Happy New Year! If you like to set intentions or resolutions for the year ahead, we thought you might like to consider emergency preparedness as an ongoing goal to support yourself and your family in a crisis. Preparing for emergencies can be a little unnerving – after all, we’re asking you to think about potentially worst case scenarios for you and your families, and that’s a tough place to be in. However, doing so is invaluable, and organizations like Do1Thing have put together simple, small actions that you can take throughout the year to keep things manageable and inexpensive. Let’s get started with your 12 Months of Emergency Preparedness!
January: Make a Plan
Know the risks of the area you live in and consider ways you can minimize those risks, or at least reduce their impact on you and your family. As you start your plan, consider:
- How you would evacuate your home if you needed to
- How to minimize damage to your home in disaster
- What kinds of disasters can happen in your area
One of the most important supplies to have is water – you’ll need a gallon of water per person per day (to last at least 72-hours), and additional supplies if you have pets in your home too. You might also want to consider finding a way to supply your home and family with water long-term, like a rain barrel or water reserve.
In some emergencies, you may be required to shelter in place in your home or office. Depending on where you live, and where you’re likely to be at the time of the disaster, identify the best place to shelter safely, and know how to get there quickly when you need to.
April: Food Supplies
You should have enough non-perishable food supplies to last you and your family through whatever emergency you’re experiencing. To make things easier, buy a couple of extra cans of veggies or granola bars each time you go to the store, and store everything in duffle bag or plastic bin so that it’s easy to find when you need it. Don’t forget to include food items for pets!
May: Your Community
Make sure you know the emergency plans for your workplace or school, provide emergency kits to those who rely on you (e.g. elderly parents or neighbours), and know how others in your community will respond in an emergency.
June: Your Family’s Needs
Every household is different so take note of the special needs for your family. Perhaps you have a newborn child, or a pet; perhaps someone in your family requires medication or specialized equipment. Whatever your needs are, adjust your plans and supplies accordingly. Here are the Top 5 Things To Include In Your Pet Emergency Kit to get you started!
July: Communication Plan
It’s highly likely that, in an emergency, you won’t be at home or with your family, so it’s important to put together a solid communication plan that allows you to stay in touch no matter where you are or what’s happened. And be sure to include unique meeting spots to head for if you can’t reach one another, and practice how to get there from school, work, or your home.
August: Get Involved
Emergencies often impact entire communities, so taking the time to get together with your neighbours means you can assign roles in the event of specific disasters, and know what to expect from local authorities, support systems, and first responders. Consider becoming an emergency volunteer and check in with isolated neighbours to ensure they’re part of the plan.
September: Stay Informed & Up-to-Date
Information is key during a disaster – from information about the event itself to updates from authorities, there are many ways you can stay informed. Sign up for weather and emergency alerts, connect with your community social media accounts as they’ll often share key information there, and make sure everyone in your household can stay informed.
October: Power Outage Safety
We rely on power for so many things in our daily life, so when the power goes out, it’s important to safely meet your basic needs until it comes back on. Have flashlights handy (and extra batteries too), consider getting a portable generator (only use in well ventilated areas), and don’t forget to keep an eye on the food in your refrigerator (discard it if the temperature in your refrigerator exceeds 40 degrees for more than 2 hours).
November: Emergency Supplies
In the event of a widespread disaster, first responders, local officials, or relief workers are not likely to be able to get to everyone at the same time. For any emergency, you need to have supplies to last you and your family for at least 72-hours, as well as items to support you if you’re at work or in your car in a crisis.
December: First Aid
Emergencies don’t have to be widespread disasters; they can also be medically based too, like a heart attack or someone collapsing. Learning First Aid and CPR gives you the skills to support a victim when they need it, allows you to provide care while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, and can potentially save a life as well. These are universal skills that can be used anywhere, any time – here are 10 Facts About CPR & First Aid for you to consider!
We hope you find these resources helpful and be sure to connect with Do1Thing via their website and social media accounts as they’re always sharing great resources and tips for emergency preparedness.
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