Stay Safe! How to build an emergency kit
In our last article we discussed the fundamentals of preparing your home in the event of fire-related emergency occurring. You can find it here.
This article will hopefully provide you with some specific tips that will give you the peace of mind that you have done as much as is reasonable and practical to prepare for that emergency in a somewhat more personal way.
Building your emergency kit
You have likely seen many checklists outlining what you should have in a personal emergency kit in case you have to leave your home in a hurry for a period of time. If you haven’t already done so the following are some of the items you may wish to consider having available in the case of an emergency, based on your mobility:
- Flashlight and spare batteries
- A telephone that can work during a power disruption
- Important papers including those that will provide personal identification
- Bottled water
- Clothing and footwear
- Toiletry and other personal items
- Backpack/sports bag
These items may not apply to every situation, or every person, but they will perhaps make you think what you would need in the event you have to leave your home quickly at any time of the day.
Here are some things to consider about your emergency kit:
- Make sure all your emergency kit items are organized in one place, easy to find and to carry.
- Tag all of your special needs equipment, including instructions, on how to use and/or move each assistive device during an emergency.
- Complete a checklist of items you have in your emergency kit, and a personal assessment sheet, outlining any mobility and agility limitations you may have. Provide a copy to your family members, caregivers and others who may visit you frequently. Keep a copy in your emergency kit.
- If you have food / drug allergies, wear a MedicAlert® bracelet or necklace.
- List all food/drug allergies and current medications (for each medication, specify the medical condition being treated, the generic name, dosage, frequency, and the name and contact information of the prescribing physician). Provide this list to your family members, caregivers and others who may visit you frequently. Keep a copy in your emergency kit.
- If you rely on any life-sustaining equipment or if you require regular attendant care, ask your key contacts to check on you immediately, if an emergency occurs. We suggest you have an emergency backup plan in the event of a power outage.
- Carry a personal alarm that emits a loud noise to draw attention.
- It is recommended that you check your kit twice a year to ensure the contents are up to date.
Don’t be afraid to adapt the kit to your own needs. The lists presented here are just some examples of how you can prepare for an emergency situation! Click here for more excellent information on this topic. If you have a question regarding any of this information we encourage you to make contact with your local Fire Department and if they are unable to assist, contact your regional office of Muscular Dystrophy Canada and they will put you in touch with a Fire Fighter who can help you.
The commitment of Canadian Fire Fighters to individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders goes beyond fund-raising—they also care about your well-being. The National Fire Fighters Relations Committee (NFFRC) brings educational articles about fire and life safety issues to help keep you safe!