Events in Elmira among regional offerings to mark Emergency Preparedness Week
YOU MAY NOT HAVE blocked off your calendar for it, but we are in the midst of Emergency Preparedness week, which runs May 6-12. To mark its 23rd annual iteration, themed events are being featured across the region, including in Elmira.
The aim is to ensure that the public knows how to best prepare in case of any kind of emergency.
“This week highlights the importance of being prepared by focusing on three simple things: know your risks, have a plan and get a kit,” said Steve LaRochelle, manager of emergency management and business continuity for the City of Kitchener. “The community emergency management coordinators (CEMC) will be at various events this week to discuss emergency preparedness with individuals and families. We encourage people to ask themselves the basic question, ‘If you had to leave your home in 10 minutes, what would you and your family need to survive for the next 72 hours?’”
Being prepared in those first three days after an emergency is crucial, said Woolwich CEMC representative Avril Tanner.
“We really do want the public to understand that emergency planning starts with you,” she said. “So being prepared for your family for that 72 hours helps first responders because during that first period of time we really want to focus on trying to get to those individuals that really need our help.”
Since emergency responders are focusing on those desperately in need in the case of an emergency, it is best to prepare as much as possible because it may take some time for them to reach you.
There will be an emergency preparedness open house on May 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira. Attendees can speak with emergency management professionals, watch live demonstrations and check out information displays. Admission is free.
Other upcoming events include the Waterloo Regional Police open house on May 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Children’s Safety Village, 200 Maple Grove Rd. There will be Kitchener emergency management staff available to speak to the public and an emergency preparedness booth.
There is also the Cambridge Farmer’s Market on June 27 and Sept. 29 at 40 Dickson St., Cambridge. This event focuses on preparing an emergency kit for your pet and flood information.
“With respect to an emergency kit, you want to prepare your family for 72 hours,” said Tanner. “So you want to have things like food, bottled water, medications, flashlight, radio, batteries, those kinds of things. And then you also want to think about if you have any special considerations for your family, so any of your small children – you might want to have diapers, formula, that kind of stuff – your pets.
“And you might also want to think about having a go-bag,” she added. “If you need to actually evacuate your home, you want to have things that you can just take with you, so have a bag packed with clothes, sleeping bags, a few personal items and things like that.”
Anyone interested in more information can visit the website at www.wrem. ca/beprepared. It describes how to act in specific disasters such as earthquakes, tornados and floods. There are also tips on how to behave in an emergency and what exactly to do.