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Thursday , 19 May 2022
Emergency Preparedness Week. Image: getprepared.com

Being prepared: What your Emergency Kit should include

Being prepared in case of an emergency may not be something that residents think about. But extreme weather events do happen in the Lakeland area, and with it being Emergency Preparedness Week, the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority want to help you be ready if danger strikes. 

The greatest threats to the Lakeland area are extreme weather events, wildfires, floods, loss of critical infrastructure or a significant energy sector emergency. 

Some of the weather events to be mindful of are hail/thunderstorms, blizzards, tornados and plow winds. 

BRFA Fire Chief Dan Heney said governments at all levels expect that citizens will be able to manage on their own for up to 72 hours. 

“Remember that the emergency situation you are dealing with is likely affecting first responders and local infrastructure staff as well so there will be significant delays during events that are wide spread,” said Heney. 

Having an Emergency Kit built beforehand that can be used for 72 hours can help in these sudden situations. 

What you should include in your Emergency Kit. 

Food and water

  • Water (4L per person per day)
  • Non-perishable food with high protein
  • Trail mix/dried fruit
  • Crackers and cereals
  • Canned meat, fish and beans
  • Canned/boxed juice

Clothing and bedding

  • Change(s) of clothing appropriate for the season
  • Extra undergarments and socks
  • Raincoat, poncho, jacket
  • Spare shoes
  • Sleeping bag, blanket or emergency heat blanket

Light and fuel

  • Battery-powered or crank flashlights/lamps
  • Candles with candleholder
  • Lighter
  • Waterproof matches

Equipment

  • Manual can opener
  • Dishes and utensils
  • Battery-powered or crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Pen and paper
  • Pocket knife
  • Duct tape
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Extra charging cables and batteries
  • Multi-tool and work gloves

Personal Supplies and Medication

  • First-aid kit
  • Personal hygiene supplies
  • Tissue paper, toilet paper, and paper towels
  • Over-the-counter medications and prescription
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • Back-up pair(s) of prescription glasses
  • Pet food and supplies (including toys)
  • Liquid detergent and soap
  • Plastic wrap, aluminum foil, re-sealable bags
  • Garbage and recycle bags
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes
  • Disposable dust and non-medical masks
  • Sunscreen and bug spray

Documents and identification

  • Personal identification
  • Copies of birth and marriage certificate, will, passports, citizenship papers
  • Insurance policies
  • Cash (small bills and change)
  • Credit card information
  • Copy of your emergency plan
  • Contact list
  • Personal items, if time allows (photos, computers, hard drive, heirlooms, etc.)

Distraction and comfort items

  • Small toys and stuffed animals
  • Playing cards and games
  • Reading material
  • Activity books and crossword puzzles
  • Colouring books and markers
  • Charging cords for electronic devices
  • Notebook and pen
  • Family photos

When you build your kit, consider additional needs such as:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Infants and small children
  • Mobility
  • Cultural, religious, spiritual
  • Severe allergies or dietary restrictions
  • Chronic medical conditions and medical equipment with back up power (talk to your healthcare professional for advice)

Make a mini kit

Being prepared can take the inconvenience out of unexpected situations. A mini kit that goes where you go can help to keep you prepared for whatever comes your way. Items to consider including:

  • Small amount of cash
  • Hand sanitizer and extra non-medical mask
  • Phone charger
  • Package of wipes/tissues
  • Painkillers and back up medication

The BRFA is holding contests for those who are showing they’re prepared.

#1: “Show us your Emergency Preparedness Kit” – take a picture of yourself with your 72hr emergency kit and email it to [email protected]
#2: “Take the Emergency Preparedness Quiz” – email [email protected] with your answers to the following questions:
  • a. When does Emergency Preparedness week occur?
  • b. True or False – Water can be purified with soap.
  • c. True or False – Tornadoes occur only in the Spring.
  • d. Who is the Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Bonnyville?
  • e. Who is the Director of Emergency Management for the MD of Bonnyville?
#3: “Youth Emergency Preparedness Scavenger Hunt” – children under 10 can take a picture of the following items in their homes and email it to [email protected]
  • a. First aid kit
  • b. Flashlight
  • c. Portable radio
  • d. Bottled water
All entries for any of the contests will be entered to win one of two BRFA prize packs.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.