The Canadian government has officially released an emergency preparedness guide and states "All Canadians are encouraged to be prepared to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency, while emergency workers focus on those in urgent need." So in the case of an emergency, would you and your family have what you need to survive and adapt to reduced resources?
Putting zombie apocolypes aside, climate change, man-made conflict, reliance on technology and electricity are all great reasons you and your family need to be prepared for the worst. Not having what you need, when you need it-puts you and your family at risk when you have to leave the safety of your home or car to find it. Things like gasoline, medications, clean water and food are at the top of the list...but certaintly just a start.
So to help you tackle this necessary and important project, we've put together a list of 11 tips to help you get started in building your own plan and help prepare your family for those unexpected life events that can happen to anyone.
1) Buy/Build an 72 Hour 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.
You may have some of the items already, such as food, water and a batteryoperated or wind-up flashlight. The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark? Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front-hall closet. If you have many people in your household, your emergency kit could get heavy.
It's a good idea to separate some of these supplies in backpacks. That way, your kit will be more portable and each person can personalize his or her own grab-and-go emergency kit.
Build your own at home with this useful checklist from the Canadian Gov. website.
Don't have the time to pluck away at this? Then put your mind at ease and get your ready-made 72-Hour Family of 2 Emergency Prepardness Backpack with military-grade packaging and food/water preservation that will last years.
We just purchased the Family of 4 Emergency Prepardness kit, and feel this is a solid investment that will not only put us at ease when we drive up north in the annual Christmas blizzard, but should something happen unexpectedly in the city (power outtage, ice storms, flooding etc.).
2) Hoard Your Cash Money (at least $1000)
In case of emergencies such as cyber warfare, power outages or tech glitches access to your money may be extremely difficult if not impossible if it all sits in the bank.
Some may feel this is an alarmist suggestion, but consider the fact the Swedish Government officially recommended to its people to squirrel their cash dollars and coins away in preparation for a day that might come where they must barter, buy and trade their way for the resources they need.
How much money is in your house right now? I might have $3.00 in coins, a $100 bill and $15 in Euros. What can that buy my family of 4? Not much.
Without your debit card or credit card, how would you buy food, water, medications or gasoline?
Finding an extra $1000 might be hard for many families, but think of it as an investment. You're not spending it, it's not losing value and not gaining...but can mean the difference between surviving and thriving when emergencies hit.
Consider yourself a real survivor? Take the next step and stock pile items to barter with. Tools, guns, fuel and fire starters are a few necessary tradeables you could negotiate away for the resources your family needs.
This may be taking it to the whole 'Zombie Apocalypse' level, but I'm sure there's some of you out there secretly obsessed with this.
Check out this fun and interesting article on bartering on Zombiepedia for more information.
3) Take steps to power your home independently
No easy feat right? Seems like something for hippies and richies?
Not any more. One of the best ways to cut your monthly bills is by investing in renewable energy.
Solar panels typically go on your roof, although you can also install them in your yard or garden. Depending on your location, you could generate 10 or more watts per square foot. A typical house consumes at least a kilowatt of power, so a few square feet of solar panels should be enough to power most or all of your needs.
If your current roof is aging and ready to be replaced, you could also consider investing in solar shingles. Where standard rooftop solar panels are mounted on top of your current roof, solar shingles actually take the place of your roof tiles.
Want to expand beyond solar panels? Check out this great article "7 Ways to Power your Home"
4) Ensure your phone is 'Alert Ready' Compatible
Alert Ready is Canada’s emergency alerting system.
Alert Ready delivers critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices.
Only authorized government agencies can issue alerts. Together, government officials developed a specific list of the types of alerts that are considered a threat to life.
These types of alerts should be broadcast immediately on television, radio and wireless devices. Below is a complete list and description of these alerts:
Unfortunately not all devices or providers support this alert system.
Is your phone over 3 years old?
Are you in a rural area with poor service and using a small third-party platform?
If so, now is the time to check your phones compatibility and determine if your service supports this important public service
5) Have extra medication on hand
This tip unfortunately can be difficult for those with hard-to-access drugs or requiring refrigeration. But you can start small.
Don't think this is a serious issue? Ask the families and friends of those who are ill, have special needs or chronic disability in the UK...about to enter BREXIT.
Read more about the possibility of scarcity of drugs affecting millions of families in 2019 in a first-world, highly resourced country.
If you have a Costco membership, this is a great way to add staple medications without breaking the bank and getting large quantities you can store away.
Here are a list of the top medications to have on hand (watch for expiry dates):
- Anti-infection/bacterial (Polysporin)
- Pain Relievers (Tylenol, Ibufprofen, Aspirin)
- Digestive Treatments (Imodium, Tums, Alka-Seltzer)
- Allergy (Benadryl, Cortizone Cream)
Have a child or family member with complex medical needs? Talk to your pharmacist, family doctor and care team to arrange a back-up plan should an emergency occur and their medication/treatment runs out.
You may not be able to stock pile an oxygen tank or IV fluids, but you may be able to identify where you need to go and who to call if you face an emergency.
Let others in your family know this plan in case you are incapacitated or unavailable.
5) Carry a wireless phone charger with varied phone compatibility
Should you still have access to electricity (lucky!) will you have your phone cord available? Does everyone in your family have a different model?
This is a great tip to ensure you can plug in anywhere, anytime and with any phone to get your charge back up and keep your communication lines open.
