Do you know where your important family documents are? How about photos and irreplaceable negatives? What about medicines, prescriptions and glasses needed in the event you have to quickly leave your home during an emergency?
The Central Okanagan Emergency Program and Emergency Support Services organization is encouraging all residents to restock and update their family ‘Grab and Go’ kits or to take the time now to gather items and prepare their first kit.
Emergency Program Coordinator Jason Brolund says, “During any emergency we all need some basic supplies. Remember, you may be without electricity or water and should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. It’s certainly easier to prepare the items you and your family might need to take now, when there’s no pressure, than it is after receiving a knock at the door telling you to leave your home in an evacuation.”
ESS Coordinator Catherine Williams adds, “For many years we have encouraged residents to prepare ‘Grab and Go Kits’ containing items that you and your family would need to survive outside your home. These might include such things as important documents, medications and prescriptions. Consider a wind up flashlight and radio, clothing, dried food and enough drinking water to last at least three days for your kit. You may also want to expand your Grab and Go Kit to include irreplaceable items like photos, negatives and family heirlooms. And if you have a pet, don’t forget food and water for them too.”
Brolund adds along with preparing your kit, visit www.cordemergency.ca and subscribe to our online email notification program. Whenever a news release, maps or other official information is sent from the Emergency Operation Centre Public Information Office, subscribers will get it delivered directly to their email inbox.
“The website is simple and easy to use, containing just a few pages and will provide the latest information whenever the Emergency Operation Centre has been activated and is staffed.”
The website also has links to information on how to prepare your family for any kind of emergency that might occur in the Central Okanagan from floods, to wildfire, even a severe storm. The site also provides convenient links to the Provincial and Federal Emergency programs and the BC Disaster Assistance program.
Grab and Go Kit
You never know when an emergency will hit, perhaps forcing you and your family from your home. Are you ready to go with little notice?
Emergency Support Services (ESS) officials in the Central Okanagan suggest you prepare an emergency kit that you can simply grab and go, containing materials and belongings that will help you get through the initial hours after a disaster, or until its once again safe for you to go home.
Here are some suggestions as to what could be included in your kit:
- A small first aid kit & first aid manual
- Fire Extinguisher (Type A, B and C fires)
- Wind up or battery-powered Flashlight & batteries
- Portable wind up or battery-powered AM/FM radio & batteries
- Cash (smaller denominations) and coins
- Medications (if required), eyeglasses
- Waterproof matches & candles
- Food (dried fruit & soup, crackers, freeze dried/foil pouch products)
- A three day supply of water (at least two litres per person per day)
- Manual can opener
- A blanket and warm, protective clothing
- Sturdy, flat comfortable shoes
- Toilet tissue and other personal care items (ie. toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary supplies)
- Whistle, pocket knife
- Heavy Gloves
- Extra keys for your vehicle and house
- Flares (for the vehicle)
- Small tool kit (for the vehicle)
- Local maps
- If you have a pet, don’t forget a three day supply of food
You may want to ensure you have a corded phone in your home as most cordless phones will not work during a power outage.
If you are given notice of an impending evacuation, you may wish to expand this to include items that can’t be replaced such as photographic negatives or photos, special papers (insurance, medical records, records of your possessions) and family heirlooms.
For more information and videos on how to prepare your family visit www.getprepared.ca