How to prepare for being caught in an emergency or a disaster.

May 6 to 12 is Emergency Preparedness Week. It is an annual event to remind people how to prepare for emergencies

May 6 to 12 is Emergency Preparedness Week. It 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 in case of an evacuation order.

Food – canned food, energy bars and dried foods that will not spoil and remember to replace the food and water 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. Travellers’ cheques are also useful and include 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, B.C. 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 other 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 and 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 at http://www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness personal_preparedness.html

To learn more about how you can be prepared for a disaster, visit the Emergency Management B.C. website at: www.pep.bc.ca and the Public Safety Canada website at: www.getprepared.gc.ca

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