Why do you think it’s important to have an emergency preparedness kit?
“I think everyone should be prepared for anything serious. You should see the back of my car… I’m ready for it to stall, I’m ready for it to roll off the road. I’ve got blankets, hammers, nails, and even snacks. I remember this quote that my English teacher in high school told me, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. When you’re prepared, you’re always ready for what’s to come. You never panic. I think to eliminate that worry and that panic, you should have an emergency kit. ”
How do you make the process of making one a little more fun? How can you get the whole family involved?
“I love the idea that you don’t need to spend a fortune to make an emergency kit – that’s always my message. If the kids want to weigh in on certain sweaters they want to pack, or blankets, etc., you can go to a thrift store and get fun things that are “new”. That way, if an emergency does come, they can kind of look forward to using or wearing these items. Then once you get everybody involved and get everything packed up, you can get out the hot glue gun and have fun with it. Add some glitter! Make it feel like it’s an event and that everyone’s voice is heard. ”
How can people also include their furry, four-legged family members?
“My friend Coco and I co-parent Poppy, and we have an emergency kit for her too. We have a bag of kibble, a bag of some of her favourite treats, and an additional dog sweater. When you’re thinking of your family members, think about everyone in your house, not just the humans. I think of Poppy for everything. She’s got blankets, dog vests, sweaters, food and snacks, ball entertainment. Anything that Poppy might need, that I wouldn’t have access to in the event of an emergency, would be in the kit. ”
What’s in your emergency preparedness kit?
“My emergency kit has lots of afghan blankets, because I think being warm is the most important thing. I love going to a thrift store and finding those things. Chocolate is always in my emergency kit…it’s important to have chocolate! Some other items include water, entertainment like puzzles or colouring, and more things to keep you warm: sweaters, hats, etc. And then of course, the important things like tape and tarps and stuff like that – or if there’s a fire, having an extinguisher will be important.
My mom always had us colouring when I was a kid, so that’s always a pastime for me. I think entertainment is the main event for an emergency kit. Old school entertainment. People are often on their phones, which requires power, but if there’s no power, we have to get back to basics! Let’s colour, do puzzles, play cards. Let’s make this fun! It’s almost like being at a cottage. ”
You live closer to the water, is there anything flood-specific that people should consider?
“Well, milk crates are always something you should have on-hand. They won’t necessarily fit in your emergency kit, but they’ll help keep everything elevated in your basement. Everything around the lower levels of my place is all elevated, because my area has been prone to get extra water. I also try to keep things dry; I have a ton of towels in my basement as my “just-in-case towels”. This is why I always tell people to shop secondhand, because in the event of an emergency, it’s always great to have these items on-hand, but you don’t want to have a financial upheaval to prepare. If you go out and buy a bunch of secondhand towels, you’re not upset to use them or ruin them. Another thing would be lots of things rubber; I have a pair of rubber boots in the basement that never leave, just in case there’s something downstairs that I need to get through. ”
Have you had any experience with use an emergency kit?
“I remember this one time when I was a kid, my golden retriever Susie had a litter of puppies and there was a tornado. I remember all of us being down in the basement, and my mom had so much fun with us and the puppies. Even though it was dark, she turned it into this fun thing with games and what not. I think that’s where my inspiration comes from. As a kid, I understood that the situation wasn’t normal, and that it was an emergency, but at the same time, I didn’t feel panic. My mom had it so under control. I think whoever is building an emergency kit, needs to think about their family; what they like, and what will make them feel at ease, entertained, and safe. ”