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26 Weeks to Emergency Readiness

  1. Identify safe places in your home and on your property.  Practice evacuation drills using different escape routes. Your community may set up a reception centre for evacuees during an emergency.
  2. Identify a family reunion place away from home but close to your regular meeting places between work and home or school.
  3. Arrange an Emergency Contact person, along with other emergency phone numbers near each telephone and in each person’s wallet or backpack.
  4. Stock your home with at least a seven-day supply of water for every family member and don’t forget to include water for pets.  It is best to store at least four litres (1 gallon) of water per person.
  5. Get a large portable container with a tight-fitting lid to use as an emergency evacuation kit. A plastic storage bin, suitcase or garbage can works well, particularly one with wheels. Choose an accessible location for the container near an exit or in a garage or storage shed and label the container.
  6. Stock your home with several varieties of packaged foods, canned meats and dried fruit. Include a manual can opener. If needed, include infant supplies including disposable diapers, disposable bottles, formula, etc. Plan for at least a seven-day supply of food for each family member.
  7. Add more food items and supplies for pets to your supplies.
  8. Get a portable radio and extra batteries for your emergency kit.
  9. Learn about hazards. Know the hazards in your community. Check out the section on “Responding Safely During Emergencies”. Also do a home hazard hunt to make your home safer. Secure appliances and heavy furniture and move beds away from overhead objects like heavy mirrors and windows.
  10. Prepare a first-aid kit that includes prescription medications, eyeglasses, bandages, sterile gauze pads, tape, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide and other items such as over-the-counter pain pills.
  11. Give every family member specific safety tasks to do in an emergency. For example, designate one person to be in charge of turning off electricity, one to collect the emergency container, one to track down family members and make sure people with disabilities or special health needs are provided for. Make sure someone is also delegated to looking after any pets.
  12. Add a flashlight and extra batteries, along with candles and waterproof matches to your kit.
  13. Add some dried soups and other items such as peanut butter to your emergency kit.
  14. Check your insurance policies and make inventory records of your possessions.
  15. Stock your kit with both large and medium-sized plastic garbage bags (orange or yellow bags make good visible signals). Large bags can also be used as ponchos, ground covers or blankets. Add plastic or paper dishes and cups as well.
  16. Add a change of clothing for each family member to your kit. Be sure to include seasonal clothing (winter/summer), heavy work gloves and sturdy shoes.
  17. Add additional canned or freeze-dried food like stews, tuna fish, baked beans and vegetables to your kit.
  18. Enroll a family member in a first-aid course. Pack HELP/OK signs in your kit.
  19. Assemble important documents like wills, insurance papers, medical records, credit card numbers, inventory of possessions, identification, etc. Make copies and store originals in a fireproof/waterproof container that will be accessible if your home is damaged. Keep recent photos of family and pets to help searchers reunite you.
  20. Add personal items such as toilet paper, handi-wipes, soap, detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary supplies, etc. to your emergency kit.
  21. Add evaporated, canned or powdered milk to your kit.
  22. Get a large bucket with a tight-fitting lid to use as a toilet, and put it with your emergency kit. Use the bucket to store other emergency tools like an axe, a folding shovel, rope and powdered lime for deodorizing.
  23. Add sleeping bags or blankets (emergency blankets take up less space) and consider adding plastic emergency ponchos to your kit.
  24. Add more canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated food products to your kit until you have at least a three-day supply for each family member.
  25. Add a pocket knife, cutlery, a whistle and spare set of house and car keys as well as items such as books, toys and cards as well as a family photo album to your kit.
  26. Meet with neighbours to discuss emergency preparations and the possibility of sharing items such as generators.

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