Head Mother Nature’s warning and prepare your emergency kit

Half a million residents were without power after the latest wind storm hit the lower mainland in late August.  300,000 hectares of BC forest have burned this summer.   And, of course, we have the ever present threat of “the big one” earthquake.

Now is the time to review and prepare your emergency kit.  Recheck batteries, food and water supply expiry dates and fill in any pieces you are missing. Experts agree you need to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a disaster.

10 Essentials for your Emergency Kit

  1. Water — At least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
  2. Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
  3. Manual can opener
  4. Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
  5. Crank or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
  6. First aid kit
  7. Extra keys to your car and house
  8. Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones (if you can find one)
  9. A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
  10. If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal (personalize according to your needs)

 

Click here to order Emergency Preparedness Kits for the Home or Car from the BC Government (1-6 person kits available)

This article was originally posted on CBC News, October 17th, 2013.

British Columbia Earthquake Preparedness

earthquake-plates

Vancouver and British Columbia are at a high-risk of having an earthquake. Be prepared, and learn what you can do to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

For your family:

  • Identify objects in your home that could be dangerous during an emergency
  • Plan evacuation routes from every room in your home
  • Pick two meeting places where you and your family can get back together if you get separated – one close to your home, and one a little further away
  • Ask an out-of-province relative or friend to be your family contact person
  • Prepare your emergency kits
  • Teach family members how to turn off utilities, use a fire extinguisher, and call 9-1-1
  • Make arrangements for seniors and family members with special needs
  • Save digital copies of important documents — such as birth certificates and financial records — on a memory stick, or make photocopies of them
  • Think about what you might be able to contribute to your community; sharing a meal, tools, or a phone charger are especially meaningful in the days after an emergency

For your home:

  • Install latches on cupboards
  • Refer to emergency preparedness manuals that are available in bookstores and libraries.
  • Place large and heavy objects on lower shelves
  • Fasten tall furniture to the walls
  • Store breakable items, such as glass jars and china, in low closed cabinets with latches
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, or anywhere people sit
  • Anchor overhead lighting fixtures securely to the ceiling
  • Know the locations of electric fuse or circuit breaker box, water service shut-off, and natural gas main shut-off as you may need to turn them off after the earthquake
  • Purchase earthquake insurance

 

Find more tips at the City of Vancouver website