Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency Preparedness Week - May 1 - 7, 2022

Theme - Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything

We all have a responsibility to raise awareness about being prepared for disasters, emergencies and unexpected situations. While being prepared for disruption is important year round, Emergency Preparedness Week provides us with a unique opportunity to  inspire those living in our municipality to take simple steps to become more prepared. 

The resources below provide tools and information to that will assist you to be "ready for anything"! 

Make an emergency plan

Learn how to make an emergency plan to care for yourself and those around you during a disaster. Disasters and emergencies often cause confusion and distress. An emergency plan can help you cope with the stress of these situations.

To help you get your plan started, Public Safety Canada has designed a web page that walks you through the creation of your own unique emergency plan that you can print and store with your emergency supplies.

Planning tips

 Know the risks
 

It is important to know the hazards in your community so you can make a plan to prepare for them. Use the following questions to get the conversation started with the people around you.

  • What are the hazards in your community?
  • What risk do these hazards pose to you and your loved ones?
  • What are your responsibilities during an emergency?
  • What do you do if authorities direct you to shelter in place?
  • What do you do if authorities declare an evacuation order?

Contact your local emergency management office to get more information on the hazards near you.

 Prepare financially
Being financially prepared is about more than just having money in the bank. Here are a few ideas to help you build financial resilience.
  • Ensure you have adequate insurance and keep a detailed list of all property including photographs.
  • Keep cash on hand as ATM/debit machines may be unavailable.
  • If possible, create an emergency savings account to cover expenses during an emergency. Even $5 a month will add up over time.
  • Keep receipts for all expenses incurred during an emergency or disaster.
  • Understanding insurable versus non-insurable disaster financial assistance will ensure your assets are adequately insured.
  • Know the 7 steps for making a home insurance claim. For more information, see Claims Management.
 Communication during emergencies
It is possible that you and your loved ones may not be together when an emergency occurs. Talking gets everyone on the same page and helps identify different needs.

Creating emergency contact cards for each member of your household is one way to increase your chances of staying connected when an emergency occurs. Keep emergency numbers in your home (hard copy) and on your cellphone (digital) – include work and cellphone numbers.

Designating an out-of-town emergency contact is another way to keep connected. If you are unable to reach each other, use your contact as a central check point. This contact can provide updates on loved ones status, location and help you to reconnect.

 Make community connections
A connected community is a more resilient community. Neighbours are often the first to lend a hand and provide support during an emergency. When you know your neighbours before an unexpected situation occurs, it is easier to ask for help when you need it and to offer help when you know others need help most.

Getting to know the members of your community is not always easy. Here are a few suggestions on how you can expand your network.

  • Start small and work your way from there. Next time you see a neighbour greet them with a friendly wave and say hello.
  • Volunteer for an activity you like or service you care about.
  • Create a community contact list. This can help you identify people who may need help and those who can offer help.
  • Check with your community to find programs you can join. You can also call 211 for community services and supports.
  • Join or create a neighbourhood social media page or group. If you decide to create one, consider letting your neighbours know about the page by dropping off an 'invite' in their mailbox.
  • Create a buddy system with someone for routine support. You can check on each other's pets, keep plants watered while you are away and help one another at a time of need.
 Get informed
Knowledge helps us better prepare for emergencies, disasters and life’s inconveniences. When we know what is happening we can make more informed and timely decisions during times of stress.
  • Sign up for local, provincial and federal alerts through your mobile phone.
  • Only use trusted information sources such as your community's social media pages, official websites, television and radio.
  • If possible, keep a battery-powered or crank radio on hand in case of a power outage.
Build an emergency kit

Unexpected situations happen every day. Having supplies is one thing you can do to help your household better manage disruptions whether they are big or small.

