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Bradford West Gwillimbury

Bradford West Gwillimbury > BWG Prepared

​​BWG Prepared - Create Your Home Emergency Kit

BWG Prepared is a series of monthly tips that will help you and your family prepare for an emergency. Follow along to gather the items you may need to create an emergency kit for your family. At the end of the year, you will have a fully stocked kit for your home in case an emergency occurs.

​​​January - tote and crank radio

​In January, ensure that you have a durable storage container to keep all your supplies in - ideally one that can be carried in case of evacuation. Also, keep a hand-cranked radio in your kit. Life-saving information can be heard over the radio during an emergency!
​​​February - documents and first aid kit
In F​ebruary, gather your family’s important documents and obtain a first aid kit. In an emergency, you may need to refer to important documents that may not be with you. Keep copies of birth certificates, photo identification, health cards and any other documents you may need. You can purchase a ready-filled first aid kit and add any additional items you may need for your family such as heart medication, asthma medication, insulin, etc.
​​​March - flashlight and emergency blankets
March is a time to include a flashlight and extra batteries to ensure you don’t get left in the dark!

Have one emergency blanket per family member. A blanket can help prevent body heat loss and protect you during the cold winter months.​
​​​April - spare keys and cash
​In April, consider adding extra keys and cash to your emergency kit. A set of keys for your home, car or safety deposit box is important to ensure you do not get locked out! Keep extra cash and coins in your emergency kit as banks may be closed in some emergency situations. Extra cash could help you purchase essential items during an emergency.
​​​May - food and can opener
May is time to remember to be prepared to feed you and your family ​during an emergency. KEEP IN MIND that you may be eating this food on the road, or in a home without power. Don’t bother packing food that requires cooking unless you have a camp stove, BBQ or other means of cooking. Pack a 72-hour supply of non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods like canned meats, crackers, applesauce, protein bars and granola bars. Ensure you keep a manual can opener with your food supply. If you have an outdoor stove, keep it with your emergency supplies, ready to be taken with you if necessary. Check the expiry dates on your food twice a year.
​​​June - water and whistle
In June, check that you have bottled water and a whistle in your emergency kit. During an emergency you may need water for drinking, cooking and sanitation. A whistle may help you sig​​nal for help during an emergency situation.​
​​​July - emergency plan and contacts
In July, it's time to create an emergency plan complete with an evacuation map of your home so that you and your family will know how to communicate, what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. For more information on how to create an emergency plan visit Government of Canada - Get Prepared.​​​

Designate an out-of-area contact to call during an emergency. A designated contact can be a central check-in point for your family. The person should be far enough away to be unaffected by the emergency. Keep your designated contact’s phone number in your kit and with you at all times.
​​​August - sleeping bag and knife
August is the time to add traditional camping gear to your emergency kit. Keep a sleeping bag for each member of your family in your kit to keep you warm and provide a comfortable place to sleep if needed.

Consider adding a multi-use utility knife to your kit. In an emergency, a utility knife can be used to open packages or containers and cut materials to make shelter. Store the knife safely in the emergency kit, out of the reach of children.​
​​​September - pet supplies and care
September is all about your pets, because they are family too! Ensure that you have items to care for your pet in an emergency like food, water, bowls, a leash, a collar and any medication they may take.

You should also designate someone to act as a temporary caregiver for your pet in the event that you cannot get home or cannot care for your pet during an emergency.
​​​October - duct tape and plastic sheeting
October is a time to be prepared for the elements. Duct tape can be used for a variety of tasks in an emergency including repairing equipment and sealing doors and windows. Add a roll or two to your kit. Plastic sheeting can be used in an emergency to seal doors and windows that may have been damaged. Ensure you are protected from elements like wind, rain or snow.​
​​​November - fire extinguisher and matches
November is all about fire – preventing it and igniting it (when needed)! Keep a small fire extinguisher in your kit and ensure the members of your household know how to use it. You should also keep matches in a waterproof container in your kit. Matches can be used to light a fire for cooking or warmth.
​​​December - spare clothes and games
December is a time to think about comfort. Keep a complete change of clothes for each member of your family in your kit. You can also keep puzzles, board games, colouring books, toys and other activities in your kit to keep you and your family entertained or distracted in the event of an emergency.​​

Congratulations! If you have been following along all year you have now completed the basics of your emergency kit. You can add specific items needed for your family. Check your kit annually to ensure you are always prepared if an emergency strikes.