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Emergency Preparedness Week – May 2nd to 8th, 2021 Day 2

Posted: May 4, 2021

"Be ready for anything”

As you are now aware, you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours.  The first steps include preparing plans and emergency kits.

                  Make a home emergency plan.  It only takes a few minutes for you and your family to get together and make a plan.  Encourage your friends and neighbours to create their own plans as well. Once completed, your plan should be kept in a secure and easy to find place. 

Step 1:  Identify escape routes in your house or apartment.  You should think of two different ways to leave a room.  If you live a building with elevators, avoid using them during an emergency. 

                  Identify escape routes from your neighbourhood.  Remember to include alternates as some access and egress routes could be blocked by debris or other material.

                  Don’t forget about your place of employment.  Can you get out safely if needed?

Step 2: Establish meeting places near your home, in your immediate neighbourhood or where you work or go to school.  Do you have a location in mind that everyone is aware of once you leave your residence?

Step 3: Plan for children.  If an event occurs during school hours, do you need to make arrangements for someone else to pick them up?  Make sure you provide up to date contact info for yourself or authorized persons to the facilities where your children are.  Include a meeting place.

Step 4: Address any special needs such as health concerns, medications or special equipment.  Are others aware of allergies, medical conditions, recent surgeries etc?  Do you have sufficient medication on hand?

Step 5: Plan for pets.  Many households have pets and they need to be taken care of as well.  It is advised to take your pet with you.  You should be aware however that some public shelters or hotels do not allow pets.  Pre-plan your evacuated location to ensure you can bring your pet.  Did you bring food and any medication for your pet as well?

Step 6: Plan for the specific risks in your neighbourhood.  For example, the probability of an earthquake occurring in East St. Paul is extremely remote.  What are the chances however for a severe storm in the winter or summer?

Step 7: Record emergency contact information. Do you know how to contact family members if they are at work or somewhere else other than home?  Record phone and cell numbers, emails, work addresses.  If you have been separated, you should have an out of town contact that should be notified by members of your family.  Ideally this person should be in an area not affected by the emergency.   Do you have your doctor’s contact info?   Insurance company? Can you contact your friends and neighbours once you’re safe to see if they need assistance?

Step 8: Make your home safe.  Do you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?  Make sure you test them weekly and check your batteries.  Do you know the locations of fire extinguishers?  Do you know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher? Do you have specialized equipment such as solar panels?  Is everyone aware of the potential hazards?

Emergency preparedness starts with a plan.  Get your entire family involved in the process! Remember to review your plan on a regular basis as situations such as contact information can change.  A well prepared plan will let you "be ready for anything”.



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