Items that should be included in a standard emergency kit. (Black Press file photo)

Items that should be included in a standard emergency kit. (Black Press file photo)

Saanich urges residents to ‘be emergency ready’

Emergency Preparedness Week kicks off May 5

Are you prepared for an emergency?

This year’s theme for Emergency Preparedness Week in Saanich is “be emergency ready” and takes place from May 5 to 11.

The Saanich Emergency Program emphasizes the importance of readiness for emergencies and is sharing some tips on how to fit preparedness into busy schedules.

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“While emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility among all levels of governments, the foundation of preparedness and community resilience starts with individuals and families,” said Saanich Deputy Fire Chief Frank Macdonald. “We want to remind people that they are the expert on their family’s preparedness.”

Macdonald said every household is unique and having a plan to meet their needs in an emergency is important. He said people should be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of seven days.

Some tips to be emergency ready are to ensure items for an emergency kit are in a bin that is easy to access and to make cycling through the items and being familiar with them part of your regular routine.

When grocery shopping, purchase an extra can of an item that is part of your family’s regular meal routine and build toward a minimum of seven days of preparedness. Store foods that are familiar to your family so new foods are not introduced during a stressful time.

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Finally, take time to get to know your neighbours before you need them. Often, help during an emergency will come from them.

The Saanich Emergency Program has many activities planned during Emergency Preparedness Week:

  • The fourth and final week of emergency preparedness programs — delivered to more than 1,100 grade four students in 23 elementary schools — will wrap up.
  • The 26 Weeks to Preparedness Twitter campaign will kick off. Each week, simple preparedness tips will be shared and by week 26 — which coincides with The Great BC ShakeOut — your household will be prepared for a minimum of seven days.
  • On May 6, Saanich’s emergency notification webpage will be showcased on Saanich.ca. The website, along with social media, are main communication channels for the District of Saanich during an emergency.
  • On May 21 at 6:30 p.m., there is an individual and family Emergency Preparedness presentation at Saanich Commonwealth Place. Call 250-475-7600 to register.
  • Seven-day Twitter #getyourkittogether video campaign will kick off. Retweet for a chance to win a grab-and-go bag.

Find more information about the Saanich Emergency Program at saanich.ca or on Twitter @SaanichEP and @SaanichFire.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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