With the arrival of spring comes the arrival of the potential for wildfires, floods or tornados, so this Emergency Preparedness Week, which runs May 2-8, 2021, is the perfect time to get prepared, just in case.
“Disasters often strike with little warning,” explains Georgiana Matharu, Canadian Red Cross emergency management operations manager in Saskatchewan. “You may need to evacuate quickly and having an emergency kit on hand and ready to go can help you navigate the first 72 hours with a little peace of mind.”
Having a basic kit is good but personalizing it and updating it for COVID-19 protection is even better.
The essentials for a kit include non-perishable food, cash, a first aid kit, keys, medication, a change of clothes, water, and important documents, such as home insurance information.
Beyond these items, you should “personalize your kit to your specific needs,” says Matharu. “If you have children, include games to keep them occupied. Pack pet food if you have animals in the house. Keep an extra set of eyeglasses handy, and don’t forget chargers for electronic equipment.”
Tailoring an emergency kit to your specific needs can make all the difference in a time of crisis. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Before you purchase anything, check what you have in your pantry. Start with the essentials, assess what you need to personalize your kit, and slowly start to add items as your budget allows.
During the pandemic, it’s important to update your emergency kit to include items to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. Ensure that you include masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, and gloves, adds Matharu.
“There is no way to prepare for everything that might come your way but doing what you can to ease the impact of a disaster can go a long way in recovery,” she says.
“It all starts with a simple emergency preparedness kit to help get you through the first critical days.”
Visit redcross.ca/beready to learn more about assembling an emergency preparedness kit with essential and additional items, creating a car kit, and to downloading an emergency kit checklist.