Events in Elmira among re­gional of­fer­ings to mark Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Week

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - VERON­ICA REINER

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.

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