Prepare Now-Learn How

Would you know what to do in an earthquake, wildfire, or flood? What would you do if you could not access your personal finances? What about if there was a problem with Tumbler Ridge?s clean water supply or perhaps a hazardous substance spill in town? Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual event designed to build public awareness of risks and how to plan and be prepared in the event of an emergency.

This year Emergency Preparedness Week is May 2-8.

Emergency Social Services advises everyone in Tumbler Ridge to assemble a personal preparedness kit. Your personal preparedness kit doesn?t need to be created in a day; it can be pulled together over a period of time. However, it is important that every family is prepared to provide for their basic needs for at least 72 hours following a disaster.

In order to direct families in the creation of a kit, an easy to follow, 26-week assembly plan has been produced by the Provincial Emergency Program.

26 Weeks to Family Emergency Preparedness

1.Get a portable container with a lid to use as an emergency kit. A plastic storage bin or garbage can works well, particularly one with wheels. Choose an accessible location for the container near an exit, and label the container. Make sure all family members know what it will be used for and where it is.

2.Stock your kit with a three-day supply of water and water purification tablets, and don?t forget to include water for your pets. You need four litres of water per person per day ? two for drinking and two for food preparation and hygiene.

3.Arrange an out-of-area phone contact person, and keep this and other emergency phone numbers near each telephone. Teach family members these numbers.

4.Stock your kit with several varieties of canned meat and dried fruit. Include a manual can opener.

5.Get a portable radio and extra batteries for your emergency kit.

6.Learn about hazards. Find out what the hazards are in your community, and do a home hazard hunt to make your home safer. Move beds away from heavy mirrors and windows.

7.Give every family member specific safety tasks to do in an emergency. For example, designate one person to be in charge of turning of electricity, one to collect your emergency kit, one to take charge of pets, etc. Add peanuts and granola bars to your kit.

8.Identify safe places in your home and on your property. Plan and practice evacuation drills using two different escape routes from each room. Add containers of juice or juice crystals to your kit.

9.Stock your kit with both large and medium-sized plastic garbage bags (orange or yellow make good visible signals). Large bags can also be used as ponchos, ground covers or blankets. Add plastic or paper dishes to your kit.

10.Identify a family meeting place away from home but in a familiar place. Add books, toys and cards to your kit.

11.Add a flashlight and extra batteries, along with candles and waterproof matches to your kit.

12.Add some dried soups, crackers and peanut butter to your kit

13.Check your insurance policies and make records of your possessions. Make photocopies of important documents and put them in your kit.

14.Prepare or purchase a well-stocked first-aid kit and place in your emergency kit.

15.Add a change of clothing for each family member to your kit. Be sure to include warm clothing, work gloves and sturdy shoes.

16.Add some canned food to your kit

17.Add personal toiletry items like toilet paper, handi-wipes, soap, detergent, toothbrush, comb, sanitary supplies, etc. to your kit.

18.Add evaporated canned or powdered milk and cereal to your kit.

19.If needed, include infant supplies to your kit.

20.Get a large bucket with a tight-fitting lid to use as a toilet, and put it with your kit. Use the bucket to store other emergency tools like an axe, folding shovel and rope.

21.Add some freeze-dried or foil pouch food products to your kit.

22.Add a pocketknife (Swiss army style) cutlery, a whistle, and a spare set of house and car keys to your container.

23.Keep a leash or pet carrier near your kit and add a three-day supply of pet food.

24.Add sleeping bags or blankets to your kit.

25.Assemble important documents like wills, insurance papers, medical records, inventory of possessions, identification, etc. in a fireproof/waterproof container and keep this easily accessible.

26.Add a family photo album to your kit.

Once your kit is assembled and your emergency plan is in place, don?t forget to rotate and replace items as they expire and update the kit as your family?s needs change. Use this list is a guide, you know your families needs, tailor your kit to meet them. You may have medications, eyeglasses, contact lens solutions, etc. that you would need in your kit. The most important thing is being prepared.

Grab and Go Bag

It is a good idea to have a grab and go bag. This would be a back-pack or bag that you can take with you in the vehicle if you are traveling. Here are some ideas for your grab and go bag:

flashlight and batteries (in case the lights go out)

radio and batteries or crank radio (so you can listen to news bulletins)

spare batteries (for radio and flashlight)

first aid kit

candles and matches/lighter

extra car keys and cash (including coins/cards for telephone)

important papers (identification for everyone, personal documents)

food and bottled water

clothing and footwear (one change of clothes person)

blanket

toilet paper and other personal supplies

medication

backpack/duffel bag

whistle (in case you need to attract someone’s attention)

playing cards, games

Contact Jerrilyn Schembri at truth@pris.ca for more information.