a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Mar, 2009

Are you prepared for an emergency?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews|Yaktivism

I wasn’t. But I am now.

A few weeks ago a lovely lady from Public Safety Canada contacted me about a new advertising campaign regarding emergency preparedness.

Here in Canada, we’ve experienced a number of natural disasters like ice storms, major floods and severe hurricanes in recent years, and it appears that severe weather events are on the rise.

I can think of two events which caught our family underprepared. (1) the Great Ice Storm of ’98 and (2) the Northeast Blackout of 2003, which affected an estimated 10 million people in the Canadian province of Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states. (via wikipedia)

Research shows that many Canadians may not have the ability to sustain themselves in an emergency. Only eight per cent of Canadians say they are prepared.

The idea behind the ad campaign is to ensure that people are prepared for a range of emergencies. By having an emergency kit with food, water, radio, and flashlight, an emergency can be reduced to an inconvenience rather than a hardship. And most importantly, resources can be freed up for those in urgent need.

Until today our emergency preparedness consisted of these things:

  • Whatever groceries we had on hand (minimal, considering we don’t have a lot of storage. Heck, we don’t even have a proper pantry. After 18 hours we’d be eating icing sugar.)
  • A (top notch) first aid kit we keep in the linen closet
  • A small fire extinguisher in the kitchen and one in the basement.
  • One camping lantern (used with little candles) and flashlights (one larger battery-operated, one hand-cranked, but who knows where they are right now.)
  • A hand-crank radio (I think it’s in the closet)

Public Safety lady sent me two emergency preparedness kits. It gave me a whole new understanding of what it means to be prepared. I was missing matches, Swiss-army knife, biohazard bags, glow sticks, a whistle, work gloves … and more. It wasn’t comforting to picture myself frantically feeling around for candles and matches if the lights ever went out.

Now I have all of these things I will add a few more – like extra keys, photocopies of our important documents, garbage bags, some old clothes, some cash, a duh, a CAN OPENER. Thankfully, the kit I received came with a large backpack, so I can store all of our things in one bright can’t-miss-it kind of place.

The only thing I’m not prepared for now is (a) anything wintry (how would I heat my home for 72 hours?) and (b) alien attack.

I am acutely aware of the fact that we need to clear a shelf in the basement and stock up on some non-perishables. I think $150 worth of water and dry goods should buy us a decent food supply for a family of four:

  • water (two litres of water per person per day)
  • canned goods and other non-perishables i.e. peanut butter.
  • dry milk etc.

It also occurs to me that packaged/dry camping food (i.e stews and bannock) might be useful in this situation too.

The Government of Canada has put together a helpful website with all kinds of emergency preparedness info. I urge you to check it out. Do note that the GoC doesn’t distribute emergency preparedness kits, but others do. The Canadian Red Cross kit is available at www.redcross.ca. A St. John Ambulance/Salvation Army emergency kit is available at www.sja.ca. You can buy an emergency kit in many stores across Canada or assemble your own. Start here to find out what you need.

That being said, I have a deluxe St. John Ambulance/Salvation Army emergency kit available to give away to one Ottawa-area reader. Postal rates being what they are I would rather not snail mail it out, sorry. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments below. But first tell me (because I’d like to know) do you know where your flashlight is right now? :) How prepared are you?

I’ll do a random draw and arrange drop off (or pick up) with the winner.


ETA: Holy smokes. You guys are less prepared than I thought. :)
I forgot to mention when I’d do the draw. Let’s say deadline for entry is Thursday April 2, 2009. I’ll do the draw on Friday April 3rd. 