Emergency Supplies

Table 1. Supplies for sheltering at home and emergency kits

 Sheltering at home
(minimum 14 days)
Emergency kit
(minimum 72 hours)
Food
  • Canned goods like beans, soup and pasta
  • Dry pasta, beans, rice or other grains
  • Frozen foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and meat alternatives
  • Snacks like granola or energy bars, dried fruit or trail mix
Water and liquids (4 litres, per person, per day)
  • Minimum 72 hour supply of water and electrolytes
Medical supplies
  • Adequate supply of any prescription drugs, such as heart medication, insulin for people with diabetes and inhalers for people with asthma
  • Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, cold medications, digestive aids and anti-nausea
  • Essential medical equipment with backup power
  • Back-up pair of glasses and/or extra contact lenses and solution
Critical records
  • Have a copy of all personal documents in a protective, sealable bag
  • Include identification, birth certificates, passports, citizenship papers, Social Insurance Numbers, emergency contact list, critical medical records and prescriptions
First aid kit
  • Gauze, bandages, tape and antibacterial ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes and protective gloves
Sanitation supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes
  • Non-medical masks
  • Soaps and household cleaning supplies
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Trash bags
  • Tissues, toilet paper and paper towels
  • Portable cleaning wipes, non-medical masks, hand sanitizer and trash bags
Other items
  • Enough emergency cash to cover up to 2 weeks of incidental expenses, if possible
  • Battery-powered or crank radio and flashlight, candles and matches or a lighter
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Space heaters and extra blankets
  • Essential tools like a can opener or a multi-tool
  • Extra batteries for household items and medical equipment
  • Entertainment, such as board games, movies, podcasts and books
  • Enough emergency cash to cover up to 72 hours of incidental expenses, if possible
  • A multi-tool
  • Books and portable toys and games
  • Electronics with a vehicle charger
  • Extra blankets
  • Battery-powered or crank radio and flashlight, candles and matches or a lighter

You can also buy prepackaged basic kits, including vehicle and pet kits. Pre-purchased kits will need to be personalized for your specific needs. 

Emergency Kit Checklists:


Pregnancy, Breastfeeding or Infant Children

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have infant children you will want to include the following in your emergency kit:

  • feeding items:
    • breastfeeding aides
    • formula
    • bottles
    • baby food
    • extra water
  • diapers, wipes and extra clothes
  • prenatal vitamins, ointments and medications for mom and child (over-the-counter and prescription)

Mobility

If you have mobility needs you will want to include additional supports. For example, if you use a wheelchair you may want to include:

  • tire patch kit or can of seal-in-air product to repair flat tires on your wheelchair or scooter
  • supply of inner tubes
  • pair of heavy gloves to protect your hands while wheeling over glass or other sharp debris
  • latex-free gloves for anyone providing personal care to you
  • spare deep-cycle battery for a motorized wheelchair or scooter
  • a lightweight, manual wheelchair as a backup to a motorized wheelchair, if possible
  • spare catheters, if needed
  • your power outage backup emergency plan

Allergies and Chronic Conditions

If you have severe allergies, dietary restrictions, chronic medical conditions or other medical needs, you will want to include the necessary supplies. For example, if you have diabetes you will want to include:

  • MedicAlert bracelet or identification
  • extra supply of insulin or oral agent
  • pump supplies, syringes, needles and insulin pens
  • small container for storing used syringes and/or needles
  • blood glucose testing kit, spare batteries and record book
  • supply of blood glucose and urine ketone testing strips and fast acting insulin for high blood glucose, if needed
  • fast acting sugar for low blood glucose
  • extra food to cover delayed meals
  • ice packs and thermal bag to store insulin
  • additional snacks to maintain blood glucose

Talk to your healthcare professional for advice.

Updating your supplies

Use the change in seasons as a reminder to check your supplies and kits to ensure:

  • food and medications are not expired
  • the water is fresh
  • clothing still fits and is season appropriate
  • personal documents and credit cards are up-to-date
  • batteries are charged

You should also consider seasonal requirements when you update your kits.

In the spring include:

  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • hats
  • lighter clothing

In the fall include:

  • warm clothing
  • extra blankets

When packing your supplies, group like items and package them in clear plastic bags to help organize and protect them from melting, broken or spoiled items.

Make a mini kit

Being prepared can take the inconvenience out of unexpected situations. Having a small kit with your every day items you don’t want to leave home without can help you be prepared for many situations.

Items to consider include:

  • small amount of cash
  • hand sanitizer and extra non-medical mask
  • bus tickets
  • package of wipes/tissue
  • painkiller and back-up medication
  • back-up pair of glasses/contact lenses and solution
  • paper and pencil
  • important phone numbers
Family Activity Centre

You can involve your whole family in emergency preparedness! 

Contact

For more information, please contact ps.getprepared-preparevous.sp@ps-sp.gc.ca or call 1-800-830-3118.

This national event is coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces and territories and partners.

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