Emergencies can happen at any time and when we least expect it.
However, there are ways to reduce the risk and impact of whatever emergency might come our way.
May 2-8 is Emergency Preparedness Week.
The Central Okanagan Emergency program encourages everyone to set aside some time during the week to become better prepared and emergency ready. This time of year, a common emergency might include high water and flooding near creeks, streams and lakes across the region. Then, as the move into the drier, summer months commences, the risk of wildfire increases.
Other potential emergencies include destructive windstorms, gas leaks, noxious fumes or structure fires that see people evacuated from their homes.
Emergency program coordinator Sandra Follack reminds everyone that a few simple steps can make the difference for families and individuals to be prepared for the range of emergencies they could face – anytime, anywhere.
• Know the risks. Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
• Make a plan. It will help you and your family know what to do.
• Get an emergency kit. During an emergency, some basic supplies may be required. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
Visit the Regional Emergency program webpage at cordemergency.ca and click on the ‘Be Prepared’ link for information and links relating to a variety of potential emergencies. With the spring freshet underway and the upper elevation snow still to melt, any property owner that has had flooding or high water issues in the past, should have the tools and equipment to protect against possible damage.
“Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better – both during and after a significant emergency event,” says Follack.
In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (CORDEmergency) and Twitter (@CO_Emerg).
Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to sign up for the ‘Central Okanagan Emergencies’ email updates to receive notifications from the emergency program.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan Emergency program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.