Communication with family and friends is paramount when trying to ensure everyone's safety and pool your resources together.
Keep one in your car with an adapter should you need to hit the road quickly.
Running around the house looking for everyone's phone cords is a waste of time and not practical.
Try this low-priced, yet high quality chargers that works on most Androids and newer Iphones. Tried and tested by Campton, we give it our seal of excellence!
6) Have a portable generator as power backup
This is a simple yet slightly expensive ($400-$1000) way to ensure you will have access to some electricity if a power outage occurs (winter storms, floods, heat waves).
Easily connected to the core-appliances you need (fridge, lighting, medical devices, etc) this piece of equipment can ensure you are able to stay in your home as long as necessary.A portable generator will produce enough to run some household essentials—as long as your "essentials" don't include the plasma TV, central air conditioner, and Jacuzzi tub.
In an emergency, wheel it out, gas it up, pull the starter cord, and you've got your own mini electric plant. These units are not without their downsides, chief among them that you have to be home to operate them and only so much energy can be funneled.
Your generator's gas tank will hold, on average, from three to six gallons, meaning you'll need to run outside to refill it, even if it's 10 degrees below zero and snowing. It can take 34 gallons of gas to run an average-size portable for two days
Shop high-quality generators at your local hardware store or here online for free home delivery.
Live in an apartment? Batteries are the way to go.
Although you can't power a stove or fridge with batteries, there are many things you will need in an emergency that will require them.
7) Have N95 Masks for the entire family
Whether a growing wildfire, pandemic or bioterroism affecting air quality, you'll need high-quality masks that keep out dust, bacteria, chemical agents and smoke outside and potentially inside your home.
An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.
The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.
At only $2.00 per mask, multiples are a must-have for each of your loved ones. Buy yours today.
*masks are typically not fitted for those with facial hair and children
8) Plan for pets
In the past 3 years, Eastern and Western Canada have seen catastrophic flooding and wildfires, leading to the displacement, abandonment and death of 1000's of beloved family pets.
Not all animals can be saved in an emergency, but having a plan before it happens can help give your animal a fighting chance in surviving the worst.
Below are a list of tips specific to your furry-friends in times of emergency:
- Ensure your animal had a durable Pet ID, personalized with their name and contact information. Try this $9 tag with a lifetime warranty.
- Have a carrying case for small animals that can easily fit in the car and be carried with one hand
- Maintain a current photo of your animal
- Have 1 week of supply of food/water that is available to them if you must leave them
- Bring pets inside immediately and keep them indoors until the threat has passed.
- If possible bring pets upstairs and keep them in a secure pet carrier.
- Have newspapers, litter boxes and trash bags on hand for sanitary purposes.
- Feed animals moist or canned food, this way they’ll need less water.
- Separate dogs and cats, even if they usually get along. Emergency situations can cause pets to behave unpredictably. Also keep small pets away cats and dogs.
- NEVER leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
- If you need to leave the area, consider dropping them off at a Petsmart Hotel
9) Secure important documents in one location
Sometimes weather emergencies force you away your home and everything you know. Picking up the pieces takes time and resources, but also requires alot of paperwork.
Getting in touch with your insurance company, submitting birth certificates to apply for new ID are just a few of the things you might have to do after the fact.
Start today, by finding the following documents and placing them in a plastic covered ziplock bag or page protector and locating them in a safe and easily accessible location:
- Birth certificates
- Social Insurance Numbers
- Insurance policy numbers and telephone number to call
- Life/disability insurance
- Credit card medical emergency numbers
- Pictures of your family
- A document with your name/address on it (bill)
- Photocopies of your passport/license and credit card number
10) Have a back up plan for getting clean water
Clean water is the key to long-term survival. We can't go very long without it.
If you have a comprehensive 72 Hour emergency pack, then you have enough to get you through the first 4 days.
But after that, what if the emergency hasn't ended...what if it's gotten worse?
You need a plan as to how you will get access fresh water that won't cause sickness or infection.
Rain barrels like this one, are a great way to store up water all season long without having to work at it. Perfect for use when your garden needs it, this investment doubles as a go-to water source in a jam. Make sure to treat the water if possible, or at a minimum distill or boil it to ensure all the pollutants are removed.
Want clean water wherever you go, where ever you find it?
Then a portable water-filter is the way to go. Fast and effective, this filter can get you clean water no matter what pond, lake, stream or puddle you find it in.
11) Have a PLAN.
This is by far the easiest and most important and the LAST one you will actually do.
When an emergency happens and you're at work, the kids are in school and the dog at home, who is going to do what?
If you can't reach someone by phone, who is going to pick up the kids from school? Likely, both of you would...which is a waste of time and resources.
If you have extended family, whose house do you meet at?
Does someone have a safer location or bigger property that can house more people?
Do you pick up gas on your way home or stop for food?
There might not be a right and wrong answer, but you and your loved ones need to have a basic idea of what is going to happen if lets say a winter blizzard blows in.
You and your family need to get on the same page quickly.
Don't rely on last minute phone calls and text...talk about it now.
Here are three questions to answer to get your plan started:
1) Who gets the kids if they are not at home?
2) Should anyone pick up supplies/gas or do we get together first?
3) If going home isn't safe, where is a second location you can meet at as a backup.
We hope this article has been helpful and given you some immediate steps to making your family safer during a climate change emergency. If you have any additional tips or ideas, please comment below and we'll be sure to add them if they're good!