Emergencies can happen at any time and without warning. Be ready. With a little preparation, you can respond quickly to help yourself and others. Understand the risks in your area, create a household emergency plan and build an emergency kit.
Your Emergency Plan
By definition, emergencies happen when we don't expect them, and often when families are not together. Suddenly, you need to think about your kids at school or elderly parents across town. If phones don't work, or some neighbourhoods aren't accessible, what will you do?
Having a family emergency plan will save time and make real situations less stressful.
Make an Emergency Plan
It will take you about 20 minutes to make a family emergency plan online. You can then print it out. Before starting, you will need to think about:
Safe exits from home and neighbourhood
Meeting places to reunite with family or roommates
Designated person to pick up children should you be unavailable
Contact persons close-by and out-of-town
Health and insurance information
Places for your pet to stay
Risks in your region
Location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical panel, gas valve and floor drain
In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
You may have some of the items already, such as food, water and a batteryoperated or wind-up flashlight. The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark? Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front-hall closet. If you have many people in your household, your emergency kit could get heavy.
It's a good idea to separate some of these supplies in backpacks. That way, your kit will be more portable and each person can personalize his or her own grab-and-go emergency kit.
Preparing a Family Emergency Kit
It's your responsibility to start gathering supplies and start thinking about what your family will need for at least 72 hours in an emergency.