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Here's how to create an emergency kit in the event of a natural disaster in your area

On Saturday, a state of emergency was declared in Alberta due to the rapid expansion of numerous forest fires — a grim reminder for the beginning of Emergency Preparedness Week that it’s increasingly important to know what to do in the event of a natural disaster in your area.

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness campaign that has taken place every year during the first full week of May since the mid-90s, aimed at helping Canadians put together ways to respond in the event of an emergency.

“In recent years, we have witnessed historic floods, wildfires, winter storms and hurricanes,” Bill Blair, Minister of Emergency Preparedness, said in a statement Sunday.

“In the past week, floods and wildfires have ravaged communities right across Canada. As climate change causes these events to become more frequent and more severe, the Government of Canada will be there to support response and recovery efforts, and build back more resilient communities.”

He added that he encourages all Canadians to familiarize themselves with the necessary steps to take in the event of an emergency, such as “making your own emergency kit, creating a family emergency plan, or becoming more informed about the risks and hazards in that could exist in your area.”

Over the last few years, Canada has seen an increased number of floods, wildfires and storms and hurricanes, many driven by climate change, forcing Canadians to face with unprecedented disruptions to their lives.

In 2021, a tornado devastated Barrie, Ontario, damaging 110 homes. Just last fall, post-tropical storm Fiona battered Atlantic Canada, killing two people, washing away multiple homes and taking away power for thousands.


With extreme weather anticipated to become more and more common due to climate change, what can Canadians do to be prepared?

One of the main actions experts recommend is making an emergency kit — a pack full of basic supplies to help your family survive during an emergency, even in the event of the power going out for an extended time, or your family needing to abruptly evacuate, or your family potentially being trapped and cut off from authorities.

Officials recommend that this emergency kit be something easy to carry, such as a duffel bag, and be stored somewhere where all family members can easily get to it.

An emergency kit should contain:

-a flashlight

-a wind-up radio

-extra batteries

-first aid kit

-any specialized essentials for specific members of the family, such as equipment related to a disability, prescription medications or food particular to a person’s age or allergies.

-extra keys for your home and car

-cash, including change for a payphone

-your family’s emergency plan

It should also contain some basics in terms of food and water, according to government officials, including two litres of water per person per day, if possible.

It should contain non-perishable or long-lasting food such as canned goods or individually packaged granola bars and dried foods. If you are packing canned goods, make sure to include a can-opener. Ready-to-go baby food and pet food is the way to go instead of food that needs preparing before it can be served.

If you are able to prepare ahead of an emergency — such as prepping for a post-tropical storm or hurricane — officials recommend ensuring that your fridge and freezer are set at or below 4 C and -18 C respectively to help keep them cooler for longer if the power does go out.

You should prepare a cooler and ice ahead of time in case you need to keep refrigerated food cold for more than four hours. Top Stories

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