Emergency Preparedness Week: Be Emergency Ready
This Sunday marked the start of Emergency Preparedness Week, an annual national event coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces, territories and partners. This year’s event coincides with the three-year anniversary of the Fort McMurray wildfires, as well as severe flooding in parts of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. With more rain on the way, homeowners and businesses must prepare to protect their property from flooding and water damage.
The theme for this year’s Emergency Preparedness Week is “Be Emergency Ready.” While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe, everyone has a role to play in being prepared for an emergency. Being prepared means having the knowledge and equipment necessary to better cope during an emergency.
Know the Risks
Depending on where you live in Canada, you can face a number of different types of natural hazards. Preparation involves knowing what to do during an emergency. Find out more about risks in your region and how to prepare by visiting GetPrepared.ca.
Take the following steps during emergency situations:
- Make sure you are safe before assisting others.
- Follow your emergency plan.
- Get your emergency kit.
- Monitor radio, television and online for information from authorities, and follow their instructions.
- Stay where you are until it is safe or you are ordered to evacuate.
- Limit phone calls to urgent messages only. Keep the lines free for emergency responders.
Make a Plan
Every household needs an emergency plan. This will help to ensure that you and family members know what to do in an emergency. Make the plan part of your emergency kit.
Visit GetPrepared.ca to complete an emergency plan online.
During an emergency, monitor radio, television and online for information from authorities. Call 9-1-1 (where available) to report a fire, a crime, or to save a life. For non-emergency calls, use the 10-digit number in your local phone directory. Record important names and contact information in your plan, including out-of-town and emergency contacts.
Get a Kit
Make sure that you have basic supplies available for an emergency. You might need to stay where you are without power or tap water for several days. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Make sure that your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the home knows where it is located.
Your emergency kit should include at least the following:
- Water – at least 2 litres per person per day
- Food that won’t spoil (e.g., canned food, energy bars, dried foods)
- Manual can opener
- Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
- Crank or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
- First aid kit
- Extra keys (vehicle and home)
- Cash in smaller bills, and change for payphones
- A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
- Special items such as prescription medication, infant formula, and equipment for people with disabilities
At FirstOnSite, it’s our job to help you prepare for an emergency, and to help you get back to normal afterward. When the worst happens, we are there to assess damage, prevent further risks, and restore buildings and property. We have first-hand experience with every type of natural disaster, as well as vandalism and environmental incidents. For each case, the same advice applies: being prepared is the key to weathering a disaster, and expecting the worst is simply smart thinking.
Learn more about getting emergency ready at the Emergency Preparedness Week website.