Emergency preparedness can be a life saver!

provided by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Emergency preparedness can be a life saver!

May 5 through 11 is Emergency Preparedness Week, and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is reminding you to be ready in case of emergency. Emergencies often happen with little to no warning, so being prepared can save time, and even your life. The three best ways to be prepared for an emergency are to know the types of emergencies your area is at risk for, have an emergency plan and keep emergency kits in accessible areas.

Over the past few years, eastern Ontario has faced a range of emergencies from power outages to flooding, extreme heat events, poor air quality caused by forest fires, and snow and ice storms. “Emergencies can happen at any time so it’s important to be prepared,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health. “Having emergency plans and kits can help you to keep yourself and your family safe.”

In the event of an emergency, you may not have much time to act. Everyone in your household should know the emergency plans, including evacuation routes from your home and neighbourhood, emergency contact information, and meeting points if you become separated.

Depending on the emergency, you also may not have access to food, fresh water, or other amenities like electricity, and first responders may not be able to assist you right away. Emergency kits stocked with survival essentials prepare you to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, and should be stored in easy-to-access areas in both your home and your car.

Some items emergency kits should contain include:

  • Photocopies of important documents (government ID, insurance, bank records etc.)
  • 4 litres of water per person, per day, for drinking, cleaning, and hygiene
  • Non-perishable foods
  • First aid kit
  • Battery-operated or wind-up flashlight
  • Battery-operated radio

Be sure to check your kits annually and rotate out the food and water to ensure nothing is past its expiry date.

More information on how to prepare for emergencies can be found at www.getprepared.gc.ca and www.ontario.ca/page/be-prepared-emergency.

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