Be prepared for a state of emergency

By Tyler J. Moffitt
The Safety Advocate

Back in the early 1990s, I attended the Canada Emergency Preparedness College in Arnprior, Ont.
In fact, the current chief of police in Winnipeg also was in attendance.
Many other people from across Canada, from municipal emergency services as well as other agencies, were on hand, too.
At the time, I was with the Township of Alberton’s fire department, as well as being on the township’s emergency planning team.
When an emergency strikes, it can force you to evacuate your neighbourhood or confine you to your home or workplace.
An emergency can leave you without basic services, such as water, gas, electricity, or a working telephone.
Are you prepared?
The province of Ontario has effective emergency management legislation and programs in place. However, individuals and families play a vital role in preparing for times of crisis when emergency services and other government resources may be strained.
As well, keep in mind that more than 90 percent of Canada’s 3,492 fire and rescue services are a volunteer service.
There are roughly 84,000 volunteer firefighters in Canada—and many have jobs that could keep them from responding immediately.
As well, depending on your local fire and rescue service, their response may be limited due in part of their training, as well as the level of emergency response service they can provide.
It is important that individuals and families prepare to take care of themselves for at least three days. Individuals and families are best able to cope when they have taken the time to prepare before an emergency happens.
An emergency can strike at any given time—and could happen while you are at home, work, travelling in a vehicle, or vacationing abroad.
Another thing to consider is how to handle people with disabilities and special needs.
Get prepared and read the emergency preparedness guide, which was distributed to most Canadians a few years ago. More than likely, it could have been tossed into the recycle bin, so you can inquire with your local fire and rescue service as they may have additional copies.
For those of you with computers, or those of you who know someone who has a computer, visit www.GetPrepared.ca and take the time to read the emergency preparedness guide.
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now—and take care of what we have!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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