EDITORIAL: Disaster prep 101

During an emergency, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time

You would think the devastating earthquake in Nepal last week, and to a lesser degree, a quake off our shores in Haida Gwaii, would be stark reminders of the need to be prepared for natural disasters.

Unfortunately, these calamitous events are noted and then for most of us quietly put in the recesses of our mind to soon be forgotten.

Scientists and emergency management professionals remind us that we must be ready for an imminent future disaster. We live in one of Canada’s most seismically active regions.

Yet, sadly few of us are ill-prepared for the aftermath of an earthquake of any other disaster that might strike the Greater Victoria Region.

Each year, thousands of people face emergency situations that could change their lives forever. Don’t be caught off-guard. Know the hazards in your area and take the time to assemble your family emergency kit.

During an emergency, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time. Emergency services may not be readily available, as increasing demands are placed on responders. It may take emergency workers some time to get to you as they help those in most critical need. As well, access to phones, gas, water, sewer and electrical services may be cut off. Learning how to be personally prepared is vital.

Luckily, plenty of help is available.

Next week is Emergency Preparedness Week across Canada. This will give plenty of opportunities find out more about creating a plan and preparing you and your family in the event a disaster strikes. Having a family emergency plan will save time and make real situations less stressful.

Be prepared.