If you were shaken by the earthquake December 30 and immediately thought, ‘I am not prepared for this!’, you are not alone. The average Canadian family is not prepared for such natural disasters. But it’s a new year and a new you, so let’s cross this off of our to-do list once and for all, and saunter into 2016 feeling a little lighter and more prepared.
Make a plan. If you don’t already have a plan in place, dedicate family time for talking earthquake prepardness. You may not be together when disaster strikes, so each family member needs to know how to contact and find each other. For info on what you should go over and what your plan should cover, consult the Red Cross’s list.
Next up, you’re going to need some supplies. 72 Hours is a Burnaby-based company that sells ready-made emergency kits. Choose from one- to four-person waterproof backpacks that contain emergency food and water rations (enough for, you guessed it, 72 hours), blanket, rain poncho, flashlight, radio, whistle, surgical masks, vinyl gloves, and tissues.
Kits are also available for purchase through the Canadian Red Cross. The Emergency Preparedness Bundled Backpack includes all the basics (think: scissors, candle, matches, water purification tablets), a first aid kit for your home and car, and a black-out LED light, but note that it doesn’t contain food or water rations.
St. John’s Ambulance sells a grab-and-go four person Emergency Preparedness Deluxe Kit that includes emergency food bars, water, flashlights, ponchos, first aid kit, duct tape, work gloves and more to tide you over for 72 hours in the event of a disaster.
Alternatively, you can assemble your own earthquake kit by using this checklist recommended by the Canadian Red Cross. Besides food and water, they recommend storing a manual can opener, a first aid kit, cash in small bills, personal hygiene items, copies of family documents such as birth certificates and passports, and a copy of your emergency plan.
The question isn’t will an earthquake hit the west coast, it’s when will it strike. These small tremors serve as reminders to prepare ourselves and our families, so get cracking before the earth does.