Disaster Planning Checklist
Immediately after a disaster or emergency, essential services may be cut off and local disaster relief and government responders may not be able to reach you right away. But even if they could, you would still need to protect yourself and know what to do. Using the information below, you can prepare yourself and your family for the unexpected disasters or emergencies that can occur in our area. You can also follow the plan outlined in 52 weeks to being prepared!
Creating a Disaster Plan
- Talk with employers and school officials about their disaster response plans.
- Talk with your family about potential disasters and how to respond to each. Talk about what you would need to do in an evacuation.
- Plan how your family would stay in contact if you were separated from one another in a disaster. Identify two meeting places: the first should be a place near your home (in case of fire); the second should be a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Be familiar with the Emergency Social Services Reception Centre locations in your area.
- Pick a friend or relative who lives out of the area (preferably out-of-province) for family members to call to say they are okay.
- Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by telephones. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.
- Explain to responsible persons in your household when and how to shut off water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
- Take emergency first aid and CPR classes. Consider how you would help your neighbors who may need special assistance, such as the elderly or people with disabilities, in times of emergency.
- Make arrangements for your pets. Pets are not allowed in Reception Centres.
Immediately following a disaster, you may need to be able to survive on your own for seven days or more. This means having your own water, food and emergency supplies. The following checklists will help you assemble disaster supply kits for each member of your family. Try using backpacks or duffel bags to keep the supplies together and keep this information with your emergency supplies.
Water: The Absolute Necessity
Stocking water reserves should be a top priority. Everyone's needs will differ, depending upon age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate. A normally active person needs to drink at least two litres of water each day. Heat can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more. You will need additional water for food preparation and hygiene.
- Store at least four litres of water per person per day.
- Never ration water, unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow.
- You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
- Store water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers.
- Never use a container that has held toxic substances. Sound plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, are best. You can also purchase food-grade plastic buckets or drums.
- Before storing water, treat it with a disinfectant, such as chlorine bleach, to prevent the growth of microorganisms.
- - Use liquid bleach that contains 5-1/4% sodium hypo-chlorite and no soap.
- - Add four drops of bleach per litre of water and stir.
- Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place.
If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period or without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.
- You do not need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned foods, dry mixes and other staples on your cupboard shelves. Canned foods do not require cooking, water or special preparation.
- Though it is unlikely that a disaster would cut off your food supply for two weeks, you should prepare a supply that will last that long. A two-week supply can relieve a great deal of inconvenience and uncertainty until services are restored.
- Keep canned foods in a dry place where the temperature is fairly cool. To protect boxed foods from pests and to extend their shelf life, store the foods in tightly closed cans or metal containers.
- Rotate your food supply. Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
- Date each food item with a marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front.
Water, food and utensils
- Four litres of water per person per day, for drinking, cooking, washing and sanitation. Store as much water as possible in non-breakable containers, such as soft drink containers or milk jugs
- Non-perishable foods, needing little or no cooking; high nutrition-type
- Special dietary foods, if needed
- Eating and drinking utensils, non-breakable
- Bottle and can openers
- Water purifying tablets, two percent tincture of iodine or household bleach (hypo-chlorite-type only)
- Heating source, such as a camp stove or canned heat stove, and extra fuel
Communication, lighting, safety
- Battery-operated radio
- Extra batteries
- Lantern and fuel
- Fluorescent distress flag
- Matches (in waterproof container)
- Fire extinguisher
- Work gloves
- Clothing and bedding
- One complete change of clothing for each person, appropriate for season and weather conditions
- Sturdy work clothes
- Sturdy shoes
- Extra socks
- Extra underwear
- Outerwear: rain gear, coats, jackets, boots, ponchos
- Sleeping bag or two blankets per person
- Washcloth and small towel
- Reading and writing materials
- Sewing kit
- Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant
- Hair care items
- Insect repellant and insecticide
- Contact lens solution
- Shaving kit
- Sanitary napkins and tampons
- Small toys for children
- Paper towels and toilet paper
- Liquid detergent
- Garbage can or bucket with tight-fitting lid (for emergency toilet)
- Plastic garbage bags (for lining toilet)
Baby supplies, if needed
- Milk or formula
- Powders, creams or ointments
- Bottles and nipples
- Small toys
- Sheets, blankets, rubber pads
- Portable crib
Keep contents of your first aid kit in a waterproof metal or plastic box. Keep medicines tightly capped. Check periodically and replace any medication which has passed its expiration date.
- Adhesive tape rolls, two inches wide
- Applicator - sterile, cotton tips
- Antibiotic ointments
- Antiseptic solution
- Aspirin or aspirin substitute
- Baking soda
- Bandage - sterile roll, two inches wide
- Bandage - sterile roll, four inches wide
- Bandage - large triangular, 37 inches by 52 inches
- Bandage - plastic strips, assorted sizes
- Cotton balls
- Diarrhea medication
- Eye medication
- First aid handbook
- Hot water bag
- Ice bag
- Iodine water purification tablets
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Medical items such as spare eyeglasses, contact lens needs, hearing-aid batteries, etc.
- Medical alert tags, if needed for epilepsy, drug allergies, etc.
- Medicine dropper
- Motion sickness tablets for nausea
- Non-prescription medicines
- Nose drops (water soluble)
- Petroleum jelly
- Plastic bags with fasteners
- Prescription medicines (insulin, heart pills, etc., as needed)
- Safety pins - assorted sizes
- Smelling salts
- Antibacterial soap
- Splints - wooden, 18 inches long
- Table salt
- Toothache remedy
Papers and valuables
- Social Insurance information
- Birth certificates
- Marriage and death records
- Driver's license
- Cash and credit cards
- Insurance policies
- Deeds and mortgage
- Stocks and bonds
- Savings and checking account books
- Inventory of household goods (photos preferred)
- Small valuables: cameras, watches, jewelry, etc.