With summer come and gone, Old Man Winter is here for the long haul and you know what that means, right? Frigid temperatures, snow accumulation, and possibly even ice storms like the one residents in Eastern Canada (including Ontario) shivered their way through in December 2013. The ice storm of 2013 knocked down trees and power lines leaving hundreds of thousands in the dark and without heat. It also caused considerable damage to some homes, which would have been covered by home insurance.
You never know what winter’s wrath will bring which is why it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared. One way to ensure that you’re ready is to put together an emergency kit. And, while most people have an emergency kit for the car, many don’t have one for the home.
12 Items You Should Have in Your Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is one thing you should have on hand in your home in case of a power outage. Your kit should not only have all your essentials but should be able to sustain you and your family for 72 hours. Here are 12 items you should set aside in order to be prepared.
- Bottled Water. Each person in your household should have two litres of water per day. It’s important to remain hydrated. For cooking and cleaning purposes, allot an additional two litres of water per person.
- Food. It’s important your emergency kit has food that won’t spoil. Canned food, energy bars and dried foods will do the trick. Remember to replace the food once a year. A manual can opener should also be included to open canned food items, as well as a few utensils.
- Extra set of car and house keys. Keep an extra pair of keys in your kit which will save you from having to try and find yours with the power out.
- Small change. Keep some money in your kit (change and small bills are best).
- Flashlight and extra batteries. Since natural light will be your only source of light, flashlights are crucial. Make sure you have extra batteries on hand too.
- Battery-powered or crank radio. Radios keep you updated and in the loop in terms of what’s going on in your area.
- First aid kit. In case of any accidents or injuries that take place during the power outage, make sure you’ve got a well-stocked first aid kit ready.
- Basic hand tools. Tools such as a hammer, scissors, screwdrivers, pliers and a pocket knife are good to have on hand. You never know when you might need to use them.
- Sleeping bag or warm blankets. It’s important to stay warm and toasty, and if you’re without heat your home will get chilly fast. Make sure there is a sleeping bag for each person in the household, or have a stash of extra blankets on hand.
- Candles and matches/lighter. Make sure candles are in sturdy holders and do not burn candles unattended.
- Special need items. This includes prescription medications and infant formula, in case you don’t have access to a pharmacy or grocery store and run out.
- Toiletries. Items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other personal items should be included in the emergency kit. In case you run out, you’re prepared.
Canadian winters can get pretty crazy, and emergency kits can save you from scrambling when the power goes out and can make the time during an outage more comfortable. To learn more about emergency preparedness, the risks and how to create a plan visit the Government of Canada’s GetPrepared.gc.ca.