Lifestyle

Emergency Preparedness Week – Are you Prepared?

When I heard that it was Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, it made me wonder where my own kit was. I know I made one long ago, but where was it? Wow, in an emergency I’d be at a loss – sure does defeat the purpose of having an emergency kit if you don’t know where it is. Have you made a kit and if so, do you know that it’s stocked and ready to go when you need it?

It’s recommended that families keep an emergency kit that will get them through a 72-hour emergency if needed, but did you know that only 34% of Canadians have such an emergency kit in their home? Oops, I guess I’m not alone – but being Emergency Preparedness Week here in Canada, it’s a good reminder to make one!

To help get Canadians ready in an emergent situation, Duracell has teamed up with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs to help raise awareness about the importance of being ready for an emergency.

Here are three tips to help ensure your family knows what to do in an unexpected situation:

  1. KNOW THE RISKS: Know the hazards in your community that you should be prepared to experience. For example, do you live in an area prone to extreme heat or extreme cold; do you live near a forest; should hazardous material spills be a concern; what about power outages or flooding; should tornadoes and windstorms be a concern?
  2. MAKE A PLAN: Discuss with your family and identify a meeting place. When an emergency occurs, the family might not be together; therefore, it’s important to identify a meeting place. It is also important to identify a second location close to home in case there is something blocking your first meeting place. We also recommend identifying one out-of-town contact who family members can call in case you can’t contact each other.
  3. GET AN EMERGENCY KIT: Many different things should go in your kit, and it should be tailored to your family. All basic kits should include: flashlight, radio, important documents (such as identification), batteries, non-perishable foods, utensils, bottled water (2 litres per person per day), clothing & footwear, hygiene products, sleeping bags and blankets.

Duracell has a fantastic EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST {link to open and download} to make an emergency kit, yet make sure you customize it to suit your needs. It would be a great idea to have a small list taped to the outside of the kit, listing a few additional must-haves to grab quickly such as medications and even your wallet. In an emergency, you might not think on the fly and you wouldn’t want to leave any essentials behind.

Emergency Preparedness Week

Most of all, know where you put this kit {my lesson has been learned}. Have your emergency kit in a place that will be handy to grab and go, like in the front door closet. If you have kids, ensure they are aware of the bag and what it’s for – and place it within their reach as well. If you are otherwise occupied or have your hands full, they might be the ones to actually get the bag.

While it’s a great idea to have this well-stocked kit at home, let’s not forget to have a similar one in the car. The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire comes to mind in this instance, where so many people were stuck in horrible traffic {for up to days}, while in their car. Just in case you aren’t at home to utilize your house emergency kit, having one in the car could make all the difference.

One essential item for your emergency kit is Duracell batteries, and my rule of thumb is to have a variety and lots of them. Since power outages remain a common occurrence in Canada, 65% of Canadians reported experiencing a power outage in 2016, solidifying the need for an emergency kit which includes a flashlight and a trusted battery like Duracell. Yet fact is, we live in a tech-driven world and batteries will absolutely be needed at some point.

Emergencies can be unexpected and toss a wrench into life – but it’ll help so much if you’re prepared. People who are prepared to sustain themselves for at least 72 hours after a disaster make it easier for first responders to help those who urgently need it – and this has a significant impact not only on their own survival, but the survival of friends and neighbours.

Get those emergency kits made and ready!

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

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