Personally, be prepared

151230-Post-Personally Be Prepared

Being on the West Coast, experiencing a reminder that we live on a major earthquake fault line makes us first jump on Twitter and Facebook but when it all settles down maybe time to think about how prepared you really are.

To start with, earthquake insurance. Should you have it? Well this can cause a debate but coming from some property and casualty insurance background as well as financial experience says Yes to earthquake insurance. The reason is quite simple. While we all known we will get additional earthquakes the question is not going to be if our home of demolished during the “big one” (which is estimated at 15,000 times more powerful then the 4.9 earthquake northwest of Victoria, BC last evening) but instead if we get any kind of earthquake that will cause property damage. For example, a foundation crack or truss damage can result in $10-20,000 bill – so while your home might be livable not unless you self insure paying the 5% deductible (which is the normal deductible) is small price to pay. Some say that insurance companies will go into bankruptcy after the big one, but insurance companies also use this as a reminder to be properly reinsured (selling our policies and buying other risks in exchange hence reducing overall risk exposure). Also in Canada the insurance industry is governed and managed very closely by government authorities – same as the banking industry to ensure solvency in the case of a major disaster.

The second part is being prepared for you and your family. At the bottom of this post is the items to be included in both your home and vehicles. But also we need to make the following financial arrangements:

What do you put inside of it? How about:

  • Home insurance policy
  • Copies of vehicle insurance policies
  • Life insurance policies
  • Copy of wills.
  • Enough cash for at least 72 hours, they suggest $100 per person as a minimum
  • Copies of car keys
  • Copies of house keys
  • Pictures of family members – current ones
  • Pictures of pet’s
  • Photo’s of credits cards – front and back of each card
  • Copies of passports
  • Copies of drivers licenses
  • Copies of birth certificates
  • List of phone numbers and email addresses for all residents
  • Bank account numbers
  • Mortgage account numbers
  • List of people to contact in the case of emergency – including close family and even friends
  • List of your neighbors and there contact information, including list and description of pets
  • Backup USB for your computers and tablets
  • Phone and Addresses of out of area family or friends
  • Business cards for Employers, Lawyer, accountant, insurance companies, banks, doctors, pharmacist and vets – (mark on back which is which!).
  • Copies of all residents medications.
  • Any specific information about each resident such as medical conditions etc.
  • Copy of each residents passwords and location of safety deposit boxes, bank accounts and locations (in separate sealed envelope)
  • Wifi router password
  • USB containing electronic copies of the above

If you want and are a current client of our office, you can send us a copy of the electronic documents which we will store securely on both our physical servers (Maple Ridge and Christina Lake) as well as our synced secured cloud server. Also be sure to let us know whom we can release the information to within the electronic mail as this information will be protected under the accountant – clients engagement (confidentiality and release of information).

Select this link to open the Emergency Information Upload form – in New Window.

Once you lock the safe, take a moment and take a smartphone picture of everything that you can take a photo of, even car keys. Also go old fashion and include a small picture of each resident and pet in your wallet or purse.

Also take a picture of where the safe is – choose a safe location and take the time to secure it.

Very important is a small wrench – stainless steel so it wont rust attached to your home gas main and water main (if not tap valve).

If you family uses smartphones, consider looking into GPS location such as Find my Friends for Apple so that you can locate family members.

Government says they need everyone to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours but plan on up to a week when putting together the other items for the earthquake kit. When you put together the home earthquake kit, make it close to an entry to the home is a safe location (front entry closet is one of the best – small space is better). Also use a florescent color or reflective strips – also an idea to mark the safe with a florescent tag or reflective strip.

Now before you put together the earthquake kit, take a moment with your smartphone and book a recurring appointment every three months to not only check your smoke alarm but also update the earthquake kit as water and canned food only last so long….

First Aid Kit

Store your first aid supplies in a tool box or fishing tackle box so they will be easy to carry and protected from water. Inspect your kit regularly and keep it freshly stocked. NOTE: Important medical information and most prescriptions can be stored in the refrigerator, which also provides excellent protection from fires.

  • Hydrogen peroxide to wash and disinfect wounds
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Individually wrapped alcohol swabs
  • Aspirin and non-aspirin tablets
  • Prescriptions and any long-term medications (keep these current)
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Eye drops
  • Bandage strips
  • Ace bandages
  • Rolled gauze
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Adhesive tape roll
Other First Aid Supplies
  • First aid book
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Bar soap
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Paper cups
  • Pocket knife
  • Small plastic bags
  • Safety pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Instant cold packs for sprains
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Splinting materials

Survival Kit for Your Home

Assemble a survival kit for your home with the following items:

Tools and supplies
  • ax, shovel, broom
  • screwdriver, pliers, hammer, adjustable wrench
  • rope and chain for towing or rescue
  • plastic sheeting and tape
  • Tarp for shelter
Items for safety and comfort
  • sturdy shoes that can provide protection from broken glass, nails, and other debris
  • gloves (heavy and durable for cleaning up debris)
  • candles
  • waterproof matches
  • change of clothing
  • knife
  • garden hose (for siphoning and firefighting)
  • tent
  • recreational supplies for children and adults
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
  • essential medications and eyeglasses
  • fire extinguisher — multipurpose, dry chemical type
  • food and water for pets
  • toilet tissue
  • cash $100 per resident minimum

Survival Kit for Your Automobile

Assemble a survival kit for your automobile with the following items. Storing some of these supplies in a small bag or backpack will make them more convenient to carry if you need to walk. Smaller is better and try to store out of site in the vehicle:

  • Blankets
  • Bottled water
  • Change of clothes
  • Coins for telephone calls
  • Fire extinguisher — multipurpose, dry chemical type
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency signal device (light sticks, battery-type flasher, reflector, etc.)
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Food (nonperishable — nutrition bars, trail mix, etc.)
  • Gloves
  • Local map and compass
  • Rope for towing, rescue, etc.
  • Paper and pencils
  • Premoistened towelettes
  • Prescription medicines
  • Battery-operated radio with fresh batteries
  • Small mirror for signaling
  • Toilet tissue
  • Tools (pliers, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, etc.)
  • Whistle for signaling
  • Jumper cables
  • Duct tape

Survival Kit for Your Workplace

Assemble a survival kit for the workplace with the following supplies:

  • Food (nonperishable — nutrition bars, trail mix, etc.)
  • Bottled water
  • Jacket or sweatshirt
  • Pair of sturdy shoes
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Battery-operated radio with fresh batteries
  • Essential medications
  • Blanket
  • Small first aid kit
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses and/or contact lens solution
  • Whistle or other signaling device

Tomorrow we will detail how businesses need to add a second level of preparation so that after a major disaster you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.

In the meantime, why don’t you familiarize yourself about the Emergency Notification System – clicking here for Wikipedia.

Now take a deep breath, give you family members (including pets) a hug and share this if you would like without editing.


For more information you can take a look at: