Know the Risks, Make a plan, Get a kit

Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to promote emergency preparedness across Canada. This year, EP Week is recognized May 3 – 9, 2020.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the necessity for emergency preparedness is particularly relevant.  The importance of taking steps to prepare for a situation that can occur anytime, anywhere is clear.

“Emergency Preparedness Week (EP week) is an annual event that is coordinated by Public Safety Canada,” said Norfolk fire chief Gord Stilwell. “This year, we are encouraging the community to do the following three things: know the risks, make a plan and get a kit. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility and we can all do our part.”

Know the Risks

While emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, emergencies can often be unique regionally and seasonally.  For instance, even within Norfolk, risks vary.  Being prepared for flooding is a high concern for those who live in Port Dover, Turkey Point or Long Point, but less so for those who reside more inland.

Extreme weather in the form of extreme cold warnings, extreme heat warnings, thunderstorms and snowstorms are seasonal. Paying attention to weather reports and warnings is a way to be prepared.

Some risks, like fire, exist for everyone, no matter the season or location.

Make a Plan

Every home needs an emergency plan.  Emergencies can happen anytime, often when families are not together. Plans can be made in as little as 20 minutes. To start, visit the government of Canada’s Get Prepared site.

Get a Kit

Purchasing or making an emergency kit that ensures you can be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a disaster. Kits include water, food that won’t spoil, a first-aid kit and a flashlight. More information about kits can be found here.

The Canadian Red Cross has an emergency preparedness app called the BeReady app. The app helps you and your family be prepared for different emergency situations and to take action when a disaster strikes and is available for Apple and Android.

Disasters and emergencies may be beyond our control, but knowing the risks, making a plan and getting a kit can reduce the impact of whatever we might face.