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Emergency Preparedness Week focuses on being proactive

The rule of thumb is to have ample enough supplies to be prepared for 72 hours as it may take emergency workers some time to reach you.
Emergency Alert phone
Emergency Preparedness Week is an opportunity to undertake actions to prepare yourself and your family in case of emergency.

ASSINIBOIA - Is your family and your home prepared for an emergency? When evacuations occurred for the 2016 Fort MacMurray fires, evacuees said they had mere moments notice and impressed the value of having a full tank of gas, easily accessible water and cash on hand as they were forced to flee.

Emergency Preparedness Week is meant to raise awareness to take action so that you, your family and your community are prepared for emergencies. The annual awareness and preparedness week has taken place for the past 25 years, traditionally taking place the first week of May.

Being proactive is better than being reactive. EP week is an opportunity to undertake actions to prepare yourself and your family in case of emergency. The theme for the 2024 EP week is “Be prepared, know your risks.”

Does your family or your home have an emergency kit, or an emergency plan. Local residents can log into government website and find detailed information on how you can prepare your plan, your home and your emergency kits.

The rule of thumb is to have ample enough supplies to be prepared for 72 hours as it may take emergency workers some time to reach you, or you may be without power for a number of hours, or if called to evacuate. This will prove an ample supply in emergencies.

It is important to know your risks. We can face a number of hazards that include flood, blizzards, tornadoes or other severe weather occurrences or other risks like extended power outages or industrial and/or transportation accidents.

The website encourages every Canadian household to make a plan, as you may not all be together when an emergency occurs. Plan how to evacuate, plan how to meet or contact one another and discuss what you would do in different situations. Keep the document in an easy-to-find, easy-to-remember place, for instance with your emergency kit. Photocopy the plan and keep it in your car, at your work and/or in your phone. Review these details annually to update pertinent information, as well as using this annual review to change the batteries, food and water in your emergency kits.

Your plan should include several safe evacuation routes because one or more of these routes may be blocked off due to said emergency.

The opportunity to review or ask about emergency evacuation plans at work and consider having basic supplies at your work in case you are required to stay put for a while. Do you know where your emergency exists, muster points, or designated safe spaces are at your work? Don’t wait until the tornado warning or other alarm comes to determine these things.

Ensure your children’s school has up to date contact information for parents, caregivers or designated persons.

Ensure your home has a working carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarms, fire extinguisher and well stocked first aid kit. Make sure everyone in the house knows how to shut off the water, electricity and gas. Making large, easy-to-read signs for these shut offs could help.

Do you have a battery-operated radio? This could help for listening to news updates from authorities if there is no power.

If you are ordered to evacuate, take your emergency kit, your wallet, your identification for each family member and copies of essential documents. Bring your call phone and a spare battery or charger with you. If you have time, call or email your out-of-town contact and tell them where you are going and when you are expected to arrive.

Your emergency kit should include basic supplies that would include water for at least 72 hours in case you are without power or water. Along with water, your kit should include food that won’t spoil, battery operated crank flashlight, candles, matches, lighters, change of clothing, warm blankets, rain gear or garbage bags, water purifying tablets and even toilet paper and toiletries including prescriptions. Include extra batteries, first aid supplies, extra keys to the car and house, extra cash in smaller bills Your kit should be easy to carry and know where it is, even easy to find in the dark, so using a backpack, duffle bag or suitcase with wheels would be beneficial. Hand sanitizer, small tools, a whistle and duct tape can be additional items included.

The Canadian Red Cross has emergency preparedness kits that can be purchased from their websites.

It is also recommended you have an emergency vehicle kit, because disasters or emergencies don’t always happen in summer. A complete list of items is included on the website for such a kit in your vehicle.

There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.