Eileen Fisher: GigaMom


How To Prepare A Disaster Kit For Your Home

Arm Yourself With the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Calculator App

Canadian Red Cross Disaster Preparedness App

Being prepared for a disaster like an earthquake, flood, or fire is something that we all know we should do, but how many of us actually do it?

I know that it’s one of those things our family keeps saying “Oh, we have to get that organized and get around to doing, but we never do it. The Canadian Red Cross encourages people to have the necessary items assembled as a kit in their house so they can be self-sufficient and safe for a period of 72 hours in an emergency.

Let’s not fool ourselves. We may not get hurricanes and tornadoes that often in the Great White North (and not really at all here in BC) but when you realize what kind of emergencies and disasters can potentially affect Canadians, it makes you think...

  • Earthquakes
  • Floods
  • Forest fires
  • House fires
  • Hurricanes
  • Influenza
  • Landslides
  • Power outages
  • Thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes
  • Winter storms

It hit home with me two years ago when we had the mother of all windstorms and our power was out for eight hours. Now, compared to people who have had their homes leveled by an earthquake, or can’t get into their house because of a flood, that’s really minor. But at the time, it was scary and really hit home to me that we were not prepared for an emergency at all.

Since then I’ve made a few feeble attempts to try and prepare our home for a disaster, but efforts all eventually fizzled out.

Recently, I heard about the Red Cross Disaster Preparedness App on Facebook. Using this Facebook app is easy: just drag and drop the emergency items you already have and the app will calculate how prepared you are according to how many adults, children, and pets are in your home.

So I gave it a try and although I knew we weren’t prepared, I was shocked at how “unprepared” my family really was.

Seven percent prepared. Seriously.

The Red Cross Disaster Preparedness app will generate a list of items you need to build your own emergency preparedness kit to help you and your family stay safe for 72 hours in the event of a disaster.

After I reviewed the items that should be included in our kit, I was able to download the list to help make shopping for the items easier.

This is my kind of app.

The Red Cross Disaster Preparedness app was developed as a tool to help Canadians be better prepared for disasters, such as flooding, fires, severe storms, evacuations, power outages lasting several days, or any other type of emergency. These events can occur at any time, often with little notice.

Anybody in Calgary knows exactly what that means.

Now that I have my list of what’s needed to keep our family safe in the event of an emergency, I’m making the preparation of the kit a family activity. We are going to review the list together, shop together, and pack it together. We’ll make sure that everyone knows where the kit is stored and that we regularly check the kit for expired items.

Preparing for a disaster isn’t something that anyone really wants to do, but it’s something we all need to do. If we don’t, then we are kidding ourselves.

We hope we are never going to need to use the kit, but we are going to thank our lucky stars that we have it if we do.