Build an emergency kit

Another reminder to residents to be prepared for unexpected events

  • May. 23, 2012 12:00 p.m.

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:

www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/personal_preparedness.html

Disaster preparedness kits can be purchased from the Canadian Red Cross by going to their website: www.redcross.ca

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