Learn the importance of proper hand washing and sneezing.
  • Speaker’s corner – Set up a video unit at the school where students can record their thoughts onto video about the Survivor event and emergency preparedness.
  • Wilderness Survival – Can you start a fire without matches or a lighter? Learn how and what you can safely eat to survive in the wild?
  • City Survival – What do you do when the power goes out in your home or building? How do you stay warm? What do you eat? Learn the dos and don’ts of surviving during a blackout.
  • Show a disaster-themed movie – Close your night out by showing a documentary or Hollywood movie about an emergency or natural disaster. Some examples: Twister, The Perfect Storm, Day after Tomorrow, Hard Rain, When the Levees broke etc.

D. Lesson Plan for Teachers

Number of Learners: 15-30


  • Challenge youth to survive a night in their school using only items from their emergency survival kits
  • Learn what items to include in their personal emergency survival kit and the importance of emergency preparedness
  • Identify what they can do to help protect themselves before, during and after an emergency
  • Define an emergency
  • Define evacuation


  • Emergency survival kit (on display).


Welcome and congratulate participants to EP Survivor and explain that they are going to learn how to protect themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. Focus is on the five key emergency preparedness messages: Have a plan, make a kit, consider special needs, don’t forget your pets and practice.

  1. Explain that having an emergency survival kit is an important step in ensuring that your family is safe during an emergency, especially if you have to evacuate your home.
  2. Explain that students will participate in a mock emergency situation, simulating a blackout due to a winter ice storm. The students will rely solely on the contents of their emergency survival kit to get through the overnight period. Students would sleep on sleeping bags, cots or blankets and participate in a variety of emergency preparedness activities and exercises throughout the evening and following morning.
  3. Give students/teachers a copy of the program.
  4. Go over each item in the program. Answer any questions.
  5. Tell students to customize their kits, and bring personal items (toothbrush, copies of personal papers, additional food/water etc.) for the start of the EP Survivor.
  6. Reiterate that media may come to film the event or interview students. Some media may also participate and be imbedded, to share the experience with them.


This event is sanctioned by your local school board. The students’ code of conducts is in accordance with the Ontario Education Act.

E. Thank you letter from Principal

(Insert date)

Post event thank you letter from principal

(Name of school or sponsoring organization) appreciates your valuable contribution to emergency preparedness.

Your ability to rely on a personal emergency survival kit between (insert times and dates) has demonstrated your resourcefulness and effective planning strategies. Your willingness to work with school staff and a variety of unfamiliar emergency agencies under confined simulated evacuation conditions is a clear indication of your ability to survive independently while maintaining a strong team concept.

These skills may be critical under stressful emergency conditions, and beneficial in future routine business situations.

In addition to your personal development, (name of school or sponsoring organization) is aware that much or the material you absorbed during Student Survival will be shared with friends and family members. This is a valuable opportunity for you to share important emergency preparation tips throughout the year.

As you know, Ontario is a particularly safe place to live but a real emergency can happen anywhere and at any time. Thank you for your participation during this important initiative.




School or organization

F. Sample News Release

Sample news release



Severe weather, power outages, flooding and industrial accidents - they can all happen. That’s why (insert name of school and school board) have partnered to educate high school students on practical survival skills should an emergency happen.

As a part of Ontario’s Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week activities, a mock emergency simulation is scheduled to take place on (insert date/time).

Students will rely solely on the contents of their survival kits as they spend the night in their school. During each event, emergency management professionals, first responders and representatives from volunteer organizations will engage the students in a series of activities and exercises enabling them to take better care of themselves and their families during the crucial period immediately after a disaster strikes. These activities include making an emergency survival kit; providing disaster first aid; developing a family emergency escape/response plan, assisting people with disabilities/special needs, and protecting pets in emergencies.

EP Week runs from May 2-8, 2010. Communities across the province will host various initiatives and events to spread awareness about emergency preparedness.



“Youth can help their families prepare for an emergency and by learning what to do during different potentially life-threatening situation such as severe weather or an industrial accident.”




(Name of school and/or school board), has organized an emergency preparedness overnight event for students of (Name of school) to be held at this school on (Dates).

Participants and parents/guardians for participants under 18 years of age are asked to read the following information carefully and to complete this form as well as the Information Form attached to this letter:

If the participant is less than 18 years old, the legal parent/guardian is to provide the authorization for his/her child/children to participate in this event, and to sign the release of liability below.

If the participant is at least 18 years old, the participant is to sign the release of liability below.

1, ________________________ am the legal parent/guardian of the child/children


listed below, and I give permission for my child/children to participate fully in this event.


Release of Liability

I recognize that risk of injury or health risk may be involved in participation in the above event. I hereby willingly assume such risk of injury or health risk for myself or for the above named child/children for whom I am at law responsible and assume full responsibility before, during and after my/their participation in the Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) Event and any related activities.

In consideration of the permission to participate in this event, I, for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators HEREBY RELEASE, WAIVE AND FOREVER DISCHARGE Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario (“Ontario government”) and its officers, appointees, employees, agents, representatives, members of the Executive Council of Ontario and their advisors and staff from any and all claims, expenses, demands, damages, actions, causes of action and for any and all liability howsoever caused and by whomever caused, arising out of my participation or the participation of the above named child/children for whom I am at law responsible in the EMO Event or any of its related activities.

The personal information collected in this form and any attachments to this form is collected under the authority of Section 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


Signature of participant if at least 18 years old or signature of legal parent/guardian

If you have any questions, please contact: (name, phone number of organizer)



Photo Consent

(Name of school board or organization) may wish to take, use and disclose photographs, digital images or recordings of me or my child/children taken at the Event or related activities for use in (name of school board or organization) print or electronic publications, including reports, posters, CD-ROMS and websites.

