While it’s difficult to imagine, devastating natural disasters do happen and Emergency Preparedness for home, work & school is very important.
According to the Government of Canada, in the event of an emergency in our community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.
How can I prepare for an emergency?
There are many terrific resources available online to help you and your family prepare for any type of disaster, including guides to creating your family’s home emergency plan. But what about planning for your workplace, community centre, school, or larger residential complex? More and more organizations are recognizing the need to house enough emergency preparedness supplies to see their group or facility through those first critical hours or days.
In an effort to help our community become more prepared, we offer special containers to house larger scale emergency kits. They can be customized to suit your specific needs. Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes, and are the perfect place to securely store emergency supplies on a larger scale. It’s an idea that is being embraced by schools, municipalities, strata corporations and government agencies.
A strategically placed container can provide a safe and obvious gathering place in the moments after an evacuation. Generally, you should think about placing your emergency preparedness container in an open area. It should be set away from buildings, trees, gas and power lines and any other obvious environmental obstacles. In the event that there is a structural collapse, the contents of the container will still be easily and immediately accessible.
What should go into an Emergency Preperedness Container?
The BC Provincial Government has posted a comprehensive list of necessities for a variety of situations. Here are some of the items you may want to consider when preparing a larger scale emergency kit.
- Extra flashlights or lanterns (hand crank style or with extra batteries)
- Radio (hand crank style or with extra batteries)
- Water and water purification items
- Extra First Aid Supplies
- A cot for serious injuries
- Shovels, crow bars, hammers and other tools (for clearing debris or constructing temporary shelter)
- Emergency blankets
- Tarps (for ground cover and to protect from the elements)
- Large garbage bin and garbage bags
- Basic hygiene items (toilet paper, hand sanitizer or moist wipes)
- Stove and fuel (stored safely according to manufacturer’s instructions)
- Large pot for boiling water
What can you do to turn an ordinary shipping container into an Emergency Preparedness Container?
There is no end to the modifications that can be done to add function and practicality to your container in the event of a large scale disaster. There are many more expensive custom options out there that will work for some, but also many cost effective, simple solutions that will work for everyone.
- Shelving can be placed on 1, 2, 3 or all 4 walls in any configuration you can imagine. Wall mounted options are cost effective, easy to install and easy to reconfigure if your needs change. A container with properly maintained seals will keep water out for a period of time in the event of flooding. If there is some water present in the container, placing items on shelving may prevent water damage to critical emergency supplies.
- Hooks welded on the exterior wall near the top of the container can be used to connect a tarp for shelter from the elements. Rain is an obvious issue on the West Coast. Sun exposure could be even more dangerous in the aftermath of a disaster when water may be in short supply.
- Peg board wall for hanging tools and other items
- Cork board on the wall for tacking up maps, phone numbers, emergency procedures, and other information.
- Spray foam insulation on the ceiling can help reduce the possibility of interior condensation and can help regulate interior temperature.
- A high security lock and lock box to help protect your emergency supplies from theft.
These are just a few of the ways that an ordinary shipping container can be modified to store a larger scale emergency preparedness kit. But remember, your emergency kit will need a quick once over each year, like an insurance policy that you renew annually. It’s important to make sure that it contains everything you need and to freshen up any expired items.
Download Prepared BC’s Household Emergency Plan PDF and learn how quick and easy it is to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere.
Click here if you would like more information or a quote on our Emergency Preparedness Containers.