ETA March 29:  If you’re interested in the giveaway please make sure you (a) let me know you’re interested in the giveaway and (b) provide a valid email address. Thank you! :)

59 Responses to "Are you prepared for an emergency?"

1 | Donna

March 26th, 2009 at 8:37 am


I’m a regular reader of your site and have taken my kids to a few of the places you’ve mentioned/shown in pics. The Wild Bird Centre is a new favourite of my kids!
Anyway, after the blackout in 2003, I did “plan” to get together an emergency kit since it became immediately obvious that we weren’t ready. Lots of canned food but only an electric opener. Not much cash and no ATMs working. I do however have 2 flashlights stored alongside my little container of extra batteries on the top shelf of my main floor closet and I bought a manual can opener and hand-crank radio. The kit you’re giving away + other things you mentioned (like photocopies of documents) would help me feel much more prepared. I think I would also include some dry cat food since I don’t think my cat would like chicken soup or beans.

2 | AN

March 26th, 2009 at 8:48 am


Thank you Andrea,
a good wake up call!
p.s. I know where my flashlight is ,
but the batteries are dead . Hmm

3 | Krista

March 26th, 2009 at 8:55 am


I would love that backpack! Thanks for the giveaway.

I am somewhat prepared….I know where my flashlight is and coleman lantern. We have some extra canned goods, but no water (I should work on that!), a boatload of candles and matches, swiss army knife, and cash on hand in the event that bank machines are not working. The biggest issue at my house would be heating if an emergency occurred in the winter.

4 | Lindsay

March 26th, 2009 at 9:24 am


Wow. I’m not at all prepared. But I do know where my flashlight is! In the linen closet, 2nd shelf. :-)

I’d love to be in the draw for the kit… and thanks for the reminder.

5 | Tammy

March 26th, 2009 at 9:36 am


My flashlight? In my bathroom drawer…. strange spot, I know :) Am I prepared for an emergency?…. not so much. You’ve got me thinking I really need to get on this. We’ve got 2 young children and I can’t imagine being stuck without the essentials. Thanks for the reminder. Oh – I’d love the backpack… it would be a good start :)

6 | The Veg Next Door

March 26th, 2009 at 10:06 am


We’re not prepared for an emergency. However, it’s been on my to-do list for 2 years now. Gotta get on that.

7 | Loukia

March 26th, 2009 at 10:14 am


I do know where my flashlight is, thank you very much! One is in my night table, the other, on my husband’s side, and we have one in my oldest son’s room, as well! And I have a lighter on my bookcase in my room, and candles around, just in case! I am, however, NOT prepared like I should be – we should work on that! A can opener, great point! So yeah, I’d love to win the kit and I’ll drive to you to pick it up even so you don’t have to mail it! :)

8 | Chantal

March 26th, 2009 at 10:17 am


Hmm we have one, more than one. But where are they… Somewhere. Oh yes, I could use this kit, and a wake up call. Of course my house is so full already I can’t even imagine storing all of that…. I guess i need to get my priorities straight huh.

9 | Roz

March 26th, 2009 at 10:24 am


i have 2 flashlights. One in the basement and one in the garage.

The batteries were all leaked last time the power went out (rats!) but thankfully i had about 100 pillar candles in a box left over from my wedding and matches in the kitchen…score!

would LOVE to win the emergency kit :)

10 | mrsgryphon

March 26th, 2009 at 10:33 am


I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, actually… with a pre-schooler and a soon-to-be-newborn, it worries me that we aren’t very prepared. We have a decent pantry supply (no water, though) Other than that, all of our supplies would be on the camping shelf in the storage room – lanterns, flashlights, extra batteries, matches, basic first aid. I think I know where my swiss army knife is, but I’m not sure what else we should have. Maybe that’s a “nesting” project for the last few weeks before baby v.2009 arrives?!

11 | Hellcat13

March 26th, 2009 at 10:35 am


Sure, sign me up for the contest. I have two flashlights – one is in the laundry room cupboard and the other is in the kitchen junk cupboard in the pen bin. The batteries are in the freezer. (My husband says that makes them last longer. Ok, then.)

Ok, so just read this from Ask Yahoo and will be taking the batteries OUT of the freezer:

For alkaline batteries (the most common kind of household battery), putting them in the freezer will extend their shelf life by less than 5%. And cold batteries can’t be used immediately — you have to wait until they’ve warmed up to room temperature first. If you need those batteries for a flashlight in an emergency, this could prove problematic.

