Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual event that gives the Province the opportunity to remind families how to prepare for being caught in an emergency or a disaster.
British Columbians know that the province experiences a wide range of events like wildfires, earthquakes, flooding and severe weather. Preparing a 72-hour emergency kit is easy to do, can be done at a low cost, and is one of the most important things a family can do to ensure their well-being in the event of an emergency.
What you need in a basic home emergency kit:
• Water – two litres of water per person per day (include small bottles that can be carried easily).
• Food – canned food, energy bars and dried foods that will not spoil (replace once a year).
• Manual can opener.
• Flashlight and batteries.
• Battery powered or wind-up radio (and extra batteries).
• First aid kit.
• Special needs items – prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities.
• Extra keys for your car and house.
• Cash – include smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones.
• Emergency plan – include a copy of it and ensure it contains in-town and out-of-town contact information.
• A copy of important documents – birth certificate, passport, BC CareCard, insurance, photos of family members.
• Pet food.
Some recommended items:
• A change of clothing and footwear for each household member.
• Sleeping bag or warm (foil) blanket for each household member.
• A whistle (in case you need to attract attention).
• Garbage bags for personal sanitation.
• Toilet paper and personal care supplies.
• Safety gloves.
• Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, fasteners, work gloves).
• Small fuel-driven stove and fuel (follow manufacturer’s directions and store properly).
• Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning.
In addition to the above home kit, it’s also important to have a ‘Grab & Go Kit’ that is light and portable in case you have to leave your home with little or no notice. Suggested items for this kit can be found here:
Disaster preparedness kits can be purchased from the Canadian Red Cross by going to their website: www.redcross.ca