How one prepares for an emergency can depend to a certain extent on where you live. As Canadians, we are fortunate to live in such a vast country where our home can be on an island or we can enjoy mountains, the ocean and of course the wide open prairies. Different geographical areas are more prone to certain kinds of natural disasters. For example, the winter storms of the mid-west as well as the eastern provinces can be relentless and can experience severe winter storms that can last for days and even weeks. While the western provinces can also be hit by snow and ice storms some regions have a higher likelihood of experiencing earthquakes and even a tsunami, while provinces like Ontario and Quebec may experience quakes, a tsunami is not something they would have to prepare for.
Earthquakes are of course a different matter with many regions that sit on or are close to underground fault lines which significantly increase the chance of experiencing a quake. In western Canada, and in particular, Vancouver Island, Earthquakes are of particular concern as they can trigger a tsunami. Certain areas along the Pacific Coastline have special emergency plans and protocols to warn and protect people who live nearby. Emergency evacuation signs are well posted along the highway to direct everyone to higher and safer grounds.
Even without the threat of a tsunami, it’s important to have an emergency plan and supplies to keep you and your family safe during and after an earthquake. The Government of Canada has a great site that will help you determine if you live in a high risk zone and tips on what to do before, during and after a major earthquake. One of the things you can do is to make sure you have enough food, water and other emergency supplies to get you and your family through what might be an extended period of time until emergency crews are able to get to you.
Talk you everyone in your home, including the children, about what they should do in such an emergency. Make sure your conversations and practice drills are age appropriate and try to have some fun with them so that young children will not become anxious. Children have vivid imaginations so be sure to let them know that you, as the adults, have made the necessary plans to keep everyone in the house as safe as possible. Let them pack their own emergency backpacks, making sure that they are not too heaving for them to carry and also show them where you keep your emergency food supplies. When they see that you are calm, they also can be calm and feel secure knowing that the grownups are in control.
Take a little time to browse through the products that Total Prepare has on their extensive website and make a list of the things that you can use to start your store of emergency supplies. If you are unsure just how much food and water is enough for your family, their knowledgeable staff are always happy to help you figure it out.
So while we can’t predict when or if we will find ourselves in an earthquake situation, what we can do is be prepared for one. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to put some basic and essential items aside but having the right supplies sure will make a big difference in an unexpected natural or man-made disaster.