Stephen: Ways to make sure you and your family are emergency prepared

Published on September 21st, 2022 @ 3:19 PM


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With Hurricane Fiona on a path toward Atlantic Canada, it’s a great time to review tips for making sure your family is prepared for an emergency. The federal government has a comprehensive guide for ensuring emergency preparedness posted at GetPrepared.ca and recommend the following to be adequately prepared for 72 hours, as it may take time for emergency personnel to make it to you and your loved ones:

  • Know the risks – familiarize yourself with what events are likely in your area and prepare accordingly
  • Make an emergency plan – plan for where your family will gather in an emergency and record your emergency plan in a place where everyone can reach in your home. It should take into account such things as having block buddies in your neighbourhood, safest exits and meeting places around your home, make copies of your emergency contacts, plan for pets, and plan to accommodate any special needs
  • Get an emergency kit – every household should have an emergency kit with enough provisions to last 72 hours. It should include:
    • Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
    • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
    • Manual can-opener
    • Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries). Replace batteries once a year.
    • Crank, battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) or Weatheradio
    • First aid kit
    • Extra keys to your car and house
    • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
    • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
    • If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal (personalize according to your needs)
    • Recommended additional items:
      • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
      • Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in deep, sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)
      • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
      • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
      • Toiletries
      • Hand sanitizer
      • Utensils
      • Garbage bags
      • Toilet paper
      •  Water purifying tablets
      • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask, pocket knife)
      • A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)
      • Duct tape (to tape up windows, doors, air vents, etc.)
    • An emergency vehicle kit is also a good idea and should include the following:
      • Blanket
      • Candle in a deep can and matches
      • Extra clothing and shoes
      • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter
      • Flashlight (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.
      • Food that won’t spoil (such as energy bars)
      • List of contact numbers
      • Radio (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.
      • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
      • Warning light or road flares
      • Water
      • Whistle
      • Recommended additional items to keep in your vehicle:
        • Antifreeze, windshield washer fluid
        • Fire extinguisher
        • Road maps
        • Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
        • Tow rope and jumper cables
  • Here are some federal emergency preparedness resources:
    • To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit GetPrepared.ca.
    • Environment Canada Weather Office www.weatheroffice.gc.ca: 1-900-565-4455; a $2.99 per-minute charge applies Check the blue pages in your local phonebook under Weather for weather reports and forecasting available by phone
    • Canadian Red Cross www.redcross.ca/prepare: 613-740-1900 or check for your local branch phone number.
    • St. John Ambulance www.sja.ca: 613-236-7461 or check for your local branch phone number. Toll-free: 1-888-840-5646
    • Salvation Army www.SalvationArmy.ca: 416-425-2111 or check for your local branch phone number.
  • Provincial department of Justice and Public Safety

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