May 3-9 is EP/DP Week in BC (Canada): Emergency/Disaster Preparedness week…
I’m not a fan of “weeks” or “days” because I think all should be prepared all the time, but let’s leverage on this and the fact that we had a huge earthquake just a few days ago in Nepal and take a few minutes per day this week to take inventory of where you stand:
Ask yourself, your family, friends, workplace colleagues and neighbours the following questions:
- Are you aware and familiar with the types of hazards, risks and vulnerabilities in your household, workplace, children’s school and community?
- Do you have a plan you have created and updated with your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours?
- Do you know who and what is more vulnerable in any of those cases (for example, are there sick, old, disable, ESL or too young members who may need special attention in case of a disaster or emergency? Are there pets or farm animals, structures, areas or processes that are especially vulnerable in case of a disaster?)
- Does your plan includes both the scenarios of “all together when it happens” and “all in different places when it happens” and how you would communicate with each other and make sure everyone is safe?
- Does your plan includes the scenarios of “stay-and-survive” (for a minimum of two-weeks) and “bug-out” (for a minimum of 72-hours)?
- Do you have enough of the essentials for everybody? (i.e. water, easy-to-cook, non-perishable food, medicines, tools, shelter/clothes, energy source for heating, light and cooking, etc.)
- Are you trained or have experience in things that may come handy in a disaster, such as First Aid, rescue, tracking, water harvesting, cooking for scratch, composting toilets, camping, wild edible plants ID, firefighting, etc?
- Are you aware what assets do you have at home, work and/or in your community? (for example, your neighbour may be a nurse, your child may be a scout, your husband may be really good at biking, you may be good at starting fires from scratch, etc.)
Apart from the above questions, why don’t you spend this week playing “games” with your family, co-workers and friends creating “what if” scenarios and hazard/vulnerability/assets hunt?
I’ll be reviewing my pantry (checking my rotating system to ensure I have enough of each food and I’m consuming the canned food in the right order); I’ll be checking the different bags/boxes where I have the emergency and disaster supplies, checking the water, the tools, the flashlights and the radios to make sure all are updated and work…I will also spend the week playing games with my children and partner and I’ll distribute a small brochure I made: both at work and around my neighbourhood.
If you have the time, try having a potluck at home and invite your neighbours: topic to discuss? How well prepared are we? Who is who and what are our assets and vulnerabilities? How would we signal others if we are in danger and need help? How can we ensure that our kids and other vulnerable people and pets are taken care of in case a disaster strikes home when we are away?
Have a wonderful week and report back how your EP/DP went!
Back to make feta cheese…time to cut it and salt it!
(another way to be “prepared, not scared” is to build resilience around your family by making things at home, such as the things we take for granted: I’ve been playing with canning, dehydrating, yogurt, cheese and bread-making for a few years now, and always find a new thing to tackle and involve my three boys…
BTW, I am always concerned about waste and how else to use the whey that’s left behind when I make either yogurt or cheese. I usually use it for fermenting food or soups, but found this today for those who make cheese at home: http://www.farmcurious.com/cheesemaking-what-to-do-with-all-that-whey/