The best time to prepare is when there isn’t an emergency.
That advice comes from Sandra Follack, Central Okanagan Emergency Program coordinator, for Emergency Preparedness Week (May 7-13).
“You should be prepared to look after your family’s needs for at least 72 hours,” says Follack.
She adds this week is a good opportunity to create or review emergency plans and ensure grab-and-go kits are refreshed, restocked and replenished.
Emergency kits should be checked for any outdated food, prescriptions, water and other items and replaced as needed.
“You never know when they’ll be needed,” says Follack. “If your family is prepared in advance, you can focus on what you need to do during an evacuation of your area. First responders may only have minutes to notify residents to gather family and belongings and leave the area as directed.”
Residents are also encouraged to know the risks of potential emergencies in their area like flooding, wildfires and land movement, and what they can do in advance to protect their properties.
Those living near previously flooded creeks, streams and lakes, that might again see high water levels, should have the tools and equipment they need to protect their properties.
Homeowners can help protect their homes from wildfire hazards by using proven FireSmart program principles including:
- Move firewood 10 to 30 metres away from the home;
- Clean roof and gutters of flammable leaves and needles;
- Remove branches/ladder fuels up to three metres from the ground;
- Trim or prune trees or vegetation that overhang structures.
On Wednesday, May 10, ALERTREADY, Canada’s emergency alert system, will conduct an emergency notification test. During this test, people will hear or see the message on radio, TV and compatible wireless devices.
Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to visit the Central Okanagan Emergency Program website at cordemergency.ca to subscribe to receive email notifications in the event of an emergency in their area.