Be prepared for any emergency

There’s hardly any area in Canada that hasn’t been hit by a disaster of some sort in recent years – from flooding or wildfires in BC, power outages and damaging winds in Ontario and record snowfalls in the Maritimes. The federal government recommends that every Canadian household prepare an emergency kit that will help your family be self-sufficient without power or tap water for 72 hours.

Make sure your kit is easy to carry. Keep it in a backpack, duffel bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front hall closet. Make sure everyone in the household knows where to find it. Here are the contents of the recommended basic emergency kit:

Water — at least two litres of water per person per day. (Include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order.)

Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace it once a year)

Manual can-opener (cups and a few utensils will be helpful if you have to leave the premises)

Flashlight and batteries

Candles in sturdy containers and matches or lighter (remember to extinguish before retiring)

Battery-powered or wind-up radio (and extra batteries)

First aid kit

Special items such as prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities

Extra keys for your car and house

Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones (remember automated tellers or debit machines may not be working)

Finally, leave a copy of your home’s emergency plan , including contact information for all family members and next of kin; friends or relatives where you can stay if you need to relocate temporarily; a meeting place where separated family members can reunite; and all exits from your home and your neighborhood.

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