The course was an introduction to Disaster Management and Volunteering in Emergency Situations, such as a fire, flood, ice storm, or human made disasters. As volunteers, we learned that the Red Cross works in partnership with first responders, emergency managers and at the community leadership level in providing services.
The services the Red Cross may include are emergency lodging, reception and information, emergency food, emergency clothing, personal services and family reunification.
As a “Ready When the Time Comes Volunteer” we may be called to assist in these areas of services when the volunteer resources become exhausted.
What was interesting is that we learned that it may take 72 hours for disaster management to take effect.
So in the event of an emergency, such as an ice storm, do you have enough emergency supplies to carry you and your family for 72 hours before help comes your way or you are able to access help?
The Canadian Red Cross recommends that along with a Disaster Preparedness Plan you keep a Disaster Preparedness kit in your home such as:
- Food (non-perishable)
- Manual can opener
- Crank or battery-operated flashlight, with extra batteries
- Battery-operated or crank radio
- Extra keys, for your house and car
- First aid kit
- Cash in small bills
- Special needs items (i.e. medications, infant formula)
- Personal hygiene items
- Important family documents (i.e. copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licenses, wills, land deeds and insurance)
- A copy of your emergency plan
Click on the link for a printable checklist for a disaster preparedness kit, which includes other items you may want to add to your kit.
There are other steps you can take in disaster preparedness, including understanding the risks that are common to your area and preparing a plan for those risks.
There are a number of resources that you can access to prepare you and your family for a disaster, a reality that Canadians are increasingly facing:
Download the guide to prepare your children: Expect the Unexpected Guide for Parents
Public Safety Canada’s Get prepared step-by-step online guide