Emergency preparedness

Saturday, August 30th, 2008


What would you do if you had to flee your home on short notice?

Emergency preparedness experts say it’s wise to put together a supply kit that will get you and your family — and your pets — through the first 72 hours.

Here’s a snapshot of some the items you should include, ideally in a backpack with wheels that’s stored near an exit door.

– A first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, as well as a radio with batteries.

– Toilet paper and personal supplies, including medications.

– Photocopies of important papers, such as ID and personal documents.

– Canned food — for you and your pets — and bottled water, as well as a can opener.

– Shoes and a change of clothes.

– Blankets or sleeping bags.

– Extra car keys and cash.

For more information, visit redcross.ca and getprepared.ca


Remember that smoke detectors save lives — period.

Since 1997, new homes have been required to have smoke detectors hard-wired into the electrical system. Check that you have at least one detector on every level. And if they’re hard-wired, check that they have a battery backup in case the power goes out.

When buying detectors, ensure they’re CSA or ULC approved. Consider detectors that use a voice instead of a beep, as they may wake children more effectively.

Emergency preparedness experts also say it’s important to have fire extinguishers on hand, and to know how to use them. They should be placed in every vulnerable room — including kitchens, workshops and garages — and be easily reachable.

Extinguishers should be used only if a fire is small, if there is a clear exit, and when everyone has evacuated and 911 called.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008


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