72 hours…Is your family prepared?
A major emergency – like a blackout or severe storm – can happen anytime, anywhere. This year’s 13th annual Emergency Preparedness Week (May 4-10, 2008) is an important reminder of the need to take action by knowing the risks, making a plan and getting an emergency kit. This will help make sure you and your family can take care of yourselves for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency, while first responders help those in urgent need.
• Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, (ie: you might lose power, drinking water might not be available, etc) knowing the risks specific to your community and your region can help you better prepare.
• Make a plan – Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. Practice what to do in different emergency situations, and decide where your family would reunite if an emergency strikes.
• Get a kit – An emergency kit should contain food, water, radio, flashlight, batteries, and other essentials to help ensure you and your family are ready to cope on your own for at least 72 hours of an emergency.
Emergency Preparedness Week is a national campaign coordinated by Public Safety Canada, together with all provinces and territories. First responders (such as police officers, fire fighters and paramedics), non-governmental organizations and the private sector all plan activities for EP Week.
Visit www.GetPrepared.ca to find out how you can prepare for emergencies and for a complete list of emergency kit items.
By getting prepared now, we can all make our homes and our communities a safer place to live.
When it comes to managing emergencies, we all have a role to play:
- Individuals take steps ahead of time to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours during an emergency. Learn how. Visit www.GetPrepared.ca
Different levels of government respond progressively as an emergency escalates ad their resources are needed:
- Local fire, police and paramedic teams are normally the first to respond. They manage most local emergencies.
- Every province and territory has an emergency management organization (EMO), which manages large-scale emergencies and provides assistance to municipal or community response teams as required. Learn more about your EMO.
- Federal departments and agencies support provincial or territorial EMOs as requested. they also manage emergencies that involve areas of federal jurisdiction, such as nuclear safety, national defence and border security. Learn more about federal emergency management. Learn more about federal emergency management.
Non-profit organizations also help Canadians deal with emergencies, from providing first aid training to disaster relief. Learn more about government's emergency preparedness partners.
Brought to you by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.
You can buy a Canadian Red Cross kit at www.redcross.ca.
St. John Ambulance and Salvation Army have also jointly prepared a kit, which can be purchased from the following retailers:
- Home Outfitters
- Pharma Plus
- Canadian Tire
- London Drugs
- True Value Hardware
- Home Hardware
- Country Depot
- Overwaitea Foods
- MarketPlace IGA
- Thrifty Foods
- Buy-Low Foods
- Nesters Market
- G&H Shop ’N Save
- Value Drug Mart
- Apple Drugs
- Rxellence Professional Dispensary
- Quality Foods
- TSC Stores
- Jean Coutu
- Ace Hardware
- Pro Hardware
Source: Public Safety Canada
EMERGENCY KIT FOR YOUR PET
Please, do not forget me!
(NC)-Before an emergency strikes, prepare an emergency kit for your pet that includes:
. Food, water, bowls and a manual can opener, if required
. Blanket and small toy
. Sturdy leash or harness
. Litter pan, plastic bags and paper towels
. Medications and medical records
. Current photo
. Fact sheet on feeding schedules, medical or behavioural problems in case of boarding
. Current ID tag with your phone number
. Copy of license, if required
. Muzzle, if required
Remember that pets are not allowed in some public shelters or hotels. During an emergency, plan to take your pets with you to a relative or friend's home, or identify a "pet-friendly" hotel or boarding facilities in advance.
You can find useful tips on preparing all members of your family for an emergency at www.getprepared.ca
Source: News Canada
Storing a supply of clean water, can reduce the likelihood that you will need to purify outside water in an emergency. If your local water is treated commercially by a water treatment utility, you do not have to treat the water before storing it. However, it is important to change and replace stored water every six months or more frequently. If your water comes from a public well or other public, non-treated system, follow instructions about water storage provided by your public health agency or water provider.
If you are left without clean water, however, you can treat water from rain, streams, rivers and other moving bodies of water, as well as ponds, lakes and natural springs. Avoid floodwater and water with floating material or an odour or dark colour, and use saltwater only if you distil it first.
Treating water from these sources is necessary because contaminated water can contain micro-organisms that cause diseases as well as other contaminants.
The best way to treat water is often a combination of methods, as boiling and disinfection will kill most micro-organisms but only distillation will remove other contaminants. Before treating water, let any particles settle to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towel or clean cloth.
Boiling is the safest method of treating water. Keep water at a rolling boil for 10 minutes for maximum effectiveness.
Disinfection with regular household liquid bleach can also kill micro-organisms. Use only liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient. Do not use scented bleaches, colour-safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners.
Add one to two drops of bleach per litre of clear water. If the water is cloudy, treat with three to four drops of bleach per litre. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odour, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapour that condenses back to water. The condensed vapour will not include salt and other impurities. To distil, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot's lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down. Make sure the cup is not hanging into the water and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.
This is an advice from The Ontario Fire Marshal.
Spend a few minutes on a lifesaving activity that could protect the entire family from fire.
“Sit down with everyone in your household and discuss how to get out of the home in the event of a fire. Consider drawing a floor plan of your home, identifying all escape routes from each room.”
Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:
- Install working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas – It’s the law! - Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm.
- Assess the needs of everyone in the home - Identify anyone who requires assistance to get out of the home safely, such as small children or older adults.
- Identify all possible exits ( doors and windows ) and make sure they work - know two ways out of all areas, if possible.
- Everyone must know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds – Assign someone to help those who need assistance, identify a safe meeting place outside and call the fire department from a neighbour’s home or cell phone.
Get low and go - Everyone must know that if they are caught in smoke, they should get low and go under the smoke to the nearest safe exit.
You may have only seconds to safely escape your home. Practise your home fire escape plan and make sure everyone can get out quickly.
Source: The Office of the Fire Marshal
COPING WITH STRESSFUL EVENTS
Children are particularly vulnerable to the stress caused by emergency situations and can react in many different ways. Young children may show their emotions through actions such as crying, whining or bedwetting. Older children, who can better understand dangers to themselves and others, may experience an intense fear of injury or separation from family members. Other common reactions following emergency situations include a fear of the dark, physical pain, and eating or sleeping problems.
Often these reactions disappear quickly and there are a number of ways you can help kids cope with them during or after a very stressful event.
First, it’s important that you take their fears seriously. Don’t force them to be brave. Tell them that it’s okay to be scared. During an emergency reassure them that they are safe, that you will protect them from danger, and that you will continue to help them when they feel afraid.
Pay extra attention to them. Ask them what they have to say about their fears, their feelings, and their thoughts on what has happened.
Explain the events as best you can, and acknowledge what's frightening about what happened.
Be a behaviour model for kids by letting them know what you think and feel. It helps them feel less alone if they know that their feelings are similar to yours. If you are too upset, however, it is better to share your reactions with another adult.
Maintain familiar routines. Mealtimes, visits with playmates and regular bedtime hours are comforting for children. Familiar routines reinforce a child's sense of security.
Children are amazingly flexible and resilient, and parents can play a huge part in helping them overcome feelings of anxiety about stressful events. In some cases, however, it may be helpful to talk to a health professional such as a psychologist, a social worker, physician, nurse or psychiatrist, who can help children understand and cope with their emotions.