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Emergencies can happen at any time, many times without much (or any!) warning. Whether your community is hit by a winter storm, an earthquake, flooding, forest fire, or a tornado, being prepared will help keep you and your family comfortable and safe. Should a natural disaster or other emergency hit your community, it may take emergency workers awhile to reach you. It’s important to be prepared to sustain yourselves for a minimum of 72 hours in any disaster situation, whether you’re confined to your home or forced to evacuate to an emergency shelter.
Here in Canada, we saw several natural disasters in 2016. As a whole, we were – and still are – unprepared for emergency situations. Emergency Preparedness Week is May 7-13. Now is the perfect time to pack up an emergency kit just in case you might need it some day. We all hope we won’t, but you never know.
Make a Plan
It is so important to have an emergency plan for your family, and a backup one in case that one falls through. Each natural disaster will cause different issues, so you should have an overall plan along with specific plans for fires, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.
How will you exit your home, if need be? Draft an evacuation plan and make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to how to get out. If you have smaller children, you’ll want to practice your evacuation drills just like they do at school.
On the other hand, where will you go inside your home if there’s a tornado outside? Again, practice with smaller children so they aren’t confused when disaster strikes. Fast-acting parents and kids can shave seconds or minutes off of the time it takes to get to your safe place – sometimes this means the difference between life and death.
Stay up to date with weather reports and keep an eye on trends. If tornadoes usually hit in March and April, keep an eye out and practice your emergency tornado drills right before that season hits your area.
Emergency Kit Supplies (Not a complete list!)
- 1 gallon of water per person, per day. This means if you have a family of 5, you should have 15 gallons of water to sustain yourselves for 72 hours until help arrives.
- Non-perishable food, for humans and pets: ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and a can opener. Remember, you’ll need to open the containers the food is in and you’ll also need to be able to eat the food without cooking it in some situations. Dried fruits, nuts, crackers, dry cereal, peanut butter, and juices are all somewhat non-perishable; they have a long shelf life.
- Prescriptions and over the counter medications.
- Whistle or other noise-maker, to signal for help.
- Battery-powered radio and flashlights, and Duracell batteries
This is not an exhaustive list of what you should pack in your emergency kit, but it’s a good jumping off point. Think of everything you’d need – or might need – in a 72 hour period. This includes diapers, wipes, baby food, etc if you have a baby.
You can never be too prepared, so be sure to pack extra Duracell batteries in your kit. The last thing you want is to have a battery-powered flashlight go dim after just a few hours because you skimped on your battery purchases! Duracell is a trusted source for reliable power: from powering your radio for the latest weather updates to using flashlights during power outages.
Download a free emergency preparedness checklist here to print for yourself!
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Duracell, however all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!