Are You Prepared?
You may not be able to predict when a disaster will happen, but there are ways you can reduce the impact of any emergency you might face.
You can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies by taking a few simple steps:
Know the Risks
Knowing the risks specific to your community and your region can help you to be better prepared for an emergency. In Windsor and Essex County, some of the disasters that are most likely to occur include:
- Extreme Weather (such as snowstorms, lightning, tornados, extreme heat, and extreme cold)
- Major Power Outages
- Drinking Water Emergencies
- Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Transportation Emergencies (road, rail, water, and air)
- Release of Hazardous Materials
Make a Plan
Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Having a plan will help you and your family know what to do. Once you have a plan, regularly review and practice it. Also, make sure that all family members carry a copy of the plan in their wallet, purse, or backpack. The plan should also be in your 72 Hour Emergency Kit.
Make sure your plan includes:
- Contact information for everyone in the household, including work and school phone numbers
- A list of important phone numbers, including doctors, emergency services, insurance companies, and utilities
- The name and phone number of an out-of-town contact person
- Safe exit routes from your home
- A designated meeting spot outside your home and one outside your neighbourhood in case you need to leave the area
- Evacuation routes from your neighbourhood
Also find out school or daycare policies for releasing your children to a designated person if you can’t pick them up.
Your plan should also include pets and any special health or accessibility needs in your family.
Prepare a 72 Hour Emergency Kit
During an emergency, you may need to go without power or tap water. It is important to be able to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency. Some of the supplies that are needed include:
- Water (2 litres/person/day)
- Non-perishable food (e.g., canned food, energy bars, dried food)
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Prescription drugs
- Personal hygiene items (e.g., toilet paper, feminine supplies, plastic garbage bags, hand sanitizer)
- Basic tools (e.g., whistle, duct tape, pocket knife, adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, pliers, hammer)
- Radio (crank or battery)
- Extra keys to car and house
- Cash (include smaller bills and change)
- Copies of important documents (e.g., emergency plan with contact phone numbers, passports, insurance policies, wills, immunization records, banking information)
- Clothing and footwear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Candles, and lighter or matches (windproof/waterproof matches or in a waterproof container)
- Flashlight (crank or battery) and extra batteries
- Additional supplies such as pet food and extra water should also be included if you have pets
For families with infants under 6 months of age:
- Infants who are exclusively breastfed do not require any additional feeding items in their kits
- Infants receiving breastmilk substitutes (formula) should include breastmilk substitutes, bottles, and sterilizing equipment in their emergency kits. Breastmilk substitutes expire so they will need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Your kit should be kept in a backpack or a suitcase with wheels so that it is easy to carry. Make sure that it is in an easy to reach place and that everyone in the house knows where it is kept.