More than 1,000 local Grade 4 students are learning how to be prepared in the event of an emergency by assembling an emergency kit and creating a preparedness plan.
Taught in Saanich schools, the Grade 4 Preparedness Program is a Saanich Emergency Program initiative sponsored by Thrifty Foods.
“In our Grade 4 Preparedness Program, we provide children with practical information and tools to take home to their parents or caregivers on the importance of emergency preparedness,” said Saanich deputy fire chief Frank Macdonald.
Saanich Emergency Program volunteers assist with delivering presentations to students, sharing their knowledge and experience. The presentations consist of an emergency preparedness talk followed by two relay races that reinforce good choices when compiling an emergency preparedness kit. All students receive a start to their individual Grab and Go Bags to take home and complete.
This year’s Grade 4 Preparedness Program started in Saanich elementary schools this week and continues until May 20. From 2008 to 2015, the Saanich Emergency Program partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to present the annual Grade 4 Preparedness Program to more than 8,000 students.
The program launched in 2008 at Tillicum elementary school and former Tillicum student Justin Bao, who graduates from high school this year, is assisting the Saanich Emergency Program in delivering the program at the 2016 launch at Tillicum.
“They made it pretty fun,” said Bao, reflecting on how the program was when he went through it. “They had games that showed us what items we needed in our emergency preparedness kit. They showed us how to be prepared for an emergency and to always have a plan.”
“It is very gratifying for us to know that a student who attended the program in 2008 is confident enough in his knowledge to come back and share the same important message with these young learners eight years later,” said Macdonald.
To learn more about emergency preparedness, educational courses, or how to volunteer with the Saanich Emergency Program, call 250-475-7140.