Whether or not we were ever a girl guide or a boy scout growing up, we are all familiar with the saying, “Be Prepared”. We don’t know what life or nature will present us from one day to the next and being prepared for some of the things that Mother Nature can unleash on us can be very scary if we are not prepared.
As Canadians we know what kind of havoc the winter months can bring. Blizzards and ice storms can come upon us very suddenly and can last longer than what was predicted. There are also many human-caused disasters that can happen in the blink of an eye. Rather than spending our lives worrying about these unexpected events, we can take the time now to prepare ourselves and our homes should we ever find ourselves in the middle of one. Knowing what to do in an emergency and the kinds of supplies we should all have in our homes allows us to go on living our lives without focusing on ‘what might happen one day’.
Weather is one of the things that can be predicted to a certain degree but if we are stuck without power during a winter storm, especially for a prolonged period of time, how do we get accurate updates on the storm system or know if we should be going to a local emergency shelter. The Government of Canada has extensive and helpful information about how to make sure you are prepared for anything that winter can throw at us. They even have a downloadable and printable Emergency Preparedness Guide that will take you through all the steps that you and your family can do to keep everyone safe.
Of course there are other types of emergencies besides winter storms that we should be aware of. Most cities have a section of their website devoted specifically to emergency preparedness protocols. It is well worth our time to check these websites out to make sure we know what to do in just about any kind of emergency. Talking to your children ahead of time and holding regular and age appropriate home drills is also highly recommended. School aged children are already used to practicing for emergencies through regular fire and emergency drills.
When an emergency of any kind hits, children look to us to know how to act or if they should be scared or not. If we, as adults, have taken steps to inform ourselves about what needs to be done and if we have an adequate emergency supply of food, water and other essentials we can eliminate much of the stress that naturally goes along with such situations. Children will pick up on this sense of calmness from the adults around them and in turn will be better able to handle most unexpected emergencies.
“Be Prepared” is as important a message for adults as it is for children. The important thing to remember in all of this is that the better prepared we are for the unexpected, the better we will be able to handle most any emergency; natural or human-caused.