Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Be Prepared for Emergencies

Preparing yourself and your family for emergencies is a smart idea that could save lives. Knowing safe food handling practices is an important part of emergency preparedness that can prevent foodborne illnesses in the event of natural disasters, accidents or intentional incidents.

Get to know the risks of natural occurrence in your area that could become emergencies, such as winter storms and other winter hazards, tornadoes, earthquakes or landslides, power outages, floods and large-scale accidents such as chemical spills. Unfortunately, no country is immune to terrorism. Be aware of the dangers that could be presented by an intentional act and listen to the guidance from official authorities.

Make a Plan and Prepare a Kit

Formulate an emergency plan for your household and prepare an emergency kit for your home and your vehicle. Remember that in the event of a disaster or incident it may take emergency workers up to three days to reach you. Proper food handling and preparation is always important in preventing foodborne illness, yet food supplies may become contaminated, damaged or spoiled in an emergency situation.

An emergency kit should contain a three-day supply of drinking water: four litres per person, per day for drinking, cooking and cleaning. A three-day supply of non-perishable food in hermetically sealed containers with proper equipment and utensils should also be included in your emergency kit. Items that could be included in your kit, along with the food, are can and bottle openers, dishes and utensils, disinfectant soap and bleach, a portable cooking stove with adequate fuel, matches, leather gloves for handling hot material and a folding saw or axe in the event there is firewood available for warmth and cooking. Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Emergency Preparedness Kit (Adult, 3-day)

An Emergency Preparedness, Adult 3-day, is a complete kit, sufficient for one person, to provide essential items an adult will need for at least three days after a disaster and is intended for storage at home, and to be used at home or in a place where someone may go if local authorities ask for an evacuation.

Intended Use of the Items in an Emergency Preparedness Kit


Use the flashlight to find your way if the power is out. Do not use candles or any other open flame for emergency lighting.

Battery-powered Radio

News about the emergency may change rapidly as events unfold. You also will be concerned about family and friends in the area. Radio reports will give information about the areas most affected.

Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape (Adult, 3-day only)

Use the plastic sheeting and duct tape for sheltering-in-place verses evacuation.


Enough non-perishable food to sustain you for at least one day (three meals) if close to a workplace with stored food or three day supply if at home or other location, is suggested. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. The following items are suggested:

Ready-to-eat canned meals, meats, fruits, and vegetables;

Canned juices; and

High-energy foods (granola bars, energy bars, etc.).


Keep at least one gallon of water available, or more if you are on medications that require water or that increase thirst. Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.


Include usual non-prescription medications that you take, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, etc. If you use prescription medications, keep at least three-day's supply of these medications at your workplace. Consult with your physician or pharmacist how these medications should be stored, and your employer about storage concerns.

First Aid Supplies

Absorbent Compress 5x9 Dressing
Adhesive Bandages (Assorted Sizes)
Adhesive Cloth Tape 5 yds/1"
Antibiotic Ointment Packets (approx 1g)
Antiseptic Wipe Packets
Packets of Aspirin (162mg)
Pair of Non-Latex Gloves (Size Large)
Roller Bandage 3"
Sterile Gauze Pads 3x3
First Aid Instruction Information

Additional Tools and Supplies to Include in Your Emergency Preparedness Kit (1-or 3-day)

Paper plates and cups, plastic utensils
Non-electric can opener
Personal hygiene items, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush, soap, contact lens supplies, and feminine supplies
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear, including a long sleeved shirt and long pants, as well as closed-toed shoes or boots
If you wear glasses, keep an extra pair with your workplace disaster supplies.

General Information

Your kit should be adjusted based on your own personal needs.Do not include candles, weapons, toxic chemicals, or controlled drugs unless prescribed by a physician. Source: American Red Cross

Nanaimo Regional District Emergency Planning Information, click here.


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