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.
The three steps to Emergency Preparedness are:
Know the Risks around you and how to react when an emergency hits to reduce its affect on you and your family. Make a Plan for the different types of emergencies to help you and your family be as safe and unaffected as possible. Get a Kit to be prepared and self-sufficient for 72-hours to support your emergency plan. Learn more about each step below:
1. Know the Risks: Understanding the risks that can affect the area you live in is the first step to being prepared. Some risks of emergencies or disasters that are most likely to occur in Windsor-West Hants include:
• Flooding • Wildfires • Severe Winter Storms • House Fires • Hurricane/High Winds • Power Outages • Highway Accidents • Dangerous Goods • Extreme Heat • Public Health Emergency
2. Make a Plan: Being prepared for specific emergencies and disasters is the second step to preparedness.
Make sure all family members are aware of the plan and review it on an annual basis. Just like fire drills at school, testing your plan at home is important to ensure all family members know what the plan is and can follow it when needed.
Things to consider for your plan: • Do you have two routes to leave your home in the case of a fire? • If you are at work, your spouse is at home and your children are at school, where will you meet? How will you connect with each other? • If the phone lines are overloaded during the emergency, how will your family know where to meet? • If there is a power outage for several days and your phone battery dies, do you remember all the emergency contact phone numbers? • Who will you call to reunite and update? An out-of-area or out-of-province number relative or friend is best. Does everyone know the number by heart? Is it printed in everyone’s bookbag, purse, briefcase, etc.? If you are new to the area, a church or community organization could be your contact. • Do you and your family members know first aid and CPR? You may be first • Don’t forget items for your pets, infants, elderly relatives. • Review your plans annually and update keeping in mind weight gain/loss, new babies or adoptions, children’s growth, etc.
3. Get a Kit: Getting prepared should be simple, but most people aren’t prepared. Having a kit can assist you in being self-sufficient during the first 72-hours in am emergency. Keep in mind that emergency responders may not be able to reach you in a large emergency.
Keep it simple and take one step at a time.
Think about your last three days. What are the things that you and your family feel you 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 things to put 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) • Toiletries (small amounts only) • Cell Phone Charger • Emergency contact numbers • Copies or prescriptions or extra medications • Old/spare eyeglasses • Cash in small bills - $50 to start, but more would be better • Spare car/house keys • Candle in a sturdy base and matches • 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, eye glasses, sleep apnea machine, etc.) • Flash drive of important documents such as:
o family records (birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates) o passports or immigration papers o social insurance numbers o immunization records o lists of prescriptions o bank account numbers and a cheque book o credit card account numbers and companies o insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds o important telephone numbers o photos of family members in case you are separated o copies of wills o inventory and pictures of valuable household goods