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How Nova Scotia Seniors can Prepare for An Emergency

Posted May 12, 2016

EmergPrepFloodFire?!! What Fire?!?

The first week of May represents Emergency Preparedness Week. While we are beyond the first week, it is never too late to prepare for an emergency, as our unfortunate neighbours in Fort McMurray have found out over the last week or so.

The dramatic images on the television emphasizing the need for “bug-out” packs and easy-to-lay-hands-on supplies for family and pets.

Halifax Seniors as well as seniors everywhere can be particularly vulnerable, as often, their health issues can prevent them from moving quickly and thinking clearly enough in an emergency to do what is necessary, especially when living in their own homes or living alone.

Families and loved ones need to be prepared to set them up with what they need to make a quick escape in the event of an emergency. Make a rehearsed plan and keep an ear to the radio or television. Ideally, do not wait for an evacuation order from authorities – make your getaway ahead of impending catastrophe.

Perhaps it would be better to have Mom and Dad stay with you (or you with them) until you have to escape or the situation is under control. That way, there is no time wasted running over to pick them up before leaving.

Prepare supplies ahead (even pack them in the car ahead), leave room for pets and do it all ahead – as soon as you know there is possibility of a dangerous situation requiring evacuation.

Ahead of things worsening, you might even considering moving the seniors, children and pets to a relative or a hotel that is out of the danger zone, even if in another province. It’s only temporary and will take a load off when you have to bug-out yourselves. There will be room in the car for all you need in terms of supplies.

Ahead of time:

  • Make up a plan – make sure all family members have a copy (even those elsewhere that will be worried about you)
  • Add to the plan – location of emergency shelters, how to communicate with each other (texts and emails use fewer resources than talking on phones), where to meet if split up – give a second choice as well in case first one is in the danger zone, list of contact numbers including one from out-of-town, numbers for doctors and emergency services, list of children’s schools

What do you need to bring:

  • Cash
  • Extra keys
  • Water (Enough for 3 days – 2 liters/day/person) (Extra for the dog and cats)
  •  Food (non-perishable for you and pets)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Manual Can Opener
  • An emergency plan
  • Battery operated or wind-up radio
  • Knife
  • Water proof matches
  • Candles
  • Blanket or two

Place it all in a gym bag or two – keep them somewhere in your house permanently and when needs be, you can just toss it in the car and go.

These natural disasters can come via fire, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, ice storm and even severe heat wave.

Make sure everyone is prepared, your seniors, children and pets are somewhere safe or are ready to go and your kits are packed and stowed in the car. This should make your escape efficient and do-able. Let’s keep you and your loved ones safe and alive.

Now, since there is nothing imminent on the horizon, let’s get out and enjoy the Spring weather!