Thursday, May 03, 2012
Oxford County Public Health and Emergency Services
Are You Prepared?
Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face. As part of Emergency Preparedness Week 2012 (May 6-12), Public Health & Emergency Services is reminding Oxford County residents to have a plan in place to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while rescue workers help those in urgent need.
Preparing for an emergency is important and something the whole family can do. By taking a few simple steps, anyone can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies. The three simple steps to help prepare to face a range of emergencies are:
- Know the risks. Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to your community and region (like what to do in the case of floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, storm surges, hurricanes, and technological or environmental accidents such as chemical spills and power failures) can help you better prepare.
- Make a plan. Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. We should all practice what to do in different emergency situations.
- Get an emergency kit. During an emergency, you may need to get by without power or tap water. You will also need some basic supplies (items such as three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, battery-powered or wind-up radio, first aid kit, pocket knife, prescriptions, extra set of keys and money, and copies of important documents). Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
For information about what goes into a basic kit, how to write an emergency plan, and details on hazards across Canada, visit www.GetPrepared.ca.
“Our goal through Emergency Preparedness Week is to make sure the first time you think about your family’s emergency plan isn’t when an emergency strikes. We are asking families to take the first step in putting together a plan to help protect their own health and well-being if disaster strikes. That includes knowing what the risks are in your community and having a 72-hour kit packed and ready to be used at any moment.”
- Dianne Marshall, Community Education Coordinator, Oxford County EMS
- The worldwide cost of natural disasters has skyrocketed from $2 billion in the 1980s, to $27 billion over the past decade.
- Canada’s first billion dollar disaster, the Saguenay flood of 1996, triggered a surge of water, rocks, trees and mud that forced 12,000 residents to evacuate their homes.
- One of the most destructive and disruptive storms in Canadian history was the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada causing hardship for 4 million people and costing $3 billion. Power outages lasted for up to 4 weeks.
- 85% of Canadians agree that having an emergency plan is important in ensuring their own safety and that of their family; yet on only 40% have prepared one. Complete yours online at www.GetPrepared.ca.
Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) takes place from May 6-12, 2012. EP Week is a national awareness initiative that has taken place annually since 1996. It is a collaborative event undertaken by provincial and territorial emergency management organizations supporting activities at the local level, in concert with Public Safety Canada and partners. EP Week encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies: 1) Know the risks; 2) Make a plan; and 3) Get an emergency kit.
Communications & New Media Specialist
519-539-9800 ext 3505