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Community Fundraising During Emergency Preparedness Week

Each year, the Federal and Provincial Governments' Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness organizes an emergency response initiative called “Preparedness Week”.  This year, it runs from May 6 - 12.  It is similar to BC ShakeOut in its objectives and goals; provide resources  to ensure that all Canadians are teaching and practicing emergency preparedness in your school and community. As this brings emergency preparedness to the forefront of people’s minds during that time, we thought we'd share some information about GetMyKit's free, online fundraising program in hopes that you, or someone you know, would consider participating.

GetMyKit Fundraising Program Success

Since the program's inception in September 2017, over 30 clubs, schools and organizations have participated and raised thousands of dollars.  Because they had chosen to participate, they made a positive impact in their community. Almost 100 more families - who purchased their kits through their campaigns - have become emergency prepared.  We believe that this is the tip of the iceberg and there's more to be done!  There are fundraisers happening as we publish this blog and we look forward to having your organization join in this growing movement. Westmont Montessori, who ran two campaigns this year, writes: "Want a fundraiser that is meaningful, fun and easy to coordinate? Getmykit.ca is the one for you!  We ran 2 campaigns - one in October and the other in February - and raised $775.00 for our school! Jessica provided you with everything you need: templates, flyers, information, a fundraising code unique to you, and much more. What really helped was having Jessica come to our school for a couple of hours with kits for parents families to see exactly what goes in their high-quality kits.  Thank you for making our fundraiser so meaningful and helping us raise money for our kids."  - L. Chevalier

How Does the GetMyKit Program Work?

  • Sign up here to participate at www.getmykit.ca/fundraising
  • You set your campaign dates.  We recommend a three week campaign coinciding with Emergency Preparedness Week by launching April 30 - May 18, 2018
  • Offer the opportunity to take emergency preparedness off of your community member’s to-do lists by purchasing their home emergency supplies and help raise money for your organization.
  • Encourage your community to purchase a home emergency kit using your unique fundraising code.
  • For each home emergency kit purchased using your fundraising coupon code, $25.00 will be contributed to your school’s fundraising cause.
We will manage all purchases through our site and will ship directly to your buyer.  You will get a complete report on how many kits were purchased using your code along with your fundraising payment. We will help you promote your fundraising campaign by sending you information to distribute to your community (PDF poster, Preparedness Guides & Plan documents, social media templates & communication templates in Word).  There is some work to  be done on your end however but we promise it’s not a big assignment.  You will be responsible for finding other unique ways to promote your fundraiser, communicate your goals and efforts, and keep the excitement going during the 3 week period.  As this is a Federally and Provincially promoted initiative, there is a wealth of emergency preparedness information that you can use to show the importance of having an emergency plan and ensuring that everyone has supplies at hand. We will send more information to participants and will be utilizing social media promoting BC Preparedness Week.

Emergency Preparedness Workshops

GetMyKit staffers are also happy to help you and your community with their emergency plans by being Presenters at an Emergency Preparedness Workshop at your location.  At these events, we discuss why it's important to be emergency prepared, how to make an emergency plan and what to include in your supplies.  We can tie this event into your fundraising campaign.  To find out more, contact 1-866-673-1222 or email info@getmykit.ca. Help your community get prepared while raising some extra funds for your group, club, school or organization!

Practice Makes Perfect – Emergency Safety Planning for Schools & Daycares

Children respond to consistency and learn well through repetition.  This is why regular safety drills are strongly encouraged, if not required, for all schools & childcare centres.  Emergency Preparedness Week is just around the corner on May 6 – 12, 2018 which makes it a perfect time to polish up the emergency response procedures to ensure that these precious little humans react like well-oiled machines to the plans you have in place.  If you are a parent and are not aware of your child’s school or care facility’s emergency response plans, now is the time to open that dialogue.

It all starts with an easy to remember mantra; “Drop! Cover! Hold On!"

