After the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Haida Gwaii, the tsunami that hit Hawaii, and Hurricane Sandy, I thought it would be a good idea to send out an email on how to be prepared in case of an emergency, especially with the possibility of an earthquake hitting metro Vancouver. A lot of people in New York City and New Jersey, despite given warnings of the incoming storm, weren’t prepared. Millions still don’t have power nor drinking water.
- Have a rally point planned with your loved ones. In case communication is down/overwhelmed, know ahead of time where to meet up, preferably a place easily accessed by foot (roads may be closed or congested).
- Carry cash in small bills. ATMs and debit/credit card machines may be out of order if the phone lines/power is out.
- Any necessary prescription medicine (in case you can’t make it home in time)
- Have a 2L of drinking water per person per day (in dire emergency you can use the toilet tank water for non-consuming).
- A water purification filter (Brita won’t filter out smaller particles if the tap water is really turbid).
- Have enough drinking water and canned food (with a manual can opener) for 72 hours MINIMUM
. The local grocery store may be closed, filled with customers, or looted.
- Don’t call 911 unless it’s a life threatening emergency. The lines would otherwise overwhelm the 911 operators and first responders.
- Have spare batteries, candles, matches (waterproof or put them in a sealed plastic bag), flashlight, and a hand-crank radio if the power goes down.
- First aid kit (get to know what’s in the kit).
- Duct tape (it’s great for a lot of things, including sealing a large open wound).
- Sleeping bags
- If you don’t need to leave your home, DON’T leave. The roads may be littered with debris and need to be easily accessed for first responders. There may also be aftershocks after an earthquake or more waves/surges with a tsunami.
- Get to know your neighbours. There may be older/handicap people living nearby who may need help.
I highly recommend having a backpack filled with spare clothes, toilet paper, drinking water, energy bars, first aid kit, emergency blanket, and a flashlight if you NEED to leave your house. Have similar items in your car if possible. A lot of these items you can find at MEC and Canadian Tire’s camping section.
Be prepared not
to have any help from emergency workers for at least 72 hours as they will be busy with more dire situations. http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=33847&tid=001http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/index-eng.aspx