12 | Nicol

March 26th, 2009 at 11:08 am


First, don’t enter me in the giveaway. Even though I would love to be a part of it, I live no where near Ottawa.

Emergency prepardness is very important to me and has been encouraged by our local leaders for years. We have our 72 hour emergency kits complete with food, blankets, water, flashlights, extra batteries, clothes, etc. We have decided to keep our kits hanging on a few hooks right inside our garage incase we must evacuate the house. There is a military waste depot on the other side of the mountain and if there is a leak we must leave. I think it is important to know what kinds of emergency you can have. Where we live we don’t get tornados but have been warned about earthquakes.

I have also put together smaller emgerency kits to keep in our car, especially during the winter months. If we were stranged in our car during an emergency or stuck during a winter storm, we have extra supplies to help us. Also, where does your family spend most of their time. Probably at work or school. I have a small kit for my dh that he keeps in his desk drawer. I feel that you can never been too preparded. I may be more prepard then some, but I feel I have much more to do.

13 | Michelle

March 26th, 2009 at 11:15 am


I am not even close to being prepared! Thank you for the tips and I should get started right away..you never know when emergencies may happen..Thank you!

14 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

March 26th, 2009 at 11:43 am


Since our newest was born Jan 3rd, I’ve had a small but powerful LED flashlight on my nightstand (at first to help find baby’s mouth in the dark and now to excavate problematic boogers -ew!- and retrieve AWOL soothers). It was there til my two years old thieved it this morning.

This is a timely post as my husband and I were talking about this just the other night. Your mention of water made me think of an important question…


If they were ALL clean, I think I could squeak out four days for my two in cloth, but what if it lasts longer? I could hang dry, but how to CLEAN?


Oh, and I’d love to be in the draw!

15 | Alison in Ottawa

March 26th, 2009 at 12:02 pm


4 flashlights in the top door of a bureau in the front hall right by the front door.

I could certainly use a better first aid kit, I think all the stuff I have in ours has expired :)

16 | Shannon

March 26th, 2009 at 12:12 pm


Uh oh. Hellcat13 has shattered my idea that I should keep my batteries in the freezer. Taking them out as I type . . . (and yes, my husband also was the one who convinced me to keep them in there).

I would love a chance to win the kit. We are sadly not very prepared for an emergency – that after I was pregnant during the 2003 blackout and we lost a ton of food from our freezer. You’d think we’d have learned . . .

My flashlight is in the cupboard in our kitchen, and it is a wind up kind.

Amy – we have emergency disposable diapers on hand for emergencies (or trips or occasions when I really need one). I have one small pack in the back of my daughter’s closet. I only have enough cloth to go about 4-5 days too.

17 | Cath

March 26th, 2009 at 12:20 pm


This sounds great – we’d love this!

We have one flashlight by the bed, another by the front door and I think another in the basement … the real question, though, is where are the extra batteries?!

18 | Mommie Dearest

March 26th, 2009 at 12:42 pm



I can see where a kit like that would come in handy. I would love to give it to my son who is moving on his own and would never think that he might need one!

Mommie Dearest

19 | lacoop

March 26th, 2009 at 1:54 pm


We know where in our house the following items are stored: flashlights (including crank), matches, fire extinguishers, crank radio, extra water and food (maybe 72 hours if everyone goes easy…the dog is pretty fat though, so he could carry us for a week in a pinch), and more. There is even wood in the garage for the fireplace (our fireplace kept us warm through the icestorm). Looking at this list, it appears my years in the Health and Safety field have had an impact on my whole life.

20 | Lida

March 26th, 2009 at 2:50 pm


My husband is very anal about having flashlights all over the house…bedside table, kitchen cabinet and even a mini one in the fuse box cabinet. Our grandchildren, however, love flashlights and I’m not sure the batteries haven’t been worn down next to nothing from them playing with them. Must stock up on batteries…but we do have many of the other items you mentioned with the exception of a can opener (duh,thanks for that). I would like to mention that you should check the expiry dates on many food items we consider non-perishable. Water, some canned goods and peanut butter do expire and you should rotate them out and replace them regularly. I would love to win a kit that was all together in one handy case though so please enter me in your contest and thanks for the eye opener.

21 | Soire

March 26th, 2009 at 3:24 pm


Being a military brat has made me more prepared than most. We have about 2 days of non-perishables in the cupboards, as well as a shelf of home-canned goods in the freezer room.

My deep freezer is packed such that all the meat is on the bottom, and although it means more digging for dinner, it also means it will last longer in an outage..

There is a flash light in my bedroom side table drawer, as well as the two the girls keep in their rooms – they think they’re sneaky readers ;) There is also a drawer of candles and matches/lighters in a high shelf in the living room, with candle holders on the top of the same shelf.

In the basement we have a small propane camp stove with 2 spare tanks, as well as the BBQ and spare tank in the back yard – and I’m not adverse to draining the hot water tank if we need potable water. I’d have to cook outside, but on the scale of things – meh. There’s 2 sleeping bags that are good to -40 Degrees – If we had to, I’d throw the two girls in one, and snuggle them in the bed with the baby.

The first-aid kit is stocked in the bathroom drawer, and I re-stock it when I check the fire alarm batteries 2X a year (I also clean the oven and medicine cabinet out at these times…), and I have a box of disposable medical gloves in the bathroom cabinet, beside a giant bottle of refill-soap.

… wow. We’re pretty prepared! I guess the only thing we lack is a fire-extinguisher! Huh.

Thanks for making me think about it! I feel much better!

22 | Tali

March 26th, 2009 at 4:45 pm


Actually, we did this after 9/11 (we were living in Boston)…we have bottled water in the basement, and flashlights in the kitchen behind the oatmeal (why there?). Food, though, not enough for very long…we do have a load of wool blankets picked up from here and there – they keep you warm even when wet!

23 | Mel in Westboro

March 26th, 2009 at 5:05 pm


Thanks for the post. Coincidentally, I recently circulated the http://www.getprepared.ca link to some colleagues of mine at the office. Is my emergency kit all ready to go at home? Not exactly but I’m working on it. We have quite a few flashlights since the kids like to play with them. “Don’t flash it in your eyes!!” We also have a hand-cranked flashlight/radio.

I think it is great that a person from Public Safety Canada contacted you. I see that earlier this month, this federal department launched a marketing campaign on emergency preparedness. We should all take a quick look at their website http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca to see what good things 52,000 employees and our tax dollars are doing.

Off the top of my head, some other things I would add to an emergency kit include a few copies of key contacts info sheets, pad of paper, pens, markers, tape, and scissors.

Please enter my name in the draw for the emergency kit you are raffling. Thanks!

24 | Gwen

March 26th, 2009 at 5:24 pm


Keep seeing these commercials and it has got me thinking. I think we’d be ‘kind of’ prepared. We have most – not all – of the necessary items. The blackout happened while I was pregnant with number 1, so we had no children yet, so it was not bad, we were fine. If something were to happen now, with 2, I don’t know how things would go! I think it is just a matter of gathering everything an putting it all together in a box. Right now everything is located in various places around the house! Thanks for posting this….on my list for the weekend!

25 | JoAnn

March 26th, 2009 at 5:54 pm


Hi Andrea
As usual your blog not only entertains but educates as well.
I’d love to be included in your emergency kit give -away!
ps – have a flashlight in my night table beside me and one in my bottom kitchen drawer. People need to remember too that in an emergency their carbon monoxide detectors will not work if they don’t have battery back-ups!

26 | julie

March 26th, 2009 at 6:02 pm


We have an enormous maglite flashlite (the biggest they make!) and it’s solid aluminum. It is in our mud room closet. It has travelled far – my husband (from Australia) has brought it with him everyplace he’s lived since he moved out of the family home at 18 into what basically looks like a crack house from the photos I saw. He didn’t buy it for the light, but rather for the protection – to hit someone over the head with it if attacked during the night.

