Emergency preparedness is equally important in the home. Learn what hazards exist in your area and what other types of risks for which you should be prepared. These may include flooding, earthquakes, chemical spills, power outages etc. Recently a power outage on a late fall day might have got you thinking how do I heat my home without power to run the furnace.
You need to:
- know your home exits and the location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical box, gas valve and floor drain
- choose a meeting place for your family members (one close to your home and one outside of your neighbor hood in the event of an evacuation)
- have a designated person to pick up your children if you are unable
- have close and out-of-town contact persons
- know health information
- arrange a place for your pet to stay
Develop an emergency plan so everyone will know what to do and where to go if there is an emergency. Once you have an emergency plan, make sure everyone in your home knows it well and has access to a copy. The Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada website has an online tool to help you prepare a plan in about twenty minutes.
Your home must also have an emergency kit with all of the supplies you and your family need to survive for 72 hours during or after an emergency. Store the kit in easy to carry duffle bags or backpacks, in a location that is easy to access. Make sure everyone in the household knows where it is.
Your emergency kit should contain the following basic items:
- Water - at least two litres of water per person, per day
- Food that won't spoil, (canned or dried food, energy bars)
- Manual can-opener
- Flashlight and batteries
- Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in sturdy containers and put them out before going to sleep)
- Battery-powered or wind-up radio (and extra batteries)
- First aid kit: Special items such as prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities
- Babies/toddlers supplies: diapers, bottled milk, formula and food, toys, crayons and paper
- Extra keys for your car and house
- Cash in smaller bills ($10 bills)
- Copies of important papers (personal documents such as identification for everyone, insurance papers, deed to your property)
- A copy of your emergency plan, including contact information
In the event of a disaster, emergency medical response may be delayed because of the remoteness of your home or by adverse conditions, such as roads blocked by floodwater or debris. While precious minutes slip by, your emergency training could mean the difference between life and death. Properly administered first aid or CPR can help stabilize an injured or ailing family member until help arrives. Make sure at least one family member is trained in first aid and CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator. Call Parkland Ambulance 953-8350 for upcoming courses.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The future depends on what we do in the present." Planning and preparing today for emergencies that may occur in the future, are preventive steps that will help keep people protected and safe in their homes and in the workplace during an emergency.
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