Emergency Preparedness for the Cottage

When the temperatures rise and the days become longer, a weekend getaway sounds very appealing, but even a fun trip to the cottage can present significant health and safety risks because of limited access to medical care and health supplies. 

Have a first aid kit

It is always important to have access to a first aid kit in case of an emergency.  The Canadian Red Cross Society recommends you include the following:

  • Emergency telephone numbers
  • Sterile gauze pads, adhesive tapes, bandages, and dressings
  •  Scissors, tweezers, and safety pins
  • Instant ice pack
  • Disposable non-latex gloves, pocket mask, and face shield
  • Antiseptic wipes or soap
  • Eye patches 
  • Thermometer 

A complete list of items for your first aid kit may be accessed here.

Have your own little pharmacy on hand

Be prepared for emergency situations that may arise due to cottage-related injuries, including exposures to bugs, pollen, and wildlife.  Consider adding the following to your emergency preparedness kit:


What is it used for?

Over-the-counter antihistamines e.g. diphenhydramine, cetirizine

·  Allergic conditions such as hay fever, hives, poison ivy and skin itch

Over-the-counter pain relievers e.g. ibuprofen, acetaminophen

·  Pain, headache, and fever


Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen

·  Pain and swelling due to infection or injury

Compression bandages

·  Short-term management of sprains and strains

Saline wound wash

·  Cleansing of open cuts/wounds to prevent infection

Hydrocortisone 1% cream

·  Minor skin irritations associated with redness, itching, dryness, and scaling

Antibiotic cream or ointment

·  Treatment and prevention of skin infection from scrapes or cuts

Injectable epinephrine

·  Emergency treatment of serious allergic reactions

Injectable or intranasal naloxone

·  Emergency treatment of opioid overdose

Oral rehydration solutions

·  Treatment and prevention of dehydration

Do not forget about chronic conditions

Always bring with you enough medication to last for your trip and remember to take any medical devices and/or supplies such as a blood pressure or blood glucose meter. Although you may not use these devices daily, it is a good idea to have them on hand to monitor any changes to your condition.  If you take medications that should be stored in the fridge, such as insulin, always bring along an insulated bag or cooled thermos to keep them cool in case of a power outage.

If you or someone you know has severe heart disease, you’re at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Due to delayed emergency response times, consider investing in an automated external defibrillator (AED). This is a lightweight, portable device used to revive someone from sudden cardiac arrest and is available from suppliers without a prescription.

With these supplies in your emergency kit, you can rest assured knowing that you are well-equipped and ready to tackle most scenarios that Mother Nature can toss your way.

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