Ready For A Disaster or Emergency ?
There is never a convenient time or place for an emergency to occur and when you live in an apartment building, there are a few extra things you should know to make sure you react properly. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and knowing how to respond, you can replace a sense of panic with a sense of purpose and remain calm most situations.
If you live in an apartment building over 3 stories, it’s important that you participate in the monthly fire drills and know where emergency exists are. Familiarize yourself with the building in general and your floor in particular. It’s a good idea to make a point of knowing where the emergency stairwells, fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire hoses are.
Power outages can last for hours if not days. Have a couple of flashlights on hand and a supply of fresh batteries. Keep a supply of canned or dried food that doesn’t require cooking. It’s always best to have a battery powered light source and avoid candles. If you do use candles, always put them in a non-flammable container (metal or glass), keep them well away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended.
And regardless of the emergency – fire, power outage or natural disaster — never use the elevators until emergency services personnel have given the all clear that it’s safe to do so.
In Canada, it’s recommended that everyone should have a basic emergency kit that will last for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. It should include at least 2 litres of water per person per day, non-perishable food such as canned food, energy bars or dried foods (like trail mix), a manual can opener and more. There are a number of websites on the subject where you can find a list of all the recommended items to include in your kit.
Other good ideas are to always make sure you have a least a half tank of gas in your vehicle. Always have an emergency stash of cash on hand because you won’t be able to use a credit or debit card or an ATM when the power is out. Have a first aid kit on hand for minor injuries and know how to use it. Keep a written record of the important numbers and contact information normally stored in your smart phone because, once the charge runs out, it’s not that smart.
Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is something we all tend to put off because we never think it will happen…and then, when you least expect it, it happens. Take time to educate yourself because knowing is better than not knowing.
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