Emergency Preparedness Week – Family Emergency Plan

Are you be ready?

Firefighters: More than just fighting fires

You think of the fire department and you think of crews fighting fires, conducting fire safety checks and reminders to check that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. But that’s not all. They’re also involved in high-risk rescues, hazardous goods spills and more. Barrie Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Weber is also head of Barrie’s Emergency Management. He says handling extreme situations is a collective effort…

Family Emergency Plan

It’s the middle of the day, you’re at work, the kids are at school and a tornado hits or there’s a mass evacuation due to a chemical spill – how do you gather your family together? How do you ensure everyone is safe? Simcoe County’s Manager of 9-1-1 and Emergency Planning, Cathy Clark, says you should start with a phone number of a relative or friend who does not live in your immediate area. It should be someone everyone can call…just to check in to say they’re safe. Write the name and number of that person on a card, put it in your kid’s backpacks and in your own wallet (you may not be able to look it up on your cell phone and chances are good you won’t remember it). In addition to a phone number, have an address  – it might be the same friend or relative – where everyone can go to meet.

72-Hour Emergency Kit

We’ve had a couple of emergency situations in the last couple of weeks – an ice storm,  and more recently a wind storm. We talk every year at this time, during Emergency Preparedness Week, about being ready for an emergency. Were you this time? Did you have a 72-hour emergency kit put together?

Cathy Clark, Simcoe County’s chief emergency planner, says most people are still not adequately prepared. They have some of the recommended items set aside, but not all of them. And they don’t have them altogether in one place. That’s important, says Clark, because you need to be able to grab it and go at a moment’s notice. Here’s what should be in your 72-hour emergency kit:

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Radio and batteries/crank powered radio – emergency officials rely on radio to deliver vital information in an emergency
  • First-aid kit
  • Candles and waterproof matches/lighter
  • Extra car and house keys
  • Cash in the form of small bills and coins – if the power is out, so are automated tellers and debit card payments
  • Copies of important papers for each member of your family e.g. passport and birth certificate
  • Canned foods, energy bars, dried foods (consume and replace at least once per year)
  • Bottled water — 2L/person/day for drinking and an additional 2L/person/day for food preparation and hygiene (replace at least once per year)
  • Manual can opener, bottle opener
  • Cutlery
  • Cooking pot
  • Disposable cups and plates
  • Garbage bags and smaller resealable bags
  • Clothing and footwear, one change/person
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Toilet paper and other personal items
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Non-latex gloves, dust masks
  • Medications (one week supply)
  • Backpack/duffel bag
  • Whistle
  • Basic tools — hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, etc.
  • Small fuel driven stove and fuel
  • Playing cards, games

Clark also recommends topping up your gas tank as storm approaches. If the power goes out, gas pumps won’t be working.

Click here for more from Simcoe County  Emergency Management on how you can best prepare for an emergency.