Emergency Preparedness – Just Do It!

26 Jan

EmergencyKitRecently Vancouver Fire & Rescue sent out a tweet which summarized some recent events which we will now quote:

“We’ve had numerous “warning” events: ’15 windstorm, ’15 earthquake, wildfires, port fire, and the recent tsunami and railyard fire.  Have you started building a Grab-n-Go bag and 72-hr Preparedness Kit? Don’t wait for the next event, start TODAY.” 

So have you started yet?  We are fairly organized and have kits in various spots including the closet at home, a bag in the car, one at the office and after attending an Emergency Preparedness Workshop offered by the City, we now have a ‘Grab N Go Bag’.  Are these kits perfect?  Absolutely not, but they are a start? Yes.  Once you start, items can easily be added.

There are so many simple things anyone can do to prepare for an emergency such as keeping a pair of walking shoes in the car.  After that, add a first aid kit and a blanket. At work, again keep some walking shoes handy along with a change of clothes. The Grab N’ Go should have some essentials like medications, cash and your insurance papers.   We found keeping a typed list of the items in each bag printed out made updating and replacing items easier.   There are many other considerations such as for your pets, communication plans for members of your family, becoming familiar with disaster routes in the City.

If you haven’t already started a kit, we recommend some simple steps to get things started including buying and setting aside a bag, add a blanket and some water. Next grocery run, pick up some bottled water, add some food. While putting your kit together, keep your kids and pets in mind.  We find adding things as you go is more manageable cost wise and time wise.   What we highly recommend is taking the 1 hour and 1 ½ hours to attend a free workshop offered by the City of Vancouver.  These workshops have valuable information on things you may never have considered.  Workshops are geared to families, seniors and are even provided in different languages.   So whether an emergency is an earthquake, flood, fire, or something else, you are somewhat prepared. As the Nike slogan said so well “Just Do It!”

On that note, we are setting out some links for the City of Vancouver one of which shows you how to Build Your Own Emergency Kit.  If you wish to get your pet prepared for an emergency, visit Pet Emergency Preparedness. Become familiar with the City’s Disaster Route Map. Did you know 41st Avenue and Boundary Road are 2 main routes?   If you live in a condominium with a number of units, we understand that the City will come to you to present to a group of residents.  Contact them directly for further information. Either way, if you haven’t already, get started on a plan.

To sign up for one of the free workshops, visit City of Vancouver.  If you are interested in volunteering in the event of an emergency, the City needs people to do that in all areas of the City. To learn more visit, How You Can Help In An Emergency.

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