Safety Preparedness

Dear PHARA members:

Events of recent years have taught us that no area is immune from natural disaster. In addition to wildfires and floods, the Sunshine Coast must also consider the possibility of the highway being closed for days at a time. Emergency professionals tell us that those who find themselves dealing with disaster are grateful for even the smallest steps of preparedness they had taken ahead of time.

BC’s Emergency Management Service prepared a list of steps a household can take to be better prepared for emergencies. Seeing the entire list at once can be overwhelming, so PHARA has broken these down into manageable parts. Each month we will send you another few tips. By completing one small task each week, over the course of several months you will be more prepared to deal with an emergency situation.

 Month 1

  1. Get a large portable container with a lid to use as an emergency kit. A plastic storage bin or garbage can works well, particularly one with wheels. Choose an accessible location for the container near an exit and label it. Make sure all family members know what it will be used for and where it is. You may want to pack items into individual carts or packs to make them easier to carry by individual family members.)
  2. Stock your kit with at least a three-day supply of water for every family member and don’t forget to include water for pets. It is best to plan for four litres of water per person, per day—two for drinking and two for food preparation and hygiene. You might consider the addition of water purification tablets.
  3. Stock your kit with several varieties of packaged foods, canned meats, and dried fruit. Include a manual can opener. If needed, include infant supplies, including disposable diapers, disposable bottles, formula, etc. Plan for at least a three-day supply of food for each family member. (Some agencies are now recommending stocking up to a one-week supply.)
  4. Arrange an out-of-area phone contact person, and keep this and other emergency phone numbers near each telephone. Teach family members these numbers.

Month 2

  1. Add food items and supplies for pets to your emergency kit.
  2. Get a portable radio and extra batteries for your emergency kit.
  3.  Learn about hazards the hazards in your community. Find out if the area where you live is vulnerable to landslides, flooding, interface fires or other threats such as hazardous material spills. Also do a home hazard hunt to make your home safer. Secure appliances and heavy furniture and move beds away from overhead objects like heavy mirrors and windows.
  4.  Prepare a first-aid kit that includes prescription medications, eyeglasses, bandages, sterile gauze pads, tape, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide and other items such as over the-counter pain pills.

    Watch for our next email in early August with the next steps you can take toward getting your household prepared for the unexpected.

    Please support our community: join or renew your PHARA membership by going to and navigating to the Join Us page.

    Month 3

    9. Stock your kit with both large- and medium-sized plastic garbage bags (orange or yellow make good visible signals).Large bags can also be used as ponchos, ground covers, or blankets.
    10. Identify a family meeting place away from home but close to your regular spots (between work and home or school). Add some books, toys, and cards to your kit.
    11. Add a flashlight and extra batteries, along with candles and waterproof matches.
    12. Add some dried soups, crackers, and peanut butter to your emergency kit.

    Please support our community: join or renew your PHARA membership by going to and navigating to the Join Us page.

    Month 4

    1. Check your insurance policies and make records of your possessions.
    2. Prepare a first-aid kit that includes extra prescription medication, extra eyeglasses, bandages, sterile gauze pads, tape, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, and over-the-counter pain pills.
    3. Add to your kit a change of clothing for each family member. Be sure to include warm clothing, heavy work gloves, and sturdy shoes.
    4. Add some canned food such as stews, baked beans, and vegetables (and a can opener and basic untensils).
    5. Enroll a family member in a first-aid course.

    6. Add personal toiletry items like toilet paper, cleaning cloths, soap, detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary supplies, etc., to your emergency kit.

    7. Add evaporated canned or powdered milk and cereal to your kit.

    8. If needed, include infant supplies – disosable diapers, formula, etc. to your kit.