Drop - In place, onto your hands and knees.  This will prevent falling over due to shaking.  Moving around increases your chance of being injured. Cover – With one hand, cover your neck and head and crawl under a desk or table.  If that isn’t possible, proceed to an interior wall that is away from a window, shelf, or area where items are stored overhead. Hold On – With the other hand, hold onto your shelter, stay as calm as possible and remain in that place until the shaking stops. If you are the care provider of an infant, calmly and carefully pick up the infant and bring them to a Drop, Cover and Hold On postion and surround or cover them with your body to protect them.

Eliminate Hazards before they become hazards!

Teachers and Childcare providers can do a lot to ensure safety during earthquake situations before they even happen. Remove anything from overhead shelving – the top of built-in or free-standing shelves should not be used for storage. Secure free standing shelves and cabinets to the wall - brackets and screws are an inexpensive way to do this. Consider installing latches or childproof security systems to storage doors on all cabinet doors. This will prevent items from falling out during shaking but still allow for easy access during daily use. Instill ‘clean & clear = safety’ practices. We all know that the cubby area in a classroom can be a chaos that is not easily avoided.  However it is usually at an entry point of the classroom and therefore should be as clean and clear as possible.  Try a weekly reward for students with the cleanest cubby and discuss how important it is that doors and hallways are always clear.

It Takes A Village

The well-being of children in all life’s situations has everything to do with that child’s ‘village’.  The adults that mould children into they are have a strong role in ensuring their safety and happiness everyday.  As someone that is part of that village, take steps to build the rational plan to protect them. Get supplies ready.  Each classroom should have a ‘grab & go’ emergency kit and the school should ideally have a central kiosk stocked with enough supplies for each staff member and student as well.  The classroom kit is important should the students be unable to leave the classroom or should the kiosk be compromised or damaged.  Daycare or other childminding organizations should also have a ‘grab & go’ emergency kit with enough supplies to sustain all individuals for several hours until the child is picked up. GetMyKit has a free Fundraising Program where schools and childcare centres can raise money for free emergency kits or for initiatives & programs of their choosing. Have monthly staff meetings about emergency response.   Discuss roles and responsibilities for each staff member and consider involving your School District to discuss your communication plans with them.   Make sure that you have a command centre with at least 3 - 5 certified first aid administrators.  It is of the utmost importance that the adults are calm and informed during an emergency situation.  Kids will feel enough stress and fear at that time – they should not feel additional stress from the adults they look to for guidance. Ensure each child has a “comfort kit”.  Items can include: health information, a photo of the family, a short letter to the student, a small stuffy or toy, allergen-free granola bar(s) or snack, light stick, water, guardian contact information. Practice emergency pick-up with the parents.  Have a meeting first to discuss what will happen, what your procedures are and pick a date each month or so to practice emergency calls and pick-ups. Make monthly drills a standard at your school.  There is no such thing as over-practicing!  Repetition is key!  After the drill, debrief with your class and chat about how the drill went.  Ask how they felt.  What went well?  What could’ve been better?  Talk about their fears of these emergencies and let them know that by building a plan and practicing response, it will help them be safe. Facility staff need also need to have strict plans in place for students or children with special needs and disabilities.  Thoroughly discuss their child’s needs with their parents, work out a plan, designate a staff member to those children. In short; have a plan in place and practice it, gather supplies and be prepared to use them, involve parents, neighbors and the community in your emergency response program, and communicate regularly with everyone involved. GetMyKit can help your school with supplies, planning and through Emergency Preparedness Events for your community where we talk about why it's important to be emergency prepared, how to make an emergency plan and what to include in your supplies. Book an event at your school today by contacting info@getmykit.ca or call 1-888-673-1222.     For more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc https://quake.ualr.edu/schools/guide/section6a.htm https://www.earthquakecountry.org/prepare/ https://www.vancouvermom.ca/for-kids/back-to-school-pulling-together-a-comfort-kit/
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