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General News · 3rd May 2011
Cortes ESS
In recognition of Emergency Preparedness Week here is the complete list of 26 WEEKS TO PREPAREDNESS.


1 - Get a large portable container with a lid to use as an emergency kit. A
plastic storage bin or garbage can works well, particularly one with wheels. Choose
an accessible location for the container near an exit and label the container. Make
sure all family members know what it will be used for and where it is. (You may also
want to pack items into individual wheeled carts, carry-alls or packs to make them
easier to carry by individual family members.)

2 - Take note of water supply. Begin storing water. Keep in mind, in the
case of a major catastrophe, outside help may not arrive for weeks.

3 - Begin stocking non perishable food. Stock your kit with several varieties
of packaged foods, canned meats/fish and dried fruit. Include a manual can opener.
If needed, include infant supplies including disposable diapers, disposable bottles,
formula, etc. Plan for at least a two week supply of food for each family member.

4 - Arrange an out-of-area phone contact person, and keep this and other emergency phone numbers near each telephone. Teach family members these numbers.

5 - Add food items and supplies for pets to your kit.

6 - Get a portable radio and extra batteries for your emergency kit.

7 - Learn about hazards. Know the hazards in your community. Find out if the area where you live is vulnerable to landslides, flooding, interface fires or other threats such as hazardous material spills. Also do a home hazard hunt to make your home safer. Secure appliances and heavy furniture and move beds away from overhead objects like heavy mirrors and windows.

8 - Prepare a first-aid kit that includes prescription medications, eyeglasses, bandages, sterile gauze pads, tape, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide and other items such as over-the-counter pain pills.

9 - Give every family member specific safety tasks to do in an emergency. For example, designate one person to be in charge of turning off electricity, one to collect the emergency container, one to track down family members and make sure people with disabilities or special health needs are provided for. Make sure someone is also delegated to looking after any pets.

10 - Identify safe places in your home and on your property. Plan and practice earthquake “drop, cover, hold” or evacuation drills using different escape routes. Know that your community may set up a reception centre for evacuees during an emergency.

11 - Identify a family meeting place away from home but close to your regular spots (between work and home or school).

12 - Add a flashlight and extra batteries, along with candles and waterproof matches to your kit.

13 - Add some dried soups and other items such as peanut butter to your emergency kit.

14 - Check your insurance policies and make records of your possessions.

15 - Stock your kit with both large and medium-sized plastic garbage bags (orange or yellow make good visible signals). Large bags can also be used as ponchos, ground covers or blankets. Add plastic or paper dishes and cups as well.

16 - Add a change of clothing for each family member to your kit. Be sure to include warm clothing, heavy work gloves and sturdy shoes.

17 - Add additional canned or freeze-dried food like stews, tuna fish, baked beans and vegetables to your kit.

18 - Enroll a family member in a first-aid course. Pack HELP/OK signs in your kit.

19 - Assemble important documents like wills, insurance papers, medical records, credit card numbers, inventory of possessions, identification, etc. Make copies and store originals in a fireproof/ waterproof container that will be accessible if your home is damaged.

20 - Add personal items such as toilet paper, handi-wipes, soap, detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary supplies, etc. to your emergency kit.

21 - Add plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off windows and doors. This may be necessary when it is not safe to evacuate and you must shelter-in-place. This could occur during a hazardous chemical spill.

22 - Get a large bucket with a tight-fitting lid. Use the bucket to store other emergency tools like an axe, a folding shovel and rope.

23 - Add sleeping bags or blankets (foil blankets take up less space) and consider adding plastic emergency ponchos to your kit.

24 - Add more canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated food products to your kit until you have at least a three-day supply for each family member, keeping in mind emergency response time could be longer than 3 days.

25 - Add a pocket knife, cutlery, a whistle and spare set of house and car keys
as well as items such as books, toys, cards & a family photo album to your kit.

26 - Meet with neighbours to discuss emergency preparations and the possibility of sharing items such as generators.

Now you and your family are personally prepared for most emergencies.
Once your emergency kit is assembled and your emergency plan is in place, don’t forget to rotate and replace items as they expire. And most importantly – practice your plan and update it as your family’s needs change.

For more information on emergency preparedness: