What would you take if you only had 30 minutes to leave your house? What about five?
Emergencies cannot be predicted. This means it is not always possible to know who an emergency will affect, how it will happen, or the extent of its damage. Therefore, it is extremely important to be prepared for an emergency at home, at work, and while driving in your vehicle.
When an emergency strikes, there may be many questions rushing to your head, such as:
• Are my loved ones safe?
• Do I have all my necessary documentation gathered in one location?
• Do I have all my medication? Does my pet need any?
1. Prepare, Plan, and Pack
To address these questions before a disaster occurs, you can prepare a Family Emergency Plan and pack an Emergency Kit ahead of time. An Emergency Kit will allow you to save valuable time during an abrupt evacuation, since you will already have your necessities packed and ready to go.
Knowing where your canned food and flashlights are stored, might not be enough preparation. During a power outage, these items require additional tools to be operated. Packing an Emergency Kit will help you to not miss commonly forgotten items, such as:
• A manual can opener
• Extra batteries for a battery-powered flashlight and radio
2. Update your Emergency Kit
As your personal needs change over time, so too will your Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit. What was once an easy evacuation route, may not be possible for all family members in the future. If you never used glasses, but now find yourself needing them, you may also want to include an extra pair in your kit.
Depending on the type of emergency, you may require medical attention. Packing a first aid kit, as well as replacing expired items over time, will allow you to provide medical assistance to those in need. Additional items to consider packing are:
• A sleeping bag
• Change of clothes
• Toilet paper
3. Multiple Kits for Multiple Locations
Due to the unpredictable nature of emergencies, you may not have access to your Emergency Kit at home. Consider having a kit at work to meet your basic needs before you gain access to more resources, or in your vehicle since you may be stuck in traffic or need to abandon your car. There are many resources available to keep you safe no matter your location. All you must do is reach out and build a plan that suits your needs!
For a full list of what to include in your Emergency Kit, check out the Get Prepared website at: www.getprepared.gc.ca
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