Preparing your home for an emergency
Published Monday, January 7, 2013 3:03PM EST
From sudden flooding to ice storms. Quebeckers are no strangers to natural disasters, and climate change seems to be playing a role.
"We have concrete evidence that disasters do happen in Quebec," said Donny Straub of the Red Cross.
"We used to have one major disaster per year with the Canadian Red Cross but now we're having multiple per year."
The agency says creating a disaster plan for your home is important, but 2/3 of Canadians are not ready to cope.
"We encourage the population to get ready and get their kids ready in order to be able to respond within the first hours of a disaster," said Straub. That means being ready to live on your own for 72 hours without power or water, no matter where you live in the province.
The Red Cross recommends what may seem like copious amounts of water, along with food and shelter for everyone in your home. (Don't forget food for animals as well.)
"The first thing that's really really important is to get some water. What we recommend is a four litre bottle of water and we need one per day per person," said Straub. 2L will be used for drinking, and 2L for personal hygiene.
Other essential gear includes:
- First-aid kit
- Flashlight & radio (preferably that do not need batteries)
- A swiss army-type knife with a can opener
- Masks to protect from you from dust or airborne illnesses
- Water purification tablets
- Waterproof matches and a small candle
- A whistle and glow-sticks
- Work gloves
- A water-proof sos sign
- Identification and emergency numbers
- Spare keys to your house and car
- Personal medication
Most importantly, people should make sure their emergency kit is close to an exit in case you need to leave fast.
Your vehicle should also have an emergency kit of its own, which will be covered on Thursday.
Richelieu Valley residents had to abandon their homes last year, often with little notice, after flooding.