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Why Everyone Should Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit

It’s always important to be prepared. Whether you’re caught off guard with a natural disaster, or there is an unfortunate accident in your home, you and your family should always have an emergency preparedness kit.

What is an emergency preparedness kit? ​Health Canada​ describes an emergency preparedness kit as a kit that “contains basic supplies that your family can survive on during an emergency”. So far in your life, you may not have experienced an emergency where you cannot easily access basic necessities. But, that’s not a reason to think it won’t ever happen. Whether it is a natural disaster or a mass power outage, emergencies happen across the world every single day, and it is important to be prepared. A kit can include simple things like blankets, a flashlight, bottled water, non-perishable food items, and maybe spare batteries. These kits don’t have to be extravagant, apocalypse-style containers, but having the necessities is always a good idea. Let’s say, there is a massive earthquake, and everyone has to evacuate for three days. There may be mass hysteria, causing people to bombard shopping centres collecting essentials. But, you had an emergency kit, that had some water, blankets, flashlights, and canned food. Instead of joining the chaos, you are able to grab your kit and evacuate quickly. You may be lucky enough to make it to a safe space to sleep, eat, and wait out the emergency without tapping into your prepared kit. But, in case you have to stay in your car, in a tent, or somewhere outside, you will have all of your essentials.

Our Emergency Survival Kits carry all the necessities you and your family need:

It’s easy to think “that’ll never happen to me”, but a year ago it was also easy to think that we would never live through a global pandemic. Planning for the worst-case scenario will make you feel content now, and grateful later.

From now until June 15, 2021, save 30% off select Emergency Kits in our shop!


Written by MWP Staff: Eva Almgren
Photo by Dave Goudreau on Unsplash

Who are we? Learn more about GetMyKit.ca

GetMyKit.ca is based out of Nanaimo, British Columbia and offers a wide variety of survival kits and personal safety items. We offer pre-assembled safety kits that can include cooking elements, as well as comfort items and, are made and assembled right here in British Columbia. They take between 5-7 business days to get to you, and GetMyKit's Emergency Survival Kit can be found at many retail locations across the country! These kits are of the best quality in Canada. The enclosed food and water are made to last for three days and have a shelf life of 5 years. All the other contents provide you with 72 hours of shelter, heat, and safety. Having a safety kit is important in your household, car, or boat in the case of an emergency. Many people are aware that they should have an emergency kit in their home but don’t consider that emergencies can occur anywhere and at any time. A boat or car is a great place to be prepared for emergencies, as are places like work and school. It might not be possible to be 100% prepared for every possible scenario, but GetMyKit can help you get started! If you are unsure of what to do with a kit, or how to assemble one, there is plenty of available information on our website. There are single items you can purchase if you need to re-stock, or there are over 10 fully assembled kits to choose from. We are a local business through and through, and work to support our local communities here in BC. You can help us do that by engaging in a fundraiser with us, in which you get discounted safety products to fundraise for the cause of your choosing, and promote community awareness and safety in the process!
If you are new to the safety scene, don’t worry! GetMyKit has workshops, FAQ’s, and examples of safety kits available online. We’re here to help you stay safe!    
Written by MWP Staff: Eva Almgren

Natural Disasters On The Island

Natural disasters can strike anytime at any place, and they can range from fires, power outages and earthquakes. Islanders, however, face particular sets of challenges.
The coast of British Columbia is full of natural wildlife, gorgeous beaches, and smiling people. Unfortunately, the coast of British Columbia is also close to the Juan De Fuca tectonic plate. And when tectonic plates shift, earthquakes can happen. For inland people, earthquakes aren’t always a huge issue. But, when an earthquake happens on an island, the water around the island shifts, meaning the possibility of tsunamis. There hasn’t been one in a very long time, but it is still a genuine possibility.

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

Vancouver island is also covered in a lush forest. Just as we’ve seen across the interior of B.C., forest fires can happen on Vancouver Island too. They often leave trails of destruction, destroying property, buildings, and landscapes in general. They can be started by lightning, fireworks, or by people. B.C. is known for its dense forests, and while we are generally lucky to have such a rich landscape spanning the province, this landscape does not come without risk. Finally, since many spaces on the island are habited by people in urban settings, mass power outages are another issue that islanders face. Outages can be caused by falling trees, telephone poles or freak accidents. All of us have likely experienced a power outage before and know the hindrance that it can bring. Rural areas are disproportionately affected by power outages because it often takes local authorities more time to get out to the interruption site. This is even more of a pressing issue when the threat of electrocution, roadblocks, or large obstacles like trees pose a danger to citizens.
Anything could happen at any given time. Whether it’s a forest fire, a mass power surge, or a tsunami, it always pays off to be prepared. And although there is a wide range of possibilities for natural disasters, sometimes steps towards preparedness can cover multiple bases. For instance, evacuation is a possibility in many types of natural disasters. Having an evacuation plan with your family is a good step, knowing where to meet in case of emergency (and having a backup plan if the first one is impossible). Having supplies stored away in case of evacuation is also key, as often, timelines can be uncertain as situations develop. It’s better to be safe and assume that you will need to rely on resources away from home for a while. There are many more strategies and supplies available in order to be prepared for emergencies, many of which are available on getmykit.ca. Ultimately, natural disasters vary and are unpredictable. Sometimes they are caused by the weather alone; other times, foul play or man-made accidents contribute. No matter the cause of the disaster, it is important to be prepared for the outcome.  
Written by MWP Staff: Eva Almgren
Top photo in post graphic by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What Would Happen if a Magnitude 9 Earthquake Hit British Columbia?

