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Emergency Preparation

March 18, 2011


Yesterday I went shopping for camping supplies, and I dislike camping.  This shopping trip was to finish up some of the missing  items for our emergency kit.   When I moved to the coast and started orientation for my new job I learned that everyone should make personal preparations for an earthquake or other disaster.  I think that they were telling us that an earthquake was not enough excuse to miss work because they told us on the first day to be ready for one.

Last week I went to a free session our  city put on about emergency preparedness.  There were quite a few people attending.  I hope that they all start a kit for themselves and it is not just a reaction to the recent disaster in Japan.   My kit was a few years old and some  of the items had begun to expire so I knew it was time to give it a refresh  and add a few new items that were originally missing.  I also had to clean out a few bug corpses that had crawled in and decided to expire.   I really hope that the items I have replenished today never do get used, but it gives peace of mind to know that they are there and so is the information that we need in case of the unexpected.

See why it is important to have your own kit by checking out this  Getting Prepared Video – a video by the government of Canada on how to put a kit together.  They tell us,  “It’s your responsibility to start gathering supplies and start thinking about what your family will need for at least 72 hours in an emergency.”

   As my husband points out, get your own kit, now that you have seen ours don’t think you can have it in the case of an emergency.  Besides, I don’t think you would want my Saskatchewan Roughrider socks I put in my grab and go kit and you wouldn’t fit in his spare shoes either.

Our kit consists of basically three parts.

  • Two backpacks to grab with personal items needed in case of evacuation.
  • Information sheets, plans and guides for different types of emergencies.  Ours includes power outages, threatening bears, floods, earthquakes and pandemic outbreaks, also a map of the area, personal documents and a picture of the two of us.  Obviously yours would have different information and documents.
  • Supplies to take care of ourselves for at least 72 hours if we have no utilities or public services.  I have divided it into perishable and  non perishable sections so that I can more easily check to replenish items that outdate like cans of food or glow sticks.

I followed the information on the grab and go bags and the 26 weeks to being prepared information to put our kit together.  If you are like me then you can follow a guide and put something together for yourself, or you can easily purchase a kit for your home, car or place of work. You can find companies that are in your community that have these, or ask the Red Cross or St John’s Ambulance if they have any for purchase.

Government of Canada Emergency Preparedness Guide 

26 Steps to Get Prepared

Personal Safety Information for British Columbians

Red Cross Emergency Preparedness kit

FAST Emergency Prepardness kits

  Check out if your community has classes on emergency preparedness.  It is amazing what you can learn even if you think you know quite a bit already.  One of the things I learned is that in case of an emergency  the telephone system may be affected.  Cellphones may not operate.  Cordless phones don’t work if they don’t have power, so you will need a corded phone which receives its power from the phone line.  It is important to return handsets to their cradles after an earthquake  so as not to tie up the phone lines.  If you need to make a call, when you pick up the phone you may not get a dial tone right away.  Hold the line, because you are put in a queue for the next and if you hang up and try again you are put to the end to wait for the next one.  The class will probably give you a checklist so that you can put together your own kit and check out your home for hazards appropriate to your area.

Now that it is put together again I hope the only thing that makes use of the kit is the odd beetle and spider that crawls into it and makes their life long home.


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