Saturday, August 27, 2011

I think 2012 might be arriving a bit early.

Or maybe the last few months have just been a really flashy pre-game show?

Between the tornado in Goderich last week, the fires in Slave Lake in May, Japan's tsunami in March and Hurricane Irene looming (and probably a bunch of other stuff I've forgotten about), 2011 has been a busy year for natural disasters.  It sounds like now is a good time to get started on an emergency kit for the house.

I've done a bit of research and have found two websites that I'm going to use to create an emergency kit for the house.  The first is the Canadian government's Get Prepared website.  There is some pretty useful information on that site, along with a basic checklist of emergency supplies.  But I also found a REALLY thorough site from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.  It's a little heavy on earthquake preparedness, as you would expect.  So I'm going to use both to create my own list of what we need.

The San Francisco guide recommends two types of kits - a household disaster kit (allowing you to remain at home without utilities) and a go-bag for every person (in case you are evacuated.)  They suggest having a go-bag for each person in your home, your car and your vehicle.  The Canadian government recommends some basic supplies along with other additional supplies, as well as a car kit.  I'm going to do something of a hybrid of both systems and put together the go-bags, along with small car kits for each of us, for the things that we would each need and then another container or bag for the things that could be shared.  

While I'm sure this list will change slightly as I get things assembled, here's my initial list of what needs to go in each kit:

- 6 litres of water
- non-perishable food that doesn't need a can opener or heating
- sleeping bag
- change of clothes
- extra shoes
- roll of toilet paper
- hand sanitizer
- toothbrush & toothpaste
- garbage bag
- flashlight with extra batteries
- Swiss Army knife or something similar
- whistle
- water purifying tablets
- pen, paper
- copies of personal documents
- emergency contact information
- house key
- cash

Car kits:
- 1 litre of water
- a box of granola bars or something similar
- a blanket
- change of clothes
- small first aid kit
- whistle
- wind-up flashlight
- one of those candle-in-a-tin things with some matches

Home kit:
- 12 litres of water
- canned food
- candles & matches
- toilet paper, paper towel
- can opener
- plates, utensils, bowls, etc.
- garbage bags
- first aid kit
- heavy blanket
- tent
- heavy duty flashlight with extra batteries
- radio
- copies of insurance documents
- emergency contact information
- cash

Penny's Go-bag:
- 6 litres of water
- food 
- blanket
- bowls
- roll of bags
- a leash
- pet first aid kit
- immunization, microchip records
- emergency contact information

I think we would actually be in okay shape if we were without utilities for three days but we certainly wouldn't be able to evacuate quickly.  Some of this stuff, we already have and it will just be a matter of assembling it.  I'll have to go out and buy some of the other stuff.  Either way, this is probably one of those things that we should do sooner, rather than later.  

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