100 Mile & District Emergency Support Services (ESS) members celebrated Emergency Preparedness Week (May 4-10) at the Cariboo Mall on May 9-10 by handing out complimentary bottles of water and information brochures promoting emergency awareness.
They gave out 624 bottles of water, 100 game sheets to the children on “Staying Safe and Having a Plan,” 100 evacuation information sheets and 50 “Being On Alert” brochures.
The two-day event was a great success as it informed the public and made them aware of the importance of emergency preparedness, local ESS director Liz Jones says, adding the information was well received.
There were several questions asked: What disaster would we have here in 100 Mile?; what do we need to be prepared for?; we don’t live in 100 Mile does anyone look after us?; and I don’t live in 100 Mile, so I don’t have to worry?”
Another comment was “Who are you and what is it exactly that you do?
After extensive training, the members were able to answer all of the questions and explain what 100 Mile and area residents need to be prepared for – forest fires, floods, gas leaks, house fires and dangerous goods travelling our highways just to name a few.
It is important the public is prepared and aware of what could happen in our community, Jones explains.
Some of our members have assisted at the Barriere fire, 70 Mile fire, Buffalo Creek fire, Williams Lake evacuation and local fires, she adds.
After the Barriere fire, it was felt the 100 Mile House and area communities needed their own trained ESS group, so in November 2009 it was formed. Since that time, the group has completed several workshops on how to organize an efficient evacuation reception centre for evacuees and assisting in providing needed services for 72 hours.
ESS members have held two “mock” evacuations with different scenarios. The first was with some of the 108 Mile Ranch residents and the other was with the 100 Mile House Wranglers hockey team acting as evacuees.
Another mock disaster with a different group is being planned in the near future.
“Practices like these are important to increase confidence for its members and awareness to the public,” says Jones.
For more information, visit the Emergency Management British Columbia (MBC) website at www.embc.gov.bc.ca.
Folks will even find how to be prepared for Zombies. (The Zombie approach and advertisement is to get the youth interested and to make them aware.)
100 Mile & District ESS volunteer members meet the first Monday of the month. If you are interested in becoming a member or for more information, contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-791-6305.