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Monday, May 2, 2011

Emegency Preparedness Week - Back To Basics Series - Planning



In light of Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, I thought I would take this week to go back over some of the basics of being prepared.  For today, let's take a look at planning.  One thing to keep in mind is that the more prepared the public is, the less stress will be put on emergency services.  Ideally, everyone would have plenty of water, food, first aid supplies and whatever else they would need to survive the first few days of a disaster.  From what I have gathered in talking with people is that this couldn't be further from reality.  One of the first things to consider is what to do immediately following a disaster.  How and where will you meet up with loved ones?  We should all have a family meeting place decided upon for different scenarios.  For example, if a fire or gas leek to occur in your home.  A place to meet, such as  the neighbor's front lawn could be a great idea.  For something bigger when we may all be at work, school, shopping etc, could be our homes, a neighborhood church, or other public place that everyone knows how to get to.  Now, what happens if you can't get to your meeting place or can't stay there once you arrive?  An out of town contact would be a great idea in this case.  Perhaps a family member that everyone can check in with so as to convey to others any change in plans.  Everyone should have the phone number of this person and be able to contact them when needed.  In addition, everyone should carry some form of ID along with emergency contact name & numbers in case they are injured or cannot speak for themselves.  Once you have decided how you will all get together after an emergency, the next thing to decide is what to do next.  There are really only two options here and sometimes the choice may be made for you.  In a nutshell,you may stay, or you may go.  If you can and decide to stay, then start making a list of what you will need to get by for the first week or so.  Public Safety Canada has just put out a new brochure on emergency preparedness, and are still advocating the 72 hour rule.  Personally, I believe a week is the bare minimum.  Instead of trying to list everything at once, break it down into a list different areas of preparedness that can be elaborated on later.  There are really only a few areas to be considered...they are:
Water & Food
Shelter & Heat
Sanitation & first Aid
Communications & Security
Clothing & Bedding
For the rest of the week, I will visit each of these topics per day and explain how to get your lists going as well as some tips on how to supply yourself without laying out thousands of dollars at once.

1 comment:

Sue said...

I will look forward especially to your article on sanitation. I've been researching toileting for a future article at CPN and have had that sort of thing directing my thoughts lately. It's something we rarely think of first in a SHTF sceniario which is ironic considering the words in this well worn expression...