Three Steps to Emergency Preparedness
An emergency is an urgent event that calls for immediate action. Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. The basic actions you take to prepare and protect yourself, your family and your home are extremely important. Responders may not be able to reach you immediately, so we encourage you to be prepared to protect you and your family for the first 72-hours of an emergency.
There are three steps to Emergency Preparedness
Know the Risks
Understanding the risks that can affect the area we live in is the first step to being prepared along with knowing how to react when an emergency hits in order to reduce the affect on you and your family. Some risks of emergencies or disasters that are most likely to occur in our region include:
• Severe Winter Storms
• House Fires
• Hurricane/High Winds
• Power Outages
• Highway Accidents
• Dangerous Goods
• Extreme Heat
• Public Health Emergency
Make a Plan
Making a plan for the different types of emergencies will help you and your family be safe and is the second step to Emergency Preparedness. It's important to make sure that ALL family members are aware of the plan and that you take time to review it on an annual basis. Just like fire drills at school, testing your plan is important to ensure that everyone knows what to do should an emergency occur.
Things to consider in your plan include:
• Do you have two routes to leave your home in the case of a fire?
• If everyone is in different locations when the emergency occurs (ie: work, school, gym) where will you meet and how will you connect with each other?
• Do you have a list of all the emergency contact phone numbers somewhere other then in your phone? Does everyone have a copy of the numbers somewhere such as in a purse, backpack or briefcase?
• Do you have an out-of-area or out-of-province relative or friend that you can give udates to?
• Does anyone in your family know first aid and CPR?
• Did you include plans for pets?
Get a Kit
Preparing a kit helps to ensure that you and your family can be self-sufficient during the first 72-hours of any type of emergency.
Think of the things that you and your family MUST take if it you were evacuated from your home? Would you remember all those things if you were told you had 30 minutes to evacuate? Use this as a starting point of what to prepare in your emergency kit.
Some items that you should ensure you have in your kit include:
• Water (recommended 2 litres per person per day)
• Non-perishable foods (canned meats, energy bars, canned fish, chocolate bars, etc.)
• Radio to hear emergency messages and warnings (hand-crank are better than battery)
• Flashlight (hand-crank are better than battery)
• Toilet Paper (in plastic bag to keep dry)
• Emergency contact numbers
• Toiletries (small amounts only)
• Cell Phone Charger
• Copies or prescriptions or extra medications
• Supplies for your pets
• Cash in small bills and a cheque book
• Spare car/house keys
• Candle in a sturdy base
• Garbage bags for sanitation and emergency raingear
• Water proof matches and lighter
• Sleeping Bags and Blankets
• First Aid supplies and handbook
• List of items that can’t be pre-packed should be stapled to the outside of the bag (e.g. wheelchair, hearing aid, eye glasses, sleep apnea machine, cell phones, etc.)
• Flash drive of important documents such as list of prescriptions, bank account and credit card numbers, insurance policies, photos of family members in case you are seperated, inventory and pictures of valuable household goods, medical information such as immunization records.
FloodSmart Canada: www.floodsmartcanada.ca
NSCC Coastal Flooding Map: https://agrgims.cogs.nscc.ca/CoastalFlooding/Map/
Nova Scotia Burn Safe: https://novascotia.ca/burnsafe/
Lightning Danger Map: https://weather.gc.ca/lightning/index_e.html?id=ATL#mapTop
Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index: http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/background/summary/fwi
FireSmart Canada: https://www.firesmartcanada.ca/
Other Helpful Resources:
Local Weather Forecast: https://weather.gc.ca/city/pages/ns-15_metric_e.html
Public Weather: https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=ns
Fisheries and Oceans Tide Times: http://www.tides.gc.ca/eng/station?sid=282
Nova Scotia Roads and Highway Cameras: https://511.novascotia.ca/en/map.html#l=48&x=-7016257&y=5675744&z=1&lb=1&rb=1
Nova Scotia Power Outage: http://outagemap.nspower.ca/external/default.html