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Emergency Preparedness Week

Emergency Preparedness Week runs May 7 – 13. It is an annual event that is coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces and territories. That it runs the same week as NAOSH Week is quite appropriate. While NAOSH week focuses on occupational safety and health, Emergency Preparedness Week highlights the importance of being prepared for emergency situations in a variety of settings – work, home and leisure.

This year’s theme is Plan. Prepare. Be Aware. It is meant to help Canadians take action to protect themselves and their families during emergencies.

This year’s theme specifically emphasizes the need to keep an eye on current conditions that might impact your safety, particularly weather. Getting prepared for an emergency or disaster is your best bet for keeping yourself, your family and your coworkers safe.

Being prepared at home means:

  • Knowing the risks in your community and the most appropriate way to respond to them.
  • Making a plan for what you will do, who to contact and where to go in the event of an emergency and practicing it regularly.
  • Pulling together a 72-hour kit with enough non-perishable food, water, medication, warm clothing and comfort items for all family members. Similarly, you should make a ready-to-go kit in case you need to evacuate your home quickly.

At work, you need to be aware of:

  • Who the emergency point people are at your site / on your floor / in your working group.
  • Where the muster points are that you are expected to meet at in the case of an emergency.
  • What procedures you are expected to follow in the events of fire, earthquake tornado, and other disasters.

Your workplace should implement emergency drills regularly to ensure that everyone is aware of what they are supposed to do in an emergency and to practice those procedures. Similarly, if you do not already, you should begin doing emergency drills in your home to ensure that each family member is fully aware of and prepared for any emergency situations.

Everyone in the home should know of a meeting place nearby and how to get there, as well as important fire safety information such as not opening a door that is hot, staying low to the ground in a smoky room, and evacuating as quickly as possible and through the nearest exit at the first sign of fire. Knowledge about standard weather related emergency procedures is equally important. Teach your loved ones about sheltering in place, staying away from windows and doors, and staying low and covered.

We encourage you to use the Emergency Preparedness Toolkit, developed by Public Safety Canada, in preparing your home emergency plan.

Public Safety Canada has several other videos and publications that you can use to prepare your own home emergency procedures and to educate your family.