The big shakedown. Chances are, if you grew up in BC, you know what we are referring to. Vancouver sits on the fault line of two major tectonic plates, the North American Plate and the Juan de Fuca Plate. Currently, the Juan De Fuca plate is attempting to slide underneath the North American Plate, as it has been for a long time, but when it finally completes its geological quest- it will cause an earthquake larger than any BC resident has seen in centuries.

SOME HISTORY ON THE LAST BIG ONE IN BC

The last time this happened was way back in the 1700s, when the architecture, landscape, and climate of our province looked incredibly different than what we see today. We know this because of First Nation storytelling and due to samples taken off the ocean floor. The oral story passed down by the ​Haida peoples is a tale of loss and devastation, even before modern architecture and concentrated populations. The damage that could be done today is hard to comprehend. Firstly, the structural damage alone would be devastating in an area with high demand for housing, to begin with. The provincial emergency response plan estimates 150 buildings to collapse and another 4000 to be so badly damaged they would need to be demolished, just in the city of Vancouver alone. These falling buildings will take out natural gas lines, electric lines, cell phone towers and bring traffic to a standstill as people start to panic and search for their loved ones with desperation. Older builds in Victoria are much more vulnerable to structural failure because they lack proper earthquake-resistant foundations and the island is closer to the fault line than the mainland.

THE RISK OF A TSUNAMI

Photo by Ryan Pernofski on Unsplash.

We’ve seen it in Japan, we’ve seen it in Indonesia, after every big earthquake there is always a tsunami to be the deadly icing on the destructive cake. Tsunamis are created when a plate shifts underneath the water and can often look like an average wave. But do not be fooled, these death traps move as quick as a jet plane and wreak havoc on already devastated cities. If you are on the coast and an earthquake happens, get to high ground as fast as possible to reduce your chances of being caught in this deadly wave. Those on Vancouver island should be especially vigilant as the wave will hit them first and the hardest. Vancouver’s port is one of the largest on the West Coast. The earthquake, followed by the tsunami and then the ensuing chaos will halt all planes, ships or trains scheduled to deliver goods to many countries across the world, hurting Canada's and more specifically BC’s economy. Seismologists say there is a one in three chance of this earthquake hitting in the next 50-100 years and there has been mounting pressure for the Vancouver government to do more. ​The Insurance Bureau of Canada projects we will need $75 billion dollars to repair the damages. Insurance covers $20 billion of that but $55 billion dollars is still near to what BC makes in one year, this is a staggering burden for the government (​Stelmakowich,2013​).

HOW YOU CAN PREPARE

We cannot control when the earthquake comes, however, we can control how prepared we are for it. Open a dialogue with your family about what you should do during a disaster and choose a meeting spot after the quake stops. Make sure all your work data is backed up on servers outside of the office, to minimize financial losses and most importantly have an emergency kit packed and ready to grab at the drop of a hat. This bag should have enough supplies to sustain your household for 72 hours. Emergency management BC recommends this kit includes 4L of water per person per day, non-perishable food items, a light source, a battery-powered radio, masks, money and hygiene products. 3 person basic emergency kit GetMyKit’s Basic Emergency Survival Kit checks all of those boxes and gives you extra helpful items like an army knife and a flashlight with an attached siren all in a conveniently sized backpack. We offer packs for two-person households up to eight-person households, a one time purchase to ensure your family’s safety for years to come. Alison Bird cautions us to ensure we do not just “see disasters as things that happen to others” because then when the inevitable disaster hits and we cannot just avoid the thought anymore, we do not know how to react. So get as prepared as you can now, it may be uncomfortable to allow the idea to come to life, but you’ll be thankful you did in the long run.  

Sources:

Over 50 Earthquakes recorded since April 18: Why Alaska is so seismically active?

This year, on April 18th and April 19th over 50 earthquakes were recorded in Alaska ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 in Magnitudes.
 

Why is Alaska so prone to Earthquakes?

The earth’s outermost crust is made up of Tectonic plates that are frequently moving.  Being that Alaska is over the intersection of two great plates it is subject to more frequent seismic activity and Earthquakes.  The two plates nearest to Alaska are the Great Pacific Plate, beneath the Pacific Ocean, and the North American Plate, which covers most of North America.

What caused Sunday’s Earthquake?

U.S. Geological Survey researcher, Peter Haeussler compares the earth cracking to a chocolate bar bending and breaking on the surface, seeing as Tectonic Plates do not move and slide neatly, there is a lot of seismically active earth above these Plates that is directly affected. In the past, Alaskan Earthquakes have caused Tsunami Warnings to be issued for North East Vancouver Island Coast, as well as The Central Coast of British Columbia. Tsunami waves can become extremely large, having multiple waves (the 3rd and 4th being the most dangerous) and affect low lying areas under 20 meters. Sunday’s Earthquake originated 75m below ground and 53m offshore in a region of the Pacific Plate.  The Earthquake occurred at 1:30am Sunday and was powerful enough to rattle houses and startle people but it was far enough away from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, to damage buildings.

What Does The Future Hold…

Alaska will see more large earthquakes but U.S.G.S scientists have never predicted one. The agency calculates probabilities and focuses on long-term mitigation of earthquake hazards by helping improve structures safely. More than homes, an earthquake in the wrong place could damage infrastructure, such as ports and power transmission, rail or communication lines, which in Alaska have far less redundancy than other states.

Where GetMyKit.ca Comes in: 

Due to the fact that an earthquake so far can affect us so closely, we recognize that preparedness for you and your family is essential. That's why at GetMyKit.ca we have taken the thought process out of preparedness for you! GetMyKit.ca's Emergency Kits are fully equipped with enough food, water, shelter and other survival amenities to ensure the safety and comfort of your family. These 72-hour Emergency Kits are guaranteed to last at least 3-5 days and are recommended by all levels of government should we suffer a large natural disaster.    
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