Emergency planning for Businesses

Emergencies and disasters can have a substantial impact on a business. Planning in advance can save time and lives. This is why preparing an emergency response plan for a business ahead of time is necessary.

Step 1: Plan

Planning guides and templates

Having a written Emergency Response Plan is the first step in being prepared for an emergency. Once completed, reviewing it with all staff can help minimize any stress or anxiety in the event of an emergency. Follow the Business Continuity Planning Guide (PDF) and Emergency Response Plan (PDF) to ensure all vital steps and information are captured.

Step 2: Prepare

Exercises and mock emergencies

The next step is to evaluate the plan through an exercise. An exercise is based on a potential emergency situation where staff can practice emergency procedures, their roles and responsibilities, and provide feedback.

Request a workshop

Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service’s Emergency Planning division offers assistance to local companies in developing and conducting exercises and drills. For more information or to request a workshop, contact 905-832-2281 or email PrepE@vaughan.ca.

Step 3: Be informed

National and international standards

Experts have developed global standards for emergency management and business continuity in both private and public sectors. These standards establish the baseline for developing, implementing and evaluating emergency management and business continuity programs. The standards are:

Businesses with hazardous substances

The Environmental Emergency Regulations, administered by Environment Canada, were enacted for the purpose of protecting the environment and human health in environmental emergency situations. This is done through prevention and ensuring preparedness, response and recovery. For more information, review the Technical Guidelines for the Environmental Emergency Regulations.


Any person or business in Canada who owns or manages a hazardous substance listed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (in the quantity at or over the prescribed minimum) is required to provide Environment Canada with information such as:

  • an emergency response plan
  • facility location
  • quantity of the substance


Hazardous substances, when entered into the environment, could result in:

  • danger to human life or health in Canada.
  • danger to the environment.
  • harmful effects to biological diversity.

Contact Information

Emergency Planning

Joint Operations Centre
2800 Rutherford Rd.
Vaughan, ON L4K 2N9

Mailing Address

Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1