Emergency Preparedness Week: Planning Your Emergency Kit

We’re doing an Emergency Preparedness Week mini series featuring tips and information on preparing your family to survive an emergency situation for 72 hours. The City of Vaughan will be marking Emergency Preparedness Week from May 4 to 10. For more information, visit www.vaughan.ca/PrepE.

The City is committed to encouraging residents to be prepared to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while rescue workers help those in urgent need.

Here is the third post in the series:

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Planning Your Emergency Kit

According to the Government of Canada, “approximately 85 per cent of Canadians agree that having an emergency kit is important in ensuring their and their family’s safety, yet only 40 per cent have prepared or bought an emergency kit.”

An emergency is not always predictable, and can occur with little to no warning. Citizens should be prepared with emergency kits at all times in the event that they are left without electricity, heat or water for several days. An emergency kit should be assembled with the necessary requirements to ensure you and your family are able to survive at least three days (72 hours).

In order to be fully prepared, you should have an emergency kit for your home, car and pets. The basic contents of these kits include:

  • Water: four liters per person per day
  • Canned/non-perishable foods
  • Flashlight and radio – crank or battery powered
  • Spare batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Candles (in safety container), matches, lighter
  • Manual can opener
  • Important, documents, insurance, identification
  • Extra car keys and cash
  • Duct or packing tape
  • Clothing and footwear – at least one complete change of clothes per person
  • Blankets or sleeping bag
  • Personal grooming items and toilet paper
  • Whistle
  • Games, toys, puzzles
  • Backpack, duffle bag or plastic bin to store kit
  • Non-prescription medications
  • Personal care items
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Plastic sheeting

To ensure your kits are fully functional at all times, you should change the batteries, food and water every six months. Consider changing these items every six months when you change your clocks.

As part of the PrepE Emergency Preparedness Campaign, the City has a series of videos that are designed to inform residents about the importance of being equipped for emergency situations. The videos can be viewed at youtube.com/thecityofvaughan.

For more information, visit http://www.getprepared.ca/ or www.vaughan.ca/PrepE.

Sharon Walker
Manager of Emergency Planning
Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service

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