Disaster Response Routes

In an emergency, critical seconds can save lives. Disaster Response Route signs indicate routes that are designated for use by emergency personnel and are not for use by the general public during an emergency or disaster situation such as an earthquake.

Disaster Response Routes enable emergency services and supplies to move quickly to where the need is greatest. This includes transporting and treating sick and injured people, putting out fires, restoring water and electricity, and other critical services.
Download: Disaster Response Routes

Disaster Response Routes Are Not Evacuation Routes

Disaster Response Routes are required for the movement of emergency responders during an emergency.

Disaster Response Routes will be activated as needed by authorities during an emergency or disaster situation.

Disaster Response Routes may be activated following a declaration of a local or provincial state of emergency.

Obey all traffic signs and traffic control personnel at all times. It is recommended that members of the public listen to the radio and monitor media for updates to find out which routes are open to non-emergency traffic.

If you find yourself on a Disaster Response Route during an emergency situation, exit the route at the earliest safe opportunity to make way for emergency personnel.

How Will I Know When the Routes are Activated?

Public service announcements on the radio will provide information regarding the activation of specific routes and what they are being used for.


Emergency responders will control access to these routes to enable life saving equipment, ambulances, police, fire fighters, supply convoys and evacuees to get to where they need to go. When the routes are activated residents will be asked to help keep the routes clear by finding another way to get to their destination and moving parked cars. Once the life safety needs of the community have been addressed, the routes will be open for public use.

For more information, including a map of the regional disaster response route network, visit the Ministry of Transportation.