Are you prepared in case of an emergency?

• Candles and matches

• A change of clothing

• A sleeping bag or blanket

• A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)

• Garbage bags for personal sanitation

• Toilet paper and other personal care items

• Safety gloves (the disaster area may be littered with debris and broken glass)

• Some basic tools – hammer, pliers, wrench screwdrivers, work gloves

• Small fuel-driven stove and fuel

Pre-packaged kits are available from the Canadian Red Cross, or you can buy the items individually, and probably less expensively at large stores like Wal-Mart.

Some other important tips:

• It’s a very good idea to know your First Aid – you can take a course with your local branch of the Canadian Red Cross.

• If you are a senior with special needs you may want to consider owning and wearing a MedicAlert bracelet. For more information go to

• Check expiration dates on your medication and keep copies of your medication prescriptions in your kit

• Test your smoke and CO detectors regularly

• Practise your emergency plan at least twice a year!

• If you use a wheelchair or other assistive device, ask your network of friends and relatives to practise moving your special needs equipment during your emergency practise plan

For more information on how to be prepared for an emergency you can go to: this is the Federal Government’s information site for emergency preparedness this is the official Canadian Red Cross website – follow the links to your region within Canada and go to contact information for details about your local Red Cross branch

And remember, if you can’t take care of yourself during the first 72 hours after a disaster strikes, you will likely need someone to help you – that will divert or slow help to others who may need help more than you. In other works, by helping yourself, you are helping your community .

Keywords: emergency, services