January 15, 2009
By W. Michael Thomas CFP, CLU, CH.F.C., R.F.P.

How ready are you for a crisis, emergency or disaster? These crisis situations never come at a convenient time. They happen without warning. Surviving the crisis will depend on knowledge, planning, training and the number of times we practice a plan.
To test your own personal preparedness, write down the answers to the following questions:
  • Do at least two people in your household/family know first aid? Whose lives are they going to save?
  • Do all the adults know how and where to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your house?
  • Have you posted all local emergency numbers by the telephone(s)?
  • Does your household have an evacuation plan?
  • Do you have an emergency plan?
  • Is there a family/household reunification plan?
  • Do your children know the plan and carry that information?
  • Can your family go camping for five days without notice, and include medications and other specific needs?
  • If you need to evacuate, can you carry your kit?
  • Do you have survival supplies and a first aid kit at work, in your car, and at home?
  • Do you and your household know how and when to use a fire extinguisher?
  • What are the six steps you should take before you use a fire extinguisher?
  • Do you have a battery-powered radio immediately available to listen to local emergency broadcasts?
  • Have you and your family undertaken the planning cycle, done the training, and run the drills so that you are ready to deal with an emergency, or a disaster?

Another important practice is to always have working smoke detectors. Statistics show that installing a smoke detector on every level of your house, ensuring that they are cleaned and changing batteries at two specified times a year, will double your chance of surviving a fire.

If you have any questions please contact Michael Thomas at the address below. W. Michael Thomas is a partner with The Investment Guild – endorsed provider of the HortProtect Group Insurance Program and is a director of Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation.

The Investment Guild
HortProtect Insurance
11 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100
Markham, ON L3R 9T8