This past week, parts of South Western Ontario saw flooding which popped up over night. This caused many cities and towns to declare a State of Emergency and evacuate thousands of residents. This event was catastrophic for families and communities. What should you do if this happens to your family, including your Au Pair?
1. Keep in Communication
An emergency can arrive very quickly. For example, the flooding happened early on a Wednesday morning without much of a warning. Many went about as if it were a normal rainy winter’s day. Unfortunately, the State of Emergency in Ontario was called when parents were at work and kids were at school. Unless your Au Pair follows your city’s account on Social Media or is listening to local radio, she may not know about the events until you tell her. Keep in communication with your Au Pair throughout the day to make sure she is safe and that she is knowledgable about the circumstances. She can also go pick up kids or supplies if the situation allows for her safety as well.
2. Be Prepared
In many parts of the world, there are communities that are always prepared for an emergency. Even in Ontario, we must be prepared for a power outage, tornado, or, as we know, flooding. When you are creating your safety kit, make sure it is well stocked for everyone in your home including your Au Pair. This will include extra water, food, blankets and even clothing.
You can also prepare your Au Pair by providing her with phone numbers of important contacts in your community, including your children’s school, a close neighbour, grandparents/other family, doctor and emergency response.
3. Give Time to Process
Although this may be an exciting time for your Au Pair to add to her experience in Canada, this feeling will not last. When events have settled down, she may feel upset by the situation and need some time to understand it. As soon as your know your family and Au Pair are safe, give your Au Pair some time to process what just happened. This may include talking through it with her or even giving her time to call back home.
4. Speak with Au Pair’s Family
Canada is large to those who live here and have visited. But to many who are use to crossing their own country within a matter of hours, it may be difficult to comprehend the full size of Canada. Meaning that if there flooding in Ontario, your Au Pair’s family may be worried about your community in Edmonton. Be sure your Au Pair contacts her own family to tell them what happened and to let them know she is safe.
To learn more about emergency preparedness, check out this website to learn how you can a guide for your family.