Making an Emergency Kit

For many Canadians, seeing America's panic over the bomb cyclone sweeping over the southern states and up the coast has been somewhat comical. As they experience high winds, snow and plunging temperatures, some regions are calling states of emergency. For those of us in Canada, high winds, snow and plunging temperatures are an average winter day. It's called a blizzard, and we have survived many. 

However, we need to be somewhat empathetic. Cities such as Calgary who experience bomb cyclone-like conditions regularly are well equipped to handle the intense weather; places in the southern states are not. In many of the areas that the bomb cyclone is passing over, cities don't have a fleet of snow plows ready to go when needed, vehicles don't have winter tires, drivers do not know how to safely drive in the snow, people have no idea how to prevent ice and snow build up, and homes are not insulated in anticipation of sub-zero temperatures. 

As we watch our southern neighbors panic in the midst and the aftermath of devastating winter weather, we are reminded that you should always be prepared for the unexpected. With major weather events and other tensions rising, it is important to be prepared. Keep in mind that being prepared is not the same as being paranoid. Set yourself up incase of an emergency, but don't lose sleep worrying about emergencies that may never happen.

Every home should be equipped with an emergency kit. Here are some essentials to make sure to include:

1). Water: Water is regularly the first service to go when emergency strikes. Make sure you have bottled water stored up, and water purifying tablets ready for when that runs out. If emergency strives, fill your bathtub, sink, bucks and bowls with water immediately. 

2). Food: Food is another essential you will need incase of an emergency. Pack dried and canned goods with long expiration dates (be sure to replace them as needed). Make sure you do not need to cook anything you have packed, and that you include a can opener. 

3). Light: Stock up on flashlights, batteries, matches and candles. Look into purchasing a flashlight that is solar powered--they are well worth the cost in the long run. 

4). Warmth: Invest in some basic clothing made of wool, which is water-resistant, high quality and warm.  Also have a warm, heavy blanket and sleeping bag. 

5). Hygiene: Include in your emergency kit feminine hygiene products,  toilet paper, reusable diapers and soap. Add hand sanitizer and baby wipes, both good alternatives to keep the germs away if you have no access to water. 

6). First-Aid Kit: Make sure you bring a first-aid kit stocked with bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, tweezers and painkillers. If you require things such as an epipen, make sure you have extras ready to go.

7). Tool Kit: This is one part of a first-aid kit that most people forget about. A tool kit will be incredibly useful, from helping to clear rubble, fix a vehicle, start a fire, build a shelter, etc. You don't need anything fancy, just make sure you have the basics. 

Store your emergency kit somewhere close to one of the exits of your home, and make sure it is not buried behind storage. If you can't easily access it, it will be useless. 

Remember: be prepared, not paranoid!

Your Real Estate Professional,

Ken Richter

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