Lifestyle

Emergency Preparedness Week: Simple steps can help peope weather a storm

Spring and summer bring the warm weather, but can also come with some unwelcome side effects, such as thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes and dry conditions that can lead to forest fires.

With Emergency Preparedness Week running May 6-12, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at your home and business and ensure you have done what you can to reduce risk when it comes to weather-related disasters.

Simple steps such as installing sump pumps in basements or backflow valves can be critical in preventing sewer backups in the event of flooding or a major rain storm.

Ensuring trees and bushes are trimmed and any dead branches removed can make all the difference in preventing roof or window damage in the event of a wind storm.

This special week is a national effort of local, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, coordinated through Public Safety Canada.

Preparing for an emergency is something the whole family can do.

By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies and minimize the impact on yourselves and your families.

Here are three simple steps to better prepare your family to weather the storm:

u Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region (like what to do in the case of floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, storm surges, hurricanes, and technological or environmental accidents such as chemical spills and power failures) can help us better prepare.

u Make a plan – Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. We should all practice what to do in different emergency situations.

u Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we may need to get by without power or tap water. We will all need some basic supplies (items such as three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, battery-operated or wind-up radio, first aid kit, pocket knife, prescriptions, extra set of keys and money, and copies of important documents).

Checklists can be found at www.GetPrepared.ca or www.nanaimo.ca.

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