12 Days of Safety and Preparedness
Help everyone on your Christmas list get prepared for an emergency by considering gifts that will help them be safe, get prepared for an emergency or respond to an emergency.
Here are some safety and preparedness gift ideas from PEI Public Safety and our partners at the RCMP and Island EMS.
72 hour kit
The ultimate preparedness gift is a 72 hour kit.
If an emergency happens in your area, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you or your family. A 72 hour preparedness kit contains the things your family needs to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
Customize your emergency kit for an individual’s needs – don’t forget any extra medical equipment people may require in an evacuation.
- Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
- Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
- Manual can-opener
- Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
- First aid kit
- Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
72 hour kits should also include a copy the emergency plan and family contact information. Gift the Emergency Preparedness guide too!
Standard vehicle emergency kit
Prepare a small kit to keep in your vehicle for road emergencies.
The basic kit should include:
- Flashlight (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.
- Food that won’t spoil (such as energy bars)
- Radio (crank or battery-powered). Replace batteries once a year.
- Candle in a deep can and matches
- Extra clothing and shoes
- First aid kit with seatbelt cutter
- List of emergency contact numbers
- Warning light or road flares
- Fire extinguisher
- Road maps
- Windshield washer fluids
- Tow rope and jumper cables
Winter vehicle kit
You need to beef up your winter vehicle kit in the winter, because winter driving has special challenges. Add a blanket, warm weather gear, a small shovel, scraper, snowbrush, antifreeze, sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping).
Battery powered flashlight
Candles can cause home fires.
In an emergency, always us flashlights or battery-operated candles.
Make sure your loved ones have a good supply of lanterns, flashlights and batteries to keep them going for 72 hours.
A battery-powered or crank radio is essential to keeping informed on safety messages during power outages.
In an emergency, safety officials will share important safety messages with local radio stations, so tune in when the power’s out.
Gift a corded phone to your loved ones. It helps everyone keep in touch, and most cordless phones will not work during a power outage.
But we all have family members who are tied to their smartphones, so a re-charchable or battery-powered cell charger makes a great stocking stuffer and will give them a few more hours of phone charge – to follow @PEIPublicSafety on Facebook or Twitter for preparedness advice, or to call 911 in an emergency.
Remember, in some emergencies, cell towers become overwhelmed, so have a back-up plan like a corded landline phone or using a neighbor’s phone.
There are extra fire hazards during the holiday season. Have a kitchen fire extinguisher on hand to deal with cooking mishaps (extinguisher type ABC).
Also consider gifting a fire extinguisher that can help deal with electrical fires (extinguisher type C).
Remember, fire safety is all about fire prevention:
The best way to avoid holiday fires is to make sure that all your decorative lights are well-maintained and never left on unattended. Inspect them carefully each year making sure to check for gaps in the insulation, cracked or broken sockets, frayed wires, and excessive wear and tear. If you see frayed wires, don’t use it.
If you have a natural Christmas tree, it is very important to keep it watered throughout the holiday season. A dry tree is extremely flammable.
First aid kit
A basic first-aid kit will come in handy for minor bumps and scrapes. Or consider gifting a CPR course.
Keep the spirit of the season top of mind year round, and check in on your loved ones with special needs after winter storms or power outages. If your family members have special health needs, they may need some extra supplies like a foldable wheel chair, walkers, or other assistive device if they need to evacuate their homes.
Pets are family-members too, and they have special needs in an emergency.
Extra harnesses, crates, and food will keep pets happy and safe. Remember, pets get skittish in unusual situations so they may feel safer in a crate, especially if an evacuation is needed.
Not all warming shelters will accept pets, so you need to make a plan for your pet if you need to leave your home.
Working smoke alarms
Working smoke alarms save lives, and chances are your loved ones could use an extra one. Don’t forget the batteries.
Smoke alarms have expiry dates – they need to be replaced every 10 years.
A carbon monoxide detector is another great gift.
Off-highway guide and safety gear
Have an off-highway vehicle operator on your shopping list?
Help them keep safe by gifting a copy of the new Off-Highway Vehicle Operation guide and proper safety gear like a helmet, gloves and goggles.
Know the rules before considering an off-highway vehicle as a gift for teens. Depending on the type of vehicle, there are minimum age, licensing and training requirements.
New civic address sign
First responders can’t help you if they can’t find you.
Replacing a lost or damaged civic address sign is a very thoughtful gift. Sign shops in your area can help you out.
Information on the provincial civic address sign standards online.