A flood, extended power outage, hazardous material leak or other disaster could affect water supply, cut electricity and phone service for days or even weeks. Emergency responders will be on the scene, but they can't reach everyone right away. Being prepared means being ready to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while those in urgent need are helped first. It can also make real situations less stressful for you and your family. There are lots of quick, inexpensive things you can do to prepare your family (some of them take less than five minutes)! Know the risks – learn about local risks and plan for those that are more likely to occur. Is there spring flooding? Forest fires? Earthquakes? To find out more click here. Make a family emergency plan – since your family may not be together when an emergency happens, a plan will help you and your family know what to do and how to reach each other in an emergency. Click here to check out our NEW "Making a Family Emergency Plan" video. Talk to your kids about emergencies. Teach them basic personal information so they can identify themselves if they become separated from you, and who to call like 9-1-1 or your local emergency number, to get help. Get an emergency kit – find out exactly what goes in a kit by watching our short video, "Preparing a Family Emergency Kit in Plain English," then share the link with friends or family. Take part in a local event – this year marks the 15th anniversary of EP Week, during which provinces and territories across the country join the Government of Canada and other partners in raising awareness about the importance of being prepared. Download and read a publication or visit your local Service Canada Centre to pick up a copy of Your Emergency Preparedness Guide. Take part in a contest from a "72 Hours" campaign supporter, Energizer, for a chance to win an emergency kit www.Energizer.ca/beprepared. Participate on Facebook – select an emergency preparedness button and change your Facebook profile picture; write on your wall about how you have prepared for an emergency; or create your own emergency preparedness fan page. The button and lots of great information for your fan page can be found at GetPrepared.ca So, do your part! Take time to get the whole family involved and have fun getting prepared! P.S. Stay in the loop year-round and become part of the growing number of Canadians who want to share experiences and learn more about how to prepare for emergencies by following us on Twitter @Get_Prepared.