We are also pathetically unprepared. At one point, with the Y2K scare (remember that??), we had a ridiculous- sized bag of flour put in storage. I think we might need to do better than that!

Thanks for this reminder.

27 | Rebecca

March 26th, 2009 at 6:21 pm


do I know where the flashlights are? yes. And I even think there’s batteries in them…maybe…

are we prepared? no! We hardly ever carry cash, but very few canned foods (we’d end up surviving on crushed tomatoes, baked beans and mandarin slices…it seems balanced at least!) and don’t (usually) have bottled water in the house.

Great post. I should check those flashlight batteries…

28 | EmmyB

March 26th, 2009 at 6:25 pm


My flashlight is ..wherever my 3 year old has stashed it. Fortunately, we have a bunch of those great turtle LED lights all over the house, on my keys, etc, so that’s something, at least.

Are we prepared? No, not at all – we hardly ever have much food in the house, being so spoiled by all the great places we can walk to to shop everyday. So, please, we’d love to be entered!

29 | Trea

March 26th, 2009 at 6:31 pm


I can totally relate to being prepared to be unprepared. My husband was always a stickler for being ready (I think it’s because he’s a teacher), but I procrastinated about it again and again. I think it was just being lazy, but in the end I bought a kit from Costco and at least I know where it is (though I should maybe consider finding out what’s actually in it). I am interested in the prize, by the way, and yes, I am proud to say we have two flashlights readily available – one in the downstairs closet and one upstairs in our master bedroom. Thanks for the food for thought!

30 | Jen

March 26th, 2009 at 7:23 pm


I was thinking the same thing – we need to be prepared! I got so far as buying a can opener a few months ago… and that was about it… We are teribly UNprepared, it would seem! I do however know where the monster-sized flashlight is (laundry room), however we don’t have any spare batteries for it, and with out luck, it’s about to die.

31 | Carla

March 26th, 2009 at 8:25 pm


Oh! I would love to win the prize. We are, well, unprepared – but mostly due to disorganisation. We have a handcrank radio with flashlight so we’re set for light there. We have two army knives, our regular can opener is manual, and we always have a ton of food around, usually at least a flat of canned something (chili right now). But, most of our batteries are rechargeables – problem there. And, we have really decreased our consumption of canned food because of the BPA issue – oh what to do? We also have a water filter, filters 1 litre a minute, which I’ve had for years and used all over the world. We have lots of camping equipment. But, argh this is all over the place – as long as the emergency isn’t dire we might be ok (i.e. in the case of a blackout we’d have enough time to sort ourselves out). So, mmhh organisation of kit is on list of things to do. Thanks for the reminder!

32 | Jennifer

March 26th, 2009 at 8:33 pm


Count me in on the give-away draw! No idea where our flashlights are. I did put together emergncy supply kits for my doggies a couple of years ago, but I don’t suppose it’s a good idea to give a toddler Beggin’ Strips in an emergency!!

33 | porter

March 26th, 2009 at 9:17 pm


wow, how lucky for one of your local readers (not only because they get to read such an awesome blog) but also because they very well might win the coolest give away!
I know we have a flashlight in our front closet, in my hubs tool box and our crank one which also holds a small charge in our kitchen! That said, we would be totally unprepared in an emergency…great post.

34 | scatteredmom

March 26th, 2009 at 11:52 pm


At one time we had quite a bit of supplies, but storms came, we had power outages, and things were used up. Then the flashlights broke and we just didn’t replace things, which became keenly obvious the other afternoon when the power suddenly went out.

