The big day is fast approaching as British Columbians across the province prepare to participate in the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history on Jan. 26.
If you haven’t signed up yet, you still have time by visiting www.shakeoutbc.ca.
More than 200,000 British Columbians have already registered to participate and the number continues to grow.
The drill encourages businesses and residents to practise Drop Cover and Hold on, to have an emergency kit and to be aware of all the hazards in our community.
I encourage all residents and businesses to participate either actively at 10 a.m. by practicing the Drop Cover and Hold On procedure.
If that is not feasible, you can still participate by reviewing your emergency plans and procedures with family or staff members or checking your emergency kits to ensure they are up to date.
By taking responsibility for our own individual preparedness the community can recover much faster.
Tune in to 102.3 the Wave and 106.9 The Wolf on your FM dial as they will be broadcasting a reminder of the exercise at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26 to encourage all City of Nanaimo residents and businesses to participate.
Here are three simple steps to better prepare your family to face a range of emergencies:
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 earthquakes, storms, fire, and technological or environmental accidents such as chemical spills and power failures) can help us better prepare.
u Make a plan – Every Nanaimo household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. We should all practise 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 a minimum 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).
Be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours, preferably one week in an emergency as city resources will be maxed.
Checklists of what can go into a basic kit, how to write an emergency plan and other important details on specific hazards can be found at www.nanaimo.ca or www.GetPrepared.ca. Don’t forget to visit www.shakeoutbc.ca to register.
Karen Lindsay is emergency program manager with Nanaimo Fire Rescue.