Are you prepared for an emergency?
After this week’s snow storms, PreparedBC — the province’s “one-stop shop for disaster readiness information” — has offered some tips on how to be prepared for an emergency.
According to the organization, the top 10 hazards in B.C. are earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, avalanches, severe weather, power outages, hazardous material spills, wildfires and disease outbreaks.
In Greater Victoria, PreparedBC says the more likely hazards are earthquakes, severe weather, tsunamis and wildfires.
Some of the things the organization recommends to be prepared are to build an emergency kit, prepare your home, prepare your pets and prepare your neighbourhood.
“Having an emergency plan will help you be more prepared and better able to cope with the stress of emergencies,” the PreparedBC website reads.
A basic emergency supply kit should include a first aid kit and medications, a battery-powered or hand crank radio and flashlight, batteries, a whistle, a cell phone with chargers, a copy of your emergency plan and important documents, small bills, non-perishable foods and a can opener, garbage bags, towelettes and plastic ties, water, a dust mask and seasonal clothing and footwear.
For those on the south coast, the last couple days of snow are a good reminder to get prepared. Do you have what you need to be on your own for at least 72 hrs? If you did use items from your kit, be sure to restock! pic.twitter.com/lfKkBQCUXa
— PreparedBC (@PreparedBC) February 13, 2019
The general rule for water is four litres of water per person, per day with some caveats.
Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water and hot temperatures can also double water needs. Pets need about 30 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight per day.
“It’s recommended you purchase commercially-bottled water and keep it in its original container in an easily-accessible, cool and dark place,” the website reads. “Don’t open it until you need it.”
PreparedBC also recommends creating a grab-and-go bag for your work and vehicles that contain similar items as well as a blanket, personal toiletries, an extra pair of glasses or contacts and a local map with your family meeting place identified.
For your household, PreparedBC offers a guide and checklist to go through to make sure you are ready for an emergency.
It includes things like making an emergency phone list, picking a meeting spot for family and learning how to turn off utilities. There is also a separate guide for people who live in apartments and condos.
When disaster hits, immediate help will likely come from people around you and your neighbours. The organization suggests connecting and building relationships with them now so there can be a better response and faster recovery in the future.
“Prepared neighbourhoods are resilient neighbourhoods,” the PreparedBC website reads. “When you’re in it together, you’re stronger.”
More information about emergency preparedness can be found here.