Thanks for the reminder. I’ll add some of those things to my list next time I’m going shopping. :)

35 | Erin

March 27th, 2009 at 8:06 am


Great post – I’d love to be entered to win the backpack. Emergency preparedness is something I worry about but still haven’t done enough about. One thing that we have done is keep some baby formula on hand in the basement and in the car in winter – just in case I am separated from our little one for some reason. If you don’t use it – the foodbank is always very appreciative. Don’t forget pet/animal food and ALL prescription drugs used by your family.

36 | Erin

March 27th, 2009 at 8:07 am


Oops – flashlights need to be found – we have three crank flashlights that were last seen during a rousing game of “camping” during March Break.

37 | Sarah

March 27th, 2009 at 8:56 am


I would say we are fairly prepared. We have a few flash lights and know where they are. Lots of candles, water, canned foods and some medical supplies. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

38 | Mom on the Go

March 27th, 2009 at 9:12 am


I have a windup flashlight/radio on top of the microwave and some other flashlights scattered around the house (gonna look them up this weekend, thanks for the prompt). The light in the ceiling in the back of our car pops out as a flashlight, which is super-useful in a car breakdown or if we come home to the lights being out. I have a flashlight in my desk drawer at the office and I just checked that its batteries work.

I don’t have an emergency kit at home but I think I’ll work on one next weekend. What I have to buy/locate will be much reduced if I can win the one you’re giving away and so I’ll hold off a week.

This is an important post. I’m glad that lovely lady at Public Safety knows how to do a good pitch to the right sort of person.

39 | Redheadedmama

March 27th, 2009 at 10:13 am


Sign me up please! We have various flashlights scattered around the house since my two year old has discovered she can drive our dog C-R-A-Z-Y by turning it on an waving the light beam around like a light saber.

40 | Robinwild

March 27th, 2009 at 12:21 pm


We have 1 jug water, canned beans, soup, and some other items could be rounded up around the house, but I think we advoid thinking about disaster………
Please enter us in the draw! It will force us to face the chance!

41 | Randa

March 27th, 2009 at 1:40 pm


We’re quite well prepared for an emergency, I’d say. We heat with wood (exclusively) so we’re good for heat in the winter. During the Ice Storm of ’98 we heated soups, casseroles, etc. from the freezer on our woodstove (the freezer was in our uninsulated back porch, so even though there was no power, things stayed frozen/cold for many days). We ran our toilet by pulling water from the sump hole. For drinking water we melted icicles from the back porch (we were completely isolated so could not get water from town…drinking water is something we should keep on hand in case of emergency…). Flashlights are all over the house, including the windowsill at the front door. First aid kit is in the bathroom cupboard. Lots of preserves and canned goods and can opener. Lots of homemade wine ;) There’s more, but that’s the gist of our emergency preparedness. Thanks for your post :)

42 | Karen at Virtually There

March 27th, 2009 at 2:27 pm


Um, flashlight? I don’t even think we own one! Eep! Clearly we are so very unprepared. I seem a summer project for myself.

43 | Flashlightman

March 27th, 2009 at 4:21 pm


Good info and reminder. Do I have a flashlight? Yup, lots of them. And they are all LED. If you haven’t switched yet, you should. You get 10X more light hours compared to a regular flashlight. Perfect for emergency (possible long term) situation.
Hope I win that kit. Thanks!

44 | andrea

March 28th, 2009 at 7:19 am


Related: check out this list of 100 Things That Disappear in a Panic

45 | Lynn

March 28th, 2009 at 12:05 pm


I am completely and totally ill prepared. I believe we may have some candles kicking around here somewhere. And we do have some bottled water. Other than that, I expect us to be eating the fish from the aquarium by Day 2.

Hope I win, so I can stop worrying and love the bomb!

46 | Julie

March 28th, 2009 at 4:15 pm


I would really, really like to win the kit! We are NOT ready for an emergency. In fact, I’m thrilled that this winter we saw only short power outages, and each time I had to scramble to find anything. I blame the kids.

47 | BeachMama

March 29th, 2009 at 11:43 am


Since my husband spent many years on the Emergency Planning Commitee for the City, we are probably more prepared than most, but I will admit that we need to replenish a few things.

