Household Emergency Plan
DOES YOUR FAMILY HAVE ONE?
If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.
Step 1. Know the Risks
Lethbridge County has been impacted by natural disasters such as severe storms, wildfires, and flooding in the past. Identifying what emergencies could impact your home or place of work is an important first step in emergency preparedness.
Step 2. Make a Plan
Every household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency.
Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan how to meet or how to contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations. Keep your household emergency plan in an easy-to-find, easy-to-remember place (for example, with your emergency kit). Photocopy this plan and keep it in your car and/or at work, and a copy close to your phone. If you completed your plan online, keep an electronic version on your computer.
What your plan should include:
Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows all possible exits from each room. Plan a main exit route and an alternate exit route from each room. Identify an evacuation route from your neighbourhood in case you need to leave in a hurry (and think of more than one option).
Identify safe places where everyone should meet if you cannot go home or you need to evacuate.
• Safe meeting place near home
• Safe meeting place outside immediate neighbourhood
• Evacuation routes from neighbourhood
Make copies of important documents
Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licences, wills, land deeds and insurance. Take photos of family members in case a lost persons record is created. Keep them in a safe place, both inside and outside your home. You might want to put them in a safety deposit box or give them to friends and family who live out of town.
Ask your children's school or daycare about their emergency policies. Find out how they will contact families during an emergency.
Find out what type of authorization the school or daycare requires to release your children to a designated person if you can't pick them up. Make sure the school or daycare has updated contact information for parents, caregivers and designated persons.
Plan for pets
In case of an evacuation, remember that pets are not allowed in some public shelters or hotels. In case of an evacuation, prepare to take your pets with you to the home of a relative or friend, or take steps to identify pet-friendly hotels or pet boarding facilities in your area and further away from home.
Special health needs
Establish a personal support network of friends, relatives, health-care providers, co-workers and neighbours who understand your special needs.
Write down details about:
• Accommodation needs
• Insurance information
• Medical conditions
• Emergency contacts
• Family medical history
• Recent vaccinations
• Health screenings
Keep a copy of this information in your emergency kit, and give a copy to your personal support network.
Talk to your doctor about preparing a grab-and-go bag, if possible, with a two-week supply of medication and medical supplies. Include prescriptions and medical documents. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for some time, even after an emergency is over.
Safe home instructions
Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, fire extinguisher and well-stocked first aid kit. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home, including one in your kitchen. Everyone in your home should know where to find the fire extinguishers. All capable adults and older children should know how to use it. See instructions regarding the lifetime of your fire extinguisher and check with your local fire department for more information. Older children and adults should know how to turn off your home's water, electricity and gas. Make large, easy-to-see signs for water and gas shut-offs as well as for the electrical panel.
Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 as well as how to call the designated out-of-town contact.
In an emergency, limit phone calls to urgent messages only. Keep calls short to free up the lines for others.
Step 3. Get an emergency kit
In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
Make sure your kit is easy to carry, easy to find (especially in the dark if the power goes out), and everyone in the household knows where it is.
*with information from www.getprepared.gc.ca