1. Prepare for emergencies
Being better prepared for emergencies and extreme weather events like storms, hurricanes, blizzards, or wildfires provides piece of mind. Households could fill in the emergency plan template on the following pages. Also think about how your workplace can better prepare in case you get stuck at work (do you have a first aid kit, food, blankets, etc. on hand)? You could ask your neighbours if they are prepared, share the household template with them; or hand out the template at community events. EOS has organized emergency preparedness workshops in partnership with local emergency measures organizations and hopes to offer more workshops in the future.
To download a disaster emergency template please click: Family Emergency Plan for Floods and Other Disasters
2. Get a 72-hour emergency kit
Preparing an emergency kit with essentials will help households through a disaster while emergency officials are attending to others with greater needs. Kits will help households be more self-sufficient during emergencies. 72-hour kits can be purchased from the Canadian Red Cross at: https://products.redcross.ca/category/3/emergency-preparedness. Community bulk purchases can help reduce the costs. Kits can also be assembled.
Fill a kit with the following items:
- Copies of important documents (Birth certificates, identification; licenses, Insurance policies, Bank account records, Land deeds, vaccine records)
- In-town and out-of-town contact information
- Photos of family members
- Prescriptions and medications
- Spare house/car keys
- Candles, waterproof matches
- Needs for infants and small children (ie. formula, diapers, small games/toys)
- Paper and pencils
- Personal hygiene items – toilet paper, hand sanitizer, sanitary products, garbage bags, etc.
- Crank radio and flashlight
- Work gloves, multi-function knife, duct tape, dust masks, plastic sheet, fire extinguisher
- Tools – hammer, screwdriver, wrench/pliers to turn off utilities, nylon rope
- First aid kit
- Cash, small bills, traveller’s cheques
- emergency blanket
- change of clothes, sturdy shoes
- waterproof poncho
- extra pairs of glasses
- Food – canned, dried, energy bars, can opener, food for pets
- 20 L water container
- water purification tablets
- 2L of water (per person per day , plus some for pets)
- Camping supplies such as mess kits, camp stove, camp stove fuel, tent, etc.
Put everything in a waterproof container.
Inspect your 72 Hour Emergency Kit once a year to check that everything is still functional. For more information visit: https://www.getprepared.gc.ca
3. Store food for the winter
The COVID-19 pandemic showed how vulnerable food supply chains can be and how quickly shelves can go empty in an emergency. To be more self-sufficient, we could store more foods for the winter months, buy food in season, purchase local produce from the Sackville Farmers Market and other local retailers. Grow what you are able to, and can, dehydrate, freeze, ferment it, or make things into preserves. Families will eat better in the off-season, save money and won’t need to spend as much time shopping. If we are prepared for winter in New Brunswick, we are prepared for anything! Preserving food for the winter does take time, so spread out the work, get together with friends or organize a fun community workshop to can and preserve large batches and share the end products.
How Much Food to Store for Winter?
The following estimation is based on 300 days or 10 months and about 2,500 calories per person per day. (This estimation does not include the summer months when you may be eating more fresh produce from your garden or farmers markets.)
Grains: Allow 1 lb. (2 cups dry) of grain per person per day. Grain includes flour, wheat, rice, pasta, quinoa, corn meal, oatmeal, etc. (800 calories)
Beans: 1/2 lb. of beans is 700 calories (approx. 1 cup dry). 1 cup of dried beans will cook up into 3 cups. Allow 1/2 lb. of dried beans or peas per person per day if you are vegetarian. If you have meat, eggs, and cheese allowing 1 lb. of beans per person per week allows for 2 vegetarian meals each week. (700 calories)
Oils and butters: Allow 4 tbsp or 1/8th lb. per person per day of olive oil, coconut oil, or nut butters. This includes oil for cooking, spreads, and salad dressings. Butter is an option too and can be frozen up to 4 months. (400 calories)
Nuts, Seeds: Allow for 2 oz. per day per person on a vegetarian diet. Or 4 oz. per week for nutritional supplementation for omnivore diets. (550 calories)
Vegetables and fruits: This is where home canning and preserving come in. Allow for 4 to 6 half cup servings per person per day. (200 to 300 calories).
Milk and dairy products: These are difficult store. One option is to have your own dairy goat or cow, but that is not an option for most people.
Meat: If you have your own animals such as chickens, pigs, cows, or wild game and waterfowl, you can dry, freeze or bottle some using a pressure canner.
Seasonings, sweeteners and extras: Store what you need and perhaps make your own or purchase local honey, maple syrup, spices, herbs, tea, etc.
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