Water, you have to rotate it out as there is a shelf life, and we drank it without brining in some new stuff. Canned goods need to be rotated out as well (trust me, my Mom has opened a can or two over the years that hadn’t been rotated). And cash. I can’t seem to keep that handy ;).

48 | jennP

March 29th, 2009 at 3:48 pm


I think of this topic often actually. I often try to ignore the fact that I am not quite prepared. I do know where my candles and lighters are, however I so not think my flashlights work. We have a water machine so we tend to have a big water bottle hanging around, but I don’t think we would have enough food.
So much to think about!!

49 | Joanne from Orleans

March 29th, 2009 at 9:02 pm


I know where my flashlight is… with my 3 year old son protecting him from the ghosts in his room. :) Thanks for the wake up call!

50 | andrea

March 29th, 2009 at 9:33 pm


Hi all !
If you’re interested in the giveaway please make sure you (a) let me know you’re interested in the giveaway and (b) provide a valid email address. Thank you! :)

51 | Allison

March 30th, 2009 at 6:55 am


a) I’m intertested in the giveaway because

b) we are definately not prepared in our household

Definately grateful that the inlaws thrive on “emergency” situations—a well stocked cold storage, hand-cranked electronics, wood stove and fireplace, rain water collectors, etc.

52 | Jen_nifer

March 30th, 2009 at 9:20 am


I am totally interested in the giveaway.

We have several flashlights with batteries tested on a weekly basis by my 3 year old. I have a ton of matches and a pilar candle or two as well as a hundred tea lights. Our can openers are all manual. We have a hand crank radio wtih the camping gear. I think I keep the cupboards stocked well enough that we would have enough food to eat for a week, but I don’t store any water. I hate to buy a bottle, just to never use it. I might have to get over this. We always have first aid supplies on hand. We have a wood-burning fireplace… but no wood. I suppose if something really serious happened we would load up our supplies in a wagon/sled (or car if possible) and walk down to my father’s place which isn’t far, and has lots of firewood.

53 | Krista

March 30th, 2009 at 1:52 pm


I commented above….I am interested in the giveaway.



54 | grace

March 31st, 2009 at 8:48 am


I am the kind of person who carries two flashlights in her purse; you know I’ve got to be interested in the giveaway ;0)


55 | Suzanne

April 1st, 2009 at 7:03 pm


I really enjoy reading your blog – as a newcomer to the city, I often gravitate to your site for local venues, shopping etc.
as for being prepared, my husband is the type of guy who checks our fire alarms regularly, fixes things, puts in carbon mmonixide readers etc. however, we have at least 6 flashlights with no working batteries (I blame the kids)., and whenever he’s out of town, I feel at a loss if I were to be faced with an emergency, alone with 3 little kids! any advice would be most welcomed.

56 | andrea

April 3rd, 2009 at 3:07 pm


Thanks for your entries!
I’ll be doing the draw later today…
Stay tuned!

57 | andrea

April 5th, 2009 at 12:34 pm


The draw is done.

The winner is BeachMama!

Thanks everyone!

58 | Public Safety Canada making strides in social media « Public Sector Marketing 2.0 – Mike Kujawski’s blog on strategic social media engagement in the government & non-profit sectors

January 8th, 2010 at 7:01 pm


[…] Organic, genuine, strategic blogger relations (in this case with mommy bloggers). Have a look at an example here (note the comments). […]

59 | Carly

February 3rd, 2010 at 8:58 pm


I was at a Seminar today where two lovely ladies from Public Safety Canada gave a presentation on using Social Media to promote a product/service.

I was delighted when they used this post from your blog, which I enjoy SO much, to illustrate the example of how they tapped into some “Mommy Bloggers” to help get the word out.

“Hey!” I thought. “I read that blog!”


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  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive I got jabbed! #TeamPfizer - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] the same day our youngest turned 20, I got my first Covid vaccine. For the record, my next one is scheduled four months from […]

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter