Preparation proves vital in emergencies

Saanich Emergency Program hosting volunteer information session Thursday night

Most who call Vancouver Island home know it’s a matter of when, not if, a major emergency will strike the area. Being prepared for that eventuality is what separates those who plan ahead from the rest of us – and is what one day might separate the survivors from the victims.

But there’s still hope for the rest of us yet. Saanich will be hosting a series of emergency preparedness presentations over the coming months. The Saanich Emergency Program has put out a call for volunteers, and will be hosting a volunteer information session Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Gordon Head Rec Centre. The group is seeking to add to the 111-strong team of volunteers in all three areas: ground search and rescue, emergency social services and radio communications.

Even if you’re not quite ready to become a volunteer, there’s nothing stopping you from preparing your family for an emergency.

The recent wind storm to hit the Lower Mainland shows what can happen in even a relatively minor emergency. Pandemonium gripped the region after thousands were left without power for several days. Refrigerated food was left to spoil, communication lines were severed, traffic was snarled and barbecues became the primary source of preparing food.

If just a few heavy gusts of wind can cause that much turmoil, there shouldn’t be any excuse for residents in an area like Victoria to not take the time to make a few preparations. Experts suggest putting together a kit that could help you be self-sufficient for 72 hours. That kit should include Two litres of water, per person per day, food that won’t spoil such as cans, energy bars and dried foods, a can opener, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, battery or wind-up radio, prescription medications and a small amount of cash.

Spending a few hours assembling the basic necessities is much preferable to spending days stumbling around in the dark looking for the supplies needed to keep you and your loved ones safe.


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