With the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping through the world right now, have you thought about whether your family is prepared for other emergencies? Natural hazards like earthquakes and potential subsequent tsunamis are a real threat to people like me living in the Pacific North-West. Tornadoes, floods, wildfires, landslides, bomb threats, chemical releases and nuclear emergencies are other events that are possible in almost all areas. In my blog post, I go through the 3 steps to creating your own Family Emergency Plan.
Preparing for An Earthquake in the PNW
Ever since we moved to Vancouver about 11 years ago, we keep hearing about the “Big-One” (earthquake) that is supposedly overdue. According to Nina Grossman’s article , it has been 320 years since the Cascadia Megathrust earthquake hit British Columbia, which sent a tsunami wave to Japan at the speed of a jet.
The estimated time between the Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes is anywhere between 200 to 800 years, and it could be up to a magnitude of 9 (the highest and most destructive on the Richter scale). Our son doesn’t just have a fire drill at school, they also conduct earthquake drills on an annual basis.
We’ve been wanting to prepare our family for an emergency like an earthquake for a while now. COVID-19 definitely lit a fire under us and we purchased our emergency kits from 72hours a few weeks ago. But what I’ve learned is that purchasing an emergency kit is only one step in completing a proper emergency plan. Below, I’ll go through the 3 steps you should take to make a plan for your family.
STEP 1: Know the Risks for Your Region
The first step is knowing the hazards that are specific to your region.
Canadians, click here to see a list of hazards, and links to your province to learn more about what hazards and emergencies you should be preparing for the most. This website also outlines the things we should do to before, during and after an emergency.
American friends click here for a list of disasters and emergencies. There is no list for each state, but do a quick google search, then go back to this website and click on each emergency as it provides detailed information on how to prepare and protect yourself for each event.
STEP 2: Create an Emergency Plan
This part will take you about 20 or more minutes, and may require some leg work before you’re done.
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I would suggest involving everyone in your family when making your plans, and to place copies in your emergency kit, in your car, in your kids’ backpacks, in your bag or purse. That way, everyone will have a copy at their fingertips should disaster strike whether you’re at home or out and about.
Things you’ll need to know when preparing your plan are: where the safe exits are from your home and neighborhood; where you’ll be meeting your family members; who will pick up your kids if you are unable to do so; who your in-town and out-of-town contacts will be; health and insurance information; places for your pet(s) to stay; location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical panel, gas valve and floor drain.
STEP 3: Have An Emergency Kit
- You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours after an emergency. That’s because it can take up to 72 hours, or 3 days before help can arrive. If you live in a remote area, or if the weather conditions are harsh, it may take even longer. According to St John’s Ambulance most of the resources will be focused on re-establishing critical services and providing care to those who are most in need in the aftermath of a disaster. Therefore, you want to make sure you have at least the minimum suggested amount for you and every member of your family.
Enter your info below to receive a FREE copy of my Emergency Kit Checklist along with a Family Emergency Plan PRINTABLE Template.
Canadian Emergency Kits
You can build your own kits, or you can purchase a ready-made kit. We recently purchased ours from a local company called 72hours.ca. They ship anywhere in Canada and offer free shipping on orders over $99. We got the 4 person deluxe kit which cost us $209.99 plus tax. It took about a few weeks to arrive, but they currently have a notice on their website that all orders will take 2-4 weeks to process and ship.
I’ll be updating this post once I complete my unboxing video of our 72Hours 4 person deluxe kit.
Canadian Red Cross also has a 4-person deluxe kit that is slightly cheaper at $184.99, and also offers free shipping. There is a minimum of 6-week shipping time with any kits that contain food and water rations.
American Emergency Kits
No Better Time To Prepare Than Now!
There’s only 3 steps to making sure your family is prepared for an emergency. Though the plan will take about 20-30 minutes to complete, in my opinion it’s so worth it. The peace-of-mind alone knowing our family is prepared, and everyone has an idea of what to do, makes facing a potential disaster a bit easier to take. I hope you found this information helpful. Comment below if you’ve started your plan and have your kit ready!
Don’t forget to download my free Emergency Kit Checklist along with the Family Emergency Plan PRINTABLE template.
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Until next time, stay healthy and safe, my friends!