Equipping Your Home for Emergencies
Whether you rely on your local meteorologist or the Farmer’s Almanac, one thing is certain, our climate is becoming more unpredictable every year. Even when we think winter might be over, weather conditions can quickly become dangerous with little or no warning. In fact, winter storms and excessive cold claim over 100 lives each year in this country. In addition, emergencies always happen when we least expect them. That is why it is so important to take the necessary steps to equip our homes for all types of potential conditions and circumstances.
Know your risks
Risks for disasters can vary from region to region across Canada, from extreme cold, blizzards and blackouts to floods, earthquakes and tornadoes. Knowing what the risks are for your specific area can help you in equipping your home for emergencies.
Be prepared with an emergency weather kit
If extreme weather occurs, it may take time for emergency workers to act. Fewer than half of Canadian households have an emergency kit.  The Government of Canada suggests that you should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 3 days.What that means is your home should be equipped with an emergency kit, whether you are staying in your home or evacuating.
What should an emergency kit for the winter contain?
• 3-day supply of water and food, including non-perishables, baby formula, pet food, etc.
• Prescription medications
• Toilet paper
• Can opener and picnic supplies (forks, spoons, containers, etc.)
• Extra clothing, sleeping bags
• Wet Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
• Cellphones and chargers
• Flashlights and batteries
Have a plan
An emergency plan is perhaps the most important way you can equip your home for emergencies. It will cut down on stress, as well as keep you and your family calm and safe when a crisis does occur. Your emergency plan should include
• safe exits from your home, including alternate exits in case of a fire
• a safe meeting place outside your home to reunite with family
• designated person to pick up children during an emergency if you are not available
• in-town and out-of-town contact person
• health and insurance information
• a plan for your pet(s) that includes pet-friendly places during an evacuation
• local emergency numbers
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Winter emergencies can be linked to extreme cold, wind, blizzards and freezing rain which can often result in furnace and power outages that can last for several hours or even days. During these times, the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning increases, due to a broken furnace, alternate heat sources like a fireplace or wood burning stove, even a generator that is not being properly used. Your best protection against this silent killer is to equip your home with a monitored carbon monoxide detector. Remember, carbon monoxide, unlike other gases is odourless, tasteless, colourless yet deadly. In the case of a CO emergency, when carbon monoxide levels should rise in your home, your TELUS SmartHome Security monitoring centre would immediately contact you, or in the case that you cannot be reached, would contact first responders.
In case of fire
While we can’t always avoid weather-related emergencies, house fires can be prevented or contained to avoid damage or injury. The best way to do this is to equip your home with a monitored smoke detector. If you are home, and unable to escape or call for help, an TELUS SmartHome Security monitored smoke detector ensures our monitoring centres will immediately communicate with first responders to ensure help is on its way. TELUS SmartHome Security wants to help you stay safe all year round.
For more information on monitored carbon monoxide detectors, monitored smoke detectors and other smart home solutions, call 855.958.8181 today.
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TELUS SmartHome Security News
Winter storms can be frightening and dangerous. Find out how to prepare for and weather a winter storm to stay safe.