Home Alone…Stay Safe
I am not going to lie I am really looking forward to the day when my kids are able to stay at home alone. Don’t get me wrong I will be super nervous and probably phone a million times to make sure nothing is burning and no one is fatally wounded (or setting booby-traps to catch burglars), but not having to arrange child care last minute or rush home to make sure my kids are picked up will be pretty great. Oh and as an added bonus I won’t have to add an additional $10.00/hr to my date night bill to pay the sitter (sorry honey we can’t have the steak, we have to pay the sitter lol!). But my kids are 5 and 7 so I still have a few years to go.
School is done for summer (Wahoo!) and for some of you this is a transition year, your kids are not little anymore. This may be the year when they are going to be home for the day while you are at work or they may be off to their babysitting job (we have a course for that too!). If you are like me you want to make sure your kids are ready for the new responsibility that they will be taking on. I have great news! The Red Cross has launched a new program called Stay Safe, this course is designed for kids age 9-13 who will be staying at home without adult supervision for periods of time (in the province of BC children 10 and older can stay home alone, if there are other siblings or kids they must be 12 years old).
Stay Safe covers topics such as:
How to stay safe at home and in the community without the direct supervision of an adult.
The importance of setting and following rules while at home alone.
How to prepare for, recognize and respond to unexpected situations (eg. unexpected visitors, inclement weather, strangers).
Basic First Aid
The Stay Safe course is 5-6 hours and can be broken up into two days. Each participant will receive a certification at the end of the course and will leave with the tools they need to safely stay home alone with confidence. The BEST PART is you the parent/caregiver will feel a little less nervous about this new independence your child will have.
If you are interested in this course please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I now live in Duncan BC on Vancouver Island (yippee!) When we moved here however so many people joked about the island sinking into the ocean following an earthquake…dun dun duuuuu! Even though I am not a believer in the island sinking theory I must admit that earthquakes happen here and we need to be prepared. Not just for earthquakes but for any emergency, after all they are called emergencies for a reason. It’s not called a scheduled disaster or a planned “let’s see how well everyone can do during a fire”. Emergencies happen suddenly and without warning. My kid’s school has asked parents to provide a “Comfort Kit” for each student in the event of an emergency in which kids are separated from their parents for a prolonged period of time. This got me thinking about how my family would react to a sudden emergency and if we were prepared for the unexpected. So are you prepared?
If you think you are that is great, your ahead of most. If you are like the rest of us you probably have been meaning to pack a “go” bag or store up on supplies, but just keep putting it off. Well here is your nudge. I am going to give you a list of things to put into a “go” bag in the event of an emergency. As well as some tips that you may not have thought about.
In most cases you will want to fill a large backpack with enough supplies to get you through 72 hours. Remember that you will need enough for everyone in your household so add more or take some away depending on your number. It’s also a good idea to have more than one. You may want a bag in your home and your vehicles, remember you may not be home when you need it. Even if you don’t plan on having a “Go Bag” it is a great idea to keep First Aid Kits in your home and all vehicles. Ok here is the list of supplies for a 72 hour Emergency Preparedness “Go Bag”:
Fill a large backpack with the following:
- Tent (small and light)/ Large Tarp
- Blanket or compact sleeping bag
- Duct Tape (can use to secure a shelter or almost any else!)
- Poncho/Rain gear
- Gloves/Hat (for warm and cold weather)
- extra pants and warm shirt (you can cut them incase of warm weather)
- extra socks/ boots/runners (I would opt for boots as they will hold up better in wet or cold conditions)
- Body warmers Reflective Blankets
- Headlamp/Flashlight (extra batteries)
- fire starter/ lighter or matches (the light anywhere kind)
- Glow Sticks (dollar store sells)
- Swiss Army Knife (with can opener)
- Copies of ID (Drivers License, passport, birth certificates, SIN, Medical Care Card)
- Copy of Immunization Records
- Copy of Marriage Certificates
- Photo of Family
- Recent photo of kids
- Extra Cash ($50-$100)
- Pencil and small note pad
- USB with any other important documents. Insurance policy, photos of home and contents etc.)
- Cell phone and charger (wall and car)
- Water! Potable ready to drink. At least 1 gallon per person per day for 3 days.
- Reusable bottle (Nalgene etc..)
- Walter filtration tablets for purifying water once you run out. (Coffee filters are great to strain any debris that may be in the water before you use the filtration tablets.)
- Headlamp or flashlight (extra batteries)
- Fire starter and matches (light anywhere kind)
- glow sticks
- High calorie and energy food like power bars, protein bars, granola bars
- Meals-ready-to-go are also good
- beef jerky, dried fruit and non perishables that are light to carry.
- packets of re-hydration powder (Gatorade) to mix in water.
First Aid Kit
- Emergency First Aid Kit. You can purchased one from the Red Cross or you can make your own. Your kit should include at least the basics:
- Sterile Gauze
- first aid manual
- medical tape
- scissors, gloves, tweezers
- triangle bandage
- pocket mask / barrier device
- medications extra medication for each member of the family for at least 7 days. Such as inhalers, heart medications, epipens (take a photo of the prescription in case you lose the bottle).
- Radio with batteries
- Leash/Collar with ID and contact info
- Any medications
- Zip lock bags (large)
- garbage bags (ground sheet/ poncho etc.)
- bug spray/ sunscreen
- Toilet paper, sanitary napkins, baby wipes.
- Small and light games for kids (cards, travel game)
This is a suggested list, you can add or take away to customize it to you (for instance if you have a baby you will include diapers and formula). Hopefully you will never need it but if you do you will be so happy you took the time to prepare this for you and your family.
Another amazing way to prepare yourself for emergencies is to take a Red Cross First Aid Course. I offer a variety of First Aid Training options so check out my courses page to find the right one for you.
You can also download the Red Cross First Aid App in the App Store and on Google Play.
For more information about First Aid Kits click on the Red Cross link below.
Hope this helps everyone feel a little safer and more prepared. Happy packing!