The recent Fort McMurray wildfires are a warning to all of us about how quickly a disaster can engulf a community. Yet for most individuals, emergency situations may seem like a distant possibility. Don’t fool yourself. Natural disasters such as, floods or earthquakes; technological or environmental accidents such as, chemical spills; or service disruptions such as, power failures, can strike anywhere at any time.
If a disaster occurs in your city the emergency services will try to help you. But you need to be prepared as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. That’s why disaster preparedness is so important.
Take action now that will help protect your family, reduce the impact an emergency has on your life, and deal with the problems if an incident occurs near you. You should be prepared to respond to any type of disaster that could occur in your area. Being prepared for an emergency situation can reduce stress and trauma to you and your family, and even reduce damage to your property.
Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Tenants
There are a number of common sense steps that you can take right now to ensure that you are prepared in the event of an emergency. Most importantly, this includes having enough supplies on hand to be self-sufficient for at least three days. During an emergency you may need to provide for your own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanitation before emergency personnel can restore regular services.
Emergency Preparedness Guidelines
Emergency planning and training directly influence the outcome of an emergency situation. Tenants that are well-prepared and have well-developed preparedness plans are likely to incur fewer or less severe difficulties during an emergency. The following is a simple list of guidelines to follow that may help you be more prepared in the event of an emergency:
- Have enough food and water at home for at least three days.
- Test the smoke and CO2 detectors periodically (never tamper with them).
- Be familiar with the building’s emergency safety plan and procedures.
- Know the designated evacuation or meeting place (assembly area).
- Know at least two ways out of the building, in case one escape route is blocked.
- Draw a floor plan of the suite and plot at least two escape routes.
- Leave the building right away if the fire alarm sounds. Follow the fire escape plan.
- Call the fire department immediately if there is a fire anywhere in the building.
- Call your property management company if the smoke alarm in the suite malfunctions or is too easily triggered.
- To help prevent setting off the alarm, keep the stove, oven, and toaster clean so they don’t smoke, and vacuum the alarm periodically.