Storm pre­pared­ness be­gins at home

New Brunswick­ers urged to get ready for emer­gen­cies as win­ter nears

Sackville Tribune - - EXTRAS ONLINE -

With win­ter around the cor­ner, Storm Pre­pared­ness Week, Nov. 4-10, is an op­por­tu­nity to re­mind New Brunswick­ers of the need to be ready in case of an emer­gency.

“The weather pre­sented a num­ber of chal­lenges this year,” said New Brunswick Emer­gency Mea­sures Or­ga­ni­za­tion di­rec­tor Greg Mac­cal­lum. “Thou­sands of New Brunswick­ers, at one point or an­other, found them­selves with­out power and with­out im­me­di­ate ac­cess to emer­gency ser­vices. From an ice storm to flood­ing to snow storms, Mother Na­ture once again showed us the im­por­tance of hav­ing an emer­gency kit and be­ing able to take care of your­self and your fam­ily for 72 hours.”

There are three im­por­tant com­po­nents to emer­gency pre­pared­ness:

Know the risks: New Brunswick­ers should eval­u­ate the kind of emer­gency that can af­fect their fam­ily and their com­mu­nity. Know­ing the risks can help them bet­ter pre­pare for any dis­as­ter – storms, flood­ing, train de­rail­ments, power out­ages or other events.

Make a plan: Ev­ery house­hold needs an emer­gency plan. It will help fam­i­lies to know what to do in case of an emer­gency and it takes less than 30 min­utes to or­ga­nize. Fam­ily mem­bers should take the time to dis­cuss how and where to meet, how to con­tact each an­other and what to do in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. Write it down and keep it in a safe place.

Get an emer­gency kit: New Brunswick­ers should have all the ne­ces­si­ties for them­selves and their fam­i­lies: wa­ter, food, flash­lights, ra­dio, bat­ter­ies, first aid kit, pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions, in­fant for­mula, cash (ATM ma­chines might not be op­er­a­tional in times of cri­sis).

NB Power pres­i­dent and CEO Gaë­tan Thomas said the util­ity has been do­ing more each year to help re­store power faster dur­ing storm events, but there is no sub­sti­tute for team­work and prepara- tion.

“We have in­vested in bet­ter fore­cast­ing tech­nol­ogy and have storm-hard­ened a great deal of our in­fra­struc­ture in many ar­eas of the prov­ince,” said Thomas. “But, to me, the big­gest suc­cess is the strong team­work and re­la­tion­ships we have de­vel­oped over the years with NBEMO, the Cana­dian Red Cross, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and other part­ners. Ul­ti­mately, by work­ing to­gether, we will be able to ad­dress storm chal­lenges faster and bet­ter.”

A 72-Hour Guide is avail­able on­line at www2.gnb.ca/con­tent/ dam/ gnb/ De­part­ments/ ps- sp/ pdf/emo/2015-nb-emo­book­letE.pdf. It con­tains use­ful in­for­ma­tion for fam­i­lies to pre­pare an emer­gency kit and to make a fam­ily emer­gency plan.

NBEMO co-or­di­nates pre­pared­ness for emer­gen­cies. It also co­or­di­nates provin­cial re­sponse op­er­a­tions dur­ing emer­gen­cies and ad­min­is­ters dis­as­ter fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance pro­grams dur­ing re­cov­ery. It works at provin­cial, re­gional and mu­nic­i­pal lev­els to en­sure com­mu­ni­ties are pro­tected dur­ing all phases of an emer­gency.

PHOTO SUB­MIT­TED

With win­ter around the cor­ner, Storm Pre­pared­ness Week, Nov. 4-10, is an op­por­tu­nity to re­mind New Brunswick­ers of the need to be ready in case of an emer­gency. From left, Lynn Arse­nault, vice-pres­i­dent of cus­tomer ser­vice, NB Power; Greg Mac­cal­lum, di­rec­tor of the New Brunswick Emer­gency Mea­sures Or­ga­ni­za­tion; and Bill Lawlor, provin­cial di­rec­tor of the Cana­dian Red Cross for New Brunswick and Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

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