As recent events around the globe have shown, when disasters happen, it may be hours, days or even longer before help reaches you and your family.
Emergency Preparedness Week, May 2-8, 2010, is a perfect opportunity for British Columbians to better prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.
Preparing for an emergency is something the whole family can do. Develop a family emergency plan, including a list of emergency phone numbers, and assemble an emergency kit with enough supplies for each family member for at least 72 hours, including essential items such as:
- Bottled water - at least two litres of water per person, per day.
- Food that won't spoil such as canned goods, energy bars and dried foods and a manual can opener.
- A first aid kit.
- A wind-up or battery-powered flashlight, and radio along with spare batteries.
- Candles and matches/lighter.
- Blankets or sleeping bags, and additional clothing and footwear.
- Special needs items such as prescription medications, infant formula and diapers, or equipment for people with disabilities.
To supplement your family's emergency supplies, have a separate grab 'n' go emergency kit in your home, office and vehicle. These smaller kits should be kept readily available in the event you have to leave your car or home quickly.
Key items to keep in these kits are:
- Bottled water and non-perishable food items.
- AM/FM battery-powered radio and a flashlight with batteries.
- Required medication and prescription drug information.
- Contact list: family, friends, doctors' names and telephone numbers.
- Copies of your identification papers and insurance policies.
- Cash and banking information.
Established in 1996, Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual, national event during the first full week of May. The main objective is to increase awareness about individual preparedness and reinforce the idea that individuals can reduce the risks and lessen the consequences of a disaster through better preparation.
For more information on preparing for emergencies, including a complete list of emergency kit items, visit www.pep.bc.ca