Living on Vancouver Island means being surrounded by beautiful scenery and — usually — pretty great weather. It’s easy to forget, though, that we are fully susceptible to earthquakes and other potential dangers. So, it’s essential for everyone to have an emergency kit, or “go bag” as they’re sometimes called, in their home.
In addition, build a second kit to keep in your car and for camping or hiking, as you never know where you’ll be if a disaster does strike. This may seem like a daunting task, but if something catastrophic ever does happen, you’ll be glad you took the time. You should customize your emergency kit(s) to whatever your family will need — but here are the absolute essentials:
You’ll need water for both drinking and sanitizing, so pack a minimum of a gallon per person per day for a week in your emergency kit.
Store enough non-perishable goods to reasonably feed your family — and your pets, too! — for a week. If you’re storing canned goods, don’t forget to include a manual can opener.
Garbage bags are useful for covering you and your food to protect from debris, but they are also useful for your personal waste.
You’ll want to be kept up to date on what’s happening. Since you likely won’t have power, you’ll need a crank or battery radio, along with extra batteries, in your kit.
It’s important to shut off your utilities — especially if you have natural gas. Therefore, learn how to do this ahead of time or print off instructions to keep in a waterproof pouch with your wrench.
Again, you likely won’t have power, so keep a flashlight or two — and extra batteries (can we say that enough?) — in your emergency kit. That way, you’ll have a light source and a possible way to signal for help.
Recovery crews are trained to listen for whistles as signals for help.
Dust masks can protect you against debris, they can also help avoid spreading illness. Now more than ever, we understand the necessity of having a premium mask for protection.
Tarps are great for creating shelter. Taping them up (with thick duct tape) provides you with a barrier against the elements.
FIRST AID SUPPLIES
You should have a first aid kit in your home anyway, so consider keeping it in or near your emergency kit.
MEDICATIONS & ESSENTIALS
If anyone in your family requires medication, glasses, or anything like that, put these in your kit.
If you have very young children, don’t forget to include diapers and formula, too. Likewise, don’t forget feminine hygiene products if anyone in your family needs them.
BLANKETS AND EXTRA CLOTHING
To keep warm and comfortable, include a few blankets along with extra clothing and sturdy shoes for each member of your family.
Waterproof matches can help you start a fire (safely!), keep you warm, create a signal, or cook food.
You should already have at least one fire extinguisher in your home. Keep one near your emergency kit.
If you have young children, this can be a scary time for them. Therefore, you may want to include small toys or books for them, as the extra comfort may help calm them.
*Remember to rotate food, medication, and other items with expiry, and check that your supplies are up to date a few times each year.
Capital Iron Can Help!
This list may seem long, but don’t worry! Capital Iron is your Emergency Preparedness Headquarters for earthquakes and other natural disasters. Not only do we offer the items individually, but we also have several handy options for ready-made emergency and earthquake kits. Our expert, friendly staff is always available to answer any questions and help you find the supplies you need to keep you and your family prepared and safe. Contact us or head down to one of our two convenient locations today!