For myself or as the legal parent/guardian of the child/children listed above, I hereby consent to and authorize (name of school board or organization) to take, use, disclose, publish, reproduce or modify such photographs, images or recordings for the purposes stated above, and acknowledge and confirm that these photographs, images and recordings and materials shall remain the exclusive property of (name of school board or organization), which shall own all copyright and other intellectual property rights therein. I agree to forever waive all rights in respect of such photographs, images or recordings. I agree that the photographs, images or recordings to be used by the (name of school board or organization, and/or the Ontario Government) will be made without any acknowledgement or payment to me.

I have carefully read, understood and voluntarily accept this Authorization, Release of Liability and Photo Consent outlined above. I am at least 18 years of age and have authority to sign this document or I am the legal parent/guardian of the child/children named above and have authority to sign this document.


Signature of Participant if at least 18 years old or signature of legal parent/guardian

If you have any questions about the collection of personal information or this Event, please contact: (contact person)



All students are expected to:

  • respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws;
  • demonstrate honesty and integrity;
  • respect differences in people, their ideas and opinions;
  • treat one and other with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is a disagreement;
  • respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, gender, gender identity, family status, marital status,  sexual orientation, creed (faith), socio-economic status, same sex partnership status, age or disability;
  • respect the rights of others;
  • show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others;
  • take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • respect persons who are in a position of authority;
  • respect the needs of others to work in an environment of learning and teaching.

Standards of Behaviour Respect, Civility, and Responsible Citizenship

  • Under the Provincial Code of Conduct, all members of the school community must: respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws;
  • respect differences in people, their ideas, and their opinions;
  • treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • respect and treat others fairly, regardless of, for example, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability;
  • respect the rights of others;
  • take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
  • respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority
  • respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching.


Do students need to sign a waiver of liability?

Yes. Students will also have to sign a media waiver.

Can it be counted as a volunteer credit?

It depends on your local school board. At previous Survivor events, students received volunteer credit hours for participating in the event.

How much will it cost the students and or the school?

Just staff time, and possibly the cost of emergency survival kits for the students.

Where do I get the survival kits and how much does each one cost?

Students can create their own survival kits using the EMO checklist, or purchase kits from the Canadian Red Cross.

Should I invite my local school board trustee or other VIPs?

Yes. Invite your local school board trustee, plus your local MPP and MP. Their attendance may help encourage event coverage from local media.

How do I get in touch with my child should a real emergency occur? What is the emergency contact number for parents?

(School to include number)

Will this event have adequate security, especially for the overnight period?

Yes. Teachers will act as chaperons throughout the event.

How long should the event be?

A 15-18 hour overnight event is sufficient.

What do students need to bring?

Please read page 7 – student instruction sheet. It lists Survivor rules and everything students need to bring for a successful event.

Should I send thank you letters to teachers/organizations after the event?

Yes, that is a great idea. We have included a sample letter on page 16 in this package.


Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities/Special needs

There are an estimated 1.5 million Ontarians with disabilities and special needs. For those living with a physical, visual, auditory and/or other non-visible disability, emergency preparedness should also involve incorporating special accommodations into their emergency plans.

The activity involves 3 main components: group research, survival kit relay game, and a presentation/skit. The object of the activity is to strengthen and educate students on the importance of Emergency Preparedness for people with Disabilities/Special Needs, and to highlight the importance of having an emergency plan and survival kit.

Refer to appendix I for activity materials, and instructions.

Emergency Jeopardy

Emergency Preparedness refers to the actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time and place. Everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves and their families by having a Family Plan, Emergency Survival Kit, and knowing some of the risks of their local community/municipality.

Emergency Jeopardy is an interactive activity to both teach and test the students’ knowledge of all things Emergency related. There are five categories that exist; emergency survival kit, disaster movies, recent disasters, local risks, and emergency potpourri. Students learn an array of things regarding emergencies and how to be prepared.

Refer to appendix II for sample Emergency Jeopardy questions. Contact an EMO coordinator for the interactive slide deck.

Pandemic Hand Shake

Health emergencies can threaten public safety and the economy –and can have devastating impacts on us personally. Being prepared and planning ahead is critical to protecting our health and that of our families, ensuring Ontario’s health care system is able to efficiently respond to the situation.

This game is a quick and easy way to demonstrate how quickly infectious diseases can spread through human populations causing pandemics. Displaying the great impacts of health hazards and strengthening students’ understanding of the importance of pandemic preparedness.

Make sure to have plenty of Hand Sanitizer for this game!

Refer to appendix III for game instructions.

Emergency Ship to Shore

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate threat to human life or serious damage to property. It can affect one person, a few people or an entire neighbourhood. There are human-caused emergencies (e.g. civil disorder), technological emergencies (e.g. chemical spill), and natural emergencies (e.g. tornado). With different types of emergencies there are several protective measures that EMO advises the public to take, such as; sheltering in place, or evacuate to an emergency centre.

This game contains a physical component and requires the students running around. It is a fun and active way to educate students all the different types of hazards, and the protective measures to take.

Refer to appendix IV for game instructions.


Whether it is a movie related to emergencies, world disasters, or just a popular flick, showing an age-appropriate film at the end of the event is a good way to close the night.

Here are a few films that we recommend:

The Day after Tomorrow

  • Ice Age
  • Twister
  • 2012