December feels like it’s going to be over before it even gets started, but doesn’t it feel that way every year? Time seems to whip by faster and faster toward the end of each year and it’s easy to miss out on any time for reflection.
That’s why today we’re encouraging you NOT to wait. Consider the goals you want to make now, today, while you’re thinking about it (since we brought it up)! Since you’re reading this, it’s not hard to guess that you’re interested in getting better prepared for emergencies. It doesn’t need to be a big chore—honestly. And today, we’re here to help you check this goal off your new year resolutions before 2017 even has a chance to get rolling!
You may have received tips and advice in bits and pieces, but below we’re offering a complete set of instructions to make your own 72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Plan today:
- Ask yourself, what are the risks?
- If you don’t already know, find out which risks are relevant to your region by visiting getprepared.ca. These may be natural disasters, as well as power outages or industrial disasters. Once you know what you’re working with, your job is a lot more manageable.
- You can also visit the Canadian Disaster Database to educate yourself further about disasters.
- Make a plan.
- Set aside at least 20 minutes.
- Gather your household.
- Plan for the specific risks that you identified above.
- Draw up a floor plan of your home and mark down all of the emergency exits. Plan a main exit route as well as alternative exit route from each room.
- Plan an exit route from your neighbourhood. Identify alternatives if possible.
- Identify a safe meeting place near your home.
- Identify a safe meeting place further from your home, out of your neighbourhood.
- Make copies of important documents, such as passports, birth and marriage certificates, insurance, land deeds, licenses, wills and medical prescriptions. You’ll also want to create a list of all important phone numbers and health information. Check here for a full list of numbers that you should write down.
- Create or purchase a survival kit where you keep these document copies, along with a collection of all necessary emergency supplies. This includes water and food as well as items that will help you stay warm and dry, be able to communicate, be able to see in the dark, stay sanitary and deal with minor injuries. You may need to add some extra items for children, people with special needs, people with medical conditions or pets. In case you’re building your own kit, check this list to make sure you’ve got all the essentials covered.
- Put your survival kit in a safe but easily-accessible location in your home and make sure everyone knows where it is.
- Review your plan once a year, and at the same time go through your survival kit to make sure that all food and water is still good and that everything is still in working condition.
- Once you’ve created an emergency preparedness plan for at home, you’ll want to talk to management at your office, as well as your school or the school of your children, to ensure that they have a plan in place and familiarize yourself with it.
- Make sure that your home itself is safe and ready for an emergency. Here’s a checklist:
- Working carbon monoxide detector?
- Working smoke alarm?
- Working fire extinguisher?
- Well-stocked first-aid kit, if it’s not already in your survival kit?
- If you live in an apartment, do you know where the fire alarms are, and any emergency exits?
- Do you and your age-appropriate children know how to turn off the water, electrical and gas in your home?
- Do your children know how to dial 9-1-1? Only call in the case of an emergency.
- Know to listen up for official orders from the authorities as soon as you’re able to get internet or radio.
Of course, there’s more to know for specific types of emergencies but this list is more than enough to get you started on your plan. Now you have no excuse NOT to get started today. You can do it!
-Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io