If there were a large-scale emergency in the community, would you and your family be prepared?
As Emergency Preparedness Week nears, the time is right to know the risks and develop your own emergency plan.
Emergency Preparedness Week, which runs May 6 to 12, encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies: Know the risks, make a plan, and get an emergency kit.
It is important to keep up to date on current conditions, like the weather, that might impact you.
“This is particularly timely with the upcoming spring freshet,” says Kyle Hale, Golden and Area Emergency Program coordinator. “We have higher than normal snow levels in the alpine this year, so the risk of flooding is elevated. We will be focused on keeping the public aware of the conditions and reminding people to stay away from the rivers as the weather starts to warm and the thaw begins.”
Hale says it is important for people to be prepared to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours in the case of an emergency so that emergency services teams can focus on the most vulnerable in the community.
“That means having enough food and water to get by without power or tap water, medication if needed, and a plan that allows the whole family – including pets – to get to safety if instructed to do so by emergency responders.”
In this area, Golden and District Search and Rescue, Golden Fire Rescue, BC Ambulance, and the Nicholson Fire Department are the first responders.
Hale explains that in a large-scale emergency, the local Golden and Area Emergency Management Program would be activated to support those organizations.
In addition to flooding, wildfires are also on the minds of first responders at this time of year. May 5 marks Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and though there isn’t an official event happening in Golden, fire Chief Dave Balding says residents can still be active in preparing for the threat of wildfire.
“We all live in a highly forested area and so we need to be aware of the wildfire threat and ways to take action to make homes and the community become ‘fire smart,'” says Balding. “Knowing the factors that can pose a threat to your home and yard means that you can take measures to lower the risks.”
To lean more about the Fire Smart Program and steps you can take to help reduce the vulnerability of your home to wildfire, visit firesmartcanada.ca
The Get Prepared website also has a wealth of information, checklists and even a printable family emergency kit that you can create online at www.getprepared.gc.ca. Check your kit twice a year and re-stock as needed.
Golden works under a joint emergency program between the Town and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and supports emergencies within the community. That program is active year-round with training scenarios and preparedness exercises to response to emergencies.
For more information on our local Emergency Management Program and emergency preparedness, contact Hale at email@example.com.